Luck sure helps

I have a few things working in my favor as I embark on this Real Food journey.

I have ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables year 'round. And for at least four months each year there are Farmer's Markets just a short bike ride from my house. My family can go weeks without eating meat and not really notice, so increasing vegetable eating will primarily mean reducing our pasta consumption. Seems easier than swapping out meat as the star of dinner.

My hubby just celebrated a birthday of significance, which has him on high-alert for health issues. He is in terrific shape, maintained by playing full-court basketball about 4 times each week. But he worries about what's going on that cannot be seen (and hesitates to have his worries confirmed by any medical probes). His concern allows me to offer him more healthful breakfast and dinner options without too much protest.

My daughter, who just turned 12, has been schooled about proper nutrition since fifth grade. Her 6th grade health class watched SuperSize me She has not requested fast food of any kind since (except for Wendy's - that darn commercial that says 'Way better than fast food. It's Wendy's!' I guess has her believing that it is not actually fast food). She is eager to eat whatever recipes she selects from a cook book. And she is pretty open to eating whatever you put in front of her. Unless, it includes beans. Or asparagus. Oh, or seafood. Not so much as a fishstick for this kid. One sneaky trick I have used over the years with her is to blend beans into whatever soup or sauce I am making. If she cannot actually see a bean, she never complains.

And, I just invested in a Vita Mix, which is so powerful, it can blend anything into oblivion. This machine has given my hubby and daughter a jump start on increasing fruit consumption (replacing sugary cereal consumption) with incredibly good smoothies in the morning. After I make all-fruit smoothies for them, I toss a bunch of greens in the Vita-Mix and make a green smoothie (though commonly it is purple due to the blueberries or blackberies winning the pigment battle) for myself.

Hubby and kid will not touch a smoothie that has spinach or romaine in it, no matter how much I say "Mmmmmmm....." when I am drinking mine.

The Vita-Mix gives me one additional extraordinary power, which should help guide us down the Real Food path. It grinds grain. So instead of having to use store-bought, bleached, refined, white, nutritionless flour, I can buy whole wheat berries and grind my own flour fresh at home before baking.

And in the biggest picture, we are fortunate that we are seeking to maintain the good health we know we are lucky to have. We are genetically blessed - neither my husband or I have heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's or commonly inherited cancers in our families. No one is immune to any of these, of course, regardless of how pristine one's family tree. (And maybe we're at some extra risk because we're never really on the lookout for anything specific.) But having 96-year-old grandparents living independently sure does make one smug about her gene pool.

We also have the same challenges many others face. We both work full time and my job often requires travel on weekends. My daughter is involved in activites outside of school, too, which means our schedules are never the same day to day or week to week. Meal-planning and routine food shopping is going to help, I think.

So, my family is on board with this effort and I have access to everything I need to achieve it. It's gonna be easy, right?