Did you know that February is heart month in Canada?
For me, heart month has never been significant, yet surprisingly, I am one of 2.4 million Canadians who suffers from heart disease. I was born with a congenital heart condition known as Transposition of the Great Arteries, I have undergone over five open heart surgeries and have had a pacemaker implanted & replaced three times since I was 5 years old. I’m not even 33. And yet, despite this debilitation, I have kicked butt my entire life. I’ve been healthy, strong, active and more than alive. If anything, the phrase suffers from heart disease doesn’t really apply. I’m a farmer for heck’s sake!
Much of this is of course due to significant improvements in medical technology and the good fortune of being born at a time when Transposition of the Great Arteries was correctable and in a country where access to good medical practice could be taken for granted. But I’m not convinced that this treatment set the course for the high-quality of life I’ve been living. By and large, I think it was due to good, healthy home-cooked meals and exercise.
I was fortunate to grow up in a family whose primary drivers were good food and sports. Everything was made from scratch, lots of vegetables, smaller portions of meat and always (well, almost always) delicious. I’ve grown to believe that this very simple practice of eating well and routine exercise has helped sustain my body better, allowed me to recover faster and given me more energy for everyday life. I'm not sure I'd be a farmer if it weren't for these values instilled early-on in my life.
The connection between diet and the body is nothing new. Yet, in North America there seems to be a lack of guidance and understanding when it comes to promoting a truly healthy diet. This bears the question: do we really care about health? Why don’t we encourage people to buy local food, grown without the aid of pesticides and herbicides and cook for themselves? Why don’t we view farmers as advocates of health? Why don’t we encourage people to grow some of their own food? When it comes to health, I personally believe that we need simpler remedies, starting with the food we eat.
It’s a cold and snowy February and Spring feels a long way off, but at YYC Growers, our farmers are already thinking about Spring, getting our seeds prepped and planning our crop rows. We want you to join us in thinking about the upcoming farm season. Think about your body this February and all you can do for it. Think about your heart, that powerful muscle that beats automatically for you. Show some love to that heart of yours. Make it simple.
Purchase a Harvest Box for your Spring and Summer, and commit your body to healthy, nutrient dense food. Or grow a garden and produce your own healthy food. Take back your health, one bite at a time.