How To Make Your Diet GREENER

Green Food
There’s a big push to “go green” these days, and tons of information out there to help you live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Many people don’t realize that the daily foods you choose to eat have an enormous impact on the environment. In this post, I’m talking about the benefits of a GREEN diet in three ways: Making sure your food choices are eco-friendly, reducing your consumption of animal products, and making sure your diet is filled with green veggies.


1. Make sure your food is eco-friendly and sustainable.

One of the main ways to ensure a green and sustainable diet is by buying LOCALLY. This means purchasing foods from local vendors, especially farmer’s markets. Most cities are catching on and supporting farmer’s markets multiple times a week. There’s a great one here in Albuquerque, which is where I am at the moment. The reason buying local is so important is because it reduces the energy cost of transporting foods across long distances. When food comes from far away, it has to be driven on a truck, refrigerated, processed and packaged. That translates to a whole lot of gas, and lots of energy for refrigeration and preservation. Also, there is a possibility that chemicals will be added to keep the food fresh, not to mention the materials used to package it. ALL of those factors are eliminated when we buy produce that’s grown close to us!

Not only that, but buying local produce also promotes a much healthier and more delicious lifestyle. The reason is that foods that are grown near you and sold at local farmers markets are fresh, in season, and have more time to ripen on the vine and have a higher content of minerals and phytonutrients.

Also, buying locally promotes eating a diet that relies mostly on fruits and vegetables, instead of processed items. Once you get in the habit of going to local farmers markets, fruit stands, or to the “locally grown” section of the supermarket, it will become a fun ritual. You’ll feel good about yourself for helping the planet, and you’ll be supplying you and your family with delicious foods! Food that’s grown locally is always what’s in season near you, and you know it’s going to be super fresh because it hasn’t traveled halfway across the country to get in your shopping bag!

 

2. Reduce your consumption of animal products.

If we really want to be “green”, it is essential to look at the environmental impact of what we are choosing to eat and put on our plates on a daily basis. As I point out in The Beauty Detox Solution:

A 2006 report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) cited livestock production as “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

Among many of its shocking findings and summaries, the FAO reports that livestock production accounts for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s cars & SUVs combined. 2.4 billion tons of livestock-induced CO2 emissions are a result of the deforestation of over 7.4 million acres of trees cut for pastures and feedcrop land each year.

The livestock sector is the leading contributor to water pollution by nitrogen and phosphorous in the United States, and also pollutes large amount of pesticides and antibiotics into the water. 1/3 of fossil fuel consumption in the United States goes to animal agriculture.

Putting all other issues aside, such as health and beauty issues, animal rights, etc. the indisputable fact remains: eating animal products is environmentally destructive. If you do choose to eat some animal products, be conscious of limiting them and incorporating more vegetarian options into your diet, and make it a point of sourcing your animal products from local, smaller farms.

3. Ensuring your diet is greens-based, including mostly green leafy vegetables:

Following with the “green” theme, I want to talk about how important it is to eat lots of green vegetables. As we cut back on our animal products as mentioned in Point #2, it is important to fill that gap with abundant plant foods, not processed or commercial foods. Our planet has abundant plant food on it, both in wild and cultivated forms, and when you start exploring  local produce, you’ll discover a whole new world of green leafy vegetables, some of which you’ve never heard of. In The Beauty Detox Solution, and in previous blog posts, I talk about the amazing benefits in green veggies. They’re absolutely packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will make you look and feel amazing. Green veggies are full of fiber and naturally low in calories, so they will keep you feeling satisfied all day long, helping you achieve weight loss goals. You will also notice a healthy glow in your skin, and you’ll have tons of energy.

Of course I always talk about my Glowing Green Smoothie as a great way to get a big dose of greens first thing in the morning. It’s the easiest way to get lots of nutrients right away. If you want to read more about the glowing green smoothie click HERE. But the Glowing Green Smoothie is not the only way to get those great nutrients in your diet. There are so many delicious greens to add to salads, eat raw, or incorporate into your usual dishes. Of course once you start eating locally, you’ll start eating more healthy green veggies, which will help your body naturally detoxify itself. It’s a great way for you to achieve your weight loss and health goals, while helping the environment as well.

Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

–Spinach

— Dandelion greens

–Purslane

— Watercress

–Swiss Chard

— Kale

–Romaine

–Cabbage

–Arugula

–Mache

–Mustard Greens

H. Steinfeld et al., Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Livestock, Environment and Development (2006).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 Responses to “How To Make Your Diet GREENER

  1. Hi Kimberly! I just found you and your book last week and am loving what I have read.

    I have quite a few food allergies and am not sure how to maneuver around some of them. I can not eat apples, bananas, pineapple, nuts (besides walnuts) or dairy. Do you have suggestions of alternatives to those items?

    Thank you for what you are doing!

  2. Hi Kimberly,

    I am allergic to bananas, but the Green Smoothie is unfortunate without it. Can I substitute mango and avocado for creaminess and taste?

  3. Hi Kim,

    I love your book and your inspriational outlook on health which is not soley focused on losing weight but rather an overall health approach! Your knowledge and advice has been very refreshing compared to what else is out there.

    My question regards the “green” factor. I have a job that requires a lot of travel and I wanted to know if when I am unable to make the GGJ or the GGS if I can subsitute with a Raw Green Juice powder that is available at stores such as Whole Foods or the Vitamin Shoppe.

    Thank you so much as I want to continue my beauty-full lifestyle even while on the road!

  4. Hey Kim! My husband works on the road and sometimes comes home for 1-3 weeks. While he’s home my diet gets all sorts of messed up. How can I get him to be more supportive of my decision to eat more whole foods? He does most of the cooking when he comes home since he spends all his time eating out when he’s on the road. He is also a food pusher, he gives me same size portions as him and insists on second helpings. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but my waistline can’t handle it!

  5. Hey Kimberly!
    You always say to avoid eating your carbs and protein at the same time – how important is this when it comes to more easily digestible proteins like soaked nuts and seeds? I’m hard pressed to find a good cereal, porridge, or desert recipe that doesn’t combine fruit and nuts! Do you separate your fruits and nuts always?
    Thanks and love!

  6. Kimberly,
    You’re a true inspiration to many of us out there.
    I just finished your book and food combining really gives me more energy.

    It would be nice if people also would pay attention to food packaging.

    Buying in paper instead of plastic or just the naked fruit or veggies at a farmers’ market….

    Thank you again!
    Love,
    Julia

  7. Hi Kimberly! I’d like to thank you for all of your valuable information. It’s great to see someone going to such lengths to improve people’s lives! I have been following your program since early May and fall somewhere between the radiant beauty and true beauty phases. I had a pretty clean diet before starting the program as well. I’ve had problem skin on and off since a teen but kept it under control by using proactiv. It stopped working well a while back and I was really hoping the cleaned up diet would allow me to switch off of the chemical based solution so I started using a castille based soap. Unfortunately my skin has been really bad over the past month or so and my self esteem has taken a big hit. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on a product to use or if I should just keep plugging along on what I’m doing and hope it clears. I would REALLY appreciate any guidance you could offer! Thank you so much for all you do!

  8. Thanks, Kim! It’s great that you’ve written a post on this topic! I’m extremely passionate about the environmental benefits of the plant-based diet (I wrote my senior thesis in college on the topic and used the “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report as a major resource!). My motivation to go vegan 3 years ago was to decrease my carbon footprint, though now I am dedicated to animal rights and health as well!

    Anyways, I think most people follow your nutritional advice for personal health reasons (that’s how your book is marketed), so reminding everyone that there’s a bigger picture is awesome. :)

    I was also wondering: What do you think about aloe vera juice (or using fresh aloe gel in smoothies since I live in AZ and have a plant!)? And do you use essential oils? If so, what are your favorites and do you like the Young Living brand? Thanks! :)

    • Hi Nora,
      Fantastic! Yes it is all linked together- what’s good for us is good for the planet, and each other. There really can’t be a separation.

      I think aloe vera juice is great for your GGS, especially since you have your own plant. It has wonderful benefits. I have a whole kit of essential oils which I use to make my own perfumes, body lotions and air fresheners with! I’m very into scents. I must have over 30 bottles. I’ll post a “recipe” sometime. I love the mix of orange and patchouli, and I put lavender in my coconut oil. :)

      • Hi Kim,

        I wanted to follow up with you regarding you preference with scents and your “recipes.” I am especially fond of lavender and patchouli and would love to know if you had any unique creations.

        Hope to hear from you! xo

        • Hi Kylie,
          Patchouli mixes really well with orange. I have some notes on my perfumes I can share when I’m back in NY. Remind me!!

  9. I apologize…this question is not related to your current blog. I just wanted to know what you think of sprouted bread? Thanks!

  10. Hi Kimberly
    Am pregnant, and have felt better than ever since following your diet!!
    I have three questions:
    1) may I substitute a cucumber for the banana in the glowing green smoothie. Feel that I am ODing on bananas and I love the cucumber taste.
    2) My probiotic and enzyme salad totally works, but tastes unfortunate. Is there a specific kind of cabbage or am I doing something wrong.
    3) Am going a a week vacation with NO WAY to make the glowing green smoothie or bring it along. What do you recommend as a drink that I could either pack or just an alternate plan?

    Thanks
    Betsy

  11. Hi Kimberly,

    What are your thoughts on the supplement 5htp. I’ve been eating mostly vegan/raw for awhile but have struggled with anxiety on and off for several years. Yoga and meditiation are helpful, but when things get especially bad, I have turned to SSRI’s and anti-anxiety medication. I am now off medication and would like to remain off, partially because of the side effects and partially because my anxiety has improved a bit, but I was considering trying 5htp which I have read has natural anti depressant/anxiety effects. What is your opinion?

    Savannah

    • Hi Savannah,
      First off, it’s great you’ve exploring natural diet and other remedies for your depression.

      5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the brain chemical serotonin, which is important to feel happy and balanced. It’s now manufactured by many natural health companies, and I certainly think it’s better than taking a chemical med. At the same time, make you are getting omega fatty acids. A mix of chia and flax seeds may be helpful to you. Eventually, you may not feel you need to take the 5-HTP anymore. Also have you checked for Candida symptoms? Those with candida and yeast overgrowths may struggle w depression, which won’t be easily corrected until we address that root issue. Check out the Blossoming Beauty Phase.

      Keep in touch!
      xx Kimberly

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