Thursday, June 9, 2011

Half My Plate


Thank you Wal-Mart for pricing matching ads!  Yes, it does take awhile and lots of planning ahead but... because of it, we were able to buy cherries, blueberries, apples, bananas, and peaches all for killer prices.  We also picked up some baby carrots, celery, 1 potato, mushrooms, and onions all for fabulous deals as well.  Sometimes, it is easy to skip past this part because it is SO expensive.  But with price matching we got most of the items for 60-75% off of Wal-Mart's price.  AND grapes are a super fabulous price too but we had to draw the line somewhere because that is a lot of fresh produce we were buying and we already have orange cuties, a mango, strawberries, cauliflower, bell pepper and lettuce at home.

So why so much produce?  First of all, it tastes amazing!  I never thought that I would crave eating my fruits and veggies but I do.  I used to always want sugar and high fattening things.  And don't get me wrong... those really do still taste great!  But if I haven't eaten very much fruits and/or veggies through out the day, I will begin to notice and want some badly.  I love eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with fruit in it or an omelette filled with peppers, onions, spinach and (maybe) mushrooms.  Then for lunch... I normally have a salad with fruit on top.  Wendy's knew what they were doing by making apple pecan and now strawberry & blueberry almond salads.  Yum!  And then for dinner... we eat lots of food that grows naturally.  Some sort of veggie or fruit--generally its multiple.

MyPlateBut really... our produce consumption has increased in the past few weeks.  Why?  Because I can keep track of the dietary guidelines way easier now.  Remember when I wrote about the expected changes to the food pyramid?  Well, I for one personally love it!  And I have studied and taught the pyramid countless times.  But the new dinner plate is a huge improvement.  And if I think this as someone who understood the Pyramid, I can only imagine what my students (totally pyramid clueless) will think.  I can easily look at my plate and my husband's plate and judge what we need to increase/ decrease.  Before, I was just trying to go super low calorie.  And sometimes I would cut the produce stuff just so I could eat more of the higher calorie stuff and stay within my calorie budget.  But now, I look at my plate and make a quick decision and then adjust the meal accordingly.

So the new website still needs some help.  For example, how many plates (aka meals) do you eat a day?  How large should your plate (aka portions) be?  How much exercise should you be getting a day?  But believe you me... choosemyplate.gov is so much more user friendly than a pyramid.  I am already using it daily in my life and my husbands and as a result our produce purchasing has increased.  Before, I was doing well to keep track of my calories for the day.  I had no idea how I was supposed to help my hubby (and future kids) eat healthy (we don't always eat the same stuff... I will make two versions of the same thing a lot of times--one low calorie for me and one regular for him simply because the regular is so much cheaper) but as the wife and someday mother it is my job.  And now I can.  Simple.  Look at the plate and determine if half of it is fruits/ and veggies.

If you haven't already, go check out the new USDA's MyPlate website.  It is interesting (some is still under construction) and super helpful.  It is easy to eat healthier now... just take a quick look at your plate.  Oh and for the record, french fries or a skimpy little piece of lettuce on a hamburger or a fruit flavored shake don't really count... just sayin' ;)
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