friend once told a story about his father and vegetables:
His father did not like vegetables, but
when the children came along his wife told him he had to eat
them because the children would follow his example if he
didnít, with disastrous results for their growth and
health. Having a great love for his children he consented,
and all the years the children were home he dutifully ate
his vegetables. When the last child left the nest he smugly
announced he was done with vegetables; he had done his duty,
he would not eat another vegetable as long as he lived!
Several years went by and my friend went
home to the family farm to visit his parents. When he
arrived, his mother told him his father was out in the barn
feeding the cows, so he hurried out to help. When he
arrived at the barn what he saw broke his heart. His father
was a farmer and had always been a strong man. Now he was
so emaciated that he could not even lift a bale of hay, he
was trying, with difficulty, to pull the bails across the
floor by attaching a piece of bailing twine to them.
His father ended up in the hospital,
extremely sick from malnutrition. He needed his vegetables,
without them his body could not function!
Vegetables are packed
full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and oils without which our bodies
cannot maintain vibrant health. Some of the nutrients,
like various vitamins, are essential for life itself! Vitamins and phytochemicals are
chemical agents that the plant produces that are essential
to our nutrition, and minerals are taken by the plant from
the ground the plants are grown in. Just like a car needs
hundreds of parts and chemicals made from various different
materials, so our bodies need various materials to build and
repair on every level. The only place to get these
materials is from our diet.
While the fats
derived from animal sources tends to be bad for our overall
health, oils from vegetable sources are packed with good
stuff that our bodies need to be at their best! I
don't know if you'd consider olives a fruit or vegetable,
but extra virgin olive oil is one of the best. Since fats
have twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrate or
protein, no matter how good they may be they need to be used
in moderation. One of the benefits of using whole
foods is that they are a package, and we get some of the
various nutrients in the foods without large amounts of any
one kind in exclusion of the other needed nutrients.
There are many ways to prepare
vegetables, from steaming to baking, frying to roasting, and
eating them raw, as in a salad. The trick is to find ways
to keep them in your diet, and for the child who may not
like vegetables, hiding them in various dishes works well.
We have a daughter who never liked onions, so my wife just
blended the onions up and then added them to dishes. It
wasnít the flavour she didnít like, it was the texture. I
have never liked the texture of cooked squash, but making
the squash into a pie (like pumpkin pie) is all it takes to
make it civilized! My wife used dates and soy milk to
make the squash filling and a whole meal crust made with
nuts and seeds. The result is a very good tasting
sweet treat that is good for you--if you don't eat too much
at one time. Donít throw the vegetables out because
the traditional way of fixing them may not be to your
liking, try different ways and combinations to make them
enjoyable. One way my wife uses cabbage is preparing a
filling that is largely cabbage with seasonings, rice, and
sauce made with cashews, then baking it inside small pieces
of rolled out bread dough. These small stuffed breads are
delicious, and people donít even know they are eating
cabbage. I like to take them when we are travelling because
they are good cold and easy to eat on the run. You get a
nutritious, balanced meal all in one neat little package.
Something that has been discovered in
recent years is that fruits and vegetables have agents in
them known as phytochemicals. These are strong anti
oxidants, which fight cancer and other health threats.
Other of these help the body starve out cancer.
than 900 different phytochemcials have been discovered, and
more are being identified all the time. This is one big
reason that it is important to eat as many unrefined foods
as possible. While we may take supplements, the supplements
are only a few of the things our bodies need to be healthy.
Also, the things that havenít been identified yet can not be
supplemented! There is no substitute for food grown in
healthy soil, as fresh as possible!
Where to purchase
natural foods in Waterford>>