Lets eat our veggies this year

You couldn’t tell it’s wintertime by the weather the past few days. Hopefully you all made those New Year’s resolutions to be more physically active and are getting outside to do some walking. Eating well is an important part of these healthy lifestyle articles you read each week, and we all need guidance and inspiration when it comes to putting healthy, delicious food on the table. If you want to live fully and healthfully, you must recognize that achieving optimal health in the 21st century is a synergy of information, motivation and good habits. Along with clean air, pure water and a properly- functioning immune system, good nutrition is essential for optimal health. Yet, our generation may be the worst fed in history. Most of us eat too much protein, too many of the bad fats, too much refined sugars and too many foods robbed of their healthful vitamins and minerals. Not only do our diets lead to many lifestyle- induced diseases, our poor diets slow the healing process and place unnatural demands on our bodies. Your body has the amazing ability to turn the foods you eat into the energy it needs to power muscles, regulate organs, fuel the brain and heal itself. Like a car’s engine that ‘pings’ with a low octane fuel, your body can show signs of poor fuel, too. Your hair, skin, energy level and the state of your overall health can reveal signs of poor nutrition. Today, with so many prepackaged convenience foods with high levels of salt, sugar, fats and preservatives, you must be careful. Healthy, whole foods are the foundation of health. And, foods (along with the weather) change with the season. The hearty casseroles that lure us in January hold no appeal in July when we yearn for some grilled fish or perhaps just a salad. For this year, I will recommend the freshest and most delicious vegetables along with recipes that are in tune with the seasons. A healthy shopping cart contains a substantial amount of fresh or frozen produce. Go for produce in season for the best value and quality. Use frozen or reduced-sodium canned veggies for stretching the time between shopping trips or for time- pressed meals. How do you eat a diet rich in veggies in the winter when there seems to be little fresh produce available’ Here are a few you may want to try. Some of the veggies that are now in season for January and February include yams/sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery root and chicory. If your New Year’s resolutions are committed to improve your nutrition, remember that like any new habit, it takes time. At first, these simple foods with their fiber, trace minerals, and vitamins intact can seem less exciting that processed foods or the fast-food chairns. But, give it time. Soon you will prefer the taste, texture, and good health that proper nutrition can offer. Next week: Yams Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published tradebooks. These articles have been written and published strictly for information purposes. For any questions contact Susan at trijrsL@msn.com or www.fruitandveggienurse.com

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