Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed, like you just can’t keep up with your life? Between the laundry, cooking, birthday parties, social events, cleaning, work, sports…I could go on and on but, the bottom line is: Mommin’ requires a lot of energy.
I’m a work from home, homeschooling mom of five. Just writing our names on a birthday card can wear me out, so I feel your pain.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of relying heavily on caffeine for the stamina to keep up with it all, but in reality caffeine can only do so much, and it can actually worsen fatigue and anxiety.
In my own life and through my work with clients, I’ve learned that true, sustainable energy starts with the right foods. And that the right foods we need more of are leafy green vegetables.
Now, I’m not just talking about salads here. Leafy greens are actually a large category of foods including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, swiss chard, romaine, kale, and more.
Leafy green vegetables are packed full of micronutrients, and eating two or more servings each day has been shown to have the following benefits:
• Reduced signs of aging
• Immediate boost to energy levels
• Improved digestion
• Reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes
• Promotes a healthy weight and aids in weight loss
• Strengthens the immune system
• Promotes healthy gut bacteria!
Information is awesome, but putting it into practice is key.
How do you start including these foods in your everyday life without adding more work?
These are my 5 tried and true strategies to easily add these foods for your life
1. Use frozen veggies
I always have a bags of frozen broccoli and cauliflower on hand so I can quickly throw them in the steamer or boiling water for a simple side dish ready in a about five minutes. No chopping or washing required. Hey, I’ve even microwaved a bag when I don’t feel like dirtying a pan.
2. Make the most of soups
From chili to chicken noodle, throw some chopped greens into soups for a really simple way to add a lot of nutrition. You could also just ladle your hot soup into a bowl of raw greens and they’ll wilt right into the soup.
3. Mince them into meats
Whenever I make a meal with ground beef or turkey (think tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf, lasagna, or some form of hot dish), I mince whatever ‘leafys’ I have on hand to add to the meat while browning it. Kale, collard greens, swiss chard, cabbage and spinach are favorites for this method.
4. Include in smoothies
I throw a huge handful of spinach into everyone’s smoothie when I make them, and I get zero complaints. If you use this method, try to make sure your smoothie contains a good protein source and healthy fat with low-sugar fruits; smoothies can easily become a sugar-bomb if they are not made correctly.
5. Try a variety of cooking methods and vegetables
Roasted, boiled, steamed, sautéed, stir fried, or raw, the possibilities for flavor and texture really are endless. Find what works best for you and your family and make it a part of your routine.
Taking this step toward better health is so worthwhile. Maybe you can even use your newfound energy to start one of those Pinterest projects you’ve been dreaming about…
Or just finish that darn laundry.
*Leafy greens can irritate the digestive tract for some, or worsen symptoms of IBS. In these cases, start with cooked greens and add them into the diet slowly. You may want to do this under the supervision of a doctor, nutritionist, or qualified coach.
Danika Schweim is a multi-passionate mom of five (three girls, two boys). She currently spends most of her time changing diapers, folding laundry, homeschooling her “big kids”, snuggling on the couch, having impromptu dance parties, and pursuing the work she loves. She runs her business from home as a nutrition coach & yoga instructor working with moms to help them lose weight, stop dieting for good, learn to enjoy the present, and feel incredibly confident. You can find more information at danikaschweim.com