Helping people increase their health and wellness are my main goals. The first line in great health is to eat great food. It may be cliché to say “you are what you eat” but isn’t it really true? If we eat junk, we feel like junk. If we eat vibrant food full of energy, we are more vibrant and energized. Just like the fuel we put in our cars, if the fuel isn’t clean, the car is not going to run well. We need to give our body the building blocks necessary for not only daily functioning but also for repair and for strength to protect us from invading pathogens. A healthy immune system depends on proper nutrition, which is essential right now. The best way to get that nutrition is to eat a variety of fresh plants, fruits, fish and meats, all of which we are lucky enough to have access to in this area. Summer is the season where fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance and we have a large assortment of them produced locally. Many of you might even have put in a garden during the shelter-in-place order. Hopefully, you are reaping the benefits of your labor of love. That love can be tasted in the food you eat. The vitality of our food supports the vitality of our body, mind and spirit. All are dependent on what and how we eat. (If you need ideas on how to use all your zucchini and tomatoes, come talk to me!)
So, we understand why to eat fresh food. What is the freshest we can get? Well, from our own garden of course. If you don’t have a garden, fret not, get a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture box). Local farms prepare boxes at regular time intervals, usually weekly, for us to buy. The ingredients in the boxes change from week to week, being filled with the food that is most ripe and abundant in that moment. Hence, we eat with the season. By eating with the seasons, we are in harmony with the rhythms of the world--following the Dao--and are helping our system function more optimally thereby strengthening our immune system. It is imperative that we do what we can to stay healthy such as exercise regularly, sleep well, get acupuncture, get massage (even if it is from yourself), and eat well. Now, eating well is going to vary from person to person (I am also happy to help you figure what that is for you), but you really can’t go wrong with eating what is fresh: in season and local.
By eating from food produced locally, we are also reducing the need for as much travel all along the food chain (or the production chain anyway). Many farms deliver or have pick up locations, which also helps to reduce the excess exposure of going to large markets. Less travel equals more time to cook these fabulous foods. Many meals can be made simply and quickly. When products are so fresh, long cooking is not necessary, unless you enjoy getting fancy with elaborate recipes. We can revive the “slow food” revolution and feel like we are gaining more time because it is time spent on self care. We are nourishing ourselves and our families. We are nourishing our local communities and we are nourishing the planet. With this we become stronger and things like pandemics have less fertile ground in which to flourish. So lets stay vital with immune boosting acupuncture, and nutritious fresh food. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
By Leia Sutton-Barnes, L.Ac