Posted by: firstdescentsblog | April 1, 2011

Six Steps To Sustainable, Healthy Eating

Diets just don’t work!  Many of us have tried and failed at various diets.  To get a plan that works for the long term, we need to follow something that’s easy and enjoyable in order to stick with it over time.  It also needs to be flexible so that you can adjust it to any changes you have in your life.    Remeber, healthy eating should be delicious and savory.  It should be about abundance, not deprivation.  And if it helps save the environment…how great is that!

Here are six steps to help you get on your way!

1)    START SMALL– Changing everything all at once never works.  Instead, start by going through your refrigerator and pantry and clean out any empty calorie traps.  This includes foods you reach for when you’re rushed or bored and foods that do not nourish your body.  Then substitute fresh, seasonable foods.  Keep whole grain bread and minimally processed good hard cheese available instead of chips.  Add a salad to lunch or dinner.  Try fresh fruit for a snack.

2)    GO LOCAL– Visit http://www.localharvest.org or http://www.eatwellguide.org.  Type in your zip code for a list of products grown or made in your local community, from honey, cheese, grass fed meats, pasture-raised eggs to lettuces, greens, and herbs.

3)    PLAY THE “GREEN” MARKET– Visit your local farmers’ market.  Ask the farmers which foods are likely within 48 hours of picking and ask to sample them.  Most farmers eat what they grow, so they are great resources for tips in preparing, serving and storing these foods.

4)    BRANCH OUT– Try a fruit or vegetable that you didn’t think you liked or you’ve never tried before.  Try it when it’s in peak season.  Find ways to prepare it simply so that you can taste its true flavors.  There are many great books and cookbooks out there for easy and delicious meals.  Try “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon or “Full Moon Feast” by Jessica Prentice.

5)    LEARN THE STORY BEHIND YOUR FOOD– When you get to know the people that grow your food, it tastes even better!  “re-connect” with your food!  Kids especially become more courageous with various vegetables and fruits when they know what went into it, who grew it, or when they have even grown it themselves.

6)    PLANT A GARDEN…HOWEVER SMALL– Seeing a seed turn into a delicious edible food instills an appreciation for what it takes to grow good quality food.  If you don’t have much room, try a container garden, or perhaps grow a few herbs or tomatoes in pots on your windowsill or patio.

Thanks and happy spring!- Lisa Nielsen

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