knowledge is power

I’m borrowing this idea from two of my favorite wellness-bloggers (that happen to be beautiful sisters!), Mary Crimmins and Madeline Lemon. Five things I’m loving at the moment:

1. Living in NYC.

nycI’ve been a New Yorker for one month, and I’m starting find a rhythm here.  So many things to do + see, so many things to eat! I’ve been taking the city in slowly through lots and lots of walking.

2. Doterra Essential Oils.


I arrived in NYC on a glorious cloud of pollen…everything is in bloom and so beautiful, and I’ve been sneezing accordingly! These 3 oils taken together have been enormously helpful to me–still some sneezes, but my body feels much calmer than past springs.  Read about more natural allergy relief tips in my newsletter!

3. Farmacology.

farmaI just finished Daphne Miller’s new book, Farmacology, and loved it. From the jacket: “Miller left her medical office and traveled to seven innovative family farms around the country, on a quest to discover the hidden connections between how we care for our bodies and how we grow our food.” This kind of “farm-to-body” way of thinking about wellness + healing really resonated with me.  The featured quote is from Daphne Miller’s opening chapter, in conversation with Wendell Berry.

4. Middle Eastern Food.

mid eastI discovered my first favorite restaurant in NYC–Mimi’s Hummus. I went three times in one week…everything is great and has made me even more excited to dig into the beautiful Jerusalem cookbook I got for Christmas. So many savory dishes featuring cinnamon, yum!

5. Clyde Oak.clydeoak

Clyde Oak is the voice of the new American gardener–“a landscape architecture firm and an online shop for people interested in aesthetics and dirty hands.”  I love their philosophy to celebrate growing things–though I don’t have space for a huge garden in the city, I can + will still grow some of my own food in pots on the fire escape.  And for indoor storage, I can’t wait to get one of Clyde Oak’s root baskets–handmade in my North Carolina homeland! (photos via Clyde Oak’s website)

Those are my five things! What are yours?


otis hummus

I love the simple joy of kitchen tasks sometimes. It’s a chance to quiet my often-busy mind and just focus. Over the weekend I soaked some garbanzo beans, cooked them up with a piece of kombu, drained them, and set to the task of popping them out of their skin–an idea from Smitten Kitchen to make the smoothest hummus possible.

Both soaking + cooking with kombu (a seaweed) help beans be more easily digested. Kombu also adds vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. And new info to me–cooking beans with salt makes them tough! Add salt only after they are tender, at which point it will also help with digestion. (I once spent almost four hours cooking beans in salt water, and was SO frustrated that they weren’t getting any softer!)

Lemon Hummus (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (naked if you have the patience for it!)
1 roasted shallot (roast with butter at 400F for 20 minutes)
3 tbsp. tahini
Juice of one lemon (add zest only if you have an organic lemon)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
sprinkle of cayenne
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add the beans, shallot, tahini, lemon juice and spices in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil and allow it to mix until it’s your desired consistency.  Yum! I’ve been enjoying mine with toasted pita, pea sprouts, and a simple salad.


new year

Delicious, filling oatmeal made my early new year morning so much brighter.  Besides the familiar coziness a bowl of oatmeal provides, oats improve resistance to stress and support the system being in healthy balance. They also stabilize blood sugar, regulate the thyroid, soothe the digestive + nervous systems, and reduce cholesterol. Oats have a high unsaturated fat content, which provides a sense of stamina + warmth, and a feeling of being grounded.

Overnight Oatmeal (fully inspired by Heidi)

Serves 2…or 1 person 2 mornings in a row..

1 cup of rolled oats

2 2/3 cup of water

1/2 an apple, chopped

handful of sliced almonds

drizzle of maple syrup + pat of butter

Before bedtime, heat a tablespoon or so of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and stir them around a bit as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the water–let it sit overnight.  In the morning, heat the oatmeal on medium-high for at least 10 minutes–beyond that, let it cook to your desired consistency (longer = thicker).

Scoop out a bowlful and top with butter, chopped apple and almonds, and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt.

Cheers to a happy + healthy new year!

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox/the first day of fall–something I’ve been excited for since the first day of winter last year.  I know I’m not alone thinking that fall is the best time of year!

As the seasons shift, it’s so very helpful to be mindful of the kinds of nourishment we seek–eating whole and living foods is the best way to safeguard our bodies against the upcoming cold and flu season.   I found these 2 articles helpful in preparing for the new season:

“Increasing immune-supporting foods like raw garlic, ginger, lemons, honey, nuts, seeds, and yogurt can also ensure that your body gets sufficient nutrients to fight off potential invaders.”

Autumn is a season of deficiency and change. When the temperature starts to drop, the body scrambles to protect itself from heat loss. Nourishing foods, especially soups, seem all the more enticing while offering the added benefits of refortifying deficient tissue and thickening the skin, thus insulating your body from the cold.

Welcome scarves, boots, pumpkins and mums!

A cloudy Sunday provided a relaxing day of study yesterday. I’m excited to dive into Sandor’s world of fermented foods and drinks –his approach is very accessible and practical.

These words from his introduction struck a chord with me:

“Moving toward a more harmonious way of life and greater resilience requires our active participation.  This means finding ways to become more aware of and connected to the other forms of life that are around us and that constitute our food–plants and animals, as well as bacteria and fungi–and to the resources, such as water, fuel, materials, tools, and transportation, upon which we depend.  It means taking responsibility for our shit, both literally and figuratively.  We can become creators of a better world, of better and more sustainable food choices, of greater awareness of resources, and of community based on sharing.  For culture to be strong and resilient, it must be a creative realm in which skills, information, and values are engaged and transmitted; culture cannot thrive as a consumer paradise or a spectator sport.  Daily life offers constant opportunities for participatory action. Seize them.”  Sandor Katz

If you pay attention to any news source, or to advertising, or to any nutrition-specific publication, chances are good that you’re very confused about what to eat.  Actually, it’s much stronger than just paying attention: if you’re walking through life with your eyes open, you are constantly being shouted at about what kind of food (and food-like substances) to put in your body.  Beyond the obvious (Soda! Chips! “Meat”!) onslaught of big business advertising, we have headlines like this one yesterday from NPR:

Billed as clarity, but only adds to general confusion–now we are supposed to incorporate the glycemic index into our daily lives? (Not to mention the language “may help keep weight off longer than other diets” that has failure built right in!)

The most recent confusing food news is the study on organic food from Stanford University’s Center for Health Policy. “Based on data from 237 previously conducted studies, the Stanford report concluded that when it comes to certain nutrients, there is not much difference between organic and conventionally grown food. ” (source)

But…of course that’s true! The wisdom of the plant remains through many layers of pesticides and human intervention.  (Though humans are trying to intervene with the wisdom of the plant, but I’ll save my thoughts on GMO and Monoculture for another day.)

However, the study also found that “organic foods have 31 percent lower levels of pesticides, fewer food-borne pathogens and more phenols, a substance believed to help fight cancer.” (source)

So what does this study mean/who is it for/why does it matter? I agree with Alice Waters that this study misses the point–conversations about the nutrient density of foods or the gylcemic index aren’t going to fuel a food revolution because they’re not exciting.  Those conversations don’t account for taste, or beauty, or sharing a meal with friends.  They don’t address the eater as an intelligent being capable of listening to his body, and they certainly don’t communicate that food is love.


To know what to eat, we need to change the conversation–to something that’s more palatable, accessible to anyone getting in touch with their taste buds. These are some great starting places for new conversation:


  • “Eaters must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.” Wendell Berry


  • “In the pursuit of great flavor, you’re attached to great ecology by definition.  A delicious carrot, a delicious slice of lamb, has attached to it these decisions in the pasture/in the field that are both thoughtful and intensely ethical.” Dan Barber

image // my lunch


My lunch (tuna + tomatoes + avocado + arugula + almonds + olive oil) was elevated to the next level with the addition of these quick pickled onions–easy, delicious, and the perfect addition to your next meal!

Onions have wonderful medicinal benefits given their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral properties. Among other things, they help detoxify and they help treat the common cold, constipation, heart disease, and diabetes. (source)

Quick Pickled Onions

(from My New Roots, via The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook)

3/4 cup apple cider or white vinegar (used rice vinegar)
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (I used 2 T of sugar and 1T maple syrup)
1 dried bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Combine the vinegar, salt, sweetener, bay leaf, and cloves and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the onion, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. They will keep for about a week in the fridge. Enjoy!