Fresh leeks and carrots are examples of produce at a farmers market
Homegrown leeks and carrots from the local farmers market inspire my meal planning for the coming week!

5 Reasons to Love the Local Farmers Market

Saturday was the epitome of easy-going summer fun that included a trip to the local farmers market.  I was visiting my girlfriend and we had until dinner time to do what we wanted.  After leisurely sipping our morning joe while catching up on our chit-chat, it was time to find out what was going on around town.  Her daughter raved about the flowers at the farmers market, which was like a magnet for both of us to go check it out!

In addition to fresh flowers, I was excited to see what homegrown produce I would find to jump start my meal planning for the coming week.  The farmers market always inspires me to cook with variety and try new combinations of flavors.

Stopping by the local farmers market shouts SUMMER FUN and I will give you 5 reasons to love them!  

  1. The Social Aspect.  It was so relaxing to share conversation and the experience with my friend and chat with the vendors.  A few musicians were playing blue grass music making the atmosphere happy and fun.  It’s all good for the soul!
  2. Movement.  Strolling from stand to stand is keeping the body in motion!  It’s great to move around and breathe in fresh air.
  3. The Flowers.  The bouquets were so vibrant and gorgeous!  What a great way to bring some major cheer home!
  4. Homemade Baked Goods and Canned Creations.  Artisan breads, jams, jellies, and other canned goods reminding me of my mother’s and grandmother’s cooking are always a treat.
  5. Fresh Produce.  Garden fresh and in season.  Truly farm to table opportunity!  Gathering my choices of produce and filling my basket feels so wholesome.  It makes cooking and meal planning more interesting.

So my choices to fill the basket were zucchini and yellow summer squash, leeks, yellow carrots and shallots. I sautéed the squash with onions twice this week, the yellow carrots were added to orange carrots, onions and potatoes with a roast for Sunday dinner, the shallots will go into a vinaigrette, and the leeks will be added to my husband’s fresh potatoes to make potato leek soup!  What is there not to love about the local farmers market!

Why This Matters:

The socialization, the visual beauty of the gorgeous flowers and keeping the body in motion are all important for a healthy well-being.  It checks several boxes of the *FRESH* Approach to managing my autoimmune disease.  Reduction of stress, Exercise, and even getting fresh air to help to get better Sleep.  But, I’m going to focus on the F, or food to eat.

Instead of attempting to follow a highly restrictive anti-inflammatory diet when I was feeling the symptoms of RA, but not yet diagnosed, I kept it simple by avoiding processed foods and limiting added salt and sugar.  I was too sick to research recipes to make the diet actually edible.  And was I shocked when I started reading labels to find all sorts of not-so-healthy additives in marketed healthy foods!

My dietary goals have evolved to include trying to feed a healthy microbiome and to help the liver and kidneys to eliminate toxins.  The microbiome is the gazillion good bacteria in our system that are necessary for digestion so our body can utilize nutrients to keep us going!  It is also has a hand in the health of our immune system.

The whole foods I get at the local farmers market are sources of nutrients that promote the good health I need to help my body deal with the rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  I’m talking about the fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and other micronutrients that allow my body to function so much better by supplying the fuel needed.  So, a variety of fruits and vegetables along with keeping it colorful, literally, is the rule.

There is something fun about selecting my favorite produce at the local farmers market, then planning my meals for the coming week based on those selections.  An element of surprise always keeps things interesting!

So take the time this week to visit the local farmers market and enjoy how flavorful the produce is!  Avoiding preservatives and limiting added salt and sugar is make easy.  And if your body is anything like mine, it will tell you how much it appreciates the goodness of the nutrients.  I always feel the benefits of cooking with whole foods.  I wish the same for you!

And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!

XXOO Cathy

Photo Credit:  Peter Wendt of Unsplash

 

 

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Arthritis should have the smallest footprint possible on your day-to-day living.  Small things added together make a huge impact.  Here’s to living your best life, even with arthritis!  Cheers!

XXOO

Cathy from Arthritis Wisdom

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