Our two-year old grandson is visiting for a few days and yesterday we took him to a local natural foods store. They had peaches on sale and we wanted to buy some. Carson’s smile reached both his ears, his feet tapped out a little dance and we had to hold his hands to keep him from choosing all the peaches in the display. His daddy told us that the two of them walk to their local Whole Foods to shop every week. So fresh food is a normal part of life for Carson. Don’t let that fool you – he loves ice cream and candy, too! But he is accustomed to eating real, whole food for meals.
It is becoming common knowledge that processed foods are not healthy, and in my experience, younger adults are more receptive to this knowledge than older adults. We all need to internalize the truth that preservatives are a hazard to our health and avoid them entirely. In practical terms, this means a new way of navigating the grocery store. Shopping the outside aisles, you’ll find fresh produce, dairy, eggs and meat, and whole grain breads. If it comes in a box, jar, bottle, envelope, or can, my general rule is not to buy it. Exceptions are olive and coconut oils, canned fish, olives and organic tomatoes, and frozen vegetables.
We need to remember the power of deep-colored vegetables and fruits to nourish and even heal our bodies. These should be eaten without heavy sauces or dressings. Organic butter or olive oil and sea salt usually provide plenty of added flavor. My favorite lunch is a salad and dressing I concocted.
Kathy’s Favorite Lunch Salad
(All ingredients should be organic except maybe the nuts.)
Salad Greens (whatever is in season where you live, but NOT iceberg lettuce)
A handful of broken Walnut halves
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1/2 Carrot, grated
Purple Cabbage, grated
red, green, or yellow Bell Pepper, chopped (if desired)
1 or 2 Green Onions, sliced
whole Black or Green Olives
handful of Chia Seeds
2 or 3 ounces of leftover meat OR 3 ounces of tuna
Place all ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with celery seed, cumin, sea salt and pepper. Add a dash of organic apple cider vinegar and probably close to 1/4 cup olive oil. Chop with a sharp knife. Enjoy.
This salad will stay with me for hours, unlike many other salads. My guess is that the high fat content from the nuts, olives, and olive oil is responsible, along with the animal protein. It’s a tasty, easy way to increase my colorful vegetable consumption.
Do you have a favorite recipe for a healthy summer vegetable salad? A fruit salad? Post them on our Facebook Group.