Friday, September 7, 2012

The Last Fresh Factor Post

If you told me two years ago when we moved here that I would become a local food columnist, a farmer's market regular, and a champion of local agriculture, I would have raised an eyebrow and said, "Who, me? Really?"

Last week I submitted my last Fresh Factor post and wrapped up the local produce column I started writing in March. In all, I have submitted some 24 info-packed, photo-decorated articles to the Guam Guide over the past six months. It's nice to know that some of the tips and tricks it took me two years to figure out around here won't all take off with us when we leave in a couple of weeks. It was also fun to learn that the blog has been syndicated in Korean!

But more than that, the Fresh Factor represents what has turned into a fundamental change in how we now approach health and nutrition. My journey to Thailand where I discovered the value of local produce came just weeks before Nick's command brought a paleo expert out to Guam to speak at a family retreat. A year later, we aren't 100% paleo, but we have adopted many of the principles, such as cutting out wheat and much of the dairy we were consuming before... eating whole rather than processed foods. Generally speaking, we eat a lot less fluff and a lot more green stuff.

The biggest difference for me personally, as I've shared with many of you, is that after 20+ years suffering through seasonal allergies, sneezing and popping Sudafed all the time, my allergies have gone away completely. And I am not nearly as prone to getting sick as I was before. This realization was driven home when Nick and I were sorting through all our drawers and cabinets a few weeks ago. I found an unbelievable amount of medicines I'd bought to treat cold and flu symptoms... they had all expired. But more fascinating was the fact that we hadn't needed hardly any of them in the past year. The only medicine I had purchased since changing our diet was one box of Sudafed for a cold that came while I was traveling after Christmas (and also, coincidentally, after not eating so well during the holidays). That's it.

I took a picture of the medicine because at the time of this discovery, I was filled with so much gratitude for how healthy we have been (I hesitate to write that in case it's an omen to jinx us). To me all of this medicine represents how many times we could have been sick but weren't. And how simple it was to take a major variable out of the health equation simply by eating less crap (and understanding what "crap" is disguised as). It's so obvious that the way to better health is through diet and exercise. The trick is I thought I'd been eating healthy all along until the very principle of what is healthy was redefined.

So without further adieu, here's the final post for the Fresh Factor, which features a weekly calendar spelling out where to go on any particular day to find the good, fresh stuff around here... and a soursop smoothie recipe. I am so glad I had this opportunity to get out in the community more, to tour farms, to try so many tropical flavors, to meet more of Guam's kind and caring local people. There are so many things about this place I feel like I am just starting to figure out right as we're packing our bags.


  1. Wow! I am so inspired by your improved health! I'm inspired enough to start eating better myself!!

  2. I love hearing about how Paleo changed your life! It is incredible how eating a certain way...the "redefined way" of healthy, is life changing. I am heading to read your Fresh Factor post now :) I dream of eating what we ate in Thailand and cooking with all those fresh, inexpensive, organic ingredients.

  3. Isn't it incredible how much a change in diet can do? Crazy! Now, I'm off to read your last Fresh Factor post and cry quietly into my glass of wine...

  4. Replies
    1. Why yes it is! Pretty much all of the recipes I have posted for the Fresh Factor were secretly paleo :)


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