Science Magazine

A Wave of Vegetable Pride

Posted on the 08 October 2020 by Jkinyoun @jkinyoun
A Wave of Vegetable Pride
 Glowing neurons flashed through my subconscious- the feeling of pride. It was a moment of relief from the day-to-day failings of a parent- unfinished homework, missed timelines, mess not cleaned...You see, my daughter’s choice of topic for “how to” for her third grade writing assignment was “How to be responsible.” As shown to me by her teacher, she wrote “You can prepare a tray of vegetables including cauliflower, carrots, celery and green pepper for the family to munch on before dinner.” So if I have achieved nothing else as a parent,I have instilled a palate for healthy snacks. (Ok, the palate for vegetables is stretching it a bit, but at least they know they are healthy.)  But she knows. This sense of nutrition will follow her through her life, dictate her weight as an adult, and even potentially save her from life threatening conditions.
I looked at my own face in the mirror closely as I dried the water and rubbed it with a towel. Not only was it clear of all blemishes, if was actually glowing a peachy tan color typical of the end of summer- except that summer had not yet started. I felt energetic too- like I could do a full workout in the gym after an already full day of work. I knew it had to be true- my temporary change of diet during Lent had to be the difference. Husband and I had switched to a dark green vegetable, legume and fruit diet- the diet of a vegan. And our skin showed the evidence.
Diet is so important for everyone and especially important for developing children. Their hydration improves with watery vegetables like celery, their eyesight benefits from carrots, and all digestion seems to benefit from various kinds of lettuces- kale, spinach, romaine, to name a few. Not only does a vegetable diet cause the outward glow of healthy skin but it is complemented by increased function of internal organs as well.
I happen to be newly familiar with how easy it is to grow cucumbers- as I just harvested my own first batch of fresh cucumbers from my garden. In Southern California, the main impediment to keeping a vegetable garden in the backyard seems to be caterpillars- they ravaged and killed my bush beans. However, with the help of a little cardboard underneath the pots for my lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes; and a few organic pesticides like neem oil, spinosad, and Bt, my harvest is starting to yield mouth watering results.  The lettuces especially were nearly a caterpillar hotel until I sprayed the Bt and added cardboard boxes under the pots. I don’t know exactly why cardboard deters caterpillars but it seems to be helping. My bush beans weren’t so lucky. They were the first plant that sprouted and yielded results- but I hadn’t yet figured out I needed the Bt and the cardboard. That plant turned into pitiful stalks of yellowish green sticks- no remaining leaves but a few browning beans that didn’t look very appealing.

A Wave of Vegetable Pride

A brand new cucumber from my garden

A Wave of Vegetable Pride

Cucumber and tomatoes with a glimpse of my caterpillar ravaged bush beans on the far right. There are no leaves left- the caterpillars demolished it. Everything grown from seed.

For ideas on vegetables that can be cut raw and served on a tray- here is a list of important nutritional vegetables. Each has a slightly different health benefit but all are beneficial to an overall balanced diet for adults and children.

#1 Avocadoes

#2 Bell Peppers

#3 Broccoli

#4 Carrots


#5 Cauliflower

#6 Celery

#7 Sweet Corn

#8 Cucumbers

#9 Green Beans & Pea Pods

#10 Potatoes

#11 Spinach 

#12 Sweet Potatoes

#13 Tomatoes

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