“To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act”
Happy New Year to you all! I hope you took my recommendation to heart and wrote down your accomplishments from 2009 and your wishes for 2010. It's such a great way to check-in with yourself and to give yourself a nice boost. I especially like using my list as a way to remember wonderful memories that might otherwise be forgotten so I actually started logging a list of anything and everything that has brought happiness to my life. For example, one of my recent entries was my husband saying to me 'I hit the jackpot waking up with you everyday'. I don't ever want to forget something that makes me feel that good!
Keep adding to your lists and I hope you'll share some of your entries with me.
Best in Health!
Eating locally with the seasons
If you have been thinking about wanting to eat produce that is farmed locally and also falls in-line with the seasons (i.e. no tomatoes in winter) then you are in luck. Below are a few of my top tips for getting started along with a link that will show you a map of which foods are in season in your area.
Why is this important? To keep out-of-season foods in our supermarkets year round takes a toll on our environment, but consumers have become accustomed to having all fruits and vegetables available to us all the time. Going back to my example above of no tomatoes in winter, here are the typical steps to getting those tomatoes on your plate:
- Tomatoes are picked green and unripe in the fields
- They are delivered by truck to a central warehouse where they are re-packed into a wooden crate
- Contracted truckers transport them to ripening facilities throughout the eastern half of the U.S.
- The tomatoes are again packed into smaller boxes for delivery to supermarkets and restaurants
With the multiple transports as well as long distances travelled, there is an impact on our environment in order for us to essentially ingest unripe and non-seasonal produce. It is time to consider exhibiting a more hunter/gatherer mentality, which means eating what can be gathered in our own areas rather than food that needs to be flown in or trucked such distances. To get started check out these tips:
- Visit your local farmer's market: Whether you visit every week or every couple of weeks, it is here you will be able to purchase the freshest in-season produce while supporting your local farmers.
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): By being a member you will pay at the start of the season for all of the produce you will receive for your share. These shares can be both fruits and vegetables, summer and winter. All produce is packed and provided weekly for pick-up.
- Plant your own garden: Whether living in the country or even the city, there are ways in which we can grow some of our own produce and herbs. Get started, read Container Gardening. I tried container gardening for the first time in the summer 2009 and can say without a doubt, my tomatoes were the best I have ever tasted
Finally, as promised here is a link to a seasonality map from Epicurious.com that allows you to select your state and month to determine which produce is in season: Seasonal Ingredient Map.
Recipe of the Month: Brussel Sprout and Chicken Pasta
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 cups bow tie or penne pasta
- 1 cup chopped roasted chicken
- 1 cup cooked Brussel Sprouts cut in quarters
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan, once cooled cut into small pieces.
- In the same frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat. Stir in the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add in brussel sprouts and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, with lid on until the Brussels sprouts are tender.
- Add the chopped chicken, basil, oregano, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil as well as salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the bowtie or penne pasta, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and toss with the sauce, adding in the cherry tomatoes at the end. Sprinkle with parmesan or pecorino cheese if desired.
In the News
If you are a follower of mine on twitter @eatlivelaugh, you will have seen a post I recently sent out regarding food allergy sufferers and the difficulties they have when it comes to socializing. I could really relate to this article as I myself suffer with food allergies, particularly wheat and dairy. It can definitely be a struggle when eating out, although I have found many restaurants to be accommodating. Most often, it can be difficult when being entertained by friends in their homes. Either you bring your own dishes or the host tries to cater to your needs. It can definitely get tricky and I have not loved the attention it gets me, but I always appreciate the extents friends and a family have gone to for me. To read more about this common issue:
USA Today - Food Allergy Sufferers
When I was watching an episode of Oprah a few weeks ago I was so taken back by the stories being told about women throughout the world. These were not stories I had heard of before and was devastated to hear of their suffering.
Some of the most heart wrenching stories were about the struggles many women have giving birth. For most women it is one of the most amazing life experiences while in many countries it can mean life or death. I urge you to visit: Support women and help support a mother-to-be or any of the thousands of women that need your help.
- Track your intentions and memories as we continue through 2010. It is a great way to reflect on years passed
- View the seasonality map to find out what's in season in your area for the freshest eating
- Check out the DietsinReview.com blog for the latest in health and fitness
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.