Five a Day!

I have recently been inspired and reminded by my friend Jill over at Lost and Not Found that I should be eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is admittedly easier to do without all the meat that I would normally be eating in the way. I think that for the majority of my life I was lucky if I ate one vegetable a day… and it was canned. I almost never ate fruit. I never felt it was sweet enough unless I added sugar to it or dipped it in chocolate. One of the most beautiful things for me about cutting aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, and other “fake” foods out of my diet is being able to appreciate the natural flavor of food. And it’s really good! I recently just about lost my mind over some carrots grown by our friends over at Puzzle Peace Farm in Bostic – they were so sweet that I made muffins out of them.
Now I feel really good about my food choices when I stock up on fruits and vegetables. I’m amazed when I go to the grocery store and 75% of my shopping is done in one section – produce. It feels beautiful. I feel confident about what I am putting in my body and, even better, about what I am putting my children’s bodies.
Most of us who were raised in the 80’s and 90’s really weren’t brought up on healthy foods. I hear this a lot from my friends and from their parents. I don’t think that there was a lot of education available to our parents – especially about reading labels. Our kids don’t have to be brought up that way. They can know the simple pleasures of a crisp apple – without fruit dip. They can eat strawberries without covering them in sugar. They can understand that each vegetable has its own flavor when it’s cooked fresh or eaten raw. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with buying frozen veggies – I’m just saying that there is more out there than that.
Eating 5 fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be monotonous – get out and explore! I’ve been letting my kids pick interesting looking produce that we’ve never tried before and experiment with the flavors at home. That’s a fun, easy and exciting way to approach dessert after dinner. We’d never tried star fruit, mangoes, persimmon, etc – so let’s have it for dessert. The kids think that this is amazing.
So… who is with me? 5 a day? We can totally change our lives this way.

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One thought on “Five a Day!

  1. I was definitely not one of the 90s kids who were raised on prepackaged foods. It was SO TRAUMATIZING at the time not to get dessert in my lunchbox everyday like my friends, but I definitely appreciate it now. I was raised on whole grains and fish and chicken and fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the garden.

    That said, there is still way to much aspartame in my life (<3 diet coke). But I'm totally down with the 5-a-day fruits and veg. Most days I feel deprived if I don't have a salad of some sort.

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