The Jacksons, Week 27: Much Respect Due -- to Fruits and Veggies

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

deidra jackson salad picture

It was a pleasure to dig into all this leafy freshness at dinner the other day. Jack's is the one without the carrots. Credit: Deidra Jackson

With the apples, oranges and peaches piled high, gleaming and arched toward the ceiling, and the broccoli crowns and string beans looking fresh and crisp, Jack and I couldn't resist heading in their direction.

Instead of sidestepping the squash and the salads after we'd entered the supermarket superstore recently, we headed toward the fruits and vegetables. It seemed the natural thing to do.

We'll crack open a can if we have to, but we've been spoiled by the bright taste of fresh vegetables. And when we had run out of some of our favorite just-picked staples recently, we knew it was time to hit the store. We were pretty decent vegetable eaters before we joined the Healthy Families Challenge, but ever since, we go for edible greens and other fresh produce more often than not.

Wheeling our cart, I grabbed some of those green string beans and broccoli, spring mix and romaine lettuces, oranges and peaches, and -- I couldn't resist -- a rutabaga, which was calling my name. I've probably exceeded my limit as a human being for mentioning the turnip-like veggie by name within such a limited span, but as I first shared with you all four weeks ago, I absolutely love the stuff.

deidra jackson roasted teriyaki chicken picture

My version of roasted teriyaki chicken accompanied our veggies. Credit: Deidra Jackson

Our shopping, lately, has been focused. We scooted past the candy, just a few lunges beyond the fruits and vegetables, and then headed toward the back of the store, where we grabbed some two-percent milk, orange and grapefruit juices, and sports drinks. I'll be meeting with my nutritionist next week and I'd like to tell her that we've been good. In the past, she's told us to avoid shopping when we're hungry, to have a targeted grocery list to follow, and, of course, to choose fresh -- not processed -- foods that are low-sugar and low-fat.

The fluids were largely for Jackson, my son, who isn't operating at 100 percent these days as he battles tree and grass allergies. Lately, his diet has been supplemented by courses of antihistamine, antibiotics, Sudafed and Robitussin.

He told me yesterday that he felt "like a piece of paper."

That really hurt me. He said he felt weak and wobbly and just plain terrible. And from time to time, he'll lose his sense of taste. I'll be glad when Jack can get rid of this round of seasonal allergies.

I forced him outside briefly one beautiful, clear day to do a few exercises with me on the driveway and in the backyard. We both shared some moves we've routinely performed in our respective fitness programs; he demonstrated "windmills," which are his favorite arm stretching exercises from fencing class, and I guided him in a light abdominal workout, similar to the one my personal trainer takes me through.



It's funny, though, how we both ended the brief home-training session doing jumping jacks and lunges, familiar moves we know all so well.

Aside from Jack being under the weather, we had a good week, which I ended by baking sweet potatoes (for him), cooking diced rutabagas (for me), roasting teriyaki chicken wings, and preparing crisp spring salads.

Jack is down, but he's not out, and luckily, his appetite hasn't lost any steam.

Me? I'm soon to get back on those bleeping scales and see where I stand, numbers-wise. I know my body is changing and I'm losing weight (I can tell by my baggy clothes), but honestly, it'll be a kick in my gut to see that I've either gained weight or that I haven't lost any. I know muscle mass is heavier than fat, but still, people.

I have definite commitment issues when it comes to the scale. By next week, I vow to suck it up and see how my progress registers among those little lines.

I'm building up my nerve now ...

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.