I started my annual “must get back on track” ritual early this year. A couple times a year (usually about this time and during mid summer when we are our busiest on the farm) I find myself way off track from my food goals. For me this not only means putting on a few pounds, but I also start experiencing headaches, congestion, joint pain, sluggishness and even a bit of depression. The best way for me to get myself re-focused is to have a good plan in place.
I start with the basics and while I’ve been eating these foods as a way to heal my body for years I find that taking time to make a list and putting those foods in obvious places helps me from forgetting (or picking up something unhealthy to eat). Here are a few of the foods that will be welcomed into my daily diet. Seriously-just the idea of filling myself up with these foods makes me happy.
Warm Lemon Water
I find that starting my day with a large glass of warm lemon water helps kick start my digestion and gives me a boost of energy. I’ve noticed other benefits that encourage me to make this a daily practice. While you can use fresh lemon I have found that I prefer a few drops of high quality essential oil in a 16 ounce glass of warm (not hot) water.
Chia seeds have several benefits such as cleansing the digestion system, boosting your daily protein and offering filling, but low calorie option between or during meals. They are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and minerals. There are tons of recipes out there for fancy chia seed dishes, but I normally simply take mine in a 16 ounce glass (1 teaspoon chia + filtered water) shaken and allowed to sit for a few minutes.
High quality broth is one of the most nourishing foods for our bodies. It’s how Lilah and I cured several of our food related issues a few years ago (while on the GAPS diet). It makes sense (think chicken soup to cure a cold). I like to keep some bone broth in the freezer just in case one of us needs an immunity boost, but this time of year there is nothing like making fresh broth. I prefer chicken broth over beef or pork (but mixing them up is good too). I simply take a whole chicken and combine it with onions and other vegetables we have available. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 12-24 hours. The chicken can be removed and used in other meals (we normally shred it for a nourishing chicken salad).
Caught Wild Salmon
We are so thankful for our friends at Caught Wild Salmon. Because of them we are able to get the best salmon available right here in Kentucky. There’s nothing like a broiled piece of caught wild salmon over a bed of fresh greens right out of the high tunnel.
Fresh juice can be a great way to get multiple fruits and vegetables in all at once. I love green juices and particularly those with less sugar. Zest Juice for Life offers several different juice options every Tuesday and Saturday at Community Farmers Market. Their juice is delicious and a great way to try it for the first time or to stock up when you are too busy to make it yourself. I love their green juices and Nathan loves the hula hooch. I also love smoothies with fresh greens (like spinach) and either apples or oranges. Bananas give them a great smooth texture if you can handle the extra sugars.
There’s nothing like a fresh, ripe piece of citrus. This time of year we are stocked up with fresh citrus from our friends at Marion Groves. We’ve found that having big bowls of oranges and grapefruit around the house help us cure our sweet tooth with something packed in vitamin C. Looking to find your own source for fresh citrus? The fine folks at Marion Groves will be at Community Farmers Market on January 10th with tons of oranges and grapefruit.
One of the most important tips for eating more nourishing foods is to stock up on a good, high quality extra virgin olive oil. We stock up from Chaffin Family Orchards in California once a year and when that is gone we love the garlic infused from Stuarto’s in Lexington. We tend to just cook whatever vegetables we have on hand (and around here there’s a lot), but a few of our favorite are sweet potatoes, brussell sprouts, cabbage, kale, butternut squash, potatoes and turnips. There are tons of vegetables available all winter long at Community Farmers Market open every Saturday 8-1 and Tuesday 2-6.
I’ve learned over the years that even thought we try to incorporate more family meals at the table during the winter months we are simply snackers because our schedules. I like to transition to simple snacks like popcorn, granola, and nuts (we love pistachios). My kids are excited about our monthly delivery of Sweetgrass Granola that can serve as either a breakfast with milk or just as a snack throughout the day.
In the past I would try to cook ahead and have things in the fridge ready to pull out on our busiest days. This year I am so excited that I’ll have an entree and sides available from Farm Fresh But Already Fixed. Not only is everything Emily and Chelsea prepares delicious, but it helps get me out of my rut-I tend to cook the same things over and over again. They have a few spots available so let them know if you want one.
What’s your favorite nourishing foods?