Welcome to reFresh Friday featuring tips for fresh eating, fresh/ natural movement, and finding a fresh perspective on life. This week’s highlights include preparing foraged spruce tips and a fresh perspective on chaos.
*Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. I am merely passing on information that has been helpful to me. Please do your own research and consult any necessary health professionals before starting a new exercise program or attempting herbal remedies, especially if you have known medical problems
Eating local is one of the best ways to eat fresh. Although my husband grows much of our produce in our gardens, this year we have been experimenting with foraging as well. Here are some of the local foods we are enjoying this week. For reference, I live in the southern portion of the northeast.
Foraging Find: Spruce Tips (Pictured Above)
Each spring, coniferous evergreen trees produce tender green buds that eventually mature into needles. Many of these are edible, but today’s feature is spruce tips. Packed with vitamin C and electrolytes, they add an unusual zing to salads, cooked vegetables, smoothies, and desserts
Each variety of spruce has a slightly different flavor. Blue spruce is said to be the most citrus-like and the least astringent.
We tried these a few ways so far–eaten plain (Em’s favorite), infused in oil over cooked carrots, and in smoothies. I really liked the fresh zing the spruce tips added to the smoothies. However, they weren’t as noticeable in the carrots. I don’t personally care for them plain either.
I would like to dehydrate some of the tips as an immune booster to be infused in tea throughout the year.
Blue Spruce Ice Cream (Forager | Chef)
Evergreen Shortbread Cookies (the kitchn)
Or add the tips to these Paleo Shortbread Cookies (Paleo Hacks)
Other Foraging Resources:
5 Reasons to Eat Spruce Tips & 8 Ways to Use Them (Nutriplanet)
Edible Evergreens (Eat the Planet)
9 Popular Wild Edibles of Mid-Spring (Foraged Foodie)
In Our Garden:
Herbs: Chives, tarragon, sage, oregano, mint
Vegetables: Green onions and salad greens including Lettuce, Arugula (rocket) and Tatsoi (a hardy green similar to spinach).
Fruit: We had one early strawberry from one of the plants in our cold frame/trellis structure. The rhubarb (technically a vegetable) is also ready to start harvesting.
Fresh in Stores:
Here is a list of other in-season produce currently available in most grocery stores around the United States.
Fresh (Natural) Movement*
Katy Bowman’s** works have been a huge inspiration to me over the past nine months or so. She focuses on a movement based lifestyle– moving the body naturally throughout the day. Since I have been on bedrest, I have struggled to get any significant movement in each day. However, I want to start incorporating more simple, bed-rest-safe* movements throughout the rest of my pregnancy.
Right now I am working up to walking a little bit more each day as well as squatting and tailor sitting instead of sitting in chairs. Next week I hope to add some upper body movements. I will try to include some of them in the next reFresh Friday post. Until then, if you would like more information about incorporating more natural movement into your own life, check out the links below.
11 Ways to Add More Movement to Your Day (Carrie Willard)
What is a Movement-based Lifestyle? (Katy Bowman via Nutritious Movement)
Introductory Blog Posts (Katy Bowman via Nutritious Movement)
*Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. I am merely passing on information that has been helpful to me. Please do your own research and consult any necessary health professionals before starting a new exercise program or attempting herbal remedies, especially if you have known medical problems.
** While I value most of Katy’s teachings on movement, I do not agree with her underlying belief in evolution. I believe our bodies were designed and created by God–not random chance.
Fresh Perspectives: What I’ve been Learning Lately
Lesson 1: Distractions don’t always appear as noxious time traps (television, social media, etc.).
Even beneficial tasks, like researching to make better choices for our families, can become distractions if we let them. In the same way that both weeds and beneficial plants can smother and strangle any growing things in their path, distractions take important resources away from other areas we are seeking to change in our lives. The solution is to set boundaries, something I really struggle with. Lately I have been using timers to make sure I stop whatever I am doing, and make sure that I am on track for the day’s tasks.
Lesson 2: I need to read more Bible.
Even at almost 17 weeks pregnant, aversions and digestive issues have made it difficult for me to eat the way I should calorie wise. Eating smaller meals throughout are essential to nourish my physical body, especially while growing a baby. Likewise, In this season of my life it is essential for me to read my Bible throughout the day to get optimal spiritual nourishment. I have linked to an article from Intentional by Grace that has really challenged me in this area.
Lesson 3: I am not in control of my life, and I was never meant to be.
Bed rest was a huge wake-up call to me in this area. Over the past few months, my husband has done an excellent job with the essentials like cooking for my very restrictive diet and making sure Em’s needs are met. My family, especially my mom, and my church family have also been generous in helping when needed. But sometimes I just want the predictability of doing my own laundry or being able to carry my toddler when she is dawdling.
But each unpredictability in my life is a wake-up call to cling to the One who has everything under His control and allow him to grow and change me through the difficulty. So. Hard. To. Let. Go. I love this quote from Kristen Smith at A Better Way To thrive (full article linked below): “God isn’t asking you to control the messy unpredictability in your home. He is asking you to lovingly serve despite it.” Right now I am not capable of serving my family in a physical sense, but I can still work on my attitude.
What Did You Think?
What fresh food, movement, or perspectives have you had throughout your week?