Sunday, January 28, 2007

5 a day?

I've been trying to eat 5 different fruits and/or vegetables per day, at least 5 days per week. I'm not doing so well at this goal. I can do 3 or even 4 okay, but FIVE reliably, day after day, is a stretch, especially if I don't count potatoes or popcorn. In fact, I suck at eating my vegetables. Actually, the tips on incorporating more vegetables include some pretty good ideas. But 5 cups of fruits/veggies per day? Whew!! Here is what I'm supposed to be doing:

Your results are based on a 2200 calorie pattern.

Grains: 7 ounces
Vegetables: 3 cups
Fruits: 2 cups
Milk: 3 cups
Meat & Beans: 6 ounces

Make Half Your Grains Whole
Aim for at least 3.5 whole grains a day

Vary Your Veggies
Aim for this much every week:
Dark Green Vegetables = 3 cups weekly
Orange Vegetables = 2 cups weekly
Dry Beans & Peas = 3 cups weekly
Starchy Vegetables = 6 cups weekly
Other Vegetables = 7 cups weekly

Oils & Discretionary Calories
Aim for 6 teaspoons of oils a day

Limit your extras (extra fats & sugars) to 290 Calories

I'll keep at it, since I believe it's a positive goal. It's just turning those goals into daily habits that's the hard part. Daily positive choices, frequent healthful decisions, and progress is what I'm after.

But I'm still deeply suspicious of people who believe that a particular eating pattern is the ultimate key to health, especially those who evangelize about it. Yes, I truly think that can approach being a mental illness. I'm trying to improve my diet, but not become obsessed with it. There's no magic bullet.


KLN said...

Like I said below, there isn't a magic bullet, but eating better keeps me fuller and more satisfied, and easier to reach the -3500. It's working for me! And I still have a glass of wine, or a slice of pizza, I just fill up on good stuff around it.

On the veggie front, I do a big pan of roasted veggies every weekend, for the week. I can eat them as a hot side, toss them into salad cold, eat 'em over rice, whatever. Having them right there & cooked makes it so much easier. I also usually make some kind of big fruit salad as well, so it is handy for quick snacks. I have very little problem getting in my 5/day.

Flo said...

Yeah, I've pretty well mastered the whole 5 a day thing too. I don't always get as much variety as I'd like but I switch it up with the seasons.

Like kln I find it keeps me fuller and makes it much easier to run a caloric deficit. It doesn't work every single day but more often than not and that's all I can ask :)

21st Century Mom said...

When they say "5 servings" I don't think it necessariy means 5 seperate eating experiences. Isn't a really big apple the same as 2 small ones? Isn't a huge bowl of salad the same as 2 smaller ones? I hope so because I can't handle 5 either.

Julia said...

I always have 1 fruit midmorning, 1 fruit with lunch and another mid afternoon. I always have 1 veggie with lunch and another with dinner. Total= 5!

Wendy said...

Here's where I routinely confuse myself. I make small cranberry-banana-oatmeal muffins regularly. I use 2 cups of cranberries & 5-6 large bananas. The grains are 1.25 cups of large flake oatmeal, 1.25 cups of flour, and I add 6 tablespoons of ground flax seed. The yield is 12 muffins.

What kind of serving does that count as?

nancytoby said...

Um, half a banana and 1/6 cup cranberries per muffin, right?

I don't know! I like to keep it simple and just count in whole bananas. :-)

21st Century Mom said...

ps - the NYT Sunday Magazine has a great article today on how the revolution in nutrition awareness and food manufacturing has lead us to be less healthy because we rely less on 'standard' food and eat more manufactured food. Very interesting.

Wendy said...

Nancy, yup!

Almost makes me want to count it as half a fruit serving, half a grain serving ...

Spokane Al said...

I don't have any problems getting my necessary allotment of fruits and vegetables - in fact I usually eat much more than the recommended number of servings.

My problem lies in getting enough protein - I don't eat big chunks of meat very often and have been trying to make sure I get my protein fix from powders and other sources.

I will be looking forward to your next chapter that perhaps can give me some help in this area.

Meanwhile, my solution for fruits at least is to always be on the lookout for sales and stock up like a mad man on these seasonal specials.

nancytoby said...

I'm okay on protein, but I'd like to find more protein sources that I actually like that don't bring in a lot of fat with them. Protein powder, tofu, and fat-reduced cheese all suck as far as I'm concerned!

I like to splurge on big fat shrimp and scallops, which have almost zero fat and lots of protein, but they tend to be expensive purchases! A lean burger on the grill always does it for me, too (I generally eat them without a bun).

gecko said...

A serving of juice counts as one portion, if that helps at all! But, only one serving a day counts, no matter how much juice you drink!

nancytoby said...

Yeah, I have resorted to some orange juice before bed just to make five per day, but that's kind of cheating, I think! I try not to drink too many of my calories, just because they're less satisfying that way. Another reason why protein smoothies don't do it for me!!!

Robin said...

I always tell the kids "a meal is a protein, fruit, and a vegetable". Not that they listen to me ;-) but that seems to be our mantra here and usually it works toward getting those 5+ a day.

Thanks for the interesting link on Orthorexia. I never knew there was a name for it! I live in a place where this is not that uncommon (land of the macrobiotic raw vegan purists), but I'd never heard that term before!

nancytoby said...

Ack! Don't get me started on macrobiotic raw vegan wacko diets! I know more than a couple folks who have induced vitamin/mineral deficiencies in themselves that way, which only served to make them MORE crazy....

I will not rant, I will not rant....

Fe-lady said...

Make a bog pot of vegetable soup- beans, corn, peas, zuchini, bell pepper, tomatoes (crushed) onion, garlic, and whatever else your heart desires or is in the fridge and I guarantee you will get in your daily requirement! :-)
Happy cooking!

nancytoby said...

Five cups worth?

*gurgle gurgle* <--- me drowning

Diane said...

Try my new find - spaghetti squash. Pretend you're really eating pasta while you sneak in an extra veggie. Gotta love it!