I once mistook a head of cabbage for a head of lettuce!

Until I was 25 years old I felt intimidated by the produce section in the grocery store.  There were so many different types of vegetables and I knew nothing about how to prepare them.  New York City is where I learned how delicious vegetables could be, what they were, and how to prepare them – broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, squash, peppers.

At the Happy Dog in Cleveland with Emily

My love for veggies didn’t come naturally, it took exposure and consistency.  Once I opened my mind to trying new types of vegetables and started to brave the produce section discovered I actually liked some vegetables, and could make most others taste good with the right recipe

The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl's Guide to Cooking with Style and Grace

(this book helped me along, thanks for the gift Emily).

I visited the local West Side Market on Broadway and 110th Street in Manhattan several times a week so that I could try different combinations in my salads to find out what I liked and what I didn’t like.  I knew I had the right combination when I sat on a bench in Riverside Park to enjoy my creation:

I ate this instead of fast food (the cost was usually $8 at the grocery store salad bar, about the same as a meal at McDonald’s).  For those of you who are victims of fast food cravings like I was, find foods that are nutritious that you can stand, start mixing things up and experimenting, and find a way to replace fast food with cooking or ordering fresh produce.  It’s a big change, but the health benefits are endless, and after all it was the father of westernized medicine that said:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates


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