Farmer’s Markets and Gardens

So I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning. There is something about the small tables scattered with vegetables so freshly picked that they still have dirt on them that invoke my warm and fuzzies. I am a big veggie-aholic. They are packed with so much nutrients, and I can really feel the effects of these great properties when I eat them. In the late spring, my family plants our vegetable garden, so in the summer, we are blessed with an abundance of tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, and a variety of leafy greens. Not only are these veggies fresh and at the peak of their nutritional splendor when we eat them, but it certainly cuts down our grocery bill! It’s also so nice not having to drive to the store for these ingredients. I simply just walk outside and *pluck*. Having a garden or even a community garden is a great way to save money, get delicious and nutritious foods, and connect to mother nature. Gardens take a good amount of work to maintain…from watering, tilling, pulling out weeds, etc., but they are so worth it! If gardens are too much upkeep for you, I suggest buying locally and stopping by your farmer’s market. Here are five benefits of going to the farmer’s market:

1. Fresh and Nutrition-packed Produce

Buying from a farmer, you are getting fruits and veggies that are picked at the peak of their ripeness, ensuring the best flavor and nutritional benefits that these products have to offer. Generally, when you buy from a supermarket or grocery store, these products are picked before they have fully matured so that they are able to arrive at the stores and sit for a couple of days, meaning you lose out on a lot of nutritional benefits this way.

2. Organic Produce

When you go to a farmer’s market, you are getting a selection of organic foods that are GMO and pesticide free. Eating produce sprayed with chemicals and unnatural products has serious side effects on our organ health, such as cancer. There have been over 260 studies that have linked cancer to agrochemicals. Eating organically, you are choosing to eat safe and reduce your risk of these diseases.

3. Help the Environment

When buying locally, you are helping to reduce the impact of CO2 omissions that are produced when transporting produce. Since these are local farms, there is less travel, hence a reduced impact on our environment. There is also a reduce of package waste that goes into farmer’s markets as well. Most farmers display their produce in crates and paper bins, leaving non-biodegradable plastic out of the mix.

4. Support your Community

When you buy from a farmer, you are helping support their way of life. Giving back to small farms allows this produce to keep coming in, and you are helping strengthen your community by helping them out. Meet new people, chit-chat with the farmers, and build your relationships with them and your community!

5. Adorable Date Idea

Okay, so this isn’t a “major” benefit, but going to the farmer’s market is such a cute date idea. It’s fun, unique, and there are a lot of things to see. Buy some vegetables with your bae, and go home to cook up a delicious and nutritious meal together!


You Are What You Eat

One of the many things that has helped in my self-growth and positive mindset is learning the importance of healthy eating. Through my teenage years, I was quite an unhealthy eater. I followed the ban wagon of Doritos and Coke. Even though my family made balanced meals containing all the food groups, I would pass on the vegetables and load up on the simple carbs such as dinner rolls and pasta. Not only did eating like this make me gain unnecessary weight, but I was moody, lethargic, and overall unhealthy. I found myself running out of breath faster than my peers and I just had this negative mood.

After college, I started to adapt healthy eating habits. I would eat balanced meals containing complex carbs, lean proteins, and lots of vegetables. I ditched the sugary processed foods and switched to clean eating. My weight shifted back to a healthy one and I was left with tons of energy and a much more positive attitude. I never thought that my diet was one of the reasons I was unhappy, but like that saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Before, I was eating crappy foods that had no nutritional benefits. It was all artificial and chemically treated. Since switching to food actually found in nature, such as nuts, fish, fruits and vegetables, I have noticed my physical and mental health increasing dramatically. I took the time and invested in my body. I learned about proper nutrition and the benefits I can get from specific foods. I am only 22, but due to healthier eating, I feel like I am six years old again. I have so much energy! I am like a little energizer bunny rabbit (rightly so because of all the vegetables I eat). I also am in the best mindset I have ever been in. I have so much joy and positivity. I don’t feel tired and lazy after I eat (I also watch portions). And one of the secrets to my success is natural foods. These foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that help our health, both mentally and physically. You can’t find these from a packaged meal. The best way to harness these benefits is straight from eating these foods in the cleanest state possible. Now when I say clean, I mean don’t expect to eat a banana that’s deep-fried in sugar and consider it healthy. Eating these foods without the added factors of sugar and oils are the best way to get those wonderful health benefits! Same goes for vegetables. When you cook vegetables, you are actually stripping away their benefits, so like this little rabbit says, “raw is better”.

I’d like to share a personal story about how poor diet can affect someone. It is no surprise that Americans struggle with diabetes, heart disease and obesity considering our food choices. People would rather take convenience of getting fast food than taking the time to make a proper meal. And over time, our bodies become addicted to this type of eating. Sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine. Fun fact. I really can’t look at candy the same way again knowing that….

Anyways, my grandfather had horrible eating habits. His diet consisted of pizza, donuts, potato chips, and soda. I think vegetables and fruits were a foreign language to him. Not only was he obese, but he suffered from heart issues and diabetes. That was only the physical symptoms. Mentally, he was cranky, moody and had a very negative attitude about life. I feel bad saying all of these things, because I know he wasn’t always like this. Not saying his poor eating habits were the only reason he was like the way he was, but they did have an influence. He past away last Thanksgiving day due to a heart attack. He was 75 years old. Years of unhealthy eating had shortened his life, giving him a list of health problems both physical and mental. I remember that moment too well and am left to think of how different things could have been if he had chosen the life style of eating properly…

Not to scare anyone straight with that story, but it just shows the affects of the saying “you are what you eat”. I have made the switch to healthy eating and feel the best I have ever felt. It wasn’t easy changing my ways, but drastic change is never really easy. If anyone wants to improve their health and wants yummy nutritious recipes, I invite you to check out my Pinterest: I have multiple boards that have delicious recipes I have come across. I haven’t tried them all, so if you decide to try a recipe, let me know what you think! As always, have a wonderful day!