I recently got this question in from one of our Savory Raw Carbs Coaching Class students in that she wanted answered.
Only problem was I got it after our last (and second bonus class) started, so I didn’t even see the question until the class was over.
So I figured I’d answer it for everyone.
Here’s her email to me…
Sorry this question is coming in late, but what *exactly* do you recommend in terms of how many greens to eat per day?
I’ve saved quotes from you over the years about your thoughts on greens consumption:
“Try eating them at every meal if possible. That’s what I do. Also make sure to get in at least one large serving of raw cruciferous vegetables a day too. They are even more beneficial in many ways than tender greens for optimal health.”
“Personally, I eat about 3/4 of a head of celery per day and the equivalent of 2 or 3 huge salads. Or the equivalent of about 2 large heads of romaine lettuce a day in terms of greens.”
BUT I still can’t figure out how many ounces of greens this means that you eat. Can you tell us how many ounces of greens you eat or you think we should eat every day? It is 1 lb? Or closer to 2 lbs? And how many savory carbs and/or other vegetables do you recommend eating per day?
I want to have your objective advice so that I can really succeed on raw this time. Thanks so much!
Thanks for your great question Courtney.
I do believe I answered this a number of years back but I could not find the email. So I’ll state it again.
Firstly, giving an exact number is next to impossible. Reason being there are so many different factors.
A pound of celery is FAR less nutrients than a pound of kale. Not only does kale have a higher nutrient completeness score of 85 to 81 (they’re close) but it’s also way higher in calories by weight.
Kale = 227 calories per pound of weight Celery = 73 calories per pound of weight
You’d have to eat 3.11 pounds of celery to equal the calories in 1 pound of kale.
Not to mention that kale has all sorts of anti-cancer phytonutrients that celery does not have. So it’s very hard to group all greens in together and say eat this much “exactly.”
But we can try to get a general ball park figure.
I personally shoot for an average of 5 to 6% of my calories to come from greens.
And the general range I recommend is from 4 to 10% of your average daily calories coming in from greens.
If your greens intake comes from iceberg lettuce it’s going to take a LOT more eating to reach 5% than if you ate kale.
Because iceberg lettuce is only 64 calories per pound or even less than celery.
So if you eat an average of 2,000 calories per day then you’d have to eat at least 100 calories from greens on average to get 5% of your calories.
And remember not all greens calories are created equal.
Now spinach has an even higher nutrient completeness score than kale at 91 but it only has 104 calories per pound compared to kale’s 227.
Do you see how this starts getting very complicated?
And maybe you’re thinking well 100 calories from greens is nothing. Well then you’d be mistaken because this is only greens not including an oily salad dressing.
To give you an idea the average sized tossed salad in a restaurant is probably less than 20 calories coming from greens. So if that is all you ate you’d have to eat 5 of those tossed salads to get your 5% of daily greens in.
Or if you were shooting for 10% you’d need to eat 10 of those salads per day.
Seems like a lot doesn’t it?
And that presumes you’re eating a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
What if you eat 3,000 calories per day? Then you’d need to get in 150 calories from greens per day.
And yes I have had days where I’ve eaten 10% of my calories from greens. But I have not done it often.
The easiest way I’ve found to get a lot of greens in easily and on autopilot is in doing two things.
1. Make green smoothies for breakfast and lunch.
2. For dinner make Savory Veggie Stews. One large Savory Veggie Stew can easily be the same amount of greens as five of those average sized restaurant salads. And I often chow down on two or three Savory Veggie Stews per evening.
That’s my secret to getting in a ton of greens on autopilot.
And by the way… if you’re trying to make your blood and body more alkaline… then eating a ton of greens is very effective at doing just that. I’ve tested it on myself years ago and it works like a charm.
Try Savory Veggie Stews your taste buds and body will really thank you.
Now if you want to make the advice even more simple, I simply recommend to stuff your face with greens as often as possible.
But if you want an objective number shoot for about 5% of your daily caloric intake coming from greens. More-so if you can swing it.
But don’t eat so much greens that you don’t have enough room for your daily quota of carbs.
You’ve got to have enough carbs in your system and just eating greens won’t give you nearly enough carbohydrates.
Your Radiant Health, Fitness and Infinite Potential Coach,
Raw Food Diet Mentor
Making the Raw Food Diet Effortless through Tastiness