When first read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell one of the things I took away was the idea that rather than try to remove things from your diet, you add more and more plant based food, which will leave less and less room for animal products. A friend of mine has recently lost a lot of weight, and she looks great! The plan she was on seemed a bit strict, and I admire her for sticking with it, and for her success. One of the things she told me was part of the plan, and which echoes what Campbell says, is that she eats ten cups of fruit and vegetables a day.
Ten cups is a lot of produce! I eat a salad most days for lunch. In it I put 1/2 a box of salad greens which is only about 2 cups, to that I add a variety of things including tomatoes, artichoke heats, and cucumber I add other things, but those are the main vegetable components. All told I have a fairly large bowl of salad that is only about 3 cups of vegetables. Ten cups is more than ten servings, so maybe I will start with servings, and work my way up to cups. To get to ten I will have 1 1/2 cups of fruit at breakfast- which I get when I drink my smoothie, to my lunch salad I’ll add another 1/2 cup which will bring me up to five, then I need another five servings. For a snack, perhaps an apple or peach which is two servings and for dinner another salad, or a cup and a half of cooked vegetables.
According to an article in the Huffington Post Americans as a group don’t even come close to eating the USDA recommended 5 servings per day… Vegetables take time, and preparation. If you don’t cook them well they can taste bad, and if you grew up eating canned, frozen, or overcooked vegetables, you probably think you don’t like them. What I found after years of working at Whole Foods Market is that people have become so disconnected from where and how vegetables grow, that they become indignant when for instance, they can’t get local organic strawberries in November!
I like vegetables, at least most of them. I am not a fan of raw celery, peppers, cooked or raw, or turnips and rutabagas no matter how they are prepared, but I’ll eat pretty much anything else. That said, I still don’t consume close to ten servings, but I think it’s time I make that commitment. Summer is the perfect time of year to do this, and I am as ready as I’ll ever be. I will eat kale, and spinach, cauliflower and broccoli, carrots, green beans, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, leafy lettuce, and though some people say bad things about corn, I love summer corn, so I will look for organic corn, and of course all those juicy, delectable stone fruits!
I promise not to get righteous, and prideful as I dutifully consume all these micronutrients. I will not always manage to get to ten, and for that I hope you will forgive me! I will eat them raw, and will grill, sauté, and roast them, I will not cover them in heavy cream which I have reduced with a few cloves of garlic and some truffle salt or saffron… probably. I will make sure they are delicious, and I will report my successes. Since I am not on a diet, I will eat my sweet, fresh summer corn with butter, and with no apologies!
I am off to the market today with a long list of produce, and some other things, as I am completely out of food, except for a little bit of chicken soup left from Tuesday. (I’m still not over my cold, but I’m working on it.)