Five A Day

by Daisy on December 14, 2010

in Health

Maybe it is my stubborn nature, but if you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to try as hard as I can to prove you wrong. I can’t move to Chicago by myself, where I don’t know anyone? I can’t get a job in this economy? I can’t pass the bar exam because I’m not studying the way you think I should?

Let me put my running shoes on, because I’m going to prove you wrong and then some. I just don’t like hearing “no.”

A few years ago, I read an article that stated an appalling percentage of Americans don’t get the recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables (generally acknowledged as approximately five servings). The article went on to loftily state that unless you are a fitness guru or a borderline crazy, you probably can’t get your five servings a day even if you try. The words on the page sparked something in me, and I decided, then and there that I was going to prove that statistic wrong.

It was tough at first. I quickly found that if I didn’t incorporate at least one serving of fruits or veggies into every meal, then I was going to come up short at the end of the day. I started putting spinach in everything. My afternoon snack switched from yogurt to sugar-free applesauce or veggies and hummus. I had fruit with my breakfast every morning. After about a week of trying and counting, I began hitting five servings a day without breaking a sweat. I tossed sliced cucumbers into my sandwich. Frozen greens were tossed into soup. A small green salad filled with veggies and lemon juice or olive oil and vinegar prefaced dinner. Diced peppers made their way into eggs, pasta and salad. Instead of serving meals in the “trio” of 1 meat + 1 vegetable + 1 starch I started taking the starch out and adding another veggie. I discovered the single-use “steamer” bags at the grocery store that I could toss broccoli, green beans or asparagus into and have them ready in minutes. I learned that I like Brussels sprouts and kale, and that a half cup of spinach in a morning smoothie only changes the color, not the taste.  My skin glowed, I had more energy and I lost a few stubborn pounds that didn’t need to be there.

Of course, like all good intentions, after about a year I fell off the wagon. String cheese replaced veggies and hummus. Baked potatoes made their way back onto my dinner plate. Apples went untouched in the fruit bowl, bananas went brown.

The pounds crept back on. I’ve realized I’m down to about three servings a day, and so I’m drawing the line in the sand again. I’m going back to my fruit and veggie ways, five servings a day, and I issue a challenge to each of you: get your recommended servings, seven days a week. You can do it.

Daisy is a lawyer married to a lawyer (insert lawyer jokes here) living in a small condo in a big city with a new baby and beagle. She breaks up the legal-speak by blogging about life in Chicago, which is filled with escapades of urban living. In the summer she enjoys patio dining and in the winter wonders what she was thinking when she moved here. You can read more from Daisy on her blog, Just Daisy.

Patty December 14, 2010 at 9:08 am

I need to get on the wagon with this, too. Some days I do really well, and then some I totally stink. I prefer fresh fruits and veggies, which make it really difficult to keep ample amounts of it in the house.

Good luck (and thanks for the reminder)!

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

No problem – good luck to you as well!!

Amy December 14, 2010 at 10:21 am

I’m not doing so great with my personal water/hydration efforts, but this seems totally doable!

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm

We *can* do it!

Allison December 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I have started doing this also!! :)

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Good luck!

Kendra December 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Eek! You just reminded me that I have to get back on this, I recently fell of the same wagon and I just don’t feel the same day to day.

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Me either! Time to add it back in!

thenambypamby December 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Bacon, Scotch and Gin are all vegetables, no?

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Only in Namby Land. Duh.

Angie December 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Thanks for the reminder, but now I just want a donut.

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Sigh. Me too.

Lindsay December 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm

My body reminds me when I’m not getting enough of the *cough* fiber that comes with those fresh fruits and veggies, so I have to try really hard to meet my quota. Or face the consequences. From my butt.

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

You and me both.

Rachael December 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I have SO much trouble with this. They just changed Weight Watchers so most fruits and veggies are 0 points, so maybe that will help.

Daisy December 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I’ve been hearing about this from friends- hopefully it encourages everyone to stock up on their fresh foods!

Dana December 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I manage to get 4 servings a day into my children most days of the week. Into myself? not likely. Which is even worse when you consider I’m pregnant and should really be taking good care of myself and baby

Kelsey December 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Love this idea. Never thought of it but seems like something I could really make an effort to do every day.

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