Ah yes, good old green eggs and ham! You can learn a lot from a Dr. Suess book. My dad read Green Eggs and Ham to me growing up and I read the same book to both my kids when they were, well, kids. I imagine my kids will be reading it to their kids too (but hopefully not anytime soon). I actually do not have a problem with the green eggs and ham, for me it was always the vegetables, I did not like them Sam I am!
Growing up my mom always nagged me, “eat your vegetables” (in that nagging voice). Yeah, well, as much as I hate to admit it, she was right! According to the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we are not eating enough vegetables and we are “eating too much added sugars, solid fats, refined grains, and sodium.” Looking back, it was funny how many of the things our parents said were right (darn it). Some day I am sure my kids will look back and say the same thing about us.
When you grow up and are out in the world on your own, you get to make your own choices. Mom is not there to tell you to eat your vegetables. It’s awesome! You can eat what you want when you want and no one is there to tell you differently. What ends up happening though, is you focus on things that you like and typically do not cook or order things you don’t like (aka a variety of vegetables).
Well after 25 years of being on my own, I knew I had to start eating more vegetables, I knew I had to do it, but I did not know how to make myself like them. So I started drinking V8 juice. After all, the commercial said it had like 3 servings of vegetables in it. I figured one of those bad boys and some steamed veggies at dinner and I would be all set. The problem for me was it was loaded with sodium and I knew deep down I was missing something by not consuming the whole vegetable.
So I started making my own vegetable drink – a green smoothie – with the whole vegetable (not just the juice). It was low in calories and sodium and LOADED with fiber and all the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals our bodies need to function properly and to stay healthy; and it tasted great! The key thing I noticed when I started drinking these whole vegetable drinks was the way I felt. I was energized and noticed a whole new level of feeling good. It was amazing. I had more energy during my workouts and found I had less cravings for foods that were not good for me.
What was happening was that I was finally giving my body what it was looking for. My body then stopped looking for the things it was missing by asking me for more food. My cravings for bad foods went away and my energy level went up. I felt great and my waist size today is smaller then it was in high school.
If you’re not getting enough vegetables in your diet, a green smoothie just might help. The point is get creative. There’s a wide variety of vegetables and an even wider variety of ways to prepare them. You’re bound to find something you like if you just try. The government recommends getting somewhere between 2 ½ – 3 ½ cups of vegetables per day (depending on your age, sex and activity level). I personally consume 3-4 times the recommended amount of vegetables per day (depending on the day). The funny thing about it is I just had my physical a couple months ago and my doctor did not say to me, “Hey TK, you really need to ease up on those veggies.” Looking at my numbers, he actually really did not know what to say to me except, “looks great and we’ll see ya next time.”
So this month, let’s eat some more veggies and see if you don’t feel better. “You do not like them. SO you say. Try them! Try them! And you may.” I have a green smoothie recipe on my blog www.hereswhatido.com and some other recipes to get you started, so…. “Try them and you may I say!”