If I had a dime for every time I heard the phrase, “Eat your veggies”, I would be a millionaire. No seriously! I used to think my parents and my friends’ parents held secret midnight meetings together to come up with catch phrases to use on us kids. No matter where we went, we were always told to “Eat your veggies.” Now, as a mom in my thirties, I truly understand where the parents were coming from.
I have always been a lover of veggies. As a child, I would opt for veggies and dip opposed to chocolate and sweets (I know, crazy right?). Growing up and working in the restaurant industry forever, you learn quickly what foods to avoid (hello deep-fried everything), what foods to eat in moderation (a little bit of deep fried), and what foods your body will love you for (sadly, no deep fried). Working in a Greek restaurant, in my teens and twenties, introduced me to the Greek salad that I will always have a love affair with.
When my little one was just about to board the ‘real food’ train, I became obsessed with what types of foods we were buying and consuming. I opted to make my own baby food and I wanted to be sure I was giving her the best possible nutrition. I read countless articles, watched all sorts of documentaries, and started talking to my friends and colleagues about what foods they give their children. Organic, non-organic, GMO’s, growth hormones, free-run, chemically induced and grain fed consumed my brain. I didn’t know where to begin, what was right and what was wrong. Just when I thought I had my mind made up as to what was best, I would hear or read something that would make me change my mind again. With so much controversy regarding food, I just knew I had to make the right choice.
It took me some time but ultimately I came up with the greatest advice I can pass on… You have to decide for yourself. You are the only one who can decide what best suits you and your family. Educate yourself by reading up on it and by discussing it. For us, the importance to buy locally trumps all. We try to support the small and local businesses before we head out to the big name, corporate supermarkets or stores.
There are so many farmers in our area and they produce such beautiful and tasty foods for a really great price. Just today for example, we decided to take a walk to our local Farmers Market. We purchased a quart of blueberries, 4 beets, a head of lettuce, a basket of peaches, one bunch of green onion, a half-a-dozen corn, and 4 huge tomatoes for under $20. Not only did I walk away from the market with a huge smile on my face and a belly full of peaches but I was able to speak to the farmers who actually grew the produce. I found out where their farms were and how to pick out the best corn. I also spoke to some of the ‘regulars’ who visit the market regularly who guided us to which vendor had the better deals and who had the best tomatoes. I quickly learned my market works more as community and I love it!
We have also began the practice of growing some veggies of our own. I have no luck with seeds… in fact, I tend to drown them. So for the last few years, we buy some seedlings in the spring to plant in our backyard. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of water (thanks to the summer we are having), and some time weeding but it is totally worth it. Teaching my daughter how to water the garden has been a highlight of mine this summer. She could care less that the kale is the size of my head but she is showing an interest in learning what it takes to grow things and so far, she knows they need water. #momwin #teacherwin.
Regardless of where you get your produce, remember to eat your veggies 🙂
If you are in the Hamilton area, be sure to check out one of these Farmers Markets. You won’t be sorry 🙂 http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fhamilton.foundlocally.com%2FShopping%2FSh-FarmersMarkets.htm&h=8AQGchqDe