Grow Your Own

8 06 2012

One of the great things about this time of the year is the access we have to fresh produce. And while there is plenty to be found at the grocery store, local farm stand and farmer’s market, I need to go no further than outside my door to begin enjoying nature’s bounty. We have several small garden’s going this year and delicious organically grown veggies are quickly on the way.

I recently tried one of our homegrown strawberries. It was tiny but packed such an amazingly intense and sweet flavor, I could not believe it. The giant strawberries purchased at the store have nothing on these little wonders. Since I can remember, I have always loved strawberries. They are my favorite fruit. My grandmother told me a year ago or so that when she and her mother immigrated to the United States from Italy in the 1930’s, they initially went to work picking strawberries. So you see I’ve been genetically programmed to love them. it’s in my blood. I really hope though that we get a decent yield because the few that we have gotten so far have been an absolute (and fantastic tasting) tease!

Speaking of grandparents, mine have their garden in full swing again this year. This means that when I go over to visit them, I always leave with fresh, home grown produce. My grandfather, though in his 80’s, spends a huge amount of time in his garden. It is his pride, joy and therapy. I’ve been enjoying some of their sweet leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and several other varieties. I also am adding fresh dandelion to my salads. While I admit that i’ve never been much of a fan of it, since going plant-based I now try to eat a wide variety of different things in order to keep meals interesting.

The only downside to all of this fresh produce is the washing. I think I had to quadruple wash this latest batch. The piles of dirt at the bottom of the sink were the proof that all of the effort to clean had been necessary.

There is a certain satisfaction that comes from growing your own food both in the taste and the quality. I know that in our garden, the use of compost, compost tea, occasional garden maintenance and regular conversations with the plants goes a very long way towards bigger yields. And the act of gardening itself can be a really nice stress reliever. Admittedly,I have not been the guy who has toiled out in our garden this year. But when I have gotten my hands dirty, I have continued to find a peace that comes with it. As if the generations of landscapers and gardeners of my family have smiled down on me. My great grandfather used to say “a cool breeze is God’s air conditioner”. I think of that often when a slight wind picks up in the midst of harvesting our bounty on a hot summer’s day. I’ll probably never be the gardener that my grandfather is or that his father was before him. But I’m happy to grow what I can. I’m fortunate at the age of 37 to have three living grandparents. Growing your own food and enjoying vegetables and fruits was one of the great things I have learned from them.





The Cure for Clogged Pipes

10 02 2012

A friend sent this video my way earlier this week.  It was very eerie watching it because these three things (Ramen Noodles, Gummi Bears and blue Gatorade) were absolute staples in my diet before making the switch to a plant based lifestyle.   This could have absolutely been one of my dinners.   I could eat 2-3 packs of noodles in one large bowl, have a few bags of gummi bears and wash it down with 64oz of Gatorade.  It’s no wonder I ended up getting sick. The body cannot properly run on this.

If nothing else, the study shows how much more difficulty the body has breaking down the processed food.  Now imagine everything we buy at the grocery store.  How much of that is processed?  So many of the foods available in grocery stores are processed in some way.  Companies need to cut their losses and have this stuff stay on the shelf while maintaining its quality until it sells.  And we are fortunate enough to get to pay for it twice – once at the register and then again as our bodies work overtime to digest it.

I sometimes think about the traditional diet that humankind has eaten for thousands of years and then what we have consumed for the last 60.  How vastly different these two diets are.  How cancer, diabetes and heart disease all sprung up as epidemics within the last few generations.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.  How do our bodies even make sense of these chemicals that we feed them on a nearly daily basis?  When this is the fuel that you put in your tank, you can’t be angry at your body when it refuses to perform the way you would like it to.








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