How many veggies did YOU eat today?

Over the course of a day, a week, a month, I have three major dietary goals:
  1. Don’t eat too much.
  2. Eat lots of vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit. 
  3. Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods to increase the odds of getting all the nutrients I need from my food.
So yesterday, after I set down my book on mindful eating so I could actually mindfully eat my lunch salad, I noticed how many different veggies I was munching on. Which lead me to catalog how many veggies and fruits I had eaten and would eat in the course of that single day. (Let’s not focus on how thinking about what I would eat for dinner took my mind away from mindfully eating my lunch, OK?) Here’s how things totaled up:
Zucchini
Loose-leaf lettuce
Frisee
Cucumber
Tomato
Beets
Red peppers
Carrots
Cabbage
Broccoli
Fennel
Italian Parsley

Peach
Strawberries
Orange
Pineapple
Avocado

Plus:
Sprouted grain bread
Brown rice
Chickpeas (as hummus)
Black beans
Eggs
Almond milk
Cow milk
Coconut water
Almond butter
Brazil nuts
Almonds
Feta cheese
Taziki sauce
Kalamata olives
Salsa
Olive oil
A sauce I made with nutritional yeast, almonds, olive oil and spices
Lots of water
The wreckage of my lunch salad.

A few points worth noting:
  • I didn’t eat any meat yesterday. That wasn’t intentional, but it happens a lot. As much meat as I feel like we eat, there are lots of days that end up vegetarian. To be honest, I got really burned out on meat a few weeks ago when my at-home lab experiments for my Molecular Gastronomy class were all meat-based…plus I planned poorly and defrosted a pork roast, which then had to be cooked and eaten!
  • This kind of variety is intuitive for me. I love all kinds of foods, and keep a VERY well-stocked pantry, fridge and freezer. Nothing on yesterday’s food list is a rarity or oddity. Those items all make regular appearances, yet there are many more foods I eat regularly that I didn’t happen to eat yesterday. Some of the produce is pretty seasonal…you won’t find me eating zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes in December!
On the school front, I did a broccoli experiment last night. Let me just tell you this: If you ever want your children (or any living, breathing human being, for that matter) to eat their veggies, do not do this to broccoli:
Cooked for 5 minutes with cream of tartar added to the cooking water. Totally made it a gross olive green. Don’t do this, either:
Cooked for 15 minutes in water with baking soda added. Nasty!!!! The broccoli cooked in plain water for five minutes was the best. Good color and tender but still with a nice bite to it. Didn’t matter whether the pot was covered or not.