Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman

This is a great time of year to talk again about whole foods.  The farmer's markets in Minnesota are opening, and fresh, local food is more readily available.  Although we all need different diets, one thing is the same for all of us, we benefit more from eating whole, fresh, organic and locally grown foods.  According to Dr. Hyman, "Some of us need more fat, protein or carbohydrates than others  There is no one perfect diet for everyone.  You need to find out what works for you."  He recommends looking for foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.  We are better off eating fruit, rather than processed fruit juices.  If we could avoid food with labels, we would be eating whole foods (this definitely doesn't mean fast food is a whole food!).  Our bodies do not know what to do with all of the chemicals and additives that are in many processed foods.  When people switch from one diet fad to another, they are not doing their bodies any favors.  A great first step in losing weight is to focus on clean foods.  It is the chemicals, and things like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats that causes our bodies to hold on to fat.  Eating a whole foods diet can improve energy, weight, and appearance.  It is worth the effort, and after a while, it won't seem like any extra effort at all.  I will be posting blogs on and off during the summer ~  Enjoy!  Shanna
Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are a popular destination in the fall.  They are also a great place to stock up on fall produce. 

5) I like to buy a couple small pumpkins early to roast the seeds, and then get more later for seeds and carving.  This year I would like to get a baking pumpkin, and make an attempt at muffins or fresh pumpkin cookies.  Stay tuned on that one, my baking skills are legendary for being bad!  One thing that even I can't mess up is homemade applesauce.  If the apples are organic, I just core and slice them, otherwise you can peel them.  Throw them in a sauce pan with a half cup water and a small amount of brown sugar (1/4 cup for about 10 apples), and then let them simmer in medium heat until soft.  If you mash them part way through it goes faster.  I like to add a couple of handfuls of strawberries for an even better flavor.  Another popular item in fall is squash. My family loves squash, and I am a little lukewarm about it. I do like cooking spaghetti squash upside down in water on a baking sheet (slice in half first).  When it is tender, you can take a spoon to shred the meat.  We use it like pasta, just put sauce over the top!
6) Pop my own popcorn - I know that this doesn't sound like any great change, but it actually is for me.  In the past I have bought organic microwave popcorn for convenience, but I am not a big fan of the microwave or the extra ingredients in the bags of popcorn.  At the apple orchard, I purchased fresh grain popcorn, and what a flavor difference it makes.  I popped it in sunflower oil from the farmer's market, so I didn't have to put butter on it.  I like to try different spices besides salt - garlic and Cajun flavors are my favorite. 

Next week I hope to make some changes that I haven't tried before.  As a side note, I always feel good about supporting farmer's markets and orchards - it not only helps small, local business owners, but it also gives a nod to organic living.