Winter squash are delicious, healthy, and one of my favorite fall and winter veggies. I stock up towards the end of fall and store local squash to enjoy throughout the winter. I invite you to try as many different varieties of squash as you can find as they each have different textures, colors and flavors.
All varieties of winter squash contain good amounts of Vitamins A, C, B6, and are full of fiber. They also contain manganese, an important antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory Omega-3s. My favorite varieties are acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and delicata squash. Pumpkins also belong to the squash family and contain a similar nutrient profile.
My favorite way to cook squash is to roast it in the oven, and I absolutely love to toast the seeds for a crunchy and healthy snack. Read on for 2 recipes.
You walk into the classroom and gently touch one of the hammocks. The room is bright and welcoming, and you're a mix of emotions - nervous, excited, curious. You choose your place and follow the teacher's instructions to make sure your hammock is the right height. Your neighbor asks if it's your first class - in response to your nod she says "ooh exciting! I was here last week, it's so fun!" and gives you a bright smile.
You learn to sit in the hammock, swinging gently a few feet off the floor. It's not unlike being on a swing and you feel a little more calm as you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You choose to be courageous today - to go where the practice will take you and hope you don't fall on your head.
We all know that we are what we eat. But all too often we make choices that are detrimental to our health. One of my favorite ways to work with clients on improving their health is to add in fruits and vegetables. We often think that quitting soda or avoiding donuts will have a greater impact on our health, but restriction often makes us feel deprived and we may overindulge when we give into cravings. So try this simple tip:
Eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal.
Try it. See how you feel. At breakfast, grab an apple or throw some berries into your yogurt. Choose a side salad at lunch or add some veggies to your sandwich. Dinner's easy - throw some spinach into your pasta sauce, saute some broccoli, or have a peach for dessert. If you need a little more motivation, check this out:
Start today - just add one fruit or vegetable to each meal and you'll be on your way to improved health and wellness!
At the grocery store, we see many different types of fruits and vegetables, and there may be even 4-5 unique varieties of apples. We can buy asparagus in January, pumpkins in March, and blueberries in November. Doesn't this mean our food system is stable?
Unfortunately, our food biodiversity is rapidly declining. In 1903, there were 497 varieties of lettuce seed available, but in 1983 only 36 varieties remained. Overall, the study showed a 93% loss in biodiversity of the 66 crops studied - see more in this Infographic from National Geographic.
Why is biodiversity important? To grow our food, we rely on countless other species to pollinate and fertilize our crops. Without them, we could face dangerous food shortages and a complete extinction of fruits like grapes, apples, and olives. Having multiple varieties can also reduce the risk of crop failure - when one variety of tomato may die from pest infestation or blight, another may continue to produce. We must remember that we are a part of a much bigger system, and as it begins to shrink and become unstable, our future may also be threatened.
Check out the short PBS video below for a brief introduction to seed biodiversity and it's role in preserving our Agrobiodiversity as well as our food security and our future:
As you make your weekly trip to the farmer's market, see if you can find a unique variety of your favorite produce to enjoy - spiky romanesco broccoli, purple cauliflower, or bright yellow heirloom tomatoes. Your farmer and the planet will thank you!
I'm teaching Yoga Flow - on the go tonight at 5:25pm so head over after work for a fun class and to check out the studio. Register for class online.
Still not sure if Harvest is right for you? I've posted some Frequently Asked Questions to give you a little guidance!
The early bird registration rates are only available through Friday, so join today!
August 3-9 is National Farmer's Market Week! Time to find your local market, pack your reusable bags, and get out to meet your farmers. If the pull of delicious, freshly-picked produce isn't enough to convince you, how about this fact:
There are so many extra costs in our conventional food system - packaging, storage, and transportation for days or weeks to get the produce from the farm to your store. Plus, there's the marketing, branding, and advertising costs as well. Most fruits and vegetables were picked before they were ripe, shipped thousands of miles, and the farmers see very little income.
Farmers who sell at local markets receive 80-90 cents of each dollar spent.
I know amazing women. Girlfriends, farmers, mentors, leaders, and mothers. I saw first hand the effect of supporting women in small business, agriculture, and tourism when I lived in Central America - stronger families, children with big dreams, and organized communities. The Girl Effect shares the impact we can have by improving women's access in developing countries:
Giving women the same access to non-land resources and services as men could increase yields on women’s land by up to 30 per cent, raise total agricultural output in developing countries by up to four per cent and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million.