Today’s daily dozen meal plan starts with fresh fruit and ends with wholesome whole wheat pasta, plus I’ll explain how to maximize the benefits of eating whole grains.


Breakfast_textwp-1473665071983.jpgToday’s breakfast is canary melon and fresh figs plus the usual dates.

  • 1/4 canary melon
  • 2 figs
  • 1/4 c. dates

Checklist items: 3 other fruits (3 out of 18 servings)



I need just a quick little post-run snack, so I’m grabbing a small fistful of nuts & berries.

  • 1/4 c. hazelnuts
  • 1/2 c. kumquats

Checklist items: berries, nuts (2 out of 18 servings)



I’m throwing together a green salad for lunch. Nothing fancy. But very yummy since much of it is out of my own garden.

  • 1 c. borlotti beans
  • 2 c.  salad greens
  • 1/2 c. red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. cucumber
  • 1 T flaxseed, ground

I tossed it with My Basic Dressing, which you can find here.

Checklist items: 2 beans, 2 greens, 2 other vegetables, flaxseeds (7 out of 18 servings)



wp-1473763262330.jpgBefore I make my pasta salad, there’s something I need to consider – a phytonutrient in whole grains called phytic acid, which helps in fighting cancer, reduces cholesterol & triglycerides, improves blood sugar control, prevents osteoporosis, and works as an antioxidant. However, this same phytonutrient inhibits mineral absorption, leading to lower uptake of things like iron, which could be problematic for people who are prone to anemia. So, what do you do? How about eating whole grains along with foods that enhance mineral absorption? Garlic and onion do just that, so whenever you have whole grains, just throw a little garlic or onion or both into the mix. Another simple solution if you don’t like to eat garlic or onion, or it doesn’t go well with your meal – eat an extra half serving of the mineral source. That’s all it takes to get the full benefit of phytic acid (see sources). Now for some pasta salad!

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pasta, cooked & drained
  • 1 c. fresh peas
  • 1/2 c. broccoli
  • 1/4 c. onion
  • 1/4 c. zucchini
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • a few Ts each of parsley, lovage & chives

For a dressing, I used the tomato basil dressing you’ll find here.

Checklist items: 1 beans, cruciferous, 2 other vegetables, spices, 3 whole grains (8 out of 18 servings)

Taking account of the day:

20 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything today, plus 2 extra servings of other vegetables, or 1 extra serving of other vegetables and 1 extra serving of whole grains, depending on how you want to count the corn.


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