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Eat Seasonally

Whether it's summer or not, it’s still may be a perfect time to check out your local farmer’s market or other local shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.

By Marni Sumbal

farmer's market signMy summer grocery budget is a lot higher than my winter budget. With an emphasis on plant-based, wholesome foods, I find myself splurging on the wonderful assortment of summer fruits and veggies. I love summer fruits!

I recently created a pamphlet for the University of North Florida where my preceptor and I did a cooking demo for the back-to-school weekend. We fed students (and parents) raw and rice/bean wraps.

Inside my pamphlet, called "Powerful Nutrition from the Garden," I included a season guide for fruits and veggies. I also included 10 great benefits of supporting farmer’s markets and eating locally. 

Did you know that a typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table?

Top 10 benefits of farmers’ markets

  1. Reduced need for packaging.
  2. Direct contact and feedback between customer and producer on produce and prices.
  3. Avoiding the middleman increases financial returns for local growers.
  4. Improve diet by providing access to fresh and wholesome food.
  5. Source of information on fresh ingredients.
  6. Reduce food miles (ex. vehicle pollution, noise and fossil fuel use).
  7. Encourage environmentally safe production practices (ex. organic or pesticide free).
  8. Encourage social interaction.
  9. Stimulate local economic development by increasing employment.
  10. Fresh food tastes good! 

Here's a great website to answer all your fruit and veggie questions (with a season fruit and veggie list): Fruits and Veggies More Matters 

salad I was inspired to put together a wonderful salad on behalf of some of the many lovely fruits and veggies that I enjoy in the summer. Try them today! 

Kiwi Green Salad 

  • Kiwi 
  • Green Pepper 
  • Spinach 
  • Carrots 
  • Tomato 

salad Berry Almond Salad 

  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Chives 
  • Spinach 
  • Purple Onion 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Sliced Almonds 
  • Shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella)


Marni Sumbal holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and is certified in adult weight management by the American Dietetic Association. Marni is a Level I USAT coach and is currently pursuing a registered dietician degree. She is a Hammer sponsored athlete, 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship finisher and just finished her third IM, the Ford Ironman Louisville Triathlon on August 30, 2009, with PR of 10 hours and 54 minutes. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing. She has several published articles in Hammer Endurance News, Cosmo Girl and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to and You can check out her blog at

1) Pirog, Rich, and Andrew Benjamin. "Checking the Food Odometer: Comparing Food Miles for Local Versus Conventional Produce Sales in Iowa Institutions." Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, July 2003. 

2) Certified Farmers’ Market. Retrieved Aug 8, 2010 from