A Trip To The Farmacy…..The Only Prescription You Really Need!!

Today I decided that I was going to take a trip, by myself, down to La Jolla and visit San Diego’s best farmer’s market. I like going by myself because I can go at my own pace, talk to the local farmers,  and stop and smell the flowers.  Trips to the FMs is an activity I’ve taken up over the past 2 years. Coming from the Windy City, you only get a few short months to enjoy the locally grown produce….and most of it is corn.

Here in San Diego we are blessed to have locally grown and organic produce all year long. Yes, the types of foods that are in season do rotate, but still, you get the best of the fresh.

I like to emphasize the word “FARM-ACY/FARM-OCOLGY” because that’s truly what it is. I’m not sure the exact year the first pharmacy came along. But I do know that when I’m looking for a cure for something that is outside of what my body can do on it’s own, I turn to food 99% of the time.  There is a huge difference between the foods that you buy in the grocery store vs the foods that you buy at the local farmer’s markets. Yes, even with the organic produce.

When you buy from the farmer’s markets, that food is picked fresh…..it goes straight from the farm to your fork. It has a very fresh smell that indicates it’s just been pulled from the earth. The colors are ever so bright, like a fresh painting. And the flavor is so robust that you hardly need to add anything to it.

Aside from the alluring culinary aspects of going local at the farmer’s market are it’s medicinal effects. Eating locally grown produce means that your fruits and veggies haven’t been sitting on a truck spoiling going from coast to coast. Most of the food has been harvested with in 24 hours of being displayed. Which means its phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are that much more potent. I always enjoy my meals more when I can get my produce and herbs locally. I feel healthier just knowing that it came straight from the ground and is nourishing my body on a cellular level….not just filling my stomach. And I actually feel satiated with less food for longer periods of time.

I also found walking through the Farmacy a sense of peace. It almost seemed as if everyone there was in sync with each other.  It was probably one of the more stress free spiritual things I’ve done in a long time.

If you have the opportunity to visit a farmer’s market in your area, I highly recommend it. And don’t just plow through there like you do your local grocery store. Stop and appreciate all the different foods on display. Many of which you would never even see in your local store. Talk to the farmers and ask them about their produce. It’s very enlightening to know that the best foods grown from the earth are available to you.

Image

Try going to a farmers market and stocking up on your produce . See how you feel eating locally grown organic for one full week. Notice how your body feels. How you sleep. How your skin looks. And your overall energy production.

To Your Health
Tracy Russell
Health Coach
http://tracy-lynn-russell.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/

If You Can’t Beat Them….DON’T Join Them.

We all need to eat. That’s a given. We need to nourish our bodies on a cellular level so that we can maintain muscle and skeletal strength and keep up our endurance.  It would appear these days that we’ve gotten away from the true meaning behind nutrition.  In the United States and many other countries, we are now overfed and undernourished. Convenient fast food has taken over every corner and traditional foods have been kicked to the curb. Many of the fad diets out there that eliminate whole food groups are incorporating other products into their diets that don’t exist in nature….artificial sweeteners, protein powders, thickeners, supplements, etc. And we’ve really gotten away from our ancestral way of eating which was based on whole real foods….nothing fake…nothing processed.

When you walk into the grocery store, the first place you should visit should be the produce section. Seventy-five percent of what goes into your shopping cart should be in the form of produce…lots of vegetables and fruit. Making your way to the meat and seafood departments, make sure to pick lean cuts of meat that are hormone and antibiotic free, preferably organic and grass fed.  Always pick wild fish and go with the smaller fish that are lower in mercury and other toxins.  Pick eggs that are at a minimum free range. Organic and even pasture fed would be ideal. You will see when you crack a pasture egg just how golden the yolk is. That chicken was fed nothing but the best of nutrition.

There is a lot of controversy over certain foods like gluten, grains, soy, and dairy. I have very little opinion on these foods other than they happen to be some of the leading foods that cause food allergies. If you are tolerant and enjoy dairy, make sure to go organic. It will only benefit you down the line. Try to go local if possible. Not being a consumer of dairy products, I don’t really know which brands to pick from. So ask your grocer. Also, if you have the option to go raw….definitely take it.  Raw butter and ghee are so medicinal and great for your immune system.  Grains are really at the top of the No-No list these days. But they don’t need to be. Properly prepared grains that are soaked overnight can be very beneficial.  Soaking your grains removes the phytic acid and eases the burden on the digestive system. Another controversial food is soy. So many foods are processed with soy these days and there have been many health issues in that regard. Soy can interfere with your thyroid function and it also acts on your estrogen receptors interfering with your hormones.  If it is your  intention to keep soy in your diet, be sure to get sprouted and fermented forms. Wildwood Organics sprouts their soybeans. Tempeh is also another option.

Most importantly, listen to your body. Ask your body what it needs. Communicate with it on a higher level. What you ate one day may not necessarily agree with you another day. Rotate your foods so that your system doesn’t form a sensitivity to any one food from over exposure.  When it comes to diet, you need to develop a system that works best for you. It might be vegetarian in the summer and more meat and grain based in the winter months. Allow yourself the freedom to choose based on how you feel….not on what’s popular.  It’s easy to fall into a pattern of what others are doing based on the latest information out there. And although it may work for them, it may not work for you….at least not long term.

One thing I am learning about nutrition is that it’s ever changing. There are times when I can eat the same diet for an extended period of time and then there are times when I need to rotate my foods a lot more often.   But by paying attention and being truly in tune with how your body feels when you feed it, you will come to the perfect plan for you.

Image

It’s A Lifestyle, Dammit!!

I almost laugh daily when I get on Facebook in the morning, visit a friend’s page or another fitness related page, and the first thing I see is a post or picture of a gal dripping sweat, doing cross-fit, and shouting out that “It’s A LIfestyle.”

Of course it’s a lifestyle. And it should be. If you want to look and feel your best, you’ve got to invest your time and energy into it. For many people, health and fitness is their second job. They invest a tremendous amount of time and energy into their workouts and their clean eating lifestyles. I am one of those people as well. I love to eat healthy food. I have even been known to take it to the extreme here and there. I love to workout hard and when appropriate, push my body to its limit. It’s my body. I’ll do with it as I see fit.

What’s interesting to me is the criticism that people receive from their families, friends, and others in regards to what they are doing with their bodies. Telling them that it isn’t healthy to workout hard or that their diet is imbalanced. The truth is that the majority of the people out there who are being so critical probably never step foot into a gym and breakfast for them consists of a Frappuccino and a danish. They are more than likely to have health issues of their own and very well may take the shape of the doughnut that they are eating.

Harsh as this may be, I feel that it’s a little out of line for those who “Don’t Do” to sit down and tell the rest of us how it should be done.  If it’s not interfering with the quality of your life or anyone else’s for that matter, then it should not even be in the conversation.

Diet and fitness are very personal to those of us who have invested a tremendous amount of our lives into being healthy and feeling good. We don’t do it to cause trouble. We do it because it works for us……and quite frankly….”It’s A Lifestyle.”

I encourage each and every one of you to find that lifestyle that works for you and you alone.  Find a nutritional program, a fitness routine, a job, friends, or whatever else it is that you need to do that works for you and makes you feel your best.

For me, I prefer to follow more of a cleansing type of diet. That doesn’t mean that I cleanse all the time. It means I eat a high fiber, gluten (and mostly grain) free diet, with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  It works for me. I stick to a 90/10 rule where there is some room for change up, but I seldom consume foods that I know will not make me feel my best or to please others.  I simply cannot order food or live a lifestyle to make others happy. Yes, we need to be flexible. But when you become too liberal to please others, you are no longer living your lifestyle.

So again, eat what makes you happy and keeps you at your best. Work your body out the way that makes you feel fit.  And forget what others are saying and doing. After all, they are only following their lifestyle too.

Image