Sometimes life seems repetitive: You feel stuck in a rut, like a hamster on a wheel. When you feel this way, life quickly loses it’s magic, creativity and excitement. It’s as if you are caught up in an internal dialogue, unable to get free. Meditation shows you how to step out of that dialogue, how to be present, living moment to moment with a natural spontaneity. ~ Andy Puddicombe
As the leaves turn colors and drop to the ground in the Pacific Northwest, the night sky comes earlier, and the chill of the fall breeze sets in, I am reminded how short the summer is. I can still taste the fresh berries, fruits, and vegetables from the garden. The once daily used swimming pool is now green and ready for storage. The routine weekend outdoor activities are replaced with school time preparation.
But the wonderful days don’t have to end. Now is a time for soaking up the fleeting Vitamin D producing sunrays. Now is the time to start your indoor gym memberships. Now is the time to store all your nutrient dense, home grown, local foods and start your fall winter mini hoop gardens. Now is the time to schedule your fall weekend outdoor escapes.
As Fall sets in, and folks gather in close quarters, we start the cold and flu season. Instead of over-sanitizing, consider boosting your immune system naturally. Growing cold hardy leafy greens such as chard, kale, rocket, and arugula is easy to do. Maintaining these fresh nutrient dense foods in your diet will provide the majority of your vitamin and mineral intake. Storing squash, garlic, and onions will keep your body strong throughout late fall. And the bumper apple crop can be frozen or made into tasty sauce. Stock your medicine cabinet with dried herbs and spices to keep your metabolic fire burning.
It is estimated that apx. 10% of Americans are prescribed antidepressants, which can be addictive, devoid your body of nutrients, and come with side effects which can make symptoms worse, even causing death. These drugs rewire your brain and change who you are….They usually do not resolve the source issue, but they are easy for Physicians to prescribe, and bring in alot of money for the Doctors. It is important to address any underlying problems with counseling and stress reduction. Save yourself and money by eating whole foods including healthy fats. Most seasonal sadness can be alleviated by eating a nutrient dense whole foods diet. This includes a rainbow of pesticide free vegetables, plenty of natural animal proteins, berries, properly prepared nuts, and fruits. Eliminate bad fats like canola, shortening, and commercially farmed animals. Rather, eat avocados, EVOO, Coconut Oil, grass fed meat, real butter, and free range eggs that provide an array of healthy fats that allow our bodies to assimilate fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Quit sugar alltogether; and reduce refined grains and foods, as they rob your body of B vitamins, which are integral in supporting mental health. Eat real food and get into a good mood.
Homemade broths are superfoods, and there’s nothing better than a hot soup on a cold day filled with all those vegetables you stored. Keep your digestion strong with bitters and enzymes. Most important, don’t stop moving. Running, biking, and hiking can continue with a change of wardrobe. Detox by visiting an infrared sauna, or hot yoga studio. Most gymnasiums have heated pools, too.
Enjoy the cozy days with hot herbal teas. The SAD (Standard American Diet) is largely comprised of refined sugar and grains, so be the change at the next holiday party by preparing a healthy real-food treat. Keep moving, smiling, and enjoy the transition to fall.
Did you have a beautiful bumper crop this year?
After the months of planning, tilling, sowing, watering, and weeding your body deserves to be nourished!
Freezing, drying, and canning are great ways to eat your home grown bounty all year round.
The truth is, some foods are even more nutritious when canned or cooked.
Devils Blood Beets
The book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson explains how.
This book is part of my library, and discusses what type to grow or buy, when to harvest, and how to prepare fruits and vegetables.
Another idea is to share the fruits of my labor with friends, family, or people who care for you (like your wonderful Yoga instructors!).
You can also have your family over and have grain free garden spaghetti with tomatoes, garlic, onions, kale, oregano, and squash from your garden.
At the end of summer, give thanks and be thankful and enjoy your wonderful bounty.
Just like savasana, rest, breathe, and appreciate all the hard work you have put into your garden.
After relaxing, gather your seeds, mulch, and plant your winter crop. The journey continues……………….
- Always bring your reusable bags shopping. Keep a few in the back of your car. Plastic litters the oceans, puts toxins in the atmosphere, and can take thousands of years to degrade.
- Reduce packaging. Grow your own garden. Buy bulk. Eat fresh, unpackaged whole foods. Avoid products that are double wrapped with plastic, and take the time to contact the manufacturers about their waste. You might get a thank you for saving them money!
- Think twice before you buy. The more “stuff” you buy, the more clutter you will have in your life. Make sure every item you buy is worth its carbon footprint. When you want some “thing” at the store, go home and research: where and how they are made, what the reviews are, and price. You might check Craigslist to see if you can get a better deal. If in 48 hours, if you still really want the item, chances are, it will still be there.
- Drive less. Walking and biking are not only great forms of exercise, they make the world and your wallet “green”. It is fun to slow down and see the world, while reducing pollution. Employers may compensate employees for these modes of alternative transportation, including ride-sharing, taking the local transit. Additionally, insurance companies will often give drivers discount for reduced mileage on their vehicles.
- Reuse your glass bottles and Paper. Recycle everything else. Many plastic bottles leach BPA. You can use glass jars for storing Kombucha, Sauerkraut, freezer jam, and soups. There is no need to buy water bottles, when you can reuse wine and juice bottles. Cardboard and paper are great for sheet mulching in the garden. Non-meat food items are great for composting. Aluminum and steel cans can be donated to local schools for money. Make sure to follow you local waste company’s policies on recycling to ensure everything ends up where it belongs.
- Buy Local. Buying local supports the economy, reduces your carbon footprint, and results in better quality. Buying foods without wrappers is better for the earth. Help support your local farmers markets. They might just save the community if there is ever a disaster in the commercial food supply.
- Grow Your Own Garden. A little space, some good compost, and some local non-GMO seeds can produce alot of food. Start with easy vegetables like Kale, Onions, Garlic, Beets, Chard, Spinach and Lettuce. They are low maintenance and taste so much better right from the garden. A fresh salad every day will take your health a long way.
- Consider Eating In. Preparing your own food saves you money, and might even save you time from driving to a restaurant and waiting to be served. You’ll know what the ingredients are, and with all the money you saved, you can probably even afford to splurge for an organic bottle or wine or make a nice fresh fruit salad for desert. Why not have a game night or a movie while you are at it, and avoid the unsafe drivers. Potlucks with friends are the best!
- Learn to Cook, Mend Your Clothes, Change Your Oil, Cut Your Hair, Clean Your House, and Perform Basic Home Maintenance. Or swap these services with a friend who can. Our ancestors knew how to take care of everything they owned. Become empowered and learn to be independent. You’ll be glad you did.
- Remember that the time you spend working is spending life energy. How much of your life energy is that shiny new car worth? Are working those weekend hours to pay for your new prize going to make you happier than spending Saturday fishing from the boat you carried in your old pickup truck? Material items usually don’t last as long as memories. Most of us have to work to provide income for basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare. Spending less on frivolous things andaving for hard times make sense. So, wherever you are working, make sure you are enjoying it. Life is short, and never guaranteed.
This hot, colorful meal will provide several amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Bell Peppers contain alot of Vitamin C. They are however; one of the most commonly sprayed commercial fruits, so it is always best to buy organic or wash the skins thoroughly. You can make a double batch of these and freeze for an easy-reheat meal for up to a month.
- 6 green bell peppers, tops cut away, hold seeds for mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (let rest 10 minutes before heating to increase cancer fighting properties)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon cup finely chopped fresh oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, quinoa, or go paleo and use 6 eggs
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the turkey, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Add the pepper seeds into the mix. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon to break up the lumps, about 6 minutes. Add the rice, quinoa, or eggs and tomato sauce and stir well. Finally, stir in the parsley and garlic. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.