Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"5 a day" Day One: Veggies Easier than Fruits?

So, as I've been reading all of my friends' food diaries, I've realized that my eating habits, although very delicious, have not included a ton of nutrients. I mean, I can only rationalize so much cheese, chocolate, wine, and sushi! As a result, I've decided to attempt "5 a day" fruits and veggies this week to kick start some better eating habits.

I decided to google "5 a day" to figure out exactly what counts as a serving of fruits or veggies and ta da, I came across the CDC's "Fruit and Veggies Matter" website. The CDC has replaced the "5 a day" program with the "Fruit & Veggies -More Matters" campaign, to emphasize on eating a variety of fruits and veggies instead of simply "5 a day." They also have a handy calculator on their website that told me I should eat about 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day.

Now to see what exactly counts as 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies, the website offered a few general tips. 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables, 1 cup of 100% vegetable juice, OR 2 cups of raw leafy greens equals 1 cup from the vegetable group. 1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of 100% fruit juice or 1/2 cup of dried fruit is considered 1 cup for the fruit group.

With these guidelines in mind, I'm kicking off my week of more fruits and veggies! Below I'm keeping track of this week's food intake... so kind of my "A Week in the Food Diary of... Attempts at 5 a day." I think that I'm going to post every day to keep myself accountable (because who knows when I would derail!). Maybe I'll eventually consolidate the entries...


Breakfast - I'm trying to pick up on eating oatmeal again in the morning. Luckily, I have my good friend/coworker J to keep me accountable for this... "peach" oatmeal + one banana + skim milk. Fruit intake = .5 cup (a small banana = .5 cup, a large banana = 1 cup... I would call my banana medium, so erring on the side of smaller...)

Lunch - homemade veggie and turkey chili. This weekend we cooked up some of my favorite chili -- tomatoes, ground turkey, kidney beans, red peppers, green peppers, onions, and loads of spices. I estimate that this included: 1/6 red pepper (~1/6 cup) + 1 cup of kidney beans (~ 1 cup) + 1/6 green pepper (~1/6 cup) + 1/6 onion (2 slices = 1/4 cup) + 3/4 cup of tomatoes (~ .75 cup). Veggie intake = 2.33 cups (The CDC considers a tomato a vegetable...).

Snack - Pineapple cup. Fruit intake = .5 cup.

Dinner - Cooked up some fettuccine with marinara sauce + baby zucchinis + shallots + shrimp. I would estimate that my portion of pasta had .25 cup of tomatoes + 3 baby zucchini (~ .5 cup) + .25 shallot. Veggie intake = 1 cup.

Snack - Frozen green grapes. SIXTEEN GRAPES. Who knew that it would take SIXTEEN GRAPES to constitute half a cup? Well there you have it. Fruit intake = .5 cup.


Veggie intake = 3.33 cups
Fruit intake = 1.5 cups

Monday = success! When looking into my fridge this morning though, I'm starting to think that I might have to go and purchase more fruit this week. The fruit supply is already starting to dwindle...although the veggie supply continues in full force (we have loads of frozen and canned veggies for after the fresh produce runs out).

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