Older man and woman preparing salad in kitchen

Part Two: Lift Your Spirit — Color Your Plate! Support Healthy Aging With Green Powerhouses

You can make every cell in your body glow through the divine energy offered by fresh fruits and vegetables.

In Part 1 of our ongoing Purposeful Nutrition Series, we talked about how can we harness the energy of nature, draw it into our daily lives, and become one with it as we age. We can accomplish this through the substance that was intended to provide life and energy — by eating more plants!

The more colorful the food, the better. I try to add color to my diet, which means vegetables and fruits.” — Misty May-Treanor

To recap the message from Part 1: One sure way to achieve whole health is to eat more produce, which is chock-full of essential nutrients. Eating a rainbow of colors will support your health goals. Aim for at least five half-cup servings a day.

Are you getting enough green in your diet?
Today, let’s focus on the healing energy of the green powerhouses. These include:

Fruits: Green apple, green grape, green pear, kiwi fruit, lime, honeydew melon.

Vegetables: Cucumber, avocado, broccoli, zucchini, green cabbage, asparagus, Brussels sprout, artichoke, parsley, okra, green pepper, celery, bok choy, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, arugula, Swiss chard, etc.).

Technically, peppers, cucumber, zucchini and avocado are fruits, since they contain seeds. However, because they are not as sweet as most fruits, they are placed in the vegetable category for culinary purposes.

Green fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens contain vitamins A, C and K; potassium; folate; iron; calcium; and more. Chlorophyll, a green pigment, is responsible for the beautiful shades of green in your favorite selections.

Top benefits of green fruits and vegetables:
• Lower risks of cancer
• Help to detox the body
• Contain lutein, which supports healthy vision
• Support skin health
• Support bone health
• Help reduce risks of chronic diseases
• Support healthy aging

Feature Focus: Collard Greens
When was the last time you enjoyed the tender leaves of collard greens? Not only will you be getting an impressive amount of vitamins, but some protein as well.

Caution: If you’re cooking collards, don’t boil all the life out of them. Sautee or steam them for a few minutes to reap the benefits of their potent nutrients. No need to simmer your greens all day the way grandma used to.

I’m amazed at the versatile collard. To me, the leaves are more tender with just the right amount of crunch when they are eaten raw. Throw a handful in your salad medley or use the leaves as an alternative wrap for your favorite sandwich filling.

What are your favorite green fruits and vegetables? How can you add more to your meals?

A conscious meal plan should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. When you plan your meals, think about the value or benefit of what you’re eating; how it will make you feel; and most importantly, do you like it? But don’t just mindlessly reach for quick and convenient food because you’re hungry or have a craving.

Consider shifting your mindset so you’re eating to support your higher purpose in life. Love yourself enough to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Try to establish a deeper spiritual connection with your food. Nature offers a huge selection of delicious and nutritious green-colored goodness. And notice how you feel after enjoying your favorites. Eat well — age beautifully!

Remember: health is an action — we must practice mindful living in order to reach mastery.

Consider This
Want to look lean in a new pair of jeans? Add more greens to your clean cuisine.

Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to add fresh green fruits and vegetables to your plate this week.
• Begin by selecting green produce you like.
• How will including more colorful choices to your menu improve the quality of your life?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.  

Need help with meal planning?

It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own. My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life. Click here for more.

In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,

T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Motivational Speaker
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Lifestyle120.com

When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.