better in 2011 progress report — January

Is it the end of January already? Is anyone else constantly stymied by the passage of time? We aren’t even remotely busy right now, and still, the days and weeks are flying by at an utterly disturbing rate. I guess that’s better than life going by too slowly.

Our goal for the month of January has been to eat better by including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I haven’t tracked the number of days we’ve actually accomplished this, and we haven’t been perfect, but I will say that we’ve definitely eaten more fruits and vegetables overall than we had in the past.

Some challenges: How about the math? We have seven eaters times five servings times seven days (oh how I dislike grocery shopping more than once a week), which adds up to (you can do this in your head, right?) 245 servings of fruits and vegetables in my shopping cart. Challenging to buy, and challenging to store. No, I didn’t actually count the servings when I was shopping; I just tried to buy enough. There were a couple of days this month when there was not a piece of fresh fruit left in the house. Nor a carrot, which is the favorite vegetable for several of my kids. I know I should have canned fruit around for times like these, but I live in Chile and it’s summer and eating canned fruit just seems wrong.

Some suggestions:

If you build it, they will come. I realized that just cutting up fruits and vegetables and leaving them on the breakfast, snack, lunch, or dinner table works way better than nagging or asking people to eat more (I nag too, though).

Smoothies and all-fruit popsicles (try seeded, pureed watermelon next summer — refreshing!) obviously add another fruit-eating opportunity.

Adding more veggies in main dishes works better for the adults at my house than the kids. We’re working on it though. A couple of my kids have discovered (after years of trying it) that they love my lentil veggie soup.

Some nutrition show I was watching once said some people have to try something 27 times before they like it. So we just keep trying it EVERY TIME. One of my fussier eaters, who used to dip his chips only in the liquid part of my homemade pico de gallo to get a little flavor, recently realized that if he eats the actual tomatoes, it tastes even better!

I’m feeling encouraged, and we will stick with this habit going forward. The two books I read, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and In Defense of Food were both thoroughly worthwhile, and I think you should all read them, though you may find yourself strangely desiring your own chickens, which your husband may or may not be excited about.

And since I’m reporting my progress, after some inconsistent travel/holiday weeks, I am back to my 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. A couple of things about that. I haven’t lost any weight, which might make it seem like it isn’t worthwhile. But, I haven’t changed my eating either (except for eating more fruits and vegetables!), and I was basically already at a healthy weight. I also didn’t gain any weight over the holidays, even with three weeks of serious travel and lots of less-than-healthy eating. I would love to lose five pounds (is that such a cliche?), but whether you have a little weight to lose or a lot, it takes more than 30 minutes of exercise per day to do that — just wanted to be clear.

I am definitely feeling more fit and toned. I don’t know if other people can see a difference in how I look, but I can feel a difference and that matters more. Missing even one day makes the workout harder — a whole week off and you just want to die. So the principle of inertia definitely works here, and I feel motivated to stay on track. It’s been about three months, and I look forward to seeing the results of a year or more of consistent exercise. Matt and some of his siblings are on this bandwagon too, so we’re all looking forward to their summer reunion, where they can impress each other with their “perfect push-ups.”

How are your resolutions coming? Still gung-ho? We’re figuring out our big goal for February, so stay tuned….


One thought on “better in 2011 progress report — January

  1. Robin

    Good for you guys! May I also suggest dried fruit as a way of upping your fruit intake? Takes up a lot less room, although you have to be careful not to get the stuff that’s coated in sugar. When it comes to veggies, I agree, preparation is key in getting people to eat them. I find it helpful to cut up a bunch of salad veggies and keep them in plastic containers in the fridge at all times. Easy instant salad! Or, if not in the mood to use a fork, easy for dipping!


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