Whether You're a Mother or Whether You're a Brother

You could use some handy tips for staying alive this week, all involving our own Bellevue Farmers Market.

1. Pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables. According to Consumer Reports, local produce is higher in nutrients than long-distance goods.

2. Try a vegetable you've never had before. Yeah, we all get stuck in ruts. In our family it's green beans one night, broccoli another, spinach salad every other night. Our creative farmers not only grow familiar favorites, but things you didn't know you could eat! Take, for example, the squash blossoms and vines I saw at one booth. It turns out that tender young squash shoots and tendrils taste a little like peas. As always, if you don't know what it is or how to prepare it, ask the farmer.

3. Stock up on salmon and tuna. Especially if you've been feeling dumb lately. Because, as the NY Times concurred, "Fish is brain food." I even have anecdotal proof for you, from which I wildly extrapolate: when I was prepping to go on Jeopardy!, I studied and downed fish/fish oil like there was no tomorrow. I still got totally creamed, but I did manage to beat my young son at the card game Concentration for the only times ever.

4. Get some grass-fed beef and dairy products. The BFM has beef, eggs, cheese, butter, milk--the works! Red meat and dairy get bad press occasionally, but keep in mind they are always referring to your standard, agro-industrial, feedlot products. Pastured products are leaner, higher in Omega-3s and Vitamin E, and contain magical CLA, a cancer-fighter. Check this site for the gory details.

5. Get something for nothing. By which I mean, grab some free samples (though you'll most likely be wowed into buying) and sit in on the week's chef demo, Bradley Dickinson of Bellevue's Pearl. Dickinson thinks local, delicious and creative, as he explains in my interview with him on Bellevue.com.

6. And finally, show a little gratitude and buy someone some flowers. A couple Thanksgivings ago I read a handy little book on the health benefits of gratitude. Forgot the title of course, but I remember that studies have shown people who practice gratitude have measurably higher levels of well-being and fewer symptoms of physical illness. So think of someone you appreciate and pick up a bouquet for them this week. Not only will you help your health and your relationship, you'll also be giving our flower farmers a hand. It's been a tough weather year, as the Seattle Times pointed out, and we marketgoers are grateful for the bright spots of joy their flowers provide.