When a family depends on its bread winner for taxi service, dating advice and volunteerism thoughts turn to the need to stay healthy. Being pulled in many directions at once can take its toll. Over worked. Over taxed. Over booked. Plan ahead. Stay healthy.
Of course, going to the doctor for regular check ups is essential for maintaining good health. Often seeing the doctor is a time-consuming drudge many people put off until illness comes a’ calling. We have little control over colds, flu, migraines, cramps. Diet, exercise and regular hand washing can prevent or control some common maladies. But it’s amazing the benefits good food alone provides.
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products like eggs, from farmers markets saves money. Local vendors usually harvest, pack and sell their own products thereby passing the savings on to the shopper. Benefits to the family – freshness, taste and limited loss of body building nutrients. Taste is paramount to growing families. If it tastes good they’ll eat it without thinking about feeling great or getting strong.
Meat, poultry and seafood can be a concern due to . . .
- Unseasonable harsh weather conditions that kept fisherman from their daily catch.
- National disasters like the prolonged BP oil spill and after effects from Hurricane Katrina that devastated the fishing industry in the gulf.
- Meat and egg recalls for E-Coli and salmonella.
- Fruits and vegetables damaged by global warming.
Seafood. Purchase local whenever possible for freshness. Buy seafood from vendors who get their catch from local fishermen – preferably from the current day’s catch. Find fish shops in Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, etc.
Meat. Look for markets that butcher their own meat like Costco and Stater Brothers. Cristina Ferrare, host of Big Bowl of Love on the OWN Network, suggests having the butcher grind chuck roast for hamburger and pork for freshness and maximum flavor.
Farmer’s Market. Visit a farmers market for fresh produce. Local merchants grow these items in their personal or community gardens. All locally grown. Also look for honey from neighborhood hives and eggs from small scale operations.
Home Gardens don’t have to be time-consuming or labor intensive. Garden in pots. Grow herbs like chives, parsley, cilantro in a window box so they are ever handy to snip into soups, salads, appetizers. Tomatoes are delicate but easily grown in a pot or hanging planter.
Community Gardens. Plant your own fruits and vegetables. Call city hall to find the closest community garden. They vary in number and size depending on the city’s willingness to donate land for a group venture. Most have waiting lists so call them all to express interest. Add your name to the list.
Not all gardens have a residency requirement. Some take all interested parties, while others limit participation to their own residents.
For the novice, the community garden is ideal. The community leader and fellow gardeners are always full of advice. They’re also willing to lend a helping hand to a newbie. Local vendors often donate supplies to the garden, like mulch, plants, screening. They also offer discounts on plants and gardening paraphernalia.
. The gardens are usually organic – no pesticides allowed. A community garden can be an ideal family activity. Nothing better than teaching children how their food gets to the table.
A community or personal garden needn’t be a burden. The benefits far outweigh time and effort.
Organic garden activist, Alice Waters has been advocating for edible gardens for over 20 years. She’s currently working with First Lady Michelle Obama to create gardens on school campuses across America. The goal is to teach children about food and nutrition and how food affects our bodies.
Bringing good food to the table can reward a family in many ways – nutrition, great taste, and most of all, good health.