Monday, July 19, 2010

Eating well. Or trying to.

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light Pure Fitness.

Summer isn't my favorite season only because of the longer days, trips to the beach and runs without layer upon layer of clothing. It is also my favorite season because of farm stands and farmer's markets and their promise of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, string beans, arugula. When it is locally grown and newly picked, I'm a sucker for it all. Fortunately, there's a farm stand about two miles from my house and from mid-June on, I can stop in and know that I am going to be able to pick up something yummy. There is also a wonderful farmer's market in my area every Saturday. Dozens of local farmers set up their stands and sell whatever is in season. They are joined by bakers, honey makers, and young up-starts with small lines of nut butters, salsas and pestos.

My little guy loves natural foods, especially just-picked apples!

I enjoy filling my kitchen with natural foods and since I've become a mother I've also become more concerned with what I feed my family. Yes, I paid some attention to ingredients when it was just my husband and me that I cooked for. But I really started caring when I was pregnant for the first time. Then, what went into my body became of critical importance. You might even say I obsessed. Over the past three years I've learned to chill out and I like to think that I'm now more-or-less able to feed my family well but not go nuts. Or, at least, not too nuts.

So I stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer's markets. I buy local honey and maple syrup and use those to sweeten foods when it makes sense. I read food labels and try to stick to natural ingredients whose names I recognize. I make my own smoothies, bake cakes and cookies from scratch, try to consume natural foods as much as possible. And I feel better doing it.

I try to make sure to involve my son when I cook and bake, because I feel that understanding how food is made, and helping with the process will instill good, healthy eating habits.

There are few things that I can control in this world and having some small bit of control over what my family eats makes me feel better. Choosing natural foods is one way that I can do that.

OK, you read at the beginning that this post is one in my month-long series for Crystal Light: Pure Fitness. This week, the question for you is: What natural foods and drinks do you consume that are good for you? I've shared my love for the local, fresh fruits and veggies from my farmer's market and now it is your turn!

Every comment left on this post is an entry for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card at the end of the month (comments from all posts will be combined; you can leave comments on more than one -- or all! -- post to receive multiple entries).

While you're at it, check out the other bloggers that are writing about Crystal Light: Pure Fitness for three other chances to win $100 as well as a $1,000 sweepstakes by visiting the BlogHer.com Crystal Light: Pure Fitness exclusive offers page.

Learn more about Crystal Light: Pure Fitness here and read the official rules here. Good luck!




30 comments:

  1. That's so awesome that you live so close to a produce stand :). I wish we had more things like that around me, but we really don't. I try to eat fresh things too whenever I can, though. You can definitely tell a difference in taste and in your health :).

    Amy Lauren
    proudpatriot2007@yahoo.com

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  2. I adore the farmer's markets all summer!
    I've been especially loving the peaches and cantaloupe.
    I actually got both of my kiddos to eat broccoli last night!

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  3. We don't have a good farmer's market here in CP, so we use a CSA. I love the fact that the food we get on Thursdays is (usually) picked on Thursday morning.

    I like to think I do a good job feeding the family and involving them in picking meals and cooking. Both kids eat tons of fruits and vegetables, so I consider it a job well done.

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  4. I love to stop at a small farmers market right on the way home. They always have fresh corn and tomatoes. I also love blueberries. I usually pick them in the summer, then freeze them so I can have them all year long!

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  5. Like you, I am an avid label reader and I try to stay away from ingredients I don't recognize. I love to make my own baked goods from scratch. I would much rather make a cake using all natural ingredients than use a cake mix full of additives and preservatives. I also try to have a lot of fruits and veggies in the house. Fresh fruit the best snack: tasty, good for you and usually low in calories also! :-)

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  6. I consume fruit smoothies, water, and salads.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  7. We love our farmers markets too! This summer we have really tried to make a change in the way we eat and the way we buy our foods. We've even started buying our meat locally, and we can taste the difference!

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  8. I can see how your whole perspective on food would change with pregnancy and when you have a child. You don't just worry about yourself anymore, but about a growing little person!

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  9. Cute photo of you two preparing food!
    I do the same with my boys. They sit on the counter and "help"!

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  10. I love farmers markets too, I only wish we had some closer to us now that we've moved. My husband and I have also been thinking about joining a CSA. In regards to what natural foods I consume, I try to eat as much fresh fruits and veggies as I can, especially what's in season. Right now it's berries, stone fruit, melons, mangos, kiwis, zucchinis, tomatoes, asparagus, snap peas, corn, and fresh herbs!

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  11. I love to get fresh strawberries right from the field. Nothing like it!

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  12. We have few good farmer's markets that are within a few Km's drive. We try and go once on the weekend to pickup fresh fruits and veggies. This week it was strawberry's and corn.. yum!!

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  13. When I'm stressed out (like now) it's harder to do, but I try to have fruits and veggies ready to go so they are an easy grab. Nothing fills me up and makes me happier than a nice fruit salad :)

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  14. I love cucumbers, and could eat one for every meal! I've always liked to just peel them and eat them plain.

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  15. We have an indoor farmer's market, but I haven't made it over to it yet. It has to be cheaper than the grocery store.

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  16. I love green tea, blueberries, spinach, and apples. To make an awesome salad, toss some blueberries and apples with spinach, grilled chicken strips, and feta cheese.

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  17. I wish I was able to find local honey. I love using honey, but have to get mine from the store.

    prpldy (at) comcast dot net

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  18. Hey, nice kitchen!!! I like your mixer too! I want one of those for my birthday!
    jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

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  19. Broccoli, strawberries, blueberries. Lots of fresh fruit and some veggies.
    email in profile

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  20. I love locally grown produce as well but the biggest challenge for me is that I live in AK. We have a very limited window of time that we can go to farmer's markets and get fresh produce, and what we can get is often limited due to our short, chillier season. One thing that I do to make up for that is joining a food co-op. The produce still has to travel but at least I know that they are organically grown.

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  21. I love fresh fruits and veggies (blueberries, kiwi, broccoli, carrots...etc)

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  22. I love, love, love fresh fruits and vegetables. I am in the process of changing the way I cook. I want to go back to the way my grandmother and mother cooked....with very little processed foods. I am a firm believer that so many of the health issues we are faced with are from all of the processed foods that we over consume on a daily basis!!!

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  23. We have not had luck in farmers markets where we live, we do have little fruit stands, which we buy our Sweet Corn, Canalope, Watermelons, Strawberries, Peaches or whatever is in at the time. My family loves it, I'd prefer a market place, we live in a rural area, it makes no sense we do not have one, I also like to visit the local Amish bakery, Fresh baked pies, fudge, bread and such..Yummm...We love to do the fresh fruits, veggies and baked goods rather then store bought every chance we get, that also includes fresh Honey...

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  24. We eat lots of fresh fruit and started our own square foot garden this year for veggies. I have made sure to include my two girls (3 and 5) in on the gardening process to hopefully get them wanting to eat more veggies also since they had a hand in "making" them! :)

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  25. We eat a lot of organic fruit and veggies like peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, apples, tomatoes, berries, spinach, broccoli.
    email in profile

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  26. fresh fruit and veggies...especially all the home grown tomatoes people are giving right now...i need to make some salsa...

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  27. Fruit, fruit, and more fruit! And honey. I love honey in tea and on toast.

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  28. I like to provide a balanced and healthy diet for my family. Luckily, my boys can't get enough fruit, and both of them actually really like brocolli! We also like to go to local picking farms when fruits and veggies are in season to pick our own. There is nothing like a fresh apple off the tree, a beautiful blueberry picked from the bush, and even corn and we harvested ourselves.....and it's usually much cheaper too. Additionally, I have a modest veggie and herb garden that we love....this years tomatoes are looking like there will be a real bumper crop so I'll be making homemade sauce to freeze for the winter.

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  29. I love fruits. i cut fruits up. sprinkle them with cranberry juice and freeze them in the freezer for a snack

    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

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