It is that time of year again. The weather is changing, the soil is becoming warm and moist, and fresh, colorful, beautiful foods are pushing their way up through the soil—or at least these things will happen very soon when the rain stops. Local, nutrient-dense food is available at our farmers' markets, grocery store, and various cafes and restaurants in the valley. Summer is our opportunity to eat foods in their most potent form for maximum nutritional value.
Why is it so important to eat organic, local, well-mineralized foods? Foods and herbs—preferably in their live, uncooked form—can help prevent and reverse inflammation, disease, degeneration, digestive disturbances and fatigue throughout the body. Changing the diet alone can free up the body's energy from digesting cooked oils, saturated animal fats and toxic pesticides. Bad fats and toxins clog up the liver, kidneys and large intestines and create deep-seated toxicity that can come out in the form of skin rashes, pimples, sinus allergies, asthma and other health problems. Improving your diet and food choices can improve your health, energy levels, skin color, eyesight, emotional state and attitude, and can normalize your weight and sustain the environment. It is a win-win situation and takes little effort.
What are live foods? According to Gabriel Cousens, M.D., "the essence of understanding living foods is ... if it is not broken, don't fix it. Living foods or raw foods are those which have not been cooked, processed, "pesticided" or "herbicided," microwaved, irradiated, or genetically engineered. They represent an unbroken wholeness that is the original creation and nutritional gift of the Divine. The understanding that the food we eat is an energetic whole greater than the sum of the parts reflects a quantum mechanics view of nutrition."
It is important to realize that the same textures and flavors are more potent, more satisfying and nutrient-dense in this form of consumption. Throughout history, the power of live foods for healing has been used with effective results. One study in the former Soviet Union found that when animals were given whole, live foods, their endurance was two to three times greater than if they were given the same foods after they had been cooked.
This is an exciting time to be alive and experiencing the transformation that our planet is going through. Organic food is readily available, as well as wild-crafted foods and herbs with healing and medicinal properties. As Hippocrates said, "Let thy food be thy medicine." And yet there is often such resistance to changing the diet until sickness or disease occurs. Often this is the wake-up call to change our diet. I encourage and challenge each and every person to not wait on this, to incorporate more green juices, vegetables, fruits, herbs and whole foods into their daily regime and reap the benefits personally and in the community. Consider and follow through with cleansing or green-juice fasting at least once a year. Buy and eat locally and you will taste and feel the difference in the food while supporting local agriculture and biodiversity.
We, through our consumerism and purchasing dollars, can show the importance of simple fruits, vegetables and locally grown food. Think of your bodies as little mini ecosystems of our planet. If our reckless polluting, spraying and littering of our planet continue, the disease and sickness of our bodies, the rates of cancer and diabetes, will continue to fester and increase.
There are many opportunities to embrace this transformation right here in our community. On Thursday night, Peggy Bates and Eiron Schofield will lead a discussion on the growing movement towards local sustainable food choices, encouraging us to "vote with our fork". The Idaho's Bounty cooperative works tirelessly to promote local farms and farmers and make their products available to our community. Many eating establishments and food outlets do the same. Take advantage of the summer, improving your diet and making it better than ever. Through these choices, you will start to look and feel better every day of your life, will reverse the aging process, and feel joy and well-being.
Molly Peppo Brown is a nutrition consultant and owner of Glow live-food café in Ketchum.