On Saturday the 11th of March we held our annual Ballinasloe Fit Town farm walk and nutritional talk with our nutritionist this year Bridget Wing from the Mind Body Wellness Clinic in Orantown Centre, Oranmore. (Bridget is also an expert in childrens’ nutrition and functional sports nutrition. It was a very interesting, educational and healthy walk around the farm with a discussion on all aspects of nutrional and dietary advice for health and wellbeing.
The weather was glorious as the group walked around red and white cabbage, curly, red, and hertiage kale, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach, leek, salad leaf and parsley crops; while Bridget advised on how best to prepare and cook these vegetables and why they are so beneficial in our diets. Padraig explained to the gardening enthusiasts taking part about how we grow vegetables, and Una was also on hand to talk about growing on a small scale in a kitchen garden and companion planting (growing flowers and herbs beside veg to attract beneficial insects.)
This is a lean time of the year for Irish seasonal veg but Bridget and Una discussed the tradition of eating nettle soup from now until the end of May which is very nutritious and could be called medicinal as it is full of iron vitamins and minerals and can keep coughs and colds at bay for the year. Taking leaves off and not using the stalk is important and wearing gloves while picking it too of course! It also helps to have a nice tasty stock to improve the flavour or simply add some other mixed veg to the recipe. We will have a lovely vietnamese noodle soup recipe to follow on the blog that you could add some nettle to!
The visiting group then went to the farm packhouses and w and discussed everything from avocadoes to yams (sweet potatoes) and how much of these delicious foods we should be eating to keep in good health. Fruit was also discussed with tips about ripe kiwis being great for constipation, among other things.
Bridget explained that with brassicas (the cabbage/broccoli/kale family of vegetables) the more you cook them the different nutrients they release. If you very slightly steam them and they are crunchy they release vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants and if you cook them a little more they release a different set of nutrients. It is important of course not to over cook them and kill all of the nutrients! And no one likes overcooked brussel sprouts! This was just one of the educational tips she gave the group as we walked around.
Bridget gives one to one consultations in her clinic in Oranmore and will advise on how to deal with all sorts of health issues with diet plans which include herbs, veg, fruit and all other foods in the diet.
Veg boxes are available via the website here. First time customers can avail of a “five for four” offer (five €20 boxes for the price of four -€80) There is no longer term commitment necessary however, and you can order a one off custom (pick your own contents) box.