It’s More than Food

When we talk about getting healthy, the first thing that comes into the conversation focuses around eating the ‘right’ foods, or the excuse that healthy foods don’t taste good. Well, I have my opinion on both of those issues, but Health has more to do than with food. (I like talking and eating food, but there’s more) It can seem complicated, thinking about everything that affects us, but if you can think about it in categories, I think that simplifies things a bit.

Take a look at the categories that make up YOU. For example, there are relational, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, environmental, and intellectual  components of your life. To be ‘healthy’ I believe you need to have balance in each component and should be working at improving or nourishing each area. But there is only one person that needs to decide what should be done, that’s you.

It’s a good exercise to divide a piece of paper into squares and right these categories at the top of each square. Then rank your satisfaction of that area of your life with a number from 1-10 in the upper corner of each box. Write down a few things you do already to address each category.  Once you’ve thought about that, notice the box with the lowest ranking number(s). Ask yourself, ‘What’s going on? Whats missing? What is one thing you can add or subtract that would make a small difference and improve how you feel in that category?”

I’ll share ways I’ve nourished each area of my life. For my relational category, I try to connect with a far away friend twice a month and meet up with local friends to catch up on life. I also try to have meaningful conversations with my husband and friends. My emotional component is nourished by talking out concerns or fears with a trusted friend or my husband and knowing absolutely that God is in control and has my back, so I can trust that the things happening that affect my emotional state may be hard, but they will turn out to be good.  Physically, I try to get in veggies of some kind at each meal and do some intentional movement and activity everyday it may be following an online exercise class, walking around the lake, or quick burst exercises. In the Spiritual category, I’ve been able to incorporate an online morning devotional that gives me a way to delve into the Bible while I have golden milk, tea or coffee in the morning before getting into the action of my day (I use the First 5 app). My financial component is my weakest cog, I want to make a difference and help others with the knowledge I have, but finding the best ways of doing that and making money has been a challenge. So I’m expanding into some new territory that aligns with my passion for helping others overcome the stress around food and gain more health.  I think the issue in this category is feeling like you’re living out your purpose. Environmentally I’ve changed things over several years. I made a switch to eliminate toxins in my cleaning solutions, soaps, shampoos, laundry supplies and skin care. I do have an EMF protector on my cell phone, but I think there is a need to take a break and unplug from social media and the constant demands that we feel from always being ‘connected’; If we are not careful, we will be living in response to everybody else’s desires put upon us rather than living proactively. And lastly, in the intellectual category, I try to make it a priority to read for enjoyment and to learn more.

I encourage you to take a little time to evaluate your Health in all areas of your life and see if there is room to grow or balance some things out. Reply if this has been helpful. Thanks again for being in my community of friends

June is Dairy Month?

In Wisconsin, I thought every month was dairy month.  Milk and cheese are major players in Wisconsin cuisine, it is the biggest dietary issue I see for people living here who want to regain their health and reduce the inflammation and acidity they are dealing with.  Many people are not willing to take dairy products out of their diets to even check the possibility of them being the cause of discomfort and dis-ease. I believe this is because, if they felt better, than they would know dairy is causing their problems. And just the thought of not being able to have a slice of cheese, is enough for some people to give up on getting better naturally and instead rely heavily on prescription and OTC drugs.  That is such a sad scenario because more and more research is surfacing showing that Food is one of the main factors in staying healthy and reversing poor health. Lifestyle choices have shown to be even more influential than your genes.  Epigenetics is the focus of study that is actually showing how food can regulate whether certain genes are turned on or off, causing certain genetic dispositions to surface. In other words, if you have a gene for a certain illness or disease, but you are not showing any signs of that disease yet, your diet, environment, and emotions play a significant part in whether or not you will show signs of that genetic disease in the future.  Also, if you already have symptoms of disease, diet changes have actually been shown to reverse disease, especially in the case of certain cancers, diabetes 2, gastrointestinal diseases, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. Food can be your medicine, either by omitting certain food from your diet or including specific foods. It is usually a combination of both to achieve the greatest impact.

I have taken dairy out of my diet since  about 2010, and I can say I do see a difference…definitely less mucus in my respiratory tract. I used to wake up every morning and have to hack up phlegm that collected in my throat while sleeping (I know, too much information). I do not have a tendency for colds or sinus issues since getting dairy out of my diet. And I do not have the bloated feeling after eating. If I decide I want some cheese, a nut cheese or even goat cheese seems to digest much easier and not have the mucus forming result for me. But the craving for cheese isn’t there anymore. I believe your body craves poor quality food when it doesn’t know better. Once you begin supplying better food options with higher quality nutrients, over a relatively short period of time, your body stops the junk cravings and starts craving the foods it knows will nourish and fill in where nutrients are lacking. I was amazed when my body started craving greens and green smoothies…Huh? We are all ingrained with the idea that cravings are things that are “bad” for us. But I really think we crave nutrients and our body counts nutrients, not calories.

My dairy symptoms were pretty mild things to be dealing with, but just so you know how significant dairy can be in the system, I wanted to share some research that used exclusively the dairy protein, casein.  Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD researcher and author of the China Study, used two diets of differing casein percentages, 5% and 20% to show the influences on cancer cell growth. In the case of the mice eating 5% casein and having been injected with cancer causing agent, none of the mice grew cancer cells, all had a normal life span and good health. The other group of mice, eating 20% casein, being injected with cancer agent, like the first group, all developed cancer tumors and died early. Then repeating the study, the diets were switched mid stream to show how changing the diet can influence cancer growth and it was indicative, that the higher the casein protein amount, there was greater influence on cancer growth, and if decreased, lesser cancer growth and effects.  Tests were repeated and results were consistent. This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about how food affects disease manifested in the body. Your body can keep disease/genes under control, or it can lose control and the disease takes over until the body is given what it needs to overcome. I would risk saying that for most people, food is a main issue that allows the disease to take over and the body to be deficient…but to me that also means there is always hope for a reversal, if food is considered part of your health care!

So, Because June is “Dairy Month”, maybe you would like to start eliminating dairy by the end of the month, so you can see if this omission will allow you to feel better by mid July.. Removing dairy, which includes, milk, yogurt, cheeses, ice cream, cream, whey, casein, derivatives found in processed foods, etc. can seem like a very difficult undertaking. But keep in mind that there are a lot of alternatives that can take the place of, or fill in, where you would have a tendency to have dairy.  Almond and coconut milks are great for basic milk substitutes and can be used in cooking. You can cultured them to make yogurt and kefir and use them as a base for ice creams.  Making your own with a blender is ideal, but some of the commercial brands are decent.

To make your own almond or coconut milk, you will need a blender and a nut milk bag or sieve. For almond milk: soak 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl of water for 8 hours. Rinse, strain and place in a blender. Cover with three cups of pure water, blend and strain. If you want to keep the milk from separating, place strained milk in blender and add a teaspoon of powdered lecithin and blend for a minute. Pour into a jar and keep refrigerated up to 5 days.  Save the nut pulp for baking or raw crackers or breads. For milk, you can also use almond butter and water blended, straining is optional.  You can use most nuts and seeds to make milk, just soak, rinse and adjust water amount to 3X the nut amount. adjust the amount lower for a thicker/creamier milk.  HERE is a link for more plant milk variations and ideas. And  Ice Cream without dairy, (pictured)

For coconut milk: you can use a young coconut and blend the flesh and the water to make a milk. If young coconuts are not available, you can use dried shredded coconut and water, blended and strained. Coconut butter and water blended will also make a nice milk. The ratio of dried coconut to water is about 2 parts water to one part dried coconut, be sure to use the unsweetened coconut shreds. You can sweeten the home-made milks by blending with one or two dates or adding a bit of stevia or honey.

Class Reruns

I’ve been teaching classes for about five years. So I’ve decided to go through all of my past classes and offer them as reruns. I know there will be information for everyone, and I’ll be able to add new things I’ve learned since teaching them the first or third time. I would like some feedback as to the interests that are out there for classes, so If you see some in the following list that you are especially interested in attending, please let me know by commenting below or emailing me. I will see where the greatest interests are and put together a schedule.  I will only offer some of the classes this year, with a preregistration deadline.  I know everyone is busy, just like I am, and we have to pick and choose what we spend our time on and when to take time away from family.  If healthy eating is important to you and something you need help learning or being inspired to do, these classes are a great way to accomplish that goal while learning and having some fun and uplifting conversation with others. It can be considered “ME” time that will ultimately benefit you and your loved ones.  We have a good time coming together and sharing information and food.

Please take a look at the list of classes below and if one (or two or three) peaks your interest please comment in the box below. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Food as Medicine or Poison

Foods that Feed Your Thyroid

Break Up with Sugar

Foods to Calm Inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of many discomforts and diseases we experience. This class will look at some of the dietary causes of inflammation and give you alternatives to incorporate into your diet that will help reduce the inflammatory response.  We will cover gluten free, dairy free, low carbohydrate and alkalizing foods that can help bring relief.  This is primarily an educational class with a lot of printed info with some food samples and recipes that are anti-inflammatory.

Plant-based World Tour – Cuisinr from Spain, Africa, Greece and India

Easy Raw for Everyday

This class will delve into the importance of raw, uncooked foods for those interested in incorporating foods that are alive with nutrition and life giving energy.  Chef Kim will demonstrate how to make easy and delicious raw dishes for each meal of the day.  You will sample the food as a “Living Lunch”

All American Favorites with a Twist:          

Chef Kim will demo the recipes while you enjoy tasting them.  The menu includes: No-Meat Burgers, Good4U Onion rings, Wholesome Ketchup, Mustard and Mayo, Wonderful Waldorf Salad, and Rawsome Apple crisp!

 Dehydrating 101  and 201    

101-Come find out how dehydrating can prolong the life of your foods, cut down on waste, and provide delicious snack and travel foods

201- This class will expand upon the Dehydrating 101 class as Chef Kim shares more advanced recipes and techniques for dehydrating and preserving foods. We will cover how to make granola, crackers, wraps, cookies, and more

Raw Italian Cuisine 1 and 2

Raw foods the delicious way…full of Italian flavor!  Menu 1: Living Lasagna, Italian Kale salad, Garden Pizza, and OMG bars

Menu 2: Pesto Rawvioli,  Caesar Salad, and Sweet Cannoli. Come hungry, as we will share a buffet lunch

 Nut Milks and the Multipurpose Nut-Milk Bag:

Come see the many ways you can use a nut-milk bag while you learn how to make your own dairy free ‘milks’ and nut milk recipes.  You will taste almond milk, cashew hemp milk, oat milk and rice milk and recipes using each milk.

 Gluten-Free and Easy (Not a raw Class)                                               

This class will touch on how gluten affects the body and some easy ways of eating gluten free.  From lunchbox foods to desserts, this class will give you ideas and recipes for avoiding gluten and choosing healthful alternatives.

Raw Asian Fusion:

You will enjoy demos and tasting of  Coconut Soup, Vegetable Pad Thai, Nori rolls and Cardamom Fruit Tarts.

Dairy-Free and Delicious                                       

Join in this class for ideas and recipes that are great tasting without dairy.  Chef Kim will demo how to make dairy free alternatives to cheese spreads, cream sauces, ice cream and more. There will be samples.

 Super Nutritious & Delicious Greens: 

Come find out the importance of including greens in your diet.  Come taste some amazingly delicious green recipes. We will cover the use of kale, chard, spinach, romaine, bok choy, collards, beet greens, cabbage, and green herbs.

Dips and Treats 

Do you need some healthy recipes for appetizers or starters for when family and friends gather together?  In this class you will learn recipes and techniques for making creamy dips, tapenade, pesto, and hummus along with crackers, breadsticks and veggies that can be used in a variety of ways to make appealing and delicious starters for any gathering or as a yummy snack for yourself.  Samples will be served.

Divine Desserts 

Come enjoy raw desserts that are sure to please.   You will learn through recipe demos, taste all the desserts and take the recipes home to wow your family and friends.

Health Promoting Raw Snacks

We all need a snack every now and then, and this class will give you an arsenal of recipes for snacks that will increase your energy and curb your appetite without caffeine and refined sugar.  Great snacks for kids too.   You’ll be sure to leave energized and empowered to make your own healthful superfood snacks.

Raw Mexican Cuisine

If you enjoy Mexican food but would like an alternative to the meat and cheese found in most Mexican recipes, come enjoy a Raw Mexican class where you will watch the recipe demonstrations and then feast on a delicious three-course meal, including: soup, piled high tacos and a dessert.

Breakfast and Brunch–  Healthy breakfast choices: Juices, smoothies, easy granola with almond milk, raw oatmeal, crepes and raw cinnamon rolls. Get your morning kick start without the sugar and caffeine found in most morning choices.

Organic on a Budget – It is Possible and Important! 

What do the labels mean – “Natural vs. Organic”. GMO foods to watch out for. How eating organic is possible even when you are pinching pennies.  Come gain some tools on how to budget and eat organic for your health

Raw Energy Soups, Mineral Boosting Greens and Dressings 

Chef Kim will teach you the template to follow to make your own healthy and tasty soups, full of life energy. Then you will learn the benefits of incorporating leafy greens and sprouts into your daily menu and how to make delicious salads and dressings.

Kraut Power – Feed your Gut and Boost your Brain

The importance of the gut flora is often overlooked in how it affects every facet of our health. This class will inform and teach you how to make your own highly effective and potent living probiotic food to enhance your overall health. You will prepare your own pint of kraut to take home, ferment and enjoy!  You will taste a variety of fermented foods.

Raw Nut Cheez & Sprouted Breads (and Organic Wine)

Come learn the art of raw cheez and bread making, without the dairy and gluten.  You will taste how fermenting changes the flavor of the cheez and how adding herbs and spices can bring a new dimension to your palate. Smooth cheez spreads and firm cheez forms will be covered. Raw breads are healthy and fun to learn how to make, but do require a dehydrator. You will taste a variety of breads and cheez, accompanied by a glass of organic wine (optional).

Get Cultured!

Come learn the importance of adding cultured foods to your diet and how they can improve your health. You will learn how to culture your own coconut yogurt, kefir, raw nut cheese, and veggie kraut. We will cover different options for ‘starters’ and part of the class will be hands on as you make your own Kraut to take home with you.

Come Clean- Cleanse Workshop

Come find out what Cleansing and Detoxing is all about and how implementing this practice can bring your body greater health. Your questions about different cleanse techniques will be answered along with the reasons for cleansing and how to formulate your own cleanse the smart way.  There are different reasons for using different detox approaches, and there are certain things to consider and be aware of when doing a Cleanse.  If you want to learn how to help your body release unwanted, toxins and weight that are causing ill health, join in for this information packed night.

Healthy Food on the Go- Go 

 

This class will show you how to stay healthy on the go.  Whether you are on the sidelines, picnicking, camping, jetting off somewhere or just need ideas for a bagged lunch, this class will help with ideas and give you some recipes to get you started.

Spring into Health

Well, I wish it was as easy as it sounds.  Springing into health is more of a journey that takes patience and persistence before we see any results and habits change. It kind of reminds me of our Wisconsin ‘Spring”, we have to wait through the cold and still sometimes freezing temps until it really feels like Spring.  Even though the temps are still cold, the longer days and more sunshine, give us incentive to come out of hibernation and get ready to be more active and focus on healthy lifestyle choices, whether that includes walking or running around the lake, hiking, riding the bike paths, getting out on the water in some form or another, participating in team sports and daily choosing healthy foods for meals and snacks.

For me, being active and eating the healthiest foods comes easiest when it is warm outside. [ I did take a vacation to Florida in March and was so thankful for the sunshine on my skin, walking miles on the beach morning and night, and for all the fresh fruit and vegetables that were in season at the you-pick farms.]  I am so ready for spring. So as we start to warm up here in Wisconsin, I want to encourage you to make a plan…

Take a quick evaluation of how you want to feel better, sleep better, eat better, have fun better. If you write that list down, you are more likely to do something about it. Then make a plan to incorporate one activity of movement a day, that will raise your heart rate for a few minutes. More and more studies are coming out that debunk the “rule” of having to do an hour of aerobic exercise for it to be of any benefit. Instead small bursts of exercise that raise heart rate are very beneficial and do not take hours of your time. Next add more green leafy vegetables to your daily meals or snacks, try them in a green smoothie, as a wrap instead of bread for sandwich filling, blended with an avocado and lemon juice for a dip with other vegetables, sauteed with coconut oil and garlic, chopped and mixed in with some raw kraut, wrapped around a banana or spread with almond butter or hummus and rolled. By adding in high nutrient-dense snacks and foods, your body will thank you with more energy, better focus, better sleep, better weight and overall well-being.  With small steps toward replacing empty calorie foods that are processed and full of additives, with more nutrient rich whole foods, you will spring into greater health!

A person with health has many dreams, a person without health has but one dream.

What do I know?

What I understand about food is this:

  • You will enjoy food first with your eyes, so make your food beautiful.
  • The more nutrient dense your food is, the less volume you will consume.
  • Relax and enjoy the flavors of your food for best assimilation
  • More nutrition is found in raw unprocessed food.
  • 100% raw diet is not necessary to get the benefits raw foods offer.
  • Food feeds the whole individual, not just filling the stomach.
  • Food and your amazing body can work together to heal the dis-ease you may be experiencing.
  • There is not one diet that is right for everyone – you are an individual and your food choices should be the best for YOU.
  • There are healthy food guidelines that everyone should consider.

I’ll touch on these topics as different posts. But take a bit of time to consider the ideas and think about each bite you take.  Remembering that what matters most is what you do “all the time” or by habit, not what you do every once in a while. If you splurge every once in a while, be thankful, enjoy it and then go back to regularly eating whole unprocessed foods.

If you need to change your habit of regularly eating refined, boxed and processed foods, then begin by incorporating one whole food (fruit or vegetable) at each meal.  Smoothies for breakfast are a great way to start. See RECIPE.