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New Life

metroSPIRIT

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With spring and summer arrives new life, lifted spirits, and blossoming flowers and trees.  One of the best things about spring and summer is the arrival of fresh foods. 

Although the variety of fruits and vegetables is not as large as later in the summer and the fall, great selections are available.

 


 

Benefits of Fresh Foods

A fresh foods diet generally translates into more energy.  If you transition away from a diet consisting of breads, dairy and foods that are fried or cooked in butter or other fats and adopt a diet with more natural foods, you will note significant differences in your energy level.  It is not the same rush you get from a triple espresso but a more natural ongoing energy that ultimately eliminates the need for espresso.
When fresh foods are left complete, they are called living foods.  They transmit an incredible amount of life force.  Fresh foods and a healthy diet will enhance your beauty and help you lose weight. 

This is especially true if you take a pass on carbonated beverages and carbonated water and drink mostly fresh water.

"Leafy foods should be bright green and not dull colored with a whitish cast.  Greens with wilted leaves won’t have as good a texture and the nutrient content will be as high."

Where to Find Spring Foods

One of my favorite places to shop in late spring and early summer are the farmers markets.  Omaha’s outdoor farmers’ markets return in May.  The “Omaha Farmers” Market at 11th & Jackson opens May 1 and will be open every Saturday through October 9. from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.  You can obtain details at www.omahafarmersmarket.com.  You can become a fan on Facebook.  The link is www.facebook.com/omahafarmersmarket.

The other outdoor farmers market in Omaha is at Village Pointe.  The Village Pointe farmers market also opens May 1 and will be open Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm every Saturday.  You can obtain details at www.voterealfood.com.

Omaha has a year round indoor farmers market.  Tomato Tomato is located at 156th and West Center.  For more information, check out www.tomatotomato.org.

Nebraska also has numerous self-pick farms. Produce stands pop up later in the summer. 

Of course, it is fabulous fun to consider planting on your deck in your back yard.  Last year, I grew a delightful garden of herbs as well as my personal favorite wheatgrass.

Fresh Food Options for Early Spring

In May, look for asparagus, herbs, lettuce, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, turnips and radishes. In June, the variety becomes more plentiful and you will find beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, green beans, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, raspberries, squash, tomatoes and zucchini.

How to Determine if Food is Ripe

Look for vibrant color.  Cull color signals unripe or wilting food.  Food should not be soft and mushy nor too firm.  Gently squeeze your selection and not whether the skin is pliable. Skip anything with brown patches, which are bruises.

Leafy foods should be bright green and not dull colored with a whitish cast.  Greens with wilted leaves won’t have as good a texture and the nutrient content will be as high.

Fresh Foods to Improve the Mood

A variety of sources indicate growing evidence of the connection between food and mood.  A recent article at mayoclinic.com notes that there are a lot of factors that go into negative mental states but points out the connection between food and a stressed out lifestyle.  The vision of healthy eating does not comport with the thought of a sleep deprived person running from one job to the other gulping coffee and driving through fast food restaurants.

This summer, try spending more time outside and eating fresh foods. Your mood will improve.

-end- metroMAGAZINE

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