Monthly Archives

April 2016

Featured Lifestyle Recipes

Oysters

April 28, 2016

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Most people either love or hate oysters with their notable, distinctive taste and texture. However, it’s time to explore reasons why these ocean creatures may be worth a shot towards your health and lifestyle.

Although the phrase, The world is one’s oyster first written in one of Shakespeare’s plays focused on money, I believe oysters can lead to a whole new level of richness in terms of nutritional wealth.

Wild Oyster

Oysters supply your body with several adequate nutrients. Three ounces of oysters, which is about 6 medium oysters, provides about 7 grams of protein, perfect for your protein source at one meal in only 60 calories. However, you can have up to 12 for 14 grams of protein to keep you more satisfied. The high quality protein is easier to digest than most land based protein. Many believe their cholesterol content gives reason to avoid their pleasure. However, their content of omega 3’s, vitamins A, B, C, and D, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron classifies this shellfish as a healthy choice on your plate. They also only contain 50mg of cholesterol per serving, which is within the recommendation of 300 mg per day.

When it comes to purchasing, fresh is usually best. Size tends to have less to do with an oyster’s flavor profile and more about the location of where it was raised.

There are about as many kinds of oysters as there are kinds of vegetables. Just kidding, but there are quite a few. The Different types of oysters have different nutritional profiles and sodium contents. For example, raw Eastern oysters harvested from the wild contain less calories per serving, significantly less than the Pacific raw oyster.

Wild Oyster

My favorite ways to enjoy the eastern oyster is raw on the half shell, but they are also amazing baked with spinach, lemon & garlic or added to a broth soup with Bok Choy.

Oyster Stew
Oysters can be intimidating to open, however if you steam them, they open all by themselves. Then, just add them to a soup, stew or stir-fry.
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Ingredients
  1. 12 - 20 oysters, steamed
  2. 4 cups vegetable broth
  3. 2 garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 leek, sliced
  5. 2 TB olive oil
  6. 4 carrots, sliced
  7. 1 large potato, diced
  8. 2 TB Bragg's Amino Acids
  9. 2 cup Greens (Spinach, Kale or Pea Greens)
Instructions
  1. Steam oysters in a pot with 3 inches of water until shells open. Drain water, remove the meat and place to the side. In the pot, saute garlic, leeks in the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Then, add carrots, potato, broth and aminos over medium heat until carrots and potatoes are tender. Add oysters and greens for 1 minutes until greens brighten. Serves 2.
Nutrition from the Ground Up http://nutritionfromthegroundup.com/
Wild Oyster

Now let’s hear more about who our oysters come from with Justin Lynch, a shell fisherman from Wellfleet, MA. Justin is also an amazing photographer that provided the photos for this post. 

Justin Lynch

Interview with Justin Lynch

Born Justin Christopher Lynch at Cape Cod Hospital, February 12, !983. Raised in the quaint town of Wellfleet Massachusetts by a Hammer swinging father and loving mother to 3 boys. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to grow up in such a unique and beautiful place. Essentially just a narrow strip of sand surrounded by the ever changing, pulling tides of the bay and oceanside. Cape Cod Bay being a body of water designed perfectly to offer an ideal environment for shellfish to thrive in. When I became old enough, I began working aquaculture farms, raising a species that Wellfleet has become famous world wide for. The bivalve mollusk, known as the oyster has shaped the presence of this town and the people who reside within it. Apart from being known for the cultivation of oyster beds , Wellfleet also offers an abundant supply of wild oysters fresh for the picking to those with a license and the knowledge to find them. Whenever I would have free time from working the grant I would forage wild oysters. I  soon developed a strong passion for the hunt and eventually decided that this is what I wanted to do full time. Not just a job, but a lifestyle. To be synchronized with the earth rhythm of working with the tides has been a very grounding and humbling experience for me. She breathes in, the water recedes, she breathes out and back it comes rushing in, waiting for no man. I’ve respectfully scraped and turned over every inch of terrain from soupy mud fields to the pristine sandy bottoms supplying shelter for the these creatures, just to do it all over again and find it different every time. My relationship with nature has become that of a best friend and teacher and I hold much gratitude for being able to make a living doing this. Many variables are intertwined with how my catch will go that day. From the size of the tide, time of day, time of year, direction of wind and weather patterns to just my overall state of mind at the time. The structure of an oyster is strongly based off its surroundings. The type of terrain it lays on, the feed, flow and depth of water that submerges it all play a roll in how its physical characteristics form. I generally can look at an oyster and figure out which part of town and conditions it grew  in. Its pretty fun really. These filter feeders are highly nutritious and perform an incredible task of cleaning toxins from the water. This is my 15th year foraging oysters full time and i can still say without hesitation that I LOVE MY JOB.

Listen to Nutrition from the Ground Up on WOMR: Oysters 

shucks from justin lynch on Vimeo.

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Organic Farms are Everywhere Documentary

April 25, 2016

24 states. 24 farms. 50 hours of footage & interviews. This is the story of the local food movement.

The documentary “Organic Farms are Everywhere” tracks the cross-country story of the local food movement made and filmed by dietitian Nicole Cormier of Wellfleet and farmer Jim Lough of Bourne.

In February 2012, Cormier and Lough took an 18 day coast-to-coast trip, stopping at one organic farm in every state along the route. Each visit was documented with candid interviews of the farmers and vivid photographs of the farm. The resulting documentary shares what the pair experienced and learned along the way.

The number-one thing we learned is how much love and passion and energy is put into the food we consume, and how important it is to know where your food comes from.

The film was partly funded by 45 Kickstarter backers back in 2012, and all of the filming and interviewing was done by Cormier and Lough. From an organic citrus farm in Louisiana to a chicken farm in Illinois, this film gives a peek into the lives of real farmers and the local food movement.

Premiere of Organic Farms are Everywhere

All of the farmers were so generous and excited to share their life and passion with us. At the end of the trip, I wasn’t ready to stop. It was so inspiring and energizing.

Four years later, we are ready to share our documentary! Our premiere was on April 21, 2016 at The Cape Cinema.

Cape Cinema  

Watch the documentary on Vimeo On Demand  {you can RENT or BUY it}

Organic Farms are Everywhere from Nicole Cormier on Vimeo.

I would love to share with you some of the highlights throughout our travels… 

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L’Hoste Citrus – Braithwaite, Louisiana 

“Down near the Gulf of Mexico, tucked next to the mighty Mississippi, is the beautiful town of Braithwaite, Louisiana. There we found our next farmer, Lester L’Hoste of L’hoste Citrus, working in his greenhouse. He immediately insisted we get on his 4-wheeler for a tour of his gorgeous organic citrus orchard. We happily agreed.”

Thirteenth Stop – Home Grown Kansas

Kansas is a Native American term, meaning southern wind, and when we arrived in Wichita, it was blowing cold. However, when we arrived at our fourteenth stop, Home Grown Kansas, Pat and Elsy invited us into their home to talk about the local food movement.

Pat and Elsy offer a variety of herbs at their stand in the Farmer’s markets and to local restaurants. When they first started, over twenty years ago, Elsy sent Pat out with a bunch of produce to sell before returning. Today, she has many relationships with local chefs and others in the community.

At Home Grown Kansas, we had a rare opportunity to discuss local and organic farming with Pat, the coordinator and manager of the Old Town Wichita Farmer’s Market.

Home Grown Kansas’ composting program relies heavily on the local economy. They work together with tree companies and landscapers, who need a place to unload their organic waste, and would otherwise have to pay to use the city dump. This is a blessing for Pat and Elsy, who would otherwise have to pay to import compost. This creates a symbiotic relationship among local businesses.

Home Grown Kansas, like many other farmers on our tour, relies partly on the generosity of their community. A local school allows them to cultivate some of their unused land.” 

Barn and Sky
Fourteenth Stop – Laughingstalk Homestead

“We left Wichita as the stormed rolled in. Eight hours later, we found ourselves back on the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There, at our next stop, Laughingstalk Farmstead, where we were greeted by Ross, Emily and of course Gusto, the pup.

After successfully managing a farm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they decided to move back to Emily’s hometown to start their own farm. This is extremely important, because organic farming is not as popular in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as it is up north. We applaud them for creating a market, which previously did not exist.

Emily and Ross, owners of Laughingstalk Farmstead in Cape Girardeau, MO. Two really cool people. They plan to collaborate with other local farms for their CSA this year, including milk and meat. We tried raw milk for the first time and will be searching for it from now on. Ross works full-time at Laughingstalk Farmstead and Emily has a part-time job at a local antique consignment shop in town. Thank you Emily, Ross and Gusto for a place to stay, a delicious burrito, our kombucha starter kit, and your hospitality.”

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Fifteenth Stop – Frontwards Farm

Just one hour away, in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois, we met our fifteenth farmers, Jason and Sarah Shoot. After touring their farm, they invited us in for some of their own homemade free-range chicken noodle soup. Jason and Sarah will have 125 chickens this year. Frontwards Farm continues to grow.

Toe, due to his bent left claw, is one of the original chickens from Frontwards Farm. Frontwards Farm had a huge greenhouse that will soon be filled with local produce. Many thanks to the Shoot Family for their tremendous hospitality. We had yet another amazing experience on our trip. Jason had us as his guests on his radio show, The Random Show! Along with being full-time parents and farmers, Jason is a political activist and a local radio DJ, and Sarah is a talented artist, as well being a local radio DJ.” 

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Sixteenth Stop – Off the Fence Farm

“Sixteenth stop, Evansville, Indiana. We always hear about family values, but one way to really put it into perspective is to spend time with the Willet Family of Off the Fence Farm. Off the Fence Farm is 4 acres, including animals and the Willet’s home. Steve Willet made his own pond in order to provide water for his plants and animals in a more sustainable way.

Their name “Off the Fence Farm” was derived from their belief that many Americans are still, “on the fence” with making decisions about their health and environment. They urge you to get “off the fence” and side with local organic farms. One of their biggest sellers are carrots. Many parents pick-up a bunch with green leaf tops for their kids at the Farmer’s Market, where they have several returning customers.”

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Seventeenth Stop – Cherry Ridge Farm

“In the historic Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, we met up with David Beebe at Cherry Ridge Farm. He has incorporated many exotic plants into his greenhouse, including this begonia. David and his son built a cute little cabin for interns to stay in while working on the farm. David, a biochemist, has created a system that using vegetable oil from local restaurants to heat his greenhouse.”

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Eighteenth Stop – Round Right Farm

Back in Appalachia, we found Sunshine and Steve Vortigern Round Right Farm in Cransville, West Virginia. They told us that their biggest problem they have is meeting the demand of more and more consumers looking for local organic food. Sunshine and Steve’s children, Isis and Xaviar, are raised on the farm and home-schooled. Isis loves to help out on the farm. Steve’s band, The Sugarfoot Stompers, play in Morgantown, WV and local venues if you’re ever in the area.”

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Nineteenth Stop – House-in-the-woods Farm

Once again, turning the compass east, we arrive at House-in-the- Woods in Adamstown, Maryland. Jim went out with Jonah, Noah and Phil to learn about morning chores. Nic waited for the coffee to brew. There was the cutest baby cow at House-in-the-woods. These were Dexters, a miniature heritage breed similar to Devons. The chickens eagerly chowed their breakfast during chores. They are also given leftover produce the farm’s gardens to enrich their diet. Phil, Ilene, Noah, and Jonah welcomed us to stay and we had Nic’s new favorite breakfast, Eggs and Kale scramble.”

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Twentieth Stop – Blackberry Meadows Farm

“Zigzagging through the Northeast on our home-stretch,  we made it to our twentieth stop, Blackberry Meadows Farm, just before sundown in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. Blackberry Meadows was already a thriving organic farm when Jen Montgomery and Gregg Boulis purchased the farm and property with an eye to expand. Since then, they have done just that. Above is Nate, the full-time livestock manager. With over 150 chickens, farm fresh eggs are never in short supply at Blackberry Meadows. We took home a dozen.  Nate invites their CSA members to be involved in the processing of poultry. They have the option of butchering their own chicken. This is a very intimate connection with your food. 

Sheep are sheared for their wool, which Jen Montgomery spins into yarn when she can. She showed us a piece she recently made with her loom. She loves weaving, but doesn’t always have the time.”

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Twenty-Second Stop – Beltane Farms

Twenty-second stop, Beltane Farms in Lebanon, Connecticut. We made it across country and back and what a beautiful country it is, but there’s something about New England that feels like home and we were glad to be back.

When we arrived, the farm’s owner, Paul Trubey and his long-time friend, Kris, were busy constructing a new milking house for his goats. Beltane farms specializes it goat cheese and milk. Paul told us his interest in organic farming started with his love of animals and a deep commitment to treating them with care and respect.

He went on to say, a large percentage of his customers are parents seeking a healthy alternative to cow’s milk due to their child’s intolerance. He sells his products at twelve different farmer’s markets throughout the week.”

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Twenty-first Stop – Flatbrook Farm

“In this day and age, New Jersey is not well known for farming, but in the early part of the 20th century it was considered part of America’s heartland. Our twenty-first stop, Flatbrook Farm, and its owner, Brian Naftal, are determined to revive New Jersey’s status as an agricultural hot spot. Flatbrook Farm raises beef, pork and poulry. With access to hundreds of acres of rolling grassy hills, these animals have plenty of space to be themselves. This makes animals healthy, which in turn makes safe, healthy food for us to eat.”

Camino De Paz, New Mexico 

“We interviewed the students of  the Camino de Paz School and Farm, grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 about their experience. The consensus among the students of Camino de Paz is that they enjoy going to school, because they’re not indoors at a desk all day. In fact, the teachers mentioned the students are more focused after being outdoors. The farm has 4 greenhouses filled with fresh produce. Friday, the students were harvesting the greens for the Farmer’s market on Saturday. They do not use tractors at the Camino de Paz School and Farm. Instead, they use horse power to plow the fields. After the students finish their morning chores on the farm, they head indoors for class where they apply skills they learned on the farm to the classroom.” Watch a preview

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Windyview Acres – Dewey, Arizona

“Up in the high desert hills, next to the Bradshaw Mountains, our seventh stop, Windyview Acres is located in Dewey, Arizona. The farm’s owner and operator, Dana, is a true animal lover and steward of the land. It was a great pleasure to tour her elaborate farm. Dana has 25 shareholders this year. They will receive vegetables, variety of teas, cow and goat milk, chicken, duck and goose eggs, beef, poultry and even spun wool.”

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THANK YOU! to our Kickstarter Project Backers:

  • Adam Pelletier
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Featured Lifestyle

Spreading the Love: Betsy Wild

April 1, 2016

This month, I’m happy to share my third interview with one of several of my mentors. There are so many mentors that challenge us to understand ourselves, grow our spiritual practices and cultivate our lives. This series is to share with you a few of my own personal mentors that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world. 

men·tor : someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person

teach·er : a person or thing that teaches something. 

gu·ru : teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern. 

First, a little bit about Betsy. Four years ago, I opened a small locally-sourced health food store that shared a door with my nutrition counseling practice. Betsy Wild, walked into my tiny market with such gratitude and that started our beautiful relationship. Her passion for our environment touched my soul and inspired my personal and professional practice in so many ways. She connected me to educational experiences at her property and a field trip to her husband’s, Peter, biggest worm farm I’ve ever seen! I am so thrilled to share this interview, so you can stay in tune with her upcoming ventures on Cape Cod! (P.S. they will be having their first wedding on their property this year!)

She has been an environmental and an organic lifestyle advocate since the 1970’s. Her husband and her have owned several “green businesses”  – Boston Tree Preservation, an organic based tree care company; Arborjet, which manufactures  environmentally safer products and formulations for the control of exotic invasive insect pests in trees;  and their newest venture converting a 35 acre seaside cranberry farm in Sandwich, MA to an organic tree farm.  Formerly, she managed the promotional and educational materials for Boston Tree Preservation, as well as spearheaded efforts to make the businesses even greener. She is also the mother of 3 inspiring grown children. 

Betsy Wild

What has been your journey into what you do? 

I write a green living tips blog called “What’s Green with Betsy?” www.greenwithbetsy.com with a whole range of topics to live a cleaner, greener, healthier lifestyle such as tips on healthy cleaning, personal care products, organic lawn care, greener dry cleaning, calculating your carbon footprint, green travel, tips for kids, organic lawn care, green holiday traditions, etc.  Ever since I can remember, I have always been passionate about a leading a healthy lifestyle and promoting a healthy environment.  I of course shared my knowledge with my kids, but as they became teenagers and young adults, I felt like I was lecturing, so I decided blogging would be a better way to impart my knowledge not only to my kids but to others as well!

What have you cultivated along the way? 

I’ve cultivated relationships with some of my readers who read and comment regularly on my blog, and with companies and organizations that are interested in me promoting their cause or product. It’s been great to have dialog with readers from far away who are trying to live a greener life.

What inspires you?

My desire to make a difference in the world and to inspire others to do so too inspires me.  My tag line is Simple Steps That Make a Difference because I truly believe that each little step we take towards a greener lifestyle will benefit the planet and us.  And it’s not really that hard to make green lifestyle changes without sacrifice.  People just need education.

What are the biggest things you’ve learned?  

The biggest thing I have learned is the importance and satisfaction of following your passions throughout your life wherever they take you.

What are your intentions? 

I’d like to grow my blog and reach more readers.  I’m considering doing podcasts too.  I’d love to have an advice, Dear Abby type column or podcast for greener living.

How do you feel about your energy? 

I have great energy!  I eat well, exercise, try and get enough sleep, and keep a good attitude, all of which contribute to your energy level. 

What is your relationship with food? 

I love food, preparing and eating it, but the right food.  I basically follow an organic, plant-based diet and avoid processed food as much as possible.  After years of eating this way, I find my body can’t tolerate meat or poor quality food.

Betsy Wild

What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both? Tell the background story please and share your recipe if there is one. 

Lately I’ve been following one of the Blue Zone diets.  The Blue Zones are those five areas in the world – Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, CA and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – where the people live to be over 100 with their minds and bodies intact at a rate 10 times greater than in the U.S.  Each of the areas has 9 characteristics in common, one of which is basically following a plant-based diet consisting mostly of beans.  

Who are your favorite teachers? why? 

I had a zany English professor in college who often talked about the importance of taking different perspectives.  He urged us to walk to class a different way and look through your legs at the world to get an upside down view!  Seeing different perspectives and thinking outside the box really does provide a clearer, more accurate outlook of the world.    Also, over the years I’ve taken a lot of health food and international cuisine cooking classes and learned from each one of the teachers who taught them.  I love trying new dishes and cuisines.

-What is your vision board for 2016? 

My vision board for 2016 is to continue to grow and develop my blog as well as the beautiful farm we live on in East Sandwich, perhaps incorporating wellness weekends on our special piece of the planet.  I also want to continue to meet interesting, healthy and like-minded people and have fun!

Betsy Wild 2

What’s your favorite book and why?

That’s almost impossible to say since there are so many, but one of my favorites is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Prodigal Summer.  All of her books are well-written, beautiful stories with an environmental theme.

How do you balance your life? 

Since my kids are grown and I work for myself, it’s not difficult to balance my life.  But, I always make time to exercise, walking and doing yoga, see friends, take part in cultural activities and cook!  Lately I’ve been doing short daily formal meditations.

How do you practice mindfulness?

Walking on Cape Cod with all its natural beauty is a special way to practice mindfulness, yoga and meditation another.  I try to eat mindfully, slowing down and savoring each bite, and appreciate every moment, or ATM as my mother used to say.

Betsy Wild
What are some thoughts you’d love to share with others?

With all the craziness and negativity bombarded at us daily, one can easily lose sight of the progress we have made in the organic movement.  My oldest daughter is 30 now and when I think back to when she was a baby and how hard it was to find anything organic, when I felt like I was swimming up stream alone with my philosophies and way of life, I feel encouraged to see where things are heading now.  Conventional supermarkets have large organic sections, mainstream America is understanding the dangers of GMO foods and Monsanto, fast food restaurants offer healthier options, solar and wind power are gaining ground, recycling bins are commonplace, composting is happening – there are so many advancements! We have a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction.

Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Sherry Dioti, my yoga teacher trainer. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other! 

with love