Striving for 2 and 5

The government has recently launched the 2 fruits and 5 vegetables television ad, promoting the benefits of consuming more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. According to their website, adults need to eat at least 2 servings of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables not only for good health but also as a preventative measure against a number of diseases.

The website also states that since most Australians already eat half that amount, it won’t be that hard to consume the recommended amount because most people are already halfway there. On our part, I think that getting the recommended servings in our diets would take some conscious effort since we rarely have fruits or vegies. Not the best diet in the world, I know, and it seems like years of consuming more meat than fruits or vegetables are catching up on us. The needle in the bathroom scale has been steadily climbing with no signs of ever going down (at least if we continue our present eating habits).

So fruits and vegies, here we come. But how to do it? Gabriel’s not a big fan of vegetables so any dish I prepare would have to feature some meat, with the vegetables acting as extenders or side dishes. I browsed through the 2 fruit and 5 vegetables site for recipes but only found a very short list. Not to worry though, there is another government campaign called Go For Your Life, which promotes exercise as well as healthy eating and their website features hundreds of recipes for anyone to try.

But wait, won’t this lifestyle change wreak havoc to our budget? Fruits and vegetables could be a tad expensive after all and since I’m not really familiar with what’s in season (and thus cheaper) or not, this may very well blow our budget. Going back to the 2 fruit and 5 vegetables site, I found a consumer information pamphlet stating just that – go for value buy buying in season goods but it didn’t feature a list of what is in season when anywhere in the site. Google saved the day when I came across the Better Health Channel and found a page featuring the in-season fruits and vegetables for the month. As a bonus, clicking on a radio button next to the fruit or vegetable you’re interested in refreshes the page and a short list of recipes featuring that fruit or vegetable is displayed. Note however that this is a Victorian site and in-season fruits and vegetables may vary between states so this list may not be accurate for other states.

Now that the research part is over, there’s still menu planning, grocery shopping and actual food preparation to do before any of those fruit or vegies grace our plates. It certainly sounds like a lot of work. I guess it’s true what they say, anything worth doing is difficult. Well, at least at the beginning.

Published in: on June 3, 2005 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Feeling Lucky

I never really was into those shop promotions where you write your details in a small paper stub and drop it in a box so that later during a raffle draw you’d have a chance to win the shop’s advertised prizes. These promos are also called “competitions” here in Australia, by the way.

When I was young back in the Philippines, my Mom never missed one of these raffle promos when we went shopping. Yet, I do not really remember us winning in it while growing up except for maybe two occasions. Maybe that’s why I never really got into competitions. I always believed that there were too many people joining the same promo that the likelihood of winning was very slim and wasn’t worth the effort of writing down on as many small stubs of paper as you could (to increase one’s chances of winning).

Anyway, I have mentioned before that I’ve bought a Sony Playstation 2 recently. After buying the game console, I started visiting the PS2’s official Australian website at From there, I could find out the latest news regarding the PS2 and other stuff related to PS2 like the release schedule for new PS2 games and the public message board for PS2 owners.

On the same website is a webpage called Competitions listing all the competitions they have available currently. The prizes usually involve winning a new PS2 game or a new DVD film. For example, there is a competition to win one out of ten Blade: Trinity DVDs if I write down an idea or concept for a fourth Blade movie in 25 words or less. The ten most constructive and entertaining storyline as judged by the team will win.

Okay, I wasn’t really interested in joining the Blade Trinity Givaway competition but I was interested in joining the Official Playstation 2 Magazine Subscription Giveaway competition where the winner gets a free six-month subscription to the said magazine. If I win, that means I don’t have to pay $14.95 per month just to get my hands on the free game demos DVD that came along with the magazine.

I joined the competition even though there would only be five winners. With the online entry form, I had to write my name, email address, contact number, postal address and a short essay saying what I like most about the magazine and why. I couldn’t remember anymore what I’ve written in the essay portion but apparently, it was enough to convince the judges to make me one of five winners of the free six-month magazine subscription!

Wow! I certainly didn’t expect to win and I was pretty sure I didn’t write a literary masterpiece in the essay portion of my entry form. It may just be a luck of the draw or that there were only five of us who joined in the said competition. Either way, lucky me.

I thought that I may be equally lucky with the five remaining giveaway competitions on offer in the Playstation Australia site. So, I put in the effort to join the other competitions anyway. Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll get an email saying I won a Blade: Trinity DVD, a private screening of the new xXx 2 movie, a Cold Winter PS2 game, a Tenchu: Fatal Shadows PS2 game plus a Sega T-shirt, or a Haunting Ground PS2 game. I’m not really too hot about the games nor the movies in the promo, but I’d get them for free if I win so there’s nothing to lose.

The flow of good luck didn’t end with the PS2 magazine competition, though. Yesterday, Raquel got an email from Village Cinemas saying that she won official free invitations for herself and three guests to watch an early special screening of the movie Madagascar this Sunday. She won because she was a Village Movie Club member (free to join) and she entered the Madagascar competition.

I thought it was great that she won because I had every intention of watching this movie anyway. And now, we get to watch it for free and almost two weeks before it’s official Australian opening day on June 16.

Later on, I realized that I won the very same Madagascar competition. I’m a Village Movie Club member, too, and Raquel entered me in the competition on my behalf. So now, we actually have eight invites to the early showing of the movie this Sunday. That meant we could bring along six friends to watch the movie with us. Since we’ll be meeting with our Pinoy friends this evening at TGI Friday’s at the Jam Factory along Chapel St in South Yarra, we’ll just ask them who wants to join us on Sunday.

We were pretty lucky in competitions this week. This gave me the motivation to join other competitions in the off chance of getting some freebies. Who knows? We may get lucky again.

Published in: on June 3, 2005 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment