Saturday, March 31, 2012

Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season





rootsofhealth.org

How are you doing with your new Paleo habits? Are you steadily eating away at that elephant? Remember you need to keep reminding yourself until it becomes automatic.

Here's you're next habit. When you feel comfortable, then it's time to work on the next step. But not before. Don't rush this. Remember Kaizen is about changing your life one tiny step at a time.

Check the list below. If you are still working on some of these habits then keep doing that until you no longer need to think about them.  Only then are you ready to move on.  Nobody is rushing you and nobody is keeping track.  This is YOUR plan and you decide when you're ready.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step"

.... then another, and another.... Take your time, do it right, and you'll build a solid base for a lifetime of easy and healthy Paleo eating.
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  1. I have bags in my freezer with bones and leftovers for stock, and I plan to make it regularly on my basics day.
  2. I have a large salad for lunch most days, and I plan to make eggs, chicken etc. for my lunches on my basics day.
  3. My freezers are organized and inventoried, and I make at least two extra meals a week for my freezer.
  4. I have a regular weekly shopping day, and I never shop without a list.
  5. I plan my menus and schedule cooking time each week, and I keep notes for future use.
  6. I have set up and organized a storage pantry, and I put aside some money every week to stock up on specials. 
  7. I have researched alternative food sources in my area and tried at least two.
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Habit # 8 - Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season

Now that you've been looking into alternative sources of buying your food, and probably checked out farmer's markets, this is really the next step.  When you buy locally produced food you really can't help but buy in season because that's when it's available.

The nice thing about eating with the seasons is that you always have variety in your menus because each season brings something new and exciting to try.







In the spring the first asparagus is incredibly delicious ....




.....  and is there really anything better than juicy ripe strawberries straight from the field with the heat of the sun still in them?  (I'm lucky where I live.  I have a strawberry farm just up the road.)




In the summer the vegetable varieties are endless.  From green beans, broccoli and cauliflower to red peppers, zucchini and eggplants - there is something new ripening every week.



And of course the summer also brings juicy ripe tomatoes which with a few slices of Provolone or fresh Mozzarella cheese, some chopped basil, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is a meal in itself. The Italians think so and even have a name for it - Insalate Caprese.




Then in the fall you have carrots, rutabagas, cabbages and all the other root vegetables that can be stored for the winter.





As well as all the fruit - plums, peaches, apricots and apples. And don't forget the pumpkins.




And finally in the winter there are the citrus fruits - oranges, lemons and limes and the avocados.  These used to be reserved for the lucky few who lived in the warm south but now we can all have these treats.  Not locally for most of us, but still in season somewhere.






 The whole point I am trying to make here is that eating with the seasons is not only more economical but also a lot better for your health.  Those tasteless tomatoes you get in the middle of winter have travelled who knows how many miles to your table, even if they are organic.  I think you're better off with organic canned ones, or better yet local ones you've frozen or canned yourself. (And I'll tell you how to do that in future posts as well.)


This week I want you to check out what's available to you now.  If it's a growing season check out a local farmer's market. These are available all over the world. (The one above is in England.)

If it's the winter and you just have your supermarket to buy from, ask your produce manager what root vegetables are available from local storage. Then just keep checking each week to see what's new and find at least one recipe that uses that vegetable so you can start incorporating it into your menus.

Here is a chart that will give you an idea of what's in season at different times of the year :




This particular chart is for North and South Carolina USA, but each area has something similar available if you google it.  Here are just a few to start you of:

http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html  (Canada)
http://www.sustainabletable.org/shop/seasonal/  (USA - general )
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/member-recipes/British%20Seasonal%20Fruit%20and%20Vegetable%20Calendar/132  (Britain)
http://na-nu.com/terfloth.org/Kitchen/Season_Cal.pdf (Western and Northern Europe)
http://www.vnv.org.au/site/files/seasonalfoodcalendar.pdf (Australia)
http://www.eastwestfoodproducts.com/charts.html  (India)


By buying local and in season you're also supporting all those small farmers out there who are doing their best to produce the best food for your table. And you're teaching your children that food doesn't just come from a box or a tin, or wrapped in plastic.

So go try those baby eggplants or that funny looking chinese cabbage, help your family to appreciate a wide variety of vegetables that will keep them healthy, and know ......




  “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw


Want to try Paleo, but .....


... think it's too hard to do?
... don't have enough information?
... don't know where to start?
.
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I give you lots of great Recipes,
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