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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Kitchen Reflections

Ahhh… March. The beginning of this month brings a sigh of relief with the knowledge that winter is behind us and spring is just around the corner. What a blessing to have a season built into each year that renews and encourages us to look forward with anticipation, hope and promise to the future days that lay ahead. We are happily anticipating the changing of seasons in our home—muddy boots, dirt under our fingernails and all!

            We absolutely adore being in nature, preferably with our hands in the soil cultivating and growing something we know is nutritious to eat, flavorful to the senses and yummy! Our family takes delight in choosing and creating unique meals that everyone enjoys, plus it’s such a simple pleasure to have all the ingredients we need, freshly picked from the garden. Many would be surprised to learn that making homemade food from scratch like this is fast, easy and fun. We sure love it!

            It’s a far cry from when we were kids and commercials sold convenience, with TV dinners all the rage. Even today in the average American household, pre-made and quick, packaged meals from the oven or microwave seem to be the go-to for most. These options are highly processed, and grocery manufacturers estimate that 70 to 75 percent of all processed foods available in our  markets contain ingredients from genetically engineered plants, which is contributing to our population’s failing health by depriving us of complex systems of whole food nutrition, not to mention the toxins sprayed on crops.

            We have relied on the government and its experts for guidance about the safety of these foods and advice on what is best for our health, but with so many people unwell, are they really doing a very good job? It’s time to take ownership by reading food labels and making what we eat with quality ingredients. When I read a package label and cannot pronounce the ingredients, I immediately reject it. If you want a healthy body that feels great, it is important to be an informed consumer. Whether from known, local sources or from your own backyard, natural, whole foods are the purest and most sustainable.

            Chemically contaminated foods are making homegrown food incredibly valuable when it comes to protecting and supporting individual and family health. With prices on the rise, buying quality food is becoming more of a challenge, but that means there is even greater incentive to plant a garden and grow some of your own food. As in our home, there are folks realizing the benefits of planting their own gardens and reclaiming responsibility for feeding themselves in a more self-sustaining, wholesome way. One thing is for sure: if you want to directly influence your family’s well-being, start with the choices you make in the kitchen. As we say so often, “There’s no decision or action too small. Every bit counts.”

            We hope that you’ll take a few minutes to think deeply about how food choices do indeed matter—there’s not a right or wrong answer or a universally perfect diet, but perhaps our words will inspire positive action and change. This is an ideal time to seek out community supported agriculture (CSA) options for the coming season. Or maybe you will take on a new gardening endeavor of your own this year. Even if it is simply shopping with a fresh perspective at your local market, your body and the Earth will definitely thank you for choosing natural and minimally processed foods. In fact, a more courageous expression of love for all has never been more needed to ensure that future generations are able to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and continue growing nutritious food in rich, healthy soil. We can all contribute to this legacy.

Onward to a glorious spring!

Trina and John