September is National Recovery Month. The week of September 17 to 23 is SAMSHA's second annual National Wellness Week.
The theme is to celebrate everyone living in recovery and the efforts we make to live healthy.
One of the suggested activities for the week was to show peers how to cook a healthful meal. Good food nourishes the mind as well as the body.
How do you feel after you've chowed down on processed food as opposed to how you feel after nutritious dining? I bet: crabbed or crappy or lethargic.
At 45, I suddenly became a cook. I have a binder I store recipes in and I've bought 10 cookbooks to create meals from.
As an Italian woman, I prefer organic food, not so-called Frankenfood grown from GMO crops. I realize not everyone has access to organic food. Yet if you do, it's well worth the cost because organic food tastes better in my humble opinion. Also: you're often supporting local farmers, not agribusinesses whose patented seeds for GMO crops require killer amounts of the agribusinesses' own pesticides.
I'll give you a list of the foods you can safely buy that aren't organic and a list of foods to be bought organic if at all you can.
Fruits and vegetables with the highest level of pesticides that you should always buy organic include: apples, carrots, celery, cherries, cucumbers, grapes (domestic and imported), green beans, hot peppers, lettuce, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.
Fruits and vegetables with the lowest level of pesticides that you don't have to buy organic include: asparagus, avocados, bananas, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, papaya, pineapples, sweet corn (frozen), sweet peas (frozen), sweet potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelon, and winter squash.
In the spirit of recovery week I'm going to end this SharePost with recipes.
I recommend you cook your own meals as often as possible. I wrote in here years ago that to become self-reliant is the number-one goal for a person diagnosed with schizophrenia. Cooking healthful meals is the best way to take care of yourself.
I kid you not: at my house in the summer, it's nearly all tomatoes, all the time. So all the recipes feature tomatoes: a plentiful staple in the summer and also available year-round.
Cooking them is best, yet either way they contain lycopene, a substance thought to ward off cancer. Not only is the tomato sauce in pizza full of lycopene, the oregano in pizza might also reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Pain Catalan with Extra Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (from the New York Times)
2 slices whole-wheat country bread (you can substitute whole wheat bread. I use Bread Alone's organic multi-grain bread from a bakery in New York State.)