Eat Seasonally and Buy Locally

Better food and less money

Eating seasonally is good for your health, good for your wallet, and good for the planet.
Seasonal, locally grown foods harvested during the peak of their crops are indeed a treasure to behold.  That is when they taste their best and are most nutritious.

Fruits and vegetables found in the produce department of your local grocery story just can’t compare.  They have likely been trucked in from miles away, which means they were harvested before their peak.  And they were probably subjected to cold storage, and then to add insult to injury were forced to ripen in a hot house.  Not only will you find them to be somewhat tasteless, but they are not as nutritious.

Winter root vegetables are healthy, comforting and sustaining when used in soups and stews for cold weather dinners.  And summer stone fruits have extra beta carotenoids which help to protect against sun damage.  Plus, the fruits and vegetables of summer are lighter and easy to eat in summer salads on hot days when you don’t want to cook.

Following the seasons as you plan your meals makes tons of sense as it also helps to ease the burden on your wallet because your food mileage cost will not be as high.  Food miles include the cost of processing, packaging, and transportation.  And this also equates to fewer gas emissions.

It really is a win, win!

You should be especially cautious of food which is shipped from outside of the country.  You need to keep in mind that their regulations for pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are most likely different from ours.  Also, the soil might be contaminated. 

Once you’ve made the decision to buy seasonally it’s a good idea to also buy in bulk.  If you buy in bulk what is plentiful you can preserve it yourself by pickling, fermenting, or freezing. Then you will have your own supply of these delicious foods.  And you will know where they came from and what is in them.

You can refer to this site for a list of what’s “in” and what’s “out” in your particular area as its lists are categorized by state.

Here’s a challenge for you.  Find your state and find the season and pick which fruit/vegetables you’d like to purchase and plan your next few meals around them.  This might be backwards from what you do now.  I’m guessing that you usually pick your protein and go from there, but I’m thinking that this would be worth trying.  And I would love to hear from you in the comments section below, if you do try it, how it goes for you.

Happy eating!



Meatloaf

I think I’ve finally perfected my meatloaf recipe.  I’ve tried so many things over the years and I think I’ve finally managed to create one that is both moist and tasty!

Yay me!

What really seemed to make the difference was using oatmeal which I had soaked overnight.  And I just love the taste that smoked paprika gives to things.  Plus, what is a meatloaf without that awesome ketchup sauce?  I used organic ketchup and raw honey instead of brown sugar just to make it more “real food” approved.

Meatloaf

  • 1 ¾ lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • I cup oatmeal (soaked in 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon of whey, kombucha, yogurt, or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey


1. Either the night before or first thing in the morning measure out 1 cup of regular, old fashioned oatmeal into a bowl.  Cover with 1 cup of filtered water and 1 tablespoon of whey, kombucha, yogurt, or apple cider vinegar.  Cover and let sit on the counter until ready to use, for at least 8 hours.

2. When ready to assemble, combine the meat, oatmeal, egg, and spices and mix until well combined.  This is a good job for bare hands.

3. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place into a glass baking dish.

4. Combine the ketchup, mustard, and honey.  Spread over the meatloaf.

5. Cook for one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven.

I hope that you try this.  I think you’ll like it.  I’d love to read what you think and if you have any more suggestions for me in the comments sections below.


How GAPS Heals the Gut

Does it seem like there are more people suffering from autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, mental conditions and chronic illnesses?  Did you know many of these cases could be caused by
leaky gut?  So what do we do about it?

I would suggest trying the GAPS diet.  It’s difficult to follow, but I think most of us would agree that good health is worth the cost.  I have yet to begin the diet, but I have faith that it will help my most stubborn issues.

If you don’t know much about GAPS, you might want to get a basic understanding of how this diet heals the gut.  Then you will be more motivated to start it for yourself, despite the challenges that come with it.


1.) You eat foods that repair the gut wall


Those who need GAPS are those with damaged guts, which require certain healing substances.  These can be found in the following foods:

·         Meat and Fish Stock-The bones and joints that are used to make stock contain some of the best properties for gut health. 
·         Pastured Poultry and Eggs
·         Grass-fed and Grass-finished Meat-With the skin and fat!
·         Grass-fed Organ Meat
·         Wild Caught Fish
·          Healthy Fats-Such as animal fats and cold pressed oils
·          Organic Fruits (in moderation) and Organic, Non-starchy Vegetables
·         Fermented Foods-An unhealthy gut lacks an adequate amount of good bacteria. Probiotic foods carry beneficial bacteria into our digestive system.  




Just as certain foods have the power to restore our health, so do certain other foods have the ability to compromise the gut’s health.  Consuming foods that are good for us is only part of the equation.  Complete healing cannot take place unless the foods that negatively affect the gut are taken out of the diet. 

Enterocytes  are cells in the small intestine that are responsible for absorbing the food we eat.  In an impaired digestive system , these cells get sick and cannot properly perform their job.  They are unable to break down double sugar molecules, which then stay in the gut and become food for pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

In addition, they cannot fully break down protein from peptides to single amino acids. Since the gut wall has been damaged by pathogens, these partially digested proteins slip though the gut wall, triggering an immune response

The enterocytes need a break, so the GAPS diet does not allow starchy veggies, grains or non-fermented dairy.  During this rest period the enterocytes get a chance to fully recover.



Without enough good bacteria in the gut, food cannot be properly digested and absorbed.  As if that weren’t enough, probiotics keep dangerous bacteria, yeasts, and fungi under control.

That is why we must make a conscious effort to put good bacteria back into our bodies, using probiotic foods and probiotic supplements to accomplish this.  Both are necessary for healing, although food is always of greater importance.

4.) You starve the pathogenic bacteria


Pathogens feed on grains, sugar and starch.  That is why these foods, and food products that contain them, are completely eliminated from the GAPS diet.  The goal is to stop encouraging the growth of bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 

Now that you understand how GAPS works to heal the body, the next step is to learn more about the diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes that are involved.