From this week's Progress Prompt
"Are fresh vegetables and fruits on your food plan? How many servings do you consume every day? Do you think you're eating enough? We know how vital vegetables and fruits are to our weight loss program, yet we have a hard time getting in all our recommended amounts in. Why? Were they part of your diet as a kid? Any tip or trick on getting all our vegetables and fruits in?"
Fresh vegetables and fruits are on my food plan, but I know that I don't eat as many servings of each as I should. The problem with eating fruit, for me, is that it always leaves me hungry. Which is my fault, since it's recommended that you eat fruit with a bit of protein (an apple with cheese, or peanut butter; berries with cottage cheese, etc.) to slow down the sugar development and help the body to process it. I don't have issue with veggies - I love 'em and often have just a big-ass salad for dinner - but during my busy days at work they're just not as easy to choose as, say, a bag of chips.
I'm really hoping to get myself in gear this summer, with respect to my eating habits. I'll have all the time in the world to prepare meals. Hee!!!
Fruits and veggies were definitely a part of my upbringing. My grandmother had a vegetable garden each year (zucchini, tomatoes, snap peas, strawberries, squash, pumpkins, string beans, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, and on and on), and the entire State o' Maine is very much focussed on harvests, harvest fairs, apple orchards, blueberries and raspberries, roadside farm and produce stands, and the like. Thing is, it's the *preparation* of fruits (in the form of pies, cobblers, muffins, ice cream, etc.) and veggies (in the form of cream sauces, baked casseroles, etc.) that didn't really lend itself to healthful eating. So when I started actually paying attention to the fruits and veggies I was eating, I really tried to go for the raw form whenever possible. And found it to be rather difficult. I mean, raw cauliflower is one thing, but cauliflower drenched in my grandmother's cheddar cheese sauce is something quite different.
I find that the best way to ensure that I get the most fruits and veggies into my diet is to go specifically to Sprouts or Trader Joes on the weekend to stock up on the "good stuff", then plan out my meals each day, thinking about balance and nutrition. I also tend to choose the stuff that is the lowest difficulty to prepare - apples over oranges (no peeling!), or a bag of baby carrots as opposed to a bunch of regular carrots (no cutting). A bag of celery hearts instead of a bunch of regular celery, grapes as opposed to cherries (no pits or stems)... you get the theme.
I resent the fact, sometimes, that I have to put SO MUCH thought into what I eat in order to stay fit, instead of being able to grab any old thing to stuff into my pie hole, like *some* people (cough::Marie::cough) are able to do, without gaining an ounce.