Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

As a community, the residents of Reno, Nevada are not so healthy. We show up high on charts for obesity - especially for children - and low on charts for fitness. There is an opportunity to change that. The not-for-profit hospital I work for issued a Community Health Challenge in celebration of its 150th birthday this month. We have a tracker at renown150.org, and we have high-profile folks in the community challenging others to state their number and track it.

Its going to take individuals like me sharing with others the enthusiasm they have for joining the Community Health Challenge. We need to share our enthusiasm with others to keep the initiative moving. I personally commit to sharing my enthusiasm for the campaign through a wide range of channels.

My number is FIVE. I am eating five fruits and vegetables a day. It's easy enough, and being a colon cancer survivor, I can tell you that my digestive system is a whole lot happier when I strive for five.

I have five guiding principles in my pursuit that all begin with S:  Shared, Strategic, Sustainable, Self-Grown, and Sumptuous.


Most importantly I am bringing my 10-year-old son and my husband along for the ride. But I won't miss any opportunities to share with extended family and friends.


Eating well is really one big design challenge that includes the layout of your kitchen, shopping habits, growing strategies and the various tools and components you have to make you quicker and more effective. I will be tweaking and improving on the systems I have at my fingertips for being more effective in the kitchen and the garden.


Opportunities abound for recycling and creating a permaculture. I have projects lined up to become for self-sufficient and use fewer fossil fuels.


We grow very little food in Nevada and where I live at 6,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, we have a short growing season, but most don't realize how intense our winter sun is and what you can do gardening in your windows. I've been eating tomatoes, peppers and greens all winter that I'm growing in my living room.


The honest truth about eating five fruits and vegetables a day is that it can get tedious. To stay the course and keep it sumptuous, I must expand my cache of recipes. I'm studying "The Complete Book of Dressings" by Paulette Mitchell because I believe great dressings are the key to eating lots of high quality fruits and vegetables. I will need to push into other new cooking and growing skills if I am going to maintain my commitment to FIVE.

In my example, you can see that stating your number can form an entire foundation for healthy lifestyle. What's your number?

Views: 112

Comment by Caroline Malcolm on March 8, 2012 at 12:40pm

Inspirational post! Thanks, Sheila. I need to keep these principles and "5" in mind when I'm eating - sometimes it seems like I'm really unbalanced and my body feels it. This is a great idea to build a nutritional foundation!

I'll have to start keeping track of my numbers.

Comment by Sheila Hlubucek on March 9, 2012 at 8:34am

Caroline, please check back and let me know how you are doing in your own challenge. It's good to have company.

Comment by Marianne Smith on March 9, 2012 at 10:23am

Adding fruits and veggies to a healthy protein shake is a great way to eat several of your "Five" without much trouble.  I say "healthy" protein shake because there are many out there that are just chemical laden garbage.  I try to drink at least 1 shake (from Standard Process) every day.

Good luck with your 5!


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