This is one of my favorite times of year. Aside from the favorable temps, I love how new the leaves look, how vibrant the colors of the flowers are and how fresh the newly grown plants smell in their throes of display. Ok, that was a little over-wrought but you get the idea: I love Spring! In Farmer’s Markets everywhere we get to witness what sustenance Mother Earth is offering us in the form of newly sprouted delicious fruit and vegetables. The colors themselves are amazing and I think it’s to beckon us to sample them: “eat me, and me, and me!” they say, “I offer you maximum nutrition and flavor to keep you healthy!” Kinda cheesy but true. Green leafy vegetables are great but try not to forget the purples, reds, blues, whites, and yellows that populate the garden either. Here’s why
Greens: Promote eye health and lower the risk of cancers; promote immunity.They also have calcium for bone and teeth building.
Purples & blues: Promote heart health and help with memory; promotes immunity promotes a healthy urinary tract and healthy aging
White & tan: Maintains healthy cholesterol levels, lower cancer risks; slows cholesterol absorption.
Yellow & orange: Promotes eye and heart health; lowers cancer risks and boosts immunity.
Red: Promotes heart, urinary tract, immunity and memory function; Lowers cancer risks.
Brown Whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts: lowers cholesterol and reduces colon and other cancers; lowers risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
When you buy vegetables in season they tend to be juicier and more flavorful than when you don’t. Here’s what to shop for now.
Leaves: Arugula, baby spinach, kale, lettuce, and mache.
Shoots/Stalks : Artichokes and asparagus
Cabbage: Broccoli rabe and cabbage
Roots & tubers: Daikon, new potatoes, radishes, turnips, and young ginger
Mushrooms: buttons, morels, oysters, porcini, portobellos, and shiitakes.
Peas, beans and seeds : English peas, fava beans and green beans.
Bulbs: baby leeks, green garlic, green onions and Vidalia onions.
If you’ve ever thought of yourself or someone else as apple, tube or pear shaped then you at least have an idea of what the concept of body typing is. It’s basically another way of categorizing body musculature developed by psychologist William Sheldon. He called them somatotypes and they encompassed personality types as well. According to Sheldon the 3 body types are:
Endomorphs who are curvy
Mesomorphs who are athletic and muscular
Ectomorphs who are tall, lean and waif-like
So now you know. So what? Well, they have written books on the topic ofworking out and eating for your body type. They give recommendations like ” do light weights and high intensity cardio if you’re an endomorphs”, ” go crazy with weights and the elliptical if you’re a mseomorph” and “stick to pilates, walking and mat classes if you’re an ectomorph“. Is any of this legitimate advice? I mean it does kinda make sense that Pilates would suit a long, lean ectomorph well since it works on creating even more long lean muscles. Or that endomorphs would benefit from from whittling their hourglass figures with intense cardio and light weights. Then again, Sheldon’s body typing also included some offensive stereotypes against groups such as endomorphs being lazy and slovenly, ectomorphs being intelligent, and mesomorphs leaning towards criminality. What are your experiences working with or against your body type?
Man, it’s hard times out there for some! I have never seen so many people scratching their heads about what to they can actually afford. Let’s keep it in perspective, shall we? I have to be just as discerning about where my dollars go as the next woman but it’s on the level of : hmmm, do I cook or go out for dinner tonight? Can you imagine if you had to make the choice between eating and NOT eating? or if the selections of grocery items you had were only moldy and moldy vs. a shave-10-years off your life burger special? According to this Philadelphia research study, supermarkets in poorer neighborhoods sell more bacteria ridden produce than their more affluent counterparts. So, the people who really cannot afford to get sick and miss work ( well, who can really) are more likely to be at risk to do so…?? The study authors blame part of the problem on damage and improper handling during transit but don’t deny that the food was low quality to begin with. I have shopped at enough “budget” supermarkets to know that this is definitely true ( Hello, all supermarkets in Jamaica, Queens!) Do you have any experience with this, world out there?
Have you seen the variety of bottled water in stores lately? Vitamin Water, Sport water, Coconut Water, energy water, fruit infused water….all promising to hydrate you in the healthiest way possible. Now add Dream Water and, fast acting Mini Chill water to the list of super waters with super powers. Instead of pumping you up, this new breed of water promises to calm you down. Well, I’m not surprised since all previous waters were basically energy drinks that now we need calming down.The companies who make these drinks say that they’re no different than say sleepy-time tea and much healthier than drinking alcohol before bed. As with too many supplements these days, some of the ingredients in these drinks should be consumed with caution. For example, the melatonin in Dream Water is a human hormone which should be consumed under careful physician supervision. In fact, the FDA has issued warnings about adding the hormone to drinks. Other relaxation drinks contain kava root which has been shown to be effective for treating anxiety BUT can cause liver damage ( eeek!). I don’t know how much I want my water to do other than hydrating me, y’know? I mean, do we really need to self medicate for anxiety and stress with water now? Water as medicine? Considering that we just celebrated world water day the fact that water has become so privatized in this the “free-est” of countries annoys me so I defiantly fill my water bottle at the tap, thanks. Or reach for some coconut water because hey, at least I grew up drinking that, I know where it comes from and I know it’s good for me. What do you think about private water? what are your favorites.