Ahhh….we are on the cusp of Summer while enjoying this beautiful Spring Time weather; fresh fruits and vegetables are starting to grow and some are even being harvested from the garden! Eating in season has so many health benefits for us and our children from higher nutrient density (the produce is typically left on the plant until fully ripened vs. picking early, shipping and irradiating for grocery store sale), to being less expensive (when growing your own and/or purchasing at farmers market) and then of course supporting our body’s natural seasonal nutritional and detoxification needs.
Preconception and Pregnancy are also seasons in our lives for us family’s to return back to basics such as: slowing down, focusing more on ourselves, reconnecting to our environment (where life evolves), nourishing our bodies and minds with foods that we are designed to consume, trusting and surrendering to life. This, I believe, is the bigger part of the gestation process (if we pay close attention and remain aware) that we go through when becoming a mom, a dad and larger family…the 9 months not only grows a beautiful human being but it also grows us adults in reconnecting and nurturing so we can be more grounded, adaptable to change, healthier, and have a stronger belief within ourselves.
Just like when we plant a seed, it requires time, nurturing, and connection to the organisms in the soil, rays from the sun, nourishment from rain for growth, development and sustainability. That seed will not sprout, grow or flourish to produce leaves and/or fruit if those basic components are not received. There is a BALANCE and HARMONY in nature and in every living thing…going back to basics can restore our and our family’s health and wellbeing.
A great way to start is by connecting with nature and nourish yourself with foods made by the earth. When we feel connected and consume more whole foods we are able to better care for others and provide that healthy foundation for them. Cooking, baking, and sitting around the table are key ways to nourish our body, mind and family.
I encourage you to carve out a few nights a week to cook with the kids and/or your spouse…sit around the table with no disruptions and connect…these are the key components of life…many of us are literally ‘starved’ for interaction and connection. Without fulfilling and positive connection, we can become ill. It gives us and our kids more balance, allows each of us to be acknowledged, feel heard and connected. It is the cornerstone to wellbeing, learning/development along with physical and mental health.
A few easy and healthy ideas on incorporating this season’s fruits and vegetables into your and your family’s diet include:
2 tablespoons sugar (or swap out with stevia)Ice
Juice of 1 lime, optional
5 cups diced seedless watermelon
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 bunch broccoli
Wash broccoli, cut off and peel the outside of the stalk, slice into pieces and put aside. Cut the florets into bite-size pieces. Warm oil in a pan, add stalk pieces and sauté for a few minutes. Add broccoli florets, then sauté for about 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of water and grated carrots. Cover and allow to steam for about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Add toasted sesame seeds, sea salt and black pepper. Serve.
Equal parts of lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt in mixture and then massage into kale leaves (tear off the stem). Place on pan and then sprinkle nutritional yeast on to for a “cheesy” flavor. Place in oven at 200 degrees until crispy or place in dehydrator at 108 degrees (to keep them “raw”) for 8-10 hours.
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons red onion chopped (optional)
¼ sea salt
Mash up the avocado, mix in all ingredients
Summertime Mango Smoothie½ cup Kale 1 cup Water (or can do ½ cup coconut water and ½ cup water)
1 cup frozen Mangos
½ cup Spinach
Ice for added thickness
Place spears in a glass pan, drizzle olive or coconut or avocado oil over top and then sprinkle on sea salt. Place in 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until tender.
For additional easy and healthy recipe ideas, please feel free to visit my website at: http://www.food4thoughtdm.com/recipes/
Melanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).
Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor and/or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.