(I am not sure but that this may be the post which qualifies me for true Soda Crazy status.)
So you know how “They” always say you need five to ten daily servings of fruit and vegetables? I actually looked it up the other day when Mom called during my lunch hour. The conversation started like this:
Mom: “What are you eating? I can barely hear you.”
Mom: “Raw broccoli? By itself?”
Me: “With the artichoke dip left over from the party.”
Mom: “You know, even when you were little you preferred veg to fruits. All my friends told me what a strange baby you were.”
Me: “I bet that wasn’t the only reason.”
Mom: “You know, you’re supposed to get equal amounts of fruit and vegetables in your diet.”
Me: “What? Really? Who says that?”
Mom: “The government. Everybody knows it.”
I pretty much had to look it up at that point. Anyway, if you don’t feel like clicking on the link, the short version is:
- She’s wrong
- And how much fruit/veg you need depends on how old you are
- And if you are a lady or a man
- And a serving size depends on the actual item
For instance, I’m supposed to get 7 – 8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. That sounds pretty reasonable, right? At least it’s not ten! But then the curiosity started to get to me, so two weeks ago I tracked my typical fruit/veg intake for a week, and the results were dismal. Really – averaging fewer than four servings per day (3.7 if you want to nitpick).
Some of this was due to portion sizes (you know, less than a full cup of spinach in my omelet, a third of a tomato on my toast) but also – frankly – I just don’t eat enough produce. I don’t drink much juice. I also don’t snack much so even if I include a fruit or a vegetable with each meal, I don’t get anywhere near 7 – 8 a day.
Since I currently have no problem getting nearly the required amounts of everything else, I decided to see if I could eat everything else and all my fruits and veg in one day. I picked last Thursday to try it, since I had bought groceries on Wednesday.
Breakfast was the ever-popular toast with hummus (I counted the hummus as a meat substitute), a cup of tea, and a banana. But since I ate the banana last, I was too full to eat the apple I had also intended to go with breakfast. Servings: 1.
Lunch was a sandwich, a cookie, carrot sticks, celery sticks, two bananas, and the apple I neglected from breakfast. This time, remembering the lesson I had learned from breakfast, I ate the veg, then the bananas. Then I was so full I couldn’t eat the rest. Servings: 4.
By the time I got home, I still wasn’t hungry. But I made myself eat the apple from breakfast/lunch when I walked in the door. Servings: 1.
Around 7 pm, when I realized I hadn’t really managed to eat from the other food groups, I got out my sandwich from the fridge and ate that, then the cookie, and basically forced down some celery and a large handful of grapes. Servings: 2
Total for the day: 8 (5 fruit, 3 veg)
Sheesh! Getting in the full RDA of produce is not easy. By the time I had my servings in, I basically hadn’t eaten much else – about 3 small servings of grains, 1 of dairy, and 2 of meat or meat substitutes. And dinner was literally crammed down my throat amidst much gurgling and gagging; I spent half the evening on the couch groaning with indigestion. It felt like I had eaten neverending pounds and pounds and pounds of food all day. And I had to go pee like FIFTEEN TIMES.
But now I need to know, am I missing something obvious here? Is the gub-mint on crack? Do all of you guys get your five to ten servings a day? And if so, how do you do it without exploding at every meal? Are people chugging V-8 like it’s going out of style, maybe? Is everyone eating salad for every meal? If it’s not fruit/vegetables, which food group are you usually able to get your full RDA of?
Nosy people want to know!