If you are like me and have changed your diet so your body works more efficiently, then you probably have purchased more fruits and vegetables than you ever have in the past. Before my OCR days, there were weeks where I would never eat fruits or veggies for one reason or another. Either they weren’t convenient, or were unappetizing, or needed some kind of time-consuming preparation….and generally were not on the grocery list. However, now that I have changed pretty much my whole approach on how I treat my body, and understand the benefits of consuming whole, fresh foods as fuel…there is usually a plethora of fruits, vegetables and spices taking up space in the refrigerator, the cupboards….and spilling out onto the countertops. So the dilemma is, even if you WANT to eat them because you know they are good for you….and have possibly even developed a weird attachment to some of them….like spinach or kale….it is possible that they will still go bad before they can get incorporated into the meal plan. It is not possible to eat them all to completion while they are fresh because of the quantities that you sometimes have to buy at the store to get them at a good price…even if you are feeding more than one person. And yet, I think I’ve cracked the code on this one, so to speak. I’m sharing my solution with you, based on the recommendation of a friend, who seems to think my methods might not be so obvious to others.
Initially, not being big on eating vegetables, I would have trouble choking them all down…even knowing that I SHOULD because they are GOOD for me! But over the last month I have run straight into a solution. SMOOTHIES. Not only do they allow me to get down a higher quantity of fruits and vegetables but it also allows me to acquire the nutrient load that I need in drink format. This is the perfect breakfast solution…minimal mess, maximum quality of nutrition. I would NEVER eat a whole cucumber, carrot or a salad-load of spinach at a time, BUT put that in a blender with a banana, and a juicy peach? PRESTO……instant nutrients in drink form. One whole cucumber? NOTHIN!!! Drink it down like some people chug beer. J Even if you have never considered pairing up fruits and vegetables together in a smoothie….you would be so surprised to see what “matches” up. It is MORE than fun to see what great tastes go together first thing in the morning. In my kitchen, it’s never the same smoothie twice.
Solution number two is to make what I like to call, Empty Out Your Fridge Stew! This is even easier than the smoothies. Take all of the vegetables that you have in the fridge that are about to go bad, chop them up, and put them in a crock pot with some vegetable broth. Wait a bunch of hours and PRESTO again…..meals for the family or you for the week at work. Now that you are getting all of the nutrients from your veggies, it’s time to kick it up into high gear. Increase the micronutrient load by adding spices. Great spices to add are turmeric for its anti-inflammatory qualities, garlic for upsetting others, ginger with its nutrient absorption assistance, chili for its cholesterol lowering benefits, and curry (whose main ingredient is turmeric), just to name a few.
Most of us who are conscientious eaters have made the decision to spend our money on whole, quality foods, concentrating on nutrition. Yes, this type of food is expensive and yes, it goes bad quickly, unlike the prepackaged processed stuff found in the middle of the store. According to research, Americans throw away nearly HALF the food that they buy. Let us be responsible stewards to our pocket books and to the earth and put that food to good use. Let’s absorb the nutrient load that we buy from the store in a variety of ways. I would love to hear about your solutions to this problem also.