Eat Your Veggies!

I was perusing the New York Times this morning when I came across the article: “Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries”. The basic point of the article is that despite all of the pleading to eat healthy, and in particular, to eat fruits and vegetables, Americans refuse to give up their junk food: their fries and chips and such.

Now, as you know, back in March I made the decision to eat differently. I cut the junk food out of my diet. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have the occasional fry. There are times I’ll snarf 2-3 from my wife or daughter, but I don’t order them as a side dish. I don’t get chips with sandwiches anymore. It’s proving suprisingly easy. I’ve replaced them with salads.

Now, although I used to eat the occasional salad, I avoided them. Since March, however, I’m a regular salad eater. Of course, there are junk salads just like there is junk food. A good hint: if it has iceberg lettuce, run. Salads needs to be fresh green mixes: baby greens, perhaps romain, butter leaf, all of the salad greens with flavor. I then top my salad with all sorts of goodies: carrots, celery, cucumber, perhaps a few red beans, sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, sliced avacado, green beans…. and of course, onions. Lots and lots of raw onions. If I can, I’ll add some croutons, although I prefer to use a low fat equivalent such as TJ’s Pita Puffs vs. the high-fat, high cheese typical croutons. Top that with a couple of scoops of low-fat cottage cheese, and it’s a meal!

I should note that I eschew prepared dressings. I used to pig out on the ranch and the honey mustards, but they are just salt and sugar. These days, my approach to dressing is simple. Olive oil. Balsamic vinegar. Prepared mustard. Combine and shake for a bit, and you have a tasty topping. Greens—be they collards, beet, mustard, kale, or chard—are delightful, but some work to cook.

But as for other veggies… some are no problem: I’ll happily eat fresh steamed green beens or broccoli. We have a great way of cooking brussel sprouts that makes the quite tasty. You can do almost anything with green or yellow squash, but the simplest is a simple saute with olive oil and smoked paprika. Fresh asparagus is a yum, especially with just a little butter. Of course, for all of these (except, perhaps, brussel sprouts), the best answer is to just eat them raw.

Other veggies I’m less eager to eat: I’ll tolerate artichokes, but I’m not a fan. Cooked cabbage needs to be done right. Winter squash is a sometime thing. Beets are good, but require the pressure cooker. Cauliflower I avoid. Due to allergies, I don’t go near mushrooms or bell peppers.

In any case, I’ve made the conscious decision to eat vegetables. What about you? Are they going to have to pry the fries out of your cold, dead, pudgy fingers? What are you doing to eat more vegetables?