Every Monday I head to the nearby, one-day-a-week, farmers market and buy beautiful produce. The vegetables and fruit I buy inspire me to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.
Today I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the produce I bought, so I arranged them on my table to take a picture for sharing. You can see how inviting the colors and shapes are (although some people might feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking all that food!).
Before I put the produce away, I’ve separated out the orange-colored veggies to make Orange soup. The soup contains pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots, which provide the beautiful orange color. I’ll put this delicious and not-too-difficult recipe on my Yumtritious Eating website soon. We’ll make a spaghetti sauce full of onions, garlic, eggplant, and cauliflower (didn’t buy zucchini today). For dessert–fresh strawberries and pineapple! Yummy!!
I’ve written about the value of farmers markets in the past. See the post “Farmers’ market balance“. Buying fruit and vegetables when they are out in all their glory is so much more inspiring than buying them packaged in plastic and styrofoam. Whenever you can, head to your nearest farmers market and bask in the magic of the wonderful gifts from nature!
- A dinner at Restaurant A delivers a cooked meat portion, rice, and a fried vegetable portion. The parsley sprig is decorative.
- A dinner at Restaurant B delivers a pizza with meat and canned mushrooms.
- A breakfast at Restaurant C offers eggs with potatoes or eggs with meat. Bread on the side.
- An on-the-run food chain provides the meat in a bun with a piece of tomato and lettuce. The tomato and lettuce were cut much earlier.
- A bakery that serves meals creates dishes that tantalize the eyes and nose, but challenge the small intestine. Only the decorative fresh peach slice lessens the challenge.
Today’s dining specializes in challenges to the small intestine, pancreas, and brain (and other organs and systems in the body). The missing fresh fruits and vegetables harm the body’s ability to heal. Healing requires the qualities that fresh fruits and vegetables possess.
A vitamin and mineral tablet can’t replace the capabilities of the fresh fruit and vegetables. A meal-in-a-bar can’t replicate fruit and vegetable power. Fruit drink isn’t related to fruit in its peel. Ketchup is not tomato at its best.
When fresh finishes last, health becomes compromised. When fresh finishes last, emotions erupt. When fresh finishes last, future health is less secure.
The food pyramids that show fruit and vegetables at the bottom are correct. Fruit and vegetables are the fuel providers that our bodies need to function effectively. A balanced diet provides vegetables in salads, main dishes, and soups and fruit as snacks, desserts, and appetizers.
Many foods nourish us, but vegetables nourish, ground, and calm us. They provide the nutrients that enable us to move forward.
The importance of vegetables cannot be overstated. Our bodies need them and function less well without them. They are sources of happiness, creativity, expressiveness, achievement, satisfaction, and vitality. Eating vegetables doesn’t guarantee that a person will be satisfied with his or her life, but eating vegetables enables being capable of being satisfied. The more vegetables we eat, the more our bodies can handle.
Vegetables are usually viewed as members of one entire food group or are grouped by type of plant part eaten (leaves, roots, etc.) or by color. Actually, vegetables belong in three groups that are determined by the amounts that should be eaten. Here are the groups:
- Beets, broccoli, cabbage (all types), cauliflower, purple bell peppers, romaine lettuce and other leafy greens, spinach, zucchini.
- Butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, watercress, yams, yellow summer squash.
- Asparagus, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, green beans, kohlrabi, mushrooms, okra, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts.
In this post, the amounts to be eaten are not being presented. Just know that the more, the merrier!