THE GROWING CONCEPT – “NATURAL & HEALTHY” FAST FOOD
It’s preventive medicine through munching the right food – what I call “eating your way to good health”. It’s interesting that in nutrition schools, magazines, newspapers and many publications, prevention is emphasized through eating right and exercising. Heck, buying clean food and preparing it at home is cheaper than eating out 4 – 5 time a week and getting sick – especially eating the fast food that’s currently being offered in this country. Get Creative:
Making your own snacks from fresh & dried fruits and veggies, leftover meats, cheeses and nuts can be fun and it’s more economical than buying the packaged junk, and – it helps clean up the kitchen and refrigerator so you can bring in more good stuff. Even a 3 year old can put nuts and raisins, a handful of berries or apples slices & sesame sticks in a bowl or baggie to go – fast!
Fast & cool: Cut cold meats & chicken pieces, carrots & jicama sticks for one baggie or plastic container, and spoon a dip into another (get the tiny plastic baggies or tiny jars) and you have a great healthful “fast” snack to pack.
Always good: Fruits-fresh & dried (the dried ones have more concentrated sugar) – sprinkle a little lemon, lime or orange juice on cut apples and pears to add a tangy taste keep them from oxidizing (browning) toss in a handful of almonds or walnuts or sunflower seeds & a napkin…
Pick your veggies; Any vegetable that “crunches” – snap peas, broccoli (the stems cut into small slices make great crunchy snacking) celery, carrots, jicama, and baked and gluten free crackers or sesame sticks with or w/out salt, are great alone or combined with dried fruit. The chewing also keeps you satisfied more easily than just swallowing a smoothie (that’s another blog).
Reflecting a trend all across this country, business owners in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Colorado are saying there is a growing demand for natural foods. From articles in the Boston Globe, comes confirmation about the healthy growth of Natural Food Markets – YEA!
Menus include foods such as hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats, organic slow roasted beef, all-natural chicken, wild bison and wild Alaskan salmon sandwiches served on warm organic flatbread, as well as a variety of vegetarian options, including stir-fried Asian noodles and individually tossed salads. There are no fries on the menu at O’Naturals. Instead, heirloom potatoes are roasted in olive oil with herbs, and served as a healthier alternative. Yumm.
The Nutrition Business Journal says the 2004 US market was estimated at $62 Billion for natural and organic foods, supplements, and natural personal care products. From 1997 to 2004 sales of organic food almost tripled and it continues to grow. The Maine based O’Naturals restaurant group, which bills itself as “fast food, naturally”, was named as one of six recipients of the Hot Concepts award of the Nation’s Restaurant News.
Ok, so where do we in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado go from here? How about “Mchealthy’s SOUP’s ON!” * for hearty Organic soups and sauces~email me For more information and to order please
Wouldn’t you love to see a place that sells the fresh organic ingredients, prepares and serves the foods, hosts classes and educational seminars and prepares lunches and dinners-to-go for working people and families who now have very limited choices. If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me.
It is a viable concept whose time has arrived. Gary Hirshberg, president and CEO of Stonyfield Farms and one of O’Naturals cofounders, was cited as saying that natural and gourmet are coming together and that “The quality of the ingredients really shines through and that’s most important.”
From the Galichia Center on Aging at Kansas State University, Valentina Remig, an assistant professor in human nutrition said, “Good nutrition – a varied diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, enough protein and less fat and sugar – has an important role to play in keeping people alert and healthy…. The more healthy the body is, the stronger the immune system…and the less rapid is the development of illness” such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic physiological ailments that begin as early as the teen years. In other words, eating right keeps your brain, as well as your body, in good shape. My philosophy exactly.
Since living healthy promotes mental and emotional vigor and potentially extends the quality and length of life, one would think that has great appeal for most of us who eat on a regular basis. Noting the huge percentage of obese adults and children in this land of plenty, I often wonder who actually reads these articles? Comments welcome.