When I hear the term “seasonal eating,” I always think of Girl Scout cookies. You know what I mean—when everyone walks around asking, “Is it Girl Scout cookie season already?” Well it is. And how psyched would you be if a whole health and wellness blog entry was about Girl Scout cookie season? I wish. Much like Valentine’s Day chocolate, Girl Scout cookies are great in moderation.
Seasonal eating is the practice of buying seasonal and local produce. This way you are cutting costs, supporting your community and guaranteeing better taste because the food has not been shipped in from elsewhere. I asked our resident Olympian and personal trainer Anthuan Maybank what seasonal foods he recommends and which ones promote weight loss.
According to Maybank, the following are the vegetables that you should bring home with you from the farmer’s market (in other words, PRINT THIS LIST):
Acorn Squash, Artichoke; Asparagus, Avocado, Beets, Bok Choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac, Chinese cabbage, Cucumber, Eggplant, Fennel; Green Cabbage, Green peas, Leeks, Okra, Olives, Onions, Parsnips, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Shallots, Shitake mushrooms, Snow peas, Squash, Sugar Snaps peas, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnip, Zucchini, Yams Arugula, Beet greens, chard, Cress, Dandelion flowers, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Escarole, Iceberg Lettuce, kale, Lamb’s Lettuce (Mache), Mustard Greens, romaine, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens, Sorrell; Parsley, Watercress
“Each of them has worked well for weight loss or maintaining weight,” says Maybank. “In addition to quick preparation for those who do not have much time in the day, I like the fact that they fall into the colorful Mediterranean mindset of the more colors in combination, the healthier the meal.”
Maybank recommends using chard because you can substitute it for many other dishes. For example, take one shallot, sautéed with garlic and olive oil then add the wet chard, cover and let steam for 3 minutes then stir until the leaves are dark green but no more than 5 minutes total. This can be served with baked chicken or fish.
I recently read about a new Girl Scout cookie that is loaded with vitamins. I will need to ask Maybank if he can add this to the list.
I think the beauty of living in such a small state is the ability to make positive change at a quicker pace than in larger state. It could be the easier access to local politicians, population size or passion of the residents, but when Delaware wants to make change, it does. Years ago, when other states had difficulty staffing their public health initiatives, Delaware was able to put patient navigators in every hospital while tackling smoking laws. There’s Delaware and there are grassroots efforts. You put the two together and it’s a series of great examples of community-influenced change.
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, an organization launched for and by breast cancer survivors, recognized the increased mortality rates of breast cancer in Latina women. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latina women.
“Latina women do not get breast cancer as often,” says Vicky Tosh-Morelli, DBCC director of information services, “but since they tend to be screened less often, when tumors are found, they are larger and at a later stage in the cancer.”
The DBCC has created a series of Latina Breast Health Forums called ¡VIDA! for residents of Sussex county where there is a greater Latina population. The forum includes free health screenings and information about breast health and healthy living. These forums help link women to a medical home and community resources. DBCC offers bi-lingual screening navigators for the Women’s Mobile Health Screening van to help with paperwork and processing. Programs feature Spanish-speaking breast cancer survivors and trained peer mentors.
While these services are critical, DBCC’s challenge is to make them accessible. For New Castle County, Westside Health partners to mobilize these efforts.
“Sussex, in particular, is a challenge because the county is so spread out,” says Tosh-Morrelli. We realized that we have to go even deeper into the community because transportation can be a barrier. We want people to be able to walk to our programs.”
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition has offices in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. By helping Delawareans in a culturally sensitive way that removes barriers to healthcare, DBCC is helping both Delaware and Latina women make change.
The Newark Natural Foods Co-Op is keeping it fresh. Get some of its large avocados and make the co-op’s delicious guacamole recipe. Avocados are one of those great seasonal foods and having guacamole can make you feel as if you are having a party.
4 ripe, fresh California avocados, peeled and pitted
2 lemons, juiced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
5 jalapeño chiles or serrano chiles, minced; 3 of the chiles seeded (or less depending on amount of heat you desire)
Salt and chile powder to taste
Instructions: In a large bowl, coarsely mash avocados and combine with lemon juice.
Add the remaining ingredients to the avocado mixture, stirring until combined.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
• Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Friday, Feb. 8
Southern Delaware Go Red for Women Luncheon
Location Sheraton Dover Hotel, 1570 N. DuPont Hwy., Dover
Time 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More info. (877) 750—4276
American Diabetes Association of Delaware’s Sugar Free Family Retreat
Location The Carousel Resort, Ocean City, Md.
More info. firstname.lastname@example.org, 656-0030, ext. 4648
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Pulmonary Function Testing
Location Room 1100, Christiana Hospital, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark
Time 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
More info. 623-7573