Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Letter from Publisher

Paradise Found

This month’s giant strawberry cover image inspires me to share with you some of my favorite resources for enjoying the best locally grown organic fruits (and veggies) in Southwest Florida.

All season long I’ve been greeted by beautiful displays of organic strawberries at the Food & Thought Organic Market, delivered fresh from their local Oakes Organics farm. They’ve become a sweet, juicy ingredient for many delightful recipes. Owner Alfie Oakes and store manager Jameson Johnson confirm that they’re enjoying the best strawberry season in years.

This week I scored again, benefiting from an overabundance of just-picked Black Sapotes from my friend Marianne Luch’s backyard fruit tree “farmacy”.  Each visit brings to mind years of fond memories of sitting at her kitchen countertop savoring the latest magical concoctions created from the bounty of her many types of trees.

Her lifestyle embodies my idea of living in paradise, picking her breakfast, lunch and dinner ingredients daily for her mostly fruit, raw food diet. Just try keeping up with her naturally energetic lifestyle.

My friends Terry and Debby Kays equally inspire me with their passion for developing local community gardens. Having begun with a neighborhood plot, they now work with volunteers in two other community garden projects, as well. They grow Moringa, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Check out page 40 for details and more go-to fresh produce resources.

In this issue, we also explore an increasingly prevalent topic in conversations about what we like to eat and how it affects us—the growing number of people we know that are impacted by food intolerances. Kathleen Barnes’ feature article “Fearless Eating: How to Move Past Food Sensitivities” on page 44, provides a springboard for considering the roles food plays in our lives, changes in the supply chain and how to identify and deal with food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies.

I know that my body gives me clear, quick signals when something I’ve eaten isn’t to my benefit. I used to wish I didn’t have to be more “sensitive” than others in making food selections. But today, I thank my body for keeping me attuned to what keeps it operating optimally so that I can stay healthy. My food sensitivities are common ones: gluten, dairy, shellfish and of course, too much sugar. When we’re informed, we can eliminate questionable foods in order to consistently feel our best.

Unless we have a sensitivity to the contrary, I expect that any good health practitioner will advise eating as many organic fruits and veggies as we want and sticking with real food in its purest form.

I hope this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings helps steer us all in a helpful direction good for body, mind and spirit. Remember to head for the beach when you can; a beautiful sunset can be one of the best remedies around.  

Be well, be happy,

Sharon Signature

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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