The Immune System Recovery Plan offers a 4-Step Program to heal your immune system, and “Do it With Us!” is the online companion to the book. We invite you to join one of our free online groups that offer support and guidance as you work your way through each step of the program. We know it can be challenging and sometimes difficult to change your diet, heal your gut, do a detox program, or learn to relax on your own, and we are here to help you!
“Do It With Us!”, On-Line Program, Balancing Your Stress Hormones Begins
Our Learn to Relax Guide and CD teaches you tools to balance and heal your stress system. Balancing your stress hormones are vital for anyone, but in particular for people with autoimmune disease.
The CD offers 8 tracks of guided imagery and meditation exercises, led by the warm, soothing voice of Elizabeth Greig, FNP, MSN, our talented nurse practitioner and meditation teacher. Elizabeth shares with you the same program that we use at Blum Center for Health. The companion guide gives you instructions and valuable information about the affects of stress on the body, as well as tools on how to manage it.
We just know that you will love one or many of the relaxation techniques on the CD as much as we do, making it part of your daily ritual!
“Do It With Us!”, On-Line Program, Supporting Your Liver With Detox Begins
Doing our liver support program is a powerful way to reduce toxins that may cause autoimmune disease. A detox program can also increase your energy, clear your mind and support your immune system.
Make the Most of Farmers Markets
Spring is in full swing and the markets will soon be overflowing with locally grown fruits and vegetables. Here in Southern Westchester, we have so many ways to get the freshest local produce, whether from local farm stands, weekly farmers markets, co-ops, or through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Get the most out of the season’s bounty by following these tips at your local market.
Get to Know Your Local Growers
Visit your farmers markets and speak with the people who grow your food. Local food is usually fresher and tastes better because it hasn’t had to travel (usually it comes all the way from California!).
When it comes to fresh produce, organic is the best choice. After all, who wants chemical pesticide residues in their salad? However, organic can be expensive and not just for the consumer. Many small-scale farmers find it too costly to go through the organic certification, even though they may be using all (or primarily) organic growing practices. Inquire and ask questions, you may just find organically grown fruits and vegetables at a lower price!
Most farmers markets will have a listing of produce items and when they’ll become available. Take a lookahead and plan your shopping based on what’s fresh each week. If you see something new don’t shy away from it. Ask the grower for a sample and they may even share their favorite ways to cook it! If you find something that you just can’t get enough of, use it as an opportunity to stock your freezer or pantry for the colder months to come.
Make a Day of It
Besides being a community-gathering place where you’re likely to bump into friends and neighbors, many farmers markets host local musical acts, children’s activities and educational programs. Some markets also host vendors that offer fresh, made-to-order food prepared with the same local produce being sold that day. There are so many great reasons to visit your local market and so many more reasons to stay!
Another way to get the best local produce of the season is by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Farmers set a price for a “Share” for the season and use the income to plant and Harvest all the crops. This entitles you to pick up your “share” of produce at a central location every week during the growing season. As a member of the CSA you also have the opportunity to take a tour of the Farm and even lend a hand in the fields. My family of four has been members for the past few years and we’ve found it to be plenty of food for a week of cooking. If you are cooking for one, consider finding a friend to split the share or ask about half-season shares if you plan to be away for part of the summer.
May your summer be a happy, healthy one!
Be Your Own Farmer
One of my greatest pleasures in spring and summer is growing my own herb garden. Nothing delights me more while cooking, than opening the screen door with scissors in-hand to clip a few herbs. Herbs not only add beautiful colors, bright flavors and incredible fragrance to food, they provide medicinal benefits, too!
My very favorite herb must-haves are: basil, parsley, oregano, chives and rosemary. They all have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Some, like oregano, are also anti-bacterial. They all contain varying amounts of vitamins K, A, and folic acid.
Benefits of Herbs
The medicinal benefits come from naturally occurring phytochemicals (phyto meaning plant) in the herbs. You would need to eat large amounts of these herbs to reap their benefits, which is why in supplements they are dried and compacted. Although, eating them in smaller quantities is also beneficial.
The compounds are numerous:
- From basil: orientin, vicenin, eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral limonene and terpineol
- From rosemary:cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene
- From oregano: carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene
- From chives: thio-sufinites such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and allyl propyl disulfide
- From parsley: myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene
Clipping Your Herbs
Clip them from the top; removing the flowers so that they do not go to seed. These flowers are edible and beautiful in salads or in a vase on the table.
The Many Uses of Herbs
- Finishing a dish with flavorful herbs adds freshness to a variety of foods – from salads to fish to berries.
- Add herbs at the end of the recipe to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact.
- Use herbs as marinades in the preparation of vegetables, chicken, and fish dishes.
- A cold sauce made from parsley or basil mixed with garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Make a pesto sauce with parsley instead of basil.
- Freshly chopped herbs are a great addition to any salad.
- Add basil or rosemary to your hot water with lemon in the morning.
- Add rosemary to your breakfast shake.
- To dessert sorbets – herbs are the kicker!
Do not limit your herbs to the few that I have mentioned. Have fun experimenting and exploring the wonderful uses of herbs this summer!
Check out our class calendar to learn more about our cooking class dates and times.
Fresh Herb Pie
Easy, quick, health supportive, and delicious – what more could one ask for in a meal! This light, yet satisfying, and brightly flavored dish is truly a one-pot wonder, loaded with fresh herbs you can grow at home or pick up at your local farmers market!
Grow With Gratitude
Spring is such a great season for expressing gratitude. How amazing that every year the leaves do come out on the trees in their brilliant green, the flowers do bloom in all their colorful glory, the grass does grow creating a lush carpet of beauty! Although Nature keeps the rhythm with seeming effortlessness, I find my heart filling with thanks and reassurance when I see the first tiny signs of spring green and forsythia yellow.
This month, try a gratitude practice every day. One beautiful way of connecting your own heart to that of the Earth that nourishes us is to offer gratitude before eating. This is a common practice in many cultures and you may already have such a practice and can add some of these suggestions to that. You can do it as a prayer if you pray, or you can just say what you are grateful for as you feel the thanks in your own heart. Visualize each element or person that you mention to create a heart to heart connection–perhaps even one of the farmers you meet at the Farmers’ Market will come to mind!
- I am grateful for this beautiful planet Earth that nourishes me and all living beings through her soil, water, and air.
- I am grateful for the sun that shines so steadily and whose light powers the plants to grow into food and shade.
- I am grateful for the seeds that grow into food, the animals that feed us and the farmers that tend to them.
- I am grateful for the winds that blow rain clouds over the crops and for the rain that helps those crops to grow.
- I am grateful for all the many hands and hearts that bring the food from field to table so that my family and I can have delicious nourishing food.
- I am grateful for this precious human life.
Visit our class calendar to learn more about our mind body spirit class dates and times.