If you spend any time with me, you’ll quickly come to realize I am passionate about vegetables.
Mind you, nearly all nutritionists and dietitians appreciate them – and if we are doing our job we’ll definitely be talking to you about them – but I’ve noticed that I’m a little extra excited about them. And when I mean extra, I mean as enthusiastic as your child would be on espresso, Pixie Sticks and a carte blanche pass to whatever they wanted for an entire weekend in Disneyland.
Vegetables are F*CKING AMAZING.
The thing about veggies is that they are very unassuming. They are quiet and humble and neither glamorized nor vilified in our culture, so most of us don’t have a strong emotional response to them. Because diet fads keep on keeping us focused on carbs, fats or proteins (depending upon which decade it is) it is very easy to overlook vegetables and fall short of getting even a modest amount onto our plate.
But the reality is this – Vegetables are Clark Kent. Totally unassuming, but the key to saving the world. Click To Tweet
For someone who has been studying nutrition since she was 13, it took me way too long to figure this out. It wasn’t until I went back and began my second degree in nutrition that the light bulb clicked and the truth really sunk in.
Over the last 4 years I’ve been really focused on this produce thing. And the more I read the more excited I get. In looking at the top 10 causes of disease in the USA (Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, Unintentional injuries, Chronic lower respiratory disease, Influenza and pneumonia, Kidney disease, and Suicide, if you’re curious) the only one which is not impacted by what you eat is unintentional accidents. If we take alcohol into account as a consumable, then all 10 make the list for a way of dying that you have some control over. Let me state this another way:
You have a say in how and when you die.
While living a long life is the goal that many people focus on, I think what they intend with that goal is to live a long and healthy life. On the whole, the industrialized world has gotten pretty good at extending lifespan. In fact, every generation up until the newest one has had an expected lifespan that exceeds their parents. However, as we are watching our parents age, we are realizing that living to 80-90 rather sucks when you are in chronic pain, dependent upon nurses and your children, and medicated out of your bloody mind.
If you read over that last paragraph, you’ll notice I mentioned that our children will be the first generation not expected to outlive their parents. We’ve become too unhealthy for modern medicine to save us. We can’t medicate our way into good health. (imagine that!) And because the industrialized world has a lifestyle and cultural value set that is toxic, our kids are not likely to be healthy enough to last as long as we do.
What do I mean by toxic culture?
Our bodies are not intended to sit for more hours than we sleep. We are built to be moving more hours than not.
Our bodies did not evolve on shelf-stable foods which even insects won’t touch. Yet this is the bulk of calories we consume now.
Our bodies are not intended to sustain high, chronic levels of stress (be it physical, psychological, or both). Yet we live in a culture based upon economics which dictate that our dollar is best captured by our attention, and our attention is best captured by ever-increasing intensities of drama. So newsreels are on a 24/7 cycle of shock value centered around tragedy or impeding doom, advertisers are endlessly trying to convince us that we are lacking or not good enough so we turn to their product/service as a solution, and this is the sewage we swim in regardless of whether or not we are one of the millions of people with other, more tangible problems such as being overworked and underpaid, taking on more emotional labor than we can handle, trying to juggle caring for aging parents and children while not backsliding in our career, and so on.
Pardon my French, but it’s no wonder we are fucking exhausted and taxed by it all. It’s no wonder we can’t eat healthier, even though we know we should, because seriously – we’re just trying to manage here, you know?
These are the conversations I have daily in my practice. Women who are keenly aware that they feel increasingly ill and are struggling to manage this thing called life. They look at their plate and see that they aren’t doing too badly – fast food is not a regular thing, they consider quality and prefer to shop organic if they can – but they are not feeling like they are making much headway. In all cases, there aren’t enough veggies. Inadequate veg consumption is the reality for 91.7% of Americans (a special thank you to the CDC for that bit o’ trivia).
By sharing my Master Veg Hunter secrets to increasing produce consumption to 8-10 servings a day without hiring a chef or spending hours in the kitchen, most of my clients start to feel better nearly immediately. Energy stabilizes, mood lifts, and they begin to gain some traction. They are able to handle life more easily and then they start to notice the trackable results – smaller pants, healthier labs, a reduction in autoimmune markers. We fine tune and tweak the nutrition to achieve optimal results, but more often than not it starts with vegetable intake.
So if I have one tip for you – just one thing you can change in your diet – it’s increasing your vegetables. You can be paleo, vegan, keto even – but get that produce in. Watch how it transforms you.
Need help? Download the free guide below and learn how to get 5 servings of vegetables a day in 15 minutes or less. This will make you an elite among your peers – after all, only 9% of Americans are getting even 5 a day. Witness what 5 servings of veg a day can do for you.
What are you waiting for? Your life is literally at stake.
Need quick and easy ways to get healthy meals on the table? Get my guide, "5 Ways to 5 a Day in 15 Minutes or Less" to boost your health without resorting to boring salads or smoothies!