Have you ever read we should eat 5 servings of vegetables every day? Do you know exactly what a serving of vegetables is? OK, time for Health Secret #2.
Health Secret #2 starts with purchasing two cereal bowls, mine are from Williams-Sonoma and are white, but any cereal bowl will do. The Cereal Bowl Diet is pretty simple. Every day for lunch fill one cereal bowl with raw vegetables (and eat them). Then at dinner fill your second cereal bowl with cooked vegetables and eat them. The key is to eat your cereal bowl full of vegetables first prior to eating the rest of your meal. Don’t ever put your vegetables on a plate, just use the bowl system. I eat a wide variety of vegetables this way. For example my raw vegetable cereal bowl includes grated vegetables like beets, carrots, jicama, or cabbage, along with fennel, avocados, tomatoes, spinach, romaine lettuce, mushrooms and whatever else is in season. My cooked vegetable bowl typically contains broccoli, collard greens, chard, leeks, zucchini, cauliflower or kale. Every night I prepare three different cooked vegetables for dinner so it doesn’t get boring.
How many servings of vegetables is your average cereal bowl, honestly I don’t even know, but I know my cereal bowl trick gets me eating plenty of veggies with every meal. (Seriously though, if you are wondering, one serving is equivalent to one cup of leafy veggies or ½ cup of non-leafy veggies.) The trick here is to actually eat the vegetables every day and for some reason having my cereal bowls has really made this work for me. They are a visible reminder of what needs to happen, they are easy to fill up, they make me do what I otherwise would not do, because for some reason getting the exact same amount of vegetables onto a plate never worked for me.
Try this for two weeks, one cereal bowl full of raw veggies with your lunchtime meal and one cereal bowl of cooked veggies with your evening meal, and remember to eat the vegetables first. Why first, well, mostly so you don’t forget to eat vegetables, if they have to come first there is no way to have a meal without them. Secondly, vegetables fill you up and eating them first will decrease the tendency we all have to over eat. Also, if you get in the habit of starting every meal with vegetables, guess what, you will have to keep fresh vegetables available at all times and you will avoid those moments where you might INTEND to eat vegetables but somehow don’t get around to eating them. Remember, the basic Cereal Bowl Diet rule, if you don’t have your cereal bowl of vegetables first you can’t eat any other food!
Why bother eating vegetables? They are packed with nutrients, prevent the main diseases that kill most Americans, assist your digestion and will prevent you from eating junk food. While I know many people that avoid junk food, I know very few that eat enough vegetables. And while I don’t claim to be perfect, I can promise you my cereal bowl trick works, it worked for me and it could be the best thing you’ve done to improve your health in quite some time.
DR KALISH’S FOUR STEP PROGRAM
THE CEREAL BOWL DIET SECRETS REVEALED:
1. Go out and buy two cereal bowls and at least 10 different vegetables.
2. Every lunch fill one cereal bowl with raw vegetables, try new vegetables as much as possible, use salad dressing to make them taste good.
3. Every dinner fill one cereal bowl with cooked vegetables, try new ones as much as possible, the key is variety.
4. Eat your bowl of vegetables first prior to eating any other food for that meal.
TOP TEN REASONS TO FOLLOW THE CEREAL BOWL DIET
10. You’ve always wanted to eat more vegetables, know it is good for you, have yet to really do it every day and for this you feel guilty, rather than feeling guilty about not eating vegetables you will actually be eating vegetables.
9. You will crave less sugar and refined carbs.
8. You will for sure lose weight.
7. After a month you will have more energy.
6. It’s an easy way to improve your digestion and regularity.
5. It’s an obvious way to prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
4. Will make your eyesight sharper, your bones stronger and you hair, skin and nails more attractive (unless you are bald in which case the top of your head will look fantastic).
3. Will improve your moral fiber and allow you to feel somewhat superior when people talk about the latest fad diet, since you know you are doing something quite a bit smarter.
2. Is among the most sound nutrition advice you could possibly follow, no downside to eating vegetables, no reason to ever stop, this is a diet change you can use for every lunch and dinner for the rest of your life.
AND THE #1 REASON TO FOLLOW THE CEREAL BOWL DIET:
Because I said so. It will make your mother happy, after all, how many times did she remind you to eat your vegetables?
EXAMPLES OF VEGETABLES TO BUY
Raw: tomato, mushroom, avocado, romaine lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, cabbage, carrots, spinach, fennel. To prepare, slice or grate, then put in your cereal bowl with some really good salad dressing so it tastes good.
Cooked: zucchini, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli. With any of these vegetables, you can steam them or braise in olive oil until cooked well enough for your taste.
– Dr. Daniel Kalish