Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Eat your veggies

I remember when I first became aware that there was a suggested amount of fruit and veg one was meant to ingest each day in order to maintain health and wellness. If I remember correctly, about three was the suggested number of servings recommended for the average human, according to the Food Pyramid. Apparently I am recalling wrongly, however, because a quick glance at the old Pyramid (circa 1992) says 3-5 veggies and 2-4 fruits. It's probably just that, in 1992, I was 21, and had perhaps two nickels to rub together. I bought a lot more in the way of Cocoa Puffs than vegetables (and even then, it was probably limited to iceberg lettuce and the occasional tomato). But rest assured, I always had money for beer!

Now the standard is 5-a-day. The government, probably a bit alarmed at the obesity epidemic, is pushing 5-a-day pretty hard, which is good. I've mocked them a bit in the past for caving in to pressure brought to bear by the Cattlemen's Association and the Dairy Council, but I suppose anything that pushes the importance of physical activity combined with healthy eating (or a start towards it) can't be all bad. I won't even touch the race angle covered in the link to the Dairy article, although it's worth mentioning that the Pyramid recommends lactose-free dairy products to those who are intolerant, but also fails to mention other foods high in calcium. One thing I do like about the Pyramid site is that it allows you to list what you've eaten throughout the day and then have the site analyze if you're getting your recommended allowances. Great stuff for a little food nazi like me.

If you're feeling special, you can aim for 7-9 a day. Ironically, men, who seem to me to be less interested in eating vegetables (I blame those Hungry Man commercials), are the ones who should be eating 9 servings.

My total for today: 3 servings, soon to be 4 if I eat the withered peach that's been sitting on my desk for 4 days. Plus Veggie Booty (with spinach and kale!), but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count, right?

While we're on the subject of controlling one's health via diet, has anyone else become addicted to Honey, We're Killing the Kids? Oh, my stars - that show is like crack cocaine, but probably the worst thing is, it makes me feel really smug. Booby can't stand it; he finds it depressing and manipulative. But I sort of enjoy the uplifting feeling at the end, when the family is, after 3 weeks, actually managing to change their physical destinies and eat right and exercise. One thing I don't get: why do they always recommend the most disgusting recipes that are the most likely to turn off the family? Last week, Dr. Hark decided to make the family's menu very seafood-centric, in spite of the fact that the husband hates seafood. There was a big scene of the mother buying fresh squid and ooging out. I think it'd be better to start 'em off slow: a piece of lean roasted chicken with no skin, a couple of servings of veggies, one starch, plus a salad and a reasonable dessert. I think they do it to show everyone gagging over the healthy food.


At 5:15 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

I saw the show with the seafood-centric meal, too! It bums me out that they sensationalize the meals like that. I totally agree that they could just start with a nice grilled chicken breast or something. And have you noticed how the projections that show how the kids will look if they don't change their diet show them all schlumpy and unkempt, while the revised projections show them in collared shirts and with nice haircuts? Otherwise, I love that show.

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Jess said...

God. I just can't make myself to eat my vegetables. I like them just fine. I actually have organice produce delivered to my door. And yet! Today I took part in the weekly ritual of disposing of the rotting fruit and vegetables that are stinking up my fridge. I need help.

At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth said...

The fruit in the stores, even the Farmer's market has been so bad-looking lately. I haven't had a decent nectarine yet this summer. But thanks for the reminder that I need to try.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Dan said...

It's too much for me to focus on how many fruits and vegetables I eat per day. I'm trying to focus on my snacks when I'm hungry at work.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous TB said...

Yeah, who eats squid at home anyway? I mean really, if you're going from McDonalds four times a week to healthy eating, perhaps it's best to begin with broiled pork chops.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Tits McGee said...

What, you don't cook squid at home and eat 9 servings of veggies a day?

For breakfast, I usually have 3 cups of broccoli and 4 ounces of steamed salmon with miso, with a carrot for a little something sweet. Start the day off right, right?

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I have eaten squid in restaurants and looooved it. But cooking it at home? I just couldn't manage that, I'm pretty sure.

Tits, you make me giggle.

Jess, I know, right? I think the delivery and the CSA share thing gives me more organic produce than I can deal with at once, and I have ended up throwing some of it away (well, composting it, anyway). It's a bummer.

Elizabeth, I haven't had any problem with the fruit, except that it turns before I can eat it. In fact, I love this time of year because the fruit is so nice and so plentiful. Maybe you need to find a better greengrocer?


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