Spring Forth with Healthy Food

ScarlettWestStraight to the Stomach0 Comments

The Spring Equinox is coming, the earth is going to shift, and more light will come our way. Maybe we already fell off the healthy, New Year’s resolution, bandwagon, but it’s never too late to get back on. Fresh, green veggies of the season are waiting for us to spruce up our health.

I have often felt that deep down us humans want to be in tune with the earth and the seasons, but because so many of us live in cities, and are coping with the daily grind, it may be difficult to do. Food is a great entryway to living in rhythm with the planet, even if we live in a concrete jungle.

Eating in season has more than one benefit:

  • Grub tends to be cheaper because it comes from somewhere close by. We can all save money!
  • Eating in season is not only in tune with the earth, but also with our bodies.
  • Spring foods are great way to cleanse the body and boost our health, especially vegetables because all the green re-vitalizes our blood.
  • Eating cooler foods during warm weather, and warm foods in cold weather helps maintain balance.

It depends on where you live, but in general, the foods that are in season now are:

Artichokes
Pea shoots and other sprouts
Purslane
Nopales/cactus paddles
Brussel sprouts
Arugula
Asparagusfood-salad-healthy-lunch-medium
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Fava Beans
New potatoes
Rhubarb
Spinach
Sugar snap peas
Zucchini
Chervil
Green beans
Leeks
Morel mushrooms
Stinging nettles
Radishes
Some lettuces-Arugula, watercress, mesclun mix, mizuna,

And a few of these as well:

• Apricots
• Avocadoes
• Blueberries
• Cherimoya
• Grapefruit
• Kiwi
• Lemons
• Pineapple
• Strawberries
• Tomatoes

In Sonoma County, we are fortunate to have many farmers markets, and CSA’s, Community Supported Agriculture farmers, that provide a wonderful box of food for a monthly fee. See links below to find a local CSA or farmers market.

I tend to focus more on vegetables in my diet, as I find my body feels better when I don’t eat large amounts of sugary stuff, even if it’s natural. But we each can listen to our own body for personal preference.

After buying the veggies, what do we make with them? 

I have found that some of the best recipes for vegetables come from websites targeted for people who are interested in a paleo, auto immune protocol, GAPS, or vegan diet. Type one of those terms, plus “recipes” and ta-DA! A ton of ideas pop up.

Why would I want to read these if I’m not interested in following a diet?

Though these food plans tend to target health problems,they also offer a lot of great ideas for preparing veggie picvegetables. Also, they not to be laden with cheese and or other heavy stuff, which though delicious, may not help us achieve optimal results.

If we do have difficulty with a health issue, we receive two benefits in one—healthy food that has little to no allergens to assist our body to heal and we eat delicious foods!

Tips:

  • Make large batches of vegetables ahead of time. For example, chop up and cook asparagus, mushrooms, green onions, a little fresh garlic and olive oil in a big bunch. That way when you eat your meal, you have it ready to go.
  • Prepare a big salad, put it in a bowl, cover it and add no salad dressing until ready to eat.
  • About eating organic: of course it’s better to eat organic, but some of us for various reasons are not always able to do that. I heard a radio show on KPFA talk radio by two nutritionists discussing eating well. Their comments were that it is better to eat fruits and vegetables in general, even if we can’t always purchase organic, than not include them in our diet.
  • If we want to give our body a break, we can also eliminate/reduce: sugar, processed foods, refined flours, caffeine, gluten, dairy, and other foods that may irritate our systems.

And remember, with everything else, we won’t be perfect in our eating adventures. If one day we eat some vegetables, that’s great, if the next day we don’t, we can try again later. I think stressing out about every detail can also be unhealthy.

Note: I am not a nutritionist, so we need to do our own research, and speak with our health care professionals if we have a real issue. I simply enjoy sharing information that has helped me.

Links:

My friend has yummy suggestions that are easy to prepare.

http://www.dashandrizzle.com/

To find a CSA:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedia/2406474-181/community-supported-agriculture-csa-programs

To find a farmers market:

http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/sonoma-county-farmers-markets-bloom-spring-and-summer

Do you have a website with healthy recipes that would benefit other? Please share in comments below.

Yours Truly,

Scarlett West

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