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Food Blogger Spotlight: Laura Wright of The First Mess

In a sea of healthy food bloggers, Laura Wright of The First Mess has carved a niche all her own as not only a gifted writer and photographer, but an unstoppable force in the kitchen. Her recipes can be described as healthy, rustic and always adventurous.

Every time she announces a new post I rush to begin poring over every word, taking in the breathtaking photos and then finally skipping down to the recipe to savor every ingredient she lists. If you stop by Laura’s blog, I have a feeling you’ll do the same. She simply never disappoints.

I’ve been following Laura’s blog for about a year now and have always wondered where she draws her inspiration from. This week I finally got my chance to ask. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Laura about how “The First Mess” came to be and how she approaches food, health and life. Here’s what she had to say.


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Girl Scout Troop Raises Money for Edible Garden Instead of Selling Cookies

Last month, we vocalized our distaste for Girl Scout Cookies in a highly read article, Why You Should Never Buy Girl Scout Cookies. It’s not that we don’t like the troops, many of us worked hard for those same badges. What we don’t like is the message these cookies send, the ingredients they’re stuffed with, and missed opportunity to do something so much more with these young minds.

When we were tipped off to what Girl Scout Troop 2753 is doing in California, we were thrilled. Why isn’t every troop doing this, we wondered.

One of the troop’s members, Alicia, dons her Daisy uniform and says, “My Girl Scout troop is not selling cookies but we are raising money for our fruit and vegetable garden at our school.”
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“To Get Kids Healthy, Let Them Lead the Conversation” Michelle Obama Tells The View

Michelle Obama appeared on “The View” Tuesday to discuss a number of important issues regarding our nation’s health. From gardening to nutrition in schools to how she hopes the Let’s Move campaign will paint a better tomorrow for our nation, the first lady opened up about how she created a healthy environment for her own family and how she hopes to empower other families to do the same.

Here are our top five takeaways from her time on “The View.”

You can garden anywhere. If you don’t know by now that the first lady loves gardening, you’ve been living under a rock. In her book “American Grown,” Mrs. Obama shares about her experience in planting a full-scale garden in the White House lawn, and how it’s helped she and her family not only eat healthier, but more fully appreciate whole foods.

By maintaining her own garden, Mrs. Obama became an advocate for gardening everywhere – in schools, at home, in communities – and hopes to educate Americans about the importance of planting and growing their own food, knowing where their meals comes from, and how doing so can play a key role in improving our nation’s health.
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Michelle Obama Tells of White House Honey and Beer in Her Book ‘American Grown’

The first lady is getting a little more famous today at the release of her long-awaited book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Garden and Gardens Across America.

Inside this inspirational tale, Mrs. Obama shares what she’s learned about growing a vegetable garden in the White House Lawn in her years as first lady of our nation.

In a recent interview with NPR, Obama said that spring is one of her favorite seasons in the garden because everything is bursting. She says the family eat lots of broccoli, fresh greens and lettuces of all kinds; and even plenty of sugar snap peas, much to her oldest daughter’s disapproval as it’s one of her least favorites.

But one of the most intriguing parts about the White House garden is the beehive, which has been fully-functioning since its installation in 2009.

The first lady says she uses the honey almost exclusively, and especially enjoys it in her tea. In fact, one of her favorite snacks is White House honey over organic green apples. ’Tastes like sunshine doesn’t it?’ she asked a reporter in a recent interview. This description has us longing for a taste of our own.
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Central Park’s Edible Urban Garden is Ripe for the Picking

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Living in an urban environment one can frequently go for long periods of time without getting intimate with nature. Maybe even a lifetime. It is rare to see urbanites digging in the ground or planting a garden. And when envisioning a Mecca of wild edible plants, most likely a concrete jungle does not come to mind.

Think again.

As it turns out, Manhattan’s Central Park is home to more than 100 species of wild edible plants. Edible and free!

It takes an expert in what is called foraging, searching for food sources, to point out which species are edible and which are not. I met a foraging expert this Earth Day, his name is Wildman Steve Brill. He has been offering foraging tours of Central Park for nearly 30 years.

I joined Wildman for one of his four hour Central Park tours where around 30 participants plucked plants right from the ground and popped them in their mouths, and sampled flower buds off of a low hanging branch to savor their flavor profile. Spring is the season of greens, and small budding flowers. In four hours we all consumed plenty of wild greens and small budding flowers.
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