Maybe you pull out the new planner with intentions of being organized this year, set your alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier, start a different workout routine, or decide to change careers? New beginnings for a new year can come in different forms for everyone. One thing we all have in common however, is that we have to nourish our bodies in one way shape or form. This is a light guide to help with decision making this month when it comes to all things food. Remember, just take it one day at a time. This isn’t a time to beat ourselves up about anything. New Years can be about a fresh start and cleansing diet; but victories can be as small as trying a new vegetable, or as large as completing a Veganuary challenge.
Greens Greens Greens
The Facts - Getting greens into your system is ideal for overall health including brain, breast, and bone health. The consumption of green leafy vegetables may help to slow cognitive ability decline with age as they contain Vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, and folate (1). Leafy greens have tons of antioxidants in them and have been shown to be highly effective in lowering breast cancer risk in addition to a plant-based diet (2). Greens are also among the best sources of calcium, essential for bone health. Just 1.5 cups of kale contains 25% of your daily calcium requirement.
Some greens to bring into the mix this year:
Cruciferous Vegetables: kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, arugula, mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli, watercress, Napa cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Brussel sprouts
Other Vitamin and Antioxidant-Rich Leafy Greens: spinach, beet greens, romaine, dandelion greens, cilantro, parsley
Try to work more greens into your diet this year. When it comes to nutrient-dense, cleansing vegetables, they rank number 1 as they offer the most nutrition per calorie for a whole food. Do you have kids or a partner who aren’t the best at eating their veggies? Check out the below tips to help sneak them into their diets! Shhhh, we won’t tell.
Chop up kale and parsley finely and blend them into a plant-based meatball or burger mixture. Go heavy on the garlic, onions, and some tamari for the ultimate umami flavor bomb.
Smoothies - Spinach or kale in a smoothie is very easily masked by a wide variety of pairings including bananas, berries, cacao powder, coconut, mango, pineapple, and more. Try our Organic Green Smoothie.
Pesto - add spinach and/or kale with your basil for a boost of hidden leafy greens. It’s not only nutritious but extends the recipe too!
Sauces and curries - Greens can easily be added to a variety of sauces and curries. They add a nutritional boost while adding some variety to the meal.
Juice - Try our Organic RAW Juicery Cold-Pressed Green Fiend with cucumber, celery, green apple, kale, spinach, ginger, lemon, and parsley
Muffins - Just like smoothies, greens can be hidden in muffins as well! The fruit likely offered in these recipes offsets any kind of bitter greens taste you would expect.
Pizza - top your pizza with some arugula or spinach. Makes for the perfect pairing with some plant-based cheese.
Tofu Scrambles - Tofu scrambles can be made with an endless amount of veggies variations. Perhaps you add a mixture of red peppers, kale, and onions or a tomato and spinach combo.
Try our: Organic Burmese Chickpea Curry
Mama’s Burmese chickpea curry with forbidden rice, and lacinato kale.
The Facts - Fiber is America’s shortfall ingredient with about 95% of us not getting enough in our diets (3). Having a healthy, well-balanced gut microbiome is essential for health and longevity. Adding fiber is essential for the gut (4). Immunity, hormonal balance, metabolism, cognition, and gene expression are all interconnected with the gut. Damage to the gut microbiome can play a role in everything from depression, anxiety, and cognitive function to various autoimmune diseases such as asthma, allergies, food sensitivities, eczema, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis (5).
The best way to get our fiber intake is from a wide variety of plant foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and seeds. Think whole, unprocessed foods here - berries, apples (with skin), chia seeds, ground flax seeds, quinoa, chickpeas, brussel sprouts, etc. We’ve come a long way with nutrition to know that a bran muffin or a dissolvable fiber powder isn't our only option to ensure a healthy fiber intake.
Try our: Organic Protein-Packed Amaranth Porridge with Fresh Fruit, Maple Pecans and Fresh Jam
Organic amaranth seeds steeped in warming spices and our hand-pressed organic brazil nut milk to make a protein-packed porridge.
Eat the Rainbow
Nature’s candy (not Skittles) is not only an incredibly nutritious choice, but delicious as well! Eating the rainbow, meaning a wide variety of whole plant-foods can provide numerous benefits including:
Some of 2022’s favorite plant shout outs from our blog posts are below:
Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, slow digestible/resistant starch, carotenoids, bioactive proteins and lipids, and polyphenols. They are said to help stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Sweet potatoes contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties (6).
Açai - Açai berries are known for their anti-inflammatory, polyphenol, and antioxidant properties (7). Polyphenols, phytonutrients which naturally occur within plants are said to help aid in lowering the risk of inflammatory conditions including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease (8).
Soy - The soybean is a powerful legume that has been shown to promote breast health, bone preservation, and reduce the risk of coronary disease and prostate cancer. Soy has been known to reduce hot flashes, alleviate depressive symptoms, and even improve skin health (9). The phytoestrogens in soy make this plant so desirable for one’s health. The phytoestrogens work as blockers against the “bad for you” estrogen from entering your system (10).
Mushrooms - Mushrooms are incredible brain-nourishing plants. Known to help ward off mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, mushrooms contain anti-inflammatories that can reduce inflammation in blood vessels within the brain (11). Similar to soy, mushrooms contain estrogen-blocking compounds. Simple white button mushrooms actually have the highest estrogen blocking abilities out of all of the fancy varieties (12).
Try our - Organic Spicy BBQ Tempeh Kale Caesar Salad
Chopped kale served with organic caesar dressing, organic maple BBQ marinated tempeh, pickled onions.
Start 2023 off right with some more cleansing recommendations off the P.S. & Co. menu!
Organic Mohinga Noodle Soup
Rotating Organic Winter Soups
Organic RAW Juicery Cold-Pressed Juices
Organic Acai Bowls
Organic Rishi Tea
Join us on January 26th for our Meal Planning & Prep Event! Learn directly from our in-house pros on tips and tricks to sustaining a plant-rich kitchen while eating for longevity and saving money. Stay tuned for more details!
1 Morris MC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Booth SL. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2018 Jan 16;90(3):e214-e222. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PMID: 29263222; PMCID: PMC5772164.
2 it's empowering': Surgeon Kristi Funk on diet and Reducing Breast Cancer Risk. Forks Over Knives. (2021, September 28). Retrieved August 18, 2022, from https://www.forksoverknives.com/wellness/surgeon-kristi-funk-diet-reducing-breast-cancer-risk/
3 Quagliani D, Felt-Gunderson P. Closing America's Fiber Intake Gap: Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 Jul 7;11(1):80-85. doi: 10.1177/1559827615588079. PMID: 30202317; PMCID: PMC6124841.
4 Bulsiewicz, Will (2022). 8. Fiber fueled: The plant-based gut health program for losing weight, restoring your health, and... optimizing your microbiome. Avery Pub Group.
5 Xu H, Liu M, Cao J, Li X, Fan D, Xia Y, Lu X, Li J, Ju D, Zhao H. The Dynamic Interplay between the Gut Microbiota and Autoimmune Diseases. J Immunol Res. 2019 Oct 27;2019:7546047. doi: 10.1155/2019/7546047. PMID: 31772949; PMCID: PMC6854958.; Bulsiewicz, Will (2022). 16. Fiber fueled: The plant-based gut health program for losing weight, restoring your health, and... optimizing your microbiome. Avery Pub Group.
6 Liu M , Li X , Zhou S , Wang TTY , Zhou S , Yang K , Li Y , Tian J , Wang J . Dietary fiber isolated from sweet potato residues promotes a healthy gut microbiome profile. Food Funct. 2020 Jan 29;11(1):689-699. doi: 10.1039/c9fo01009b. PMID: 31909777.
7 Pitchford, P. (2009). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books.
8 Da Porto A, Cavarape A, Colussi G, Casarsa V, Catena C, Sechi LA. Polyphenols Rich Diets and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients. 2021 Apr 24;13(5):1445. doi: 10.3390/nu13051445. PMID: 33923263; PMCID: PMC8146556.
Kaputk. (2022, July 5). What is a superfood, anyway? Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-a-superfood/
9 Messina M. Soy and Health Update: Evaluation of the Clinical and Epidemiologic Literature. Nutrients. 2016 Nov 24;8(12):754. doi: 10.3390/nu8120754. PMID: 27886135; PMCID: PMC5188409.
10 Mostrom, M. & Evans, TJ. Phytoestrogens. Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, 2011.
11 Sherzai, Ayesha MD and Dean, MD, PhD (n.d.). other. Retrieved from chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.vibrantbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/DeanandAyeshaSherzaiMD-PreventingDementiaWithNutrition-2018.pdf.
12 Funk, MD, K. (n.d.). other. Retrieved from https://www.vibrantbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FRS19-Kristi-Funk-MD-Interview-Transcript.pdf.