52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for each week of the year

Watermelon & Feta Cheese Summer Picnic Fruit Salad on Backyard L

By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” (www.TheHealthyMotivator.com)

CAN DO TIP Week #27– Get in Agreement with Mother Nature!

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“Always respect Mother Nature. Especially when she weighs 400 pounds and is guarding her baby.” ― James RollinsAuthor

One of the best things about summer are weekly trips to the farmers market where you will find some of the freshest in season produce available. In fact, many times the person in whose hands you place your dollar bills, is often the very same person that picked your celery the day before or literally picked your apples earlier that morning from the earth.  

Eating seasonally means we are in agreement with Mother Nature – we consume foods primarily that are locally grown and harvested (picked) at the peak of freshness. Why is it important to eat seasonally? The reasons are plentiful; most importantly, seasonal plants have a higher level of antioxidants than pre-picked produce traveling miles across the ocean to make it to your table. Plus, eating seasonally can not only expand your palate, but your wallet as well, as you save money on food purchased at the peak of its supply.

This week I feature 2 fresh, seasonal summer salads –starring radish and watermelon. Rad Radish I was inspired to create to make use of “one more day” produce in my refrigerator and was shocked at how crisp and delicious those chopped veggies tasted especially with the dressing. Watermelon Surprise recipe is a variation of a scrumptious treat I tasted for the first time several weeks ago at a health event in Harlem –Enjoy!

TOTALLY RAD! RADISH RAINBOW SALAD

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-large radishes, sliced thin rounds
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ½ cup avocado, cut in ½ inch cubes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh celery
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • 4 pieces of roasted seaweed snacks cut in strips

Salad Dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil (cold-pressed)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

Wash, dry and cut all vegetables according to recipe. Combine all vegetables except avocado in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic and spices. Sprinkle desired amount of mixture over vegetables and toss thoroughly. Finally add the cubed avocado and another sprinkle of dressing. Add seaweed flakes on top.

Watermelon Surprise

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, 1 ½ inch cubed
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • pinch of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Instructions

Combine watermelon and blueberries in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix lime juice, honey, and spices. Pour over the watermelon and berries. Add mint and then top with cheese.  Chill for 30-60 minutes before serving.

Sustainabletable.org is an excellent resource tool to help find seasonal produce in New York and cities nationwide along with recipes! It is a “must-visit” for anyone seeking to boost their nutrition IQ, in agreement with Mother Nature.

Monifa Maat is a Community Health Advocate, Certified Fitness Expert and Author of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow®, a faith-based, therapeutic bed exercise and mobility system. Contact: Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com. Visit www.TheHealthyMotivator.com.

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