If you’re like me – health conscious and eating out a lot of the time – then you might be
feeling uncertain about the quality of food you are putting into your body. I know I am. I have
one favorite restaurant locally that I frequent because they offer high quality food that I never
have to worry about. Aside from that, I am choosing foods that work well on the eating plan I
feel best with (i.e., low, low carbs, mostly from fresh produce), but remain concerned about how
the animals are being raised and treated and what levels of nutrients and pesticides, etc. I am
One good solution is to grow some of your own foods at home. If you don’t have much
room, you might consider growing organic produce in water. This can be done organically in a
small space. Or perhaps you have some interest in growing in your basement (yes!) with LED
light or other spot in your home. Or if you are looking for an organic garden in your own outside
space, see this.
Maybe you’re just trying to grow your own plants in soil. Try to find organic soil, mix
with organic compost – or use regular soil and compost – and plant and watch your beautiful
garden grow! I know it took a couple of growing seasons for my small garden to start producing
significantly, but produce it did the second season.
1. Plant some salad greens. They generally have vitamins A and C, plus other nutrients.
The red and darker green leafy veggies have even more antioxidants, plus vitamin B6.
If you’re coming home late after a long day at work, throw together a salad with a
little protein like a hard-boiled egg or leftover meat (chicken, turkey, etc.). This will
be a lighter meal and easy to make and clean up after.
2. Another good choice is to plant some radishes. These work equally well in salads. I
know I love the crunch! Radishes are known to have a cleansing effect on our livers
and stomachs, making them good detoxifiers. They can control damage to red blood
cells and can increase oxygen in the blood. Radishes contain roughage and fiber,
making it good for the digestive system, in which two-thirds of our immune systems
reside. They can also be heart-protective due to anthocyanins and can help keep blood
pressure low due to potassium content.
3. Spring onions are another good choice. These tasty veggies are also very healthy, as
they contain vitamin C, B12, A and K, among other nutrients. They are also full of
copper, magnesium, potassium, chromium, etc., as well as the flavonoid quercetin.
Spring onions are good for our hearts, including helping with blood pressure and
cholesterol. These have benefits for diabetics, improving blood sugar and improving
glucose intolerance. They also contain antibacterial properties, so eating these during
cold and flu season is a good choice.
4. Beetroot or the common beet, red, purple, marbled, or gold, is another excellent
choice. Being naturally low in calories, their nutrient content is high. They contain
vitamin C, B6, magnesium, potassium, iron, and more. Beets are good for the
cardiovascular system, have properties which can help lower blood pressure,
5. Zucchini is the final choice to highlight today. It is a type of gourd, and many people
today are spiralizing it to use as a highly healthy substitute for pasta like spaghetti
noodles. Zucchini has no fat, and contains vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C and K, as
well as minerals. It has anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. It helps improve digestion,
slow the aging process, lower blood sugars, and contains fiber, good for digestion.
Remember that some of you with specific health issues may want to avoid foods that are
healthy for the general population but potentially unhealthy for you at the time. Always work
with a competent, skilled, knowledgeable health care provider, such as a functional medical
doctor, among many other types of skilled practitioners.
If you want to learn more about eating and otherwise living holistically healthy for the
many benefits it offers, go to Health and Wellness Online, LLC and see the courses that are
offered. By the way, eating a healthy diet goes a long way, not just for our general health, but
particularly for those struggling with addiction. One excellent, comprehensive course, which
looks at 10 different areas of holistic health, is PREVENTION: Holistic Strategies for Healthy
Living and Avoiding Substance Use. If you don’t have a lot of time, you might try Living
Healthy Holistically: How to Make Life Choices Which Result in Health and Happiness.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.