Thursday, January 14, 2010


Best wishes to you, dear readers, for a happy and HEALTHY 2010! After an intensely busy, hectic holiday season, I finally have some "me" time to focus on getting back on track and starting the new year off right. I hope you're able to do the same.

First, for local folks, I'd like to pass along information I received from Asbury Farm. They have a weekly winter market with fresh organic produce (how cool is that??!!!). Check out the link below to their Web site for information. They are also offering the opportunity to join their CSA.

We are opening our 2010 season to new shareholders. Farmer Charles will honor a discounted price of $675 for 30 + weeks of produce if you send in the attached Commitment Form by the end of January along with your deposit. If you need a hard copy form sent to you in the mail, please reply to this e-mail with your mailing address.To sample some of the tasty produce you will be receiving next season, drop by our Winter Market this Saturday, January 16, from 10am to noon. You can visit for pictures and details.Regards,CurtAVF Farmhand and Garlic Manager

Also in the name of health (with a different focus) I've decided to spring for a new desk chair--a super-comfy model with featuring mega lumbar support and a nice padded cushion for aching back and poor, hurtin' bum. (I hope I will no longer resemble Quasimodo when I attempt to walk following a morning of computer work. Ouch.) The new year also brings a my new resolve to not only eat right, but to kick it up a notch: cut waaayyy back on sugar (my weak spot...still crave the stuff), and continue to reduce my intake of animal protein. A couple of week ago I had occasion to speak with a well-known women's heart specialist. Care to guess what he had eaten for lunch that day? Brown rice and broccoli. Yep. It goes without saying that he's a proponent of vegetables, whole grains, and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna (please see my previous post about tuna. All tuna is not created equal).

With all the focus on the bad things that are in the foods we eat, I thought it would be nice to start out the new year with a reminder of all the GOOD THINGS that are in fruits, herbs and veggies, and grains. If you don't eat some of these foods on a regular basis, here's your motivation to start off the new year with a few positive additions to your family's diet! (Some of this info came from an excellent little sidebar in Parade Magazine's November 15, 2009 issue).

Cinnamon - Here's an easy one to sell to the kids--a win-win! According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, cinnamon may lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugar. Sprinkle it on your morning cereal, on applesauce or yogurt, add it to baked goods.

Ground flaxseed - Ok, not so easy to sell this stuff to the kids, but here's what I do (shhhh....): slip it into whole grain pancake batter, and bake it into healthy muffins. You can even use it in place of some of the oil in your recipes. Flax is a great source of fiber, antioxidants called lignans, alpha-linolenic acid (a plant version of Omega-3), and studies show that it can lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and even prevent breast cancer. It has a nice nutty flavor. Two tablespoons a day is all you need to reap some benefits!!

Parsley - Eat your garnish! Parsley has vitamin C, iron, and flavenoids, which the American Institute for Cancer Research says may help protect cells from cancer.

Rosemary - Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research found that this herb can help protect brain cells from the aging process and from damange caused by the free radicals that lead to Alzheimer's. (Oh boy do I need to grow this stuff by the bushel....)

Turmeric - The University of Arizona College of Medicine says curcurmin, the active ingredient in this Indian spice, helps prevent joint inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rutgers University researchers say it may also slow the spread of prostate cancer.

Carrots - (Excerpt from Rawsome! Maximizing Health, Energy, and Culinary Delight With the Raw Foods Diet by Brigitte Mars--thanks to my dear friend Lyn for this excellent info):

The carrot (Daucus carota sativa) is a member of the Apiaceae (Parsley) Family. Daucus is the ancient name for Wild carrot, also known as Queen Anne's Lace, the ancestor of today's cultivated carrots. The ancient Greek word for carrot was philon, meaning, "love," as the root was regarded as an aphrodisiac. Native to Afghanistan, the original carrots were purple and black. The foliage of carrots was once worn as hair and hat plume adornments for ladies of the English court of James I. (Anyone care to start a new fashion trend??)

Carrots are sweet, warm and alkaline. Carrots contain beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, pectin, and fiber. The leaves are high in flavonoids and potassium.

Carrots strengthen the stomach, spleen, liver and lungs. Carrots has been used to treat acne, asthma, bladder stones, cancer, catarrh, colitis, constipation, cough, cystitis, diarrhea, dry skin, eczema, gall stones, gastritis, gout, indigestion, high cholesterol, indigestion, irritable bowel, jaundice, kidney stones, obesity, parasites, pyorrhea, sore throat, tonsillitis, toxemia, ulcers and vision problems such as dry eyes, Bitot's spots and night blindness. Carrots are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, diuretic, galactagogue (increase mother's milk), laxative, liver tonic and a urinary antiseptic. If every one ate one carrot a day, lung cancer rates could be cut in half. Eating a raw carrot daily, exercises the teeth and jaw.

We should all thank our moms for making us eat so many carrots when we were kids!

What are some of the foods you're planning to eat more of this year? Please let us know!