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Spring Seasonal Picks

May 23, 2016

One word you will see repeated throughout Nutrition from the Ground Up is practice — the beauty of this approach is that it is shifting your relationship with your food, which will happen over time. Picking out a few in-season fruits and veggies to have on hand and incorporate into your recipes as substitutions is an excellent way to develop your intuitive cooking practice without becoming overwhelmed. Here are a few foraged items that you could experiment with this Spring for FREE

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads: 

  • Benefits: High vitamin A, Niacin, Phosphorus, Iron + Vitamin C
  • Storing Guide:  Store in the refrigerator in a container or bag for up to a week or blanch and freeze. 
  • Tips: Blanch for 1 minute. Saute in olive oil or coconut oil + add to 1/2 cup cooked grain/potato + protein. 
  • Note: only available in April + May. 

Hana Rose

for·age – (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard: 

  • Benefits: Vitamin C, Fiber + carotenoids
  • Tips: Sauté in olive oil or coconut oil. For a meal, be sure to pair with vegetables, 1/2 cup cooked grain/potato + a protein. Chop + add to salads
  • Storing Guide: Keep in a vase of water 
  • Note: Harvest upper stem, leaves + flowers.

image

Dandelion Greens: 

  • Benefits: Vitamins K + A & C. Heals, purifies your blood + settles digestion. 
  • Tips: Blanch in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Add to anything, eggs, stew, salad, casseroles or sauté with olive oil or coconut oil. For a meal, be sure to pair with a potato or grain + a protein. 
  • Storing Guide: Rinse gently, pat dry, and store them in plastic bags in refrigerator drawer
  • Note: part of the Sunflower family 

Check out Nicole Cormier on Vimeo for more collaboratory videos. 

with love

 

Featured Lifestyle Recipes

Sourdough

May 7, 2016

A little history about my own digestive issues…I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowl Syndrome since I was 8 years-old. Stomach aches, bloating, distention and long sessions in the bathroom all by myself. As I became Registered Dietitian and created my own nutrition practice, I was able to manage my IBS symptoms through balancing what I chose to eat. As many of you know, I love to cook intuitively with vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins. However, when it comes to baking, well, it’s never been my strong suit. Partly, because I was afraid of feeling sick. I’ve now learned how to incorporate sourdough into my nutrition practice and I’m loving it! 

I’d like to dedicate this post to my friend Tara Laidlaw on Camp Burgess Farm, who was generous in providing me with her family’s fifth generation sourdough starter from San Fransisco, California. Recently, I also received another sourdough starter from my friend, Becky Nadeau (my wedding planner) from Berkshire Mountain Bakery.  They are featured in my new favorite documentary series, Cooked

 


A little bit more about sourdough:

Sourdough is not your typical bread product compared to most. It is made by a long fermentation of dough often derived from generations ago and is the traditional preparation of grains. However, you can create your own sourdough starter using flour and water. The fermentation process uses natural occurring lactobaccilli and yeast. Like many traditions, there are several methods to follow. 

Why do people become attached to their sourdough starters? I had the opportunity to receive a San Fransisco Sourdough starter from a friend, Tara Laidlaw. This starter has been in her family for generations. I automatically felt a level of responsibility. After researching how to care for my starter, I realized, like many do, this “thing” deserves a name. After all, its going to be hanging out in my kitchen, I’m going to be feeding it and it’s going to allow me to bake with it. This was the beginning of a new relationship with “Walter” or “Wally”.  We named our new starter from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, “Susie.” 

Some common practices for serving your starter refreshments or feedings is to use Unbleached, Unbromated Flour and Unchlorinated Water, pay attention to Temperature. To learn more, visit www.CulturesforHealth.com.

Sourdough is a stable culture of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in flour and water with a few health benefits and a mild sour taste.

Potential benefits of sourdough:

  • Easier to digest
  • Lactic acid creates an ideal pH to decrease phytates, which can block the uptake of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
  • Increased amounts of zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus
  • Breakdown of gluten and predigestion of starches
  • The acetic acid which is produced along with lactic acid, helps preserve the bread by inhibiting the growth of mold


sourdough2

Ingredients:

Leaven:
1/4 cup Sourdough Starter
1/2 cup Flour
1/3 cup Water

sourdough 4

Dough:
2 1/2 cup spring water
5 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

sourdough 3

In a mixing bowl, fluff whole spelt flour. Add 1 tsp of Sea Salt to flour and mix. Pour flour and salt mixture into the sourdough, add water and mix until you end up with your sourdough ball.
Place into a bowl and cover for up to 4 hours. To fold, pick up the dough, stretch and then fold the dough. Stretch again in the opposite direction. Do this 4 times. Place back into bowl and cover for 1/2 hour. Complete this 6 times (2 1/2 hours). Let sit undisturbed for 1 hour.

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Gently, divide the dough into 2 balls using a small amount of flour. Let them rest for 30 minutes. Fold each of the loaves again. Place the loaves into bowls and cover, then allow it to sit 3-4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place an empty dutch oven with lid on for the last half hour. Pull the dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough from the colander. Put the lid back on and return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes. Let cool before slicing.

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Don’t forget to save 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for your next batch. You can also save a few extra 1/4 cup sourdough starter jars for your friends!

Sourdough Spelt Bread
This is my simplified method of making sourdough, however to find more details visit: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-224367.
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Leaven
  1. 1/4 cup Sourdough Starter
  2. 1/2 cup Flour
  3. 1/3 cup Water
Dough
  1. 2 1/2 cup spring water
  2. 5 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour
  3. 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, fluff whole spelt flour. Add 1 tsp of Sea Salt to flour and mix. Pour flour and salt mixture into the sourdough, add water and mix until you end up with your sourdough ball.
  2. Place into a bowl and cover for up to 4 hours. To fold, pick up the dough, stretch and then fold the dough. Stretch again in the opposite direction. Do this 4 times. Place back into bowl and cover for 1/2 hour. Complete this 6 times (2 1/2 hours). Let sit undisturbed for 1 hour.
  3. Gently, divide the dough into 2 balls using a small amount of flour. Let them rest for 30 minutes. Fold each of the loaves again. Place the loaves into bowls and cover, then allow it to sit 3-4 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place an empty dutch oven with lid on for the last half hour. Pull the dutch oven out of the oven and gently transfer the dough from the colander. Put the lid back on and return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to bake for 10 additional minutes. Let cool before slicing.
  5. Don’t forget to save 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for your next batch. You can also save a few extra 1/4 cup sourdough starter jars for your friends!
Adapted from The Kitchn
Adapted from The Kitchn
Nutrition from the Ground Up https://nutritionfromthegroundup.com/
sourdough 7

 

Featured Lifestyle

Skincare Ingredients

May 6, 2016

Beautycounter

In my nutrition counseling, I encourage my clients to think, “If you don’t know what an ingredient is, your body won’t either.” In choosing skincare, it’s a little bit more complicated, because many of the ingredients may easily be naturally foreign to us. In knowing that our skin is our largest organ and absorbs toxins from anything we choose to apply, I decided to look for some answers and support. Here are some simple facts:

  • The United States has not passed a federal law governing the cosmetics industry since 1938.
  • The US has banned or restricted only 11 ingredients to date, while the European Union has banned close to 1,400.
  • Beautycounter has banned over 1,500 ingredients from our products.

Use the NEVER List  as a reference to go through your own products while “Spring Cleaning”: theneverlistbw 8x10

with love

Featured Lifestyle

Spreading the Love: Sherry Dioti

May 1, 2016

This month, I’m happy to share my fourth interview with one of several of my gurus. There are many 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. 

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

Sherry Dioti First, a little bit about what led me to Sherry. This Winter, I went away to Martha’s Vineyard for an amazing intensive Yoga Teacher Training. Yoga came to me just right out of college, even though I had taken a yoga course (for credits) in college. I had just lost my father, living in Boston, in my Dietetic Internship and looking for connection, self-growth and reflection. There were several people that came into my life that inspired me to get into yoga classes. Once I was there, I understood its power (for me). I was so grateful. While I was visiting Martha (the island), I connected with a friend from college that had completed the Fly Yoga School 200-hour Teacher Training. The feelings that percolated during our conversation gave me the powerful impulsion to call Sherry the next day.

Sherry teaches a soulful, fluid and dynamic yoga. We link our breath to our movement, stack poses from basic to more complex, move towards balance between our active and receptive selves, and seek compassion, truth, and acceptance in body mind and spirit. Sherry weaves in the spirit, magic and integrity of the yoga teachings, shamanism and the practice of self-awareness without taking it all too seriously. Each practice is a celebration of life itself.

Fly Yoga School

 Sherry is particularly drawn to the change that is experienced through yoga – the “play” within the body; to use breath and movement, to get to know her Self and her divine nature better; and to purify the body and mind so that true spirit has a place to call home. She is humbled by the process of unfolding – peeling through layers – and is stricken by the sweet power of quiet mind and seat.

Sherry returns people to the earth. She wants to “go there” and urges her students to go with her. She is a true teachers teacher, a leader and a mirror into fearlessness, moving people to move- out of their comfort zones and into the fire for healing. She does so with the heart of a warrior, and the touch of the mother. Reminding us every step of the way that we are already Whole, and that everyone is the Guru.

Sherry Dioti

 What has been your journey into what you do? 

Although I had already taken some yoga classes, yoga truly found me during my pregnancy. I discovered I was pregnant the evening of September 10th, 2001. As you can imagine, waking up the next morning (as a New Yorker) to watch the twin towers go down on the first morning as a future mom was quite alarming. To combat the anxiety of bringing up a child in this time, I decided to go to Prenatal Yoga class, which truly changed my life. The twice weekly classes throughout my pregnancy was a HOME I had not yet felt before in my life. Thus, my first yoga teacher was clearly my son Miles.

When Miles was 4 months old my then-husband and I moved the family to Martha’s Vineyard. I quickly discovered there were no prenatal classes offered on Island, and thus I knew what my dharma was- to be the one to teach. I started offering prenatal yoga when Miles was 8 months old, and created a beautiful community of women in this important life threshold. I can remember clear as day the first woman broke water in class!

Those babies were born and the moms asked me to teach baby & mommy yoga, and then they grew even more and started preschool, and the moms wanted to continue without the babies, so i began to offer Hatha yoga classes open to the public.

My true step-in to sharing yoga as a sacred science happened after I had an injury in my spine. Forced to sit, as it was the only position comfortable to me, I had no choice but to transform my yoga practice from a physical, to a whole science. My meditation practice and study of the teachings through sacred text and subtle body science took hold, landed in me and a new purpose was revealed. In these years of injury, I was able to take the time to create FLY Yoga school.

Sherry Dioti

What have you cultivated along the way? 

Deep respect, all around. Gratitude that the teachings have found me and move through me in a relatable way for others. Respect for whatever is showing up in my life and the ability to sit with others as they feel through there own life happenings. Community and deep sharing with individuals and groups. Self-realization and actualization. SO MUCH MORE!

What inspires you?

My son Miles and all the ways he shape-shifts through his life, and the learning I gain through mothering. I am inspired by people awakening to their truth and so grateful that I am able to share that space with others.

What are the biggest things youve learned? 

Not to run away from my feelings and chase happiness. Seeing the beauty in this sometimes ugly yet beautiful mystery of life. Getting excited about all the ways life presents itself and having a sacred science with an incredible toolbox of practices to guide my way on.

Sherry Dioti

What are your intentions? 

To play whatever part I can in bringing others back HOME to themselves.

How do you feel about your energy?

I have a lot of energy, and I am continually learning how to contain, grow and harvest it for the “Greater Good of All.”

Sherry Dioti

What is your relationship with food? 

It waivers, but I’d say its’ overall a healthy relationship. Sometimes I pay little attention, other than enjoying that I’m blessed to have it. Then I have sparks of excitement around it at times too. I’m not much of a Chef, but i enjoy eating. 

What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both? 

I eat simply and fairly clean. My favorite meal is a big salad with everything in it. Fresh greens, brown rice, toasted sunflower seeds, beets, kale, whatever other yummy things I can add to make it a meal.

sherry

Who are your favorite teachers? why? 

My son Miles, all the beautiful people who come to practice with me, and my spiritual teachers Saul David Raye and Miguel Angel Vergara. All of these people open doors for me, and remind me of who I am in my essence.

What is your vision board for 2016? 

To scale back a bit to gain insight and take a breather (from travel-teaching, specifically). To continually be re-inspired to practice and share yoga in new platforms. To write more. To enjoy my time in the moment of NOW and spend lots of it in nature.

What’s your favorite book and why?

Light on Life by BKS Iyengar. Such a life affirming memoir on the yogic teachings. I can read it over and over (and I do!)

Sherry Dioti

How do you balance your life? 

I’ve gotten really good at the mantra “just because I can, doesn’t mean I should”. So Ive learned to say “no, thank you” more so that my “yes” is a “hell-yes!”

How do you practice mindfulness?

I try to do this in all my relations, not always successful, but its a practice. I am learning to listen more than I speak and track my feelings and sensations in the moment of the experiences instead of only in hindsight.

Fly Yoga School

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

We are already Whole. And Everyone is the Guru.

Connect with Sherry: 

www.flyyogamv.com
Facebook
Instagram

Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Bridget Pasalacqua, my best friend. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other!

with love 

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 https://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… 

IMG_1774
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.”

OFE

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
  • James Dobson
  • Kate Sheehan
  • Inside Out Acupunture
  • Denise Joy
  • Greg Connors
  • Lisa Massari
  • Mathew Silverman
  • Ed Rand
  • Megan Bailey
  • Kelly Harju
  • Jessica Pasalacqua
  • Patricia Gadsby
  • Cathy O’Brien
  • Megan Gibbons
  • Mitra Tummino
  • Chris Leonard
  • Nicholas DiMatteo
  • Andrew Nighsander
  • Amanda Converse
  • Regina Shea
  • Lindsay Allen
  • Michael Bouvier
  • Rachael Denison
  • Sean Kaminsky
  • Bonnie Montleon
  • Ashley Tarbet
  • Stephanie Waite
  • Marylou Waite
  • Benjamin Bourgoin
  • Enid Littman
  • Ellen Scheible
  • Brian McCarthy
  • Warren McCarthy
  • Joe Faria
  • William Tucker
  • Kristen Riley
  • Jill Porter
  • Candi Keith
  • Melissa Berman
  • Stephanie Panasci
  • Rachel Gillis
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

Featured Lifestyle

Cast Iron Cookware

March 30, 2016

When cooking with a cast iron pan there are some do’s and don’ts.

DON’T: Use soap when washing your pan.

DO: Scrub it with hot water and a tough sponge or brush. Practice a habit of seasoning your pan in order to keep it well-oiled and to ensure the longest life possible. To do this, cover the bottom of the pan with a thick layer of sea salt and a half inch of cooking oil and heat until the oil starts to smoke. Then, carefully pour the salt and oil into a bowl and use a cloth to rub the inside of the pan until it is smooth. 

This all may seem like work, but so is every relationship. By keeping good care of your cast-iron cookware you’ll get some long-lasting benefits…

  • When the pan is well seasoned you will need less oil to cook with—a plus for your wallet.
  • Cast iron pans are safer to cook with than non-stick pans that have become quite common in the kitchen. These can actually release harmful chemicals (like PFCs or perfluorocarbons), both inhaled and consumed through food, from the repellent coating on the pans.
  • Instead of worrying about harmful chemicals, you can rest easy knowing that your cast iron pans release beneficial iron into your food when cooking, which is often an under consumed nutrient.

Cast iron cookware is a sustainable option. It allows you to cut down on the amount of tools you need in the kitchen, which reduces the cost you’d have to spend and the natural resources necessary to make them. They are versatile, great for the stove-top, in the oven, or over the grill or campfire, it makes for a great addition to your kitchen or trip.  

Chili

Cast iron pans are often less expensive than their best alternative, stainless-steel. Finally, cast iron pans are incredibly durable and get better with age when taken care of properly—minimizing the amount of cookware you and your family will need. 

Check out how {LODGE} cast-iron cookware is made

with love

Featured Lifestyle

DIY Rock Wall

March 24, 2016

The DIY posts will be coming once a month on the blog. Shawn and I are excited to share with you our simple home + farmden projects. Before owning our home, we have spent months of researching a.k.a. “pinteresting”, which I never thought would become such a useful communication tool in our relationship. We moved into our new home in Wellfleet, Massachusetts in February and have tackled one project at a time. I have found “couples” projects to be quite bonding. We hope you enjoy our first project! We’d like to introduce you to our DIY foraged hand-built beach rock wall…

Rock Wall 4

Tools: 

Bucket {for mixing mortar}
Trowel {one for each person} 
Mortar {a workable paste that binds rocks}
Rocks {collected at the beaches on Cape Cod}
Sheet {cover the floor} 
Rag + Small Container filled with water {for washing the rocks} 
Cleaner {We use The Optimist Co.} 

Rock Wall Building 3

Tip: Layout your sheet first. It’s important to see all your rock options before building your wall. Think of it as a “game night.” Who can find the next rock that fits perfectly in the next open space? We were both using our intuition and creativity. Our first lesson involved the thickness of the mortar. Tip: Be sure to create a thick enough paste that will allow you to push each rock into a sturdy position. We had about 5 falls before finding the right consistency. Literally, watching the rocks all fall to the floor was emotionally draining, but we didn’t give up and kept at it.  

Rock Wall Building 2 copy

Tip: Place a decent amount of mortar on the rock, press it firmly with one motion into the wall, then let go. Don’t keep touching it. Let it be, even though you may feel urged to fix it. 

Rock Wall Building copy

Tip: Don’t stress about mortar smudging in places you don’t want it to be. There will be the rag + water to wipe down those areas after you’ve finished a portion of the wall. Try to finish 1/4 to 1/2 of the wall, then do a clean-up session. 

Rock Wall 3

I hope everyone tries to make their own DIY foraged hand built beach rock wall. It’s a wonderful experience to find your rocks, puzzle them together and see what develops! We all need some rocks in our life…

rock – the solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth and other similar planets, exposed on the surface or underlying the soil or oceans.

rock – a person or thing suggesting a rock, esp in being dependable or providing firm foundation.

Nicole + Shawn

Featured Lifestyle

Spreading the Love: Kate Scott

March 10, 2016

This month, I’m happy to share my second interview with one of several of my inspirational allies. There are so many inspirational allies 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, teachers + allies that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world. 

al·ly: to join (yourself) with another person, group, etc., in order to get or give support

First, a little bit about Kate. As many of you know, I am often spotted wearing a bun on the top of my head. Although, I used to wear my hair down, it’s been a few years now that the bun has completely taken a stand, which I am grateful for it. It’s easy, quick and does the trick for most styles, gardening to dresses. However, I decided to let it out! Kate Scott was such a support to match my easy and quick needs with a style that fit me. We did the “beach” hair & the “blow-out”, while we allied on healing, wholeness, growth and health. 

About Kate:

“Over the past 9 years, I have been a hair stylist. My specialty focuses on curly hair with experience in editorial, film styling, and NYC Fashion Week Runway shows. My love for hair styling started while attempting ‘to manage’ my own curly hair. I worked on the curly hair styling team at the Ouidad Flagship Salon in Los Angeles for four years as a stylist, educator, and platform artist. My other extensive trainings include AVEDA, L’oreal, J Beverly Hills and Arrojo. My signature approach gives my clients confidence to embrace and celebrate their unique hairstyles. My interest in hair styling broadened itself to include health and wellbeing. I strongly believe that each one of us has our own health style. I pursued self-studies of Macrobiotic and Ayurveda, along with other various modalities to heal myself through food.”

What has been your journey into what you do? 

I first got into styling hair because I had such a hard time managing my own curls! I used to read all sorts of hair articles in search of the ‘curl cure’, and I finally decided I should just go to cosmetology school to learn how to master it myself. Now I actually specialize in curly hair and the whole process has come full circle for me!

Kate Scott

What have you cultivated along the way?

Self love, and a passion for helping others love themselves and embrace who they are too.

What inspires you?

Health and Wellbeing, and living out our gifts, talents, and life’s purpose.

What are the biggest things youve learned?

To let go, and that prayer is the answer to creating a life you love.

What are your intentions?

To take care of myself and stay true to my personal values – family and relationships, health and wellbeing, inspiration, and spiritual growth.

How do you feel about your energy?

Energy is everything. Wherever you focus your energy, the energy will flow – it’s all about the law of attraction. I feel that mine is grounded yet light hearted.

Kate Scott

What is your relationship with food?

Food is the source of life itself. It mirrors the relationship I have with myself. It has it’s own energy and contributes to my own. It is the seed of everything. Food is a meditation in action. I have finally cultivated a loving, nurturing relationship with food where I’m not scared of it and don’t think about dieting…I appreciate how beautiful food is and am grateful for every meal.

What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both?

Kitchari is my favorite Ayurvedic healing dish to make for myself – it always makes me feel grounded and centered. My recipe makes 3 servings and is a pitta pacifying blend of 1/2 tsp each – cumin, fennel seed, coriander, turmeric and 1/2″ sliced ginger heated in 2 TB ghee and sautéed with 1 cup seasonal vegetable and cooked with 1/2 cup mung beans and 1 cup basmati rice in 5 cup purified water. Simmered for 25-30min and can be topped with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Who are your favorite teachers?

Dr. Douilliard, Nick Arrojo, Ouidad, Gabrielle Bernstein. why? They are living out their life’s purpose and cultivating a community to inspire others to be their best selves.

Kate Scott

What is your vision board for 2016?

I have lots of things I’d like to create – different guides and workshops and maybe a retreat. Also enjoying seasonal fun – bike rides and paddle boarding in summer, snow shoeing in winter and travel!

What’s your favorite book and why?

So many favorite self improvement books – anything by Dr. Dyer or Gabrielle Bernstein because they teach you how to connect with your inner self. I also love a good novel – Lilianne Moriarty or JoJo Moyes are great sources of entertainment and I find it’s important to lose myself in a book through them. 

How do you balance your life?

It has taken me a long time to realize how to establish strong boundaries in my life, but aligning with my personal values helps me do just that. I keep a strict schedule with my diet plan, work schedule, my yoga/meditation, and self care using blocks of time throughout the week.

Kate Scott

How do you practice mindfulness?

In everything that I do, I always tune into my breath. By practicing yoga daily/weekly it becomes second nature to do so. Also having a daily routine of self care and expressing what I’m grateful for throughout the day and in daily prayer.

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

Trust your path. Follow your inspiration – it’s your inner guide speaking to you. Discovering your life’s purpose is the answer to everything. So is looking for the good in everything and being grateful for what you have. Love always wins! 😉

Connect with Kate: 

www.KateScottBeauty.com
www.facebook.com/KateScottBeauty
www.instagram.com/katescottbeauty

Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Betsy Wild, a mentor and passionate green living expert. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other! 

with love