Introducing: MediMindful Moment: Podcast

Hi Everyone, I have enjoyed interviewing folks from all over our country sharing their stories and journey with all of you. Today I am honored and delighted to introduce you to a new podcast I am producing and cohosting titled: MediMindful Moment brought to you by Cloud9 Online: www.c9ohealth.com.

My team and I are passionate about making a difference, providing solutions to the challenges we face today. We hope you are inspired and incorporate a mindful moment in your daily life. It’s easy: simply breathe in… and breathe out.

Cloud9 Online is a digital health and wellness company that helps strengthen relationships between organizations and the individuals they serve by creating beautiful mindfulness meditation apps, customized to the client’s brand and tailored to the issues that are unique to the client’s stakeholders. The Cloud9 mindfulness platform combines machine learning & mobile technology with “Medical Grade” guided meditations tailored to specific conditions, to improve mental and physical wellbeing, strengthen the sense of connection, and inspire a culture of self-care. At Cloud9 Online, “Medical Grade” reflects an ongoing commitment to the optimization of mediations through clinical trials and a Medical Grade process which includes a 7-step proprietary rubric that was co-created with medical providers.

Episode Highlights:

  • Henry explains that MediMindful moments are about people being mindful at the moment. (1:04)
  • Henry shares that the current environment we are experiencing due to COVID-19 allows us to also be part of the mindful minute, mindful moment, and mindful second. (1:31)
  • Judith mentions that their focus on sharing the Cloud9 MediMindful Moment is about mindfulness and daily practice. (2:10)
  • Jeff shares that this podcast is dedicated to helping not only the audience but also everyone recording this podcast, to share more mindful moments. (2:31)
  • Jeff explains the mindfulness exercise called The Four Questions. (3:14)
  • How do Jeff and Henry apply mindfulness practices within their daily lives? (5:09)
  • Jeff and Henry share a little bit about their background and their roles at Cloud9. (5:28)
  • Henry shares that they started a clinical trial, for managing pain and reducing opioids, at Hartford Hospital. (6:05)
  • Henry mentions that part of his job is to think about how to achieve mindfulness and meditation in as many ways possible, and research shows that three out of four people would do meditation if their doctor recommends it. (7:20)
  • Jeff shares that he’s been practicing mindfulness-based meditation for many years and he’s the Chief Mindfulness and Marketing Officer at Cloud9. (8:38)
  • Jeff explains that mindfulness and marketing go hand in hand and the way he applies mindfulness in his daily life is more than simply meditation. (9:20)
  • Jeff mentions that practicing mindfulness, moment to moment improves your life. (9:44)
  • What is Judith’s role at Cloud9 and how mindfulness plays a part in her daily life? (11:44)
  • Judith shares that she’s passionate about anything that’s regenerative and sustainable in a holistic model, and she’s a practitioner of it as an educator, a writer, and a producer of her show. (11:50)
  • Judith mentions that she has a nursing background, and they offer meditations that address a variety of medical conditions, such as cancer, PTSD, and more. (12:38)
  • What are Jeff and Henry’s thoughts about the title, and what does it mean for the work that they’re doing? (13:17)
  • Henry mentions that you can download the MediMind app on the App Store or Google Playstore, and it has well over 450 meditations available. (13:40)
  • How do they envision the world-changing with more mindful moments? (15:16)
  • Jeff shares that mindfulness is about increasing the sense of connection between us and something larger and mindfulness is also about reducing isolation. (15:41)
  • How do they apply mindful moments in their daily lives? (17:30)
  • Jeff mentions that one of his heroes is a Zen Monk from Vietnam named, Thích Nhất Hạnh. (17:51)
  • Jeff shares how he uses the breath to deal with anger. (18:55)
  • Henry mentions that he would like to encourage everyone to go for a walk with their dog in the woods, and just see the blue sky and the clouds. (20:24)
  • Judith mentions that she has her practices in the morning that she loves doing, and it keeps her centered and grounded. (21:31)

Key Quotes:

  • MediMindful practices such as meditation, grow our ability to quiet the inner critic and allow us to be present in the now by creating space wherever we are, and of course, we’re seeking kindness and peace as we go about our daily life.” – Judith Dreyer
  • “What we typically do is we move through a mindfulness exercise that is designed to help us become mindful at the moment with our breath and hold intensities, emotions, thoughts, feelings, sensations that we experienced during the day in a gentle awareness in order to be more at peace.” – Jeff Nelder
  • “We try to think about ways that truly we can change the world and think about what an awesome opportunity that provides, so we’ve been looking at meditation as a way to help people in all different parts of their life.” – Henry Edinger
  • “If people shared a moment where they reduce their depression which is rumination over past events, reduce their anxiety which is rumination over future events, and were able to become present at the moment which is the ultimate expression of mindfulness, which is where all creativity and inspiration exists and sharing that together.” – Jeff Nelder

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Sara Daves, Conflict Resolution Facilitator

 

 

 

Description: Sara Daves shares a heartwrenching yet incredible story that demonstrates how unexpected life events shape us. Together we talk about how we can learn, grow, thrive, and become more through seemingly incomprehensible circumstances. I can’t tell you more except to say that Sara is articulate and clear about her journey.

Today she is an Intuitive Purpose Coach, helping clients to clarify their true life’s purpose so they can step into their authenticity and manifest the magnificent life that is waiting for them. She relates the depths of her programs and encourages us to be daring, step into the unknown. Don’t wait.

Sara is also a conflict resolution facilitator, helping others resolve their internal and external conflict at the core so they can heal their wounds and experience supportive, loving relationships.

We are in a time of social unrest, seeking solutions to centuries-old paradigms that need to shift for the benefit of ourselves on this planet.

Inspiring and wise, I encourage you to go to her website and check out her programs: www.saradaves.com

Transcript: Sara Daves 

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: A Summary: Organizations That Contributed to Listener Enrichment

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: A Summary: Organizations That Contributed to Listener Enrichment

 

 

 

I am excited to share with you a summary of the many organizations reflected in many of these podcast interviews. Dedicated folks, a part of organizations that seek ways to help with climate change, be a messenger for solutions each in their own way. They inspire and give me hope that when each of us contributes however big or small the step, we make a difference. Join me now for a summary of their mission and their talents. I enjoyed making this summary because each one reminds me that passion, doing what we love, taking a chance, looking outside the box is invigorating and rewarding.

Transcript: organizations

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: To Read is to Explore, Evolve, Embrace and Emerge: Part 2

 

 

 

 

My guests for this podcast series come from many locations and offer so many resources. I hope you enjoyed Part 1 which summarized 10 books mostly in the sustainable agriculture field whether home garden, farm, or ranch. Today’s podcast summarizes 10 more books, some fiction, non-fiction, one for children, and one for teens. And don’t forget to play. Linda Wiggen Craft, one fo my first guests, is a garden designer and artist. She offers unique mandalas to color, another form of meditation. The transcript below contains the list of books mentioned in this podcast. Most are available through Amazon or their websites.

Again, we hope you will share your favorites, what you liked, and/or found useful. Authors love to know if their creative works touched someone. We spend time choosing our words, describing a concept or a scene. We want our words to carry our message to you, inspire you in some way, even bring in a breath of hope more clearly. My guests, their work, efforts, and outreach tell me that we are making a difference though sometimes it’s hard to see the evidence. We’ll pass your comments on to them too.

To conclude: for me, “Reading is a form of prayer, a guided meditation that briefly makes us believe we’re someone else, disrupting the delusion that we’re permanent and at the center of the universe. Suddenly (we’re saved!) other people are real again, and we’re fond of them”. —George Saunders
Enjoy. Judith
Transcript: Podcast Part 2 Books 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: To Read is To Explore, Evolve, Embrace and Emerge: Part 1

 

 

 

Reading opens doors not only to our imagination but prods our inner worlds. We travel to unfamiliar landscapes. We explore new ideas, creative thoughts, and learn. Hopefully, we evolve within ourselves too, relating to the human condition through stories both fact and fiction. And lastly, we can emerge changed. We use our inner senses to feel and know the heart of things, the trials, and the suffering.  Some even ask us to question more.

Through the written word we can explore, evaluate, and embrace new values, connections, and maybe expand our inner horizons so that we may make a difference in the outer world. Books! I am a bibliophile, a deep lover of books, and the power of the written word.

As producer and host of the podcast series, Holistic Nature of Us, I talk to folks all over our country, Canada, and even South Africa. I come away inspired by tireless efforts to make a difference here on our planet, one action step, one community, one organization at a time. So, I thought it would be fun to create a podcast that highlights several books from so many outstanding and inspiring guests. My listeners come from all over the US but also the Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Ireland, and more. It’s truly been an exciting project.

So here goes: a podcast created in two parts. There are so many authors and books that I had to divide the list into two and create two podcasts. I hope you enjoy these summaries, why I liked them. I hope you will send us your likes and preferences too. So many of you have written comments and I am really grateful. Who inspires you? We’d love to know.  Enjoy and thanks. Judith

Listen here:

Transcript: Pod Part 1 Books Transcript

Blog: Moringa Oil And Its Top Benefits


 

 

 

Have you heard of Moringa oil? I know I hadn’t until my guest Dr. Jim Ken, contacted me with useful information about another medicinal and edible plant. Though it’s not native to our country (native to the Himalayan Mountain region), all parts of the tree are used, including seeds, roots, bark, and leaves.

Dr. Jim Ken: Moringa’s amazing nutritional and health benefits have been understood and used for thousands of years in India and many other countries. The uses of the Moringa tree are so broad that it still amazes me, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Basically, every part of the tree can be used and is beneficial – even crushed seeds can be used to purify water. This overview guide will give you a broad understanding of the multitude of benefits that are available from this “miracle tree.”

What is Moringa?

Nutritional Profile of Moringa

What are the top benefits of Moringa?

Where to go for more information

What Is Moringa?

Where Found: Moringa (moringa oleifera) is a plant or really a tree that likes a hot climate and originates from subtropical parts of the world like India or the Philippines. In fact, it is the second-fastest-growing plant only behind bamboo – it can grow 4-5 feet per year. So from seed, you can have a developed tree within a few years. Moringa has also been grown with some success in warmer parts of the United States like California, but it cannot survive freezing temperatures.  Fortunately, Moringa is available in a wide range of teas, oils, and supplements, which are great ways to add it to your daily routine without having to grow a tree!

Moringa’s Nutritional Properties 

Parts Used: Moringa’s status as a superfood is well deserved. The flowers, seed pods, and leaves of the plant are all edible and can be cooked and consumed in a variety of ways. The leaves, in particular, are very beneficial and include vitamins A, B, and C, potassium, and calcium, as well as a range of other beneficial compounds. 

The number of different nutrients contained in the Moringa plant is vast. Studies have also shown that even in powder or oil form, large quantities of the natural nutrients are retained. The plant’s nutritional benefits are almost as good as consuming a fresh leaf or a moringa pod. In fact, powders, in particular, have even higher contractions of beneficial nutrients on a weight basis over the natural tree, due to the concentration effect in drying. There are many supplements and forms created from Moringa’s parts, so it’s easy to include Moringa into your daily routine.

Health Benefits

Moringa has long been used in traditional medicine in many countries and especially in the Hindu system of Ayurveda (meaning knowledge of life.) Moringa has been an important part of Ayurvedic natural remedies for hundreds of conditions and some of the more notable ones being

  • Treatment of blood pressure
  • Indigestions
  • Treat diarrhea
  • Anti-inflammatory treatment

Moreover, remedies based on Moringa are also found helpful for relieving headaches and treating diabetes. 

 Moringa Oil For Your Skin And Other Uses

Moringa oil comes from the seeds of Moringa Tree. These seeds are extremely rich in phytonutrients and can create radiant skin as it’s easily absorbed.  It is really quite popular in the skin and beauty industry with many high-end spas – now adding Moringa to their treatment programs.  Plus, more mainstream manufacturers have started to include it in their products.

But the oil also has a far wider range of uses and benefits than just beauty products.

Other ways you can use moringa oil include

  • Moringa oil also contains “sterols,” which have been proven to reduce the bad type of cholesterol in our blood. [REF:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163911 ]
  • Cooking oil. Moringa oil is high in protein and oleic acid, which is monounsaturated, healthy fat. The oil also has a reasonably high smoke point, which makes it great for all types of cooking and baking.
  • Skin cleanser. Moringa oil, as mentioned, has oleic acid, and this also makes a great skin cleanser.
  • Natural Anti-inflammatory agent. Moringa oil contains many bioactive compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Also, it is great for the treatment and prevention of stretch marks on the skin.
  • One of the most well-known uses is as a face mask, which allows the skin time to absorb all of the goodness contained in the plant. A great simple mask recipe is to take some honey and add a little moringa oil to it – warming it very slightly. Relax in a bath while your skin soaks up all the moringa benefits.

So in conclusion, there is a wide range of uses for Moringa oil and the many nutrients it contains which support the repair and renewal of human cells, making it an ideal ingredient not just for your overall health, but also for your appearance.

If you want more information on Moringa Powder, Oils, or just want to understand Moringa in more detail, visit www.dailydetoxhacks.com– where they have more than 20 in-depth articles covering a wide range of moringa benefits.

Dr. Jim Ken, Co-Founder www.dailydetoxhacks.com

Thank you, Dr.Jim Ken, for sharing useful herbal information. I always enjoy learning about another plant that offers many benefits. I wonder if they can grow Moringa in the south here on the east coast? If anyone has any information about growing this tree here on the east coast, we would enjoy hearing from you. And, all comments are appreciated.

Enjoy. Judith

 

 

 

Blog: Dream Navigation: New Class Offered

Did you know dreams come to guide you?
Did you know the dreams of your heart guide you, too?

Dreams are not just about our nighttime journeys but more encompassing than you can ever imagine. And, dreams are our birthright. But how do we understand our dreams and the dreaming time?

These meetings will give you the tools to begin your journey and excite your imagination. Dream sharing is a part of every class and you will learn an easy but profound technique to capture the meaning and essence of your dreaming and create practical action.

You will walk the four directions and capture the essence that is meant for you through exercises and dream sharing. Materials will be provided. Bring your journal.

Where
A Wondering Spirit, 169 Shaker Rd, East Longmeadow MA.
Contact them directly to register: www.awonderingspiritonline.com
If you can’t make it in person and/or live far away, this class is offered the same time and day virtually over Zoom meetings.

Dates and Time
8/12, 8/19, 8/26, 9/2, 9/9, and 9/23/2020
Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm. 

(The space between the fifth and sixth classes is deliberate. I want to encourage time to dream and sit with your dreams before our final class.)

 

I had the privilege of being interviewed on a Voice America show a couple of years ago.  I am including the link to this show since it will give you a more in-depth understanding of dreams and the richness of class material. Obviously studying and learning about dreams has been a true passion of my heart. I love sharing the process and exciting participants on the value of our Dreamtime which unfortunately our society does little to support. If you have further questions don’t hesitate to contact me here or  www.awonderingspiritonline.com.

Listen below or on VoiceAmerica.

Blog: Elderberry vs Echinacea: What’s the Difference? Part 2

 

 

 

The purple coneflower, a true garden beauty, tall and colorful, attracting an array of butterflies and other wildlife, has been a part of our native culture for centuries. I feel this pretty plant helped open the doors of natural medicine into mainstream awareness. It emerged as a strong player through the AIDS crises.

Name: Echinacea sps, purple coneflower

Where found: native to North America, found in the prairies west of Ohio. It’s a member of the Aster family. If you have any allergies to ragweed, marigolds, or daisies try in very small amounts or avoid. It grows from 2-3′ in height, great food for butterflies, moths. Echinacea purpura, Angustifolia, and purpura are the most common varieties used in herbal tinctures, teas, etc.

Parts used: When I first stepped in the study of herbalism many years ago, we talked about echinacea root. When you chew a piece of the root, it leaves a distinct almost numbing taste and quality which is a good way to ID plant. At that time, the root was used to make several types of herbal preparations including teas and tinctures. Later on, studies were done on the stems, leaves, flowers and they too contain the same properties as the root. Today, echinacea farms grow and harvest the entire plant for the herbal supplement industry.

Actions: Sioux, Cherokee, even Russia have tested and used this plant. In recent years this plant received much press from studies that show it does have some impact on our immune system functions, specifically raising white cells.

  • From the NCCIH.gov:Taking echinacea after you catch a cold has not been shown to shorten the time that you’ll be sick.
  • Taking echinacea while you’re well may slightly reduce your chances of catching a cold. However, the evidence on this point isn’t completely certain. Currently, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is funding research to identify the active constituents in echinacea and to study the effects on the human immune system of substances in bacteria that live within echinacea plants.
  • WebMD states: ” Extracts of echinacea do seem to have an effect on the immune system, you’re body’s defense against germs. Research shows it increases the number of white cells, which fight infections. A review of more than a dozen studies, published in 2014, found the herbal remedy had a very slight benefit in preventing colds.

Uses: Teas, decoctions, tinctures. In older herbals, it was used to help rid the body of toxins. Dr, Mercola claims 10 benefits of echinacea, one of which may help shorten the duration of a cold. Studies are underway since the sales of herbal medicines have soared and cannot be ignored over OTC’s.

What’s the difference?

Each herb has its own unique collections of constituents that drive its action on a cellular level.

It seems echinacea exerts its influence on raising white cells which helps fight infection.

Elderberry exerts its influence in a variety of ways. …Dr. Maxwell Crispo, N.D. says: ” the antiviral activity of elderberry on influenza was strongest when used in pre-treatment, during infection and post-infection, rather than when used solely during infection. The study confirmed that elderberry exerts its antiviral activity on influenza through a number of mechanisms of action, including suppressing the entry of the virus into cells, modulating the post-infectious phase, and preventing viral transmission to other cells. Elderberry also upregulates IL-6, IL-8, and TNF, suggesting an indirect effect on viral immune response in the body.”

Also: “black elderberry extract has previously been shown to inhibit human influenza A (H1N1) infection in vitro by binding to H1N1 virions, thereby blocking the ability of the viruses to infect host cells.2 The same study showed elderberry to be effective against 10 strains of influenza virus and compared its effectiveness favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and amantadine.”

What to take? Recommendations are to use elderberry as a preventive, at the onset, and through the duration of a cold or flu. Echinacea may be more useful at the onset and for the duration, maybe even a week or 2 afterward. Both herbs come in a variety of ways. Teas provide nourishment, capsules, tinctures are more medicinal. Lozenges soothe.

 

Suggestions:

  1. Read labels.
  2. Check botanical names.
  3. Buy organically grown.
  4. Use it wisely. If you need to see a physician always disclose which herbal preparations you include in your daily routine.
  5. There are preparations designed especially for children. I recommend you use those for these younger ages and not the ones designed for adults.
  6. Herbal medicine is slowly catching up in terms of research and well-conducted studies. It takes time. Remember both plants were effectively used long before double-blind studies became the sought after norm. Both plants have several uses but today they are gaining attention because of COVID-19. Can they help prevent this strain of flu? Too early to tell. But, like many others, I keep both plants in my home medicine chest.  I worked in the health food industry for many years. Folks often related their success in terms of having a positive health response. Some didn’t. These are testimonials. But either way, both plants contribute a profound understanding of herbal medicine. My native elders would say: “whatever ails you, nature has the answer.” I hope you will take a walk today and look at the plants available with fresh eyes.

All comments are welcome. Enjoy your day. Judith

Blog: Elderberry vs Echinacea: What’s the Difference? Part 1

COVID-19 surprised us, caught us off guard. Many wonder how best to prevent or support our immune systems through this crisis we are in. Not just for COVID but we still get colds and influenzas too. What helps?

Herbal teas nourish and provide many health benefits. Warm liquids are recommended to keep our mucous membranes healthy and resistant. I keep many dried plants as part of my home medicine chest, But, with any herb, it’s wise to know how to properly ID them in the wild, and know how to use them; what form is best.

One of my most popular blog posts talked about the value of elderberry. Family and friends frequently ask me about this woody shrub. With the COVID-19 flu virus causing unprecedented changes to our lives, I thought it worthwhile to look at the differences between elderberry and echinacea both used to support our immune systems during cold and flu season. I added echinacea here because folks wonder about that herb’s health benefits. Today, we’ll review elderberry. In Part 2, we’ll look at echinacea and then compare the two.

What is Elderberry?

Elderberry: Sambucus nigra, also known as European Elder. Elder has a rich history. One of its name origins is Aeld, which meant fire. The pith in young branches is soft and easily pushes out. A hollow tube remains which was used to stoke the kitchen fires. In ancient times pipes were made of elder wood, hence the common name, pipe tree. The hollow reed was fashioned into instruments and of course pea shooters.

Where Found: common to Europe and Northern Africa; now found all over the United States; in fact, it was thought this was the tree Judas chose to hang from. A fungus occurs on the elder, Hirroneola auricular Judaea, so named from the above historical story or myth. Elder is considered a small tree about 10-12’ high or a shrub. It is commonly found along wood edges, along with wood stands in fields, along banks and fences.  This plant is also nitrogen loving and in the Honeysuckle family. It flowers from May- June.  Fruit ripens in August. Virginia Tech has a great ID page and plant facts. Elder also has a similar looking plant called Pokeweed which I wrote about a while ago to help folks tell the difference between Elderberry and Pokeweed.

Parts Used: bark, leaves, flowers, and berries. Do not eat the bark, leaves raw. The dried flowers dried or fresh or dried berries are often taken in tea form.

Actions: The flowers and berries are ideal for colds and flu, even sinusitis or any inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
“What our study has shown us is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr. Golnoosh Torabian. It inhibits the early stages of infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.” Does it work against COVID-19? That’s still in debate. But since our immune system can be attacked by these types of viruses, research is on.

James Duke, Ph.D., who wrote, Herb-a-Day studied the studies conducted on herbs. He recommended the elderberry for the flu. and his research states that this plant was used by many Native American tribes.

Sambucol, Sambucus, two popular names for commercial products fly off the shelves of health or natural supplement departments. I have heard many stories of folks getting through a winter with no or few respiratory ailments hitting their households when combining elderberry with good winter health practices. If a cold should hit, elderberry syrup supplements are often the herb of choice.  Research studies are being conducted by notable University’s Complementary and Alternative Medical Departments including the NIH. The German Commission E recommends elderberry and elderflower preparations for colds and flu even bronchitis.

Medical News Today states: One cup of elderberries contains 106 calories and 26.68 grams (g) of carbohydrate. A cup also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 870 mg of vitamin A
  • 406 mg of potassium
  • 52.2 mg of vitamin C
  • 9 mg of folate
  • 55 mg of calcium
  • 2.32 mg of iron

Elderberries are also an excellent source of fiber, containing 10.2 g of dietary fiber per cup.

How used: Edler flowers can be brewed and taken as a tea. Elderberry syrup and lozenges are part of my home medicine chest. I usually use elderberry during the winter or if I am traveling to keep my immune system strong. In fact, there is some research that indicates it’s beneficial to take when flying. There are many products that are available for children too. In view of the recent flu outbreaks, I thought it important to get info out about this wonderful plant. The berries have a long “food as medicine” history and can be found recipes including wine, jams, vinegar, and more.

Nature has so many remedies for us. Doug Tallamy, a podcast guest on my show: Holistic Nature of Us, reminds us: our personal land can play a huge part in supporting wildlife. And Elderberry is a host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths.

Elder, referenced by Shakespeare and Pliny, holds a place of connection whether superstition, hedgerows, or poetry capturing us with its many uses and meanings.

Have you made elderberry vinegar or jam? Next week we’ll talk about echinacea and then compare the actions and uses of both plants. We enjoy hearing from you. Any comments or suggestions are always appreciated.

Enjoy. Judith

Blog: 10 Tips for Buying Sustainable Cookware

 

If you read my last article, hopefully, you are raring to go and buy some sustainable cookware. Great!  One problem though – good sustainable cookware isn’t cheap. For example, most ceramic pots and pans actually have a coating. Xtrema is a rare cookware manufacturer that doesn’t coat its ceramic pans. Perfect! Except for this quality, sustainability and non-toxicity cost money. Of course buying durable, long-lasting cookware will save you money in the long run. Sometimes buying cheap is a false saving that doesn’t really help in the short term.

How can you help the planet and save money?

1. Consider Second hand

For some cookware, especially cast iron, there’s no harm in getting something second hand. You can buy it, or even better, maybe talk a family member into passing you one of their pieces of cast iron!

2. One Pan at a Time

I wouldn’t suggest going out and buying a new cookware set straight away. If you are used to cooking with Teflon, it’s better to replace pans as you go. Cast iron, for example, is more work. It’s heavier, and you need to change your cooking style slightly. What if you hate it? Try one, second hand, pan before you buy more. Who knows – maybe you’ll love it and get a set.

3. Take a Look at, or Through Glass Cookware

I recently researched and wrote about glass cookware, which I find interesting. Do you know there is such a thing as a glass frying pan? I have been thinking about getting one (and keeping it away from my children!) I will wait until my nonstick pan starts to wear though. I don’t need it straight away, so why not use what I’ve got? It’s the opposite of sustainable to throw away perfectly usable pans.

4. Less Cookware

I write about cookware so maybe that’s why I have a bit too much in my kitchen! My kitchen isn’t huge but it isn’t the smallest either. I always feel like there isn’t enough room though. Sometimes less is more. If you can’t afford a full sustainable cookware set, perhaps you don’t need all the pieces? As an example, I don’t use a proper griddle to cook pancakes – I use a normal pan.

5. Go For Flexible Pans

A way of using less energy is by having fewer pans. It also has the advantage of clearing some space in your kitchen. I can use the same pan for different things then that helps declutter my kitchen. Versatility can come in different ways and depends on each person, but for example:

  • Oven safe can be convenient
  • Having a lid makes it easier to turn a frying pan into a saute or even saucepan
  • Being easy to clean means they are ready to use for the next meal
  • Fitting on one burner on the stove but having a decent capacity. For a frying pan, 10 inches seems to work well
  • Whatever you do make sure it’s what you need, and it works for you.

6. Mix It Up!

Flexibility goes more than one way. By mixing and matching you increase what you can do. For example, when heating liquids, stainless steel is fantastic. This is great for cooking things like pasta, soup, and sauces, or for steaming. So a stainless steel stockpot can be a great idea. But then a large cast-iron skillet could help with popping corn, frying, and searing.

7. Consider Cores

Copper or Aluminum cores are a great way of using these conductive metals.  Copper bottoms often wear off.  A core is inside the pan so avoids this problem.  It will save you money in the long run through more efficient heating – plus not more hot spots!

8. Consider All Your Options

If you need to fry some eggs, perhaps even consider a small nonstick pan. Yes, it’s better to use the cast iron skillet, if you can, but it is harder! Actually even better could be a stainless steel frying pan with a copper core as it wouldn’t need much heat. Except the eggs will probably stick. If you can deal with that – perfect!

9. Beware Coatings

Coatings are the “Gotcha!” of cookware.  Do you think you are buying a healthy stone pan?  Great – but what’’s it coated in? Apart from chemicals, the coating will eventually wear away and you’ll need to replace the pan.

10. Be Realistic

 

The worst thing you can do is go and buy a sustainable cast iron cookware set and never use it.  Are you prepared to do the extra work?  Do you even have the time?  You can buy really low maintenance, sustainable cookware for a high price.  You can also get some nice, affordable, sustainable cookware that does need a little work.  Getting affordable, long-lasting, sustainable cookware that doesn’t need any maintenance – well that might be harder!

What Cookware Should I Get Then!? What should you aim for in the long term? Here are my thoughts:

  • Up to 1 Nonstick frying / sauté pan with an aluminum body to heat food quickly. Or (better yet) a stainless steel pan with a copper or aluminum base or core.
  • A stainless steel stockpot, ideally with copper or aluminum base of the core.
  • A cast-iron Skillet
  • Steamer / colander – stainless steel
  • Ceramic or glass bakeware

Of course, it depends on what you cook. Want a nice crunchy stir fry? Then a carbon steel wok is perfect. And, clearly, the larger the family the more cookware you need!

Thanks, Beatriz for 2 great articles and information about the differences in cookware and what’s sustainable and what’s not. I appreciate your contribution to holistic and sustainable living from all aspects. Now we know something about sustainable cookware. Got any tips, comments? Beatriz and I would love to hear from you. Enjoy. Judith

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