Goodbye Fast Food, Hello Slow Food!

Slow Food (http://www.slowfood.com/) is a large international food-based non-profit founded in 1989 to promote good food through community and environmental work (and to slow the influx of a fast-food society). Slow Food has over 100,000 members in 1,500 chapters all over the world. They also founded Italy’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in 2005, the first program of its kind and undoubtedly one of few educational institutes started by a non-profit organization. With a mission to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and peoples dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world- Slow Food is an amazing organization thathas my full support.

There are a number of ways you can get involved in the organization by becoming a member, making a donation, or simply being a responsible consumer. If preserving biodiversity is something youare passionate about, then I highly recommend you check out their website (http://www.slowfood.com/ and take a further look at all the good they are doing!

slowfood

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(Healthy) Cookies, Cookies, Cookies Are For Me!

What if I told you that I had a recipe for delicious healthy peanut butter oatmeal cookies? You would probably say, “healthy” and “cookies” just don’t mix, right? WRONG. These peanut butter oatmeal cookies are made with absolutely no eggs, flour, oil, or added sugars and they are absolutely delicious!

The next time you feel that chocolate craving coming on, try whipping up a batch of these peanut butter oatmeal cookies as a healthy alternative to those double stuffed Oreo’s you keep hidden in your cupboard.

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Shape Up, America!

Obesity is associated with 5/10 of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States including heart disease, some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. A healthy diet and physical activity are great ways to manage and maintain your weight, and avoid/prevent these devastating side effects of an unhealthyweight.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you need a little push to get things done- especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself having trouble taking the first step towards a healthy change, then I highly recommend you readup on Shape Up America- a great non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating a behavior change towards a healthier lifestyle through healthy diet and physical activity.

Shape Up America is conducting a broad-based education initiative to encourage sensible eating and increased physical activity in all individuals and a modest weight loss in overweight individuals that can be maintained over time. To learn more about how to get involved, head over to their website (http://www.shapeup.org/)!

SHAPE UP

A Bug A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Hello, world! I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that insects probably aren’ta part of your daily diet. I’m also going to go out on alimb and guess that most of you probably didn’t know that about 80% of the worlds popular still regularly eats over 1,600 species of insects on a daily basis. They do so because believe it or not, insectsare made up of about 91% protein, they are an excellent source of fat, and they contain high amounts of micronutrients such as Vitamin B and Vitamin E.

Still not convinced that eating bugs is the way to go? Check out Little Herds (http://littleherds.org/) website. Little Herds is an Austin-based non-profit organization that works with governments, farmers, entrepreneurs, chefs, businesses, and schools to educate the “remaining 20%” on the many benefits of being a bug eater! Along with promoting the consumption of bugs, they also promote healthy eating and sustainable farming through public events and children’s education.

Be sure to read up on what Little Herds is about over at http://littleherds.org/ and take a peak at their bug-tastic events calendar. YUM!little-herds

Healthy Alternatives to Not-So-Healthy Snacks

Hello, world! We’ve all been there: it’s the weekend, you’ve “been good” all week, and there’s pizza in the fridge. Before you devour the remaining 4 slices (box and all), take a look at this list of healthy alternatives to some of the snack foods we crave most! These healthy alternatives are an excellent way to satisfy your craving in a nutritious way without having to compromise any flavor! Enjoy.

I’m So Excited, I Could Wet My Plants!

Hello, world! Between allergies, constant rain, and the “cute little birds” working as your personal alarm clock to wake you up at promptly 4:00 am every morning- it’s hard to remember why I was ever excited for Spring in the first place. But then I remember: GARDENING. Every year when spring rolls around, I find myself thinking about what vegetables I should plan in my garden. Gardening is an excellent way to save money, relieve stress, and most importantly- stay healthy!

It is not uncommon for first time gardeners to find themselves overwhelmed or intimated with the process of growing your own garden. So, below, I have provided a compilation of some tips and suggestions that I feel every first time gardener to know. Happy Planting!


TIPS & SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST TIME GARDENERS

1. Decide what to plant.

  • Maintenance can be overwhelming so it is  best to start small. Consider what/how much your family eats.

2. Determine how much space you need.

  • Gardens need space! Research the different styles of gardens and planting systems.

3. Consider sun!

  • Gardens need sun to grow! Some vegetables flourish in part shade (peas, carrots, onions) and some flourish in full sun (corn, squash).

4. Irrigation.

  • Some vegetables (celery, onions) perform poorly in dry conditions. Be sure to have an accessible irrigation system handy at all times.

5. Don’t overcrowd your vegetables.

  • The #1 mistake made by new gardeners is overcrowding your plants. I know that “the seeds are so tiny and it is so tempting” but you will be doing more harm than good. Give your vegetables room to grow.

Farm Fresh, RI.

In today’s day and age, many of the foods we eat are genetically modified, grown with pesticides and other chemicals, and filled with preservatives and additives. This being said, it is no surprise that people are increasingly concerned about the quality and cleanliness of the foods they eat. This growing desire to know what is being put into their bodies is causing many people to join the Local Food Movement. The Local Food Movement is essentially people all across the nation promoting the value and benefits of consuming locally grown foods. While supermarkets often contain processed foods and feedlot meat, the Local Food Movement includes similar ideas, goals, and practices to organic and sustainable food movements.

Growing up in a small farm town in MA, I have always had a spot in my heart for farmers markets and all of the fresh, local goodies I could snag there. Eating local allows us to eat fresher foods with higher nutrients levels, to eat seasonal and go with the natural flow of things- allowing for diversity and variety, and to become engaged in what foods we are putting into our bodies.

Farm Fresh RI (http://www.farmfreshri.org/about/about.php) is a growing local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life of RI farmers and eaters. This non-profit organization is located in Pawtucket, RI and works with vendors that support their mission to:

  • Preserve RI farmland and agricultural and culinary knowledge.
  • Build healthier communities.
  • Increase access to fresher, tastier food.
  • Improve impact of food production and distribution on our environment.
  • Strengthen community-based businesses.

If you are interested in learning more about the Local Food Movement or simply want to check out restaurants, markets, breweries, and creameries in the area that use fresh, local products- be sure to check out Farm Fresh RI’s website today (http://www.farmfreshri.org/about/about.php)!