With the blog today I want to focus on food and bust some of the myths out there that surround healthy eating. Now I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve heard this all before, blah, blah” Some of the things I hear from patients about eating healthy are as follows: “I’m too busy to eat right”, or the big one “It’s too expensive to eat right”. I want to fill you in on something I discovered in Greenville, an easy and cost effective way to make sure that you don’t over spend on groceries and stock your pantries with healthy options. The big secret is………local Farmers Markets. http://agriculture.sc.gov/ Yes it’s that simple!!! This past weekend I went to the State Farmers Market located on Rutherford Road.
Purchasing from the Farmer’s Market takes all the guess work out of shopping. One of the biggest problems people face when going to grocery stores is the decisions they have to make. There are so many choices out there, and sometimes we find ourselves ignoring healthy vegetables/fruit and opting for quick and easy microwave or frozen meals.
When it comes to farmers markets the selection is limited to fresh locally grown produce. This removes all of the temptations. Our pantries should be empty and refridgerators packed with the good stuff. When you think about it,”what do we need to put on a plate for dinner? “The answer is a protein, complex carbs, and largely vegetables.
The benefits of shopping locally at farmer’s markets are numerous. First, they’re filled with food that’s good for you. The stalls are packed with brightly colored fruits and vegetables that change with the season. Enjoy cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and berries in the summer, or squash, apples and cranberries during the autumn. The list is endless. Remember, fresh produce is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and the more color your produce has the greater its health benefits.
Also, when you shop at farmers’ markets you can pretty much be assured that the healthy food you purchase hasn’t traveled long distances and undergone lots of packaging. In the United States today, majority of the produce in a supermarket was picked almost a week before it hits the shelves and probably traveled many, many miles before being sold, not to mention pesticides it was covered with. When you buy locally you’re also helping to put money directly into the pockets of local farmers who don’t or can’t produce supermarket quantities as well as putting money back into your own pocket by saving, With local produce you are buying recently harvested produce–cutting down the time between the harvest and consumption means more nutrients are preserved.
Finally, farmers’ markets offer great opportunities to try something new. Most local farmers and growers are there because they have a passion for their product. They’re a wealth of information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as this can be a great chance to get new ideas and tips for healthy food preparation.
So, while it may not be convenient, or practical for that matter, to feed yourself and your family solely from the bounty of farmers’ markets, you can still enjoy the variety and quality of healthy food that they have to offer. Take some time to seek out a market. On the most recent shops I purchased 20 organic eggs, 2 zucchini, 1 squash, a lb of green beans, radishes, spinach, romaine lettuce, and 6 tomatoes all for $14.50. That is most certainly cheaper than any grocery store around. Try to use the fresh produce that you find in new ways, and learn to eat seasonally as the harvests change. Not only will you experience the health benefits of eating locally, but you’ll also have some fun, save money, and may well learn something new in the process.
Here is a recipe idea for Kale. Kale is in season at the moment and its health benefits are huge. This is a veg that is often overlooked and people judge before trying. I gurantee this recipe will change the way you look at Kale. Here is the 411 on Kale:
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale, as with broccoli contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties. http://tinyurl.com/5d3auf
1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.
Per serving: Calories: 178; Total Fat: 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams; Protein: 6 grams; Total carbohydrates: 18 grams; Sugar: 0 grams Fiber: 3.5 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 336 milligrams