Dr. Greger, the author of one of our favorite books How Not To Die, created a checklist called the Daily Dozen. This includes all the foods you should ideally fit into your diet everyday for optimal health and longevity. All are nutrient-dense, unprocessed plant foods. By including them in your diet daily you naturally consume loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber without the need to meticulously track specific nutrients.
The great thing about the Daily Dozen checklist is that it doesn’t tell you what not to eat. Rather than restricting yourself from different foods and food groups, eat whatever your heart desires, but only after you’ve completed your Daily Dozen checklist. You’ll find that the good foods will naturally crowd out the bad ones.
I love starting my day with this smoothie because I get off on the right foot with Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen checklist. There are 18 total food servings on the checklist and this shake alone knocks out 7 of those. It can potentially knock out 9 if you add rolled oats and dates.
✔ Other Fruits
✔ Leafy Greens
✔ Nuts & Seeds
✔ Herbs & Spices
Now compare that to a typical American breakfast of eggs, bacon/sausage, hashbrowns and toast. This only checks 1 or 2 off your list. That breakfast is not only lacking in those nutrient-dense foods on the daily dozen checklist, but it’s also loaded with sodium, saturated fat, hormones, and cholesterol.
We recommend printing off and laminating a daily dozen checklist, posing it on the front of your refrigerator and checking foods off throughout each day. It’s a great reminder to consistently include those health-promoting foods in each meal and snack. If you’re high-tech, there’s also a free Daily Dozen app!
Daily Dozen Smoothie
Start your day off right with this nutrient-packed smoothie. Out of 18 total food servings on Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen checklist, this shake alone knocks out 7!
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries
- 1 cup frozen mangos
- 1 handful leafy greens
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cup soy milk unflavored
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Notes from the Chef
Some optional ingredients I like to include every now and then:
Aloe vera - I recommend freezing aloe in ice cube trays and then popping 1 cube into the blender each time I make a smoothie.
Rolled Oats - Oats will make your smoothie very filling. If you need a breakfast that is going to keep you full until lunch, definitley add some oats.
Dates - If you want your smoothie to be sweeter, add 3 or 4 pitted dates.
Matcha - I add 1/4tsp of matcha to my smoothies for an added antioxidant punch. Matcha is a bit pricey though, so if you want to leave it out that's totally ok. This is the matcha I use -> 1 LB Certified Organic Matcha *Note this is an affiliant link
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