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Natural Health Newsletter Brought to you by Diets in Review
"Your new life will start the moment you decide you are worth the effort.” —Quoted from one of my Twitter followers - BeautifulNotes

May was an exciting month as we celebrated our 3-year anniversary for the Natural Health Newsletter. Congratulations to our winners who tweeted out our giveaway and won a t-shirt.

This month I share what it means to be part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and how you can get involved and benefit from this delicious, healthy food. I also urge you to sign our petition regarding Subway restaurants; we can make a difference as consumers, so make sure to check out the details below!

Best in Health!

Benefits of Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

CSA, which stands for community supported agriculture, originated in Japan and then a similar model emerged in Europe. In 1984, Jan Vander Tuin brought the concept of CSA to North America from Europe. Jan had co-founded a community-supported agricultural project named Topanimbur, located near Zurich, Switzerland. He introduced the idea to Robyn Van En at Indian Line Farm in S. Egremont, Massachusetts and the CSA concept in North America was born. (

The first season of Jan and Robyn's CSA was with a small apple orchard operation. Shortly thereafter, they introduced a concept called "share the harvest," which encouraged the community to participate in vegetable shares. Indian Line Farm quickly grew from 30 members to 150 members, and today CSA's in the US have grown to over 1,000 farms feeding 150,000+ people.

So how does it work? CSA is a subscription with an individual farm, similar to a fruit of the month club. You pay in full for your share at the beginning of the season, before distribution begins, typically in June. In return, your farmer will provide you with freshly picked, in-season, organic produce for a fantastic value. Each CSA provides different options you can choose from. The CSA that I signed up for with my family was a vegetable share and fresh cut flowers. A fruit share and a farm fresh eggs share were also available.

What are the benefits of joining a CSA? First, a CSA membership enables you to bring healthy, in-season produce, free of pesticides and herbicides, into your home at relatively low cost. Second, by supporting local farmers and locally grown organic produce, you're helping to boost your local economy. Third, joining a CSA enables you to make an important and positive impact on the environment, which is critical to the future health and well being of our planet. Instead of buying out of season foods that have traveled thousands of miles to get to your grocery store, purchasing locally grown food will drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

Eating With the Seasons: To eat locally with the seasons visit your local farmer's market. It is here you will be able to purchase the freshest in-season produce while supporting your local farmers. You can also join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). As a member, you pay at the start of the season for all of the produce you will receive for your share. These shares can be used for fruits and vegetables, summer and winter. All produce is packed and provided weekly for pick-up.

To find a local CSA in your area, visit: Local Harvest. And check out my recipe of the month, which was inspired by my most recent vegetable share delivery, full of delicious fresh leafy spinach!

Recipe of the Month: Spinach, Fennel and Feta Salad

Spinach and fennel salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 fresh bunch of spinach leaves
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Whisk oil, lemon juice and shallot in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper
  2. Combine spinach, fennel and radishes in large shallow bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle feta cheese over salad and serve
  3. Courtesy of Bon Appetit

In the News

Subway has been considered the healthier option for fast food compared to other chains like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, etc. We have seen advertisements for years with Jared Fogle "The Subway Guy" promoting how he lost and kept off significant weight through what was termed the Subway Sandwich Diet. We've also seen Subway promoted on the Biggest Loser, season after season, which would lead us all to believe the food must be healthy

Recently, however, the ingredients and nutrition facts for Subway's breads have been revealed, and it isn't pretty. Along with a laundry list of complex artificial ingredients that are seemingly impossible to pronounce, the breads contain a glaring red flag: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS has been closely linked to the obesity epidemic that our country is currently facing. Join us at and sign our petition to ask Subway to remove High Fructose Corn Syrup from their ingredient list. Subway petition

Giving Back

kayak for a cureKayak for a Cure was launched in 2006 by a group of young adults in Vancouver, BC with the intention to help grow substantial funds for both American and Canadian Cancer Societies. This non-profit now hosts kayaking events for individuals of all levels in cities across the US and Canada, with 100% of proceeds provided to the charities. It is a great opportunity to get outdoors, meet inspiring individuals and contribute to helping cure all forms of cancer.

2010 Event locations include:

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Comox Valley, British Columbia
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • San Franciso, California
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Yukon Territory

Action Items

  • Sign our petition to ask Subway to eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from their bread
  • Looking for inspiration this month? Check out Jillian Michaels' before and after photo and read her story. This famous trainer had to work hard to get where she is today and you can too!
  • With summer officially upon us, Kayak for a Cure is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and give back at the same time. Visit their site for an event in your local area. Kayak For A Cure 2010 Events

Weekly Articles

Forward to a Friend

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

Also, if there is something you are interested in learning more about or would like me to feature in an upcoming newsletter please contact me.

Eat, Live Laugh newsletters are intended for overall general wellness. If you have condition specific concerns please feel free to contact me.