What is a Green Light Food?
Green light foods are part of a system of eating called Traffic Light Eating. In Traffic light eating we stop counting calories, quit vilifying food, and start mindfully choosing healthy foods while learning to know what our body needs and when we've had enough. Traffic light eating puts the emphasis on the "quality" of food first, not just the quantity. Traffic light eating can also be used in conjunction with other dietary preferences such as vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc.
Green Light foods are "go" foods, like the green light at a traffic light, meaning you can eat as much as you want of them. These include all fresh fruits and vegetables. Emphasis on fresh - these foods are grown, not manufactured. Green light foods are low in calories and high in nutrients and hard to overeat or become too full on. These foods are what we call nutrient dense. So, eat up!!
My 3 Favorite Green Light Foods
Avocados! What??!!! Did you say avocados?? I thought they were fatty and bad for you? You shouldn't count them as a vegetable or fruit!!! Well, hold on, not so fast. Avocados contain 20 essential nutrients, have more potassium than bananas, and contain vitamins A, B6, E plus folic acid. While it is a green light food, you might now want to eat them all day long, but eat them any day. To read more about avocados check out this blog post.
Bananas - Another vilified food, poor bad guys. The truth is bananas are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamins C and B6. Bananas contain "resistant starch" which can't be absorbed by your body, but helps you feel more full. The greener the banana the lower it is on the glycemic index, but if you are worried about how it turns to sugar in your system add some peanut butter; the fat and protein slow down the process. The flip side is that more ripe bananas have less resistant starch, but have more antioxidants.
Green Peas - I love peas! I can eat just a bowl all buy themselves and be happy and fortunately for me peas have great nutritional value. Peas have lots of protein, not many calories, are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins c, k, and e, zinc and the list goes on. Peas are good for constipation, inflammation, aging etc. This is one power packed "go" food. .
It can be challenging to find ways to work fruits, vegetables, grains (yellow light), and legumes (yellow light) into your lifestyle, but the benefits are worth it. Try making these the bulk of your diet for a healthier lifestyle.
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Avocado - Orange Avocado Salad - The Forest Feast
Banana - Just Bananas Muffins - Forks over Knives
Peas - from the cookbook, Date Night In by Ashley from Notwithoutsalt.com. The recipe can be found in her book or at Tending the Table. - Pea Pesto and Prosciutto Crostini
To learn more about Traffic Light Eating contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren't in the Greensboro, NC area I offer virtual sessions as well.
Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.