One of my new year’s resolutions was to eat 3 fruits or vegetables a day on average. It’s not a very ambitious goal, but I find I am an over achiever and there are certain goals where it is quite painful to overachieve. Going from eating an occasional fruit or vegetable to eating, say, 10 a day happens to be one of those cases where more is not better. Since my real goal is to find a sustainable balance, I figure there’s nothing to gain by making myself miserable.
It’s January 3rd today and I’ve managed to eat 5 fruits or vegetables for two days straight. Now, we are headed out for breakfast and it feels like the last meal of a vacation, which I guess technically, it is. I am hard pressed to muster the strength to order oatmeal and eat a banana. Instead, I order “scattered ‘taters” with cheese, bacon, and an egg over medium.
When it comes, I slide the egg off its plate and make a stack. The puddle of grease the egg leaves behind is only slightly less disconcerting than the pool of grease under the hash browns. I try sliding the whole stack uphill while tilting the plate, allowing the grease to run to the far side of the plate in the hope of minimizing the damage to my arteries. After eating every last bite, we head out the door stuffed and decide we have enough time to run over to the grocery store.
We are unprepared with no bags or a list. We go inside and start grabbing the supplies we need, trying not to overfill the cart as we load up, cognizant that we’re going to be carrying our groceries home in paper bags. As we work our way around the store, a steady rumbling starts, building to the unmistakeable sound of pouring rain on a metal roof. We decide Pat will run home and get both reusable grocery bags and a car. While Pat returns to get the car, I start piling on the groceries.
I pick up watercress, celery, radishes, pears, and pine nuts for my favorite salad. I throw in a nice loaf of bread, creamy tomato soup, soy milk, and avocados. The cart is overflowing at this point. Fortunately, Pat returns before I add more. Of course, by the time we leave the store, the rain has stopped and the sun is shining. We laugh when we walk outside.
My watercress salad doesn’t fully make up for my grease-pool breakfast, but the flavor combined with the feeling of eating health makes me think I could eat healthy all the time. As I scoop up the last bite of salad and the sweetness of the pear mixes perfectly with the spice of the watercress, I remember the quote from Meryl Streep above the produce section, “It is strange that the produce manager has more to do with my children’s health than their pediatrician” and smile.