Tag Archives: nutrition

Healing

13321690_10208802052743775_4565786660574122146_n

Healing is a hands on adventure.

It expands from an up and down tumultuous nature to a deep pulling of self, turning you inside out, a wave curling over the shore over, and over again. Always returning to its source.

Through our experiences and the people me meet, we are prompted to change, to shed our layers-over and over again.

In the specific realm of Connected Kitchen, speaking of body and food-to love one’s body, to hear its messages, you must embody your body. Allowing your breath to literally pull you back into your self. To experience the raw format of your experiences, emotions, without the man-made complexities.

To do this we can do many things: vocalize/sing/communicate with our speech via our tongues and vocal chords and teeth or with hands to write or type. Mastering something, moving things/our bodies/, creating and making or crafting. Working with plants, gardening, enjoying eating or preparing a meal. All of this is expressing the power of what it is to be in a human body, which means to be able to learn and apply and educate ourselves, constantly.

To reach the root of our healing, its helpful to detach from our mental chatter and the pelting messages of our reflections of self and who we think we are in relation to other people and how this and that looks and where we’ll be tomorrow in relation to what we did today-

It goes on and on and it exhausts us-if we sink into now, all the possibilities of the chance of the present  without all these attachments, much more opportunity to access our pure being exists. We can better listen to the messages of who we are individually and how we have been expressed into this world.

Nutrition and access to simple food is part of what heals us. Sometimes it can be the first step. A diet of food that is full of vitality and directly accessed from earth gets us there. Simple fruits and vegetables as they are picked oxygenate and move blood, our digestion, our lympathic system. We can clear the pathways for messages to be better received by our bodies-the main centers being heart, mind, and gut (intuition), in choosing this kind of food. This allows clearer thought, and greater capacity to give and receive.

2 Comments

Filed under Advice, Creative Writing, Uncategorized

Fall Feels

There is something so nostalgic and delicious about fall. Warm meets cold-the juxtaposition is everywhere. From the golden, firey hues in the trees amongst the cold snap in the air and the magical light cast before end of day which is clipping in closer to the afternoon hour more and more with each passing month…
IMG_1458
IMG_1461
I love going to the apple orchard right before it’s too late. The trees are a bit scraggly and its colder and less family fun friendly but I love it. It’s more of a challenge as I peek and pear through apple tree rows and grab the remaining happy apples off the branches and also crouch to the ground to rescue those that have fallen, having reached their perfect ripeness and are so bright and vibrant against the leaf covered ground. I almost feel more gratification in hunting down these tiny gems than plucking a shining-apple-star from the tree. I guess I have a thing for food misfits.

I also found a healthy bounty of purslane at the base of a witchy looking tree (laden with deep red-purple apples and intertwined with the black heads of past summer flowers) which I started picking away at to rinse and take home to chop up for salads or saute with other greens. A fresh, succulent/aloe vera tasting weed which is a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
IMG_1462
Raspberries seemed to be quite abundant this year and also doing well much longer than I anticipated-I was pleasantly surprised to find these little beauties still clinging on. Such delicate, precious jewels autumnal raspberries are.
IMG_1467
IMG_1468
On the way back from this adventure, I spotted an autumn olive branch dripping with berries on the route home. Pulled over, I’m stripping the branches like there’s no tomorrow and end up with almost 10 pounds it seemed (a soup pot full to be exact…). To those who honked-do you love autumn olives too?

With that loot I made a tasty cinnamon, vanilla bean, autumn olive jam. At first I thought I could keep the seeds and pulp in (since eating the berry whole, I didn’t mind the fibrous matter) but it proved to be unpalatable when all simmered down. That lead me to then strain through a sieve and start over. No big deal because the end product is just as I’d hope. The color is so opaque it reminds me of a hue you’d find at a makeup counter rather than in nature.
IMG_1469 IMG_1486
There is nothing like the light of the fall season. I feel a slight sense of overwhelm and panic in the September-November months as each day goes by; I worry I’m not seizing enough, drinking enough of the colors in or breathing that sweet fallen leaf/plant passing on aroma. With the end of the season, I know, I will also feel another wave of excitement in embracing the changes of winter. Of bundling up against fire and tucking in to velvety meals and imbibing what makes your core feel warm and whole. Best of all, sharing this all with people you love. The abundance of the fall  invigorates and inspires so I’m setting the intention to stock up on the riches of these days to call upon in the coming cold days.
IMG_1465

Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition

How I Move

IMG_1341

More than anything, what I want to share and teach is how to take care of yourself. What I really want to share, rather than a quantified recipe, is how I move in the kitchen.

I want to show you how nothing turns into something. For you to feel the satisfaction of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and replenishing your energy stores (perhaps a bit of your soul stock too). I’m brainstorming how to do this but perhaps sharing dinner stories if how I will manage!

When it seems like there is more appeal in giving up on the effort all together-I will make you something nourishing. There is (almost) always the ability to generate a meal. First matter in being able to do this, as I understand, is the knowledge of what to have brought in to your space in the first place.

Always have vegetables on hand. Keep carrots, potatoes, and frozen vegetables-these can all easily become the foundation for a meal; stir fry, curries, omelet dinners, roasted with garlic, gratins. Green things like broccoli and kale have a tendency to stick around for a while too; I do not fear using broccoli gone a little yellow at the top or kale a little wilted. Saute, do not throw away.

Never underestimate the power of the vegetable to uplift your dinner plate and make you feel more balanced. These items can be finagled into many interesting things and will suit one scrappy recipe or another.

Know how to make soup. It is the most forgiving and the most comforting thing in the world. I think there’s some kind of magic in that combination. The other night, all seemed barren and I managed to turn some of the items mentioned above into a lovely blend-carrots, an onion, garlic, a bag of frozen butternut squash and a small apple was simmered until soft in enough water just to cover. With the help of an immersion blender and a general dose of sea salt and a small administration of oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary (the poultry seasonings), we had a meal to sit down to. Alongside some balsamic roasted mushrooms, red onion, and broccoli. All topped with cumin roasted chickpeas at your discretion (like vegetables, a nice stock of various legumes is a nice option for a animal protein-less night).

I’ve been enjoying everything simplified lately, but I still love my super food add-ins. My latest tip is to blend a tablespoon of grass-fed collagen powder into a hot soup for an extra nourishing protein and gut healing boost. Functional nutrition and satisfaction, yes please!

3 Comments

Filed under Advice, Soups & Stews, Veggies

4 Changes: Feel Better in a Week

waterAs the weather gets warmer, and things start blooming and getting green around us, it’s only natural to want to start looking into ways to feel our best so we can match the fresh environment.

The start of a new season is a great time to reevaluate, reflect and recharge with new habits and intentions.

These four recommendations are sure to kickstart your vitality and surely, if done daily, make you feel better in a week’s time.

1/ WATER

-Water is critical to having energy and fueling all of your body’s processes and functions. It hydrates you and cleanses your organs and helps all of your system do it’s job.
-First thing in the morning, aim to drink about 16 oz of water. Doing this guarantees you some hydration for the day, is cleansing and revitalizing and cleans up the general waste your body has created overnight from detoxifying, digesting, etc.
-Also consider your water source. Filtered water is great if you have access to it; filtering out flouride and chlorine that is so prevalent in the water supply is beneficial.
-Flavor your water with fresh citrus, berries, or herbs (or combinations of all 3!) overnight if drinking water feels too plain for you. Experiment with herbal teas or carbonated/artifical sweetener free seltzer drinks.

2/ EAT YOUR GREENS

-Aim to get in 2-3 servings of green, non starchy vegetables a day, or at LEAST aim for one daily. This can be in the form of kale, collards, spinach, romaine (all leafy greens), snap peas, alfalfa sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts (all cruciferous vegetables).
-Greens are super nutritious and dense with phytonutrients, vitamins & minerals. They are a great way to help cleanse and give the body the nutrition it craves.
-If you struggle eating green vegetables, consider that they will take on whatever flavor you use in preparing them. They are so many kale salad and green smoothie recipes out there that this shouldn’t be an issue, rather a fun time to experiment with new recipes and feel great about doing so.

3/ REDUCE the amount of PASTERURIZED DAIRY and general PROCESSED foods you consume

-These things are highly acidic in the body and contribute to the general congestion, energy depletion, and nutrient deficiencies that contribute to the manifestation of disease. Pasteurized dairy (yogurts, ice creams, milk) has no enzymes to assist in its digestion therefore the body leaches minerals from the bones to do so.  Raw dairy on the other hand (if you have access to it), is highly nutritious and is rich is all essential amino acids, enzymes and has bioavailable protein. Try raw goat or cow’s milk cheese (available at Trader Joe’s I believe!)
-When you find yourself reaching for the dairy in your diet, consider the option you could have instead. Coconut or almond based products are prevalent and a delicious change of pace.
-Replace processed or packaged foods with fresh ones. Fruit is nature’s fast food; hard boiled eggs, hard veggies (celery, carrots, snap peas), nuts & seeds make great on the go snacks

4/INCREASE HEALTHY FATS

-Gone are the days of fat being equated with poor health and disease. Mainstream media is now embracing saturated fat (from healthy animals, avocado, coconut oil, grassfed butter) as healthful; it is immune and cognitive function boosting as well as supportive and crucial to  many other bodily processes. Cardiovascular disease has never been explicitly connected to increased saturated fat intake. Check out Mark Sisson’s write up for a comprehensive scoop on saturated fat.
-Coconut oil is one example of an amazing saturated fat. Incorporating daily into your diet is awesome for the skin, immune system, and metabolism. It is a source of quick energy and is antifungal making it great for combating any gut bacteria issues. Start cooking with it for any time you are using high heat.
-1 tsp of coconut oil is an easy addition to tea or coffee (stir in 1 tsp to get the boost!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Nutrition

How to Build a Plate

This is just a quick peek into how I eat, and what I think about when constructing my plate. It basically goes something like this:

1/ Protein:  a nice quality egg is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Get a farm raised chicken egg and take a good look at how different the color and integrity of the yolk is vs. commercial eggs. Much deeper orange aka more nutrition and higher standing yolk, a sign of a healthy/fresh egg. I also really like grass-fed beef right now in the colder months. If you’re unable to get organic or grass-fed animal products, choose leaner cuts. Doing this will limit your toxin exposure as toxicity is stored in the fat of the animal. In winter I find myself needing more grounding foods, and animal products are in that category. Protein (and even more so-volume of veggies in your diet, i.e. fiber) is important for satiety, maintaining lean muscle tissue, hormone regulation, amongst many other reasons. Not everyone’s protein requirements are the same, so listen to your body and eat the quantity that feels right to you. More protein is not necessarily better and  too much (like anything in excess) can be damaging for the body (particularly the kidneys). Everyone’s digestive capacity is different too and more protein than your body can absorb and utilize is futile. Sometimes I might not feel like eating any animal products at all and will stick to a raw salad built up with healthy fat and hearty veggies.
farm egg
2/ Where my veggies at? I am always looking for an opportunity to incorporate greens-I have the tendency to pile on whatever protein or carbohydrate source I’m eating on TOP of a bed of greens. I think of it as my leafy plate, there to catch all the other good stuff i.e. egg yolk and other crumbly or creamy bits. Vegetables are important for their micronutrients (vitamin & mineral content) as well as fiber and water content.  Roast them, fine chop them for easier digestion, get creative with salads, stiry fry, the options are endless. Starchy vegetables like squashes, potatoes, carrots, beets, onion, parsnips, etc. are good sources of complex carbohydrates too.
lunch sample 2
Post workout (so starchy carbs are included!): 2 over easy eggs, steamed brussel sprouts & yam, and avocado slices over greens with cilantro and raw jalapeno-garlic sauerkraut

3/ Fat: Consider the fat source on your plate as the cherry on top. Healthy fats (be it saturated fat from healthy animals products or coconut oil or monounsaturated from avocado, nut & seed oils) promote satiety and are good for hormone/endocrine system health, including your ghrelin & leptin hormones which are enzymes that control the stimulation of appetite. High insulin levels, consumption of simple carbs, and  stress (lack of sleep, too much exercise) negatively impact your hormones. Getting in quality protein & fat (particularly great first thing in the morning to set up the building blocks for hormones) and lessening your intake of processed foods, sugar, and simple carbohydrates overtime help you attain the body composition you desire as well as help diminish cravings and snacking. Eating some fat (like avocado slices or in an olive oil dressing) also greatly enhances the absorption (and conversion) of certain nutrients, such as beta carotene into Vitamin A (crucial for healthy bone tissue, vision, hormone function).
lunch sample 1
4 oz beef topped with dijon mustard and raw sauerkraut (assists digestion, particularly helpful to breakdown proteins), mushrooms, broccoli and onion sauteed in coconut oil over greens and a few cubes of avocado.

Just Eat Real Food.

🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Entree, Nutrition