New Year’s Food for Thought


JanFacebookheader

The beginning of each New Year has a certain magical quality to it. It’s an opportunity to hit the reset button, reflect on the previous year, and resolve to do better—be better—feel better. January is like a blank page in a new chapter of a lifelong book we get to write!

Topping the list of New Year’s resolutions every single year is diet. Losing weight, staying fit and healthy, and enjoying life to the fullest all make the Top 5.

The foods we choose to eat are fundamental in this equation. We can resolve to make conscious choices that nourish and sustain our bodies OR slide back into comfortable old habits that may not support our health and wellbeing.

My recipe for eating well can be summed up in this simple acronym: SLOW.

IMG_2939wm

S= Seasonal & Sustainable

Follow Mother Nature’s lead and use the bounty of each season. Don’t buy tomatoes & melons in winter! Not only will you save money by eating what’s fresh and readily available, you also reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding imported foods that come at a cost to our environment in fuel.

IMG_6344wm

L= Local

Get in the habit of shopping at a farmers market near you, and establish relationships with the people who actually grow your food. In other words, Know Your Farmer; Know Your Food. Be open to exploring foods you haven’t tried before, and you may discover a new favorite (like this Spigarello I found last year!)

IMG_1070esm

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and inquire about growing practices. Farmers are also a great resource for ideas on how to prepare the produce and meats they raise.

IMG_6343wm

And check this out: You can gift someone fresh food from farmers market! Agricultural Institute of Marin offers these awesome gift boxes with reusable wooden gift coins that may be redeemed with purveyors at any of their seven Bay Area farmers markets! Cost: $20/box for twenty $1 coins. Available at the market information booth.

IMG_2951

O= Organic

Whenever possible, buy organic produce. In the long run, it’s worth the money spent. In addition to avoiding the “cides” (pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides), and controversial GMO’s, those who farm organically take stewardship of the land and its long-term sustainability seriously.

IMG_6349wm

It is important to note that meat labeled organic is a different animal. Many consumers mistakenly assume that organic livestock are field raised. In reality, it only means the animals eat Certified Organic feed. It does not speak to husbandry practice. Sadly, Organic meat animals may still come from crowded factory farms where livestock do not have access to pasture or freedom to roam. If you eat meat and eggs, look for designations that specify pasture-raised, free range, and grass-fed in addition to organic.

IMG_7505esm

Grass-fed & finished beef at Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales, CA.

IMG_7314wm

Pastured poultry at Coastal Hills Farm near Two Rock outside Petaluma, CA.

W= Whole foods

As esteemed food advocate and author Michael Pollan would say, Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Strive to eat food that is not packaged, processed, or filled with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. If it contains ingredients a third-grader can’t pronounce, it doesn’t qualify. Real food has a shelf life. It should be eaten fresh and ideally enjoyed sitting at a table in the company of good friends and family.

IMG_2911wm

That’s it! Pretty straight-forward. Oh and one last thing. I’ve also resolved to add more fermented foods to my diet—particularly homemade sauerkraut, kombucha (more on this in an upcoming post), and pickled veggies like these gorgeous radishes. Fermented foods are an antioxidant-rich source of probiotics that promote optimal gut health, and keep the train running on time so to speak 😉

IMG_8229wmsm

Simple fermented radish pickles made at home using my KrautSource.

What intentions will you set for 2016? Wishing you, dear reader, a SLOW food year filled with hope, optimism, and flavor to savor!

Categories: Healthy Eating, SLOW FoodTags: , , , , , , , , ,

8 comments

  1. Thx, Karen, for simple, inspiring eating healthy hints for 2016 winter! Look forward to reading about fermenting veggies.

  2. Thanks Karen that advice is spot on.

  3. What a valuable reminder and sage advice on getting your health in order for the new year! Definitely S.L.O.W is the way to Go!

  4. Those vegetables are gorgeous, Karen and so are your photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: