Putting the plan into action
In the last post, I asked John to weigh in on the best way to begin the lifestyle changes he advocates for better health. In the podcast he talks about what should come first – diet or exercise. His answer is ‘yes’.
The more you do, the more likely you are to be successful. Just get started. For exercise, if you aren’t already on a program, John recommends starting with a walk. Plug in your earphones with your favorite music – upbeat is good, something that makes you feel happy! Get outside for a stroll – aim for half an hour – but even a short walk at first is better than no walk at all. Just try to get your body moving and your heart rate up a bit. In fair weather, John and I have a few different routes we take. depending on how much time we have (or depending on the air quality). And when you come back from your walk, it’s a great time for a cup of Gx2!
John advocates adding to the diet first, not taking out – at least at the beginning. It’s easier because you won’t feel deprived. So let’s talk about adding more vegetables into our daily nutrition. Lots of antioxidants and low in calories! I find the easiest way to get the recommended 9-10 daily portions of fruit and vegetables is having jars of my Gx2 soup around that we can grab on the go a couple of times a day. You can bring a jar of it to work to sip at your desk, or during a break instead of coffee. Each cup (8 oz. or 250 ml) has about 2.5 portions of veggies. I used to call it my green soup, but once I started experimenting with herbs and spices I changed it to Globally Green (Gx2) because you can take the basic recipe and customize it to the flavoring that’s most pleasing to you. Because it’s dense and tasty, it’s filling and satisfying, and takes away the urge to grab a less nutritious snack. If you have a mug of soup with lunch, you’ll find you won’t have to eat as many carbs to be full. And it’s the easiest thing in the world to make.
I always improvise with this recipe because I use what’s fresh, what’s available organic, and what’s on sale. But for the purpose of this post, I measured everything out so we’d know how many portions are in each cup. After I weighed the veggies I cut them up into big chunks and put them in my stock pot. You’ll need a big pot to fit all this in, or half the recipe in a regular dutch oven sized pot.
• Onion – 10 oz.
• Broccoli – 16 oz.
• Cauliflower – 24 oz.
• Dark leafy greens 32 oz. (spinach/Swiss chard/collard greens)
• Garlic cloves (to taste)
• 6 cups of water
Add whatever herbs or spices you like to the cooking process. Lately we’ve been loving it with a whole bunch of cilantro in it. In the summertime, when my patio herb garden is in full force, I take handfuls of the fresh herbs and cook them along with it. I love everything spicy so when I reheat it for myself I usually add hot sauce or cayenne. A squirt of lemon or lime juice is nice and of course, salt is always optional.
Cover and bring the contents to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft enough to puree. I use a stick mixer, also known as an immersion blender, to puree the soup. And I put the pot in the sink in case it splatters (less to clean!). Pour it into jars to cool.
I invite you to try making Gx2. Enjoy it a couple of times a day and let me know what your favorite flavoring is. I’d love to know how you adapt it to your culinary background!