What happened to the bounty?

Did you know? Fruits and veggies should be the bulk of our diet
By Paul Viau | Nov 15, 2012
Photo by: File photo HAVE A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING — Enjoy your harvest feast day with friends and family. You can go shopping another day.

Thanksgiving is upon us, but it has been Donald Trumped by a retail onslaught like we have never seen before. What used to be a quiet celebration of America’s bounty has become a race to buy more of America’s booty. And the mega-marts are leading the charge.

This week Walmart, K-Mart and Target stores announced that their Black Friday sales would begin on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). So plan to eat lightly this Thanksgiving, and be ready to forgo the football game and tryptophan napping. The charge is on. Throw down that turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole (with marshmallow topping), green bean casserole (with canned onion crisps), pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Eat earlier, then head to the stores and start Christmas shopping — or should I say X-mas shopping.

There are only 32 days left before Christmas!

Sadly lost in all this consumption shuffle is the real meaning of Thanksgiving — celebrating the bounty of the harvest with a feast of all the goodness the comes from the earth. As a kid, I remember the cornucopia (not just the turkey) being the symbol for Thanksgiving.

Did you know? — The only cornucopia I have seen this season was at the Fitness Challenge, at their closing “Healthy Taste of Haywood” event, at the table sponsored by Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market. There it was, in all its splendor — a large horn of plenty symbolizing abundance with overflowing fruits, vegetables and herbs.
I couldn’t help to pause and reflect on that symbol of a bountiful harvest as a reminder of what we all should be eating more fruits and vegetables.

If you look at the so-called “healthy plate” that has replaced the outdated food pyramid as the USDA’s model for eating, a full half of every plate — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — should be fruits and vegetables. That leaves just one-quarter of the plate (each) for meat/proteins and grains/starches.

You can get all the details at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

I don’t know about your average plate, by mine doesn’t quite match up to what the USDA recommends. It’s hard to impossible to pack the recommended seven to 13 daily servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet, but it’s a cause worth the effort.
So this Thanksgiving, make your own holiday centerpiece. (Sorry, Martha Stewart.)
Fill a platter, basket or cornucopia with fruits and vegetables and have it front and center, as a symbol of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Then keep that platter full of fruits and vegetables on the counter in your kitchen. Refill it often to make fruits and vegetables the easy, go-to snack for your whole family. If you get really inspired, you can use fruits and vegetables as stocking stuffers this Christmas for the little ones in your life.

Oh dear, now I’m starting to sound like Bud Dirscherl, Lone Fitness Ranger, but you get the drift. Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.