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  • Wild Orange Balls

    Wild Orange Balls

    WILD ORANGE BALLS

    These balls are a hit everywhere I bring them. The only modification I make is to serve them with sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter, as the original recipe suggests. (Both options are delicious!)

    Healthy sources of fat and protein, mixed with the sweetness of a raw, local honey is a winning combo - and one you can feel good about!

    I serve them at every essential oils class I teach - and we devour any (if there are any!) leftovers within a day! 

    Ingredients:
    1 cup finely shredded coconut, divided
    1 cup sunflower seed butter
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1/2 cup raw honey
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    2 tablespoons chia seeds
    3 drops Wild Orange essential oil

    Instructions:

    • Combine 1/2 of the coconut and all other ingredients in a larg bowl
    • Roll into balls (about 1-inch in diameter is awesome!)
    • Roll balls into remaining coconut
    • Store in fridge - and enjoy!

    Hope you love the as much as we do!

    -----

    Curious about the versatility of high quality essential oils? It's my passion to share the beautiful and incredibly empowering world of natural health with others. Reach out anytime to learn more! 

  • Pears + Parsnips + Market Love

    Pears + Parsnips + Market Love

    Pears + Parsnips

    What a weekend we had! I'll take all the sunny days I can get before the gray of winter sets in.

    Our normal CSA is gone from the Farmer's Market these days (to return again in the summer), but there are still delicious offerings on hand and several other great farms representing.

    We love to split a cup of Hex Ferments kombucha and indulge in a sweet (or savory) treat from Harmony Bakery. B'more Dills Fresh Pickles are thebomb.com, the Farm to Face Falafel wraps (try yours in a collard) are mouth-wateringly awesome, and the it's nearly impossible to walk by the folks from Locust Point Flowers

    When it's in season, clean, and locally available, we get most of our produce from the Farmer's Market. Otherwise, we generally get it at our local Whole Foods. These ingredients were sourced from both!

    And there really is nothing quite like roasted root vegetables, especially when they're in their prime! This week's recipe is a winner, especially great for those who haven't tried parsnips (I hadn't until a couple years ago), which, it turns out, are super delicious. (Particularly when paired with pears and walnuts!) 

    As the weather turns colder, warm up - and get grounded - with some roasted roots. Comfort food for real:


    Ingredients:

    3 pears, diced
    3 parsnips, peeled and roughly sliced
    3 carrots, roughly sliced
    1 red onion, roughly chopped
    2/3 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
    1 tbsp dried parsley
    1 tbsp dried basil
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1 drop rosemary essential oil or 1/2 tsp of the dried variety
    1 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
    2 tablespoons EVOO

    How To:

    • Preheat oven to 400F
    • Add all ingredients to large bowl and toss to combine thoroughly
    • Spread mixture over parchment-lined baking sheet
    • Bake for 30 minutes
    • Devour

  • Butternut Kale Salad

    Butternut Kale Salad

    I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend. Something's hit me - and it's hanging on tight.

    The good news: I've got everything I need to tackle this thing, and I'm loading up! Garlic and raw honey. Ginger + echinacea tea. My turmeric powerhouse concoction. Miso soup. My oils. And rest!

    The bad news? I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend.
    Wallowing a bit, if I'm being honest.

    I can't smell.
    And I can only partially breathe (through my mouth).

    And I figure maybe if I do basically nothing, my body will have the energy to heal and recover faster.

    But it's getting boring.
    And a little frustrating.
    And: You'd think my aim would've improved by now. But, sadly, you'd be wrong.
    I guess I'm mainly just sort of throwing things in "that general direction" at this point.

    Eddie's away at his annual Alumni Soccer Game (they won!) day-long extravaganza, and our housemates are out, so it's just me here. And as much as I'd love for someone (Mom?) to come take care of me, it's just not gonna happen. 

    I decided it was time for a change of pace.
    (1) I was craving kale (need those healing greens!), and
    (2) it looked gorgeous out. (Figures.)
    Sunshine and fresh air and...kale. All good things.
    And it was up to me to make it happen.

    So I did. 
    I got dressed.
    I tied my hair up in a knot on top of my head.
    And I savored the walk (in the sunshine and the fresh air) to the market.
    It was lovely!

    And then I came home - to make a kale salad.
    I was hoping someone would bring me this one or make me this one.
    But since I never actually communicated that to anyone...
    And since it's just me here...
    I decided to throw something else together.
    And here's what I got:

    It's a winner! So I'm sharing it with you:

    BUTTERNUT KALE SALAD
    Serves 2

    Ingredients 
    4 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
    1 apple, diced small
    1 small-ish butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and diced small
    1 tablespoon olive oil + a drizzle for the diced squash
    2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I like Grade B.)
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon hemp hearts
    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

    How-To

    • Toss diced squash in a light drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and bake at 350F for about 25 mins, until just soft.
    • While the squash bakes, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: Olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
    • In a large bowl, combine kale, apple, baked squash, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and dressing. Toss well to combine.

    Grab a fork and enjoy!

  • How To: Start Eating Clean + Feeling Awesome Again!

    How To: Start Eating Clean + Feeling Awesome Again!

    A few weeks ago, I sent my top five tips for transitioning to cleaner eating to the fine folks over at Jule's Wellness, an awesome Canadian wellness company on a mission to help you feel healthy, strong, and more conscientious in your life. (Love their stuff! I've got my eye on their monthly subscription box!)

    Eating "clean" isn't nearly as complicated as you might think, but with all the different points of view and diets out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused! I know I used to be. 

    It took getting sick (asthma, IBS, allergies, acid reflux, relentless colds), taking a bunch of meds that didn't work, and feeling hopeless, for me to finally find my way.

    And I'm still learning every day! But that's, I'm quite confident, how it's supposed to be.

    The secret?

    There really is no one-size-fits-all diet. Not in my book, anyway. We are all individuals with unique bodies and needs, so it only makes sense that we would need to take a similar approach when it comes to food!

    Here, I'm breaking the whole "eating clean" thing down into five simple steps. Start where you are, and remember: It's not a race. It's a journey.

    The idea here is to do a little better all the time.

    1 - EDUCATE YOURSELF

    I have a Bachelor's in Secondary Education, a Master's in Science, and 5+ years working as a Trauma/Emergency Department registered nurse, and I still had to go back to school to figure all this stuff out!

    Your story, surely, will be different from mine. And I'm not saying you need to do everything I did! But in some form or another, you're going to need to begin to dig a little deeper and explore a little further than what you've always heard about health and wellness. (Hint: Counting calories, buying non-fat, and opting for "magic pills" will not be getting you to where you want to be, my friends. At least not in any lasting way.)

    For me, it all started with the documentary Forks Over Knives. (You might like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead or GMO OMG!) From there, I devoured book after book on the subject of food as medicine. A few early favorites were The Omnivore's Dilemma, Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole, and UnDiet. If you haven't read these yet, I assure you they will shed new light on old "truths". 

    Having experienced what felt like was my own "health miracle", I craved expert guidance, to deepen my understanding of nutrition. And I felt a very clear calling to help others begin to take back their health, too.

    I enrolled in T. Colin Campbell's Plant-Based Nutrition course, followed by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which truly expanded my vision of health (so much more than food!) and taught me the concept of bioindividuality, that what works wonders for one person might not be what's best for another. It was throughout my time at IIN that my vision of health and wellness (and happiness!) began to take shape. 

    If you're anything like me, you'll find that what makes you feel happiest and healthiest may (and likely should!) change over time. Be gentle with yourself as you explore and, ultimately, discover what works best for you. Consider hiring a coach to help you along the way. There is truly something extremely powerful about having a loving, supportive, empowering person in your corner, especially when you're taking on big changes like these.

    2 - THROW AWAY THE CRAP

    As soon as you start re-educating yourself, you'll likely begin to feel like there's a lot in your fridge and pantry (and perhaps hiding under the bed or some other secret stash location?) that simply must go!

    Warning: This could be a little painful. You may want to enlist the help of a supportive friend (maybe after watching one of those awesome documentaries together!), family member, or coach. 

    But, I promise you, this is a critical and crucial part of getting you feeling amazing again!

    You must must must get rid of the bad if you wish to bring on the good. (And I know you do!) If it hurts too much to throw it away, consider donation. Remember: The longer you keep it around, the longer it will take for you to get healthy again! This is something you're going to want to go "all in" on.

    CRAP: I mentioned earlier than I'm of the belief that what's best for me might not be best for you. That being said, my experience and education has taught me that there are a few key offenders that seem to cause a lot of trouble for people. If only for a while, I urge you to consider removing things like dairy, gluten, and processed sugar/sweeteners. Processed anything, really, should go!

    What you want left over is, quite simply, real food. (Not the creations of the food "industry", not those long ingredient lists of unrecognizable items, and definitely not those "fake" and "imitation" animal products laden with processed soy, sodium, and other questionables.)

    3 - REPLACE IT WITH THE GOOD STUFF

    Hint: Good stuff = Real food.

    And here's where it gets fun again! (And the produce department of the grocery store becomes your new best friend!)

    Think seasonal, local, and organic whenever possible.

    Wary about spending more on organics? This little video on The Organic Effect will inspire you to choose "cleaner" options. I also love the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, which help you choose the cleanest options while also being budget-conscious.

    Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is another great tip! (Allows you to skip the a bunch of the processed stuff in the middle sections.)

    A couple of my favorite rules of thumb from Michael Pollan (and your great-grandma) that I like to use are: (1) Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. And I also love Rule No. 19 from his fabulous book Food Rules: (2) If it's a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't.

    Beyond these, if you're eating animals, please be mindful of their source, what they were fed, and how they were raised. Always look for words like pastured, organic, and non-GMO. If you'd like to learn more about conscious "clean" farming, check out the work of Joel Salatin.

    And if you're looking for another all-around excellent guide to help you identify the crap (and get rid of it), check out Meghan Telpner's down-to-earth and inspiring take-back-your-life book UnDiet. You will love it!

    4 - EAT THE GOOD STUFF

    And make it delicious!

    After throwing together random "plants" for a year or so, I realized I should probably actually learn how to cook! As much as I'd always loved food, I'd never really felt comfortable in the kitchen - until I found Meghan Telpner and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.

    Mind = Blown!

    I learned that health-supportive, nourishing, healing food can (and must!) taste mouth-wateringly delicious. And I learned that even I could make amazing food! (This shocked me, I tell ya!)

    I started by just watching her free videos, reading her blogs, and experimenting with some of her recipes, which are - to this day - some of my favorites to recommend to clients, friends, and family!

    If you're not used to cooking with a lot of plants and doing it in a way that is nourishing and healing to the body, just do what I did and start trying out a bunch of different recipes - until you find the ones you looove!

    Over time, as you practice and play and experiment in the kitchen, you'll develop a natural intuition about food and ingredients, and you'll begin to find it easier and easier to throw together something that's both delicious and nutritious for you and your family.

    I've got a bunch of recipes here! A couple other favorites (I have so many) are Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen, Green Kitchen Stories, and Sondi Bruner. Oh - and definitely take some time to browse through all the awesomeness in the Academy of Culinary Nutrition's Top 50 Clean Food Blogs!

    5 - REPEAT (WITH FRIENDS!)

    And there you have it! Educate yourself (lots of great books, documentaries, and classes out there to explore), get rid of the bad (seek support if you need it), bring in the good (lots of plants, think seasonal, local, and organic), make it delicious, and eat it - with friends!

    That's how you transition to cleaner eating. In a nutshell. 

    But the learning doesn't stop there, and there are certainly going to be ups and downs as you find your way. So, I'd like to say a word about your support system. 

    Finding a group of supportive, encouraging, like-minded folks will do wonders for your health, both mental and physical! If you can't find one you love, join mine!

    Making changes to the way you eat isn't always easy. You're going to need to have someone(s) to turn to when you looking for an answer to What the heck do I do with rainbow chard?, or your husband isn't exactly thrilled about your newfound plantiful ways, or you just want something sweet to eat, for God's sake! - but you don't know which ingredients are best.

    Why? Because this is the important stuff. This whole "figuring out what to eat" thing will keep you living and thriving and loving life for a very long time. It's completely changed my life, and I have a feeling it will do the same for you!

    YOUR TURN NOW

    Now it's your turn to share!

    Where are you in this whole process? Wherever you are, I hope you've found something useful here. What's been your biggest takeaway, and where would you like more support?

  • Watermelon Cooler

    Watermelon Cooler

    It's National Watermelon Month! Why not, right? (Thanks Hungry For Change!)

    Don't let that gigantic melon go to waste. Blend it up with a bit of ice and enjoy!

    It's one of my favorite drinks in the summer - and oh-so-easy!

    And did you know you can also blend up the rind? 

    Try adding a spash of lime juice (to taste), ice, and water for a refreshing concoction!

    Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll - it actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline (for a healthy heart, immune system, and beneficial in healing from >100 health conditions) than the pink flesh. #foodasmedicine, y'all.

  • Turn Up The Beet (Chips)

    Turn Up The Beet (Chips)

    This is the simplest recipe ever - and super delicious! Get yourself some beets and throw these together for a snack or a side. Easy peasy.

    Not nearly as good for you as fresh pressed juice, which is what I'd originally intended to do with my beets, but these babies are delicious. A fun treat from time to time!

    Ingredients:
    1 beet
    1 tablespoon healthy cooking oil
    sea salt and ground pepper

    Instructions:

    • Preheat the oven to 385F.
    • Use a mandolin slicer to slice very thin slices of beet.
    • Place the beet slices in a bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of healthy cooking oil. I recommend an oil that can withstand high temperatures, like coconut oil (make sure the beet is room temperature, or the coconut oil will harden when it hits the cold flesh of the beet) or avocado oil.
    • Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, mixing to evenly distribute.
    • Place beets on parchment-lined baking sheet.
    • Bake for 20 minutes, flip each beet, and continue to back for about 10 minutes, checking frequently at the end to avoid burning!

    Enjoy!

  • My Real Food Philosophy

    My Real Food Philosophy

    Food should be real.

    It should be whole and unprocessed, and it should come from the earth. No GMOs. No laboratories. No complicated labels or ingredients. Less is more.

    Grow your own food. If you can’t – find someone who can, naturally. Go to the farm. Meet the farmers. Understand and appreciate the process.

    Eat locally, seasonally, and organic – as much as possible. Eat mindfully and gratefully. Eat with loved ones and new friends. Remove stress from the equation. Eat slowly and peacefully.

    Cook your own food – and do so often. Let the food itself shine through. Appreciate the colors, shapes, smells, and tastes.

    Enjoy your food. Make it beautiful. Take your time.

    Drink water. Skip the coffee. 

    Stick with plants whenever possible. And change things up. Variety is the spice of life.

    Eat animals? Do so consciously – minus the cages, chemicals, drugs, and pain. Choose wisely and with compassion.

    Consider the process. Consider the environment. Consider your health.

    What works for one person may not work for another. Let your body be your guide.

    The healing power of food is undeniable. Got a story? Let’s hear it.

    Learn as much as you can – and keep learning. Share what you’ve learned with others.

    Read the labels. Do your homework. Don’t fall for the advertising. Don’t turn a blind eye. Don’t forget.

    If you know better, do better. Some folks don’t know better. Don’t judge. If you can, help them understand. Empower them.



    If I had to sum up my philosophy *in three words*, I'd say they'd be REAL, FRESH, and PLANT-BASED. What about you?