Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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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'!)

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