Jeremy Stein - Journal

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Dietary Guidelines 2005

Four fruits and five vegetables a day Three cups of milk a day‽ 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily‽ The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans seem to apply better to a calf than a computer professional.

Why didn’t they just tell us to drink more water and leave it at that? I like water; I could do the 8 glasses. (Despite the importance of excess water held by many (wrongly), the dietary guidelines say the Committee makes no special recommendations concerning water intake)

The truth is, I fall far short of these guidelines. And, try as I might to find excuses, the truth is that these recommendations are well-founded.

I’ve decided that it’s time to take action. I am going to try, for one week, to follow these guidelines. I hope Wegmans keeps its produce section well-stocked. (Where is the produce section?)

There’s an apocryphal story of a casino owner who wanted to quit smoking. He allegedly rented a billboard with his face and the caption “if you catch me smoking, I’ll pay you $10,000” (or some other large sum, depending on who tells the story). The threat of public humiliation is great motivation. I will post the food I eat and track how I’m doing against the guidelines. Check back often!

Here are the final results:

Exercise (7)
1.5 hours
Fruits (28)
Dark green veg (6)
Orange veg (4)
Legumes (6)
Starchy veg (6)
Other veg (13)
Whole grain (21)
Other grain (21)
Meat and beans (38.5)
Milk (21)
14 0/td>

Well, it doesn’t look so good. I was working on my sermon this week, so I used that as an excuse to not exercise every day. I did make a concerted effort to consume more milk, yogurt and cheesecake [kidding on the cheesecake]. Whew — the USDA wants us to drink a lot of milk! I bought carrot sticks — I like carrot sticks — but I guess I’m not a big eater of dark green vegetables. I can’t think of anything besides spinach, and I’m no Popeye.

Perhaps I’ll do this again sometime. Spinach sandwhiches on whole grain bread, anyone?

October 13, 2005 3 Comments.


  1. shannon replied:

    Great idea! The following the guidelines, I mean, not the interrobang. :)
    Could you simplify your detail chart? I want to be able to look at it and immediately tell how far you are from your goal for the day. Are you seriously going to try 60 minutes of exercise a day?!

    October 13th, 2005 at 7:21 pm. Permalink.

  2. shannon replied:

    Where is Tara’s chart?

    Are you going to add an exercise bar to the chart?

    October 14th, 2005 at 6:56 pm. Permalink.

  3. shannon replied:

    It’s only fair to add that I am wildly fascinated by this post…thus the urgent requests for details!

    October 14th, 2005 at 6:57 pm. Permalink.

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