I know what you’re thinking…you’ve never heard me utter a single word about politics on any of my social media platforms, not one word. And guess what, I probably never will except for in this blog. Having been a former White House employee, I was in awe seeing and experiencing first-hand how the inner workings of our U.S. government played out in the world. It was super exciting and those memories I’ll always hold near and dear to my bosom. Okay, enough on that.
As we close an era with Barack and Michelle Obama and usher in Donald and Melanie Trump, I can’t help but think about the White House Garden. The beautiful vegetable garden that Michelle nurtured and helped grow and what would happen to it once the transition takes place. Just like a New Year resolution, would the White House Vegetable Garden — the symbol of love, hope, health and vitality, just fade to black or would it continue to thrive?
And in our own lives we have to reflect and take note of what we need to continue to thrive. Michelle wasn’t the only one on to something. To me, she grew a vegetable garden to show love, foster togetherness but most importantly to showcase how something so pure, raw, and simple could beget new life. Yes, I got all of that from the garden of love Michelle built.
When we eat live, fresh vegetables our bodies respond by coming alive and staying alive. Some 10 years ago, I started eating more cooked vegetables then one day got a taste of fresh, kale and swiss chard from a local farmer. Literally, Michelle was right “let’s move” although I think she had a few other ideas in mind when she coined that name for the Childhood Obesity campaign. I know I felt 1000% better. Why? Perhaps because locally grown vegetables are far more superior in taste and nutrients due to less transit time from farm to consumer. Even better, if you can eat organic vegetables you’ll get up to:
- 27% more Vitamin C
- 21% more Iron
- 29% more Magnesium
- 30% more Antioxidants
than conventional vegetables according to a January 2005 report in The Organic Center State of Science Review. I absolutely love how I feel when I eat (organic) vegetables and how my body starts to transform. It was because of Michelle’s garden, I started supporting farmers who grow produce right here in Maryland. For one split second, I even considered growing my own vegetables and herbs in my back yard; but, staying in my lane far outweighed my green thumb or lack of one.
Maybe you’re thinking, I can’t afford to buy organic, I’ll just stick to frozen bagged vegetables. Well, contrary to popular belief, you can buy and enjoy organic or locally grown vegetables (if organic is out of the question) on a budget. How?
- decide on your core foods for you and your family
- buy produce in season
- support your local farmers market or join a community co-op for awesome deals
- ease into eating organic by trimming down your daily coffee/donut or fast food lunch spending and using that extra money towards buying organic produce
The goal of buying organic is to eliminate ingesting dangerous pesticides and other harmful synthetic chemicals used to preserve our foods. A non-profit advocacy group called the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) created a simple list to help you determine what fruits and vegetables are better eaten organically and what’s ok to eat conventionally. The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables likely to have a huge amount of pesticides on it and in some cases in it. As a result, choosing that fruit or vegetable in its organic form is highly recommended. Then there’s another list called The Clean 15 — this list contains the top 15 fruits and vegetables likely to have far less pesticides and can be eaten conventionally. Check out the lists below.
Michelle decided to set the White House garden in stone, cement, and steel in hopes of preventing her successors from destroying it. Just like her hopes, we should set our intentions in stone making it hard for the next transition in our lives to blow off all of our efforts to eat locally, mindfully, and healthfully. Bravo Mrs. Obama! Thank you for showing us the way by “paving the way”.
* information contained on this blog is for educational purposes only and expressed views are solely those of the author.