phyto…what?

Did you know there are over two thousand known phytonutrientswhich are active substances that give fruits and vegetables their color, flavor, smell and natural disease resistance?  Our phytonutrient consumption is associated with reduced rates of many different cancers.  Think color!  Think the rainbow!!  Blueberries, oranges, lemons, herbs, carrots….there are so many different choices to consider.

According to Dr. Don Colbertphytonutrients in fruits and vegetables can be grouped according to color.  Each group has it’s own set of unique protective benefits.

  • Orange: carrots, mangoes, cantaloupes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, and apricots all have carotenoids, which help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Red:  tomatoes, watermelon, guava, red grapefruit, all contain a powerful carotenoid called lycopene, linked to prevention of heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Red/Purple:  blueberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, raspberries, grapes, eggplants, red cabbage and red wine contain a powerful flavonoid called anthocyanidin, which contains approximately 50 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin C and 20 times more powerful than vitamin E.
  • Orange/Yellow:  oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, yellow grapefruit, papaya, pineaple and nectarines are rich in vitamin C and protect us against free-radical damage.
  • Yellow/Green:  Spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, leeks and peas are typically rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Green:  broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress, bok choy, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are considered cruciferous vegetables with anti-cancer properties.

Remember, living foods exist in a raw or close-to-raw state and can make your eyes sparkle, your hair shine, and a glow to your skin!  Who doesn’t want that??

It’s time to take back our food choices and how we eat them so we can become vibrant, healthy people!  Now is the time!

changing the way we eat…

Seriously, we can be such idiots when we are hungry.

Do you realize that we have completely transformed what, when and how we eat, since our great-grandparent’s day?  We live our lives in such a hurry, eating in our cars, in front of our televisions sets or standing in the kitchen.  We throw frozen food in little plastic trays in the microwave and don’t even give it a second thought.  We have forgotten to stop and enjoy the aromas, feel the textures or even taste our food.  (I’m guilty too!)

Back in our great-grandparents day, or even our grandparents day (depending on your age), most had gardens and did their own growing and harvesting.   As Michael Pollan states, “If it came from the planet, eat it.  If it was made in a plant, don’t.”

Back in the 1850s, the women of rural American were still  primarily cooking with ingredients that were grown on their own farms or in their gardens.  Any foods  they couldn’t produce themselves were often purchased in bulk  from the local general store. Can  you imagine if our ancestors were to walk into our grocery stores today?  The center of the store, where the packaged, over processed foods live, is larger than the produce section!

Our ancestors ate whole and unprocessed vegetables, along with fruits, grains, beans and nuts.  They didn’t run to the freezer section to grab some frozen french fries or a lean cuisine.

Somewhere along the way we became disconnected from the real foods that have to be plucked, harvested or squeezed and have chosen the ‘easy‘ way.

The good news is that we CAN change and our health will benefit in the long run.

Buy live, organic foods.  If you are able to make a trip each day to the store your food will be that much fresher!  Take a few minutes to inspect your produce carefully.  Remember, organic produce may be less colorful or less perfectly shaped, but have you every bought a big, red tomato from the grocery store only to find out that it was weak and had no flavor?  YUK!  They might not look perfect, but at least you know there aren’t pesticides sprayed all over them.

Start paying attention to the times of the day that you eat your food.  Use all your senses.  Look at your food, smell your food and enjoy your food!  Make it special!  Turn off the television and play some relaxing music.  Start your meal off with a blessing.  Sit at the table, even if you are alone, and maybe it’s time to pull out the good china!  Try to place your fork back on the plate after each bite so you can focus on what you are eating.

You’re worth it!  The point is to be relaxed and chew slowly.

Now…be sure you have living foods on your plate!  You may be surprised to find that by making good choices now, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life!