We are a reasonably health conscious family, at least I like to think we are. Being the person who is responsible for shopping for food and cooking, I have the most say in the matter, though as a team, we are in constant discussion over the foods we eat. With this in mind, we made a conscious decision to make our diet more fruit and vegetable focused, and when I look around me at all the people we know, I have to say, we eat more fruits and vegetables than most. Fresh fruit at every lunch, and we try to center every meal around a veggie, which is a lot different than when I grew up, where everything focused on meat.
In fact, when I think back on when I was younger, it's amazing to me what I ate. I would go days without even a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable, and I basically lived on fast food. It's no wonder, coupled with nicotine, alcohol, and other assorted contraband, that I felt like crap ALL THE TIME. I used to be addicted to multi-vitamins, they really gave me a boost, but now I've stopped, and I realize that they made me feel better way back when because my diet was terrible.
Either way, I think kids come to appreciate fruits and veggies when certain conditions are met. First off, as parents, you have to set the example and eat them yourselves. I can't tell you how many of our friends, usually the guys, who don't eat vegetables. It's amazing, and must lead to an amazing level of constipation, another unhealthy consequence. They complain about their condition and yet refuse to do a thing about it.
That's their choice, however, and in the end, has no bearing on us. We are very conscious of what we eat, and have in the last few years made big strides in reducing our meat intake, but I wonder if we could do better. The idea of eating more vegan is daunting, because meat makes a meal that much simpler. Just cook and add salt, and voila, you have a meal. Veggies, for the most part, are a little more bland, and we've found we have to spice them up a bit, which translates into more work, but hey, such is life. Nobody said being a parent, or for that matter, being healthy, was easy.
So we'll give it a go, and make a more concerted effort to remove meat and fats from our diet. I have to quit eating so much ice cream, and that won't be easy, but I'm determined. As for our meals, our guide will be the Moosewood cookbook, because it's the one we have. It should be interesting, and definitely more of a challenge, but could be pretty cool. Besides, I think that eating more veggies is cost effective, but could be wrong, especially when you consider that fish can be expensive.
The inspiration for all this came about because my wife is reading the book, The Blue Zones. It's all about different cultures around the world who live long, healthy lives. A few of the hallmarks of their longevity are close-knit families, strong communities, plenty of fresh air and exercise, and NO MEAT. Believe it or not, none of them eat meat. Contrast that with the standard American diet where people eat a one pound steak, and it's pretty amazing.
Until the next time, thanks for reading.