I’ve really been so fortunate with my health just about all my life. I know a lot of this is genetics. But, I do think that the impact of growing up with a mom who cooked from scratch way back when, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and not having a lot of access to fast food probably contributed to a solid health foundation.
When I got older, left home, went to college, I still embraced those good eating habits most of the time. And, when I got married, eating nutritiously and economically was a mainstay of my kitchen. Raising three athletic boys who all ended up playing Division 1 basketball meant that I threw down a lot of food when they were in growing up and even when they came home on college breaks.
And, so I know that my health and body have been blessed because of this. And, also because of my quite active lifestyle with exercise. Yet, despite this I’m looking at my diet even more closely because I’ve been diagnosed with some shoulder issues related to arthritis. Yep, sounds like an old person’s problem, but, hey, we all are going to have some aches and pains if we live long enough. Just how significant these aches and pains are is the key to living well beyond your 40s and well into your 90s!
Can Food Heal?
Dr. Oz has a ‘bible’ of sorts, yes, a book entitlted, ‘Food Can Fix It’. (There’s a link after the recipe to buy his book on Amazon.) He strongly believes that food has direct impact on every part of your body, and he’s got a lot of scientific research to back it up. Now, when I was growing up, my Mom, who wasn’t a ‘Dr. Oz’ for sure, but quite dang smart and clever, always said to me, “Listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs.” And, she looked at food not only from a nutritional angle but also from a medicinal angle. Much like in the Chinese culture where at a young age, children are taught the health virtues of food. Well, good food. Not junk food.
When my shoulder started really bothering me, and I put it off for nearly three years, I had an MRI. And, at this point I began an odyssey to try every method and technique that I could that was ‘non-invasive’ (please no surgery if possible) and would help with inflammation and the throb, aches and pain. From physical therapy, dry needling and taping to PT exercises, yoga, deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, vitamins and even more focus on food, I’m seeing some small, albeit quite positive, improvements.
Why Eat Veggies?
Why vegetables in your diet? According to Dr. Weil: Vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Go for a wide range of colors, eat them both raw and cooked, and choose organic when possible. Harvard Health also has great information on anti-inflammatory eating. And, you surely respect the Arthritis Foundation which touts the importance of vegetables and fruits.
Here’s the thing about any ailment or issue you have. YOU have to dig and find the best information. You have to be your own best advocate. Don’t just aimlessly sit back and think a doctor or a pill is going to ‘cure’ your ailments. It’s a partnership with your health and you are the Captain of this vessel. Oh, sure, I could probably take some kind of medication for my arthritic shoulder, but with that comes side effects and possibly another medication to offset those side effects. It’s a slippery slope. If I can make changes in my world with food and lifestyle and get good medical care, then that’s the route I prefer in tackling health issues.
For now, I’ll be eating even more of the things I love like greens, chard, collards, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens. And, my plate will be even more rainbow colorful! Here’s to taking charge of our health and being our strongest advocate! xoxo ~ally
Here’s another great recipe for healthy eating, Buttermilk Cucumbers! No cooking!
And, how about this post on Healthy Eating Tips for Women! Yeah, you wanna read this! Let’s be strong and take charge of our health!
- Preheat Oven to 425
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbl. Bragg Nutritional Yeast
- 3 Tbl. dry harissa (can substitute other spice mixtures like Kirklands No-Salt Organic Seasoning mixture or Mrs. Dash No-Salt}
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
- 2 cups zucchini, medium chunks
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, larger sliced in halves
- 2 cups sweet onions, medium cube
- 3 cups baby potatoes, larger ones sliced in halves
- 1 leek, sliced in 1/2" slices
- 8-10 petite carrots, multi-colored
- 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, larger ones sliced lengthwise in halves
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, nutritional yeast, harissa, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine all the vegetables EXCEPT the tomatoes. Pour on three-fourths of the oil/spice mixture and toss all the vegetables well.
- Place on two parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
- Roast in a preheated 425 about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in the same mixing bowl, add the remaining oil/spice mixture. Set aside.
- Add the tomatoes to the vegetables after about 15 minutes. Return to the oven for another about 5 minutes.
- Remove to cooling racks. Cover loosely with foil and let the vegetables 'settle' about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
These veggies are great hot, warm or cold.
Leftovers have so many possibilities. From soups and stews to casseroles, frittatas, omelets and more.
The leftover roasted veggies can be put in a food processor with some additional chicken or beef stock and made into a thick mixture. I used this as a layer in lasagna. Deeeeelicious! The photos in the small blue platter are actually my leftovers.