More fork, less knife for a healthier lifestyle

Published 11:01pm Monday, September 16, 2013

Recently I exhibited Manna Cabanna’s local organic winter CSA opportunity at Tryon’s Seventh Day Adventist Health Fair.

I’ve always known the SDA population was health conscious: primarily a vegetarian, non-smoking, non-drinking bunch. Without going too much into their religious tenets, they are deeply faith-filled Christians who also support community activities for equal rights and justice, anti-poverty, education and the direct provision of health care facilities.

I am adopted. And one of the very few things I know about my birth family is they are Seventh Day Adventist. Whole foods, organic foods, fresh fruits and veggies have always been how I have tried to feed my family, and this was not necessarily modeled for me, but rather felt intrinsically.

I gave natural childbirth at our local Seventh Day Adventist hospital, Park Ridge, for both of my children. Again, nothing I ever dreamed I would want to do (or possibly could achieve) but I couldn’t override this innate need to do so, to be there. I went on to nurse for what is considered an extended length of time and when introducing solid foods to my children, read every label and spent beyond my means buying or making organic for them.

At the recent health fair, there was a large vegetarian potluck table, free of charge, and another exhibitor making nut butters, serving raw food samples and dehydrating veggie crackers and stuffed mushrooms. We even had raw vegan cheesecake samples topped with mandarin orange slices. Miraculous at best, inventive and awe-inspiring at the least.

Currently I am reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and am working toward my certification in plant-based nutrition.

“The most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted,” it reveals how at any measure, America’s health is failing and that it all basically comes down to these three things: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Physical activity ranks high, too. I was amazed to come home last Sunday from the health fair, to turn on my television to the ETV channel and the show just starting was called, The Adventist. It went on to tell the story of how and why these folks are considered some of the healthiest people on earth, living the longest, free of disease and of how, as a church, they operate one of the world’s most successful network of health care institutions and teaching facilities. Much of it begins with their plant-based diets.

I am not now, and don’t care to be, completely vegetarian. But there is no doubt that eating less meat and more fruits, nuts and vegetables is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for our environment. At Manna Cabanna and in our home, we sell and consume only local, grass-fed antibiotic and hormone-free meats, dairy and seafood. Meats and eggs raised sustainably and without harmful inputs are expensive, another reason to rely on them a little less and plants and nuts a little more. I’ve written recently that our local organic winter CSA is open for sign-ups and there are other options in our community for access to local plant-based meals all winter long, too. Check out the new fermented foods CSA opportunity at Yielding Branch Farm and help support the new Mill Spring Farm store operation under Rita Harvey.

Choose health by choosing local organic plant-based foods all winter long.


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