Category Archives: Healthy Living

Farm Fresh Delicacies

If you’re looking for fresh food and locally grown produce at a decent price to make homemade holiday meals this season, try looking at Farmers’ Markets rather than the grocery store. Here are three local Pasadena Farmers’ Markets you will be sure to love.

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Old Pasadena Farmers’ Market

Enjoy a relaxing Sunday morning browsing a portion of East Holly Street that is filled with vendors and stands that bring this market to life. While listening to live music, you can decide which fresh fruits and vegetables you want to take home from R.S. Farms and Gaytan Farms’ assortment. If hunger strikes during your visit, there are food vendors like CHZ Steaks and Walrus and Hedgehog to satisfy any craving you have. Pre-packaged food vendors are also there, like France Bakery, Mom’s Specialty Foods, and Sola Foods (which is a standout). The best part of Old Pasadena Farmers’ Market is that it has a healthy mix of produce, packaged foods, and prepared foods.

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Victory Park Farmers’ Market

This market is the produce gold mine. If offers an array of produce, pre-packaged foods, flowers, and seafood on display. It’s the perfect Saturday morning stop to start off your day. Domenico’s Foods sells handmade pasta and offers a real Italian delicacy, squid ink pasta. You can find locally grown, affordable flowers at Myriad Flowers International. All things made from beeswax can be found at Bill’s Bees and fresh breads are located at Old Town Baking Company. Amongst all this, don’t forget about the produce that really shines at this market. You won’t be disappointed with any of the growers, but one highly recommended stop is the Underwood Family Farms, that carries it all. For delicious pre-packaged foods, head over to the Pasadena Sandwich Company on Sierra Madre Villa Avenue for a deli-style sandwich.

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Villa Parke Center Farmers’ Market

For your weekly essentials stop by this Tuesday morning market for fresh produce. This market is the smallest of the three, but makes up for it with its high quality produce and community charm. If you’re in a rush, this is a great stop to quickly grab a few produce essentials. Gamma Farms and Bonilla Farms have a range of locally grown vegetables. Pre-packaged and prepared foods are not a common find at this market, because it specializes in farm fresh goodness. This market is ideal for local people who are in the immediate area.

Images provided by Sara Smola

– Caitlin Pallotta

Eat Your Way To Health!

With fall surrounding us, we thought it would be nice to have a little recap of some healthy tips to keep you and your family healthy this holiday season. Here is some healthful trivia about fruits and vegetables and how you can use them to stay healthy.

An Apple a Day

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If you didn’t already know, the apple is one of the healthiest fruits, with over 7,500 varieties now cultivated worldwide. The apple is rich in the antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols are important compounds that reduce inflammation, and have proven effective in the prevention of cancerous cell growth. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, apples supply 22 percent of the phenols we consume, and increased apple consumption has been correlated with reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, phenols create antioxidant activity that reduces free radicals that cause cell damage and are believed to contribute to cancer.

More Than an Anti-Vampire Aide

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In 2009 there was a study that tested 34 vegetables against eight different kinds of cancer that created very different results. Although science hasn’t been able to identify a single vegetable that can stop cancer, there are many that have been able to reduce cancer cell growth. But which vegetable is the best? Studies show garlic to be the winner, displaying the greatest negative effect on cancer cell growth of all the 34 vegetables tested on seven of the eight types of cancer.

Now You’re Cookin’

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You’ve probably heard the myth that the only good vegetables are raw vegetables, but to prove this wrong, there are some healthy benefits when vegetables are cooked properly. Kale is a great example of this. Everyone’s new found love for this leafy green could only be thought of as a good thing when it comes to cholesterol reduction. When we eat kale, some fiber-related nutrients bind with bile acids and escort them out of the body without being absorbed in the intestine. The body then, recognizing this shortage of bile acid, draws on the existing supply of cholesterol to make more, thus lowering the overall amount of cholesterol. For a twist, studies have shown that cooking enhances this binding property!

The Most Powerful Vegetable(s)

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Want to know what the most potent vegetable is based on its “nutrient density?” A study at William Patterson University in New Jersey looked at 17 critical vitamins and nutrients to answer this question. The winner of this study was watercress, one of the oldest leafy vegetables known to be consumer by humans. Watercress had a nutrient density score of 100 and proved to be the most potent of all 41 foods tested. Chinese cabbage and chard took the last two of the top three spots, with a nutrient density score of 91.9 and 89.2 respectively.

Fruit Topping 

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If you’re ever asked the question, “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing, what would it be?” we have your fruity answer. There are so many things that come in to play when trying to distinguish what is the healthiest fruit, the main thing being what your definition of healthy is. Fortunately, Leanitup.com came up with a ranking of 30 different fruits based on a score comprised of 12 different healthful indicators, glycemic load being the most important. Your answer is BLUEBERRIES! Blueberries contain the most healthful composite profile of the 30 fruits tested.

Now you know what you should load up on when you head to the grocery store next!

Header image provided by goatmeats.com

– Caitlin Pallotta