I love the lazy feel of August, the easy way each day flows into the next; the way we let down and things get more casual and relaxed. It’s a great time to recharge and rest and prepare for September, for back to school or busy times in your business. But for now, my family loves to relax in the morning and sit around the kitchen table, with an overflowing bowl of fruits from nearby farms and our own. We were laughing at some funny stories this morning, and my husband grabbed a yellow tomato from the window sill, sliced it and sprinkled it with sea salt. He bit into a slice and it squirt halfway across the table, and he claimed it was the best tomato he had ever eaten. My son had his own “Sunjewel” melon from the farmers market, a luscious oval fruit available for about a month each Summer at best. It was sweet and juicy and fragrant and he was one happy kid. I grabbed a “boutique” cantalope, some baby arugula from the market, an asian pear from a friend’s orchard, and I stepped onto the porch to trim some fresh mint from a planter. I put everything through my juicer and it tasted like an August day, fresh and filled with sun. Everything we ate was picked a day or two ago.
I speak at workshops about eating locally and with the seasons, but this mornings vignette was a reminder for me of how natural it is to eat this way and how good it feels. We all intuitively ate what our bodies craved; seasonal and local and very fresh. The fruit bowl and refrigerator were stocked from yesterdays’ trip to the farmers market. Is this ideal? Yes and I am the first to admit it is not always that way. But it was a wonderful reminder for me of how natural it is to eat fresh produce that our bodies crave.
Up until the 1960’s, families in America grew their own food or shopped frequently for fresh local produce. Today’s trendy idea of “Farm to Table” was a way of life prior to then and our ancestors; our parents or grandparents and great grandparents had no choice but to eat this way. Our bodies are programmed to eat this way from thousands of years of adaptation to seasonal eating. But in the past 50 years or so, the food industry in America has changed the way we shop, prepare and eat our meals and the health of Americans today is a direct reflection of these new habits. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer rates are sky high. Most Americans eat the majority of their food from packages- plastic bags, frozen paper boxes, cans lined with toxins. Family Meals come packaged or are assembled from varying packages, and snacks are in bags or foil lined bars.
I often use baby steps with my private clients, so here’s one for you.. This month, August, take a few baby steps.. Whether for you or your family , go to your local farmers market and stock up. Try some new fruits and vegetables and see if you can go a day or three with fresh produce added in to your diet. See how much better you feel. Lighter? Fresher? Clear headed? These are all common benefits attributed to local seasonal eating. Take the August challenge, at the beach or at home, and seek out local fresh produce. I promise you, September will be a lot easier to handle.