June 16th Fresh Veggie Day

Just look at the color of a table filled with fresh veggies and you are instantly transformed into, at least a momentary, vegetarian. All the senses are filled, color, scent, touch… okay maybe not hearing unless these vegetables speak to you.

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I think one of the reasons vegetables are so colorful is because they want you to eat them. If not, they rot and become ugly, but when they are fresh they are more inviting than nearly any other food available to man. (Fruit is right up there too)

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Not only are vegetables pleasant to look at and smell good, they are good for you too! Anything that is that beautiful outside has to make you beautiful on the inside. I don’t know if you have ever had a garden where you grow your own food but I can tell you, there is nothing as thrilling as seeing your plants come up and grow into something that you can eat. It doubles the pleasure.

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The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” I think can be applied to eating vegetables as well. They are filled with vitamins and antioxidants to not only make you healthier but also leave you healthier.

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How to celebrate – Have a plate of vegetables today instead of yoiur normal lunch. Plant a garden. Go to the fresh foods market and see what they have to offer.

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June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

There are two things in life that we could do with more of. The first is gardening, we can always use more food or beautiful plants to make our day better. The second is exercise. Nothing better than exercise to get into shape, feel better, and look better. So naturally, the both of best worlds combine today in National Gardening Exercise Day.

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It makes gardening not seem like work at all! Of course, gardening is not supposed to be work, it’s supposed to be fun, and working out is supposed to be fun, not work… so I guess combined they work out well.

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Actually, getting out and digging holes, spreading fertilizer, weeding, and watering your flowers is good exercise. You use practically every muscle in your body in some way. Kneeling down, standing up, carrying the plants to where you want them, is all physical exercise as well as the mental exercise you go through putting the plants where they will get the most sunlight, but not too much.

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And planting food you can eat is normally healthy for you meaning you will probably be eating healthy because of what you are growing! It is a win-win. I tried planting Twinkies once but they didn’t grow. On the other hand, once I dug them up they were absolutely no different than when I planted them! (except for a little dirt that you could easily brush away).

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Gardening can be very therapeutic and a great way to get exercise that you don’t even notice you are getting. It is assumed that garden clubs across the United States created this day but no one seems to know for sure.

How to celebrate – get some plants today that you can plant in your yard. Go out and weed the garden you already have. Help plant a community garden.

April 19th National Garlic Day

Did you know garlic is a vegetable? I didn’t. I always thought it fell into the spice category. Just shows how wrong you can be.

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It also has great medicinal value to humans.  It helps prevent heart disease and cancer, fights colds and flu, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces plaque, treats acne and warts and can be used to help with toothaches.

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It has also been known to ward off vampires, and maybe werewolves. It the reason you see so few Italian vampire movies.  I understand the vampire thing, they suck your blood and garlic flows through your veins so naturally, a vampire would want to avoid you. However, concerning a werewolf, I’m not sure how it is effective. I guess just to be sure you could dip your silver bullets in garlic.

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It can also be used for birth control. It doesn’t prevent pregnancy but it does prevent someone getting close enough to a heavy garlic eater to cause that problem.  It also appears that many, many people are allergic to garlic. Throwing up in your partner’s face also has a tendency to prevent unwanted pregnancy as well. Or, perhaps these people are secretly vampires!

I like garlic, and apparently it likes me too. Just keep it in moderation.

How to celebrate  – Have some garlic today! Make up an emergency necklace of garlic cloves in case vampires invade your home tonight. Redefine your use of garlic since it is a vegetable.

October 24th National Food Day

Today is National Food Day, the day we are supposed to recognize real food as opposed to the junk we often eat. It is defined by two words, “Eat Real”.

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So much of what we eat contains high levels of sugar, salt, and fat. It tastes great but it is really bad for us. In truth, the real foods, those not processed in a factory, really do taste better. Fresh fruits and vegetables have an abundance of flavor without adding anything to them. The meat we eat is often processed in such a way that much of the protein is replaced by fat leaving us the factory farm version of what we think we are eating.

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Sadly we get use to the flavoring added by the factories and when we taste the real thing, we think something is wrong with it. All the nutrients have been cooked out of the food leaving us with an artificially flavored substance. Sugar is added to mask the disappearing taste and gives us a watered down version of the real thing and something far less healthy for us. If you look at the contents of a can of soda you will see it contains nothing that we need to be adding to our diet.

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And while it’s bad enough what we are doing to ourselves think of what we are doing to our children. We are practically guaranteeing them a life of health issues, weight issues, and the same lack of energy we are suffering from ourselves.

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The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) started this day back in 2011 with the target date of October 24th 2012 to accumulate all the work done for the year. The day is celebrated with over 3,200 festivals across the US and a national conference in Washington, D.C. There are also thousands of schools that participate throughout the year.

How to celebrate – See if there is a program in your community celebrating “Eat Real”. If there isn’t, see what you need to do to start one. Check with your local schools and see if they are teaching the children to “Eat Real”. Go pick some fresh fruit from a u-pick farm and enjoy!

April 17th National Cheeseball Day

When I started doing these blogs I thought how interesting these holidays might be.  Little did I know I would be writing one about cheese balls.  I do like cheese balls, but there’s not much to say about them.  They are made out of cheese and in a ball shape.  Depending on what you add to them they can be either healthy or not, crunchy or silky, served with meat or without.

You can use practically any kind of cheese, make it spicy or mild and serve it with vegetables, crackers, pretzels, fruit, bread, well… just about anything you can imagine.  No one knows when the first cheese ball was made, or where, but my best guess is that as soon as cavemen realized how to make cheese, the cheese ball came into being.  It’s meant to be dipped into, peeled away but never cut.  To cut the cheese would be rude.  There are many recipes for cheeseballs.  Depending on your taste of cheese some will be wonderful, others… maybe not.  So what really separates one cheese ball from the next?  Aside from the flavors, it is what they look like.  Below are a few samples I found that at least amused me.

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Obviously the cheese ball can be used to celebrate any holiday, even the weird and bizarre.   In fact, you really don’t even need for there to be a holiday to enjoy a cheese ball.  Again, Congress did not declare the day and no president ran on a cheese ball platform to get elected. (They have their own kind of cheese anyway.)

So how do you celebrate?  Well, make one of the recipes supplied above.  Create your own recipe remembering you really can use anything to make your cheese ball.  Or find a party to go to and take them a cheese ball, even if it’s just because you want one yourself.