Al fresco, meaning “in the cool” or “in the open air” is by far our favorite way to dine at home. There isn't much (except for maybe a storm) that will drive us indoors for a meal during spring, summer or fall. Nothing can replace fresh air or a cool breeze while we eat and birdsong is always the best accompaniment to any meal by far!
As we come out of this global pandemic there are hopefully a few things that we will take with us to better our lives. One of them would be spending more time out of doors. I learned, recently, a startling statistic. The average American spends over 90% of their lives indoors! I was so sad to hear this. How much can our health, both physical and mental, be improved if we change that pattern? It is such an easy and joyful life change to make and the benefits from time outdoors are well proven.
First and most importantly, it lifts your mood. Sunlight has an enormous effect on our mental well-being. Just a few meals outside every week can help lift spirits and contribute to a much more positive attitude. The vitamin D production that occurs when we expose ourselves to sunlight is extraordinarily important to our physical health. It does everything from building strong bones to strengthening our immune system.
Another major reason to spend time outside is the effect it has on our blood pressure and heart rate. It reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The extra exposure to sunlight lowers our cortisol production...a major player when it comes to disease. Cortisol is also lowered when we decrease our stress levels. And that, of course, is another thing that happens as we enjoy unplugged time outside...we destress!
Nature is soothing and just being in it calms anxiety. That is a wonderful health benefit we could all use during these uncertain times. Lastly, an hour or two outside has been proven to raise our energy levels and clear our thinking. Consider how much more productive we could be with a boost to our energy and a decluttering of our multi-tasking brains!
John and I plan to spend every moment we can outside, working on the homestead, hiking, canoeing and eating and resting. And with these thoughts in mind we plan to resume our catering work this month as well. We have always loved our outdoor events the best when it comes to our business. We enjoy meeting the unique challenges each new setting creates and seeing how creative our clients can be when they have the entire outdoors as the backdrop for their festivities. So, when the governor announced yesterday that restrictions on outside gatherings were being lifted, we celebrated here in the Green Cart Kitchen! It meant our clients can now begin planning their summer parties and our couples who are having outdoor weddings can proceed with their arrangements! And we are just as excited as they are!
So, as we begin again and see the enjoyment our customers get from a lovely rustic table set out under a blue sky. We hope you take some time and host a party or dinner too! We look forward to cooking for you!
Now get outside!