June 21, 2010

The Fresh Factor

The Raw Food Diet, vegan-ism and the Pure Food and Wine restaurant in NYC are all eating concepts I've dabbled in and enjoyed - in little bits and pieces. Eating well has become a healthy obsession for me but I'm not at the point where I can get into any extreme eating plans.  In fact, the word "plan" really freaks me out.  Structure and food do not make an appealing pairing.  Having the flexibility to bend, stretch and indulge my palate is a right I'm not willing to part with.  Constant worry about calorie counts and fat percentages just zaps the enjoyment from feeding oneself.  But I'm not jaded enough to believe that eating any old thing without concern for your well being is any more sensible.

About a month ago, I went to my first Farmer's Market of the season and while walking from tent to tent filled with homemade breads, sweet preserves and plump, juicy vegetables, I had an eco-friendly light bulb moment.  Instead of limiting the kinds of foods I can eat, how about eliminating as much of the artificial, processed stuff as possible, cooking almost every meal and using the freshest ingredients available?  This is nothing new nor is it revolutionary.  It's just makes basic good health sense. We so often reach for easy, fast and cheap because we're tired, overworked or wallet challenged.  But we always seem to find time and money for the things that are most important to us, don't we?  I've been buying fresher foods and cooking a lot lately using more organic ingredients.  I find the time to do it by just eliminating the excuses and putting my health at the top of my to-do list. I'm trying new and exciting recipes while learning that experimentation with flavors and textures is a whole lot of fun.  I feel better, look healthier and an even better added bonus is that I'm losing a few pounds without giving up the foods I love.  Oh I still eat out, a lot.  I just pay attention to what I'm taking in and probably annoy a few waiters in the process with my many menu questions but living your best life is about making no apologies for taking care of yourself, isn't it?

FRESH FIND: This Roasted Tomato Basil Soup recipe from my favorite TV chef, Ina Garten, was a big hit at brunch this weekend.  Serve cold as a refreshing summer treat!

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