Wednesday, December 22, 2021

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: What You Eat Matters

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarians.”

                                                                        --Paul McCartney

What you eat either feeds disease or heals. Your choice. 

By eating a variety of plants (mainly vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains), you are healing yourself, especially when you choose organically grown foods. 

Plant-based eating is a delightful way to support local farmers, learn to create new dishes for family and friends to enjoy, and eat food because it makes you feel great and doesn’t leave knots in your stomach, as often happens from consuming meat, due to delayed digestive times. 

Take a week and think about small changes you can make to what you eat every day to shift to plant-based eating.  At the end of a week, stop eating all animal products for a month.  Avoid processed foods, especially those with ingredients you can't pronounce.  Record the changes in how you feel, sleep, think.  Give it a shot and be amazed.  Heal to be healthy.  

What you eat matters. For your health and the health of your children. For our minds, bodies, and spirit.  For the health of our planet. 

With love and kindness,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Photo above:  Kevin O'Dare sharing fresh herbs with a youth at a Growing Healthy Kids' workshop.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Love Your Farmers

 "When you follow a vegan diet, there is much less need for surgeons to clean out your arteries or intestinal tract."

                   --Neal Barnard, MD, Founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Planning meals begins with the local farmers.  What are they growing and harvesting each month?  Recently, to my Indiana winter delight, I have been able to buy green onions, garlic, cabbage, and salad greens from several farmers at the New Albany Farmers Market. 

Fresh green onions, also known as spring onions, add delightful crunch and flavor to my lunchtime salads and are always a favorite ingredient for my Mexican meals featuring slow cooked black beans and brown jasmine rice. Garlic (pictured above) is a must-have ingredient in every kitchen, especially the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen.  You can always tell the difference between fresh and old garlic when you slice garlic cloves.  Cabbage, a superstar cruciferous vegetable with strong anti-cancer properties, is an unsung hero in the kitchen-it is so delicious when gently steamed and served with brown rice, black beans, and egg rolls (my new winter comfort food meal). Salad greens are a staple for me, as having a salad at least 5 days a week is one of my goals that makes meal planning so easy. 

Support your local farmers.  If you see a fruit or vegetable you haven’t tried yet, ask farmers how the farmers use them.  Teach your children to be curious.  Eat from the main food groups - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans and lentils) – every day. Eat nuts and seeds in moderation.  Limit/eliminate foods from animals.  This way of eating is so good and good for you, your kids, and our planet!

With love and kindness,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Cruciferous Delights

"Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance."

                   --Martha Graham

Eating with the seasons has always been my way.  Since growing up in Sacramento, California where I got spoiled being able to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables year round, I now appreciate eating with the seasons. I don’t need access to every fruit and vegetable every month of the year, unlike many Americans who don’t think about the energy it takes to transport foods from one side of the country to the other or from South America to the U.S. 

At the New Albany (Indiana) Farmers Market, it has been great to find small farmers “growing under cover” in the winter, raising cruciferous vegetables such as green and purple cabbage, Napa and savoy cabbage, bok choy.  This Brassica genus family of veggies, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, is known for strong anti-cancer properties. 

The Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen has been filled with the wonderful flavors of curries and soups featuring cruciferous veggies grown by some of my favorite Indiana and Kentucky farmers.  Simply steaming half a small head of sliced green cabbage to enjoy with parsley potatoes and vegan sausages is one of my favorite winter comfort meals.  Shredded purple cabbage will be on top of tonight's tempeh tacos!  Enjoy your own cruciferous delights! 

With love and kindness,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect