It’s been a long day with an impromptu three-hour jaunt to/from Rhinelander.
It’s days like this where I’m happy I’ve instilled some healthy habits in our life.
No matter what diet fanaticism you follow, I think you will agree eating more vegetables is good for you. Even Atkins allowed for tomatoes!
For me, I just feel better. Whether it’s because it means I’m eating less of other things or directly receiving benefits from the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants is – to a degree – immaterial.
I aim for seven servings of vegetables a day. Here is how today broke down:
I woke up dehydrated and a little out of sorts. I forgot how much I hate weighing the water need of a PM yoga class against my need to not get up in the middle of the night and pee six hundred times. So I let Tom fix some animal of his choosing for breakfast and I added my go-to AM veggie solution of low-sodium tomato/veggie juice. I probably drank enough to count as two servings, but only allow myself to count juice as 1 serving.
(I still am a huge fan of green smoothies and blueberry/spinach is in frequent rotation around here. I pack enough spinach in one smoothie to count as two servings.)
I am trying to clear out some space in the freezer, so for lunch I had some crockpot potato soup. Besides potatoes, it contained celery, onion, carrot, and spinach. Maybe some squash too. I forget now.
I generally count any soup/stew/chili with a huge vegetable base as 1 serving. So on top of the soup I ate a cup (for two servings) of diced beets. These came canned (not by me) and I’ll admit canned vegetables are usually not the best choice. But you know what it’s better than? Not eating vegetables.
While in Rhinelander, we were both really hungry and stopped at a pub I knew of for a snack/appetizer. The vegetables – while whole pieces (mushrooms, onion, broccoli, and cauliflower)- were battered and fried. That, my dears, counts as a big fat zero.
But it kept us from making an entire meal of fast food. We were OK to come home and cook a real dinner.
I made our favorite go-to vegetable dish of roasted veggies with red pepper flakes. This is awesome to make for so many reasons. It’s easy. You can make a lot at one time. And if you are someone who doesn’t get a lot of variety in your diet, it’s a way to inhale a rainbow in one dish. Tonight was broccoli (always a must), cherry tomatoes (ditto), and yellow squash.
(Cut up in a nice healthy chunks, toss liberally with oil, season a bit – you can always add more later, then bake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Other vegetables that can work well in this medley are more soft squashes, onion, slices of peppers, and perhaps mushrooms? Fennel? I love roasted carrots but they will take longer. Even baby carrots. Do those with some harder squashes and other root veggies.)
I had three servings of that. But then got another bonus serving of veggies because the main dish was chicken Marsala and we always go heavy on the mushrooms. Which I count as veg because I do not yet have a fungi serving recommendation.
So that makes…eight servings? On a day when I had to start with my default lame-o juice and didn’t
get a chance to have choose a veggie snack like carrots and hummus or a salad.
I was inspired to write this post because I finished dinner and I just felt so….good. (I’m also high off endorphins from a 30-minute exercise routine.) It was a kinda hectic day and I definitely did not make the best choices always (Wisconsinites serve everything with Ranch dressing. I didn’t even know I liked Ranch dressing! Now I will dip your key fob in it and gobble it up). But sticking to my goal to shove my face full of greens (and yellows, reds, purples, and oranges) paid off in how my body is handling the stress.