Vital. Hardy. Robust. These qualities stood out during my very first visit to a Bozeman farmers’ market more than a dozen years ago. I especially remember the snappy green beans, lush lettuces and sturdy kale and chard. Attribute these qualities to the terroir of Montana: rugged mountains, glacial valleys and wide-open spaces, short growing season and long days of sunshine, mineral rich soil, pure water and clean air.
1. Food is only part of the story
The word diet actually comes from the Greek word diata meaning way of life. Thus, diet includes the food we eat as well as our environment, the quality of our relationships, our careers, physical exercise, stress, spirituality, etc. All of our life choices are important facets of our diet, of living everyday healthy.
2. Eat mainly plants
Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes in a rainbow of colors to access a full spectrum of nutrients. Minimize overly salty and sweet foods which dull the palate and compromise our sense of taste.
3. Buy local/grow your own
Just-picked produce has the greatest vitality and nutrients as vitamins and minerals degrade with time, temperature, and exposure to air. Farmers’ markets are a great place to buy fresh produce, support local farmers, and eat with the seasons.
4. Reclaim the kitchen and eat meals at home
Clean out the kitchen pantry—read labels and remove anything that doesn’t support your health, i.e., items with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Eating at home with no distractions other than family or friends you’ll likely enjoy your meals more and have better digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients.
5. Enhance your cooking skills
Cooking is an art. The more you practice the easier it becomes to eat healthier, try new recipes, quickly put a meal on the table, entertain with ease and have fun.
Terroir (terr-wah) a French wine-making term loosely translated as “a sense of place” discerned by taste—easily sets apart such well known and unequaled foodstuff as our Flathead cherries, Dixon melons, and Montana wheat. Truly, Montana is a “treasure state” in more than just its minerals.
In her blog Everyday Healthy! Everyday Delicious!, writer, chef/ pastry chef, gardener, and photographer, Janice Feuer Haugen shares her passion for all things food. Cordon Bleu-trained, Culinary Coach and author of five cookbooks, Janice is truly a friend in the kitchen assisting home cooks prepare meals with ease and confidence while rediscovering the joys of cooking. Contact her at [email protected].