Yesterday, I finally got my solar panels installed on my roof. It feels good to use renewable energy in the form of sunshine to power my home. I live in Las Vegas and we’ve got plenty of sun!
I have been trying to do things around my home to be more energy efficient. You know, do my part in helping our big planet stay green. I have paid for a large recycling bin as part of my trash service, installed low flow shower heads and xeriscaped my yard, which means little to no watering needed.
I think we are all trying to do our part to be responsible when it comes to treading lightly on the environment. The small changes I’ve made around my home got me thinking about the food I feed my family. I try to offer healthy options when I cook at home but I am wondering if delivery and restaurant options exist that tread a little lighter on the Earth.
Environmentally Friendly Restaurant Chains
I discovered there are other restaurant options that use environmentally friendly practices when choosing their ingredients and packaging, outside of the typical fast food delivery options. These restaurants are “Whole Foods Restaurants” and make a conscious effort to provide whole food ingredients to help reduce the impact they have on the environment. Ori’Zaba’s has taken this approach to heart, going so far as to eliminate freezers from their restaurant kitchens.
To put it in simple terms, a “Whole Foods Restaurant” is one that:
- Uses mainly fresh, not frozen ingredients
- Does not serve heavily processed foods
- Produces less waste by using whole foods
What are Whole Foods?
So now that I figured out what a whole food restaurant is, I launched into discovering what is “whole food.” I mean isn’t everything we eat considered food? And it’s usually whole, I get a whole burrito, a whole entire burger and a whole plate of french fries. I quickly discovered I have lots to learn!
Whole foods by definition are:
- Close to their natural form as possible
- Use little to no processing between the earth and my plate
- Packed with natural nutrients
Examples of whole food items easily purchased at the grocery store include:
- Grains: Wheat, wholegrain rice, quinoa, rolled oats, farro, barley
- Beans & Legumes: Lentils, Kidney Beans, Chickpeas, Split peas, Black Beans
- Nuts & Seeds (no salt): peanuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Fruits & Vegetables: all of them!
All of the fresh vegetables and herbs used at Ori’Zaba’s are hand chopped every day.
Fresh pots of black beans are seasoned and simmered with spices and served fresh. These foods are as close to their natural states as when they were harvested from the land.
Now I know why the last time I sipped an Ori’Zaba’s Agua Fresca, it tasted like the fruit was picked directly from the tree or plant. Whole, fresh pineapple, strawberries, mint and spinach, to name a few ingredients, are chopped fresh to make these whole food beverages; nothing is from concentrate, nothing is thawed from a frozen state.
I love the idea of feeding my family whole, healthy ingredients in their meals. When I can choose restaurant meals that my kids love and are made with fresh, unprocessed ingredients, I feel like a good parent and I need all the parenting props I can get!
Whole foods restaurants are good for my family, my waistline and my parenting mojo, so now to discover how they are also good for the planet. Our next blog will dive into how a whole foods restaurant benefits my community and the environment. Seems like a double win!