Do you ever fear you’re too often falling short in eating enough daily servings of vegetables (and fruit)? Who doesn’t? That’s why every once in a while it’s good to be reminded of why it’s important to ensure you’re getting your daily dose.
Even though I really do like all vegetables, the problem for me (and many others) often lies in putting the time and effort into utilizing a wider range and actually preparing and eating them regularly. I so often find myself resorting to the same-old-same-old… A salad of mixed greens (with tomatoes, avocado and coloured peppers) and then the handful of every-day basics: onions, carrots, broccoli, celery, garlic. Fruits are never a problem, on account of how delicious and easy to grab-and-go they are—little to no preparation necessary. Vegetables (most of them) are the challenge, but they are so worth it to consume.
I too, needed to be reminded of why I should eat more veggies. My reminder came in the form of a Ted talk. A medical doctor with multiple sclerosis explains how she improved her health condition considerably through diet. She discusses at length, the large amounts and different types of raw vegetables that she would regularly eat.That was all I needed to hear to become quite excited about vegetables again. I envisioned the raw veggie salad I’d create that same day for dinner and made a mental list of the vegetables I’d use.
Oh those amazing vegetables! Every part of our body needs the goodness that veggies offer; from the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes, to their high alkaline content, and all sorts of other good health and healing agents that vegetables contain. They are extraordinarily beneficial to us, especially when we eat enough of them, and regularly.
Yes, it’s a little more time-consuming, but preparing and eating real food is and has always been the natural and necessary thing to do. Think of vegetables (and fruits and herbs) as nature’s pharmacy. If you currently need to get chemical prescriptions filled, you may want to try reducing or eliminating your dosage by increasing your intake of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbal medications instead. There are many verified accounts (some of which I’ll share in another post) of people healing themselves from a range of health problems, strictly through diet.
It’s advisable to get your vegetables as locally as possible. It’s unnecessary to have every conceivable fruit and vegetable from all corners of the earth be made available to us. A wide local(ish) range will do nicely. During the winter months, I do often extend the local reach to include more of the continent. Luckily the continent I’m living on is North America, and areas of year-round growing for many different vegetables, but also for things like oranges, avocados and lemons, aren’t really that far away.
I made the envisioned raw salad later that day and fed it to my two teenagers and some of their friends. Everyone really liked it. The salad:
• chopped red cabbage and kale
• diced fennel and cucumber
• grated celeriac, carrots, and beets
• raw apple cider vinegar
• Dijon mustard
• a drizzle of sesame oil
I’ve since added chopped jicama and avocado, dried cranberries or raisins, and hempseeds or sunflower seeds to the blend, but really, the possibilities are endless. My plan is to keep switching things up and make a big bowl of raw veggie salad every second day.
Exceptions to the raw salad rule:
Not all raw vegetables (i.e. cabbage, kale, and broccoli) agree with everyone’s digestive systems. They can cause intestinal discomfort and be particularly gas-producing. For some people, these and some other vegetables are often best cooked.
Cabbage, kale, and other vegetables in the brassica/cruciferous family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and Brussels sprouts contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are naturally occurring compounds that can suppress thyroid function and are best avoided when raw by those with hypothyroidism. Cooking the “goitrogenic vegetables” reduces the goitrogen content considerably. (I personally prefer to eat the brassica family of vegetables steamed or cooked (i.e. soups, stir-fry, etc.) most of the time.
Want to see the TED talk?
Click the link below to hear about this medical doctor’s (Dr. Terry Wahl) phenomenal healing journey and to learn how and why vegetables are able to heal us as they do.
Something to keep in mind:
This is one person’s story – and a great one at that – but different things work for different people. Personally, I won’t be eating quite as many vegetables as Dr. Terry Wahl did/does each day. However, if I were to be diagnosed with a moderate to serious illness or disease, after consulting with a physician, I would likely follow a very similar food regimen. This TED talk provides a lot of excellent and important information, but the amounts and types of foods mentioned are not always possible or perhaps necessary for everyone to consume in the same way.