Before I share the latest on eating veggies by the pound, I just wanted to say how thrilled I am to be attending the PCRM’s conference on Nutrition and the Brain this Friday and Saturday!
To be held in Washington, DC, this conference focuses on nutrition’s role in brain health and disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and MS. As a future RD—did I mention I’m returning to school this fall to finish my coursework?—I can’t wait to learn cutting-edge info from leaders in the field! Just a small sample of the expert speakers:
- Neal Barnard, MD (PCRM, George Washington University School of Medicine)
- Michael Greger, MD (NutritionFacts.org)
- John McDougall, MD (McDougall Health and Medical Center)
You can see why I’m so thrilled! But don’t worry, I’ll be taking plenty of notes and reporting back on the highlights next week.
Now, on to a day’s worth of veggies.
2 Pounds of veggies a day
As many of you know, one of the reasons I write this blog is to try to eat more vegetables: 2 pounds a day, to be exact. Sounds great, right?
Oh, if only you knew how far I’d fallen.
Not the liking vegetables part, of course—I’m really coming around to that! But 2 pounds a day? Lately, I’m nowhere close. Instead, I’m filling up on grains, nuts, and way more processed stuff than I care to admit. (Dear frozen treats: Why must you be so tasty?)
The unfortunate result, however, is that my weight is creeping up. My pants are fitting tighter. And I’ve been feeling draggy—I’ve even resorted to drinking coffee, which I’d completely nixed from my diet for months.
Needless to say, it’s time to get back on track. And what better way to do it than with a “What Lee Ate” post? Because knowing you’re reading this is great motivation to eat right. (Thanks!) So I tracked my food last Thursday, although I waited to post until now in honor of “What I Ate Wednesday.” (And my kickoff worked, because I’ve been eating a lot more vegetables since.)
So, what did my 2-pound day look like?
Breakfast: Ack attack smoothie
Pineapple, coconut milk, and romaine lettuce. Sounds tropical and refreshing, no? And it might have been, except that I got the bright idea to see if my new Vitamix could blend an entire intact romaine heart.
Will it blend?! (Almost makes me wish I had a BlendTec…)
Anyhoo, yes, it will blend! But alas, it will not taste very good. Apparently, putting a whole romaine heart in a single-serving smoothie makes it downright bitter, and no amount of stevia can rescue it. So I named the smoothie the Green Ack Attack—never to be made again.
The upside? I went ahead and drank it (waste not, right?), and downed 4 ounces (¼ pound) of veggies at breakfast. Go me!I also had a Brazil nut, not pictured, because a girl’s got to get her selenium, and a cup of half-caff, because I didn’t want a withdrawal headache. One diet overhaul at a time!
Lunch: Happy Herbivore pumpkin-cauliflower curry and salad
Lunch was where the veggies really kicked in. I treated myself to an entire 7-ounce container of salad greens—no sharing required! And on sale for $3.99, no less.)
I was having a busy day, so I ate right out of the container. I topped my salad simply with a carrot, a cucumber, adzuki beans, and my favorite non-homemade dressing, Bolthouse Farm’s Olive Oil Vinaigrette. Which is a total misnomer, because it has 0 grams of fat per serving. Luckily it still somehow manages to be delicious, and features pronounceable ingredients like pineapple juice and balsamic vinegar.
I also had leftover cauliflower-pumpkin curry (from Everyday Happy Herbivore) over brown rice, and topped it with sweetened dried cranberries.
Because dried cranberries are good on everything.
Between the lettuce, carrot, cucumber, and curried cauliflower, I netted another 1 pound 9 ounces of veggies. Which, in combo with my 4 ounces of romaine at breakfast meant I was almost to 2 pounds, and it wasn’t even snack time yet!Snacktime: Peas Pass the ApplesSnacks were simple and easy: 2 apples and a cup (3 ounces) of sugar snap peas (not pictured; you can use your imagination). That officially pushed me to the 2-pound mark for vegetables—yeah!
As you can imagine, though, I’d planned oodles of veggies for the day (better safe than sorry), so there was more to come at dinner…
Dinner: Quinoa- and cranberry-stuffed sweet potatoes with gingery collards
The salad should be strangely familiar by now (you can tell what we have in the fridge). I also had a cup of leftover gingery collard greens, my take on Gomen Wat, a.k.a. Ethiopian collard greens. (Recipe to come—photo from the upcoming post!)
I hadn’t planned out the rest of dinner in advance, though, so I had to come up with something on the fly. I found some sweet potatoes that had been languishing and popped them in the oven. Then I sauteed an onion using a spritz of olive oil and splashes of white wine to prevent sticking. I added rubbed sage at the end, tossed said onions with cooked quinoa and cranberries, and stuffed the whole kit n’ caboodle in some sweet potatoes.
Not culinary perfection, but pretty tasty!
Grand total: 2 Pounds—and then some!
By the end of the day, the sweet potatoes weren’t the only things that were stuffed. (Heh…) Dinner added another 9 ounces of veggies, taking me to over 2 1/2 pounds.Here’s the breakdown:
Sugar snap peas
~2½ lbs (41 oz)
The awesome part? Having so many veggies meant I got to eat lots of food, while only racking up 1570 calories. And I got 51 grams of protein, along with 276% of my daily value (DV) of fiber, 817% of my vitamin C, and 194% of my folate, amongst other things. (I’m pretty sure my cells were doing the cha-cha.)
How to work more veggies into your day
Here’s the formula I followed to get to the 2-pound mark with minimal effort:
- Big salads at lunch and dinner
- Vegetable-rich entree for at least one meal (think cauliflower curry or a fajita bowl)
- Vegetable side for at least one meal (like fast low-fat creamed spinach or gingery Ethiopian collards)
So, what vegetables did you have today? Did you made it to the 2-pound mark?
Shared on What I Ate Wednesday.