Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Food, Glorious Food!

For those of you out there who know me, this proclamation will come as no surprise.  I am so in love with food, I can hardly stand it!  I actually got all dressed up this week for our monthly "Big Grocery Shop" and felt like a giddy child all day long thinking about spending an entire evening strolling through the stores.  Even before we walked through the automatic doors of Oryana I was already anticipating the cooling sensation of a shiny fresh apple cradled inside the palm of my hand.  As I made my first steps into this haven of edibles, I instantly was aware of the life giving energy of the beautiful arrangement of produce before me.  This passion, this obsession of mine makes me feel like I am an explorer, anxiously discovering new treasures as I gain more and more knowledge of how to interpret the layout of options available to me.  What is actually even more exciting though is learning and experimenting how to incorporating my "treasures" into my family's daily intake.  There are endless possibilities and it is so much fun to see the smiles on all of their faces when I have created something they enjoy.  I am so thankful for these realizations in my life- to know that I am on the right path for myself, my family and hopefully all the people I will be able to help someday when it comes to simplifying the mysteries of "what to eat" and "How to eat it."  I know my job will not be to tell people what to do, but to help them make the same discoveries I have made and provide them with the tools to keep it:  Smart and Simple, and Happy and Healthy.  

Summertime is here in Northern Michigan, and its a perfect time to enjoy all the fresh, vibrant and delicious fruits and vegetables available from our local farms.  Take time to visit the farmers markets, and roadside stands.  Pick up and hold in  your hand these beautiful earthly creations and use all your senses to discover all of their qualities that equal  nothing but wholesome goodness.  Your body will surely thank you for giving it the type of sustenance that has not been manipulated are otherwise been bombarded with additional junk that you don't need.  Smart, Simple, Happy, Healthy- I'll explain the meaning behind each of these words and why I think they signify all you need to know when taking your own step into purchasing, cooking and creating your own foods for a efficient healthy life.  (It will be a four part series so stay tuned for more.) I believe that if you embrace these ideas, you too might enjoy shopping at the grocery store just as much as I do.   I do offer a word of caution that you might become discouraged with many different roadblocks which may include: deciphering false marketing claims, "Fake foods", habitual items you might gravitate to without realizing their harmful effects, and making a choice to choose quality over quantity.

Smart- Be aware of what exactly you are eating.  Can you pronounce the ingredients?  If not, leave it on the shelf.  Has the food item in question been processed in any way?  Where did it come from?  What went in to it to assure it would make it to the grocery store still having an appealing appearance?  If it is in a box or can or packaged in any way, are the claims on the packaging truthful, certified, meaningful?  (I tend to believe if your food has to sell itself with claims on its packaging, its trying too hard.  The voice of fresh food is basically non-existant in the English language as we know it.  It doesn't have all the fancy big words to each out and speak to us about what it contains inside, but if you use your senses and listen, look, touch, smell and eventually taste once you have purchased it- there is no denying that fresh food is abundant with everything that is essential to our survival.  So go into your shopping experience prepared to ask yourself some of these questions and remember that truly "You are what you eat."  So which would you rather be, a radiantly fresh, richly crisp and juicy golden apple, or a preserved, chemically enriched, unrecognizable, saturated with sugar, and God know what else, piece of fruit cocktail in a can.  I know what I want to be and it is the purest form of food that God intended us to enjoy in his abundant creativity of creation.  Why do we think we always have to mess with stuff to make it better, when it was created perfect?

Next: Simple, or as I like to say- Keep It Simple, Silly!