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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stay In and Share a Healthy Potluck

Potluck and the Healthy Benefits of Staying In
By Jim Rollince

As the cold winter months press onward, many are looking for accessible and fun ways to stay physically fit and healthy. Exercise is not the only way to stay physically fit and maintain a healthful lifestyle. A huge component of staying fit and healthy is centered on what types of food you choose to put into your body. This idea goes so far as to mean; healthy food is just as important as giving your body regular exercise. Eating healthy does not have to be a painful process.  Eating healthy can be a social and environmentally friendly experience where you as the consumer are able to support your local food economy while reaping all of the health benefits. Here are a few ways to keep the cold winter months lively, healthy, and delicious.

1.                    Plan healthy potluck dinners with your friends. Potluck dinners are a fantastic way to be social around ideas of healthy cooking. Not only do these dinners give you a chance to catch up with friends, they also provide the opportunity for you and others to share healthy recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods. Healthy potluck dinners take the pain out of cooking, as they turn the process into a social experience where information is shared amongst people trying to achieve the same goals. The more you attempt to incorporate health into all dimensions of your life, including cooking, food choice, and social relationships, the easier it will become. An added bonus of potluck dinners is they are relatively inexpensive. Purchasing groceries to cook one dish runs anywhere from $12-18 dollars. This amount of money is substantially less than what it costs to go out to dinner.

2.                    Shop at your local farmers market or independently owned grocery store. Selecting food from your local farmers market is significantly cheaper than going into a national chain grocery store to purchase ingredients, especially with produce. By purchasing fruits, vegetables, and grains from a local farmer you are participating in strengthening your region’s local green movement. Your money is going straight to small farmers’ operation costs. Farmers in your geographic region, who are not recipients of large government subsidies, need your patronage to survive.  

3.                    Purchasing locally grown food does not simply make you an eco-conscious participant in the ‘locavore, it also offers you tremendous health and taste benefits. The perishable items like fruit, vegetables, and breads that move the fastest from farmer to your plate are in transit the shortest period of time. Strawberries from California or bananas from Jamaica could spend upwards of 2-3 days in transit before arriving to your national grocery store and sitting out for 5 days. However, perishable food items from local farms or food coops are in transit for just hours before they are set out and sold at the farmers market or locally owned grocery store. If you purchase local produce you are ensured the highest quality food items and will also experience the great variety of fruits and vegetables characteristic of regional food growing.

Staying healthy this winter does not have to be a painful and cold process. You can combine indoor workouts on gym equipment with new and delicious ways to eat healthy and stay fit.

By: Jim Rollince of Gym Source home fitness equipment, including home gyms, treadmills, ellipticals, arc trainers, bikes and more!

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