I am on a journey. It is a journey for life and health, wellness and joy. Like Hippocrates, the ancient physician, I have been learning “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
I recently had the pleasure of getting reacquainted with Ellen Mitchell, the owner of To Better Health, located at 1721-11th Street in downtown Reedley. Ellen and I hadn’t seen each other in probably 30 years, so it was a real treat to talk with her about her store.
It is an open, inviting, and friendly environment for shopping and learning. Yes! Learning! The staff is there to stock shelves, check out customers, and to educate. It is not that everyone knows about everything, but everyone knows how to find the person who knows about the thing you want to know.
“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” - Revelation 22:2
The tree stands at 2139 Kern St. between M and L Streets. Inside the Tree of Life Café are the fruits of many local trees along with other delicacies prepared by Chef Phillip Ocheltree, under the watchful and proud eyes of his parents, Steve and Carolyn.
It is possible to have a Thanksgiving holiday that is a happy, celebratory, feast of laughter, good food, and festivity without damaging your heart, elevating your glucose, or adding inches to your waist. It just takes some thought and planning.
For some years now, I have been exploring the question: How do you eat for health in the Valley?
How do you do it when you have to find a common place to eat with people who have other needs, interests, or tastes? How about the changing demands of your physical condition, which require restrictions, additions, and special considerations and balances?
Manchester Farmer’s Market is a neighborhood venture, created by neighbors who care about their community and are making a difference every week. Manny and Mary Yanez are those two people and, out of their vision, Manny’s need to do something with his time, and Manchester Mall’s welcome to morning walkers, a great venture was launched.
I walked into Raizana Teas and was engulfed in the subtle tranquility of a sensory invitation to partake of real tea in a real tea house, made by someone who really knows tea. Sol Orazco greeted me immediately and soon I was enjoying the best cup of tea I had ever experienced. And I was relaxing.
It just so happens that healthy food not only makes healthy bodies, but making healthy food can keep minds healthy as well.
Among the community gardens in Fresno are some special gardens tended by elders who find peace, serenity, and purpose in the process of growing vegetables. In that same process, they produce food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.
It is a beautiful valley where we live. Can we eat our way to better health here so that we can live in it longer? We have only one life, but we have a multitude of choices that are ours and ours only to make. The basic stewardship of our choices and our bodies will have much to do with enhancing the quality and length of our lives in this lovely place.