by Noa Miller
Hi everyone, I've been working in an administrative capacity at EatWellSoon for a couple years now and am excited to be publishing my very first blog post! I hope it speaks to you!
I recently found blueberries on sale for $1.29 per pint at Aldi and I couldn’t hold myself back. The problem was, my freezer was already full of blueberries from when they were on sale last month; if I recall correctly, I bought 22 containers (OK, I went a little overboard!) and although blueberries are one of my toddler’s favorite foods, our three-person family had plenty of leftovers to put into the freezer.
But who cares for frozen when you can have fresh? Doesn’t having an abundance of fresh produce make you feel alive? The perfect pressure and burst when your teeth puncture the skin can't be replicated by frozen or canned produce, though of course there is a time and place for those as well.
And the sheer abundance - the utter volume of fresh blueberries that I bought made me want to fill a crate and just bury my hands between their perfectly plump multitudes.
The Psychology of Quantity
In a way, having so many blueberries makes me feel safe. Like if all else fails, those blueberries will be there for me. If I go shopping and don’t find blueberries that I deem affordable, it makes me feel lacking and anxious.
The psychology is real: when we have “enough”, we know that we are taken care of and then we can relax. When we know something is available to us, our emotions don’t get mixed up worrying about not having it.
And the reverse is true as well. If we restrict ourselves or are environmentally deprived of something, we become desperate for it.
If I were such a penny-pincher that I rarely blessed my family with blueberries before finding them on sale, the excitement when we get our hands on these blueberries is high. But once we know that there is more where they came from, we can relax.
Abundance Leads to Neutrality
“I have a Snickers bar sitting in my purse. Why haven't I eat it yet?” asked Yaffi Lvova, RDN in Phoenix, AZ to her class.
They confidently answered, “Because you know you should eat something that’s better for you!”
"No! I haven't eaten the Snickers bar yet because I know that it’s there if I want it!"
When we know that foods are available for when we want them, it takes away the urge for us to eat them right away. When no food or food group has this particular “forbidden” draw, it frees us up to listen to what kind of food our body is asking for and make an appropriate choice. Blueberries today, Snickers bar tomorrow. Or Snickers bar today, blueberries tomorrow. Having a particular food around allows us to build a more neutral relationship with it. And purchasing and preparing a variety of foods all across the nutrition spectrum helps us eat in a more balanced way over time.
Back to the Blueberries...
Do your kids love blueberries? If they do, celebrate! If they don’t already, you’ll still want to join in the fun. Here are a couple of fun ideas to share the blueberry inspiration:
To spark some blueberry interest in your kids, you can show them a video or talk about the mechanical harvesting process in a huge commercial farm which makes it possible for us to walk out of a store with a beautiful bounty of blue without any sweat in the field.
Or, you can take one blueberry and do an explorative mindfulness exercise in eating blueberries. Ask them to inspect and describe the blueberry, rub and smell it, slowly sink their teeth in and then talk about all the flavors and textures. Have them resist the urge to swallow and see how long they can savor the experience of that one incredible little berry. The goal is not to eat less – it’s to enjoy more.
Bursting with Benefits
You don’t need me to tell you that blueberries are healthy – but they have some really fascinating benefits such as boosting brain function, preventing UTIs, and even improving mood!
Now, in case you need help figuring out lovely ways to eat up your blueberries, I’ll share the best-kept blueberry secrets from the Miller household - blueberry muffins and blueberry smoothies.
I am the queen of easy. This is not even a recipe. Just sharing the joy of having this delicious and nutritious drink in the snap of a finger.
o Frozen blueberries
o Milk to cover (almond milk is delicious too)
o a drop of vanilla extract
Blend and enjoy!
*Smoothie will separate after standing. Re-blend to enjoy the leftovers later on.
o 1 large egg
o 1/3 cup canola oil
o 1 cup dairy, almond or soy milk
o 2 cups white whole wheat flour
o ½ cup sugar
o 1 tablespoon baking powder
o 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.
Beat eggs, oil and milk on medium speed, then add flour, sugar and baking powder. Beat on low until just combined; do not over-mix. Add blueberries and mix with spatula.
Bake 20 minutes @ 350°F.
Enjoy your blueberries – whichever way you choose!
Next time you are shopping, don’t forget to set your family up for joy and health by filling your cart with fruits and vegetables on sale.