Can you taste it? Mmmm. That's the heavenly taste of real food, food that comes directly from the earth. Once you can appreciate that taste, you will be able to ignore the "eat this, don't eat that" fad diets which have many of us confused, hungry, and yo-yoing in weight and health. We regularly are receiving conflicting dietary advice which can make healthy eating seem complicated. However, eating well is actually quite simple. You can be healthier than ever by following one concept; eat real food that is as close to how it is found in nature as possible.
If you are used to eating more processed foods, choosing a diet rich in foods more directly found in nature may ask you to change your palette. What are processed foods? I call them fake foods. They are foods altered from their original state, often by adding preservatives, artificial colors and sugar, or made with genetically modified ingredients. While our bodies are equipped to digest food in its natural form, asking the body to digest food sources that are unnatural presents colossal challenges for our digestive system resulting in digestive distress, inflammation and illness. Eating real food involves planning and preparation of food, which may seem a little overwhelming at first. However, after you make the adjustment not only will your digestion and health improve immensely, but you will also enjoy eating much more whilst achieving optimal weight and experiencing heightened energy.
Nature serves as a mirror for what will best suit our dietary needs, therefore eating with the seasons is advisable. In the fall season, nature offers great abundance for harvest of root vegetables and vegetables with tougher skins, both of which have tremendous health benefits. Not only do their nutrients prepare our bodies for the winter months, but they also strengthen the digestive system, lungs, and the immune system. In this way, root vegetables such as beets, parsnips and potatoes along with vegetables with naturally tougher skins such as squash offer a splendid taste along with healthful nutrients.
This fall, I encourage you to be mindful of nourishing your body with real food sources. Take time to sit, relax and enjoy the flavor of your food. Since food is medicine, you can rest assured nature provides all of the nutrients necessary to help you live the healthiest and most vibrant life possible. Here is one of my favorite soup recipes from iheartvegetables.com to boost the immune system in preparation for cold and flu season:
IMMUNE BOOSTING SOUP
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 yellow onion, diced
· 6 cloves garlic, minced
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
· 1 teaspoon turmeric
· 1/2 teaspoon paprika
· 1 tablespoon lemon juice
· 1 large sweet potato diced into 1/2” cubes
· 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
· 1 cup red lentils, uncooked and rinsed
· 5 cups vegetable broth
· 1/2 cup kale or Swiss Chard torn into 1″ pieces
· Salt to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the turmeric and paprika and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Add the lemon juice, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, red lentils, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
Once the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potato is soft.
Add kale and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the kale has softened and wilted slightly.
Season with salt to taste.