February 06, 2024

A Complete Daily Dozen

As I've said several times, my health focus for 2024 is to eat more vegetables. I've been really interested in Dr. David Greger's research and I *love* his books: "How Not To Die", "How Not To Diet", and now I'm listening to the audiobook of "How Not To Age". If I was a faster reader, I'd love to read them and take notes--but they are *very* long books. "How Not To Age" is over 24 hours on audiobook! They are fascinating, though, and loaded with research.

Dr. Greger has a list called the "Daily Dozen", which is a list of the ideal things to include in your diet each day. I love that he says it's an aspirational list and not to overthink it. (You know I'm a total overthinker.) I use it as a guide to push me in the right direction, but I don't expect to check off the entire list every day. Also, the list is meant to be the minimum intake. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat beyond what's on the list.

(The app is free and there aren't any ads or subscriptions or anything. Dr. Greger's work is non-profit because he doesn't have a hidden agenda--just a desire to learn and share facts from tons of research.)

On Saturday, I was so ready to get out of the house. Jerry and I went to Ann Arbor for Salvation Army, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. We don't have TJ's or WF near us, so it's kind of an event to go, hahaha. We bought the produce we'd need for the week as well as some odd and hard-to-find or unique ingredients.

Yesterday, I realized that I got in the whole Daily Dozen! I took pictures (sometimes I post pictures of memorable food in a private Instagram account) so I thought I'd share the day's eats on this post. First, here is the checklist (when you tap on each item in the app, it gives more specific info). I didn't log this into a calorie counting app, but a quick guesstimate for the day is about 1600 calories.

Breakfast was rolled oats (uncooked, because they just sounded better that way), blueberries, banana, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and soy milk. I usually eat Grape Nuts instead of oats, but since the oats are healthier, I'm going to try to have them more often. [As far as the list, this counted as whole grains, berries, another fruit, and flaxseed]

My latest obsession has been cucumbers with hummus--I cannot get enough! This counted as an "other" vegetable and two servings of beans.

Jerry bought me a few Asian pears that he'd found and this was the last one. Usually I eat fruit like apples and pears with the skin, but Asian pears have a tougher skin so I peel them. This counted as an "other" fruit.

Dinner was SO good! Ethiopian Collard Greens & Beans, from the "How Not To Diet" cookbook, served over red quinoa. Jerry and I both loved this. On the Daily Dozen, this checked off beans, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, one "other" vegetable, and a ton of spices. I also had a small salad with it, which counted for my leafy greens.

These are all the spices that were in the dish above.

In the evening, I still needed one more fruit and nuts. Usually I have pistachios and an apple, but I was kind of full from dinner, so I had a few dates with almond butter.

My B12 supplement

I got in lots of water (recommended is six 12-oz glasses and I definitely reached that). This is the tumbler that Ava, Eli's girlfriend, gave me for Christmas. It makes me feel good <3

As far as exercise, I didn't count minutes (because that would be overthinking for me)--I just did my run in the morning and went for a walk later.

I really like the Daily Dozen app; it definitely helps me to think about my choices before I eat. And I've loved adding more vegetables where I can. Jerry has been enjoying it, too. He started a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class yesterday. He loves HIIT and likes the structure of going to a class rather than doing it on his own. When he got home, he said that it was extremely humbling and it made him really want to be healthier, especially with his diet. Having him on board helps a lot!


  1. So exciting... I just told my husband I wanted to try an experiment, of all veggies and grains because I think animal fat is a trigger for my joints 🤔 although we don't eat red meat, I made meatloaf from ground turkey...and we eat fish and lamb..hardly anything else. Maybe you can do a post about how you gave up meats? Thanks for having your blog 😉

    1. Giving up meat, dairy, and eggs actually only took me 20 minutes, haha. I had no intentions of being vegan or even vegetarian. I went out to dinner with my family a couple of years ago and ate reuben pizza (my fave). That night, I couldn't sleep (not because of the pizza--I only mentioned the pizza because it's a very non-vegan meal) and fell down a rabbit hole on YouTube. Somehow, I came across a documentary called Dominion. I only made it through 20 minutes and haven't eaten a single animal product ever since!

  2. I'm looking forward to listening to these books. Just a note, the author's name is Michael Greger. Thanks for your amazing content!

    1. Thank you for pointing out my typo! (I corrected it now.) I must have mentioned his name 50 times recently, so now I'm wondering if I was spelling it wrong the whole time!

    2. Don't want to pile on but yeah, it's mispelled in your other posts about him too.

      Mistakes happen!

  3. Mmmm. This sounds good! And you're so lucky that Jerry's on board with you. Ed is most of the time and it's a big deal.

    1. I love that Ed does the cooking, but he remains open-minded about what to cook!


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