If making an effort to eat locally, sustainably, and healthfully interests you, I suggest reading Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. From the back cover: “Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life – vowing that, for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.”

Thankful for Local Food & Complimentary Workouts

Posted 15 November 2015

Heritage breed Thanksgiving turkeys raised at Kinder Farm by 4-H - about as local as it gets.

Much has changed since the "first Thanksgiving" in 1621. The original participants set aside three whole days to celebrate their harvest, while today's demanding schedules can make it challenging to set aside one day to slow down. Just as significantly, as a culture, our relationship to food is vastly different. The original Thanksgiving celebrants approached their feast from a place of food scarcity, after suffering the winter of 1620 in which nearly half of their peers died from harsh conditions and insufficient food. Today our food landscape is one in which food (and food-like substances) are abundantly available. Most of us have become disconnected from the intense work involved in agriculture and the profound gratitude the Pilgrims felt when they saw that their plentiful harvest would protect them from starvation over the winter. Instead today with food so readily available, for many people these feelings of gratitude are replaced by feelings of guilt; food becomes something other than fuel; exercise becomes the toll exacted, rather than a celebration of strength and mobility.

One way we can attempt to reestablish a healthier relationship with food is by gaining a better understanding of the efforts involved in its production. Not everyone has the time or resources available to grow their own crops or raise their own meat, but we can all get a little closer to our food sources - the farmers in our own "foodshed" whose life work is producing healthy foods locally and sustainably. Here are two options I like:

Farmer Pam Stegall of Calvert Farms offers a winter CSA, a box of fresh, locally raised vegetables delivered to various locations (including Blooming Basket on Veteran's Highway) 8 times over 16 weeks. Growing conditions in the winter are more challenging, so Calvert Farms uses a variety of methods to grow crops in the cold and partners with other small, local, family farmers. Sign ups for the Winter CSA continue until 7 December. More information is available on their website: http://calvertfarm.com/

Another great option for supporting local, sustainable food production is Relay Foods, which partners with local producers to provide healthy, sustainably produced groceries that you can order on-line and have delivered to one of their drop points. Order by Sunday evening, and you can pick up your groceries at Homestead Gardens on Ritchie Highway between 3-7 on Monday. Relay Foods offers meal plans and shopping lists on their website, as well as an informational blog, where among other information you can learn about their producers (including Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms – whom you may have seen featured in the movie “Food, Inc.”). Check out their website and use the coupon code “Fit4” for $20 off your $50 order if you are a first time customer: https://www.relayfoods.com/

In redefining our thoughts on food, we then also can reframe our approach to exercise. While some Thanksgiving workouts come with names implying the need to burn off the guilt of eating excess, consider approaching exercise with gratitude for movement, strength, and health -- an “attitude of gratitude”. At the very least, allow me to express thanks to you by offering two options for complimentary Thanksgiving workouts. I will be offering a free workout Thanksgiving morning - time and location TBD.  Please email me if you are interested.  Or you can attend a free workout the day after Thanksgiving at 10am at Dauntless Fitness with Jacki Floyd.