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It’s All About the Veggies . . . sigh.

The Problem: Since moving to Seattle I’ve steadily gained weight, developed mild anemia and watched my Vitamin D levels move to the low-end of the normal range – AWESOME!  Unable to determine a freak cause, my Dr. referred me to a registered dietician to see if we could address these issues with some good old-fashioned dietary sense.

The Prep: In preparation for my appointment, I kept a food and exercise log for 3 weeks.  This process combined with my 3 times per week tennis sessions, twice a week pilates and once a week treadmill torture helped me lose 3 lbs.  When I know someone is going to be sizing up what I eat and how much I exercise I tend to be more mindful of what I eat and get movin!  Besides, it’s a pain writing down, a bite of this, a bite of that, etc. 

The Meeting:  During the hour I spent with my RD, we discussed my concerns, blood test results, and the basic unpleasant facts.  As women age our metabolism slows down and we lose at least 1% of our muscle mass per year.  Joy.  We discussed my Vitamin D levels and different options for boosting them (I already take a multivitamin and calcium with Vitamin D daily) and working in more dark, leafy greens to address that anemia issue.  Then she analyzed my diet and exercise log.

The Verdict:  I received kudos for my exercise routine.  The rule of thumb minimum is two weight training sessions a week (and pilates counts) and 150 minutes of cardio – I’m easily getting 200+ minutes of cardio a week and have been logging at least 2 pilates sessions pretty faithfully.  Now I just need to maintain it. 

I got credit for eating whole wheat pasta over white, eating regularly throughout the day and eating breakfast.  However, she detected a very unhealthy and potentially weight-gain causing trend in my diet – I don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit.  Not a real surprise – I have never been fond of salads (unless they entail blue cheese and lots of dressing which defeats the point), crudite does not excite me as a snack, and I always think of vegetables and cooking as going hand-in-hand.  As a result my diet is very carb and protein heavy (meaning meat, rice, pasta, cheese).  Not especially low cal or filling.

My New Goals: Due to how lacking my diet is in veggies, my RD set goals for the next 3 weeks (before my next appointment) that are moderate:

  • Eat 3 cups of veggies (potatoes, corn, squashes and regular peas do not count) and 2 cups of fruit a day. 
  • No more than 150 calories of dessert type foods (cookies, etc.) per day.
  • Remember to divide my meals into 2/3 plate veggies, 1/3 protein, 1/3 starches.
  • Have veggies with cheese or hummus in place of crackers.
  • Eat 1 serv. fruit with breakfast.
  • No more protein bars.
  • More evenly distribute my calories throughout the day instead of saving most of them until I get home from work.

Sigh.  Anyone have any good veggie recipes?


5 Responses

  1. I made it a goal this year to eat more fruit and veggies…I’ve found it easy to have a fruit smothie with spinach and protein powder for breakfast, add a salad as a side to lunch or dinner and eat a piece of fruit as an afternoon snack with cheese or yogurt or crackers, etc. Recently I’ve been experimenting with salad recipes for my main lunch and it’s been working out great. Try looking at clean eating magazine…they usually have great recipes that inlcude lots of veggies…though roasting is my favorite way to cook them up! I also started using the produce delivery service and that tends to make me eat more fruit and veggies since I don’t want anything to go to waste.

  2. Indeed! The more fresh and cooked vegetables and fresh fruit you eat will curb any other hunger.

    On the “Eat To Live” Greens and Beans diet plan we eat at least a pound of cooked and a pound of fresh vegetables a day. And unlimited amounts of cooked beans, of course, you fill up before you finish a pound of each.

    Bon appetite!

  3. I have one word for you girl – SMOOTHIE!

  4. Good luck with that. You may want to get really good at making vegtable soup and pounding blueberries. Try cutting up zucchini, puttig a dab of olive oil and sprinkle heavily with parmesan, asiago cheeses. Bake until tender. Or saute a whole onion (sweet) in a bit of olive oil and have with rice and parmesan cheese. Both are surprisingly good and filling. You can add spinich to the pan after the onion is 80% down and cook together. Also really good and that should easliy hit your requirement. When you saute spinach it takes an entire bag of spinach to have a decent amount to eat because it cooks down so much.

  5. Sarah – For me the two cups of fruit a day is unrealistic but I do love Kashi Go Lean (140 cals per cup and 40% fiber) with blueberries, bananas and strawberries for breakfast. I also eat spinach and egg whites or mixed greens with a poached egg as alternatives.
    Any cookbook by Mollie Katzen and follow her on Twitter!
    I steam a few artichokes a week (my website has deets) and quarter them so they’re ready all week. Quick tip is buy a great veggie soup and have it in fridge at all times.
    I strive for 50% veggies a day and I feel great.

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