With the temperatures finally on the rise here in the Mid-Atlantic states, I find myself drooling over thoughts of my favorite spring and summer foods. (If you’re triggered by talk of food, you might want to stop reading, although I plan to focus on fresh, farm-to-table foods.) One of my absolute favorite things to do in spring and summer (heck, even fall) is wander around farmer’s markets and stop at roadside produce stands. I live right across the bridge from southern New Jersey, so just about every weekend you can find me driving along my favorite stretch of road, admiring the vast farmlands, and stopping at numerous markets. I adore the sight of the brightly colored fruits and vegetables, the touch of corn husk as I admire the perfectly aligned kernels, and the smell of the sun-baked farmlands around me. (And I can’t forget to mention how much I love free samples at farmer’s markets!) Going to markets can (and should) be an exercise in multi-sensory perception. What a wonderful way to practice mindfulness as we observe, smell, listen, touch, and taste our way through each moment.
Whatever your spring and summer food pleasures, try to keep them pleasurable and don’t let your inner critic fool you into obsessing about calories. If you have access to a market or even just the produce section of your supermarket, take note of what your eyes are drawn to. Tune in to what your body tells you its longing for. Linger near each different vegetable, fruit, jam, honey, and homemade bread. Try something new each time you go to the market. Maybe you buy a locally grown yellow watermelon or a pint of morning-picked boysenberries. And remember that such experiences are wonderful opportunities for CONNECTION: connection with your body’s nutritional needs, connection with the way the experience nourishes your spirit, connection with all those who tilled the land, planted and watered the seeds, tended to the crops, harvested them, brought them to the market, and sold them to you. When we stop to think about the myriad people connected to each piece of food we eat, it is easy to be amazed and grateful.
How will you celebrate the delicious foods of spring and summer? Write a comment below!
Peace, joy, and health,