I'm really working hard on getting five-a-day going with my 83-year-old mother to the point that I have decided why not count soup as a vegetable serving? Thanks to one of my favorite websites, which happens to be 101cookbooks.com, I have a recipe for Spinach-Zucchini soup. This soup is so flavorful and rich and creamy it should qualify as comfort food. And it's easy to make! Also vegan, in case you care about dairy products in your food. There is absolutely no ingredient in it that is not good for you - no animal byproduct, no dairy. It's exquisite! It's not exactly something I can whip up when I get home from work, since I often want a quick-fix for dinner (quick and healthy). But it can be made the night before - it works well that way and lasts for a few good days.
I have had some recent success getting my mother to start incorporating more fruit into her diet. I sometimes feel like asking her, "now who's the mother?" because here I am telling her to "eat your fruits and vegetables!" But this is the best time of year to get those fruits in your meals - there is so much available, and they're all so juicy and sweet and yummy. A friend of mine suggested getting some watermelon and chopping it up into nice-sized chunks, then putting the chunks in the freezer for a nice frozen treat. I'll be giving that a try in the next few days.
You have to understand that this mission of 5-a-day is extremely important to me because I just came off of a diet where I lost 35 pounds about one year ago. The main thrust of this diet was to eat well-balanced meals. I have kept the weight off for about a year, maybe a little more. So when I found out my mother doesn't really care if she gets fruits and vegetables with her meals or not, I was kind of concerned. To her, breakfast is a cup of coffee and a piece of buttered toast. Lunch is sandwich and chips. Dinner is a piece of meat with some frozen vegetable stuff that she cooks on the stovetop. Then those 3 meals are interspersed with a lot of snacks e.g., chips, crackers, cookies, etc.- that kind of crap. Now that she is staying at my house, she doesn't get that stuff. At my house, she gets rice cakes, graham crackers, yogurt, fruit, and oh yes, the obligatory piece of dark chocolate that we cannot live without! I hope this will have a beneficial impact on her health, which at this point is good in spite of her age. She could stand to eat a little better, and I think I am steering her in the right direction.