Green starters could be that simple habit that makes all the difference in your health!
In the Fall, I read the Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspe. It’s a book about changing your health through blood sugar management. Jessie does an amazing job simplifying complex scientific topics and presenting the information in a practical actionable way and I left with so many ideas.
Months later there are a few that stick out the most to me (I outlined all three of them here), one of which is to add a green starter to your meals.
What are green starters?
A green starter is pretty self-explanatory, except you don’t have to be so strict on the green aspect. It’s a vegetable that you have before our meals or at the beginning of your meal. Starting with a vegetable sets you up to have a smaller glucose spike from the meal ahead (all explained in Glucose Revolution).
As Jessie mentions in the book, you can add a protein or fat to your green starter and get the same benefits. Bonus points if you add vinegar (another one of her hacks!).
If you’re interested in the idea of a green starter, check of Jessie’s book and/or snag some green starter ideas to get you going below.
8 green starters to add in before your meal
Butter lettuce with goat cheese
This is my go-to green starter! Butter lettuce with crumbled goat cheese ovetop, drizzed with EVOO and white wine vinegar.
I actually have butter lettuce and crumbled goat cheese on my grocery list each and every week so I make sure this is an option. It’s definitely something that I reserve for lunch or dinner, not really a breakfast thing.
Carrots and hummus
Handful of baby carrots and hummus are an anytime pleaser for me. I still love Sabra hummus, but I often get the classic hummus from the Simply Nature brand from Aldi.
I love the crunch of a cucumber. We usually buy mini, persian, or english cucumbers because they have a better crunch and less of the middle stuff. I can easily eat a bowl of cucumbers with salt, but when I make it for a green starter I usually add some olive oil and vinegar too.
Pro tip – if you like Asian-style food, try rice vinegar and sesame oil.
Olives, feta, cucumber
Greek-salad inspired, but make it the lazy girl version! I love to add pitted kalamata olive, diced cucumber, and crumbled feta together and top with some balsamic vinegar and EVOO or balsamic glaze.
Spinach, bacon, goat cheese
I don’t always love spinach on it’s own, I usually thinly slice it and add it into salads, soups, quiche, etc. But I do like the combination of spinach, bacon chunks (we bake them in the air fryer), and goat cheese with the same EVOO + white wine combination.
Romaine lettuce with parmesan
Crunchy romaine with shredded parmesan topped with your dressing of choice. When I’m lazy with the green starter, I go for the EVOO and white wine vingear combo again, but this one sometimes needs a little seasoning and I like to add the citrus garlic seasoning from Trader Joe’s.
Sliced tomato with EBTB seasoning and EVOO
This is my go to for a breakfast green starter, especially in the summertime when tomatoes are SO GOOD. I love a sliced tomatoe with EBTB seasoning and some extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on top.
Note: The breakfast green starter is the hardest for me and oftentimes it doesn’t work so I focus on savory options for my breakast like a scramble with egg, spinach, and pesto or avocado toast with arugula and EVOO drizzle.
Handful of [insert raw veggie here]
I’m a busy mom that works full time outside of the house and is trying to make dinner from 5:15-5:45 so my family can eat before 6pm when our girls turn into hangry monsters. So for dinnertime, my green starter might look like a handful of the nearest raw vegetable, which in our house is usually bell peppers or mini cucumbers. Sometimes I forget how good bell peppers are all on their own!!
At worst, you got more vegetables in
There’s no downfall when it comes to adding green starters — think about it! At worst, you got more vegetables in. So give the green starter thing a try and notice how it makes you feel after your meals.