The summer is upon us and in addition
to being the season of sun and outdoor fun, it is also the season
of abundance. Native asparagus, strawberriesO, peas, and lettuce
have already been harvested. Tomatoes, corn, and the rest of
the magnificent summer crop is not far behind; and that brings
us to our monthly discussion on health and how best to maximize
yours in the best possible way.
It is no secret that much of our good
health is directly related to what we put into our bodies. Western
medicine is still not emphasizing that enough and instead pumping
the American public with pills to the tune of 80 billion a year
(again as I stated when I post a staggering number like this;
IT IS NOT A MISPRINT). If you can't fathom that it can also
be expressed as 80,000 million; that my friends is the amount
of legal pharmaceutical chemicals that we put in our bodies
I am getting away from the subject at
hand, but it can never be overstated, if you think western medicine
is going to cure you with it's grossly overpriced 80 billion
dollars worth of drugs, you will lead a shorter and less healthy
life than those who understand that evolution is dependent on
good fuel(food) and environment.
Off the soap box and into the kitchen
where we will get back on the subject of good food. One of the
main complaints that people have (me included), is I don't have
enough time to prepare a proper meal, so that is where the junk
food and bad eating habits come in. The time thing is valid
and certainly needs to be addressed; but I'll put a sobering
thought into that statement and that is if you don't take the
time to eat good food, in the last third of your life you'll
have plenty of time, because you won't have the health to travel
and play and enjoy the things that take "fun time".
Impossible you say! Well, I've been in practice long enough
(20 years) to see my patients who have monetarily saved and
are well off financially, but poor healthwise.
In this situation which is all too common
the only winner is the drug companies and the insurance companies
( I'd liked to say the pharmacies too, but with 5000 a year
closing in the US due to pricing practices of the two mentioned
I'm afraid we're out of the loop). So again back to the subject
at hand, how can we eat better with less time and that is where
the summer harvest comes in. As the saying goes, when the sun
shines make hay and that is exactly what you should do when
it comes to eating native produce. Eat it early, often and in
copious amounts. Make a meal of just summer time vegetables.
Many of you I'm sure have heard of a version
of the New England summer dinner which is lots of steamed corn
and fresh tomatoes with oil and vinegar. The preparation time
is nil and the result is heavenly. If you must, use butter,
salt and freshly ground pepper sparingly, but if you are picking
it up at your local farmstand (it goes without saying that this
is where the produce is much fresher and therefore better.),
it probably isn't even necessary.
You ready for some more great meals listen
to this. It's the time of year where swordfish is plentiful
and inexpensive, so I picked some up on the way home at 3.99/pound.
I stopped at my local farmstead and purchased native asparagus,
small red potatoes, and red leaf lettuce right out of the field.
I cooked the swordfish on the grill with a little butter and
lemon. The potatoes I boiled with the skin on, the asparagus
steamed, and a simple salad with nothing but extra virgin olive
oil and balsamic vinegar. There you have, preparation and cooking
time was less than 20 minutes for everything, the results were
gourmet quality and cleanup was minimal. My only mistake was
not purchasing freshly picked strawberries for dessert. In addition
I took the left over potatoes and asparagus, adding oil and
vinegar, and putting it in the icebox for my next days lunch.
If this sounds good to you , think of the favorite foods harvested
locally that you really like. Write them down and post it in
your kitchen cabinet. When they become available eat more of
them and less of the same old prepared foods from the supermarket.
I see a change in America. Americans today
are increasingly interested in eating smaller amounts of higher
quality food. Go to the new Victory Marketplace store in Fitchburg
to better understand that. They also are relaying more on their
own intuition in understanding that taking care of themselves
and using inexpensive old fashion remedies and eating better
is a better option than depending on a form of medicine that
has left us no healthier and many billion poorer (my feeling
is we spend twice as much as we should. Imagine what we could
do with the money?). Be proactive towards your own health. It
just makes good common sense.