It’s that time of year in Calgary, Canada, when working out outside is far more fun and choosing to eat clean and green is far less expensive. There’s so many delicious fruits and vegetables that are coming into season with prices that are budget friendly. There’s no better time to start eating healthier and losing weight. Your body will be beach ready in no time.
What exactly is clean and green?
You probably already have a good idea of what the green part means. It’s fresh fruit and vegetables, even if they are red, orange, purple and not green. The clean part refers to eating more whole foods, such as the fresh fruits and vegetables. Even frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without additives will do, but you lose a bit of that fresh flavor, but gain convenience and a lower price.
It’s more about what to avoid than miracle foods.
Mother nature provides so many wonderful foods that all have health benefits, there’s no reason to choose just one. Too often eating clean is all about eating fresh, but as noted before, that’s not necessary if you’re carefully reading labels. It’s mostly about not eating highly processed foods that contain a lot of additives. Processed meats like bologna and hot dogs won’t make the list. Neither will baked goods. Sugary treats, even if they’re made with honey, shouldn’t be on your list. The reason there’s a focus on whole foods that are straight from the garden is that it’s just easier to identify them as healthy without reading labels.
It’s the start of fresh food season, so enjoy.
If you want a taste treat that’s unforgettable, try heirloom fruits and vegetables. Most of the vegetables on the market today were bred for disease and pest resistance and for shelf life. Heirloom fruits and vegetables come from seed of the originals like great grandma and grandpa used to eat. One of my favorite flavorful tomatoes is the Black Krim. It makes store bought tomatoes taste like cardboard by comparison. If your budget is tight, save a little aside each week to splurge on one type of heirloom fruit or vegetable. Consider it an eating adventure.
- If you chose canned green beans over fresh beans, check for sodium content. You can reduce the content significantly by pouring off the juice and rinsing with clean water.
- Find out when your grocery gets in fruit and vegetable shipments to get the freshest possible produce of purchase directly from the source. Some vegetables lose many of their nutrients by the time you purchase them, which is why frozen and canned goods can be just as good or better.
- Not only are the purple—black—tomatoes, like Black Krim, more flavorful, they also are higher in anthocyanin—the antioxidant that makes blueberries blue. Red tomatoes contain lycopene that’s more readily available when cooked.
- If you want to ensure that the food you eat is fresh, even when it’s not in season locally, grow your own or buy directly from U-pick local growers and freeze it for later in the year. When frozen immediately and correctly, it maintains its nutrients.