It was common for our paleo ancestors to eat up to six pounds of leaves per day. You can imagine them just walking along picking and eating leaves as they went. Can you imagine eating that much? Unfortunatley, most of us don't eat the minimum USDA recommendation of 3 cups per day, yet leafy greens a jam packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Per about.com: "Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats."
With our busy modern day lifestyles, it can take a bit of planning and teamwork to get leafy greens into our diet. Your local farmers market is a GREAT place to find new greens that are in season. Here are some greens that you might not have tried which are awesome and can be found in most grocery stores or farmers markets:
- Swiss Chard
- Mustard Greens
- Rainbow Chard
- Collard Greens
Remember, because the glycemic load of leafy greens are so low, you can eat A LOT of them. Stick with the DARK leafy greens since they provide more nutrients. Check out some cooking ideas and suggestions and make them in bulk to incorporate during the week!
Paleo Challenge Comments and Q&A
Great work to everyone taking on the Paleo challenge! Continue posting what you eat, we're all here to support you. I looked back on the comments from the past couple of days and I'm summarizing the key points here:
- Green Beans are NOT Paleo, they are in the legume family with a high lectin load, and they irritate the lining of the gut similar to how glutens do. Check out our previous post on lectins for more. This is a big deal for me, since I used to eat them A LOT. I'm currently working them out of my diet and replacing with more leafy greens.
- Protein Shakes are not Paleo. An easy way to know if a food is Paleo or not is to ask yourself "Did a caveman have access to this?"
- Post WO nutrition: The ideal post WO nutrition depends on how much you expended your glycogen stores during the workout. If it was extremely intense and you're totally spent, there is a 30 minute window by which doubling your normal carb intake with normal protein portion and NO fat portion will directly replenish your glycogen stores quickly. However if you aren't totally spent you don't have to do this. Robb Wolf did a great and detailed post about this that you should check out here.
- Pre WO nutrition: There are different schools of thought here. In most cases with CrossFit style workouts if you eat a good Paleo meal and are well hydrated 30 minutes before diving in you're good. Hydration is key, your performance can drop 10-15% when you're dehydrated!
Here's what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast: 1 Omega 3 Egg, 2 egg whites, 1 sausage, 1 cup stirfry veggies, 1 apple
Lunch: 4 oz roasted lamb, 1 cup mixed veggies, 1 cup cooked spinach
Snack: 2oz canned chicken w/mayo, 1 cup string beans, ½ cup blueberries
Dinner: 4 oz grilled fish (thanks Mom), 1 cup collard greens, ½ cup zucchini, 1 apricot.
Post to comments!