Is local food really better?

Is local food really better?

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There is a big push lately to eat locally grown foods. The claim is that these foods are more nutritious and are therefore a better choice for you and your family. While it seems intuitive that locally grown vegetables and fruits are more nutritious, the answer is actually that it depends. There are many factors that determine the nutritional quality of produce.The factors that determine the vitamin and mineral content of vegetables and fruits are variety of produce grown, growing methods, how ripe the produce was when harvested, handling after harvest, how the produce was stored, the type and extent of processing used, and how far it was transported before it reached you.

Most produce found in the grocery store today was selected because of yield (how much can be harvested per acre), rate of growth, and how well it can withstand be transported for long distances. When local farmers select a variety of produce to grow, they are more likely to choose based on taste and nutritional quality.Foods that are grown far away will lose some of their nutritional value during the shipping process. It does not matter how well they are grown or are handled after harvesting. Local fruits and vegetables have most likely been harvested within the last 24 hours and are at their peak ripeness, freshness, taste, and nutritional value.Many grocery stores carry fruits and vegetables now that come pre-cut. This type of minimal process is great for convenience, but it makes the produce more perishable. The plants skin is not intact and cannot protect it from spoilage. This type of processing chemically changes the plant’s tissues and causes changes to the produce that reduce nutrient value.

Locally harvested produce has also probably been handled by fewer people. It was also most likely harvested without industrial machinery which can damage the produce and cause it to have less nutritional value. It does not spend days in a refrigerated truck being transported across country, which can cause bruising due to high speeds and bumpy roads.

Local produce can be purchased at the peak of freshness, taste, and nutrient value. You know where your food came from and in many cases you can speak to the farmer who grew the food. You can find out how your produce was grown, harvested, handled, and transported. Local produce offers you the chance to buy fruits and vegetables that are more nutrition and taste better. And if you have the space for it, you can always grow your own food which is by far the best option.

My Starter Guide to Urban Gardening

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With the cost of fresh vegetables in today’s economy, who wouldn’t want to find a way to have access to fresh vegetables and a healthier diet? Rural residents may have an easier time growing a garden than their urban counterparts, however, urban gardening can be the answer for city dwellers who would like to grow their own fresh vegetables.

The urban garden will need more planning and strategy than a typical home garden. With space being a very limiting factor, the urban gardener will have to make the best use of any available space. If there is absolutely no open ground for a traditional garden, perhaps some form of container garden can be created on a patio, deck or even a rooftop.

Gardening does not have to be an expensive endeavor, contrary to popular opinions. There are free and low cost methods to get into gardening. The local county extension service can be a valuable resource for information on gardening, seeds and plants are often free. A very valuable item is free compost that is often given away at the extension office. Compost is great for the garden, but hard to produce in an urban environment.

Most urban gardeners will most likely live in apartments that do not offer a yard for them to grow a traditional garden. In this case, the next option would be to start a container garden. Container gardening in an urban environment can provide excellent results.

Supplies needed for a container garden do not have to be expensive to work. Five gallon buckets make good containers for larger plants, or for watering, and can be picked up at restaurants and delis for free. Soda bottles are extremely abundant and can be used as small containers when cut in half, or used in a self watering pot design.

The location of your garden will be a limiting factor in what types of plants that you can grow. If there is a mostly sunny location, than almost any type of vegetable can be grown. Shade will limit your possibilities somewhat, but don’t despair, there are options for shady locations.

A full sun location is one that gets from six to eight hours of sun a day. Partial shade means that the garden will receive only filtered sun throughout the day or at most, three hours of direct sun.

Plant like tomatoes and peppers will need to receive full sun for eight hours to grow and produce well.
Some common vegetables that can be grown in the shade include: beets, broccoli, radish, peas, beans, kale, Swiss chard and greens.

Watering your urban garden is also an important step to consider. First, if containers are used, they must have proper drainage holes so that excess water can drain out or the plants will die from over watering. There are a few different ways to handle the watering of the garden. Manual watering with a hose or container is the most common, but can be time consuming. There are drip irrigation systems that can be set up on a timer that make watering hands free and consistent.

An urban garden will provide a healthy addition to the family’s diet and will be both educational and enjoyable. Why not get started today and plan your new urban vegetable garden?

Intermittent Fasting – The holy grail of diets?

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When you stepped on the scale this morning, you may have noticed that you were a few pounds heavier than you would have liked. More than likely, there were other signs that you were packing it on, like feeling listless, tired and probably not as sharp as you can normally be. It is even possible that you found yourself feeling a little depressed, maybe you started getting looks from some of the people that you come in contact with at the office. Well I can assure you that this has been the case for me for the last 3 or so weeks. I hate it! Read More

My new blender – Review of the VitaMix 5200

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Vitamix 5200When people think of blenders, they don’t think of anything too special. They just think of something that mixes drinks or smoothies together and gets the job done. The VitaMix 500 is the exact opposite of that, as it is the ultimate blender with many great reviews so far. Yes, it may be expensive and a little out of your comfort zone when it comes to buying kitchen appliances, but this blender won’t disappoint. Do not go with the cheaper version because it will just be a disappointment and won’t hold out in the long run. The reason why top chefs use the VitaMix is because it is simply able to do what all those other cheaper short-lived models are not. So, after reading many reviews about the Vitamix 5200 I decided to get my new toy. Judging from the list of best blenders and from my first impressions I can say I made the right decision!

The VitaMix 5200 has been built to endure a lot of use, therefore the reason it has such a sturdy and durable construction. One of the great perks that come with this machine is a 7-year guarantee. That is not normal for any product out there on the market. The company must have confidence in their blender to offer a 7-year guarantee!!! People have not been shy to mention in cooking forums throughout the web about how their VitaMix is still going strong after a heavy amount of use.

The first impression of the VitaMix 5200 may be a little disappointing as it does not represent what a brand new fancy gadget might look like, but do not let the looks of it fool you. This may be upsetting to some of you because most people want a blender that grabs attention. Don’t be alarmed too much though. It will still fit nicely along your countertop in your kitchen. For any chef or if you are just the cook for your family, you all know that results are most important and the VitaMix 5200 can definitely deliver.

Another surprising yet very unique attribute to the VitaMix is that it only comes with the blender base, the tall glass pitcher, and the lid with its removable plug. A lot of other blenders have the problem of coming with all these other attachments and countless components that you have to read the directions over and over until you understand what they are for. The VitaMix is simple yet very convenient for anyone using a blender. It also comes with a unique feature called the “tamper”, which is a rod-like instrument that is able to push the larger food objects into the spinning blade.

Another bonus to the VitaMix 5200 is that it comes with a free recipe book that gives the customer the choice of over 300 recipes. This is just another cool feature that comes with this unique machine. All the recipes are of course delectable and yummy, but also very healthy!

Another advantage to this blender is that it has a 2-peak horsepower motor, which makes it able to crush the food up so efficiently. Surprisingly, it is actually able to generate enough friction so that soups can be warmed up. It is a machine with so much versatility when preparing food. Over time, the VitaMix 5200 will most likely save you money, save you time obviously through both preparing food and clean up, make you healthier, and it is also very easy to use! I got my Vitamix on Amazon and it got delivered within 2 days.

Diets: How To Choose From All The Options?

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If you’re like me, you know that there are a ton of different options when it comes to dieting that it is just ridiculous. That makes it nearly impossible to find one that works for you. Well I’m here to offer at least a little help. Read More

A quick hello

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Hi everyone!

Before I start blogging away I wanted to quickly say hello to everyone out there. I just started my journey of loosing some weight (my goal is to loose 15 pounds over the next 6 month) and since I am the type of person who needs to research everything there is to know about diets and stuff I decided to put my findings on this blog. Maybe it helps you in your own endeavors to loose some weight. Alright…let’s do this :)

About me

Hi my name is Sadie. My friends say I am a health and diet fanatic but honestly I just like to feel good. For the larger part of my life I ate what and when I wanted and lived a very unhealthy lifestyle.

A few month ago I decided to change that. I read a lot about diets, food and a healthy lifestyle and slowly but surely I began to change mine. This blog is my diary. I post about things I find on the web, new diets, healthy recipes and more.

Feel free to comment on my posts. I would love to hear from you!