According to the Pantone Color Institute (PCI), the color green will be everywhere in 2017. Pantone 15-0343 – a specific shade of green said to evoke the first days of spring. Indeed, the PCI has named 15-0343 (also called “Greenery”) as the Color of the Year for 2017.

There’s a lot more to color than meets the eye…

For the most part, green is a good color. Often regarded as the color of life, renewal, nature and Spring, it is also said to renew and restore depleted energy.

In the domain of color psychology, green is an emotionally positive color, and gives us the ability to love and nurture ourselves, and others, unconditionally.

The colors yellow and blue are associated with optimism, emotional tranquility, and insight. Green, as the perfect marriage of the two, inspires hope and generosity of spirit not available from other colors.

Here at CALMERme, we talk a lot about getting enough greens in your life.

Greens on your plate

Pile your plate with these brilliant brassicas and leafy greens to benefit from their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties (not to mention all the vitamins and minerals that they’re loaded with):

  • Broccoli For better retention of nutrients, the World’s Healthiest Foods website recommends steaming this cruciferous vegetable rather than boiling it. It’s delicious and good for you when eaten raw or lightly-stir fried too.
  • Spinach One of the world’s healthiest vegetables, eat it raw in salads, or lightly cooked. Bright vibrant-looking leaves are the most nourishing.
  • Swiss chard With beautifully colored stalks, Swiss chard is a stand-out in the produce section. Chop the leaves into 1” pieces and cook lightly. Although the colored stalks are lovely to look at, they’re bitter – so stick to the white stalks, which are not.
  • Kale You can enjoy this powerful vegetable as dried chips, or cooked in any number of ways. The stalks should be crisp not limp – they should snap in two when bent.
  • Brussels sprouts I know. Many people don’t like the small but mighty Brussels sprout! I’m sure we’ve all eaten them as over-cooked, soggy, grey lumps – no wonder then that people don’t like them. Instead, try lightly steaming them for maximum nutritional value and great flavor.
  • Cabbage What’s not to love about cabbage? Delicious raw or lightly sautéed. Gorgeous when combined with some colorful red cabbage, and doubly healthy for you.

Greens in your cooking

The image shows fresh green herbs, as discussed in this post on CALMERme.com

Don’t forget to include some lovely green herbs too! Whenever possible, use fresh herbs rather than dried. Wrap the stems of fresh sprigs in a slightly damp paper towel, and store in a loosely closed plastic bag in the fridge.

  • Basil An excellent source of vitamin K. Like cilantro (below), basil has natural anti-bacterial properties, thanks to its volatile oils. The leaves should be a deep green color, and free from dark spots or yellowing.
  • Thyme An excellent source of vitamin C. The leaves should look fresh and be a vibrant green-grey in color. Add towards the end of cooking to preserve the flavor.
  • Rosemary Helps stimulate the immune system, increase circulation, and improve digestion. When freshly picked, the leaves have an almost waxy feel to them; just touching them releases their beautiful aroma.
  • Cilantro Also known as coriander, it has been seen to contain natural anti-bacterial agents. Fresh leaves look a little like parsley (but have a very different fragrance). Considered both a herb and a spice, because household cooks everywhere use its leaves and seeds as seasonings. Just before using, wash by gently swishing in a bowl of cold water.
  • Parsley Packed with vitamins K, C, and A, and a good source of folic acid (one of the B vitamins). Much too nutritious to use as a garnish and not eat! Easy to grow in your herb garden, parsley will keep coming back year after year.

Greens in your day

Include some time in nature every day, whether “nature” to you is your garden, your local park, or anywhere else that you can be near to growing plants, fresh air, and peace.

Green body parts

Your thumbs! If only I had a green thumb – that’s a green body part I’d love to have. This coming Spring will see me try, again, to grow vegetables and herbs in my tiny garden. I’ll keep you posted on my progress – and the color of my thumbs!

The greens you don’t want in your life

I enjoy most shades of green – but we can all do without being green with envy or jealousy. Rather than let the green-eyed monster make you feel discontent and bitter, try focussing on what you can do for yourself, what makes you happy, and what gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Do yourself a big favor and leave the green-eyed monster routine to someone else!

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