In almost every aspect of life lately I think about how to get to the root cause of an issue. Within my own body, general health, and even in the social constructs of today. Where does the disease start, how did the imbalance take hold in the first place? I realized for our food it doesn’t start in the roots, it actually starts in the soil. The depleted soil is creating food that no longer provides the nutrients it once did, and as a result we are depleted. What is the soil of America? What is it that we grow out of? Just like with the soil from which plants grow, with care, it can be restored. The way it is healed is through diversity. Allowing everything to add its part to the whole, everything contributes and is valued. With natures design leading the way we bring back animals, different plants, and insects to the fields and in doing so we create fertile soil that allows for the return of a complete ecosystem. This is called biodynamic farming and this soil is called, good Tilth. “Living soil, as opposed to run-of-the-mill potting soil, is often thought of as planting material that centers on compost and has an active microbiology and biodiversity, which can include worms and their castings, protozoa, healthy bacteria, amoebas, kelp extracts, and other ingredients to create a truly living biome underneath the plant.”Socially how do we make good Tilth?
Author: Katie Burke Photography
The mysterious purple cauliflower. The color has always intrigued me, but it wasn’t until my son requested we eat it did I bravely put one in my basket. Trying the unknown is always scary but I suggest you take the purple leap too because as it turns out there is more to this cauliflower’s rad color than just being rad! The purple cauliflower has more vitamin A than his pasty white sibling and also holds an antioxidant called anthocyanin. This is the antioxidant that is found in red wine that makes everyone drink more red wine for its “health benefits”. However, the benefits of cauliflower no matter the color are impressive. Cauliflower lives in the cruciferous vegetables family and these vegetables are bad ass cancer fighters, so in the nicest way possible… fucking eat them.
While the Cruciferous group contains fiber, carotenoids, vitamin E,C &K they are extra special because they have something called, glucosinolates. For some reason I can remember this word by saying in my head, “I will get some GLU, at the COSINO, and some LATES”. Stupid but it is a hard word so it helps.
Glucosinolates contain a sulfur containing compound that is released through cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower) but only through the process of chewing and digestion. So if you just go around smelling cauliflower you will totally miss the benefits of glucosinolates. I find it fucking fascinating that we were so perfectly created to work with nature in such a marvelous way, unlocking a plants magical properties through the magic key of chewing. So cool.
I have found it hard to eat cauliflower, it honestly is not my favorite, but have found some ways I do like to eat it. One is a recipe my friend Sarpreet created and the other is by ricing the cauliflower.
Here is the recipe from Sarpreet: https://myvegetariankitchen.com/2015/06/22/sauteed-cauliflower-with-roasted-red-pepper-sauce/
Here is my favorite cauliflower rice recipe: https://paleofoodandthebeveridges.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/coconut-lime-rice/
Carrots are sexy as fuck, I mean just look at them, if I were a vegetable I would want to look like a carrot. Not only are they supremely good looking , it seems they do everything, so put a little cape on them and make this vegetable a super food!
Many of the health benefits that a carrot has is due to its high beta carotene and fiber content. Beta carotene is one of the pigments in the carotenoid family, it is found in red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. There are over 600 different carotenoids and beta carotene is just one of them. Carotenoids can not be made by our body, we need to eat or drink them, so food is a very important vehicle in this process.
The pigment beta carotene, is responsible for getting Vitamin A into our bodies. Vitamin A does heaps of fabulous things like: helps prevent heart disease, lowers blood pressure, helps prevent asthma and certain types of cancer, helps with vision by preventing cataracts and age related mascular degeneration and more. Vitamin A also helps in the treatment of AIDS patients, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of skin disorders! Holy moly right, what doesn’t this vegetable do?
I found the below article helpful and they have a long list of references at the bottom of the article which I also found interesting and validating that the article was well researched. What I have written above are just the cliff notes, if you want to delve a bit deeper into the great world of the carrot, go for it 🙂
PHOTO – some fresh organic carrots I bought at the farmers market this past week. I just liked the way they looked in the sink as their dirt was floating away in the water.
Zoodles for Your Noodles
If you want to be super hip get a Golden doodle, walk the doodle to the store to get some zucchinis to make some Zoodles. Don’t tell the kids they are not eating normal noodles, they wont know, zoodles are fucking a fucking awesome mom tool for getting good stuff into your kids tummies. As they eat them up in my head I say, “hahahahah momma tricked you little stinkers.” SCORE!
Just look at all the health benefits a Zucchini has to offer:
- high in potassium
- Low calorie and high in fiber
- high in antioxidants
- no cholesterol or unhealthy fats
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
*** note that most of the fiber and antioxidants reside in the skin of the zucchini so try to keep the skin on.
Zucchini is technically a fruit but we all think of it as a vegetable, maybe because of its color and taste. Whatever you want to categorize it, zucchini is good for you, fucking eat it.
To make Zoodles you need a spirlaizer, these are very easy to use and cheap to buy. Once you spiral the zucchini just sauté it in a pan with whatever seasoning you would like. A favorite of mine is a home made vegan pesto sauce to pour over the noodles after they have been cooked. I love Daniel Walkers recipe : DAIRY FREE PESTO
Really use zoodles just like you would pasta, get creative and have fun zoodling 🙂
This should Float your Magnesium Boat
Have you ever wondered or wished you could remember what it felt like to be in the dark comfort of your mother’s womb? I might be alone on this, but now that I mention it you probably are thinking about how that would feel. I imagine it would be peaceful, warm, and calming. A place where you felt weightless and safe suspended in darkness without the heaviness of the world weighing down on you. A quiet place free of distractions where your mind is free to explore its own workings. When I tried floating for the first time I thought this must be as close as you can get to being back in the womb, how radical! The best part about floating however is when you are ready to get out you don’t need to be pushed through a vagina in some excruciating painful way, you just step out of the pod! Maybe in a metaphorical way you are being pushed back into an excruciating hard and painful life, but hopefully the time in the pod has made it so that your world seems more manageable. There really is no downside to at least trying this experience, I urge all of you to do it once. Maybe it’s your thing and you will thank me, or maybe you will say, “Why the fuck did I waste an hour of my life floating in a pod, should have known not to listen to that whacky granola lady” and in that case you obviously are not ready to be enlightened and are just too simple….NOT (remember when saying NOT was a cool thing, I am bringing that back). Honestly, we are all so different, finding out our way to peace is unique and this might not be your way, but one hour is not really that big of an investment, so why not just give it a go.
Why the deficiency? Two main reasons. One, the dairy industry has made us focus on calcium for bone health, and two, the food that contain magnesium like leafy greens, seeds, beans, and nuts are not being grown in soil that has magnesium in it anymore.
We have had it engrained in our minds that we need more calcium especially women who are told to make sure they have enough to prevent osteoporosis. While calcium is good for you it can not stand alone. Interestingly since we have increased our calcium intake the rate of osteoporosis has gone up. So it seems we are over doing calcium. (click here for related article).
Now, for the second reason, the fact our soil is no longer rich in nutrients really blew my mind. I always thought, why do I need a supplement, the earth provides exactly what I need? Sadly this is just not so anymore. Before the Agriculture Revolution our soil probably carried all we needed, but we have ruined our dirt by stripping it of its nutrients through toxins and monoculture crops. Plants do not have minerals like magnesium inside them inherently, they get them from the soil, so if the soil is deficient so is the plant and thus so are we. So while it is great to eat rich magnesium foods, and you will do better to eat organic sources, unfortunately it just doesn’t do the job anymore. Again I am only telling you the basics but there is a lot more to learn about magnesium and this book is an easy quick read with a lot of good info. (Click here for related article)
Beyond magnesium there are other mind body benefits to floating. When you step into a pod and turn off the lights you are in complete silence with a complete sense of weightlessness. Your body is free to explore the silence and find a path to quiet reflection easier. What I like about floating more than outside meditation is that it makes meditation easier. For me I easily get distracted by a discomfort in my body, or by a phone ringing, but in a float tank you have nothing to feel, see, or touch so distraction is reduced a ton. You are floating effortlessly in a dark body of silence, and it feels like your body knows this feeling and missed it. Research suggests that such sensory depletion is very therapeutic by activating the parasympathetic system and dropping stress producing cortisol levels. (click here for related article)
Bottom line is we all wear so many hats these days and live in a noisy, busy, stressful world that is moving away from nature at warp speeds. To focus on being alone in silence with yourself is a benefit I think we could all use and float tanks take you there.
The Great Courses
The Great Courses, is an online learning source that has been one of my favorite tools in helping me to better understand how food impacts our health.
This lecture series by, Dr. Mimi Guarneri, called, “The Science of Natural Healing, ” is proving to be one of the more insightful and knowledge filled sources I have found so far. If anyone wants a starting point…this is it. There is so much great information in this series that I think it will warrant several listens. I am hoping to do many blog posts about the topics she brings up so I may remember all she has told me. If you have the desire to learn more I highly suggest listening to this series.
Click HERE to purchase the series.
Here is a little about the doctor speaking in this series:
“You have the power to be your own best medicine. It is my personal hope that the science of natural healing provides you with all the necessary tools, science, and wisdom to start your healing journey.” – Mimi Guarneri
Dr. Mimi Guarneri is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and holistic medicine. She earned her medical degree from The State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, where she graduated first in her class. She completed her internship and residency at New YorkñPresbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and held cardiology fellowships at New York University Langone Medical Center and the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. While serving as an attending physician in interventional cardiology at the Scripps Clinic, Dr. Guarneri recognized the need for a more comprehensive and holistic approach to cardiovascular disease. As a result, she founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, where she uses state-of-the-art cardiac imaging technology and lifestyle-change programs to prevent, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular disease. In recognition of her leadership in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Guarneri received the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the Bravewell Physician Leadership Award for Integrative Medicine in 2011. She was recently elected president of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the American Medical Women’s Association. She is also a diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine. Dr. Guarneri has authored several articles that have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Echocardiography and the Annals of Internal Medicine. She is also the author of The Heart Speaks, a collection of stories from heart patients who have benefited from integrative medicine approaches. The Heart Speaks and her clinical work have been featured on NBC’s Today show and PBS’s To the Contrary and Full Focus. Her work was also featured in a two-part PBS documentary, The New Medicine