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Eating Your Veggies: As Easy As 1-2-3

Robynn Chutkan

In her book The Microbiome Solution, gastroenterologist, author, and PCF friend Dr. Robynne Chutkan talks about the relationship between your gut microbiome – that is, the collection of all bacteria and organisms living in your gut – and many chronic diseases.

Although she offers many elegant and pragmatic tips for eating well, a simple and easy favorite is this: the 1-2-3 rule of eating vegetables.

The following is an excerpt from Dr Chutkan’s book.

Secret success #10: Follow my 1-2-3 Rule

I’m not a fan of counting calories, rationing carbohydrates, keeping track of grams of protein, or anything else that tries to turn the art, pleasure, and comfort of eating into too much of a scientific endeavor. But there is one simple rule I strongly recommend: I call it my 1-2-3 Rule:

My 1-2-3 Rule

Eat at least one vegetable at breakfast, two at lunch, and three at dinner.

There are many ways to accomplish this. It could be a smoothie with kale or a spinach omelet for breakfast, salad with chopped raw veggies for lunch, and steamed asparagus plus a salad of lettuce and cucumbers with your dinner. The 1-2-3 Rule is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough dietary fiber without getting bogged down in too many details, and focusing on building your meal around plants will help you think about meat as a side dish rather than the main event­—a great microbe-boosting strategy. Fermented foods can be eaten as a condiment with any meal and have a double benefit: they’ll count toward your 1-2-3 goals while also providing additional bacteria themselves.

Excerpt from The Microbiome Solution

cover of microbiome solution book

Learn more about Robynne Chutkan here.