Blog: Plant-Based Eating

Several guests on my podcast show, Holistic Nature of Us, talk about diet, nutrition as being one of the most important factors in creating foundational health. Building healthy soil leads to harvesting nutrient-rich foods, leads to looking at plant-based eating more carefully. And maybe adopting better nutrition habits for the long run. In my nursing career where I worked in the field of oncology, I saw first hand the effects of using products that had serious health consequences and environmental ones too. Long term consequences were not considered in their development and usage. I wonder about us.

I looked into the creation of and use of pesticides, herbicides and more in my travels. It seems that we as a species jump on the bandwagon of new discoveries without asking one crucial question: what are the long term consequences? How will this development/innovation affect the next seven generations? Why is it we seem to have developed products and more with serious effects on our health and the planet and we continue to do so?

This TED Talk is given by a physician who has researched nutrition and health and the evidence is there: plant-based eating promotes foundational health. He too asks the same questions. A little quirky but factual, I hope the short video gives you food for thought.
What one dietary change will you make today to support your foundational health?

Remember: all comments are appreciated. Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Sara Banta, Wellness Coach


Description: Sara Banta relates her story of family illnesses and her journey to bring foundational health back to her family. One son was diagnosed with leukemia, a daughter had allergies and asthma and her second daughter had some learning issues. Through nutrition studies, understanding complementary medicine she helped each one find health.

Today she is also passionate about educating others on 5G technology and EMF’s. What’s good, what’s happening and are we doing enough? Join us for an engaging discussion.

About My Guest: Sara is a Health Coach and busy mother of three children who are now 12, 14 and 16 years old. She completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University with a degree in Economics and Psychology in 1998. In 2016, she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The Invincible Wellness System. Through her journey, she has had to solve many health issues within her family including her son suffering from leukemia at the age of nine, her daughter having allergies, anemia and asthma, her husband having heart issues, her other daughter having comprehension and learning issues, in addition to headaches.  This, of course, is on top of her own issues with fertility, hormones, adult acne, IBS, digestive issues, heavy metals and much more.  She has had to Connect the dots and realize what was causing all of these issues and what the solutions were, which also involved the mind-body connection. With that, she has devoted her life to providing guidance and all natural health supplements and solutions that heal the body and the problems not just addressing the symptoms to her clients.

She has offered a coupon code for our listeners on her website acceleratedhealthproducts.com of DREYER15 for 15 percent off.

Transcript: #65 Sara Banta 

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Tonya Pastenak, Naturopathic Physician

Description: Pollen is everywhere here in New England and while the rain washes some of it away we still have folks who are sensitive to these pollens and molds. Dr. Pasternak talks about spring allergens, our body’s response and how naturopathic/integrative medicine work together to achieve an approach that supports our body’s natural intelligence. She offers practical tips and practical advice for those seeking to understand how pollens may be affecting us.

About My Guest: Dr. Pasternak’s interest in Naturopathic Medicine was sparked at an early age and has been a long-standing passion of hers ever since. She received her bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology and her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. During that time, she participated in various independent research projects with a primary focus on genetics. To help expand the availability of naturopathic care, Dr. Pasternak volunteered her time by providing medical services to the homeless population living in Seattle’s tent cities.
In addition to treating conditions related to the immune, endocrine, and digestive system, personal experiences lead Dr. Pasternak to dive deeply into the field of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. She studied the work of many renowned experts in the field, including Dr. Klinghardt, Dr. Ross, and Dr. Burrascano. She realizes the importance of treating the whole body, including clearing infections, restoring balance, nurturing damaged systems, and acknowledging the emotional hardships that come with the disease.
Through clinical experience, Dr. Pasternak has also discovered a passion for women’s health. She has helped numerous women regain their vitality through addressing hormonal imbalances contributing to infertility, menopausal symptoms, PMS, PCOS, and endometriosis.
When working with patients, Dr. Pasternak always seeks to find the root cause of disease and values taking time to educate her patients. She creates customized treatment plans for each person, utilizing a blend of nutrition, botanical medicine, and craniosacral therapy. She is a member of naturopathic medical associations on both the state and national levels and continues to expand her knowledge by staying up-to-date on current medical advancements.

Transcript: #65 Tonya Pasternak 

Podcast: Holistic nature of Us: Meet Kathleen Gage, Author, Plant-Based Foods

Description: Want to lose weight, feel better, more productive but haven’t decided what approach to take? Kathleen Gage talks about her journey adopting a plant-based diet that improved her quality of life in so many ways: weight loss without dieting, more energy, runs marathons and manages her business with more productivity. Sounds good yes? Well, plant-based eating that minimizes processed foods, meats and increases organic, local purchases for fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains can make a difference. Join us for an enlightening discussion where Kathleen shares her story and discusses the benefits of plant-based eating.

About My Guest: As a marketing and business strategist, Kathleen Gage has made it her mission to teach solo and small business owners how to become visible to their market through the power of clarity of their message and to package their core message into speaking engagements, books, information products and consulting and coaching services. Applying the very strategies she teaches her clients, Kathleen is rapidly growing her name recognition and position in a new market moving forward in 2019; the whole food, plant-based, vegan market. On a mission to raise awareness about the health and business benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Kathleen has immersed herself into a lifestyle that is healthy, compassionate to animals and kind to the planet.

Transcript: #64 Kathleen Gage

White Clover, an Underappreciated Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

While we wait for the rain to stop here in the NE, spring flowers brighten up our landscapes. The grass is an ‘Emerald City’ green. Bulbs rise, flower, come and go as we place seeds in the ground for early crops. Clovers will be coming up soon though I kinda take the little white clover blossoms for granted.

Botanical name: Trifolium repens

Common names: white clover, shamrock

Parts used: whole plant, Peterson’s field guides to medicinal plants states the entire plant can be used.

Uses: teas, washes for sores, ulcers, very popular in Europe. This plant was brought to our country with the early settlers during the 1600-1700’s. It’s short, a perennial and flowers from April to September with shamrock type leaves. As you can imagine, looking for four-leafed clover was and is considered a sign of good luck. In Europe, flower tea was used for rheumatism and gout. In North America, the Native Americans used the leaf tea for colds, coughs, and fevers.

Jethro Kloss, an American icon in the world of herbalism, lived from 1863 to 1946 and practiced herbal medicine. He used white clover blossoms in a tea to cleanse the system, especially if ulcers, boils or other skin ailments were present. He also noted that poultices, tea washes applied externally, helped heal sores, ulcers too.

White clover has been used for many years as a ground cover. It is useful as a ground cover for its nitrogen-fixing properties. There are nodules on the roots that literally grab nonusable nitrogen from the air and with the help of bacteria convert it into a plant usable form which is important for plant growth and provides protein source for foraging animals.

Benefits of White Clover: (from the University of Hawaii cooperative extension service pdf.)

1. Excellent for attracting beneficial insects, for reduced- or non-chemical pest management, for controlling erosion, suppressing weeds once established,

2. …and as a source of organic nitrogen good for quick growth and establishment,

3. …for bearing equipment traffic

4. …tolerates low fertility soils

5…. fair shade tolerance suitable for higher elevations

6. …good forage for animal grazing systems;

7. …high production, nutritional quality, and palatability

8. For use in plantation and orchard cropping systems including macadamia and coffee, in vineyards, and as a living mulch in vegetable cropping systems.”

In doing research for this article I came across a blog: insteading.com they use white clover as a living mulch, planting it in the garden to keep down weeds; eventually, it becomes mulch, retains moisture, attracts pollinators, and improves the soil. When I visited Michael Judd’s property, (author of Edible Landscapes), I saw his use of crops like mint growing in many places. He explained to us that he was not worried about keeping them harnessed. He cut them down periodically during the growing season and they became mulch there and then. It seems Insteading supports the same practices.

Last but not least, white clovers attract pollinators. White clover honey is one of the most popular honey here in the US, light in color and milder in taste.

Recipes:

Teas are easy: gather flowers, leaves at peak growing times, dry, store in glass jars. These plant parts can be combined with other herbs for tea making.  A few white clover blossoms along with red clovers can be added to ice teas too creating pleasing summertime drinks.

White clover flowers dried, then ground into flour can be added to bread recipes. Southern forager shares a bread recipe made from dehydrated and dried, ground white clover blossom flour. I have found forager sites have great uses and recipes for meadow plants.

I hope you look at white clovers in lawns, gardens, and paths a bit differently. This little plant often mowed and ignored provides a host of uses. Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share…I’d like that.

Enjoy. Judith

 

Blog: Stinging Nettles: Urtica Dioca, Good for Soil, Good for Us

 

 

So many of my podcasts are concerned with growing good soils. Nettles pops up as a great plant, a must in fact for growing good soils and for adding nutrition to our spring diet. If you don’t have any nettles, can you think about dedicating an area just for them? A new addition that will contribute so much to your garden? Seeds are available too if you can’t find a neighboring gardener willing to share.

Nettles are one of my favorite spring herbs. Their reputation to “sting” usually makes many wary or loathe this plant. Yet they are a powerhouse of nutrients not only for the soil but for us too. In biodynamic farming, nettle is a major player in composting. Why?

Biodynamic farming, founded by Rudolph Steiner, encourages its farmers to use nettles in a preparation called BD504. “Stinging Nettle has enormous healing potential. Working in conjunction with Mars, (Steiner worked with the planets, moon cycles etc) BD504 plays a huge role in resolving soils with an imbalance of iron,  magnesium, and sulfur. Excess iron can cause many problems and often presents itself in the form of very tight soil with hardpan or crust. This tightness locks in the iron and other trace minerals, which in turn exacerbates the problem. BD504 preparation loosens the soil texture allowing the nutrients to release, disperse and be absorbed by plants.”

This plant also contains formic acid, phosphorus, and a trace of iron. The square and downy stems are covered with tiny sharp spikes that release an acrid fluid when touched much like a bee sting. Interestingly the juice of the crushed nettle leaves can be rubbed on the sting for relief. Each of these spikes or spines is composed of small cells that contain this fluid. Once dried or cooked the sting is neutralized. However once discovered and tried it makes for a nutritious pot herb or tea.

The Details:
Name: Stinging Nettles: Urtica dioca
Parts Used: the whole plant
Where Found: Nettles are found in most temperate regions and seem to follow man’s migrations. Nettles can indicate a soil rich in Nitrogen.
Young Shoots: Nettles are best gathered in the early spring when they are less than one foot tall. Later in the season they get gritty and accumulate crystals, cystoliths that make them unpalatable to eat. I gather for two reasons, one to cook and eat that day, or two, to make a pot of tea with the fresh herb or two, and then dry the rest for later use including winter.
Stems: Nettles have been valued for its fiber. While in herb school we separated the fibers found using the cut and dried stems gathered late in the summer. We then wove our own cordage. This fiber was also used in clothing, sailcloth and sacking material.

Compost tea: after I gather young nettles for kitchen use, pot herb and tea making, I gather some and place in 5-gallon bucket. I cover about 3/4 full with water. I stir it frequently for about 3 weeks. At the end of three weeks, I add molasses, about a tablespoon to 1/4 cup and let it ferment a bit. When done I dilute the tea 1:10 with water. Then I give each plant a cupful. You can also dilute the tea 1:20, 1 part tea to 20 parts water and use as a foliar spray which can deter bugs and even fungi, such as powdery mildew.
At the end of the season, plants are cut back to the ground and added to the compost pile.

Recipe for nettles as a potherb and/or tea:

  1. Gather tender aerial parts in spring
  2. Wash and chop, wear gloves as they will sting
  3. Place in a pot, about 1 handful and cover with water. Bring ot a boil and simmer a couple of minutes.
  4. Drink the tea water and add the greens to rice, veggies, pasta dishes.

My podcast guest this week, Craig Floyd, manager for the Coogan Farm in Mystic CT celebrates all plants including nettles. Bright green parts poke up at the beginning of spring offering nourishment both for us and our soils, a treat after winter’s greys and browns. Nettles has been a part of my garden. I wouldn’t be without them. I encourage you to appreciate this little stinging plant more for it offers much. The sting reminds us to quiet down and approach them with respect.

Enjoy perusing the seed catalogs and consider nettles.

Judith

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