Not Done Yet

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Vegetables are Our Friends

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Close your eyes and think back to that time in your life when the bane of our existence was the school cafeteria. You remember standing in line, waiting for the lunch lady in her ever present hair net to scoop and plop a mushy greenish gray mess they called “the vegetable of the day” on to your plate. It might have been green beans, or maybe broccoli, or my worst nightmare, brussel sprouts.

Then and there began my love/hate relationship with vegetables. I loved to hate them.

This is not to say that I did not have access to fresh or home-canned vegetables. My family raised a large garden every year, and my mother would can anything and everything she could to help feed me and my seven brothers and sisters.

Still, I basically grew up thinking that a potato (any form) was the only good vegetable. This presents a problem for proper nutrition and balanced diet, both of which are crucial to successfully managing and maintaining a healthy body. I definitely had a challenge to face and overcome if I had any hope of being successful. After all, most fruits and vegetables are 0 points on the Weight Watchers plan, and they are a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.

So after way, way, waaaaaay too many years of being very stubborn about even trying vegetables, I had to start acting and eating like an adult. Which, I am proud to say, has met mainly with good successes with just a few major EWWWW moments.

Step one (always the most important step to any success) was this: I had to have a good long talk with my inner five-year-old and prepare him for a major change as I launched into operation Loving Veggies for Life. With open mind and determination, I promised to stop automatically saying, “No,” to an offered vegetable, and instead say, “I would love to try some.”

Step two: get yourself a very supportive group of friends. There are several dear people who encourage me to try amazingly fresh vegetables from local farms and farmer’s market. My friend and cohort in this blog, Kimi, introduced me to her favorite Green Smoothie, which is a mixture of fresh greens such as spinach or kale, plus frozen and fresh fruit and water.* To my amazement, it was not only delicious but really gave me a power boost. Thank you, Kimi! Now with that said, I have to say it must be drunk out of an opaque glass…because it is an unappealing shade of green.

My friends Al and Janora introduced me to the delights of fresh baby spinach, which I will now eat anytime I can. A fresh spinach salad with strawberries is truly something I look forward to.

To quote Bobbi, my amazing Weight Watchers leader, “Any vegetable taste better roasted.” I have been treated to roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and most recently zucchini, all of which proved to be very good. The roasted pepper…well, not so much, but I stepped out and tried something new. Yay me!

Lastly, it really is all about presentation. The visual image of the lunch ladies plopping food had to be replaced with something visually appealing. As they say, “We eat with our eyes as well as our stomach.” Make it look good, and it will be good.

To my friends I say, “Thank you and please don’t stop offering me new and exciting vegetable delights, because I enjoy having you all on this journey with me.” As always I am NOT DONE YET!!

~Dexter

*Kimi’s green smoothie recipe: 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen strawberries (Costco), 20 oz pineapple (canned in water or fresh), 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (100 cal or less per scoop) and 3 cups of baby spinach or kale. Blend in high powered blender, pour into travel coffee mug, put the top on, insert straw and enjoy!

Get more green smoothie recipe ideas at <a href="http://greensmoothiesblog.com/ from the inventor of the green smoothie, Victoria Boutenko.

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