SEEDS – good for your health and your life
Hanging out in a foreign country during the summer has many benefits, one being the harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables where the farmers line the streets to share their abundance. Polish farmers, no matter what size their plot of land always have something to share even if it is a bag full of paprika’s or pears picked fresh off the tree and left by roadside for you to enjoy. The honor system is in place here where you take what you want and leave the payment behind. Everyone gets to share in the abundance.
You might think that growing up in a small New England town where the farm stands were plenty, that I might have planted a few tomatoes along the way. But actually, I never really thought about where my food came from or how it grew. It just always seemed to appear on my plate.
My mom, a stay at home mother, was not a gardener. She did have window boxes that she loved to tend to but never planted anything that we could eat and certainly never grew anything from seed. Gardening all seemed very foreign to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get my hands dirty, I never knew where to begin. As a young girl, when not at school or at the beach you would find me in the closest tree with pine sap all through my long curls and all over my hands and clothing. So, getting dirty never seemed to stop me from doing anything. I just didn’t have a role model or even know of anyone that gardened or grew their own vegetables.
Poland has a history steeped in gardening with a love for the soil. During the centuries of death and destruction, gardening was one way they could keep food on the table and be able to barter with the neighbors who may have milk cows, chickens or pigs, maybe even some honey. We met with a farmer at Hala Mirowska, the Warsaw farmers market, whose family has had a stand there for over 100 years and have no plans of doing anything else. They are farmers to their core.
This love for the soil continues and the abundance at the farmers markets is both beautiful to see and mouth-watering to taste. There are many things that surprise me about the food that the Polish farmers produce, the size, the different varieties of the same fruit or vegetable, the taste, the color. They even have farmers that only sell eggs, which are left out in the sun in a basket, and you can purchase the eggs based on the flavor or nutrients you are looking for. The chickens are feed different kinds of food to produce different nutrients and tastes. Food is eaten by season, something that I certainly had to get used to when first moving here. I have heard that eating by season is healthy but never really experienced it. It’s really quite different and was very frustrating at first.
Coming from America where I could get anything I wanted at any time, made it a hard adjustment in my cooking style. The summer harvest is colorful and tasty where the fruit or vegetables seem to burst with flavor in your mouth, while the winter harvest is made up of cabbage, sauerkraut, potatoes, pickles and root vegetables. Quite a different recipe collection and color on your dining plate, especially since the meat selection is generally made up of pork or chicken. So your winter dinner plate can look pretty bland, still tasty, but bland looking.
Summertime in Poland is when you find people of all ages wandering the streets with giant sunflowers (some bigger than the size of my hand), leaving behind a trail of seed hulls wherever they go. I am a big fan of sunflower seeds but had never thought of eating them right out of the flower. Sure, they are messy and maybe your hands get a little dirty, but it is fun to grab a flower and munch wherever you may be heading. It’s a summer thing. You can’t do this any other time of year. That is what makes it so special and silly all at the same time.
What I didn’t realize are the health benefits from eating sunflower seeds. For instance, one quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides your body with over half of the amount of copper that your body needs for the day. For menopausal women, these seeds are packed with vitamin E which helps to reduce hot flashes as well as reduce the risk of colon cancer. They are also packed with magnesium, which helps with your mood and depression. The seeds also provide vitamin B1, B3 and B6 along with selenium, phosphorus and folate providing the body with the nutrients it needs to ward off stress. And don’t let me forget that it’s kind of meditative to sit and pull the seeds out one by one and eat them.
So even if you can only purchase sunflower seeds packaged in a bag, go out and get on the summertime bandwagon of enjoying this nutrient packed powerhouse of what Mother Nature has to offer and leave your own trail of sunflower seed hulls wherever you go.
Enjoy the fruits of summer!
P.S. Many people ask me how I did it. How did I pack up everything and move abroad? How did I bust through fears, anxiety, financial implications, and just do it? If that is you, the one thing I can share is that I set an intention. I set an intention on every vision board that I created. I set an intention on my screen saver on my computer. I set an intention and would say it to myself when I looked in the mirror. I felt it, I could smell it, and I could taste it. It takes igniting and aligning each of the senses so that your sub-conscious begins to believe it and places before you the tools and opportunities to make it happen. Then all I had to do was act.
Here is a FREE program I created to teach you how to that. It’s called LIVE LIFE FEARLESSLY THROUGH THE POWER OF INTENTION. It worked for me and I know it can for you as well. Go ahead, it’s FREE. Get your life back and going in the direction that you dream about. There is a great workbook that you can download as well that will take your right through the process as well as videos to keep you on track. Get it today!