The food with the best nutritional value comes from the ground. This year was my third attempt to grow my own food. I’m glad I did too. For those who can relate, you can imagine my joy when I pulled my first bell pepper off the plant and ate it too. Over the years I have changed my perspective on the purpose of food. Have you heard the saying, “Eat to live or Live to eat?” Well, in my lifestyle I have incorporated more of the “Eat to live.”
I have always had the idea of growing my own food. The condition of the soil wasn’t conducive for planting in a couple places I’ve lived, it was too rocky. There were also things I had to learn about how to plant. I don’t count my failed attempts as a waste of time because each time I learned something. My main goal was to have food that provided the best value available most of the time. The idea was not just to prolong life but to live the best life possible.
Eat To Live
Let me explain my take on the phrase “Eat to Live.” My explanation is simple it seems, we need food to live. But, there is more to it than that. All foods are not created equal. Don’t get me wrong I have not lost my taste buds. I like the way somethings taste and I eat them because I enjoy doing so. After infusing myself with the knowledge of how different foods work to prevent illness I began to sacrifice taste for health. As a nurse, I know illness has no respect of persons. I have seen what a consistent lifestyle of unhealthy eating leads to. So, I have incorporated different foods into my diet that serve me in providing wellness. I have made it a lifestyle not just for me, my family too.
Balance is the key to living well. it also has a role in nutrition. Your diet should not consist of only one type of food. We need a variety to fulfill the whole healthy purpose. That was the idea behind the food pyramid. The challenge is monitoring what is in food so you can make informed choices about what you put in your body. If your diet consists of mostly processed foods or refined carbohydrates, there are what I like to call extras put into the food that is not necessary for living. But those extras is what preserves the food, make it last longer or give it flavor.
Grocery stores can’t get around not having any preservatives in their packaged foods. They would go out of business because their inventory would go bad. So, the work is up to us to monitor what we put in our body. There are some harmful food preservatives to watch for that are known to cause illness and deficiencies. See the following list:
Benzoates- brain damage, trigger allergies, asthma, and skin rashes.
Butylates- high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)- liver diseases and cancer
Caramel-Vitamin B6 deficiencies, genetic effects, and cancer.
Beast Foods to Eat
Raw vegetables are at the top of the list for the best foods to eat. They offer the most complete nutritional value. Some of my favorites vegetables to have are spinach, lettuce, carrots, squash to name a few. I have now included watercress after learning of the powerful impact it provides to good health. Watercress is low in calories and contains no fat. Packed with many minerals and vitamins watercress also reduces chronic disease and has certain compounds that may prevent certain cancers. Most of your green leafy vegetables provide a good amount of fiber along with cancer-fighting elements.
If you prefer eating a different version from raw than take care to not overcook your veggies, so the vitamins are not cooked off. Spinach and broccoli are good examples of veggies that tend to be overcooked. Fruits are another food item to put on the list. They offer much needed ascorbic acid and fiber amongst other beneficial elements.
I have also adopted wheatgrass and chlorella as staples in my kitchen. These two superfoods are packed with vitamins and minerals that cover a large range of health benefits. Together or apart wheatgrass and chlorella do wonders for your body inside and out.
Other foods like bread, meats, sweets, and fats should be eaten in moderation. Always go for lean when it comes to meat. As far as the bread, look for the sprouted, 100% whole wheat or stone ground selections to try.
Grow Your Garden
I have come to the conclusion that the best way for me to know that I am getting the most out of what I eat is to grow it myself. I realize it takes time and a process to put this in motion on a larger scale than I currently have. Yet it is an option for me where I can take some control to better my lifestyle. Growing your own food is not limited to those with big backyards. There are options like boxed gardens, table gardens, or different pot styles. This year I am growing tomatoes, yellow squash, bell peppers, strawberries, and carrots outside. Inside I have basil, mint and a pineapple plant. If you have the problem of not being able to make to the grocery store often enough to replenish your fresh produce, growing your own foods may be a good option.
In conclusion, you are worth living the best life possible. The solution lies in the choice you make. Nutrition is just one of the areas where we have options. So, I encourage you to explore those options because You’re worth it!