Monday, February 4, 2013

Let's see what happens if we actually do this.

This is a basic one.  We've heard it a million times. "Eat more fruits and veggies." Blah Blah.

We all know we should, but why is it so hard to do?
Well, because junk tastes better.

But we all know we should. So let's try a little experiment. Let's do it, and see what happens.
What's the best way to make sure you get it done? Accountability. 

Even better, little people accountability.  If this is an option for you, I strongly encourage you to enlist your children to help you stay on track. No children? Borrow someone else's if you can. Children are excellent behavior police!
photo credit
Here's how it worked in this house.

First, I found a great link on Pinterest.
(How many awesome mommy moments start that way these days?)

I printed off a chart for each child, and one for me. I talked to them about serving size and why it's good to eat "colorfully."  Some of the kids were already sulking, while others were jumping-out-of-their-chairs excited. (A CHART! I LOVE filling in charts! Pass the carrots!)

Then, I told them about their incentive.

First, I thought about making it a competition- whoever eats most will win the grand prize. But as soon as that idea came up, two of my children had already quit trying. "I'll never beat Aggie, I never get to win, it's no fair."  So, I decided not to do a competition, but instead reward any child who got their 5 a day.

The reward? 
Anyone who meets the challenge will get have a friend over after school.

Week 1
Each child eagerly ate and checked off their 5 a day. They even tried a few new things, for the sake of adding color to the chart.  Each of the four older children met the challenge.  Playdates were scheduled, and there was much rejoicing all around.

Week 2
Mommy got sidetracked. I printed out charts on Monday, but didn't "help" them remember. One child, the one who loves the charts and checklist, faithfully filled hers out anyways. The others looked upon her with envy at the end of the week when she got her special prize: A little gift bag with a new book and a notepad.

Week 3
This week. New charts, and new motivation all  around. The incentive will be a "prize" instead of an activity, because we haven't quite finished the other play dates yet!

girls and charts!
  • The chart has room for 7 a day. I drew a line at 5 to show them their goal, then said they were free to go above and beyond. Some did.
  • It's important to make clear what counts as a serving and stick to it. The circles have lines down the middle so that they can also track their half-servings.
  • Non food incentives: Playdates, sleepovers, extra technology time, surprise gifts (trinkets, used books, etc! They don't have to be expensive!)
  • Shop smart! Don't you dare run out of healthy food for them when they are motivated! I admit I had to shop twice this week- but it's worth it to see my family filing itself on good stuff!
  • When someone was feeling ill, I flexed on the rules. "When we're sick, we need to listen to our bodies. So it's ok if you don't get your 5 today, but if you do eat, you need to eat healthy food, because that's what helps your body fight the illness." Then, I let that child "make up" for the missed food later in the week. No problem.

Your challenge this week: Get your 5 a day, and if you have children, encourage them to do it, too.  KEEP TRACK! Don't just estimate!

And while you do this, pay attention to how you feel. More or less satisfied? Craving less junk? More or less energy?

Suggested links
no excuses (Web Md)
Weak and Lovely- Read the series here
Join our facebook group for extra support!

Come back tomorrow for more, including, where's my husband in all of this?

I'd love to hear from you! Did you abandon your healthy eating plan this weekend?
Will you be accepting my challenge?


  1. It's funny I just happened upon this post. I was notorious for not eating my fruits and veggies. Like real bad. I'd have a huge plate of food, and then maybe one tiny little kernel of corn or a single string bean. Okay so that may be a slight exaggeration, but it was pretty bad.

    Until...One month ago I happened to be watching a few documentaries, and one of the one's I watched was call Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I totally felt like I could relate to the narrator, Joe., who goes on a 60 juicing diet and loses over 100 lbs and basically no longer needs all the medication he was taking to stay alive. After giving it a few weeks to sink it I went out and bought a juicer.

    Now on an average I have 3+ times my servings of fruits and veggies per day. I have NEVER felt this good. I've got the energy to workout harder, I wasn't really looking to lose weight, but boy have I lost it. More importantly my 20 month old daughter (who hates her fruits and veggies) loves it.

    If you are interested, just know that you don't have to take it to the extreme like Joe did. Just simply replacing one meal, or just drinking a glass as a snack will do wonders for you. I would also suggest that you carefully research and choose whichever brand is good for you. Hopefully sometime in the next few weeks I'll be posting a review for my Breville Juicer, so come check that out because I'll have tooonnnsss of my fave recipes.

    Sorry about the novel, but great post. And good luck with the challenge!


    1. Reese, I have been juicing for about a week now and it is AMAZING! I am so glad you came by! I look forward to your review and I am definitely goign to check out your recipes. It is a learning process- I have made some awful stuff, but also some stuff I really, really love! And I am AMAZED at the difference I feel in my body!

      That documentary is on my to-watch list :)

      Also, it's a short list, but here are some of the juicing recipies I like!

      and also, my 2 and 3yr old like the stuff too, even the GREEN stuff! I never would have predicted that!

  2. My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last week, and really it's a good thing. He knows now he has to take care of himself, and he's doing a great job so far (he was on a grouchy carb crave last night, but held strong). He hates exercise and vegetables and all that stuff, but I think diabetes will force him to make choices that will inadvertently keep heart disease, stroke, etc., at bay in 30 years.

    I grew up with my mom juicing (mostly carrots, apples and celery). We have a cheap juicer, but I just HATE throwing out all that pulp and fiber (even if it is in the compost pile).

    1. I know what you mean about the leftovers... is there anything else that can be done with them, other than composting?


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