Diabetics - Eat Your Greens, Kale, Spinach, etc...," I explained how beneficial eating greens can be for someone in the process of reversing diabetes. Even though I have already reversed my diabetes, I still eat greens almost every day. Greens are simply one of the healthiest foods anyone can eat. However, it is particularly important for a diabetic or a former diabetic to eat their greens religiously. If you haven't read the the article I linked above, I highly encourage you to do so!
Since I started eating more greens to reverse diabetes, I have found that I crave them if I don't eat them for a day or two. I believe like many believe that cravings are simply your body telling you what it needs. For example, many women crave chocolate during their menstrual cycle. Makes sense because they are losing so much iron and chocolate is loaded with iron. Guess what else is loaded with iron, by the way? Greens! For my female readers, don't be surprised if you start craving greens around your time of the month! But I digress a bit...
Another reason I love greens is how quick and easy they are to prepare. You can throw together a healthy salad with greens as a base in just a few minutes. You can saute them in just one to two minutes. You can very easily add them to soups, stir-fries, or just about any other dish. I often add greens to my eggs. You can check out my diabetic recipes site for more ideas.
While there are other foods you need to know about if you are interested in reversing diabetes, greens like kale and spinach are certainly at the very top of the list. This year I have been growing my own greens and saving tons of money doing so. It tickles me pink every time I walk down the produce isle at the store and see organic Lacinato kale (also known as black kale or dinosaur kale) selling for more than $3 a bunch. Don't get me wrong, that's a real bargain for the nutrients and antioxidants you get out of that one bunch of kale. But.... I now get the same thing for practically free growing it myself.
While some gardening tasks such as growing vine ripe tomatoes can be a bit of a challenge and even an art form sometimes, growing greens are so simple anyone can grow them, even if you have never raised a garden before. In fact, it takes very little effort and you don't need a green thumb. You just poke some seeds into some dirt (about 1/8 an inch) and water them every day and watch them grow almost as if by magic. 2-4 weeks later, you can start harvesting! Sometimes they grow so fast I swear you can almost see it happening. Right now I have several pots of greens growing out on the patio and it has become a fun morning ritual to walk out there with my coffee and see how much they've grown overnight. Right now I have 2 types of kale, 2 varieties of spinach, and 2 salad mixes growing plus a bunch of green herbs. It takes me only a couple of minutes to water them and I harvest some almost every day, sometimes multiple times in a day.
You don't even need any yard space to grow greens. Greens like kale, spinach, and salad greens grow very easily in containers as do herbs. So even if you live in an apartment and all you have is a small balcony or a bright sunny window, you can grow greens very easily in containers. For kale, you need a pot at least 8 inches deep. For spinach, you need a pot at least 6 inches deep. Herbs and salad greens will grow in a container of just about any size. The seed packages usually tell you to plant kale 8 inches apart but you can crowd them in much closer if you want and they still grow like a charm (they just won't grow as tall if you crowd them). Spinach can easily grow to full size if planted 2 inches apart. So you see it doesn't take much space at all to grow enough greens for 1 or 2 people and that's even if you eat greens every single day - which you should if you want to reverse diabetes!
Growing your own greens can save you hundreds of dollars a year too! The other day, while helping a friend figure out how to grow her own greens, we did some math. You can get a packet of very high quality organic seeds for about $2-$3. You can buy some organic dirt for about $3 or if you look under the free section of CraigsList, you can often find organic compost/dirt for free. You can get containers for $1 a piece at one of those everything's a dollar stores or you can often get them for free if you ask at larger nurseries. I've also found some amazing pots discarded on the side of the road and some people will give them away on CraigsList. At any rate, for less than $10, and if you really penny pinch for maybe only $2, you can start raising your own greens and raise enough for the entire year for no more than $10.
That's how to reverse diabetes at a bargain.
If you were to buy one bag of organic salad greens, one bunch of organic kale, and one bag of organic baby spinach a week you'd spend between $8-$12 so let's say that's an average of $10 per week. In one year, you'd spend 56 x $10 = $560 on healthy greens. Now, given that food is medicine and that greens are one of the healthiest foods a diabetic that is trying to reverse diabetes can eat, that is still one heck of a bargain (especially compared to Big Pharma prices). However, if you plant your own, you can get all the greens you can eat for an entire year for maybe $6 - $20 maximum. Plus of course, you'll have the joy of watching them grow which somehow helps to lower stress that would be hard to explain to anyone who has never raised their own food before. It's almost as fun as collecting food from the wild, but not quite :)
Here's another reason diabetics should consider raising their own greens. The fresher the greens, the more nutrients they have. I've read if you buy a bag of organic baby spinach, it will lose about half the nutrients and antioxidants in 3 days. Now, regardless of the specifics of the study, the point is that the fresher the greens, the more they can help you reverse diabetes! The more nutrients you'll be able to pass along to your family too!
If you can't grow your own greens, then by all means buy them and try to get the freshest ones you can find. It's still an amazing bargain and the healthiest food you can buy at the store. However, I just wanted to point out to my readers how easy it is to grow greens. It's much easier than growing other vegetables. My kale seeds sprouted in 3 days! My spinach sprouted in 4-7 days. My salad greens (I got seed packages that contained mixtures) sprouted in 1-2 days. I was starting to eat baby greens in 2-3 weeks and now I just rotate new ones in. Plus, as you harvest your greens, new leaves appear on the same plant so you can just keep harvesting from the same plant until it finally goes to seed.... unlike when you buy a bunch of kale at the store!
Of course, I haven't mentioned flavor yet! The fresher the greens, the better the taste in my opinion. There's nothing better than walking out on the patio, cutting some greens, and eating them a few minutes later! Kale gets sweeter as it gets colder as does other brassica family greens like mustard greens and collard greens! In fact, they taste the best after a frost!
Again, I want to emphasize that eating greens is one of the most important things you can do to reverse diabetes. However, you really do need to know the other foods you need to eat and you need to know the foods you simply MUST avoid to reverse diabetes. Also, the details about the foods you eat matter a great deal and it isn't always obvious (there is lots of misleading information out there). What I recommend to you and to all my friends is to get this guide and make sure you read it very carefully. It is a very comprehensive reference for reversing diabetes and has all the information you will need and then some. It is also written in a very easy to understand way.