North Andover Farmers Market

farmers market healthy fruits and vegetables


10:00AM TO 1:00PM


Top Ten Reasons to Visit the North Andover Farmers Market

  1. The North Andover Farmers Market has over 20 vendors. You can find vegetables, fruit, seafood, meat, bread, cheese, baking mixes, granola, jams, spices, olive oil, chocolate, mushrooms, honey, flowers, candles and soap.

2. Not only are there 20 vendors at the Farmers Market but there is also entertainment which can vary from a friendly alpaca to a melodic harpist. It’s a fun, active and educational family activity. Kids can choose their favorite foods and mingle with other families. There are also always lots of pets enjoying the stroll.

3. Not only is there entertainment at the Farmers Market but the vegetables and fruits displayed are fresher than their supermarket counterparts. You’ll be able to see first-hand what’s in season, and to buy it at its peak fresh from the farm. The farmers at the market often carry heirloom varieties of your favorite vegetables. There is a wide variety to choose from. Supermarket produce has shipped long-distance, been stored and sometimes gassed to simulate ripening.

4. Not only is the produce fresher at the Farmers Market but it is also better for your health because it hasn’t been waxed, gassed or irradiated. Supermarket fruits and vegetables can have pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. They are sometimes genetically modified.

5. Not only are the fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market fresher and healthier than most, they are also better tasting and looking than your run of the mill supermarket ones!!

6. It’s totally worth it to go to the farmers market in order to get fresher, healthier, better tasting produce. In addition, you can go to the Farmers Market to get some fresh air and exercise ( it sure beats the chore of going to a crowded store!)

7. Farmers markets are great for better produce, entertainment and for fresh air and exercise. They also allow you to connect with your community. It’s a great way to meet other health-minded and conscientious individuals in your town.

8. You can attend the farmers market for great food, entertainment, exercise and to socialize. Another reason to go is to support your local farmers. US food production is dominated by agri-business. It is difficult for small farms to compete, and yet they are critical to our well being. Any time a farmer can sell directly to us, it’s beneficial. Many farmers and their staff will be happy to give you great meal prep, storage and cooking tips as well.

9. The Farmers Market allows you to support your local farmers. In addition, going there helps you to protect the environment. Agri-business taxes natural resources, causes pollution and requires extra packaging. Much of the produce we find in supermarkets travels 1500 miles or more. Our air, land and water are polluted by their toxic by-products. Most small farms minimize the impact of their crops on the environment, and are humane to their animals.

10. Go to the North Andover Farmers Market for a variety of products, for entertainment, for the best produce, to interact with your community, to support local farmers, to protect the environment AND to receive your free in-person or virtual workout at Golden Home Fitness which is just a block away at School and Main!

Northandoverfarmersmarket.org; cuesa.org; farmersmarketcoaliton.org

Your Second Brain

your gut is your second brain

What if I told you that your gut is your second brain?  Your gut and brain communicate through your nervous system, immune system and hormones.  When you’re in “fight or flight” mode, your gut stops or slows digestion.  This is to save energy for self-defense.  “Butterflies in your stomach” result from being excited or nervous.  Similarly, gastrointestinal issues can make you anxious or depressed.

What Is Your Second Brain Made Of?

Your gut includes your esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, gallbladder, liver and pancreas.  There are 39 trillion viruses, fungi and bacteria living in these organs.  These harmful or beneficial cells comprise your microbiome.

How Do Your Brain and Gut Communicate?

Your brain is connected to your gut through the vagus nerve.  Neurotransmitters and hormones pass messages back and forth. Together your brain and gut control your mood, immune response, heart rate and digestion.

Why Is A Healthy Diet Important?

Because your gut is your second brain, it is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet.  A plant-based diet with few refined carbs and little or no red meat is optimal for your microbiome.  Eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fish is beneficial.  This will ensure that your microbiome is healthy and diverse.  Avoiding processed foods, sugar, soft drinks and fried foods is best. 

A nutritious diet is important for your immunity.  Your microbiome regulates your immune response.  When your gut is happy, there is positive feedback to your brain.  When your gut is upset, it can cause negative thoughts and emotions.

How Can You Make Sure Your Second Brain Is Happy?

Make sure to include prebiotics and probiotics in your diet.  Prebiotics are foods which help the good bacteria in your gut grow.  They include onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus, tomatoes, apples and berries.  Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria found in certain foods.  These foods include apple cider vinegar, miso soup and yogurt.

Prebiotic and probiotic supplements are also available.  Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your microbiome.  For this reason, it is important to use them only when necessary.

Why Is a Healthy Microbiome Important?

Eating a balanced diet and limiting antibiotics can prevent gut inflammation.  Why is this important?  Your microbiome determines whether you become anxious, depressed or tired. It also determines your response to pain.  New research focuses on the link between your microbiome and heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.  

What you eat affects your gut and your brain.  Relaxation techniques, such as exercise and meditation, also benefit both your gut and your brain.  Stress, anxiety and depression can begin in either of your “brains” and be communicated to the other.  Physicians are treating mental health and gastro-intestinal illnesses in more and more interconnected ways.

Your gut and brain work together to regulate your health and wellbeing.  Together they control your mood, energy, metabolism and immunity.  While it is becoming more and more apparent, we have always known it.  That’s why we say “it takes guts”,  “follow your gut” or it was a “gut-wrenching” experience.

For optimal health, you need to listen to your microbiome as well as your mind.  Working together, your brain and gut are a most powerful source of well-being. The Fitness Coaches at Golden Home Fitness can help tailor a diet and exercise program that works best for you. For your free in-person or virtual workout click here.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hopkinsmedicine.org;  mhanational.org;  frontiersin.org;  health.harvard.edu;  my.clevelandclinic.org;  sciencefocus.com;  sciencedirect.com

Tom Brady’s Winning Edge

Tom Brady
Tom Brady’s Winning Edge

There is much to be learned from the GOAT

Tom Brady’s winning edge can teach us a lot about how to take care of ourselves. If you want to stay young, have more energy and live longer, just do what Tom Brady, arguably the greatest football player of all time, does. As you may already know, Brady does not train the same way most professional athletes do. And yet the age-defying athletic edge he has achieved is undeniable. It’s hard to believe that Tom was once told he didn’t have the “right body for football”. The take-away is that only YOU can decide what you can achieve, and if you want it enough to make it happen. Making some of the lifestyle choices Brady has made is sure to help us achieve our fitness goals.

YOU vs. Time

Tom Brady’s Winning Edge: Tom’s unbeatable strategies off the field can work for you too

MINDSET A positive mindset is the first step, and the most important action you can take. If you can visualize it, you can achieve it.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Move at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. Balance conditioning, strength and flexibility. Brady’s workouts include lunges, squats, planks and shoulder exercises. He combines strength and cardio in high-intensity workouts using resistance bands.

BRAIN EXERCISES Tom performs cognitive exercises following his strenuous physical workouts. Neuroplasticity creates new connections in your brain, and can be enhanced with training. This allows you to continue to learn and remember as you age. Like our muscles, the more we train our brains, the more developed and capable they become.

PROPER NUTRITION Tom Brady’s winning edge is due, in large part, to the superfoods he eats. A whole food diet with lots of protein and fiber keeps you healthy and full of energy. Brady gets 80 percent of his nutrients from vegetables, whole grains and beans, and twenty percent from fish, seafood and lean meats.

What do you eat on a typical day if you’re the GOAT? You might have a pre-workout blueberry banana smoothie, and eggs with avocado for breakfast. Lunch would likely be a salad with fish. Snacks could include hummus, guacamole or mixed nuts. And for dinner you would feast on roasted vegetables and chicken.

Tom’s diet does NOT include: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, MSG, coffee, alcohol, GMO’s, sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats or highly processed foods. Eat locally-sourced, organic whole foods for optimal health.

HYDRATION Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily, and add electrolytes so that it is fully absorbed.

OPTIMAL SLEEP A good night’s sleep allows your muscles to recover, regulates your hormones and improves brain function. Try not to eat within 3 hours of bedtime. Tom generally gets 9 hours of sleep a night.

KEEP FAST-TWITCH MUSCLE FIBERS IN WORKING ORDER Do high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance band exercises. This will make you stronger. It will also improve your range of motion and mobility.

PLIABILITY Tom Brady’s winning edge is due, in part, to his method of keeping muscles soft and supple rather than rigid. Working on your flexibility leads to better athletic performance, strength, agility and recovery. Resistance band training, foam rolling and deep tissue massages all improve your natural “pliability”.

SUPPLEMENTS (if needed) Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, Zinc, vitamin C, Prebiotics and essential fatty acids.

If you want to look and feel much younger than your years, following Tom’s lead is a sure-fire strategy. We can’t all be the GOAT but we can be healthy and fit if we work out, eat right and have a positive mindset. Why not learn from Tom Brady’s winning edge strategies? Golden Home Fitness can set you on the right path.


Endnotes: tb12sports.com; verywellfit.com; www.sportscasting.com; manofmany.com; cnbc.com; jackedgorilla.com; The TB12 Method, How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, Tom Brady, 2017

Try Five a Day

People Who Eat Five Fruits and Vegetables a Day Live Longer

Recent research confirms that those of us who eat five fruits and vegetables a day live longer. The bad news is that only one in ten of us actually hits that mark. The good news is that we can prevent major chronic diseases if we try a little harder.

Benefits of Five a Day

How can we prevent life’s major chronic diseases if we try a little harder?  People who eat five fruits and vegetables a day have: a 13 percent lower risk of death, 12 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke, 10 percent lower risk of cancer and 35 percent lower risk of dying from a respiratory disease. Those of us who eat five fruits and veggies a day are also less likely to get diabetes.

Not only can five a day protect us from disease but it can also help us look and feel our best.  The ideal balance for the five a day rule is three veggies and two fruits, with each portion equaling about 80 grams. A serving size is equal to two cups of raw leafy veggies, 1 cup of any other vegetables, one whole fruit or a cup of cut-up fruit (about the size of a fist).

Variety is the Spice of Life

While it’s good to have a sense of what a portion size is, we should note that eating five a day doesn’t mean eating five bananas.  It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as they each offer different benefits. Vegetables and fruit help to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure. They can help us lose and maintain weight. 

Not only can fruits and veggies help us with our weight but they can also help us avoid disease.  If you want to optimize your nutrition, carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, berries and citrus are some of your best bets.

While carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, berries and citrus are excellent choices, there is more than one way to get five a day.  There are many simple ways to make sure you get your daily servings. Perhaps the easiest is adopting Harvard Medical School’s “Healthy Eating Plate”. All you have to do is dedicate half of each plate you eat to fruits and veggies.

Filling half of your plate with fruits and veggies guarantees five a day success.  Another way to get five a day is to make a point of eating one or two fruits or vegetables with every meal.

Making a mental note of eating a fruit or vegetable or two every time you eat becomes second nature.  You can experiment with new fruits and vegetables each week to add variety to your menus. If you or your kids are picky, fruits and vegetables can be blended into sauces, stews or smoothies.

Five a Day Tips for Success

Use applesauce instead of oil when baking
Cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, nuts and nut butters pair great with fruit
Grated carrots or blended roasted vegetables can be added to tomato sauce
Fruit salads are great for breakfasts, sides and desserts
Buy pre-chopped veggies and fruit,
or chop them when you get home so they’re always ready to go
Start your meals with vegetable soup or salad                                                                                            Add dates or apricots to rice dishes                                                                                                          Snack on wasabi peas, frozen grapes, edamame or kale chips
Freeze banana slices, add milk and blend them into “nice cream”                                                            The Health Coaches at Golden Home Fitness can provide you with a foolproof nutrition                    and training program.  For your free virtual or in-person Golden Home Fitness training session        click here.

Getting five servings of fruits and vegetables takes effort, but the health benefits are bountiful.  We hope  you reap all the magnificent rewards of a life focused on health and fitness. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Consumer.healthday.com; healthline.com; health.harvard.edu; webmd.com; kidshealth.org; www.heart.org; sciencedaily.com



five a day