Golda Poretsky, HHC
As you may have noticed, although I write a lot about intuitive eating, I don’t write all that much about food.
Back when I was dieting or between diets, I used to feel insanely guilty about food all of the time, unless I was on a diet and miraculously adhering to it for the moment. I felt guilty for never cooking enough. I felt guilty for eating too many carbs or too much fat (Atkins & Weight Watchers were battling it out constantly in the Food Civil War that was going on in my head). Then I went to nutrition school and added a new layer of guilt on top of it all, like a heavy dollop of bitter frosting.
So specifically not writing about food is completely intentional on my part. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably been on diets, you’ve probably been told what to eat and what not to eat by parents, doctors, dietitians etc., you probably have lots of residual rules about food running around your mind, many of which conflict with one another. The last thing I want to do is add more advice of the “eat this/ don’t eat this” variety to your thinking or to the world at large.
And yet, I know that a lot of you who are reading this may have made New Year’s resolutions to “eat healthier” or better. So I’d like to give you one pretty universal tip for how you can do that. You’ve probably heard this one before, but I’m sharing it with you because it’s one of those tips that actually make sense.
Try eating more dark, leafy green vegetables.
I say “try” because, you may not dig greens or you may be getting plenty of greens already. And I say “eating more” because I’m not recommending that you eat less of anything that you’re eating. But most of us would probably feel better eating more greens, due to their vitamin and fiber content. Greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals.
To me, part of intuitive eating is learning about how different foods affect you. And when I write “you” I really mean you. As in, your friend might feel really good eating salads in the winter while you might not. As in, you might feel great after eating a bagel while your friend might feel loguey. Yet I find that, pretty much across the board, adding in greens feels good to most people. For me, cooked greens make me feel calmer and more relaxed. It’s almost like my body is saying “thank you.” And because of that, really more than anything else, I like to eat them.
I’m going to now do something else that I don’t normally do at the blog, and that is share a recipe with you. I decided to do this just to show you that even with only a couple of ingredients and a total lack of cooking skills (my cooking often meets both of these criteria) you can make really delicious greens. (By the way, for more great, simple, whole foods based recipes, check out fellow IIN alum and Top Chef Season #1 contestant, Andrea Beaman.)
So here’s a recipe that I came up with the other day. It’s delicious, it’s insanely easy, and it’s a great way to get more greens without thinking about it to hard.
Kale & Apples, Body Love Wellness Style (Serves 1-2 people)
Total time: About 10 minutes
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup water
1 apple (whatever kind you like)
4-5 stalks of kale (whatever kind you like)
1-2 pats of butter (substitute a tsp of coconut oil to make it vegan)
Pour the water and the apple cider into a pan and put the burner on medium-high heat. Chop the apple as finely as you feel like, and dump it into the pan and stir it around a bit. While that’s cooking, wash the kale, dry it, and rip the leaves off the stalks. Now rip up the leaves into edible chunks. Once the apples look kind of soft and golden brown, dump the kale into the pan. Add a pat or two of butter (or the coconut oil) and stir it around for a few minutes, letting the kale get wilted and dark green. Pour off excess liquid (if there is any)* and voila!
Feel free to use more water and less cider or forego the butter if you feel like it. I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me. ;) You can also add a variety of condiments, like tamari or even cinnamon, but I really like it as is.
Experimenting with different food is a really important part of intuitive eating, because it helps you learn how your body (and tastebuds) react to different foods. So feel free to share a favorite recipe in the comments below, or let me know if you try this one.
*Note: If you’re getting a lot of excess liquid, use less the next time you cook it. Dumping a lot of the liquid may mean throwing away some of the vitamins.
Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.
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