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special promo:  DON'T WAIT FOR SPRING!

Over the past seven years I’ve worked with many of you in nutrition workshops and one-on-one consultations - helping you redirect for a healthier diet and lifestyle. Thank you for this privilege and hurrah for you in your achievements!

Don't stop now.

But....over these years I have noticed something. Womens' thoughts and emotions often get them stuck in emotional eating patterns, which interfere with their long term health and weight goals. Whether personally, or for my clients - this is not a fit with my vision for longstanding, sustainable success for wholeness! 

some of the thoughts that capture and crush hope for healthy change

  • self-blame for lack of control and having no will power over eating habits - leading to frustration
  • why bother buying a new outfit - I am so fat I look horrible in whatever I wear
  • I just don't have what it takes - I'm done with trying to lose weight and make changes!
  • if I could exercise harder I might not be so uncomfortable in my body

some coaching tools to help you change your mindset to shift from shame and disgust towards freedom

  • becoming aware of triggers
  • recognizing and re-structuring limiting thoughts
  • focusing on progress not perfection
  • nourishing ALL of you 

Thoughts that aren't true can trigger emotions which lead to actions, choices you aren't happy with. 

I want to help you with this introductory deal-of-all-deals offer to help you be able to stop the track you're on and not wait any longer. Real food will always matter......and so does breaking through emotional eating road blocks to discover a healthy and emotionally solid relationship with that food

DON'T WAIT FOR SPRING PROMO - Nutrition and Mindset Coaching Package 

 THREE 1-hour Sessions: online or in-person

 Additional Support by Email, Private FB Group 

$225.00   $175.00 CDA -  OFFER ENDS MARCH 21, 2017 

 

Not sure if you are stuck in faulty thinking or emotional eating?

Look at this checklist to help you find out.

If you are ready for hopeful, healthy change, first contact me here and book a FREE discovery call. This is a non-obligation 20-minute conversation when we can discuss whether your needs and my services are a good fit for working together. 

I'm excited to hear from everyone who takes advantage of this offer! March 21/17 it's over

Here is what others are saying about this coaching approach.

"Karen is an invaluable coach in dealing with issues of emotional eating.  She helped me to look inward through a variety of exercises to discover what my emotional triggers were in regards to unhealthy food choices.   Karen is a great listener, asks the right questions, empathizes and makes you feel understood.  She leads you on a journey to see the positive in yourself, set boundaries and to deal with those nagging thoughts that trip you up.  I highly recommend Karen to help you start a healthier journey in life."  

2016 Heather Drysdale, Artist  -Heather Drysdale Studios  

Stuck

23 Sep 2016
Posted by karen
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I'm tired of being stuck.

Not writing on my blog because it desperately needs a renovation and feeling guilty because the steps to fix it have been SO slow!

Not having clarity on the direction of my vision and mission.

Not feeling congruent in my work and my values.

The redemptive part of being stuck is being forced to look at what's happening around you, and within you.

Which for me has been discovering....

Through social media and email it has been possible to meet and stay connected to my "tribe".

Coaching clients to lose excess weight and gain health is rewarding - a meaningful extension of the health fundamentals I believe in and live myself. 

But yet...

It's apparent to me my blog is an important web landing and launch pad. I don't want to lose thecreative writing juices I have. Sorry for the neglect!! 

Partnering with In Balance  and its successful program syncs with my philosophy for a holistic lifestyle. AND, in my Real Food Matters message, I want to reinforce a vital part to empower people (predominantly women) to live vibrant, inspired healthy lives for body, spirt and soul.

So...I'm reaching for my paddle to get moving!

My blog will have a face lift. It's in the works - my "plastic surgeon" and I are meeting in May and I can't wait!

I'm digging within, listening to nudges and nigglings of what I feel to be true, and nailing down my vision.

One thing for certain is 'my truth'. My relationship with God and what he thinks and believes about me (us) is foundational to my life. Embedding this in my work is vital for congruency for me as a Christian woman, facilitator and coach.

We all get stuck. Thankfully some helpful coaching has me moving on the journey to figure out the "why and how" to move beyond it.

 My blog will take a deep breathe, survive and thrive.

Thank you for your patience. Please stay tuned for the changes I am excited about, ready for, and which I believe will serve my readers well.

I welcome comments and please get in touch here if you too are feeling stuck.

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Getting ready to fly back home as an unattended minor. A little nervous but not anxious. That is "huge".

I have been planning to post this blog about Stosh, one of my three grandsons, for....years! I cannot put my finger on why today is the day but I do know this is the right day. This past summer Stosh spent a week with his Papa and me, first time without his parents and siblings. We had a wonderful time; watching the FIFA World Cup on television, hiking along the ocean, and camping.

 

Getting together during summer vacation is a very common story for grandparents and grandchildren. What makes it so special for us is that several years ago Stosh was diagnosed with autism. Watching his journey towards health and overcoming obstacles has been amazing, heart-warming, and with much gratitude to his parents - especially his Mom, Dawna, as she researched and worked so hard (doggedly) in changing dietary and lifestyle habits, as they determined this diagnosis was not going to be a limiting label for their eldest son.

At my request in 2012, Dawna wrote this article about autism and their own specific journey. Now, two years later, after just spending a week in their home taking care of Stosh and his two younger siblings while his parents were away, it is so apparent to me that diet has totally turned our grandson's life around. I honestly feel that nobody would have any idea of Stosh's former diagnosis. I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a typical 10-year-old. But this guy (and yes, he's my grandson but I'm being as objective as possible :) is affectionate, engaging, helpful, responsible, in control of his emotions (...and pain, "when I hurt myself, instead of crying, I close my eyes and just take lot of deep breaths"!), and attends a "regular" school.

Autism covers a broad spectrum. And sadly it sweeps with a wide brush. My research tells me that 30 years ago autism affected 1 in 10,000 children. Today it is estimated to afflict as many as 1 in 50. Mainly boys. Dawna has written a very informative article which includes hope and help and courage. I encourage you to read it and share. This is her website if you wish to contact her. Or you can also contact me and I will be happy to forward your request.

 

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Parents and Grandparents: the younger set in your world can be Happy Healthy Kids

Online program to help support achieving and maintain a health weight  is being launched October 2016. This is the perfect time to begin new and healthy changes for you and your family. To find out how to get started contact me here.

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Zahn, a life coach and woman of varied skills, interests and roles.

It was December. I was in a work flatline slump (thankfully, I was still breathing!). Through an online meandering, I discovered Lisa's website and knew I wanted to connect with a woman who is 'living the life of her dreams'. Making contact and arranging a coaching session via Skype went seamless. The coaching session gave me precisely the clarity I needed - Lisa asking the right questions to help me identify some blockages - and equally as important, working together to arrive at some practical and personal steps how to move forward. A plan and accountability. Knowing I was checking in with Lisa three weeks later kept me honest! It is still working - to this very day, as returning to a writing routine was one of my roadblocks. Part of my personal action plan was writing an interview for Lisa and now I get to share the other half of our interview exchange. We all have seasons when we need help - please read on and meet Lisa, a wholehearted, professionally trained life coach who can help 'transform your everyday life'.

 Please tell me about yourself and what is your work as a life coach? How is coaching different or similar to consulting?

The heart of my work is one-on-one coaching with clients who are feeling stuck or uncertain in their lives and want to move forward but need clarity on what they want and how they'll get there. I also write my blog (and now a new ecourse on self-kindness) and plan to lead workshops and retreats. My coaching style is called Co-active Coaching and it's different from consulting in that we meet our clients where they're at and consider them to be the experts in their own lives. This doesn't mean coaches like me don't have expertise and sometimes offer it, but a cornerstone of my model is that my client is naturally resourceful, creative and whole and I get to work with them to draw that out and, hopefully, evoke their own transformation. I get to be a catalyst, in other words.

I love this on your blog: coaching for clarity and joy. Can you elaborate on why you chose that for a tagline? 

Joy is one of my favorite words! I truly believe that, like Christian monk and mystic Henri Nouwen said once, "We have to choose joy and keep choosing it." I want to help people find their joy and choose it. We can do that through the practices of gratitude and vulnerability, and through creating places and communities where it's safe to be open to joy. I also know what it's like to lack clarity, to be stuck and uncertain of how to move forward. I can coach clients to move out of that, using coaching tools like asking powerful questions, finding metaphor, articulating what's going on, and acknowledging, championing and reframing. One of my favorite ways to find new clarity is to reframe what my client thinks is a character flaw into a gift.

What is it about your work that you would identify as the drawing card (or would like it to be) for people to seek out your services as a life coach?

I want to work with thoughtful, smart people who are ready to move out of stuckness--out of the boxes they or society have put them in--and move into a transformed life of joy and clarity. It's not easy and it's a continuous work in progress, but I know it's possible because I myself have been living this way. I have needed coaching to move out of my own boxes, so I know the power of having someone on your side, an objective listener and voice for your best life.

We share some things in common – knitting, gardening, keen on the healing power of herbs, married to the love of my life (over 40 years!). I’m curious to hear the story how you arrived at your current career, including the changes made after being a full-time Mom.

Gosh, it's been a long journey! Who would want life to be any other way, really? One of my other favorite quotes is by Seneca "It takes a lifetime to learn how to live." There is so much grace and optimism in that quote, and I feel I'm living it by continuously learning and stepping into new things. I found coaching through a friend. She introduced it to me and we ended up going through training together last summer, one of the best things I've ever done (thanks, Meg!). 

My background and education is in the ministry where I studied to be a Lutheran Pastor and served as Intern Pastor (Vicar) and Chaplain. Getting married and raising my kids was my true calling, however, and I happily stayed home for many years, all the while dabbling in those things you listed. Now that my kids are teens, it was time for me to find something to really take up my time so I wouldn't hover over their lives so much. I actually applied to finish my Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling but knew I didn't want to work for the church again. I wanted my own business, and I knew coaching was the right model of work for me within the first 12 minutes of practice coaching someone during training.

There are so many opportunities for growth, personally and in our work. How do you navigate through all the clutter of the options – and within that potential, are there future areas of learning that resonate with your calling?

I know exactly what you're talking about! Just in the last few days I've been de-cluttering my email inbox and Facebook newsfeed as much as possible because it IS overwhelming. As someone who loves to learn, it's hard to shut it off. Your word "resonate" is perfect because I've been finding that the only way to decide who to pay attention to, what to learn and where, is to ask myself what truly resonates with me, say 'yes' to those and 'no' to the rest.

Areas of learning that are calling to me right now are in the area of personal growth and helping my clients navigate personal growth. I'm very interested in teaching about self-kindness and compassion because I see that too many of us are very hard on ourselves and we make our lives unnecessarily hard that way.
I will continue to work with that word JOY and bring it to others in the form of one-on-one coaching, retreats and workshops. In my new email freebie, my ecourse called Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 4 Commitments to Self-Kindness (accessed free via my website sign-up form), I've developed a framework toward loving ourselves that involves making joyful choices, learning self-awareness and self-acceptance, and being compelled by our values and purpose. I intend to keep thinking, learning and teaching on those themes.

As you know, nutrition and wellness (teaching, consulting, coaching) is my passion and work. How do you feel about your journey of developing healthy habits? If there are especially challenging areas, how do you make peace with them and remain open to making healthy changes? 

This is a great question and I think I could use some coaching on it! One thing I have been asking myself lately is "what would be the kindest thing to do for myself right now?" Whether it's about work or rest, what to eat, or how and when to move my body, looking at what's 'kindest' really helps. The kind thing is often not the easy thing! It sometimes involves eating oatmeal with yogurt instead of a bagel with cream cheese, or getting dressed instead of lazing around in my pajamas all day, or getting a task completed so I can truly feel at rest when I'm done. I'd like to look at getting more exercise in this way. The kindest thing has to be something I enjoy (I like oatmeal as well as bagels, truly. I do need to move my body more, and in ways that will give me some more muscle strength and energy as I age.
That said, I am quite forgiving of myself on these types of things, because I am certainly not perfect. I don't dwell in the past but instead try to keep moving forward. I have quite a positive body image, for the most part, and that helps a great deal in motivating me to take good care of my health. I believe strongly in focusing on nourishment rather than punishment. 

 

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your story: it's been great getting to know you. I will be happy to coach you on developing those healthy habits. P.S. Thank you for giving me the freedom to choose photos that conveyed my perception of your supportive and joyful coaching!

If you would like to know more about Lisa and her work, please contact her through her website.

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 I am a Coach for Emotional Eating and a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant

-- I have a diploma from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition - using the foundation that we are all created individually,complex beings of body, soul and spirit.

-- In my nutrition consulting I use real foodnot shakes, pills or packages and not a one-formula-for-all approach 

-- as an emotional and problematic eating coach I can help guide you from being unhappy and unhealthy find food freedom for mind and body. Read this checklist  to discover if you are stuck in emotional and problematic eating and how to contact me  for your free mini session.

Heather's Story -  

Dec/2016

"Karen is an invaluable coach in dealing with issues of emotional eating.  She helped me to look inward through a variety of exercises to discover what my emotional triggers were in regards to unhealthy food choices.   Karen is a great listener, asks the right questions, empathizes and makes you feel understood.  She leads you on a journey to see the positive in yourself, set boundaries and to deal with those nagging thoughts that trip you up.  I highly recommend Karen to help you start a healthier journey in life."  

Heather Drysdale, Artist  -Heather Drysdale Studios  

The skills and services I offer:

-- one-on-one consultations, with recommendations for nutritional and lifestyle changes

-- individual or group wellness and weight loss programs

-- seminar presentations at women's functions, schools, business/corporations, community clubs 

Clients who use my services are those who are:

-- weary of too little energy and too much weight

-- not sure where to start to make real-food nutrition and lifestyle changes that will last long term

-- children and adults who have followed food guides and diets without achieving a healthy weight 

-- armed with nutritional information but feel mentally blocked by thoughts and beliefs 

Some of the practical help clients can expect:

-- what foods to eat to balance nutritional deficiencies, to help with mental clarity, energy and balancing blood sugar levels

-- what foods are the best fuel for your body type

-- techniques to restructure negative thoughts and develop a mindset that supports your intentions and goals

-- reviewing how exercise, attitude and emotion, sleep, stress management, etc. contribute to balanced health

-- an action plan that includes recipes, menus, healthy lifestyle recommendations

How you can connect with my services to help discover your solutions:

-- contact me through my contact page

-- we will have an initial meeting (in person, by phone, or online) to discuss your health concerns and goals to determine what is the best way to move ahead to meet those concerns, (i.e. a weight loss program, a review  of your current weekly diet with appropriate recommendations, a more in depth assessment of dietary and lifestyle habits with several follow-up appointments, etc.).

-- consultations and on-going appointments and sessions can be in person (where possible) or online.

-- for speaking engagements I will address details specifically to your group

-- fees are structured according to specific need: please check my Services and pages for programs and cost guidelines 

You Can Rewrite Your Story

Do you want to make changes for a more vibrant and wholesome life?  I want to help you achieve your  balanced-healthy-life story....just contact me to get started.

Gettin'er Done

08 Apr 2013
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Gettin'er done...

The shirt was included in my race packet (for the record, I ran the half and not the full marathon).

I did gett'er done. I expected to finish and I did.

Ten years of running a whack of races from 1K - 56K prior to that event inspired confidence; I did my usual routine by:

-- Registering.

-- Training.

-- And - to repeat myself - the expectation of crossing the finish line (upright and smiling!).

 

As a holistic nutritional consultant I love working with people who are accepting challenges to start making changes. In dietary and lifestyle habits. They may be seeking improved wellness, weight loss, increased energy, better sleep patterns, overcoming symptoms of disease - looking for long term benefits and results. 

In my work, clients express their sense of need by contacting me or making an office appointment. Like my race analogy, they "register." It's an act of commitment: "I need to change some things." 

We get started on a plan. This is where the training starts.

 

The plan will vary, but working with my In Balance health and wellness participants, it will look something like this:

-- logging food, activity, etc.

-- meeting with me once/week (in person or online) for 4-8 weeks for education and coaching on the factors to build a balanced life

-- being physically active

-- adopting a positive attitude

-- accepting the reality of consistent lifestyle and dietary changes for longterm healthy benefits (i.e change takes time!)

Change - or training - is never easy, even if/and/or when the plan is simple and straight forward. 

 

However: following through to gettin'er done will be more successful - and enjoyable - if you follow these five keys:

-- put aside perfection and "train" with your best efforts - go for excellence

-- accept your body type, your personality - not everyone "runs" at the same pace 

-- make both short and long term goals

-- grant yourself some grace and start a daily thanksgiving journal

-- expect to "finish" and align yourself with an accountability partner who believes in you too

 

It's within your power to knock down the roadblocks hindering you from getting to your finish line. You can make it - you're just not there YET.

I'd love to hear how you get to your finish line. And in the meantime, I'm going to follow through on today's "race plan" - to make a batch of my current favourite cookies: click on Sweet Potato Coco-Nut Cookies for the recipe.

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Emotions.

 
Need 'em - to add spice to our lives, fleshing out the spectrum of feelings associated with living.
Love 'em - for their ethos, their passion, their need for expresssion - particularly on special occasions like February 14th!
Hate 'em - their power can be frightening, depressing, confusing.
 
Emotions can be sneaky, tricky - creating a hunger that we think can be satisfied with food.
 

Here are some tips to help us decide if our hunger is a physical or emotional one.

 
* Emotional hunger comes on in an instant - with an urgency that's overwhelming. Physical hunger doesn't usually demand, "I need food right now!" (unless you haven't eaten in a long time), it gradually sneaks up on you. 
 
* Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods, e.g. usually the refined sugars and refined grains kind - that provide an instant rush. It sends the message you NEED cheesecake or chips. Now. Physical hunger calls out, " I'm about to expire here, sure could use a spinach omelette, or a loaded salad, or chicken and stir-fry - even granola and fruit sounds good!"
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to eating a whole bag of chips or a pint of ice cream without so much as giving it a thought - and probably not really savouring it. You're usually more aware of what you're doing if you're eating in reponse to physical hunger. 
 
* Emotional hunger wants you to eat - and keep eating - often until you're uncomfortable. Stuffed. Physical hunger usually is satisfied when you are comfortably full.
 
* Emotional hunger doesn't have a growling hunger pang gnawing in your stomach. It's more tuned in to things like crunchy, salty, and other aspects of texture and smell. 
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame. (Negative emotions that tend to get stuck on the "repeat" button in our brain.) Physical hunger is nutritionally satisfied..
 

At some point, we all are challenged by the temptation of using food to meet an emotional hunger.

The first step is start being aware of recognizing it as such.
 
Number two is being mentally prepared for alternative non-food solutions to meet that hunger:
** phone your grandkids or kids and treat yourself with a "visit"
** make yourself a cup of a special tea you've been saving for such a time as this
** get outside for a walk or if you work in an office building, do a short stretching session and walk the stairs to the next level
** pull out a handwork project or read a few chapters of a book (even in the middle of the day)
** go to the florist and buy yourself one Gerber daisy
** etc. etc.
 
Number three: as you gradually "read" the signs and meet the emotional hunger with ways that feed your emotions, you will be developing your will power muscle and become stronger in determining between the two kinds of hunger. 
 
We were created with emotions - and thankfully so. Embrace the discovery how you are emotionally wired.
 
Valentine's Day is this week -  a perfect day to experience and celebrate the gift of life and love. Be kind and gracious to those you love - and that includes you too. If chocolate speaks your" food love language", make this simple and delicious raw chocolate pie. Enjoy it with intention, pleasure and without guilt!
 
 
Click for recipe → Chocolate_Cream_Pie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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For the last 10 days I've been on a sugar-free, grain-free cleanse. This has also meant no natural sugars, including fresh and dried fruits. The night before I started it I had a huge fruit smoothie - does that tell you anything about my relationship with fruit?!

 

This choice was made for several reasons:

- I'm presenting an In Balance wellness and weight loss program that has a gentle dietary cleanse as part of Finding Your BALANCE, and I thought I   should experience the process to understand what I'm teaching/asking the participants to do.
 
- I've never done a cleanse for an extended period
 
- I live in a real world with real toxins so my body could use some house-cleaning
 
- I wanted to start a habit of eating more vegetables than fruit rather than the other way around
 
- I wanted to test my self control
 
- I wanted to see how it would affect me - physically, emotionally, mentally
 
- I was curious to see how my body would react without grains
 
 

I've discovered a few things:

 
- it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be,  (i.e. I'm not feeling continually hungry and craving foods )
 
- when my husband grinds the coffee in the morning, it doesn't bother me all that much, that instead of java I will be drinking caffeine-free, herbal tea (I've renewed my friendship with Rooibos)
 
- as much as I love nuts and seeds, I have my moments when I feel like a squirrel
 
- I miss my fruit - cranberries are on the okay list, and I'm so very grateful for Terra Beata, a local bountiful cranberry bog)
 
- I rarely go out for lunch but two times in the last week it happened. One little cafe had the best roasted veggie soup that I could have asked for. (Well, thinking on it, there was more oil in it than I would have used.) Everything in it was legit - and the roasted flavour was delic. (Probably thanks to the oil :)
 
- the preparation and planning period has value, and not only in practical terms,  (i.e. even though my pantry and refrigerator was stocked with cleanse food ingredients, the first morning it took a few minutes to shift from my almost-daily default menu - home made granola or cooked hot cereal)
 
Here's what I whipped up: sauteed leeks and red peppers, scrambled in a couple eggs and served it up on a bed of greens. Protein and veggies - yummy!
 
 

Some Conclusions:

- I have plenty of energy (even without eating grains) - I was a little concerned that my running and other fitness activities might need to be curtailed. Thankfully, not so. 
 
- I can't help but think how very blessed I am. I decided to use self control in my food choices (which meant eliminating some regulars) -  compared to the huge percentage of people who exist on the barest of nutrition and food options because they have to.
 
- will I do it again? I might. After today, I have 3 days left of my two weeks and I don't foresee why I will cave now.
 
- I fortunately had only one day of a very low-grade headache (can a habit of one- (sometimes more) - cup of coffee/day really make you that addicted?)
 
- my mental alertness and stamina has been at par if not better than normal. 
 
- I got to digging through recipes to add some variety to " how many ways can you eat broccoli, cauliflower, greens, carrots, etc." and there are many delicious options
 
- I miss eating quinoa and brown rice and sweet potatoes  
 
- would I recommend a cleanse? A variety of variables weigh in here: the type of cleanse, the reason for the cleanse, if a person has strong cravings for refined sugar and other refined foods, the timing of doing the cleanse, etc. Generally, I'd say most people would probably benefit from an occasional  cleanse.
 
- Has it been dreadful? Not at all.  I have understood the feeling of being even more intentional about what foods I eat. And it's not about denial, but understanding some of the recalibrating my body can do when I say "no" to foods that I thought, "But I always have .... for breakfast."
 
- And this week I found an acceptable substitute for granola. Yeah!! So of course I'm going to make it to the end.
 
Click → Printable recipe for Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola
 
 

Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola

1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes (could also be shredded)

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger powder

 

Pulse ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until desired consistency. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

To Serve:
 
Scoop 1/4 - 1/3 cup of granola into a bowl.
 
Pour 1/2 - 2/3 cup almond mik or yogurt over top and let sit for about 5 or 6 minutes.
 
Spoon fresh (or thawed) cranberries on top and enjoy!
 
Optional:
 
- sprinkle with hemp seeds for extra protein
 
- lightly toast granola before serving, using heavy stove-top skillet
 
 
 
Have you done a cleanse? I'd be interested to hear your experience and if/what you felt were the benefits.
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Fermentation - Part 1 

This summer a few readers asked about fermented foods. My apologies for such a tardy response (you know who you are), and you have every right if you toast me forever as a reliable source for anything!
 
Now get to it.
 
The fermenting process is one I enjoy dabbling with: mostly yogurt and sauerkraut. This summer I tried a new experiment: lacto-fermenting veggies, using produce from my first-year fledging garden.
 
 
Credits for the instructions go to Whole Life Nutrition, a source I am grateful to for their inspiration to have fun "playing around" with different tastes, using what you have available.
 

What You Will Need:

- glass quart jar with a plastic lid
 
- salt brine - with a ratio of 1-1.5 Tbsp. sea salt to 2 cups water (filtered water is recommended - chlorine can inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria, not to mention it's not particularly healthy for us) 
 
- chopped raw organic vegetables: e.g. cauliflower, beets, bell peppers, turnips, broccoli, onions, green beans, garlic, etc. 
 
- cabbage leaves (for the top)
 
- combination of herbs and spices: e.g. dried chili peppers, black peppercorns, bay leaf, fresh dill or tarragon
 
- salt brine using this ratio: 1 - 1.5 Tbsp. sea salt dissolved in 2 cups water
 

What to Do: 

- put your combination of vegetables into a glass jar (or a ceramic crock if you're so lucky to have one) 
 
- add a few layers of herbs and spices. Tip: if using peppercorns put them at the bottom of the jar so they don't float to the top. 
 
- leave about an inch at the top of the jar
 
- cover with the salt brine, leaving about 1/2 inch where you place a folded cabbage leaf and press into the brine. This helps keep the vegetables fully submerged with the water floating on the top.
 
- cover with a plastic lid (metal ones can become corroded by the salt and acids)
 
- screw the lid on - not too tight, to leave space for gasses to release
 
- place jars in a rectangular container to catch any drips that might happen and set in an undisturbed spot on your kitchen counter - out of direct sunlight
 
 

Wait and taste:

- after 5 days, taste your veggies to see how soured they are - you'll probably want to leave them more like 7 or 8. Fermenting takes longer in the cooler months, less time in the summer.
 
- total sitting time is according to your taste - there's no set, scientific formula when working with fermented foods
 
- once the veggies are soured, remove the cabbage leaf and store jar(s) in the refrigerator - where your fermented veggies will keep for months.
 

My version:

I made the following two combinations: each one was a 2-litre jar.
 
1 Tbsp peppercorns
beets
few garlic cloves
carrots
sprigs of fresh dill
green pepper
salt brine
 
1 Tbsp peppercorns
summer turnip
green beans
garlic cloves
tarragon leaves
salt brine
 
Each jar sat on the cupboard for 8 days. 
 
Initially I didn't care for the turnip combination: I think because the tarragon flavour over-powered the summer turnip, which has a milder flavour than the winter variety. However, after sitting in the fridge for a few weeks, I'm liking it more.
 
I still prefer the beets one the best, although I would add more garlic and some hot peppers next time.
 
Will I dabble around with this more? Definitely. I'll try different combinations, probably add more garlic, choose my herbs carefully and cut the veggies smaller - small-diced, not chunky like in the picture.
 
These lacto-fermented veggies are handy additions to a salad, or mixed with grains and greens, or whatever way suits your eating fancy.
 
And oh yes: fermented foods are healthy for your inner "ecosystem". Improve digestion, stimulate the liver, and help control sugar cravings.
 
My next fermenting schedule is making kimchi and a kraut using cabbage and other vegetables that are ground or finely sliced.
 
To be continued .... Fermentation Part 2 -  I promise.

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