Purchasing Healthy Food can seem like a daunting experience when we first make the change to a healthy lifestyle. For many if not most of us that means changing to a primarily plant based eating style. So fresh produce seems like the best place to start.
Organic or not? We think that it is wise to buy organic foods whenever possible, particularly with foods where the skin is consumed - it cannot be good for us to ingest pesticides (chemicals used for killing pests!) If all you have available is non organic fruits and vegetables, please wash them thoroughly with a product made for that purpose. We use FIT, a citrus based fruit and vegetable wash. It is very doubtful that rinsing them in cool water will remove the pesticide residue. Although we have never used it, we have been told that a rinse of vinegar and water will also get the job done.
Many people enjoy purchasing their fresh produce at the local Farmer's Market. While we greatly enjoy walking around and looking at all the amazing things people are selling and view it as a Saturday recreational event, we frequently find the produce to be on the droopy side and not very appealing. Note: we are rarely in the first group to arrive!
My sister, Betta, is fortunate enough to have a local organic farm who takes set orders and boxes the produce for pick-up. It doesn't get much fresher than that unless you are growing your own.
As an extremely visual person, the appearance of my market is very important to me, and the quality of the food. We go out of our way, passing many stores and outdoor markets to shop at our Fresh Market, designed to be a better grocery store that brings the feeling of open European style markets.
It is a bit more expensive, but we tend to purchase primarily fruits and vegetables, enjoy the experience and feel energized when we leave. It gives us wonderful ideas for meals to prepare and emboldens us to try many foods that are new to us.
Our first food variation on our last trip was the Sumo Orange. Not very pretty and with very thick skin, it is a cross between a Mandarin and a California Naval Orange.
It is absolutely delicious and very sweet. In spite of it's thick skin, it is very easy to peel. The segments have good texture and no seeds!
The second food that we tried is the Varigated Red Eggplant which was so lovely that we couldn't resist it.
We diced it into medium pieces and sauteed it with our regular vegetables which we vary each time we make it. The eggplant actually tasted a little bit sweet and was very tender adding a lovely touch to one of our frequent meals.
We recommend that you begin your healthy lifestyle with the produce you select and prepare. Plan your meals, at least loosely, before you shop.
Example: Night one might be an extravagant Veggie Bowl, (2) Vegetarian Chili, (3) Baked Potato smothered in Veggies (make enough on night for both nights), (4) Vegetable Soup and Braided Bread (5) unMeatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower, Healthy Gravy and Vegetables.
Make a standard list of the vegetables you will use and leave a little room on the list for something appealing and unusual.
If you can manage the time, it is a good idea to wipe out the refrigerator before you leave - and remember those bits and pieces of both raw and cooked vegetables add a wonderful depth to your stockpot.
Cooking healthy is a wonderful wholesome choice for you and for your family, leading to a healthy body, glowing skin, little or no medication and much fewer doctor visits!
from my Healthy Heart to Yours~