Establishing a healthy “4Leaf” routine in your life
Yesterday we began a discussion about the three primary drivers of disease and the cost of health care in the United States — breakfast, lunch and dinner. And we focused on the all-important first meal of the day. Today, we want to begin delving into how we might establish a healthy routine for our typical lunch and dinner.
Having been in Naples for the past five days, I can tell you about two wonderful places to buy fresh, organic vegetables and enjoy a plethora of choices of healthy 4Leaf menu items. They were both founded by the same man — Frank Oakes, an organic pioneer in Florida. From his website:
In 1988 we began to try organic growing methods alongside our conventional farm in Ft.Myers. By 1991 it was apparent to us that all food should and could be grown without chemicals and in a totally sustainable manner. We started a new 100% organic farm that year in Naples and have become more passionate about our vocation each and every year since.
Frank and his family started the retail portion of their business in Naples at Oakes Farm Market on Davis Blvd. But his latest creation is Food and Thought, a wonderful combination of a 100% organic retail grocery store — connected to a restaurant and juice-bar, featuring lots of healthy options all day long.
On Friday, we stopped by following a canoe trip searching for manatees and alligators (we found neither). I ordered the “Bunny Wrappit” — a healthy wrap consisting of a huge collard green leaf filled with hummus, avocado, tomato, sprouts and cucumber. I simply told them to “hold the cheese” and load up on everything else. A 4-Leaf meal for sure, I could eat that same thing every day for the rest of my life.
Apparently Food and Thought has been an instant hit on Highway 41 on the north side of Naples. From a recent review, they talk about dining outside under the shade of some fabulous trees:
You won’t be disappointed by pre-prepared ‘chain’ meals that you could get anywhere… This is all local flavor selected by owner, Frank Oakes. Some of my favorite dishes are the stuffed eggplant and the spinach pie. In addition to the hot entrees, you can select from variety of sandwiches, salads, smoothies and a fresh juice bar as well.
Perhaps the best reason for stopping in Food & Thought is that the pace slows down and the temperature drops about 10 degrees as you approach the courtyard entrance to the café. Even in the middle of August, when it is 98 degrees and 100% humidity… it is always comfortable to sit in the courtyard and enjoy lunch. I walk away refreshed and recharged.
A man after my own heart, Frank Oakes features one of my favorite Gandhi quotes on his Food and Thought website: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” And Frank is doing just that. As he says, “Our food is 100% organic, 100% of the time—in the market and the cafe. We pick from our own organic farm every morning and source as much local organic produce as possible. No one matches our quality, no one matches our prices and no one matches our service.”
Although I met Frank briefly on Friday, I didn’t have time to talk to him about his own dietary regimen. For all I know, he may be another 4-Leaf eater like me. But he does offer organic meat, dairy, fish and fowl in his store. And whether he eats those products himself or not, he knows that he wouldn’t have a complete food offering for most of his customers without them.
So, if you’re going to eat animal products; this is probably one of the best places in the world to buy them.
Here’s Frank’s goal from his website; it simply doesn’t get any better than this:
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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