Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mom Was Right- Veggies ARE Good!

   Left to his own devices, my spouse, aka 'The Admiral' would probably eat mostly white foods.  You know - pasta, cheese,  potatoes, pork, pretzels, bread, eggs, beer, pizza  and corn.  If I wasn't around to offer other options, he would  round out his diet with cold cuts, and goodies from the bakery.    Ugh!  It's not that he doesn't like vegetables and fruit, it just that he reverts to the college diet of his youth whenever no one is looking.  Comfort food I guess.

   Luckily, he will eat pretty much whatever I prepare, so I've found ways to sneak a few extra servings of veggies and fruits into his diet (and mine too.)
No question about it, vegetables ARE good for you and the more you eat them, the better.    They provide lots of vitamins, antioxidants and of course, fiber. AND they are low in calories.   As good as these reasons are for eating fruits and vegetables, I have other motives.

 They taste good!

AND  they can replace  the prepared foods that I've come to think of as poisonous.  Foods that make me feel lousy because they are peppered with salt(waaaay too much salt) and other chemicals that are unpronounceable, what I call  plastic food.

 Plastic food is easy to identify and is usually found in the middle aisles at the supermarket, generally presented in colorful  cans and boxes and bearing little resemblance to the food from which it originated. In addition to the salt and chemicals, the other major ingredient tends to be sugar or it's mean step-sister, corn syrup.

  Here are some of my tricks for adding more color to the "white diet."

Breakfast :
  The Admiral  loves breakfast  so I make a scrambled egg breakfast two or three times a week, adding a half cup of red pepper and onions to the mix.  Voila - one serving of veggies.

  We do oatmeal fairly often and I like to add a handful of dried apricots to the pot while the oatmeal is cooking.  Cut-up apple works well too.

  He enjoys a pear, cut in half, sprinkled with cinnamon and microwaved for 1-2 minutes as part of breakfast.  It works well with apple too.  In the summer, it's berries, berries, berries! Blueberry pancakes or French Toast topped with strawberries are both winners.

 The Admiral has always preferred to brown bag it, so I sneak in a serving or two here too.  Lettuce and tomato on his cheese sandwich does the trick, or perhaps leftover chicken made into chicken salad with lots of celery and onion.
Another good addition to a sandwich is leftover roasted veggies especially red peppers.  Add a bowl of cut up melon or a juicy apple  and there's another 2 servings!

Dinner is easy:
   He will eat two vegetables and a side salad without complaint.  In winter, I often serve a bowl of vegetable soup as a starter and then I can leave out the salad.  He is also open to a meatless dinner on a regular basis and this lends itself to increased veggie servings.  Think lentil soup,  pasta primavera or vegetarian chili.

Today's Take-away -  I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, not to prevent some future breakdown of my body, but to feel good right now!  These are the foods that  are made in the womb of mother earth in wondrous variety and taste.  Gifts from the Creator.     I hope you enjoy them too!

PS  Yes, I do enjoy an occasional slice of pizza with a cold beer or a bowl of ice cream. 

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