Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's impossible to eat that many fruits and veggies!

Okay,  before we move on to another topic, I thought I'd write one more entry on healthy eating. In the prior post I suggested you try improving your diet by focusing on eating 5-10 servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day. Often this advice is met with the response that with a hectic, working, "real" life that includes kids with different after-school activities, this is impossible. Well, I have that life, too, so I thought I'd give you some specific examples of how it IS possible! Here is what a typical school day in our home looks like:
First, the kid menu. Our two daughters have different preferences, so I'll list them both:

BREAKFAST: ( Kid #1) oat squares & Silk milk and a banana; drink: water 
(Kid #2) Toast (white wheat) with spray butter & bowl of blueberries; drink: Silk milk (kids are lactose intolerant, this is no slam on regular milk)
LUNCH: (Kid #1) Ham on white wheat bread, mandarine oranges, a cut up apple, and two homemade cookies (or one of the 100 kcal pre-packaged cookies)
(Kid #2) PB&J sandwich on white wheat bread, snap peas and mandarine oranges, cookies as above; plus she has a morning snack at school which is usually grapes or a cut-up apple
AFTER SCHOOL SNACK: (Kid #1- still at school because of post-school activities)  Fiber One Bar (chocolate is her favorite) or a Chewy granola bar
(Kid #2- at home) - often we make a smoothie- usually a banana, frozen strawberries and vanilla yogurt
DINNER: Chicken (baked nuggets if we're in a hurry), applesauce, broccoli (the bag that you throw in the microwave for 3 minutes.)
DESSERT: vanilla  frozen yogurt served over a sliced banana with a dollop of Cool Whip on top

BREAKFAST: vanilla yogurt with a serving of thawed frozen raspberries and 1/8 c Bran Buds (cereal) and a tablespoon of Cool whip  (if I'm in a hurry ) OR a scrambled egg with some onion, mushrooms, & tomato tossed in (I'm too lazy to make an omelette, so I throw the veggies in first with some olive oil, and when they are soft in a couple minutes, I add in the egg.)
SNACK: every work day, I take two sliced apples and a small serving of cashews or almonds or a cheese stick, and I eat that mid- morning so I'm not ravenous at lunch time.
[As the seasons change, I may take  mini carrots or grapes, but it has to be something quick that I can throw in a ziplock bag or tupperware container . I use one of those apple slicers that look like a wagon wheel to make it easy to cut up the apples.]
LUNCH: At work- two servings of salad or whatever vegetable might be available and one serving of the entree; if I'm at home, my standby currently is to heat up the skillet, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and toss in cut up onion (usually half of a large onion), shredded carrots (I love these, so roughly a cup), mushrooms (three or four), and whatever else I've got that appeals to me that day- some broccoli, snap peas, or zucchini, for example- and then some black beans (love the organic HEB brand) and some brown rice (around a cup). (I make the rice one day, and then stick it in a tupperware container in the fridge for the rest of the week). If we had chicken or beef the night before, I'll toss in some of that for extra protein.
After school snack with the kids: Love the smoothies!
Dinner: I try to put a green salad or at least a sliced whole tomato as an extra veggie; I aim to have a fruit and a veggie for the kids along with the main dish. This is very often applesauce for the fruit, and steamed broccoli or carrots for the veggie. 
Dessert: Our version of the banana split OR a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich OR a glass of wine!
BOTTOM LINE: Go back and do the math- it IS possible to get in the 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day IF you give it priority, think about it in the grocery store, and use the quick and easy products- frozen fruit, single serving applesauce/peaches/fruit cups or carrots/celery, or the pop in the microwave bags of broccoli, green beans, or mixes with cauliflower & carrots.


Paulette and Jack said...

Dr. Grimes, found you looking up others with "Bible" for the fun of it. To tell you the truth, I'm not big on the traditional medical field. So when you had a post about fruits and veggies I had to read! Over 10 years ago, having been to doctors for years and following what they said to the letter, I was worse than when I started. NONE of them ever gave the advice you are giving. Through prayer and reading several books, God healed me through diet!!!!! I'd been diagnosed with too many things to name. After about two weeks on a strict raw fruit and veggie whole grain, raw nut, distilled water diet - a majority of all the ills started to dissipate. Over the next year those around me said it was a miracle and asked me to write a book. My friends and family could see a visible difference and all that I did was change my diet, even though I'd always thought I ate in a pretty healthy manner previously. I never wrote the book, but I did maintain the lifestyle. Until recently!!!!! IT COSTS A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY to buy fruits and veggies. I've been growing what I can and have blueberry bushes and a few new fruit trees, but that does not give me 5-10 servings a day all throughout the year. I feel my body weakening and I'd really like to go back to eating the way I know is best. Do you have some advice for dealing with the cost. I don't eat much meet and am allergic to all dairy so those are normally the big ticket items. For me, fruits and veggies are outrageously priced. I say AMEN to your post and to the idea of living this way as I know it to be effective. I say help to the financial practicality of it.

Dr. Jill Grimes said...

Okay, fresh, organic fruits and veggies can certainly run up the bill, as can the "convenience" packages of single serving products. What's my answer? Well, a couple things- one is shopping at a bulk item place like CostCo or Sams; they often have much less expensive produce. The second is buying frozen- especially the out of season fruits. A mixed bag is often only a couple dollars and lasts for four or five servings. Bananas- buy them when they are a bit overripe and marked down, and toss them in the freezer to use in smoothies or breads, where it doesn't matter if they are too ripe. Finally, this is your health- look at your little self-indulgences (we all have at least one, even if it is cute clothes/shoes for our precious kids), and skip the things like Starbucks or expensive haircut/highlights and spend the money on this! Hope that helps, and way to go for those of you who are growing your own produce!!