When did food stop being fun & sexy? Finding pleasure in food.

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.comxx

As a Feldenkrais® Practitioner I hear about the strategies one takes for ailments that range from muscle cramping, aches, pains to digestion issues and more. The solutions usually involve supplements, vitamins, minerals, drips, medication and new diets like gluten or lactose free.

However, I have experienced if someone suggests they are low in vitamins or minerals, they never  focus on foods that contain higher levels of these specific characteristics. Instead they search them out at the drug store through prescription or off the shelf at the  supermarket or health food store.

When I hear many speak about their food and diet, I notice that it is usually with discomfort and generally has a tone that is self-depreciating.  Their ease in the conversation is usually with a focus on the benefits of new diets they may be trying or have heard about.   The topic seems to  never be focused upon the values or qualities of the foods.  It’s always teaching or preaching the diet.  This includes no mention of finding enjoyment or pleasure in their food choices and it can sometimes focus on good or bad, right and wrong viewpoints.  I have been surprised by how many restrict their choices to the same meal repeatedly, sometimes for years.  I can share that food can be an evolving experience of integration and a source of deepening intimacy.  Intimacy is not just in the bedroom, it can expand to include nourishment from foods you put in your body at the level of your health and well-being!  Understanding your food can give you a deeper appreciation for its richness and qualities that can increase your physical, mental and emotional health experience.  This integrative connection deepens intimacy with yourself and can quiet those doubting, shaming and fearful voices in your head creating more of a zen-like mindful experience.  Food as meditation?

The missing part in these food conversations is the link to the physical, mental and emotional qualities that are stimulated by food consumption.   An example are foods that are considered  mood enhancers, like fermented foods.  Fermented foods increase good gut bacteria naturally and supply the B vitamin nutrition the brain needs for good function, which includes B 12.  This makes fermented foods an excellent one to add to your diet if you are a low meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan.

Another example I hear come up in my office is Magnesium.  This seems to be the trend for muscle pain and spasms.  Magnesium is an essential mineral for body function and can be found in foods such as; spinach, avocado, quinoa, whole grains, cashews, almonds, black beans, edamame, yogurt, fish, dark chocolate

The daily dosage of magnesium supplementation for women over 31 is 320 grams and for men it is  420 grams.  However, there are no maximum dosage amounts in eating magnesium rich foods as naturally occurring elements can be easily digested.  There is a cautionary recommended dosage when using dietary supplements as they cannot be absorbed by the body in the same way as food can.


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For educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-diagnosing.

Why are we so fearful of mushrooms?

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Amanita muscaria mushroom

When I am excited about finding a new type of mushroom or even considering culturing my own mushrooms,  the first thing others share back with me is, “You have to be careful, they can be dangerous.”  (or some other similar phrase)  It’s a downer for sure and quite frankly the cautionary tone is annoying.  If you haven’t researched mushrooms yourself you cannot be an educated authority on the topic.

I have never met anyone who has gotten ill or died from eating mushrooms.  I have met those who have gotten deathly ill from eating oysters, restaurant food and commercially sold food products.   In many decades of life I have heard only a few stories of people who died from eating mushrooms in the Province of B.C., where I live.  When I google how many people have died in B.C., from eating mushrooms in the past few decades, NO factual research shows up!  There are many warnings though about the Death Cap Mushrooms.  Specifically in the Greater Victoria region.

Having written this, it doesn’t mean I recommend going out and eating any old mushroom without researching it first.  I recommend foragers research the mushrooms they find to confidently know their mushrooms are edible and that they have reassurance they are not poisonous.  Don’t assume mushrooms are safe because they are growing in urban areas.  Do your due diligence and find answers through foraging mentors, experts and/or through field guides, local groups, etc.

Surprised by arrival of the Prince of all Mushrooms – agaricus augustus

Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

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What you eat directs what you will eat

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

After a short time of eating home-made yogurt with only two ingredients; milk and yogurt from a previous batch, it has become even more evident, WHAT YOU EAT DETERMINES WHAT YOU WILL EAT IN THE FUTURE.

I have always loved pizza and it is something that I enjoy sharing with my kid.  Regardless of what diet I have been on the exception has always been pizza night.  The first slice was never enough and always  led to more slices.

Imagine my son going to get pizza and I genuinely have no interest mentally, emotionally or physically.  My mind isn’t telling me a story about how much I love pizza, my gut isn’t craving it and I recognize there is no motivation, attachment or inspiration in sharing, not even a bite.  The box was set on the kitchen counter and it was still as uninteresting as someone driving by.  I asked myself what has changed?  The only recent change is that I have added home-made yogurt to my diet .

Wow, as soon as I added home-made yogurt the last-minute trips to the grocer for quick foods stopped, eating bread stopped and now this non-attachment to pizza.  The most powerful aspect of this change is that it didn’t come from a thought or resistance.  I wasn’t aware that these changes were happening until I noticed they weren’t.

I am not a scientist nor am I seeking to read a study or do a study on this.  I take my experience as my truth.  The small changes in my diet are changing my physical, mental and emotional functions.  I believe it’s changing my brain function as well!

I am coming away believing that there is something in my diet that is now satisfying my functional needs that previously had been a missing link.  Whether a gut interaction or brain food, or both, I am not aware of exactly which.  What I am aware of is the outcome of it.  Food determines our function physical, emotional and brain functions.

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Red Cracked Bolete (Boletus chrysenteron)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com)



This afternoon I discovered these mushrooms in my backyard garden.   A pleasant surprise that began another search to discover what type it was and to find out if it was edible of course.  Fortunately there are a number of great Facebook pages devoted to identifying mushrooms that show great pictures as does google images.  It turned out these mushroom are Red Cracking Bolete also known as Porcini in Italy, and the sponge mushroom in the Northeastern States of the US.  Yes they are edible.

Bolete Mushrooms are avidly sought after for food.  However if you are foraging for Bolete Mushrooms, always take precautions.  Boletes with a red or orange
pore surface, especially those that bruise blue, are not recommended (National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff).

I washed them, cut them up and gave them a quick stir fry in olive oil.  I was astonished at how wonderful they tasted.  These wild mushrooms are one of the nicest tasting mushrooms I have ever eaten.  I will possibly not be able to leave any to dry!

More about the mushroom characteristics

The first thing I noticed about this mushroom is the pores on the underside of the cap.  I was curious on discovering whether this mushroom was safe when I noticed the absence of familiar gills under the cap and the striking green colour of the pours instead.  There was also the bright red on the stems.  Reading up on this species I discovered that these qualities do not fit in the category of dangerous types.  They are edible and safe.

Growing Conditions

In the research I read these mushroom like to grow under certain trees, however I do not have these trees close by.  I have a Privet tree 6 feet away along with a Birch Tree 10 feet away.  Earlier in the year our neighbour cut down a Douglas Fir that was about 15 feet away.  Another surprise mushroom visitor, The Prince, that came earlier in August grew next to a 12 foot  Cedar hedge.  These Bolete are growing 20 feet away from this hedge.  What I have done is edge this bed with old wood cuttings that I hoped to grow succulents on.

Read more on another surprise backyard mushroom visitor called the “Prince’

More on growing mushrooms from Living in Natures Love 

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Information on foraging mushrooms, their uses and properties are for educational purposes only.   Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed.  If foraging for mushrooms ensure you consult an experienced mushroom forager for information on your mushrooms or for mentoring on what mushrooms are safe and which ones are poisonous.  Be smart.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com)

tea kettleEdibleMortarDyedeer

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Photo by Renee Lindstrom

Also known as:  Evening Star,  Butter Rose, Cowslip, Fever Plant & King’s Cure-all, Sun Cup

Uses: Culinary, Medicinal, Tea

Parts used: Flowers, Leaves, Stems, Roots

Preparation:  Cosmetics, Essential Oil, Flower Essence, Infused Honey & Oils, Recipes, Tinctures









  • Symbolizes:   Life of Fulfillment
  • Language of Flowers: Fickleness, faithlessness, sweet memories
  • Associated with: Protection, Love & Luck
  • Chakras:  Root, Sacral & Heart
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by:  Moon
This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee


All parts of the evening Primrose can be integrated into ones diet.  The roots can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.  They grow large and are similar in appearance to parsnips and can be cooked like potatoes, carrots or parsnips.  One can add them fresh or dried to soups and , stews.  The leaves can be added to salad or steamed if tough and flowers can be added to salads and used as garnish or decoration on cakes, custards and puddings.

The seed pods can be roasted or when dried the seeds inside can be ground and added to smoothies, shakes, cereals, breads, muffins, etc.

Health & Wellness

“A study by the Highland Psychiatric Research Group at the Draig Dunain Hospital, Inverness, Scotland, found that evening primrose encouraged regeneration of liver cells damaged by alcohol consumption. Other researchers think it may also prevent alcoholic poisoning, hangovers, postdrink depression and alcohol withdrawal. It is thought to stop alcohol from damaging brain cells by bolstering them with unsaturated fats”  Herbalpedia

  • Evening Primrose has:
    • protein
    • carbohydrates
    • beta carotene
    • calcium
    • potassium
    • vitamin B3
    • Omega-6
    • amino acid tryptophan
    • bioflavonoid quercetin
  • Herbal Actions:
    • Gentle Sedative & Mood Enhancer – relaxing, grounding and uplifting
    • Anti-spasmodic – PMS cramping
    • Endocrine System  – relaxing
    • First Aid – bruised cuts, scratches, bug bites & stings
    • Digestion – stimulant, cooling & healing inflammation
    • Eczema & Rosacea – used topically
    • Hair Growth – used topically
  • Nutrition (per 1/2 cup):
    • Protein: 2.4 g
    • Carbs 7.3 g
    • Calcium 140 mg
    • Potassium 410 mg
    • Beta Carotene 4000 ug
    • Niacin 700  ug
  • Early North American uses:
    • Ojibwa – poultice for bruises
    • Cherokee – root tea to lose weight
    • Shakers – poultice for wounds & leave or root tea for upset stomach
  • Folklore:
    • increase desirably to potential lovers & friends – infuse into bath for encouraging inner beauty to shine through
    • Magical use in spells for increasing success in achieving ones goals


Growing Evening Primrose

The flower of the Evening Primrose may open before dusk, however the scent of the flower is not released until evening.  It is Native to Canada and the United States.  It is a self seeder so it can be found growing in full sun along rocky roads, in meadows, on dunes and beaches.  It has been naturalized in parts of Europe by Early Settlers transporting seeds back as early as 1614.  I have started mine by seed in the Spring as starters and transplanted them.  They seem to be hardy and though they enjoy full sun, these pictured above are growing in partial shade and are 1 year bloomers (unusual).  I would consider now starting them later in summer or early fall to have them come up as second year plants in spring.

Buy Canadian Evening Primrose Seeds

More Edible Garden Plants 



Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Creating Yogurt at Home is amazingly easy and inexpensive!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

I was reminded of home-made yogurt when my neighbour served me with some of his this week.  He has made yogurt for years and he mentioned he adds dry milk  to thicken it into a Greek style.  It had a nicer taste than any commercially sold and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

Inspiration to now dust off the thermometer and gather up the milk and yogurt.  Two ingredients!  That all it takes to make yogurt.  Milk and a few tablespoons of yogurt to use as a culture.






  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt

Heat four cups of milk slowly to 185 degrees and then cool to 115 degrees.  Once cooled whisk in four tablespoons of yogurt evenly into the warm milk.  The yogurt acts as a culture to create a custard like solid.

Once mixed together place somewhere warm to sit for 6 to 8 hours.  This could be in a warm oven that has been turned off and oven light left on.  If left in cooler space it will take longer for the liquid to become custard like.  I have read up to 24 hours.

Kefir is the stage that is pre-custard like when the yogurt culture is active however before  it has begun to  solidify.  This means you can’t spoil a batch.  It simply means you have kefir!

3rd (Sacral) Chakra Food

Yogurt is one of the milk products I enjoy and have continued with in my diet.  It is a fermented food which means it is a natural probiotic.  A good quality of yogurt can be beneficial for optimal gut health however many commercial yogurts contain sweeteners, artificial flavours and thickeners or pectin.  The ingredients that do not lead to good gut health!

Another consideration is what are the cows are being fed that produce the milk the commercial yogurt is made with?

Curious baby cows check out grass labyrinth

Are they free range cows eating grass in the meadows over the summer and home-grown hay  like the ones grazing at the Farm of our recent August retreat or are they eating a GMO diet (Genetically Modified)?  This a huge consideration in my mind and one I seriously considered when I had my own babies.




A good quality yogurt is high in protein and has the same nutrients as milk; calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.  Yogurt also has a cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid.

When making your own yogurt you can choose a variety of milks or mild substitutes to experiment with such as *nut and rice milks.  Being curious about creating your own can be an adventure and bring some fun back into the kitchen.  Seasonal whole foods and  sweeteners can be added to your yogurt like fresh or frozen berries, fruits, nuts, honey or molasses and yes even grains!  I drizzle plant and flower infused honey I have created through Spring and Summer.  Fall into a  loving relationship with your food again or find out where to buy food that has been lovingly made!

In my opinion gut health is the building block to good health and could be one of the first considerations during any illness from colds and flues to more serious diagnosis.

*Nut milks require so many ingredients that I have chosen not to pursue this myself. I like the ease of two ingredients and eating simpler foods.

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Refreshing Black Bean & Cilantro Salad

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Black Bean & Cilantro Salad

3rd & 1st Chakras (Solar Plexus & Root Chakras)

This is an easy and healthy salad that can be a main dish or goes well  with other dishes.  I love eating it over quinoa and add salsa to compliment it.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 can  or 1 cup home-made Black Beans 
  • 1 cup freshly peeled, frozen, canned Corn 
  • 1/4 cup diced red or Green Pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced Tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced Cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced Celery
  • Fresh Green Leaves (Spinach shown in picture)
  • 1/4 cup minced Cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese 
  • Handful Fresh Bean Sprouts 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons Oil
  • Crushed Garlic Cloves (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • Minced Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

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