Eat what's local and make it colorful!
Let's start where we are right now. At the end of the summer with only a few weeks left, lovelies. You have an opportunity to follow right along side the change of the seasons. This particular season shift is my favorite: summer into the fall. A new school year, windows open with the cool breeze visiting my dreams at night, cozy layers, and delicious and colorful foods appearing at the farmers market. Pumpkin, squash, root veggies, cauliflower etc, they reeeeally make my taste buds happy. The most amazing secret that you will only get to experience with seasonal eating is: the foods that the earth is producing (right freakin' now!) will prep your immune system for the coming cold/flu season. A pumpkin's sneaky little seeds, for example, are extremely high in a variety of vitamins and minerals. Here is some info taken from an article called "What's new and beneficial about pumpkin seeds?".
"Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits. The lignans in pumpkin seeds (including pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol) have also been shown to have antimicrobial—and especially anti-viral— properties. Impact of pumpkin seed proteins and pumpkin seed phytonutrients like lignans on the activity of a messaging molecule called interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) is likely to be involved in the antimicrobial benefits associated with this food." How amazing is that?! Please take the time to check out that article to see what your options are for enjoying them this fall.
When you visit the farmers market (this weekend?) you will see foods that were just picked locally. Why is this so special? One BIG and very tongue pleasing reason, is that the fresher the fruit and veggies are, the more incredible and flavorful they will be. The fruits and veggies that you see in the super market can be between 2-3 weeks old! Perhaps they look fresh, but they have lost many of their nutrients traveling to get to the supermarket. For example, tomatoes often come from Florida, California, or Mexico. They are picked when they're green and firm. After picking, the tomatoes are put in a large room, and ethylene—a colorless, flammable gas (C2H4) derived from petroleum—is piped in. The ethylene triggers the creation of enzymes, which break down cell walls and turn starches into sugar. The tomatoes begin softening and turning red. This is why my father aways says (in his deepest bronx accent) "Nothin' like a gaaawden tomato Staaaacey!" and he's absolutely right! Not only is the flavor amazing, but the farm fresh fruits and veggies are much higher in nutrients and minerals- which will absolutely boost your immune system!
So visit your farmers market.
Enjoy a variety of colors and cook up a wide spectrum of vitamins and immune boosting goodness! You will most likely be able to pick up everything you need for a few delicious meals. Fresh dairy, fresh baked bread, fruits, veggies and some markets even have meats, fish, wine and beer! You will get to know your local farmers, get to experience a part of your community AND you'll be giving your body exactly what the earth is making for it: fresh, nutrient dense foods.
A little about me, if you're new to the party:
I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients (not only in food, but also in our cleaning products and self care items) is super important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. Over time using quality organic foods has draaaaaastically changed our lives for the better. I'm no expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot.
Is to inspire you to live a courageously healthy life that you loooove. I'm hearing from my clients/friends/family that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel more in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be a friggin' party. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.
(I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.)
Pretty please comment below and tell me what you are excited about as the seasons change. I'm excited for pumpkins, and bangs, and shivery walks around my neighborhood with my pooches and my family... Oh man do I love the fall.
You. Freakin. Rock.