Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feeling Green

Feeling Green. This can mean a few things to the English speaking world that can confuse an English-as-a-second language speaker. For instance, if I said I was feeling 'green' it could mean any of the following.

1. I was nauseous; the shade your face becomes when feeling seasick.
2.Perhaps a little jealous; in a nice way not the nasty sort. The kind of green I'd feel if you told me you were taking a holiday in Rarotonga and leaving me here in the early Spring cold snap.
3. Feeling environmentally inclined - probably the most popular modern application.
4. Feeling green is what you also feel if you are new at something - when I'm sitting among experts in a subject I know little about- like computers.

Context is the only way to know which green the speaker is referring to and usually happens within seconds to someone born into English. It might take a bit of explaining to your overseas student, as we have found.

The kind of green I am thinking about today is how to encourage the intake of green leafy vegetables into your diet. Choose organic or spray-free greens from your shop or market and keep in fridge drawers in slightly damp plastic bags or vacuum containers. Don't buy too much at a time.

Greens can be frozen and used in smoothies. Obviously frozen greens won't be any good for salads or juicing.

Vary your greens; don't use the same one all the time. Different greens have a variey of photonutrients so give your body a wide variety. If you're new at this, stay with the milder flavours such as cos lettuce (romaine) and spinach. It would be a shame to put you off by using the stonger silver beet, collards and herbs. Leave these until you become used to incorporating greens and start samll with the stronger tasting greens.

You can grow some yourself - a couple of pots will take up hardly any room. I have two terracotta pots of spinach on my deck and now Spring is here I will plant a few more varieties in our garden.

You can learn how to forage and get greens for free. Just make sure of what and where you are picking. Find a local who knows what they are doing and learn from them. Don't pick from where there is pollution nearby - traffic and drains. Foraging includes learning to eat some weeds intstead of pulling and dumping/composting. Every area in the world has nutritious weeds particular to it.

Make friends with a gardener and swap goodies for greens.

It took me quite a while to work up the courage to include green in my smoothie. Just the thought of green made me grimace; that was my problem: the 'thought'. It wasn't reality; I assumed the taste of green would take over my beautiful strawberry or chocolate sensation. How wrong I was. One brave day I went forth into my gardern, picked a miniscule piece of green (can't remember what it was) and courageously tossed it into my vita-mix with the rest of my smoothie mix. Whizz, whizz, careful but brave sip - surprise! Not a hint of green to be tasted. From that day I have tossed in anything from several leaves to a handful or so. As long as I can't taste green I am happy. Sure it turns your smoothie an interesting colour but once your mind understands that colour doesn't equal taste you'll never look back.

Put some greens into your juice - spinach and cos are both good. For stronger tastes that need some 'cover' you can add a knob of fresh ginger or a small wedge of organic lemon with skin attached. Please note I said "small", both pack powerful punches and can become a taste-bully in your juice. BTW a teensy tiny piece of coriander is all you need if you feel inclined as I did, to pick a piece growing alongside my spinach - really, really strong! Literally only a sprig required - deep and suspicious questions were directed at me from my not-quite-trusting family!

So there you go - a fifth meaning to the term "feeling green".

Have a great and greener week!  Why not join me in The Green Smoothie Challenge? A great way to spring clean your body as you look forward to summer, alternatively if you are one of my Northern readers, it would be an Autumn clean up to strengthen your body for Winter.


The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference: an-001

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