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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 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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Food Menu for August Alberta retreat

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

A theme was created for this years summer retreat which included the food that was shared with the participants.  ‘InTouch Lifestyles’ at Inside Awareness includes a focus on the environment.   We consider that living food items stimulate one’s physical, mental and emotional experience.  Our belief is that food is an environmental influence for health, wellness and happiness.

 

 

 

Our menu’s included:

Healthy Water Infusions & Teas

Moringa Infused Water & Tea

Beet Kvass Infused Water

Ginger Infused Water & Tea

Spruce Tree Branch Infused Water

The water used for daily infusions was set out in the sun for solar infusion and under the new moon for infusing the qualities of the moon.  Each glass jar also sat on written words that would infuse into the water such as:  Healing, Vitality, Inspiration, Compassion, Love, Balance and more.  Have you read the words that are on the outside of the popular Kombucha drinks by GT’S that are there for the same intention?  or, read Messages of the Water by Dr. Emoto?

Fermented Foods

Home-made Sauerkraut – high in fibre, Vit A, C, K & B, a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium & calcium

Kim-chi

Fermented Beets & Turnips

Garlic Cloves Infused in Apple Cider Vinegar

Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria and it enhances ones immune system.  Eating fermented foods adds beneficial bacteria and enzymes to ones intestinal flora which increases the health of gut microbiome and digestive system.

 

Simple Fun Foods for Breakfast

Eggs with Veggies & Salsa

Heavy Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit

Lunch 

Chicken Quesadilla with condiments & Black Bean Salad with Cilantro & Feta  (includes Home-grown Mung Beans & Urad Bean Sprouts)

and on the 2nd day:

Sauerkraut with Turkey Dogs and European Smokies with Salad

Yam & Sweet Potato Salad with Shiracha Mayo Dressing

Dinner

Basa Fish baked with oranges, Veggies & Tossed Salad

Baked Apple Crisp

Garnish

Mint & Cilantro

Fun, Healthy Snacks

Dark Chocolate

Dried Cranberries

Dried Ginger

Cherries

Cherry & beet juice Popsicle

 

Our sincerest appreciation to Nicole for taking on the kitchen and creating some fantastic dishes for our enjoyment. Each dish was artful in presentation.  Nicole arrived with her pup Mishka who was quickly identified as a healer.  This little pup radiates compassion and healing energies.

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Fermented Salsa


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