It is July and my garden is in full bloom! Cucumbers are bursting onto the vines, tomatoes are green and getting ready to ripen. Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, and rosemary overflow the beds. My biggest crop is butternut squash. I think butternut squash and its seeds are my favorite food ever. As a professional chef, I was trained how to cook a variety of fresh foods in creative ways. However, you do not need to be a professional chef to make the most of your summer garden or local farmer’s market. Simple preparation often yields the best results.
Gardens are very affordable to start, and gardening is a rewarding activity that can involve the entire family. I started my garden for very little money – purchasing organic seeds and planting those seeds in paper pots on my screen porch. I planted them all in May and now my garden is overflowing in bounty.
I love having food at my fingertips. Nourishing, fresh, organic, delicious food. No package. No additives. Just pure unadulterated food.
So, you didn’t start a garden. Ok—there are farmer’s markets galore and fresh organic produce all around. Farmer’s markets are the way to go, if possible, because you will know exactly what is in season—because that is all they have! No fruit from across the globe ripened unnaturally with chemical assistance, just fresh ready to eat goodness. In many cases, farmers will have creative suggestions to prepare the food they are selling. Learning where your food comes from is very important and at the farmer’s market, you are purchasing goods directly from the source.
Eating what is freshly grown is not just about organic—it’s really about HOW we were meant to eat. The way food ripens—the time of it with the season and with the pollinators has a rhythm of the earth. The sugars and starches and fibers and minerals and vitamins in each morsel is timed just right by mother earth to support your microbiome-your second brain. One of the ways we whack our rhythms is by eating fruit and vegetables that are not in season. Yes—Mother Nature has a plan and we are best off following it. Want to learn more? Schedule a nutrition Counseling session with Dr. Giulia Isetti and learn how to create the rhythm and routines that best suit your individual needs.
Everyone loves a sweet treat. But if you are going to indulge, make sure to do so wisely. Many people are unaware of the harmful toll added sugar takes on their body. Simply adding sugar to your coffee every day can add up. According to the book Nourishing Traditions: “Sugar consumption is associated with hyperactivity, behavior problems, lack of concentration, and violent tendencies. Sugar consumption encourages the overgrowth of candida albicans, a systemic fungus in the digestive tract causing it to spread to the respiratory system, tissues, and internal organs.” It is important to note that the sugar we use to sweeten coffee is manufactured, not found in nature. A fantastic and natural alternative to sugar is stevia. Stevia comes from a leaf and it is found in nature. It can be added to sweeten coffee or anything else. When selecting stevia at the store, look for one that is water based rather than alcohol extracted. Here is G’s favorite stevia.
It can be a challenge to determine what oil to use for cooking. There are many new oils on the market, but they are not as clean as advertised. When selecting an oil to cook with, it is important to consider the process used to produce the oil. Dr. G recommends using expeller pressed oil only. Expeller pressed coconut and avocado oil both have high smoke points which makes them great for cooking.
Another fantastic cooking fat to use is high-quality butter. Both coconut oil and butter are high in vitamins D, A, and K which are essential for proper brain and bone development. The short chain fatty acids that can be found in high-quality butter have antimicrobial properties that are great at protecting us from viruses. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that also have antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
When selecting your oil at the store, it is important to make sure it is expeller pressed and extra virgin. Here are some of G’s favorite products:
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