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How to get all those fruits and vegetables? - Peter Hentges

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August 3rd, 2004


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05:35 am - How to get all those fruits and vegetables?
Hard on the heels of pegkerr's month without sugar and 90_percent_sure's Battle of the Corporate Sweet Tooth, I'm looking at how I eat. Pretty damn poor, when you get down to it.

OK, so if I go with the USDA food pyramid, I should be getting 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit every day. The question is, how do I fit all that into my routine? (I'm not worried about the bread, pasta, etc.; milk, yogurt, etc. and meat, etc. groups.)

Currently, I subsist mostly on a bowl of Cheerios when I get home from work and two peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches when I wake up. Add in various snacks (mostly candy, cookies, pie, ice cream) and you fill out my day.

Now, I have developed the habit of having a banana after I eat my Cheerios when I remember to buy bananas. I can add a glass of apple juice in here too. So that takes care of my minimum fruit for the day, pretty much.

How to get in those vegetables? A "serving" is about a cup of leafy veggies or half a cup of others. I suppose I should have a look at what that really means; it doesn't sound like much.

If I substitute in two servings of vegetables for one of my sandwiches when I wake up, I'm pretty close. Sneak in another serving as a snack and I've got my minimum.

OK, so here's the plan: Each shopping day, I'll stock up on bananas and apple juice for "breakfast." I'll shoot for fresh veggies when I can find something that suits my fancy but will need to stock up on frozen for quick fixes during the week. So for dinner I get a sandwich (or something) and two servings of veggies. Then instead of cookies or candy, I snack on a veggie thing of some sort. (Carrot sticks are popular and handy.)

One of my difficulties is that Ericka also has issues with vegetables. So if I'm cooking for both of us, I am often not thinking of vegetables, but rather of making something that she's willing/able to eat. Since some of her drugs carry nausea as a side effect, just getting her interested in eating can be difficult sometimes. So once I'm over that hurdle, adding in something else for me to eat often devolves to how easy it is to make a PB&J. Thus, my idea of frozen vegetables. In small or resealable packages, they should be handy enough to microwave for easy addition to my meal planning.

If I keep fairly healthy snacks, like nuts, raisins, other dried fruit, hanging around to munch on, I should be able to cut back on the pie, ice cream, cookie portion of the equation. Get back into the routine of biking to work and I'm on the way to a healthier me! (Hey, maybe I'll have some left-over energy for all those side projects with all this good livin'!)
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:gypsy1969
Date:August 3rd, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)

more veggies

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I often sneak my vegetables in by drinking a 12 oz. can of V-8 juice. I also sneak veggies into my omelets and sandwiches. Nothing dresses up a sandwich like lettuce, tomato and onion, or how about some cucumbers, sprouts or artichokes?
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 3rd, 2004 05:11 am (UTC)

Re: more veggies

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Hmm, PBJ&sprouts?

Actually, when I used to make lunches to take to work (when I had a day job), I would make turkey sandwiches with cheese, would be easy to add sprouts, tomato, etc. to that. Maybe I should stock up on deli meat and cheese as part of the process.

Something to ponder.
[User Picture]
From:minnehaha
Date:August 3rd, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
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Maybe come up with a few meal plans that suit both you and Ericka, and keep those ingredients on hand so you can always fix those things quickly.

Also, asking around for "it has to be extra simple and extra fast and extra tasty" recipes for fruits and vegies might be good.

Mine: apples are easier to eat it you cut them into wedges. Cut it up, put it on a nearby plate, and all of a sudden, no more apple. Good job!

Mine #2: slice a tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or garlic powder, or oregano, or any other good sounding herb, Pour on a little vinegar. Pour on a little more olive oil. Mmmmm...

K.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 3rd, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I like both of those quick ideas. I remember having slices of tomato with just salt or sugar as a kid, touching it up a bit like you suggest sounds even better!
[User Picture]
From:minnehaha
Date:August 4th, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
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Sugar on tomatoes! Yes!

K. [B thinks this is terribly weird]
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 4th, 2004 07:05 am (UTC)
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He thinks nothing of eating shredded, potted pigeon but sugar on tomatoes is weird?
[User Picture]
From:90_percent_sure
Date:August 3rd, 2004 09:06 pm (UTC)
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I love love love a big ol' tom sandwich. Slice of bread, 2 or three thick slices of still-warm-from-the-sun toms, S&P, a big glop of mayo and another bread slice. To be eaten while standing over the kitchen sink, you understand, due to the drippy tomato goodness that'll work it's way down your arm...

But that's just me. Or maybe it's you, too. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 4th, 2004 01:15 am (UTC)
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Add a slice of fresh mozzerella in there and you've got one of my favorite summer dishes. Needs good, crusty bread, though. I favor something Italian.
[User Picture]
From:90_percent_sure
Date:August 3rd, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC)

Eaty McEaterson

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I have tons of ideas for sneaking veggies in. Quick and delish, too.

#1 All Time Fave: Slice one onion, one green pepper and chop up one or two stalks of broccoli. Peel the stem and chop that, too. Stir fry in some oil. Add chili pepper flakes, cumin, garlic to taste. Cook until onions are soft. Serve in a torilla with cheese, salsa, sour cream...or just plain. I lived on veggie fajitas for about a year.

The hard-about way is: Choose perfectly ripe, organic veggies from the coop. Slice into perfect jullienne strips, using the knife you've just sharpened for the occasion. Marinate the veggies for 3 hours. Meanwhile, make your own salsa. Make your own tortillas, too, starting with organic free range flour... Blah blah blah--you see where I'm going.

Ghetto easy-guy way: Go to a salad bar--every grocery has 'em now--fill a salad container with broc, onion and green pepper. And maybe the carrots or califlower looks good, get some of that too. Buy a bag of shredded cheese, a small containeer of s. cream, some salsa and some tortillas. Now all your have to do is heat stuff up and assemble. The whole project takes less than 10 minutes. Torillas get nuked for 10 seconds. It's EZ.

Here's another: Ramen. Locate sauce packet and throw it away. When noodles have cooked 2 minutes, add a handful of frozen veggies, any kind will do. Broc-caulif-carrot mix? Or maybe just green beans. Bring back to boil, remove from heat. Drain, throw back in pot. Add a little butter, some Mrs Dash or other seasoning blend and some Tamari. Eat. Eat right from the pot, if you'd like. Or even, get fancy and scramble an egg in the pot with the hot noodles.
It's good! And cheap. And could it be easier? I think not. 5 minutes, and you're eating.

How about Miso soup? Cook some spring onions in a tad of oil. Add some grated carrots. Add water or stock. Add Miso paste. Add tofu. Eat.

(I have always had, in the back of my mind, a cookbook geared for budget/time crunchy folks. Lots of "How to use leftovers" and such...)
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 4th, 2004 01:18 am (UTC)

Re: Eaty McEaterson

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Rock on!

I think the Ramen with veggies is about my speed most days and, hey, since Ericka eats pasta most of the time, doing this little extra to get me my veggies would be easy! (And maybe it'll rub off on her, too!)

I like the salad bar fajitas too. I'd be tempted to toss some black beans in the mix, but that'd mean opening a whole can for just me so that's probably best if I'm planning on making a weekend out of it.

Thanks for the ideas!
[User Picture]
From:minnehaha
Date:August 4th, 2004 04:09 am (UTC)

Re: Eaty McEaterson

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Yes for the fajitas. Saving calories too? Skip either the cheese or the sour cream.

Also, peas. Add them to everything. Peas is good.

K.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:August 4th, 2004 07:07 am (UTC)

Re: Eaty McEaterson

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I'll work on getting the veggies first. For now, calories, shmalories.

I do like peas; did a thing with tomatoes and frozen peas cooked by the pasta a little while back. The trick will be to have enough frozen veggies (like peas) on hand to keep it easy.

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