write this I look out my windows and see the most abundant green we have seen in
a few years. The winter snow and spring rain have caused everything to grow
faster and bigger and brighter than usual. Looking on all this green is calming
and invigorating at the same time. Do you know that "eating green" can do the
same thing for us from the inside out?
Our human digestive tract is designed to break down and assimilate a variety of
plant materials, extracting the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates
and proteins that we need for energy, growth, cellular repair, digestion, and
elimination of free radicals. The fiber in green vegetables, although not a
nutrient, is needed to move food along through the digestive tract in a timely
manner. Health food stores, vitamin shops and even supermarket shelves are
filled with supplements that claim the same benefits. Nonetheless, extracting
individual components of food and bottling them does not provide the same
nutritional rewards as eating the whole food itself. Many people would be better
off bypassing the bottles on the store shelves and heading straight to the
Better yet, shop at your local farmer's market or green market. It is a way to
support local farmers. Most locations also have at least one organic grower.
When we buy food that is locally grown it is fresher and kinder to the
environment because no packaging material is used and it does not need to be
transported. The fresher, local food also has more nutrients.
Salad greens are
wonderful during the summer, but so are bok choy, chard, kale, collards, and
broccoli rabe. These and other green vegetables are good for steaming or light
sautéing. You can even take a chance and prepare a vegetable even if you don't
know its name (yes, I have done that).
Try seasoning greens with cumin, sweet Hungarian paprika, and lemon juice, and
add a bit of olive oil. I got this tip from a Moroccan cookbook.
It is a
combination I would not have thought of - and it is delicious.
A vegetarian who dies not eat enough vegetables?
Yes, there are many of these.
If this is you, try eating a few servings of greens every day for three weeks.
Warning, your skin will start to glow and your mood will soar. I think of greens
as kitchen Prozac.
I have become aware recently of the huge environmental stress caused by
electricity and the release of Freon gas (which harms the ozone layer) owing to
commercial refrigeration. It is still being used, and although it is illegal to
make Freon in the U.S., it is not illegal to use it.
Just as "convenience foods" are available in growing amounts, "healthful"
versions are becoming more available. Compare the choices in veggie burgers
today with five years ago.
Remember also that beans are an excellent source of protein. They are full of
fiber, protein and are low in fat. You can cook them in the evening or early
morning and they are ready to be added to a stir-fry, rice dish, or salad.
is an innovative burger recipe I hope you will try. It is made from easily
available ingredients and, of course, it is good tasting.
Please remember to RSVP for all events that you wish to attend. Many events need
volunteers - so please help out.
Roberta Schiff, President