The Little Foodie: It’s not easy being green, but worth trying
If you’re human, it’s likely that by now you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolutions.
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If you’re human, it’s likely that by now you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolutions. In fact, Jan. 19 has been dubbed “Quitter’s Day,” based on data from a social fitness network. I’m familiar with how difficult goals are to accomplish. Very few of us can perfectly adopt a new routine.
So I’m going to offer a new challenge: Start over again. And again. If you never quit starting over, how can you say you’ve failed at your goal?
One of my parenting goals for this year — it’s something I’ve been starting over for years — is to get my boys, ages 9 and 4, to eat. I think the younger one is just following his older brother’s example. He sees his brother’s face when I serve dinner, and that’s enough to make anything seem unappetizing.
I’ve tried everything to get my 9-year-old to eat a larger variety of foods. I’ve offered, I’ve begged, I’ve threatened, I’ve sent him to bed without dinner, I’ve included him in cooking, I’ve given him choices, I’ve cut vegetables into cute shapes.
We’ve gone through this routine since he began eating solid foods. A single bite of potato will make him gag, and he still recalls his encounter with a piece of broccoli.
I can’t say I have much hope left.
I felt inspired this year to teach my sons goal-setting. I got them notebooks, and we wrote down our New Year’s resolutions for the year. Each of us also wrote a goal for each other. The goal I made for my elder son: Eat a vegetable once a week that isn’t a carrot or a tomato.
He was intrigued by the challenge and, miraculously, agreed.
He paused for a while and said, “OK, so, next week I’ll eat spinach. I’ll start with spinach because it doesn’t have much taste.”
I was shocked. How did he know what spinach tastes like? He admitted that once, at a school function, he felt pressured to take a serving of salad. He was too ashamed to throw it away and actually choked most of it down. I felt simultaneously betrayed and overjoyed.
The following Tuesday, I made chicken and served it with a side spinach salad. As soon as we sat down, the trouble began. I wish I could say we both remained calm. An hour, three bites of chicken and a grand total of five spinach leaves later, I was ready to trash this resolution forever.
Next week’s plan? Artichoke. I’m battening down the hatches.
THIS RECIPE is to give you a chance to start over on your New Year’s resolutions. Veggie juice, when properly strained, is easier than eating a plate of greens. But don’t expect it to taste like a juice box. If you’re not fond of the way veggies taste, experiment with adding more apple.
I find this juice to be refreshing, but I don’t think green juice is any kind of miracle food, and I don’t buy into cleanses. Still, it is a great way to restart. Had a bad diet day? Green juice puts me back on track and adds nutrients to my life.
- 8 stalks celery
- 1 large cucumber
- 15 stalks dinosaur kale (the flat, not curly, type)
- 1 lime, skin removed
- 1 large green apple (2, if you need more sweetness), peeled and cored
Wash veggies well. I fill the sink a few times and work my way through the kale, as bugs like to stick to the backs of the leaves. Cut everything to fit your juicer chute (although celery is thin enough to fit, you should cut it into shorter pieces).
Juice all ingredients, but alternate as you go. Celery can help push through softer cucumber and apple.
Strain juice to remove extra fiber, if desired. Consume immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 180 calories, 2 g fat, no saturated fat or cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 8 g protein.
Mariko Jackson blogs about family and food at thelittlefoodie.com. Her column runs on the last Wednesday of the month. Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.