Does adding more plant-foods to your meals seem like a daunting task? There is one solution we found very helpful in overcoming the confusion as to where to start. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I thought I already ate healthy, but in reality I didn’t eat as many life giving fruits and vegetables as I thought. We were introduced to Anderson Organics, a local CSA – Community Supported Agriculture program; this was the perfect solution to help us increase plant-foods in our diet.
Growing up, I snubbed my nose at vegetables except for corn. I vaguely remember eating green beans and maybe carrots. Lots of our vegetables were store bought canned—yuck! When I had my own children, I increased our vegetable selection a little more, but we only ate vegetables at dinner with a measly 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup portion, and baby carrot sticks for lunch. Our diet was out of balance, not enough natural vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals from plant-foods, and we ate too many processed foods.
As caretaker of my own body, I wanted to arm myself with as many nutrients to overcome this challenge attacking my health. Several people talked highly of Anderson Organics, so we signed up for half a share. Community Supported Agriculture programs are a great way to get a weekly supply of organic fresh vegetables, herbs, and some fruits—especially when you are trying to improve your health. The bonus is, it takes away all the pondering on what to buy at the grocery store.
It is a very simple process. Register on the internet for how much produce you want, whether it be a full share or half a share. Then once a week, you pick up your share of the food that has been harvested.
It was a fun and tasty experience trying new vegetables that I had never eaten before, like broccoli raab, eggplant, and more. It felt like Christmas every week, as I excitedly pulled out all the beautiful plant-foods out of my burlap bag! Much to our surprise, we noticed the food tasted better too. And the ease of searching for recipes on the internet made the whole experience very pleasant and easy to add the veggies into our meals.
The Cancer Survivor’s Guide by Neil D. Barnard, M.D. and Jennifer K. Reilly, R.D. suggests when building up: “Generous amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and immune-boosting foods into your diet: Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your routine, emphasizing the colorful varieties. Shoot for at least seven servings per day.
– One serving of vegetables is one-half cup cooked or one cup raw.
– For fruit, a serving is one small whole fruit or one-half cup chopped fruit.”
Don’t forget all the fruits and vegetables you put in your smoothies count too!
Life is full of obligations making it a challenge to put your health first. It is important to find helpful ways to consistently feed your body nutritious foods. CSA is a great avenue to increase your plant-foods as you invest in your complexion, energy level, immune system, and over all health!