Friday, January 8, 2010


I consider myself a moderately optimistic person. I think I used to be more so, but motherhood has brought out the worry wart in me and worry is the antithesis of optimism.

But no where does my optimism brim as full as at the grocery store. I just came home from the weekly trip and bought all of this:

Yes, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, avocado, oranges, grapes, bananas, pineapple, raspberries and two kind of apples. Add to this two kinds of frozen berries (for smoothies) and raisins and peach cups plus produce still in the fridge and you'd think we were well on our way to our 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Sadly, we often don't make 5, let alone 10. Husband and I both enjoy salad and vegetables. However we both have mutually exclusive short list on our veggie no-fly list. I do not care for (i.e. hate, but I'm trying to get the kids to stop saying that) peas, celery, peppers or onions, but love avocado, cauliflower, spinach and mushrooms. Husband stays away from avocado, cauliflower, spinach and mushrooms but loves peas, peppers, onions and celery. You can see what we're up against.

But we're adapting. After years of Husband not eating celery because I don't, it dawned on us that we could buy some just for him. Ditto that for mushrooms and avocado for me. I roast cauliflower in so delicious a way that Husband enjoys and Husband as it turns out, loves fresh spinach just not cooked.

I really, really cannot eat peppers because not only do I REALLY NOT CARE for the flavour of any colour of pepper, but they repeat on me so I can not enjoy the flavour for hours on end. However, I can tolerate onions if they are extremely well cooked and cut up extremely finely so that I cannot find them. And I'm finding peas are okay if we have something spicy or served it with rice.

On top of our offsetting preferences in vegetables, we both have a lazy gene when it comes to dinnertime and once we have a protein going, and maybe a starch, throwing a second veggie into the mix (and sometimes a first) feels like an insurmountable hurdle. Remember that we're simultaneously sorting out conflict over computer/Wii/TV, pleading with kids to eat their dinner at the table and not on the mini trampoline and ignoring the phone ringing with people dying to give us a new credit card / newspaper subscription / set of knives if only we book a weekend at a condo so they can sell us a timeshare.

We are tolerable about eating fruit (particularly Husband), especially since getting a Magic Bullet and finding out how easy it is to make smoothies. The kids are okay but each have a short list of acceptable fruits and the required temperatures (apples must be cold; oranges must not be cold).

But still, I am cautiously optimistic that we will eat most of this week's fruit and veggie bounty since last week Husband and I had spinach salad and another vegetable with dinner every night. Together the family ate through a large quantity of fruit. Plus on New Year's Eve I was prodding the children to have chocolate fondue with their fruit, despite their protests to just eat fruit.

So a new year and a new commitment to better eating habits!

In the interests of full disclosure, my grocery cart was also full with a starch bonanza: 3 kinds of crackers, 4 kinds of granola/fibre bars (we each have our favourite), 2 kinds of buns, 4 loaves of bread, 2 kind of cereal, cereal bars and rice.

But Rome was not built in a day.

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