Saturday, December 15, 2012

Easy Superfoods (Tight budget & availability)

If we think about it, the popular superfoods we keep hearing about and reading about come from far away places, such as from the highlands of Tibet (Cordyceps) and from the majestic wild life of the amazon in south america (Cacao). If we lived back to our ancestral paths, we would be spending our energy scavenging for these wild foods, walking for miles away from our homes, and using a great deal of time to process them. But who has time for that now, right?

The good news is that superfoods are becoming more easily available in the market and online. Some of you belief that superfoods are pointless and a waste of money. Others belief that superfoods have uplifted their health significantly or have gotten a nice boost. I personally enjoy treating myself to superfoods. They are fun, intriguing, provide new flavors, more nutrient dense than the typical natural food variaties at the supermarket, and I do gain a nice boost of their health and energy benefits. Sure, it may be a placebo effect, but if it affects me in that way and I feel happy and energized, then I'm all for that! 

Over last summer a friend and I joined a group of people in a wild walk on Mt. Tam led by Christian Bates and Bethanne Wanamaker, both Marin County locals and enthusiasts of health and wild foods. I came across some huckleberries! I was not aware of what the cute tiny plumpy berries were and so I asked if those were edible. I was so happy to find out these were Huckleberries! I've read about them in the past being a super nutritious wild fruit that grows on the mountains and have been dying living to try them! I returned to the spot on Mt. Tam a few days later to collect some for myself and bring back to my family for us to enjoy. THANKFULLY, they only ate 2 or 3 berries, because when I ate them they were gone in less than 5 minutes. I wanted more! It made me so happy though that my parents and younger sis tried some for their first time ever! How cool is that. I love it when nature introduces me to something new. Well they weren't too crazy over the berries like I was. I ate the majority of them and they were gone so soo quick. It took me about 2 hours to collect half a cup of those berries, and 5 minutes to finish it all. But you know what? I loved every second of it. It felt like meditation as I was squatted down next to the bush, sorting through the thin branches with my fingers to find the ripe berries one by one, focusing my eyesight on the tiny berries, and quieting my mind and only paying attention to the berries and the fresh wind and warm sunrays. Seriously. Try it! You feel so refreshed and empowered after doing this. Collecting your OWN food :D It does take a while to do and have patience, so find a good time to do this. 

(( Searching and gathering for fruit growing outside. Plums and Huckleberries !♥ Searching for your own food, interacting with nature, learning your surroundings, putting your body to use, and coming up with your own strategies is truly an amazing experience. Great way to spend 3 hours outside and get a nice tan! FREE food for the win! ))
Anywho, so back to the point of this post. "Easy Superfoods." We have become a society that loves convenience, and I belief it is because of our fast paced living. I am so thankful for the easy availability of certain superfoods today. Some people just don't have the time to do a lengthy drive into the mountains to spend 2 hours collecting a tiny bit of wild food. Thankfully, our health supermarkets today are expanding the variaty of superfoods on their shelves.  It is common to see now Maca powder, Cacao powder, Cacao butter, Algea powders, Chia seeds, amazonian fruit powders, and more products!  All we do now is just head over to the grocery store, find the section for these products "raw food section", and grab which ever one calls out to you. There are some great companies out there now who are dedicated to bringing these superfoods to the people imported from other countries, as well as cultivating and carefully processing (drying, extracting) these foods (Healthforce Nutritionals is my favorite company). These availabilities fit very nice with the busy life style we live in today because we can incorporate these superfoods to boost our health in a short amount of time.

However, these superfoods may not be easily accessible to some people because of money situations, just like organic fruits and veggies at the store. There may be some possibilities to change this:
  • We don't need to buy tons of these superfoods. A little goes a LONG way. They are so nutrient dense. For some of the superfoods your paying for an amount that will last you months. Half a teaspoon of Spirulina will have a good affect on your health. Same with Maca if you only want its nutritional benefits, but if using it for healing purposes you may be wanting to use bigger portions like a couple tablespoons a day or however needed and you may go through the bag pretty quickly.
  • Think about replacing a non-healthy food product you buy often for something good for you to try. If you usually buy a bag of chips and a liter of coke, which amounts to about 6 dollars, you get to save those 6 dollars to invest in a new healthy product to try that you never have before to make a delicious refreshing filling smoothie, or buy some savory Kale chips (you can find them at the health grocery store).
  • The prices for healthy foods do cost more than their regular non-healthy counterparts, but remember those extra couple of dollars you pay is to maintain your health! I would much rather not have to pay a ton of money for a serious illness I get later on and all the health inconveniences to go through due to bad habits.
  • Paying a little extra in the present to eat better will help you to avoid medicine colds, sore throat drops, expensive strong tasting liquid medicine, allergy pills, etc. Paying a little more for eating natural foods while making them taste good sounds way better than having to pay the consequences for eating poor foods. Your cost expenses for medicine will go down.

Personally, I like to go the route of cutting down expenses on materialistic products, and investing more on delicious fun food. What keeps me hooked to doing this is the result of how I feel! I wake up feeling refreshed with soft skin and motivated to live up my day! I like that I can stay awake late in the night without yawning too much doing homework, sometimes pull all nighters if I want, and yet I can fall asleep within minutes if I want.

One small change makes a difference, and brings a long more changes and new experiences :)

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