Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: 4 Tips for Eating Real Food

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." --Abraham Lincoln

How conscious are you about your health?  Working in the world of preventable diseases, I notice weird things.  Like how much meat people have in their grocery carts.  Like parents who grab sugar-filled sodas from the chiller by the checkout counter.  Like people who smoke in cars with their children trapped inside.  Like how many extra layers of clothes overweight and obese children wear compared to children at healthy weights, even when it is 90 degrees outside.

Peas On A Wooden Board Stock Photo

Maybe my awareness about healthy habits goes back to my childhood growing up in Sacramento, California, where we always had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have vivid memories of going to the California State Fair every year and seeing endless displays celebrating California's role as the nation's agricultural leader.  With today's news about the California drought, and the fact that HALF of America's fruits and vegetables are grown there, I am very concerned about the future impact of the drought.

Maybe my increased awareness goes back to Heinrich family reunions, when my cousins and I started taking progressive steps in our own lives to prevent heart disease in ourselves because it was what our parents, aunts and uncles were being diagnosed with and were treated for.  I remember as a child,  my father was a patient at Stanford University Hospital with heart disease.  He died many years later of a heart attack.  Knowing this, I have worked consciously to raise my awareness of my own risk factors for, and preventing, heart disease (blood pressure, cholesterol, stress, daily exercise, etc.) for optimal health outcomes.

Create your future.  Here are 4 tips for eating real food:

  1. Find your local farmers market and talk to the people growing food in your area.
  2. Learn what fruits and vegetables are in season where you live.  For example, in Florida, blueberries are in season right now.  In Indiana, it is strawberry season.
  3. Support your local farmers and producers by buying food from them.  This creates a demand and provides local jobs. Stop buying foods grown outside of the U.S.
  4. Plan your meals around fresh (or frozen, if fresh choices are not available) fruits and vegetables.

To connect to a site I use to find delicious, healthy recipes, click here.  This site contains articles and recipes written by a woman who shares the same philosophy as mine: to make healthy choices every day.  She currently lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and teaches all over the world.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.