The Natural Advantages focus is on health and wellness through natural foods and physical fitness. I am a Marine, paramedic, natural chef (health and wellness), lifelong fitness enthusiast and student. I am interested in empowering others with the ability to care for themselves and subsequently set themselves free in order to attain their highest ideals. This is what I have learned.
Health From the Ground Up
It is my belief that health starts in properly cared for soil. In this natural state we grow the perfect foods for our bodies. Once we eat these foods we unlock the health benefits of these foods through our genes. This is seen through a new study of epigenetics. Eating locally, naturally and sustainably allows for us to enjoy the variety of seasons. By growing our own food we are able to take control of our health. We are able to empower ourselves in our lives.
Why the Soil is so Important
Growing your own plants is one of the most important things that you can do in order to maximize your health. Not only do you get exercise, you also produce fantastic tasting and healthy food. You will save money in the long run and you will save time as well because you don’t have to go to the grocery store to purchase all of your ingredients.
Increasing the health of your soil will make an impact on the health of your edibles. This then transitions into an immediate impact on you and your health. Through a healthy soil you increase the disease resistance of your plants, you also maintain a high level of nutrient density in your plants and you will also gain exercise while working with mother nature. It is often seen as a meditative process as well which allows you to reduce your stress and contemplate those things which must be contemplated.
Cuba was a fantastic living example of the power of food on it’s community. During the cuban special period Cuba had to go through a complete reformation of their agricultural practices. This is because they lost the support of the soviet union. Cuba had to change their agriculture from a predominitely conventional based agriculture program (much like the US uses) to a mostly organicly grown agricultural program. This has had a terrific effect on the health of the individual as well as the soil. The transition was not easy, however, the community that exists now is very strong and has a great understanding of food.
This is the process that I am learning now. I currently do not garden, nor do I work with any farmers at this time. I however am planning on spending the next several years focusing on sustainable agriculture. As I learn I will pass on any information that I come across.
A healthy week of eating begins with a few hours of prepping your food. You can greatly minimize your time in the kitchen during the week with a few hours on the weekend. I usually try to prep my vegetables, clean and cut my greens and prepare salads. I also cook and marinate meats and make a soup and stock. I will also make little snack bags. I work 12 hour shifts from 11am to 11pm three days a week and on these days I typically eat foods that I prepared prior to those days.
Prepping vegetables means that I am cleaning and cutting them for the week to come. Often by just cleaning and cutting your vegetables you are able to cut down on a lot of the work later on. It is quicker to do it as a bulk job than everyday before you cook your meal. Also, you should clean/cut your greens and dry them as soon as you get them. Drying them in a salad spinner will allow them to last longer in the refridgerator. I also put paper towels in the bottom and on the top of them to assist in keeping them dry. This allows you to easily add them to your salads with just a quick grab as well as to cook them when you want.
I also make soups on a regular basis. Once a week or so I will prepare a large soup that will become a part of multiple meals. Beyond have a great tasting soup, I use soups to increase my nutrient density. I do this by preparing a very nutrient dense soup and then eating them several times a week. In my mind this is kind of a shot of nutrition every time I eat and it doesn’t take much longer to prepare multiple days of soup instead of a single serving. It’s really easy to freeze them. When I need to I make stock. I typically make a nutrient dense stock that I reduce until it is very concentrated. Once this happens I pour it into ice cube trays and save it. This allows me to take a few ice cubes out and add them to my soups or use them to cook grains or vegetables in.
On the nights I am working I take a salad and soup. When I do this I like to add meat to those salads. Therefore while I am cooking soup I will go ahead and cook some meat. I usually cook chicken or steak. Once it’s done I let it cool off, then I slice it and wrap it up and slide it back into the refridgerator for my work days. I’ll also marinate some meat for my other meals that I will be home to cook.
One of the last things that I will do is make a few snack bags to take to work and keep close. These are typically full of nuts/seeds, dried fruits and maybe some chocolate chips. For me I love having the chocolate and a salt together so a small amount of salted nuts/seeds works really well for me. I eat these small snacks towards the end of my day to fend off some of the hunger I might have throughout the day due to the fact that I usually drink a small shake in the morning and then wait until dinner to eat a full meal. When I am at work I don’t eat until 7pm if we are slow enough for me to take a lunch break. It is very effective and it will hold you over quite well if you need it.
A few hours of work will help you have readily available food throughout the week. How do you prep for the week? Any other good suggestions?