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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

In This Issue: July 2023

Happy birthday to me! July has always been a favorite—and not just because of my birthday, which falls on Bastille Day, but because it signifies summertime! This is when all the delicious foods of my youth are in abundance. This is a month that beckons me to relish nostalgic memories of the season, like the farm stands along the sides of the country roads bearing fresh off-the-vine fruits and veggies. 

I remember my father stopping to get fresh-picked corn-on-the-cob, ripe tomatoes, and watermelon—the colors of a rainbow. Back then, we just ate what we loved and didn’t give much thought to how good it was for us. I’m sure whenever we ate that farm-fresh produce, our bodies felt so nourished. The “Hues of Health” article on page 32 shows the enormous benefits of eating foods with color. 

However, as most parents know, getting kids to eat like this is challenging. I remember our boys typically ate a lot of brown or tan foods—chicken nuggets, pasta, French fries, hamburgers, etc. You know, “kid food” because adding something green would make them run for the hills. I grew up with parents who tended to a small garden in our backyard that produced zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, carrots and lettuce. They both took much pride in using their fresh-grown veggies, so the farm-to-table movement began before it had a name.

My mother often asked my father to take pictures of her holding massive zucchinis that she would frequently not keep.  Both of my parents loved to share their crop with our neighbors, who, in return, would share their garden treats. I took it for granted when I was a kid that everybody grew gardens and didn’t think about the reasons why they did. As an adult, I’ve often wondered if they chose to grow their own food because of a tight budget. Was it a financial necessity? Or, was their gardening born from a natural desire to see if they had a green thumb? I’ll never know. Thankfully, now that our boys are older, they have found their way with some nudging as to which vegetables they like and will eat consistently. 

As for me, I’ll continue to think of July as my month to enjoy fruits with the colors of our flag—mouth-watering watermelon, blueberries, and bananas—with wild abandon. Happy 4th of July! And remember to eat your colors.

Always in Health, Cyrece