We all love sweet foods – corn on the cob, peaches, figs, and brownies (or maybe it’s just me!). Too often we overindulge and load up on “healthy” sweet foods while dampening our taste buds’ ability to interpret what we are really feeding our bodies. There are five (not four) types of taste buds – salt, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. Everything we put into our mouths give us some combination of these sensations. In America, we tend to have little to no bitter foods on our plate and an excess of sweet and salty foods. In addition, the foods we eat today are far less nutrient dense than what our ancestors consumed due to years of damaging farm practices and genetically modified engineering. It is only in response to our demand for sweeter food that these practices continue to flourish while the most nutritious foods get stepped over on our way to the cookie aisle.
I remember being a very little girl and looking up at my dad as he explained to my sisters and me about how we were all giants and it was our job to eat the small forest on our plate in order to help save to woodland creatures. I definitely preferred his story about me being a monstrous space creature eating planets in order to get me to eat my Brussels sprouts. Sometimes getting children to eat their broccoli and Brussels sprouts is about as difficult as… well… getting adults to eat their broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Luckily with adults, we can talk about something even better than imaginary reasons to eat our cruciferous vegetables – we can talk about the reality of breast and prostate cancer.
I am always excited when this time of the year arrives in Cincinnati. The new energy that exudes from nature is contagious, and it is a wonderful feeling to brush aside the quiet, introverted energy of winter. I love to get out into nature and watch how the plants change daily.
So I was on my usual Whole Foods shopping trip, minding my own business, and getting all my goodies in the produce section when my eyes popped open and saw these fabulous purple (my favorite color) big stalks sticking out of the ice. I could not believe my eyes! Surrounded by bunches of green asparagus, this purple asparagus seemed to glow with intrigue. I LOVE ASPARAGUS. It’s one of my favorite foods of spring. But, I’m used to my old faithful green and occasionally I’ve seen the white variety. So my heart literally skipped a beat as I stashed the last bunch of purple stalks into my cart. Although I didn’t know what I was going to do with this delectable treat, I had to have it. As I headed over to the onion section I heard a lady behind me exclaim, “Someone took the last purple bunch! I should have grabbed it when I had the chance because I have never seen purple asparagus before!” My first thought was “Snooze, you lose!” (terrible, I know) and then I heard the produce guy say they might have some more in the back. Still, I smoothly adjusted the other items in my cart to cover up my prize possession before I got jacked!
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