Wednesday, January 18, 2012

vegetable dilemma

Well, it seems that winter has finally arrived. Despite the colder weather, it is quite beautiful out. So beautiful that during my run on Saturday, I managed to distract myself and sprain my ankle for the 3rd time this running season. Not fun. Yoga, it is.

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The weekend wasn’t all bad. One of my favorite Saturday morning activities is making breakfast creations such as giant omelets with tomatoes, kale, onion, and local hot pepper cheese.

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And I’m still hooked on roasted root vegetables over lettuce or quinoa and drizzled with tahini (and sometimes hot sauce). I know I’m supposed to like vegetables as a dietitian, but I really love them…seriously…and not just because they are good for me. I see a lot of kids in clinic who hate veggies, and it makes me wonder how much patterning is involved. As in, parents feed children baby junk food (Gerber Wagon wheels, random crackers, cookies, juice, etc) and continue these feeding habits until kids are old enough to declare they hate all types of fruit and vegetables (exceptions: french fries and corn).

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Sometimes I wonder what things would look like if veggies and fruit, whole grains, and healthy protein were staples. Sometimes I wonder if I would see so many teenagers with abdominal pain because they are eating pop-tarts and chips for breakfast and energy drinks and pop while scarfing fries and tater tots at lunch. Those things come at cost, and the cost quite often is constipation, weight concerns, and abdominal pain. It makes me sad to realize what the American diet has become and that people are often more willing to live with pain or take drugs vs paying attention to what they’re eating. I get dirty looks when I say words like whole, unprocessed foods, like I'm suggesting some kind of Asian water drip torture.

I’ve been experimenting with a few different recipes, but in the meantime if you’re interested in some good eats for the rest of your week/weekend…

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butternut squash and apple soup :: goat cheese quesadillas :: whole wheat oatmeal waffles :: spiralized zucchini and polenta

So, I’m curious. Did you grow up eating vegetables and fruit, and do you like them now? Or do you just eat them because you know they’re good for you??

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18 comments:

  1. I grew up eating them but didn't love them myself until a few years ago... but we also didn't try more adventurous recipes because my dad wasn't up for them.

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  2. I grew up eating fruits and veggies but it wasn't until the last few years that i really fell in love with things like butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and beets! Like you, I can genuinely say I love vegetables!

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  3. I love vegetables, growing them is my passion. I love winter because of all the wonderful winter vegetables. I have looking for a Butternut squash/apple soup. I first tasted it at IKEA and loved it and we can always use more recipes for zucchini.

    Thanks!

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  4. I was a horribly picky child, and I mainly just think I wasn't all that hungry ever. My main foods were vanilla yogurt, apples, cucumbers, and rye bread. Not fabulous, but not too bad.

    I get really confused when someone says they hate all vegetables...really? All of them? You can find a way to make vegetables that taste good (even without smothering them in cheese...), and at some point I think people need to grow up and just eat some healthy food. Drives me crazy. I also wonder if people's eating habits would be different if we started them on healthy foods at a young age instead of offering chicken fingers as the kids meal.

    Did you see that they added fiber to Splenda? I mean really now...

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  5. I think I'm like you, I love vegetables naturally, not so much fruits because o don't like sweet food in general, so even I know fruits are good I dont eat that much, but I live in vegetables!!! :)

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  6. I'm with you Emily, I don't just like veggies, I LOVE them! I have my mom to thank for that one. And she did force me to eat them often (even though they say "forcing" isn't good") and I know that's why I love them. She always made them palatable and she inspired me to come up with new ways to create veggies on my own. Today I'm actually making broccoli brownies :) Yesterday I spiralized zucchini and used it in a shepherd's pot pie.

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  7. mmm i love vegetables now but i remember growing up, i hardly ate them! i was vegetarian in high school and only ate cheese and carbs. horrible! i feel sluggish and incomplete without eating veggies every day. roasted veggies are delicious~

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  8. You're totally right about eating habits starting with what parents feed their children... my mom always made sure we had at least three veggies a day. I guess the habit stuck... I try to do the same now as an adult and actually enjoy it (shocker!)

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  9. I grew up eating fruit and veggies but it was always as a side dish to the main event -- meat. I didn't really know what to do with them to make them interesting. Heating corn or peas in water was not interesting!
    Then when my daughters went vegetarian and brought home the book THE CHINA STUDY - I started to see the ramifications of the typical American diet and decided to make veggies the main event!! I'm still learning, but now I spend the food budget on food items that spice up salads and veggies and don't use as much meat and I'm left eating food I feel much better about eating and I feel better too!!
    You go - Emily and Bethany! (my daughters)

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  10. I grew up eating a moderate amount of fruits and veggies, but once I became a vegetarian my love for them reached a new level!

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  11. I grew up with parents who ate everything! My mom pretty much kept us away from chips and soda, and we were exposed to dishes from lots of different cultures. Now I LOVE my veggies...I often crave them!

    Love that first picture...so cozy.

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  12. I'm still not a lover of all veggies, but as I've gotten older (cooking for my family) I definitely have found a new appreciation for veggies and my tastes have changed thru the years for the better. My mom is not an adventurous cook, but we typically had veggies at all meals. Her parents lived thru the depression and were poor their entire lives, I'm guessing that had something to do with how her tastes developed. My dad comes from a family of farmers and I'm sure they ate only what was available to them in terms of what they grew and what was in season. Our generation has no excuse not to eat a variety of veggies. So far my two kids (third one is only 4 mths, so I can't count him yet) are great eatters. Sure they like the junk and if we go out they can get corndogs and fries (and if a veggie or fruit is an option we order one and then split the fries and healthy choice between the two so that we they are getting some nutrients, but also getting to eat the occassional junk). But it's not something we serve at home. As for myself, I love spinach! Growing up I thought it only came out of a can. Green smoothie, salad, stuffed in an enchilada or pasta, I love it! Thanks for keeping an inspirational blog!

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  13. Great post! Things would look a lot different if produce, lean proteins and whole grains were staples. I ate some veggies growing up, but so many more now. I really noticed that my tastes have changed over the years, and for the better! Have a good weekend!

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  14. What a great post! I completely agree with you...I feel like kids grow up eating a certain way and then have a hard time adjusting to healthier foods. Not to mention, they model their behaviors after the parents themselves who, often times, make bad choices as well. I loved both fruits and veggies growing up, especially veggies. And I love them now :) I remember going to all you can eat buffets with my family and I would make my plate as colorful as I can :)

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  15. Em - all these meals/veggies look uber good! I'm sorry to hear you sprained your ankle again... get well soon!!!!

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  16. I hope your ankle gets better soon, ouch =/ I am a big fan of veggies and I grew up eating them but it wasn't a big deal. That was what we ate and my parents didn't force the situation. Of course I ate my fair share of junk as a kid too. I just feel so much better eating fruits and veggies. It is sad what the American diet has become and all the medication and chronic diseases that go along with it.

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  17. Hi Emily, I am a Korean living in HK and I stumbled upon your blog sometime ago. I have been trying to have a balanced diet without too much meat and find your blog very informative.I heard quinoa was good but have not tried yet. I will try making roast vegetable with quinoa tomorrow. :-) Thanks for sharing the information. Sanna

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  18. Hope your ankle heals fast. Take care. Sanna

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