Greg and I are, by most accounts, relatively modest people. That’s not to say that we’re ultra-conservative or stiff; as a matter of fact, it’s quite the contrary. We just feel that certain subjects are better left behind closed doors….most importantly, the subject left behind the bathroom door. Full disclosure? No, thank you.
Let’s keep the romance, shall we?
Suffice it to say, a surprisingly large amount of people don’t agree with me. Every time I turn on the TV, I’m bombarded with commercials for foods that will “improve your digestive health” and “cleanse your system.” Pardon me while I change the channel. I’d rather think the woman serving me my morning coffee is smiling because she’s a warm, friendly person, and not because she had a party on the john a few hours earlier. (Yes, this commercial exists!) For someone that finds these sorts of topic taboo, flipping on the TV is a virtual minefield lately. What happened to the dog food commercials with the little puppies?
My general revulsion to this public announcement of business came to a head this morning while picking up a gallon of milk at our local grocery store. As I stood on line, I couldn’t help but overhear the cashier and customer in front of me having a lengthy discussion about….what? Am I hearing this right?
It went something like this:
Cashier: “No, it happens to me all the time. This is what you have to do: Go buy a package of chocolate pudding, make it on the stove, and then eat it hot right out of the pot. You’ll be going in no time. Sometimes, I go twice in an hour.”
Customer: “Really? I never tried that. I haven’t gone in days.”
Cashier: “Works every time.”
Excuse me while I try to stop my ears from bleeding.
Now, I’ve just about broken every personal rule I have for myself by sharing this with you; however, there is a reason. (And I do apologize if anyone lost their lunch. I assure you, it was far worse in person.) While trying to peel my jaw off the floor—yes, my mouth gaped open that wide—I couldn’t help but look into this customer’s basket. A bag of Oreos, a rib-eye steak, a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi, and 4 (four!) blocks of cheese. Now, doctor I am not, but Houston, I think we’ve found our problem.
I’m not sure how the above conversation started (thank you, Jesus, Allah, and all things holy, for saving me from that), but it did make me think twice about the contents of this woman’s basket. And aside from the cashier’s less-than-stellar-health-advice, I had one thing I wanted to tell them both:
Eat a salad.
A diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables is nutritious, delicious, and will do more for your body that just alleviate your….issues. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts, those who eat more generous portions of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Eating a varied diet full of fresh ingredients will make you feel great and look even better.
Some of my favorite ways to sneak 5 servings a day into my diet are:
- Mix fresh berries with your morning oatmeal, yogurt, or dry cereal
- Swap sliced zucchini or cucumbers for the chips with your favorite dip
- Enjoy 4 oz. of 100% fruit juice mixed with seltzer for a refreshing drink
- Start your meal with a cup of broth-based vegetable soup
- Keep single-serve portions of dried fruit in your bag for a mid-day pick-me-up
- Toss equal parts spaghetti squash and whole wheat spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan cheese
The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the more you will crave them, and the more your body will thank you. What are your favorite ways to enjoy 5-a-day?
And in the meantime, for God’s sake, please keep your “issues” to yourself.