I’m thrilled to be putting together an exclusive new online group called Nourish Yourself. There is currently a group running, but the next one will start August 2017. I am excited about creating a really dynamic, positive, focused group of women who will support each other in self-care practices, truly nourishing ourselves, and cultivating our mind-body-spirit connection so that we can show up powerfully in the world.
I’m calling the group Nourish Yourself because I think these times are calling for us to nourish ourselves in so many ways—food, movement, sleep, creativity, joy, and self-love. I also think we are more powerful together, which is why I want to create a group experience.
Having facilitated and participated in many groups over the years, I know how fantastic a well-guided group can be when we compassionately hold each other accountable, draw on our collective wisdom, celebrate the positive steps forward, and raise each other up.
What you will get out of the group:
★ Discover a personal solution that works for you because one size does not fit all!
★ Develop a platform for personal growth and transformation that addresses your thoughts, feelings, habits, and patterns to create new ones that help you achieve your goals around health and nutrition.
★ Practice ways to let go of guilt and fear around eating and instead really enjoy and celebrate food.
★ Learn to feel more confident in your ability to create nourishing meals or meal plans that support your body, mind and spirit.
★ Focus on gratitude for our body, enthusiasm for making small changes that lead to big results, and creating awareness about what we really need and want.
★ Explore various ways to nourish yourself and bring more joy to every day.
Email me at [email protected] if you are interested in adding yourself to the waiting list for the next group!
Fun fact! Parsley was thought to be sacred by the ancient Greeks and has been cultivated for over 2,500 years. It is a rich, dense source of vitamin C, K and E, as folic acid and iron. And, is extremely rich in the minerals calcium and potassium and has high percentages of carotenoids and flavonoids.
- Parsley contains volatile oils that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation and increase antioxidant formation in the blood.
- Its carminative properties reduces flatulence and colic.
- Parsley is an emmenagogue, meaning it stimulates the menses, therefore be cautious and do not use in large amounts if you’re currently pregnant.
- Does parsley have any other special attributes? Yes. Parsley is an excellent breath freshener!
Adding parsley to your cooking and recipes not only enhance brightness and flavor but it’s also easy and fun to explore new ways to incorporate them in.
Ways to use parsley in your cooking:
- Add chopped fresh parsley to salads, soups, sauces, vegetable sautés and grilled meats.
- Add to pesto sauce for more texture and green color.
- Tabbouleh salad with parsley, bulgur wheat or quinoa, garlic,mint, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Great for juicing or when making broths.
- Easy tapenade with parsley, olives, pistachios, and olive oil: This is one of my FAVORITE recipes and is always a hit at parties!
TIP: Add fresh parsley at the end of cooking to retain its color, flavor and freshness!
Recipe: Parsley Tabbouleh
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur or quinoa
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tomatoes, diced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, (about 2 bunches)
- Combine water and bulgur or quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand until the water is absorbed and the bulgur/quinoa is tender, 25 minutes or according to package directions. If any water remains, drain bulgur/quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and scallions to the bulgur. Add the dressing and toss.
- Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 1 hour to serve cold.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com
I’m very excited to start this Herb Series on various culinary herbs. Each post will highlight a particular herb and easy ways to incorporate it into your daily eating.
Herbs are such a nutritious and delicious way to upgrade your nutrition!
So let’s start with a favorite: BASIL!
Fun fact! There are more than 60 varieties of basil besides the sweet basil we are most familiar, including lemon basil, Thai basil, cinnamon basil and holy basil.
Benefits of BASIL
- good source of flavonoids, particularly those found to protect cell structures and chromosomes from radiation and oxidation
- antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties
- effective in restricting growth of certain bacteria namely e coli and staphylococcus aureus
- good source of vitamins K, A, calcium and potassium and beta-carotene
BASIL in cooking and recipes
- Pesto with garlic, olive oil and a nut (walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios)
- Add to fruit and fruit smoothies for a refreshing twist. Especially delicious with watermelon and other melons!
- Add to water with slices of citrus for a pretty and tasty treat
- Caprese salad of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil
- Add to the top of stir fry, pasta dishes or soups for a fresh taste and added flavor
Tip: Store basil in the refrigerator wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag. Can also be frozen. Even better idea is to buy a basil plant! Very easy to grow!
Want some basil inspiration? Check out this Huffington Post article with over 34 ways to use basil in a recipe! Yum!
What’s your favorite way to use basil?
As many of you know, I was trained in Dr. Sara Gottfried’s Hormone Cure program to become a Hormone Cure Coach. I find that addressing people’s health challenges like fatigue, struggle with losing weight, stress, and cravings, it is helpful to include an assessment of their hormones gives me more tools to guide my clients back to a place of balance.
One hormonal challenge many women struggle with is PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome.
According to Dr. Sara Gottfried in The Hormone Cure, “PMS is related to a problem with progesterone, but frosting yourself in progesterone cream does not automatically fix the symptoms in all women. Our best science shows that PMS is the result of the poorly synchronized interplay among four entities: progesterone, allopregnanolone (a derivative of progesterone), and in the brain, the GABA and serotonin pathways. It’s a complicated neurohormonal mix that results in progesterone ‘resistance,’ which is why topping off your progesterone may not be the answer. Your body may respond better to a ‘cure’ that addresses upstream causes—including precursors, such as vitamin B6, that help you make serotonin, or perhaps an herb that alters progesterone sensitivity, such as chasteberry, as well as lifestyle techniques to calm your brain.” (page 50)
Not only can progesterone, GABA and serotonin affect PMS symptoms, but so can cortisol, the body’s stress response:
“When stress is high, cortisol rises and PMS worsens. When progesterone is low, PMS also worsens. In other words, there’s a dance between cortisol and progesterone in the development of PMS, and you want to address both adrenal function and your production of cortisol as well as your progesterone to minimize PMS.” (page 283)
When addressing something like PMS, it often can take a multi-prong approach: food, exercise, mindset and maybe even some complimentary treatments or supplements.
Let’s take a look at some of these suggestions here.
- Exercise frequently: 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes
- Nourishing whole foods eating plan (Not sure what that looks like for you? Book a complimentary Discovery Session with me today!)
- Limit sugar (especially added and refined sugar)–join my next 10-Day Sugar Retreat to banish those sugar cravings!
- Reduce caffeine
- Address cortisol levels and chronic stress
- Increase fiber
- Support your liver (because all hormone processed through the liver)–check out Andrea Nakayama’s Replenish PDX excellent handout on supporting your liver!)
Some supplements can also help but aways seek advisement from your health practitioner:
- Vitamin B6: 50 to 100 mg/day (or if you are on a birth control pill, you may want to consider taking a B Complex)
- Calcium (carbonate or citrate): 600 mg 2x/day
- Magnesium (citrate, glycinate taurate, aspartate or chelated forms like malate, succinate, fumarate): 150-300 mg/day (for more on the benefits of magnesium, check out this great article from Dr. Mark Hyman)
- Vitex (chasteberry): 500-1000 mg/day (take in morning if possible)
What have you found helps with PMS? Have any of these approaches worked for you? Need more personalized guidance, please contact me today!
I don’t know about you, but I love a warm cup of vegetable broth. Right now I’m sipping a large mugful as I recover from a bit of over-indulgence over the holidays. I’m also hoping to keep a cold at bay by drinking as much broth as possible. A cup of delicious broth can also make for a satisfying small meal or help keep you warm on a cold day. This broth also makes a great base for any number of soups. There are a lot of great broth recipes out there, but the one I’m going to share with you is based on the Magic Mineral Broth recipe made famous by Rebecca Katz in One Bite at a Time.
- 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
- 1-2 unpeeled medium onions, including peels/skin, cut into chunks
- 3-4 stalks celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
- 1 head of garlic, including peels/skin, roughly chopped
- few inches of fresh ginger root, roughly sliced
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat‐leaf parsley
- 1 sweet potato or yam with skins on, quartered
- 1 8‐inch strip of kombu seaweed (available at Whole Foods, online or if you live in Oakland, HERE)
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice or juniper berries (optional)
- 1 tablespoon quality sea salt (note: if I’m going to cook beans with the broth, I leave the salt out)
Note: Adjust the amount of ingredients to the size of your stock pot. Also, I often use vegetable scraps to make my broths (see below for more info on using scraps). Other vegetable choices (depending on the flavor profile you want and what you have on hand) can include mushrooms, leeks, fennel, greens, fresh herbs, parsnips, and potatoes.
- Rinse all the vegetables well to remove any dirt.
- In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients except the salt. Fill the pot to 2 inches below the rim with water, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer a minimum of 2 hours. As the stock simmers some of the water will evaporate. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. I like to try and simmer mine for as much as 4 hours or more.
- Add the salt and stir (unless you plan to use the broth to cook dried beans).
- Let stock cool in pot until room temperature.
- Strain the stock using a large coarse‐mesh strainer (remember to use a heat‐resistant container underneath) and/or cheese-cloth or clean linen towel. Compost the cooked vegetables.
Makes 6 to 7 quarts, depending on stockpot size.
Broth can be frozen up to 6 months in a variety of airtight container sizes for every use.
Tips for what to do with your broth:
- You can add a little tamari, Bragg’s amino acids, coconut amino acids, or miso to your broth for a little added flavor.
- I also often add some coconut oil for a bit more substance.
- If you are not vegetarian/vegan, you can also add some gelatin for added protein.
- When I’m making broth to really support my immune system, I will add A LOT more ginger and garlic to the initial broth ingredients. You can also add dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms, oregano, reishi mushrooms, and/or astragalus root.
- Again, broth can be sipped alone or used as a base for any soup.
- Broth is really great to drink when recovering from surgery, illness or chemotherapy. It is a great way to get nourishment for your body without putting too much stress on your digestive system.
- To store leftover broth, I put them in mason jars to drink over the week and then freeze the rest.
Using vegetable scraps:
One of my favorite ways to make vegetable broth is to use leftover vegetable scraps. Not only does this reduce waste and save money, but often the foods we consider “scraps” contain great nutritional benefits!
- When cooking any meal, save your cleaned vegetable scraps in a plastic freezer bag and store in freezer until ready to make into broth. I just keep adding ingredients to bags until I’m ready to make broth (or the freezer gets full!).
- Good “scraps” to include are carrot peels, carrot tops, celery tops and bottoms, fennel tops, leek green tops, onion and garlic skins, broccoli and cauliflower stalks, stems from herbs like parsley, green tops of radishes, turnips or beets (just note that if you use beet greens, your broth will turn red!). I also added any vegetables that we didn’t get a chance to eat in the week that may be going a little limp.
- Just dump the frozen vegetable scraps into your pot, add in some fresh vegetables that may not be included in your frozen bag, and then follow the directions from above!
I would love to hear from you. Have you made your own broth? What tips or suggestions do you have?