Health and Fitness

Here’s What Happened When I Ate (Mostly) From My Small Garden

I’ve begun a new self-care routine that I’m calling “Me Mondays” in which I focus on cleaning out my system, mind and spirit. Monday is a good day because all the weekend chores are done and the kids and hubby are out of the house, which allows me to push the “reset” button.

This week I focused on food, and how eating certain foods can have an immediate positive or negative effect on your brain and body. Since my garden is in full bloom mode, there was a lot of veggies for me to choose from. I wanted to see what it was like to be a vegan. Just kidding. I’ll never be a vegan. No offense to vegans, okay?

Morning: Green Smoothie

The Swiss Chard, kale and kumquats are ready for picking, so I made a green smoothie with the items above along with a vanilla-flavored protein powder. Okay so I cheated;  the dates and bananas weren’t from my garden. Kale and chard work to detoxify the liver, banana lends potassium, kumquats are bursting with vitamin C, and dates are just…yummy. Dates are loaded with sugar, but it’s the natural kind, and all the fiber mediate the sugar surge. I was planning to have a pretty intense workout so I knew those carbs would be well spent.

About an hour after drinking my smoothie, I did a HELL of a workout from my favorite online workout collection on

Chinese Red Meat radish! I’m going to be honest–I’m not a huge fan of radish, but I grow it because my German mother-in-law loves them. However she’s been remiss in getting her share so I have a pretty robust harvest that needs to be plucked. This particular variety starts off sweet and finishes off super hot when it’s raw. But when you roast them…the heat disappears and the sweet, earthiness remains. I roasted these radishes with a random beet I saw hiding amongst the Swiss chard, it looked like this…

OMG with some olive oil, sea salt and pepper…so good and so filling!

Then on the side, a had a kale slaw, made from carrots, kale, cilantro, mint, and scallions I’ve been growing. I added some raisins, mayo, and topped with some crunchy rice noodles.


So how did I feel after all of that? Really good, and “light” if you know what I mean. My belly wasn’t weighed down with bulky, hard to digest foods. I didn’t feel like I needed a nap by the middle of the day, and while I licked the bowl on my husband’s chili that night, I slept really well and woke up extra early and ready to work, feeling absolutely no grogginess.

So what’s the lesson here? Grow your own food, obviously! But clean eating with the least amount of processing ensures your body works to it’s best potential. If dedicated a whole day eating greens is a bit too daunting to start with, start with one meal, or invest in a good blender (I love my Vitamix) and make green smoothies to sip on your way to work. Then really take a moment to gauge how you feel a few hours afterwards. If you’re new to this, the gas will kick your butt…pun intended. But once your body gets used to it, you’ll find that your skin and eyes are clearer, you’ll feel less sluggish and have sustained energy and a better ability to concentrate.

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