Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mama always said, "Eat your Vegetables"

“Green Eggs and Ham was the story of my life. I wouldn't eat a thing when I was a kid, but Dr. Seuss inspired me to try cauliflower.”
-Jim Carrey
Yesterday I discussed how only 56% of Americans are eating the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. I also discussed why it might not be a good idea to address this shortfall by drinking more fruit juice or eating more fruit. An apply a day (as they say) keeps the doctor away but five apples a day may add pounds to the waistline.

What Americans really need to do is eat more vegetables. Fruit gets great commercials and is so easily available but vegetables outperform fruit in many ways. I think of bananas for potassium (467 mg per medium size banana) but an artichoke has more (595 mg). And that's nothing compared to a cup of beet greens with 1309 mg of potassium. Did you know that a cup of cooked broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange (101.2 mg vs 95.8 mg)!

Here are some ideas from Rodale.com for including more vegetables in your diet:
  1. Jazz them up with hummus, low-fat dip, or sauteed with spices
  2. Carry a bag of baby carrots as a quick snack
  3. Stock up at farmer's markets and ask their advice for cooking vegetables that are new to you
  4. At meals, half of your plate should be filled with vegetables so you'll get 2 servings each at lunch and dinner. 
  5. Enjoy veggie soup
  6. Add veggies to items you cook like casseroles, pasta, (carrot) muffins, (zucchini) breads, etc
  7. Wash and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables (Do they really need to add, except for bananas and pineapples?)
  8. Frozen vegetables are very healthy and may be cheaper than fresh
  9. My boss has started using a juice press to make vegetable drinks. My wife used to press wheat grass for her mother but it's an acquired taste (ick!)
  10. Use more salsa!
  11. When eating out, start with a salad instead of a calorie-ridden appetizer.
  12. Try grilling vegetables on your BBQ.
Bottom Line

Vegetables can be fun. Try it!
(after trying a bite)
"Say!
I like green eggs and ham!
I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!"
-Dr Seuss

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