Finding Grace in the 5-a-day challenge

5 a day
I am finding grace in vegetables and fruits. Let me explain…Part of the wellness program here at “the” hospital involves 30-day challenges; last month was water. We had to drink a swimming pool of it.

This month it is 5 fruits and veggies per day. This is getting a little burdensome for me as I rarely eat 5 servings of anything that doesn’t end in “ocolate”. There is a swirling whirlpool of things for me to remember and adding 5 fruits and vegetables every day for everyday has almost maxed-out my capacity for obsession.

The burden was especially poignant last night at 11:30, when I bolted straight up out of a ColinFirth dream and screamed,

“I only got 4!”

I slid, baggy sox and baggy-eyed across a newly waxed kitchen floor to the ice box, grabbed and devoured, a cup of carrots like a dog attacking a can of Alpo.

 {Closed-caption for the decade-impaired: 11:30pm is late night for those of us who work for a living. Ice box is another name for the appliance that holds the tofu, leftover Chinese, and also, in my case, cans of tennis balls.}

I approached this consumption problem with the trial-and-error of a scientist in a Mel Brooks’ movie. The answer: Smoothies!!! These two little smoothies are making it easier for me, 

Kale Apple Smoothie: Kale, of course being the latest IT vegetable.


Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie: a little taste of the islands when I add a tiny paper umbrella

Looking at the ingredients, I think I can get credit for two each, because if I ate everything separately, it would count for two.

Both were easy to make and I thought they tasted swell. But I also taught in a public high school for 17 years so my threshold of comfort may be a little suspect.

To gain perspective, I enlisted the help of two friends.

My friend, Clarice visited from California via Skype. She “loved/loved/loved” both smoothies but she is a turbo~vegetarian of the “don’t eat anything with a mother” tribe so, admittedly, she is a little partial to rooted things.

My other friend who came over in person for the taste test wants to be Anonymous, because perhaps she may also be a hospital employee.

Anonymous took one sip, wrinkled her nose, went to the freezer, retrieved then proceeded to put a scoop of Haagen-Daas vanilla-bean ice cream in each glass. She took a judicious gulp, and pronounced both drinks a success. Anonymous is a carnivore but gets queasy during NCIS, just so you have full disclosure.

And Anonymous is going to count them for 3. Each. Challenges like these bring out the crazy accounting side of us all.

So today, she is strutting around like a banty-rooster because she tallied 6 total for today. There was a tiny piece of kale in her tooth. Think I’ll wait just a bit to tell her. After I finish my apple.



%d bloggers like this: