Mission Statement

I will in general eat healthy, eat "normal" food, without gimmicks, pills, surgery, or trademarked diets. I will log all calories consumed and estimate calories burned on a daily basis. I will then be able to track my progress and estimate arrival time to my goals through My Food Log. I will also develop non-food rewards for reaching my goals knowing that reaching each goal is a reward in-and-of itself. I will not give up. I know that I will not be perfect but that I am making a permanent lifestyle change. The good days will out-number the bad days. I will not give up!

9.13.2007

Frozen, Fresh, Dried, Canned... They All Count

do0rdiet.blogspot.com
by Christina_2009


So if you follow the USDA Food Pyramid Guidelines, the average adult should have 9, NINE I say, servings of fruits and veggies everyday. How in the world do you incorporate 9 fruits and veggies into your daily menu? I don't. I should. But I just can't seem to squeeze them all in. Here are some tips from the Department of Health and Human Services USA and the Center for Disease Control.

Add fruit to your cereal... if you even have room in your menu for cereal. I don't, so I usually just have the fruit. But, I have been eating oatmeal lately. Perhaps I could eat 1/2 the oatmeal and slice some peach in too....hmmmm. Oh yea, and what about grits? Are they a vegetable? And, expounding on that thought, do corn chips count as a vegetable? Probably not.

Eat a salad every day. Most salads use iceburg lettuce mix. Iceburg lettuce has absolutely NO nutritional value. It's not even a significant source of fiber. Just about any other type of lettuce has at least some vitamin A and fiber. I get baby spinach as the base for my salads. Baby field greens are good too.

Have raw veggies or fruit as a snack. I like plain fruit but I really, really, really don't like very many raw veggies. I like cucumber... but isn't that really a fruit. I also like tomatoes, but aren't they technically a fruit too. I love steamed broccoli, but hate it raw. I also hate raw carrots, cauliflower, and celery. Anybody out there got some suggestions for this one?

Have two veggies with dinner and fruit for dessert. I was brought up with the two veggie sides. But one was usually a starch... potato. I still tend to serve this way. I could definitely work on this one. Fruit for dessert... sure if I can spare the calories.

Top yogurt and ice cream with fresh fruit. Lite yogurt and fruit... iffy... the sweetness of the fruit against the artificial sweetener in the yogurt makes that artificial bitterness stand out. Ice cream... no way. I have very little will power. If there's ice cream in the house it's probably already in my stomach...err... around my stomach and thighs.

Use fresh fruit instead of jelly. I can see this with bananas but raw apples are a little hard to spread. I suppose unsweetened apple sauce would work pretty well. It might even pretend to be apple butter on biscuits and toast... if you can eat biscuits. Hey now, berries might work too.

Put veggies in your omelet or eggs. Yup! I love green pepper, hot peppers, and onions in my eggs. The only problem is that I want to put cheese into them too.

Keep a small box or bag of dried fruit in your purse or lunch bag. That's actually a novel idea to me. Gotta watch the portions though with dried fruit. It takes up less space so you might find yourself eating more than an ordinary serving. Also, without the water you might not fill up as fast, but I think this is still a good idea.

Freeze fresh fruit. Freeze whole grapes, melon balls, and pineapple chunks. I LOVE frozen grapes. They're almost like a substitute for ice cream... almost, more like a sub for popsicles. Try frozen fruit cabobs or frozen fruit on a stick. How well do banana slices freeze?

If you've got room in the menu for pizza, try more veggies and less cheese and meat. I like Hawaiian style pizza, Canadian bacon (ham) and pineapple. Ooh, ooh, look, I figured out a way to add fruit to pizza.

Eat more salsa instead of cheese. I also LOVE salsa, but not picante sauce. There is a distinct difference to me. Fresh from the Mexican restaurant salsa is my favorite. I have to be careful to avoid the deep fried tortilla chips though. Salsa is obviously good on Mexican food but it's also good as a dip for veggies and with eggs. That's huevos rancheros right?

Add veggies to casseroles, stews, soups, and pasta. Sounds simple enough. It wouldn't really be hard to add a can of beans to a soup or stew. It might also be good to put frozen broccoli or peas in pasta or casserole.

Canned fruit counts too. Be careful of the packing liquid. Some fruits can be packed in water. There are several varieties of fruits packed in lite syrup too. You can also pour canned fruit into a colander and rinse the syrup away. Canned fruit is good to have on hand because it takes up little pantry space and doesn't spoil quickly.

Remember, little changes, big results and we can do this!


6 comments:

Lady Rose said...

You could have a V8 ! :) just kidding I know it's tough some times to get all 9 in - I know I don't either. What helps is carrying some fresh apples, baby carrots, etc. along with you as a snack.

Sondra said...

I have the same problem. With weight watchers you only have to get in 5 servings and I can't even do that sometimes.
By the way, do you think pickles counts as a vegtable? I mean they are made out of cucumbers, right?

Christina said...

Sondra,
According to the USDA, I'm pretty sure they do count as a veggie. Eating enough of them to be considered a full serving may be tough, unless your eating Claussen's. I myself LOVE pickles. As a matter of fact, for lunch today I virtually had a pickle sandwich. Now, the real question here is, are cukes a fruit or a vegetable. They have seeds so I think technically that makes them a fruit. But I seriously think they have to count. I mean, how else do you get to 9? I'm trying really hard and can only seem to get to 5.

Christina said...

Lady Rose, that was funny !:-)

Sondra said...

Well then that would mean that green peppers are a fruit because they have seeds!? I will have to do some research on that.

Christina said...

Sondra, I think there are several definitions of what a fruit and vegetable are. From a botanist perspective, any edible plant bearing visible seeds with the flesh of the plant is a fruit. So, in their definition, yes, peppers are fruit. So are tomatoes and eggplants. From a nutritionist perspective a fruit is an edible plant with a sweet taste or a certain amount of fructose in the flesh and a vegetable is an edible plant lacking that level of fructose. In that case, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants are not fruits. Long and the short... eat as many servings of edible, colorful plants (seeds or not) as you can a day. I don't think there is such a thing as eating too many fresh fruits and veggies. Your digestive tract may let you know that you have exceeded it's daily limit on fiber, and you could in theory eat too much of the same type of fruit or veg and wind up over saturating you body with a particular vitamin or mineral.
You are doing weight watchers? Keep at it. You can have success with any plan that you put your mind to (and mouth, and body :-)