Monday mornings after Super Bowl Sundays are the absolute worst.

Even if your team wins.

On this day–every single year–it’s particularly painful to get everyone up and out the door.

Need I mention the Super Bowl of 2008? Jesse came home from Pete’s Super Bowl party (having not had any pop by the way, which we had hoped would help tremendously) and found himself sobbing on the floor next to our bed, talking about the “hole where his heart should be” because he had no friends and nothing to look forward to in life. This, alternating with his own realization that he had not had a single vegetable all day.

Super Bowl 2008 is a reminder to our family of just how cautiously we should approach food and drink on Super Bowl Sunday.

While we now make a conscious effort to at least be aware of our sugar and salt intake during the game (hey awareness is a GREAT start), adding lack of adequate sleep from staying up later than usual to the foods of choice at Super Bowl parties, and you’ve got a potent mix of negative emotions and physical infirmities.

One thing that Dylan and I did to make our game-watching nachos more healthy last night was to add a ton of spinach (cut into thin strips) and red pepper to them. We added veggies to every layer, so they ended up on equal footing with the cheese. As delicious as ever–more so, actually–the fresh veggies helped to remediate the negative effects of all of the salt and oil. We also added frozen blueberries to our pop. While I realize I’m not describing nutritional perfection here, we felt much better and still enjoyed ourselves thoroughly with our treats.

Too bad we stayed up too late…

So on this post-Super Bowl Monday, I’m sharing Anna Dvorak’s blog post of a week or so ago as a sort of PSA (public service announcement). After all, if you do nothing else but find ways to add lots more fresh veggies to the foods you already eat, you will be doing your body and overall health a huge favor.

Here’s a link to the full blog post (context well worth reading)…

And below is her at-a-glance list of ways to add more plant foods into your diet.

I’ve incorporated lots of these techniques into our cooking during the last year and my kids now don’t even look twice when thinly sliced kale makes an appearance in their homemade chicken noodle soup and when they find lots of carrots in their chili.

I hope this helps with the detox today, friends!







21 Ways to Eat More Plant Foods (and Boost the Nutrition on Your Plate)

1. Keep a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter so that fruit is always visible and accessible for snacks.
2. Thaw frozen organic blueberries or organic mixed berries in a glass jar in the fridge; add to breakfast oatmeal, use for yogurt topping or as smoothie ingredient.
3. Chop up vegetables at the beginning of the week and refrigerate in an airtight container for easy, affordable snacking.
4. Pack a piece of fruit and a mixed container of veggies every day – for snacks, for errands, and to eat with lunch.
5. Add greens to your fruit smoothies.
6. Add greens to your pizzas.
7. No matter what you’re eating for dinner, add a salad with 1 or two extra (colorful) veggies on it and add a side vegetable (corn, potatoes and green beans don’t count).
8. Make sure that at least 1/2 – 3/4 of your plate is green and colorful.
9. Stir a green leafy vegetable into your favorite soup – escarole, chard, spinach or kale are all good options.
10. Choose a different colored fruit for every snack.
11. Put vegetables on, under, and in between your sandwiches.
12. If you’re eating an egg, have it with vegetables.
13  Make your next batch of homemade mac and cheese with half pasta, half cauliflower.
14. Better yet, make your next batch of homemade mac and cheese with all cauliflower!
15. Eat fruit with nut butter for your own “power bar”.
16. Make your own batch of dried fruit and seeds for your “energy snack”.
17. Switch to dipping your hummus, guacamole, baba ganoush or yogurt dip with sliced vegetable “chips”.
18. Blend fresh spinach into your hummus or yogurt dip.
19. Eat your cheese or nut butter with an apple instead of crackers.
20. Eat a main dish salad once a week for dinner and use protein for your topping, not the main course. (2-3 times a week in summer!)
21. Count your veggie and fruit servings every day for a week to get used to the idea of how much to consume.

Anna Dvorak’s Star Tribune Voices Blog