Strawberries, Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Avocados - these are just a few of the fruits and vegetables growing in our backyard this summer. In normal times, we would never have attempted to grow such an ambitious and colorful edible garden. But this Spring, with the pandemic turning our lives upside down, the idea of growing our own fruits and vegetables at home, instead of shopping for them at the store, really took root...and so began the difficult task of banishing the gophers from our backyard.
To share the wonder of our edible garden with you and your family, we thought it would be fun to create an I SPY Backyard Garden Game for you to play. The rules are simple:
#1. One of our favorite fruit plants is shown below. Can you name it?
#2. Who knew growing this vegetable would be so much fun. What is it?
#3. October is a special month for this plant. Do you know what it is?
#4. This plant is cool because its fruit is blue. What is it?
#5. This plant likes to climb and is best eaten straight off the vine. Do you know what it is?
#6. This plant has super sour fruit. Do you know what it is?
#7. This plant is a favorite of Native Hawaiians. The root is used to make Poi. What is this plant's name?
#8. This tree will grow much bigger. We'll use its fruit to make guacamole. What is it?
#9. This vegetable looks exotic but is surprisingly easy to grow. What is it?
#10. This plant makes oodles and oodles of vegetables. We make zoodles with ours. What is it?
Excited to have your own edible garden? Fruit, vegetable and herb plants are surprisingly easy to grow and do well in pots or the ground. So grab some fruit and vegetable seeds, or pick up some starter plants at your garden store, and start planting! Wishing you well on your edible garden adventure!
Plant, Water, Grow, Eat!
COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through breathing in infected respiratory droplets. Wearing face masks prevents healthy people from inhaling infected respiratory droplets. Wearing masks also prevents infected people from exhaling their infected respiratory droplets out into the air when they cough, sneeze or talk. Touching our mouth, nose, or eyes after touching a surface contaminated with live virus can also infect us. Wearing face masks prevents infected people from contaminating commonly touched surfaces when they cough or sneeze on it.
Over the past 3 months, we’ve been sewing up a storm of fabric face masks for family, friends, and the community. After sewing countless masks and perfecting our design and instructions, we figured it was time to make our Sewing Tutorial shareable. It’s a sort of video/slide experience that’s fun to follow along with as you sew a mask with us: https://youtu.be/D8OYuOkUiEo.
We hope our Fabric Face Mask Tutorial inspires you to make masks for yourself, your family, and your community. These fabric masks are not N-95 Masks, but they're washable and reusable. And, together with social distancing, frequent hand washing, not touching our face, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces often, we can stay healthy and safe during this pandemic.
Stay Well and Sew On,
Yet, even in this crazy time, the lemonade mantra serves to inspire me. I am grateful for the social distancing measures we are required to follow. But as I’ve shelter-in-place, I’ve wondered, how can I help my community from home?
My lemonade aha moment came when I realized my craft closet held 10 years of cotton fabric, non-woven lining material, elastic, and craft wire…everything I needed to sew cloth face masks for my community. So far I’ve sewn 40 masks and have time, supplies, and passion to sew hundreds more. And, I’ve found purpose during this rudderless time
What are your talents, passions, and loves?
How can you use them to help your family, your friends, your community?
Love to talk? Call someone and connect.
Exercise lover? Organize an exercise meet-up on Facebook Live or Zoom.
Got a green thumb? Start an edible garden.
Enjoy reading to others? Host a remote Story Hour on FaceTime.
Find your lemonade aha moment during this crazy pandemic.
It will make all the difference.
In Health, Wellness, and Lemonade,
Rice is a food staple in many cultures and communities throughout the world. But, daily consumption of white rice is associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, a serious but preventable lifestyle disease.
But what about those of you who eat bread and potatoes rather than rice as your major dietary starch? Similar findings would probably result in studies comparing whole wheat bread to white bread or unpeeled potatoes to peeled potatoes. So eat "Whole and Brown” as the healthier choice.
One day, while chopping ingredients for a vegetable rice pilaf, my growing pile of vegetable scraps caused me to pause. Should I just throw these scraps into the garbage? Or, could they be repurposed?
It’s easy to get stuck in that single-use mindset of mindlessly tossing things into the garbage without considering ways to repurpose them. Contemplating my options, I considered starting a composting pile. Then, I realized there was a simple step in the middle that was easy, healthy, and tasty to do - make vegetable stock!
I put my spent vegetables into a pot of water with herbs and some other now sorry-looking vegetables my overzealous eyes had fancied while shopping the week before. Onions, mushrooms, salt, peppercorns, allspice berries, rosemary, leeks, sage, thyme, parsley, and garlic are also wonderful additions.
There is really no right or wrong way to make stock. But, using vegetables already found in your kitchen is a great way to minimize food waste, save food costs, and make a tasty, healthy broth. In comparison, store-bought stocks cost much more, are loaded with preservatives, have too much salt, and usually don’t live up to the picture on the label!
After stock has cooled, pour into ice cube trays, containers, or plastic bags. Freeze for later use or refrigerate if you plan on using it that week. This stock investment will yield you a fortune of flavor and healthfulness! Last but not least, those spent veggies are now ready for your compost heap - yielding even greater dividends on your investment into a happy and healthy lifestyle!
Additional tips: Before boiling the stock, you can develop more complex flavor by sweating the vegetables in a frying pan with a bit of salt and olive oil, or by roasting or grilling them. Don’t limit yourself to veggies. Try making stock with your spent beef bones, fish, shellfish or chicken carcasses. Broths are a great base for soup, bisque, stew, stuffing, brine, marinades, risotto, rice, pilaf, sauces, quinoa, braising, puree, dressing, pasta, gravies and pet food too.
Enjoy your stock investment!
Hi - I’m Jessica Ferrell and I’m excited to be joining the community of NativeFit healthy lifestyle bloggers. My passion is School Gardens. The desire to create a cultural shift towards a love of healthy eating drew me to the powerful potential of school gardens. With my studies in nutrition and a love of teaching, the garden as a classroom is an easy fit for me to reach students and the broader school community.
Children today face higher rates of obesity, diabetes type 2, and anxiety. The school garden provides an impactful place in the school day where children can learn the skills and knowledge needed to prevent those lifestyle diseases.
The garden is also an important tool for meeting academic standards through experiential learning, creates a sense of place and connection to the environment, and fosters a lifetime love of healthy eating. School gardens are important. Join me in bringing the power of school gardens to children everywhere!
School Garden Educator & Community Liaison
As an athlete, I know how important it is to find a healthy diet that fits each of our bodies' needs. For me, the right diet is a vegetarian diet. It’s easy to find ways to replace meat with other protein sources such as legumes and nuts.
To successfully create that healthy diet that best fits one’s individual needs, it is important to figure out what food we want to change, then replace the good nutrients in that food with the same nutrients from a different food source.
High School Athlete
Change can be hard – especially when it involves adopting healthy new behaviors. How often have we channeled our inner warrior willpower, only to cave to temptation and eat that candy bar we swore off, stay up too late, or skip our workout again?
So hooray for Behavior Change Strategies! These strategies are great because used with willpower, they help make healthy habits stick. Behavior change strategies work because they target unhealthy behaviors, motivate change, and help us develop sustainable new habits. These strategies are always available to use once we understand them. And, these strategies all start with change in motivation - which means that when we starting using them, we'll be making cool healthy changes inside our minds well before anyone sees our cool healthy outside behavior changes!
Maile Jachowski, MD
My name is Mary Anna Weklar and I’ll be joining NativeFit as a contributor to its Healthy Lifestyle Blog space. I hope that together, we can explore simple, easy ways to bring positive lifestyle practices into our day to day lives.
An integrated approach to healthy living has the opportunity to heal and renew us as individuals, communities and beyond! But, there is such an explosion of new information about health and lifestyle, that it can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing to figure out. So, here are some basic guidelines I believe can help build a strong foundation for healthy living:
Incorporating these 7 simple practices into my life helps me live a positive lifestyle. I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you and I challenge you, in the spirit of healthiness, to try them out for yourself. I think you’ll find that adopting these 7 positive lifestyle practices can be fun, simple, and easier than you think!
So how about making a healthy meal with friends or planning a group walk, anyone? Enjoy!
My name is Olivia Ross and I am an athlete in high school. Over the years I have learned that to perform our best, we need to live healthy lives and develop healthy habits. How we develop healthy habits is unique to each of us, but I think it’s really important to start learning these habits when we’re young – so thanks, mom and dad! Healthy parents mean healthy kids. The cool thing is - it's never too late to start making our lives better through healthy change.
Healthy living helps me as an athlete and a person because it surrounds me with people that bring out the best of me, it guides me to eat healthy foods that help me perform better, and it helps me understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.
A healthy lifestyle involves making choices that help us become better people. These choices have a ripple effect that betters our community and the friends and family around us. Having a healthy lifestyle empowers us to become our best version of ourselves, and that is ideal for an athlete. My healthy choices help me perform better. Performing better inspires me to be a bigger part of the sport, and being a bigger part of the sport is so fun and fulfilling to me and the people around me. I guess what I’m saying is healthy living helps us be the best we can be!