GREEN ISN’T ALWAYS HEALTHY

When eating green, one must always consider the value of the calories you consume.  Mint M&Ms are definitely green in color, but what value do they add to your daily calorie intake?  Well, at times, they certainly satisfy your sweet tooth.   But are the calories worth it?  Approximately 25 M&Ms will take 210 calories from your 800 calorie limit for the day!   This is where counting and accountability are everything.  A few extra candy pieces “accidentally” getting into your hand can set back your weight management program by several days.  M&Ms aren’t the only culprit!  The healthier pistachios can also get away from you.  So often we find ourselves “snacking” while enjoying a friendly game of Yahtzee or cards.  Always be aware of your actions and intake regardless of whether it’s during a meal or one of those allowable snacks.  Awareness and accountability are your best defenses against overeating!    Image

ANYBODY CAN SPROUT!

Sprouting Jar and Mung Beans1Mung Beans on Spinach TortillaSprout and Lettuce WrapMung sproutsEating Emerald has opened my horizons to all new foods AND all new processes!  I never would have believed I would have begun creating my own sprouts!  That counts as gardening, doesn’t it?  Anyway, I’m thoroughly convinced that anyone can grow their own sprouts successfully and enjoyably.  I don’t know if there is an easier sprout to begin with, but with the advice and direction of the nice lady in the local health foods store, I selected a bag of mung beans from the shelves.  When I went to the counter to check out, she asked how I would be preparing my mung beans.  I told her I had no idea but that they were the perfect green and I just knew I could work them into my diet.  She quickly proceeded to suggest that I begin my own sprouting adventures.  I was definitely game for that and she introduced me to the neatest sprouting jar.  A mere $4.95 and I think this stainless steel mesh lid contraption will be perfect for a very long time.  She explained to me, step by step, how I should use the sprouting jar (and the jar came with step by step instructions too).  The results couldn’t have been more tasty!  I had the most delicious spinach tortilla wrap with green curry paste, mung sprouts, and fresh leaf lettuce from the Wednesday morning farmers’ market!  What a delight!  Now, I’m planning to use some of the sprouts in my 4th of July green salad.  Makes it much more satisfying to know that I also grew the sprouts myself.  Eating Emerald certainly has expanded my experiences in a way I hadn’t expected,

To find out more about mung beans, I suggest this link:  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/mighty-mung-bean

Tools of the Trade1

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Don’t leave your healthy lifestyle to chance. It is important that you measure and calculate what you put into your body. A good set of measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale are essential to your success!

BE PREPARED

I was so anxious to begin this adventure and this morning was the launch.  Though I’ve been thinking of this nonstop for well over a month, when it came time to “break the fast,” I didn’t have any traditional breakfast eats.  I know people eat a variety of foods at a variety of times but to make sure that they are green and at arm’s reach takes a little bit of forethought!  So, even though I thought I was ready to go, I ended up at the local grocery before most of the dayshift workers showed up.  With key lime pie yogurt and honeydew melon in my basket, I took off for the checkout.  This won’t happen tomorrow because PREPARATION IS KEY to success!  By the way, the green melon and yogurt was delicious and just the items to get me on track to healthy lifestyle. 

Launch Day – July 1, 2013

ImageTomorrow will be a very, very exciting day!  July 1, 2013 marks the kick-off to the 180 days Eating Emerald adventure!  Over the last several weeks, I have spoken with individuals about the Eating Emerald concept and have carefully considered their input and advice on how to make this adventure positive for my spirit, body, and overall well-being.  A few guidelines that must be followed throughout the next 6 months:

  • EVERYTHING that goes in my mouth must be undeniably GREEN in color!
  • Caloric intake is 800 calories.  There is not restriction on grams of carbohydrates or fats.  Calories are counted for everything that is consumed.
  • The “amount” of food cannot exceed 75 items in a day,  For example, if I choose to eat green M&Ms or pistachios, I cannot exceed 75 items combined with the food products that are considered 1 item (salad greens/leafs, for example, are not counted individually).
  • The only non-green item to be eaten or drank is water.  Flavored water must be green colored.
  • All food consumed must be measured and documented.
  • All grouped items must be counted (I.e. nuts, chips, green grapes)
  • I MUST weigh every morning
  • I MUST journal & document every day – Accountability is essential!

The core of this adventure is my relationship with food.  For that reason, Eating Emerald will be my way of transitioning into a healthy lifestyle.  Can’t wait for daybreak!

The Skinny on Edamame

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With the number one question I have been getting being, “What will you eat for protein?”, I have been investigating the green offerings that will satisfy the protein needs of my body for the 180 days. I immediately turn to edamame as a great source for protein. Edamame is boiled green soybeans. With today’s food preparation processes, however, you can get edamame in a variety of forms. I’ve had edamame from the sushi counter of our local grocery store. My niece zapped the tray of edamame in the microwave, and it was a very satisfying green treat to go along with the California rolls! But, thinking ahead to my Eating Emerald days…will edamame provide the nutrients typically reserved for more traditional protein sources? A little research, and I’m convinced that edamame will be one of my options.

As eating green goes, edamame should be a real sustainer. According to an expert WebMD blogger, edamame is a star legume when it comes to nutrients. Just 1/2 cup of edamame a day really pumps up the fiber, protein and vitamin/mineral content of your diet.

Here’s what you’ll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):
120 calories
9 grams fiber
2.5 grams fat
1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
11 grams protein
13 grams carbohydrate
15 mg sodium
10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
10% Daily Value for iron
8% Daily Value for vitamin A
4% Daily Value for calcium

“As you can see, that little serving of edamame gives you a bunch of fiber: 9 grams, about the same amount you’ll find in 4 slices of whole-wheat bread or 4 cups of steamed zucchini. It has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrate. It contains around 10% of the Daily Value for two key antioxidants; vitamins C and A. And for a plant food, it’s quite high in iron; it has about as much as a 4-ounce roasted chicken breast.”

Edamame is really quite reasonably priced as well. During a recent layover in a large metropolitan airport, I came upon a 4 oz. bag of dry roasted edamame. Touted as a “Heart Healthy Snack,” the package cost $3.99 and would provide 4 servings (1/4 cup each) of this protein-rich legume. The 1/4 cup is equivalent to a 30 grams serving size. This will provide 14 grams of soy protein to the diner!

It’s fun to envision not only the green food items that I will be eating in my Eating Emerald adventures but also the different forms and presentations those foods will take. I’m sure this will ward off any thoughts of boredom in the 180 days ahead!

Maybe it will be easy being green?

Buying the Concept of Green

It’s really amazing how people don’t want to invest in your plan. It has to be THEIR plan. What’s reassuring is that I’ve invested in Eating Emerald. The biggest problem people have with eating the color green is that they feel they will be limiting their intake of protein. Our culture is altogether too obsessed with protein – particularly that derived from meat, poultry, and fish (I’m sure my vegetarian friends will side with me on this one). I’m not against meat, you understand, but I know of no naturally green meat! And, try as I may, I’m not up for meat which has turned a delightful green from decay and the rotting process! Hmmmm. Gets me on track to research more on what green I can eat that will satisfy the hunger typically staved off with protein-rich products. So, to those naysayers amongst us, I challenge you to join me in the hunt for the green. This hunt will be interesting, informative, and, perhaps, life-extending!

The Green Groundwork

Just thinking about eating green colored foods gets me excited!  Determining what is legally green and what should stay in the grocer’s bin hasn’t been easy.  But who wants easy?  I want to know green like no other.  What is naturally green?  Hanging out in the produce section of the local grocery stores leads me to some brilliant green foods.  But, I want the whole green spectrum of color, flavor, texture, and convenience.  I want the planning of Eating Emerald to be the focus of my dining experience rather than the eating itself.  Who would have ever thought that I would want to know more about what’s going into my body rather than just  gulping it down?  The groundwork for green includes limits, of course, but it certainly won’t be limiting!  Eating Emerald is going to open up a whole new world for me that centers on what is out there that fits into my planning guide.  It’s green all the way, baby!

Finding the Greenway

Excited?  Yes, I’m excited!  I’m checking off the days on the calendar until I start my new adventure.  I’m a little “green” at this, but I’m hoping to become the Geek of Green when 2014 rings in.  In less than a month, I will be setting out to see the world through green-colored lenses.  I can’t wait!