Hit the Farmers Market for Improved Health

By Donna Stark

I always look forward to summer and all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is to spend my Saturday mornings hitting the local farm stands and farmers markets. For me, there is no better way to shop for what is in season and it gives the perfect excuse to experiment with adding more fruits and vegetables into my diet. It’s also the time of year when I, along with most other people, start to crave lighter and more refreshing meals to get through those hot, sunny days.

Improve Your Diet with Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Adding more fruit and veggies to your diet will provide your body with antioxidants, fiber, inflammation-fighting properties, and a host of nourishing vitamins and minerals. You can’t go wrong with a decision like that, but with any new diet change, it may be hard to begin. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Add first, subtract later - As with most changes, it is easy to obsess on what you are losing rather than embrace what you are gaining. If you find this to be true, then slowly start adding extra fruits and veggies to your diet first and once you feel good about what you are eating, start to eliminate the other stuff little by little.
  • Take baby steps - Small, gradual changes are usually easier to maintain than rapid, complete shifts in behavior, so take baby steps! Start by adding a smoothie to your breakfast or by substituting your fast food lunch order with a salad.
  • Choose easy recipes - Nothing will steer you off the path of healthy eating faster than complicated, technique-laden recipes filled with ingredients that are impossible to find. Keep your meals simple and easy to make by sticking to the basics, such as soups, salads, and easy-to-prepare side dishes. You can always master these before moving on up to the harder stuff.
  • Set aside prep time - Set aside time to prep your fruits and veggies after you bring them home. Wash, grate, peel, chop, and freeze whatever you will be using for the week coming up. And although this may feel like a lot of work at first, it will actually save you time during the busy week.
  • Don’t forget your snacks - Fruit and veggies are some of the easiest snacks around, so be sure to keep some prepped and placed aside so that you can have them ready at a moment’s notice. Pack them every day when you head out your door in the morning. They are the perfect choice to grab and go!

Improved Health

Adding nutrient-dense fruits and veggies to your diet will lead to significant health improvements over time and it may be just what you need to catapult yourself and your loved ones onto the path of healthy eating. Don’t wait to start! Grab your basket and head out to the farmers market this week!

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