There is a relatively new term you may hear, called “regenerative agriculture” – growing food in ways that feeds not only humans but the ecosystem that produces it – restoring soil and managing erosion and water usage are just a few examples. Healthy produce has become a priority for more of us, and a company called “WhatsGood” introduced a model that bypasses farmers markets to allow consumers to order goods online directly from farmers for home delivery. They are in twenty-one states, not yet in Missouri, but their app looks great! It is Meatless Monday, and those farmers markets are in full swing, so take adv! age of them and have a marvelous Monday!
To get healthy produce into areas called “food deserts” – mostly urban areas that have access to little fresh food, some nonprofits are getting creative. Small farms in cities are being created and not only are they growing food, but they are also educating, training, and developing leaders in growing crops. The foods are then loaded on buses that deliver to local community and health centers and churches. Interest in gardening and in volunteering has increased since the pandemic, and it contributes to better health for all involved! South Side Farm, sponsored by Saint Francis Healthcare System, is a great example. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!
Yesterday we talked about the rise in urban gardens and the importance of fresh produce that is available for everyone. Not only does it benefit the recipients greatly, but there are also many health benefits of gardening. Simply being outside in GREEN space is good for our mental health and it reduces stress. Gardening also counts as exercise that boosts our immune systems, and of course pushing a tiller or lawn mower is even better 🙂 Gardening gives us a sense of purpose, connects us with others who enjoy it, allows us to be “in the moment”, and importantly gives us something we can count on. Knowing we come home to a few minutes of yard work or gardening gives us certainty, which boosts our mental health. And plantifting your plate with your produce makes us healthier too! You can do a tiny garden in your kitchen window if you do not have much space. Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy gardening!
For many years, a good number of us avoided corn because we considered it “unhealthy”. Associating it with high fructose corn syrup is part of the turn off, as well as the heavy butter and salt that normally goes with it. But it is time to reframe corn as a healthy food that is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals AND even though it is called sweet corn, it has less sugar that beets or fruits. It is also a good source of protein and antioxidants. Popcorn is too! In Costa Rica, a Blue Zone where people live longest and best, they lean heavily on what they call the “three sisters” of corn, squash, and beans. But – they do not add butter or salt, which effectively negates all the health benefits. Put corn in fresh salsa, soups, on salads, and get Skinny Girl popcorn for your health on the shelf!
Recent results of the Global Burden of Disease Study shocked many, find that consuming more than just two teaspoons of wine or 2.5 tablespoons of beer a day causes health risks, stating, “Young people should not drink”. Oxford University also completed a large study showing there was “no safe dose of alcohol” when it comes to brain health. And a study in Ireland just concluded that alcohol poses a greater risk to heart disease than previously thought. We cannot forget that the ethanol breaks down to a known cancer-causing compound that damages our DNA. The best beverages for these fantastic bodies we have been given have no calories, no side-effects, and little to no cost: water and tea. Start reducing your alcohol consumption today to live longer and live stronger on this fantastic Friday!
And from a year ago:
On this Meatless Monday let us talk about the BEST plant-based proteins – even though we get way more protein than we need in America, you can switch to more plants and rest assured you will be covered! SO, the countdown is:
#8 Chia seeds
#3 Hemp seeds
#2 Peanut butter
#1 Pumpkin seeds – they have eleven grams of protein in a quarter cup. So, on this Marvelous Meatless Monday, add some nuts, seeds, oats, and peanut butter for your protein!
Haven’t the Olympic games been incredible? So much discipline, determination and skill, and some extraordinary and inspiring stories of their journeys. As we have talked before, The Blue Zones, where people live the longest and best, have found that exercise is good not only for our bodies but for our minds and souls, and it releases endorphins that give us a sense of well-being. VERY interestingly they have found that synchronized movement with others, such as in sports, leads to connections that are important to longevity. Close social relationships in sports make us perform better – sprinters who practiced alone had slower races than those who warmed up coordinated with others – by a lot! And those hugs, high fives – the social motion that goes along with it? Those also make us perform better! In our world where a third of us are chronically inactive, finding a friend to move with might be the ticket. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!
Summertime is vacation time for many families – especially after last summer of limited travel and it is interesting to know that there is a lot of research being done to find out how we can stay healthier while we travel. Corporations are also concerned about this, because they have employees who travel a great deal for work – keeping them healthy is important to their productivity. Interestingly, staying in “decent hotels” where there is good security, it is clean and comfortable can reduce stress and improve health. Wearing noise-cancelling headphones on flights can help – engine traffic from the jet is a major stressor for our bodies and minds! So, book a good destination and buy some of those headphones to improve your health on trips – and have a wonderful Wednesday!
Yesterday we talked about ways to stay healthy while we travel – staying in safe, clean, and comfortable accommodations and wearing noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce our stress. Additionally, eat and drink your water – only more of it while you travel. We have mentioned this before – drinking water is important but not as important as eating hydrating foods – you know, fruits and vegetables. Not only are they hydrating, which is important when we travel, but they are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are health-promoting, to help our immune systems. Chia seeds are excellent to toss into a smoothie because they absorb a lot of water and convert it to gel water – more hydrating than water! So, hydrate up when you travel through your foods and live longer and live stronger everyone!
Let us talk more about staying healthy while you travel – IF you start to feel sick or run-down, avoid these foods: sugar, dairy and wheat. They are the most inflammatory things we can consume. Also, take along lavender oil to help you relax, peppermint oil to prevent vertigo and nausea, and lemon oil to boost your mood. Very importantly, when we travel, we should MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY. As much as we want to see and do all we can, rest of our cells is critical to combating illness and feeling good. As soon as you step onto a plane or get into the car, adjust your mind to the clock at your destination and eat and sleep accordingly. Last thing – it is interesting to note that travel wellness is the biggest new thing in the tourism industry – travelers want to focus on their health throughout their trips. Have a fantastic Friday everyone!
Reference: The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner