On my way home from work each Wednesday afternoon, I stop by my favorite farm stand to pick up my weekly farm-fresh goods.
I look forward to it every week.
Last week, spicy arugula (rocket for those of you in Europe), my favorite purple green onions, tender baby salad greens, sweet young carrots, homemade sourdough bread (grown, milled, fermented, and baked on the farm), fresh basil, and heirloom tomatoes filled my basket.
I picked up some pastured chicken, tender smoked salmon, and grass-fed beef at our local Whole Foods Market to turn into a few simple summery meals for our family.
I’ve noticed my cooking inspiration skyrockets when I am inspired by these local and conscious ingredients.
(Also, this did not blow our food budget, feel extravagant, nor could I have bought more generic versions for less money anywhere.)
We have been loving sitting outside in our backyard each evening to enjoy the food of the season. And, I’ve been finding so much joy in making lots of seasonal vegetable-forward sides!
That said, I was inspired to share with you a few bite-size building blocks that I love, on how to eat more regeneratively –– in a way that is doable, budget-friendly, and tasty –– while underscoring a deep sense of nourishment and satiation.
Regenerative eating is centered around whole, nutrient-dense foods sourced from regenerative and sustainable farming practices that nourish the soil.
Eating this way prioritizes local and seasonal ingredients, reduces food waste, promotes biodiversity, increases the nutrient density of our foods, and supports farmers who adopt regenerative agriculture techniques that essentially restore soil health.
I know I feel more interconnected, more energized, and more soulfully aligned when I eat food that not only positively impacts my own well-being, but also supports the well-being of the environment, the fair treatment of animals, and the local farmers.
If you are looking for a few baby steps towards eating more regeneratively, read on!
In the year 2023, there are countless fads that supposedly promise improved health, weight loss, or being cured from illness or disease. While there is certainly some truth behind a few of these claims, not all eating styles (or supplements) are what they are cracked up to be.
One way to improve your overall health without a drastic lifestyle change or expensive meal plan is to eat regeneratively.
Eating regeneratively involves wholesome and nutrient dense foods that contain diverse sets of ingredients. An ideal regenerative diet would include all of the nutrients that a human being would need to thrive. Additionally, (and most importantly) eating regeneratively helps support soil health, which creates a collaborative cycle of earth-and-human benefit.
Eating regeneratively does not have to be expensive, time consuming, or boring. In fact, it can be exciting, lively, and especially fun for trying new foods throughout various seasons of the year.
(I tried not to crowd you with research here, but there is a lot out there to support regenerative eating, regenerative agriculture, soil health, and sustainability — click if you want to read some interesting research)
How can you adopt more a regenerative lifestyle and diet? Here are 5 simple ways to do so, many that you can implement starting today.
One of my favorite, and easiest ways to eat regeneratively is to simply start in your local area eating from places and buying from stores that sell local products. From produce to meat, spices to grains, you can eat and buy locally sourced foods and make a difference (on your palate and on the earth).
I especially love trying new restaurants that source their ingredients locally. They typically state this on their menus or website and nothing makes me salivate more!
If you’re wondering what is locally sourced at your grocery store, stop and ask your grocer. They often have an excellent understanding of where all of their products come from.
Choose Grass-fed & Pastured Proteins
Eating grass-fed & pastured proteins is an excellent way to eat regeneratively.
Grass-fed protein is unquestionably superior to grain-fed protein due to its nutrient density. This includes an improved amino acid profile, potent immune supportive nutrients, as well as healthy omega 3’s and CLA fats.
When you can, choose the grass-fed or pastured option. You’ll be supporting regenerative agriculture that restores soil health, reduces carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, while promoting biodiversity.
What time of year is your favorite when it comes to seasonal food? I can’t resist a summer watermelon, but give me all the squash I can get my hands on in the fall (roasted with a little butter and sea salt—okay a lot of butter).
Eating seasonally can be exceptionally fun, especially when you learn about new foods that growing seasonally near you! Cue my favorite Asian green, tatsoi (cousin of bok choy), grown at my favorite near by farm.
Not only will you typically save more on groceries when you buy seasonal foods, you will also enjoy much more flavorful versions. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are more fresh, tasty, and nutritious than during off season. If you’re ever wondering what foods are in season, here is a great seasonal food guide.
You don’t have to be an avid gardener to enjoy the benefits of growing your own food. And you certainly can keep it small to start out!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables is to plant a few favorite items for my home use — I love salad gardens. It brings me such pride and joy to go into my garden to harvest fresh herbs, and pick cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce to make a fresh green salad!
There are countless tutorials on how to start a home garden, but just know that even eating just a couple of homegrown favorites yourself is considered eating regeneratively. You will notice a difference in taste, energy, and flavor as you continue to do this. Plus, get your kids involved. They will broaden their palates and pull some weeds for you if you are lucky.
Composting is a method to recycle organic matter back into the soil which helps enrich soil and plants. This in turn produces more nutrient-rich foods.
Composting includes saving scraps of uneaten food, eggshells, and even yard trimmings. There are multiple methods to creating an at-home compost, many of which can be read about in a composting guide. However, keep in mind that your effort to compost does not have to be complex but will contribute to a regenerative lifestyle that has numerous benefits.
By considering these steps to eating more regeneratively, you will already be on a path to a healthier and happier lifestyle and environment.
The solution is under our feet, meal by meal.