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Hi Family,

I was reading and ran across this little article. It has stuck out in my mind because I just finished all that reading about fruits and vegetables and how they affect depression. This is good timing because we learn that we can plant some of those foods that fight depression! Every now and then I promise myself to get on a healthier diet and I do, but then something happens real major and I....fall off the wagon (ouch).

This past month I did so much running around and in the past six months, I have dealt with a few deaths. I have been hanging on and I have to admit that chocolate ice cream and chocolate muffins have helped me (don't laugh) tremendously.

Anyhu - it's time to address the damage that has been done because realizing that my waist has matured more lately, causes frustration and depression and my energy level is not all the way up to its normal range and I'm slow to exercise again. But I'm working on getting back to it as I start transitioning my cabinets and fridge with healthier food choices again.

So, here I am reading this article about First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House garden and I found it amazing that the White House has not had a vegetable garden in over 100 years! WOW! It just seems like there would have been one more frequently than that, but can I blame those past residents? I absolutely love to garden - flower gardens. My reluctance with vegetable gardens is that it will attract beasts and rodents....uh-hmm. So maybe I should just get over it or something. I dunno....

Anyhu - gardening flowers or vegetables and fruits have a major role indealing with depression. The actual act of gardeningis exercise and therapeutic in nature because it allows you to concentrate and provides an opportunity for you to meditate, praise and worship. Gardening is a major priority in my welnness plan. The other thing is that the actual vegetables, herbs, and fruits can aide you in managing depression, too. Did you know that some flowers are edible?

Ok, so why don't you have a vegetable garden? Read what Michelle has to say and then see if you are motivated to plant a garden for yourself or your family. What am I going to do? Well...........I'll tell you later, but happy reading! Smile.

"Sowing the Future From Seeds of the Past"

First lady Michelle Obama got a big assist from local fifth-graders when she planted the White House Kitchen Garden last spring. But you may not know that she had another helper: Thomas Jefferson.

Some White House garden vegetables began as seeds that came from Monticello, the third president's mountaintop home in Charlottesville, Va. Monticello's head gardener provided seedlings for some of Jefferson's favorites, including brown Dutch and tennis ball lettuces, savoy cabbage and prickly seed spinach.

"Thomas Jefferson, more than any one man, changed the way we eat in this country and the way we grow food," said White House assistant chef Sam Kass in a video provided exclusively to AOL News. "When his ambassadors would go out all over the world, he would ask them to bring back seeds."

Jefferson alsochampioned seasonal growing, an idea embraced by the first lady for her year-round garden. "That's really something that people are really coming back to now, and thinking about ways to use the diversity of crops and keep growing throughout the year," Kass said.

Other early presidents, including George Washington and John Adams, were also gardeners. Washington famously refused a third term as president in part because he missed his garden at Mount Vernon. But a vegetable garden has been absent at the White House for decades. The first lady's garden is the first of its kind at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden during World War II.

"When we look back at the records, they had a really tough time getting it established," Kass said of Roosevelt's garden. "In the end it was a plot probably about the size of one bed that we have now." The chef added that the current garden is the first in more than 100 years with the power to feed a good number of people.
Also growing in the 1,100-square-foot garden are broccoli, peas, peppers, collards, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, blueberries and a variety of herbs. The produce feeds the first family and guests at state dinners, and some also goes to a local soup kitchen.

For Mrs. Obama, it was an opportunity not only to improve nutrition for her own family, but to inspire Americans to make better choices with their diets "The garden was something that I always thought about," she said. "I was probably like most busy mothers, you know, a busy working family, and I would find it difficult to feed my family in a healthy way, quickly."

Mrs. Obama said she made an effort to change her family's eating habits during he presidential campaign by adding more fruits and vegetables, cutting down on sugar and processed foods and eating out less. "I saw some really immediate results with just those minor changes," she said. "So I thought, well, if I could help other families learn these small changes in my role as first lady, that would be a good thing."

Mrs. Obama broke ground on the garden on the South Lawn in March with the help of students from Bancroft Elementary School. The children toiled to prepare the soil, working with shovels, pitchforks and wheelbarrows. They returned later for planting and harvesting.

"We wanted the focus to be on kids because you can affect children's behavior so much more easily than you can adults," the first lady said. "I saw that in my own life. My kids jumped on the new routine and didn't miss a beat, and they began to monitor our behavior much more than I would monitor theirs."

Mrs. Obama also emphasized the importance of families sharing meals together at the dinner table. "We've found that we've been able to do that, and part of the message is, if the president of the United States can sit down with his family and have dinner, hopefully more families can find the time to do the same thing."

To date, the White House Kitchen Garden has yielded more than 400 pounds of produce. And plans are in the works to take it to the next level. President Barack Obama recently said he and the first lady are looking to set up a farmers market just outside the White House, which may sell food from the garden and from local farmers.
"The garden is really an important introduction to what I hope will be a new way that our country thinks about food," Mrs. Obama said. "So that's the story of the garden, and it's been quite an amazing success, if I do say so myself."

[Article Taken Directly From AOL Headlines, August 31, 2009]

Do you know what Daniel the biblical character ate that made him different and elevated him to high office by the king?

Evangelist Agnes B. Levine is the Author of the book: "Cooling Well Water: A Collection of Work By An African-American Bipolar Woman" ISBN 13 978-0-9754612-0-4 available on Amazon NOW at www.Amazon.com

2010 Strathmore's Who's Who!
Posted By: agnes levine
Monday, August 31st 2009 at 12:11PM
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