Our goal for January (oh, wait, is this one of your goals too?) is to work on our eating.
I would say we are moderately nutritious eaters. 100% Whole wheat bread, moderate amounts of things like red meat and sugar, plenty of beans in our diet, and I try to cook from scratch and avoid processed foods. I honestly don’t want to be an extremely nutritious eater — one book I’ve read suggests that you should NEVER eat chocolate, and I just can’t get behind that kind of thinking. So I try to make rules we can follow. Cereal can have a little sugar if it also has a good amount of fiber (Lucky Charms only on your birthday or at Nana’s house). White bread occasionally, if it’s deliciously home or bakery-made. Soda at a restaurant once or twice a month, but hardly ever at home. You get the idea, right?
One area where we get about a C-minus is eating fruits and vegetables. Do you ever get a big meal made and realize you didn’t get a really good-for-you vegetable prepared for a side dish? Happens around here all the time. Also, I frequently offer a vegetable which some of my kids don’t like, and while our kids are required to try what’s on the table, they aren’t required to clean their plates (call me a pushover, but I was a picky eater and I can remember a little pile of green beans which very nearly made me vomit). I think a reasonable goal is to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day, and we have not historically met that mark.
So, while I’m sure we should be eating more fish, less sugar, and about one hundred other things, we’ve set as a reasonable, achievable goal to eat five fruits and vegetables every day in January. We started about a week ago, our kids are on board, and I can’t believe the quantity of fresh produce we’ve consumed (perfect timing since it’s summer here). I may be required to grocery shop more often than I prefer.
To help me keep my eye on the ball, I’m going to read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, both of which I’ve been meaning to read for ages. And, I just heard about this new blog, word of wisdom living, which gives a helpful suggestion each week to get your eating on track, plus loads of information every day. It seems very well-researched and thought-out.
I’m a big believer in small changes, and I know that when I eat more of what’s good for me, I usually eat less of what isn’t. So wish us luck, and feel free to share any strategies you have for getting more veggies into your diet. (Unless it’s spinach brownies, because you know what? If I’m going to make brownies, I just want brownies.)