Every Wednesday I have to resist the urge to run out and hug my Farmhouse delivery guy! We began with a small bushel every other week and have loved it so much we just can’t get enough. We are up to two large bushels every week – and honestly, we’re talking about three.
I feel like a kid on Christmas morning as I anticipate the moment of the Veggie Santa’s arrival. I “oooo” and “awwww” over each item as I lovingly take it out of the box. Who knew that bell pepper and eggplant came in such gorgeous diversity?
Fresh! We’re talking local, farm, seasonal, just-picked freshness! There is a difference. I confess I’ve eaten the entire head of butter lettuce the day it arrives (usually within minutes ). Words fail me to describe the tender, sweet, melt-in-my-mouth yumminess.
I’ve always struggled with incorporating enough veggies into my diet – but now it’s so easy, fun and educational. I love learning about new foods and experiencing new taste sensations. And knowing how to properly prepare a veggie, can turn, for example, the disgusting and dreaded beet (my former opinion) into my current fav. Try Perfect Baked Beets.
It”s now a breeze to make half my plate fruits and veggies.
What does consuming more fresh produce do for our bodies?
Vegetables and Fruits:
- Are naturally low in calories, and help us feel full faster
- Provide valuable fiber that helps regulate our digestion
- Decrease our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers
- Are valuable sources of tons of nutrients that are hard to get anywhere else. (Such as folate, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, just to name a few)
Oh, I feel so healthy. Gimme more! Is it Wednesday yet??
The holidays are almost upon us and with them comes much feasting! So it’s no wonder that New Year’s resolutions often reflect a desire to improve our diet and exercise habits. The older I get, the less confidence I have that my New Year’s plans will be effective or sustainable. We are living in a time when most Americans struggle to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. A plethora of unscrupulous merchants have added to our misery by selling us 60 billion dollars a year of weight loss products that don’t work. It’s easy to want to believe in the latest, quick and painless, guaranteed effective, pill, method, gadget, diet . . . because making consistent, gradual but lifelong, changes is very difficult.
Difficult, yes, but doable with the right tools. If we feel like we have “tried everything,” we may be wondering if there IS anything that really does work. The best research reassures us that there are proven strategies that are effective for most people. According to the National Weight Control Registry, which is the largest prospective study of long-term weight maintenance, individuals who have been successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight have six things in common:
- They eat breakfast daily.
- They track their food intake.
- They monitor and record their weight weekly.
- They watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
- They exercise an average of 60 minutes daily.
- They have an accountability partner.
Regular self-monitoring of diet and weight is one of the most effective strategies, and the technologies at our fingertips are excuse busters. Gone are the days of having to hand-write tedious food logs and look up calories. Apps such as My Fitness Pal, and Livestrong Calorie Tracker, are not only easy, but fun and free! Who knows? We may not want to even wait for January. 🙂
Indra Nooyi, CEO
I watched an interview last night on the News Hour with Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. In an attempt to improve the health of Americans, the largest soft drink manufacturers worldwide have announced they will decrease the calorie content of their sugary drinks during the next 10 years by 20%. Part of their strategy will include selling smaller pack sizes and product reformulation to provide lower calorie options. You can read the interview transcript here.
Well, I guess it’s a start. Ms. Nooyi made a valid point that obesity is a complex issue and sodas are not the only culprit. She thought the government should focus more on improving school lunches and bringing back mandatory physical education, instead of taxing beverages or controlling their size. Maybe.
NHANES reports that sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the top five sources of calories for all age groups, two years old and up. And these nutrient-empty beverages are the number one source of calories for teens.
This NYC ad remains one of my favorite.