Tag Archives: eating

What’s In Season?

South Berkeley Farmer's Market

Visiting a local farmers market is the best way to find out what is in season. Second to growing your own food, buying local and seasonal is the most sustainable way to consume food. During the transition from winter to spring people often get sick because they have weaker immune systems. Interestingly enough, it is during this time that nature provides us with citrus fruits which support the immune system through their high levels of Vitamin C. Enough about the transition period, spring is here.. finally! I am not used to having distinct seasons considering that I have lived in Southern California for most of my life. Thus, transitioning from winter to spring has been a beautiful growing experience in Northern California.

Here are some fruits and veggies that I have been scoping out at the local farmers market the past couple of weeks:

What’s In Season?!                                 

Nutrient Content

Health Benefits

Asparagus

Vitamin A, B(s), C, K, folate, iron, fiber

Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, digestive support

Avocados

Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, Vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and carotenoids

Heart health, anti-inflammatory, eye health, immune support

Oranges

Vitamin A, B1, C, fiber, folate, calcium, potassium

Antioxidant, lower cholesterol, prevents colds

Snap Peas

Vitamin A,B1,C, K, manganese, fiber, folate

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Strawberries

Vitamin C, K, fiber, manganese

50th best antioxidant source of all foods

Oranges

Oranges: Use as a snack, juice, in a salad or marinade

Remember that fruits (some more than others) have much higher sugar contents than vegetables. Push the veggies more while continuing to incorporate fruit in your daily diet.

Snap Peas

Snap Peas Great as a snack- alone or dip in hummus

Harvest of the Month is another great resource to find out what is in season.

http://www.harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/product-list.asp

Strawberries

Strawberries Use in a salad, as a breakfast topping or dessert topping. Delicious because it contains a high sugar content 😉

Sources:

www.naturalnews.com

World’s Healthiest Foods, www.whfoods.org

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Perspective on Our Relationship With Food

Each of us has our own unique relationship with food. We all need food to survive. Food can also be used as a form of comfort or a social outlet. There are also many intricate layers within our relationship with food, which include behavioral aspects, physical aspects and emotional aspects. It has been said that changing a person’s eating habits is harder than changing someone’s religion. This sounds absurd yet, take a minute to think about how defensive we are about our favorite foods.

Here is some insight from the book Lost and Found, written by Geneen Roth. Geneen had a very unhealthy relationship with food and dieting for ongoing years. This particular book talks about her relationship with food and money, which have some very fascinating correlations with one-another. She shares her turning point in her relationship with food:

“….Since I was then twenty-eight and had been dieting for more than half my life–seventeen years– the only way I knew to accomplish this was to eat what I hadn’t allowed myself to eat– fattening foods that only men and thin people ate. Chunky cookies and pumpkin ice cream and four-cheese pizza. After a few weeks of vacillating between nausea and giddiness, there was a clunk, a shift in my attitude: I understood that food wasn’t good or bad and eating wasn’t about right or wrong or being loved or rejected. It was only about this body–my body– and figuring out what it needed to move, think, thrive. Removing judgements from food made eating much simpler; it’s not that my crazy eating suddenly disappeared, it’s that my perspective shifted, and my orientation was about what gave my body energy versus what drained it, decisions about cheesecake or ice cream slowly lost their fraught, hysterical quality. Eating became a way to sustain and support my body, not the way I was either trying to prove I was worthy (by denying myself) or rebelling against the internal voice that told me I wasn’t (by bingeing).” p.62

It is very admirable that Geneen is able to open up to other people through her writing in order for others to look into their own relationship with food. Just as s most relationships continuously take some effort and TLC, so does each of our relationships with food. Take some time to delve into your relationship with food. Before you open the fridge or pantry ask yourself “am I truly hungry right now or am I eating for other reasons.” If you are not hungry then find a way to distract yourself until those instincts pass. On the other hand, if you are hungry, you should prepare your food then take a moment to breathe and appreciate the food in front of you before you shovel it in to your mouth. Each bite is a connection between your food and your body. Thus, chew thoughtfully. Work on building your own healthy relationship with food one bite at a time.

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Tools to Reach Your Nutrition and Fitness Goals

MyFitnessPal is the easiest and most user friendly App to help you achieve your health goals. This app is FREE. It is a great way to keep track of your caloric intake, which will help you achieve your goals. You can download this app via iPhones or android software.

The health equation consists of Mind, Body and Spirit. I am going to touch on two of the most common components that affect your health which are Fitness and Nutrition.

The biggest challenge in my personal health equation is by far the Nutrition component, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE food… And growing up in Western society where food is far from promoted for it’s original purpose (to nourish our bodies) but rather as a hot commodity that we “have to have.”

If there is one thing that comes easy to me in the health equation it is the fitness component. I absolutely love getting a good workout in on a regular basis. None the less, after all my experience with fitness I am here to tell you that I believe the nutrition component is more important than the fitness component. No, I am not saying that the fitness component is not important. I am saying that the nutrition component is MORE important to help you achieve your goals. Why? In order for your body to function efficiently, it needs a a good baseline nutrient intake. If you nourish your body well, you are less likely to be deficient in vitamins and minerals thus your essential body functions can perform more efficiently.

Picture your mouth as a filter. If you let foods (or drinks) pass this filter they are going to have either a positive or negative affect on your body. If you continuously expose your body to negative substances, it will respond with an illness, disease or allergy. If you continuously expose your body to positive substances, your body will respond with a “thank you,” and you will feel good. Unfortunately, due to toxins in our environment, there is no guarantee that living a healthy lifestyle guarantees you a disease free life. However, science and history have proven that you tremendously lower your risk for disease if you do treat your body well. I don’t think that we need to live by the rules for every single bite we take in order to reduce our risk. There is room for a few cheats on your diet, however if you find yourself getting into a habit or continuously exposing yourself to foods that do not contribute to your health then maybe you need to check your filter. Or find tools to help keep you on track.

I have found that My Fitness Planner helped me to get back on track because it provides facts for me to base my food choices on. Another tool I have used over the years to get back on track with nutrition is the old pen and paper Food Log. I simply write down everything that I eat & drink during the day for 5-7 days. This way I hold myself accountable for my choices and I can track any negative or positive patterns. I also write at the end of the day how I felt and what exercise I did.

Try out these tools to see what they can do for you!

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Isabel’s Cantina- Wisdom about cooking at home from Isabel!

A good friend of mine recentley introduced me to an amazing restaurant in San Diego called Isabel’s Cantina. I just bought Isabel’s cookbook (so excited!). Isabel also has an amazing blog from which I found the entry posted below.

Her take on cooking at home directly matches the value that I place on home-cooked meals. We both agree that “prepping” ahead of time is the key to success.

“The last thing I wanted to do when I’d come home from the restaurant was cook. I was tired after working all day. But I also didn’t want to give my family to go food from the restaurant every night. Cooking for your family (or friends) is a very special thing. I didn’t want to lose that.
Believe me, I know why cooking at home is on the verge of extinction in our hustle-bustle lives. After working all day, you’re just too tired to start thinking about shopping, cooking, and cleaning. These are the moments when take-out, fast-food, and frozen, prepacked, processed foods start looking really good. I was tempted, but, little by little, I began to incorporate the quick cooking methods I’d learned in my restaurant into my kitchen at home. I learned that using fewer, fresh ingredients you can make a diverse and interesting meal.

Think of it this way, when you go to a restaurant, you order, then wait 15 to 30 minutes for your food. It doesn’t take the chef three hours to make your meal. He or she is already prepared (the term is called “prepped” in kitchen lingo). The chef doesn’t have to shop, clean the meat, cut the vegetables, or measure spices for that magic sauce. All of that is done ahead of time, portioned out, and ready to go.

I’m a lazy cook. If I see a recipe with too many ingredients, I back off quickly. I like my food simple, tasty, nourishing—and yet—still eclectic. I have discovered much of what can help you in this regard. Avoiding the prepacked, processed food will take some time and energy. But remember that the purpose of food is to nourish your body and soul so that you can go out and enjoy the rest of your life, not raise your cholesterol, fill your body with preservatives, or keep you chained to the stove every night. It takes commitment to take the high road. And you can do it!”

– Isabel

Here is the link to her blog. Be sure to check out her amazing restaurants!

http://www.isabelscantina.com/blog/

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