Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 - Page 11

FOOD Henderson also noted that the soil is unique to a particular area. I experienced this many years ago when I lived abroad in both England and Poland. When I tried making dishes from home, even if I had the exact ingredients, they didn’t taste the same because the soil and climate were different, affecting the flavor of the fruits and vegetables. In Poland, there were daily farmers markets, which I visited frequently. I was amazed at how different plums and apples tasted in Poland versus the United States or even England. They were much more fragrant with strong flavors to match, and they were grown without synthetic chemicals. If I could have bottled those smells and worn them as a perfume, I would have. Committing to changing your diet to reflect the season and your region doesn’t mean you have to cook everything at home, though. Many restaurants in the city support offer farm-to-table fare, allowing yet another outlet for locavores. Walk into Ezra’s Enlightened Café in Broad Ripple, for example, and you will see pots of herbs that line the window sill, providing both decoration and ingredients for the variety of dishes served. Audrey Barron, the restaurant’s owner, uses as many local foods as possible in her restaurant for a couple of reasons, such as the importance of supporting the local farms: “Where we spend our dollars is how we’re voting on what we want our future to look like,” she said. Additionally, eating seasonally and locally allows us to have access to more nutrient-rich foods as the deeper colors and flavors of foods grown in season are indicators of higher nutrient value. Since the restaurant serves mostly local, in-season food, creativity is a must because they are never sure what they are going to get from the farms. But Audrey and her staff are comfortable allowing nature to dictate what to create. “We let food inspire us,” said Barron, and insisted that it’s not difficult to cook this way once you learn how. Ezra’s also recently purchased a farm on which they will now grow much of the food for the café, including vegetables, such as kale, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and cabbage, and 40 different herbs. While it may be more convenient, and sometimes initially cheaper, to eat outof-season foods from the larger farms, you end up paying more in the end. For example, foods grown with harmful chemicals that are picked before they are even ripe and shipped from far away not only have less nutritional value, but can also be damaging to the body. Foods eaten fresh and in-season that were grown without harmful chemicals are more nutrient-dense. Because the body is getting what it needs instead of just empty calories, we feel more satisfied, our cravings are reduced, and we may even eat less as a result. Deciding to commit to eating a higher percentage of local foods that are in-season requires a shift in mindset, but one that locavores feel is worth making. I would argue that the growing popularity of farmers markets and homesteading are our soul’s cry to re-connect to nature. Living in harmony with the seasons draws upon the ancient memories held in our DNA, reminding us that we are part of nature and that our ancestors lived according to its cycles. Through this recognition and by taking active steps to re-connect to nature on a deeper level, we are able to tap into a vital source of healing and nourishment. Take time this season heal your mind, body and soul by fostering a deeper connection with nature and all its gifts that lay just outside your door. Food Meditation Try this: Like a wine connoisseur studies a glass of wine before even taking a sip, try doing the same thing with a vegetable or piece of fruit. Pick an item from your garden or from one of the local markets and study it while sitting on the ground. Notice the color, feel the texture in your hands, inhale the scent. Do you see the dirt still clinging to the skin? Can you smell the dirt as well as the produce beneath it? Can you imagine all of the processes that had to come together to make this miracle, including minerals in the soil, rain falling from the sky, the warm light of the sun? Next, slowly wash it with pure water while continuing to focus on the produce in your hands. How does the color change as the earth is gently washed away? Finally, take a bite and chew it slowly and for as long as possible. What flavors do you notice initially? How about a minute later? Does the taste and smell change? Try doing this exercise at least once a week. ■ Photography: Courtesy of Ezra’s Enlightened Café INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I 9 FOOD Henderson also noted that the soil is unique to a particular area. I experienced this many years ago when I lived abroad in both England and Poland. When I tried making dishes from home, even if I had the exact ingredients, they didn’t taste the same because the soil and climate were different, affecting the flavor of the fruits and vegetables. In Poland, there were daily farmers markets, which I visited frequently. I was amazed at how different plums and apples tasted in Poland versus the United States or even England. They were much more fragrant with strong flavors to match, and they were grown without synthetic chemicals. If I could have bottled those smells and worn them as a perfume, I would have. Committing to changing your diet to reflect the season and your region doesn’t mean you have to cook everything at home, though. Many restaurants in the city support offer farm-to-table fare, allowing yet another outlet for locavores. 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