Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blueberry Season

It's that time of year when gardens and farmers markets are overflowing with the bounty of summer. It definitely ranks as one of my favorite times of year. I love the farmer's market almost as much I love heading out to the garden and coming in with the fruits of our labor and literally having it on our plates in a matter of minutes.

Amidst this joy of the season is also the somewhat stressful issue of trying to preserve as much as you can now, to be able to savor in the dark days of winter.  Food preservation, while so worth it when you crack open a jar of local peaches in January, can be overwhelming and intimidating. I myself am fairly  new to canning, and really only started freezing large amounts in the last few years.

Last week I froze 30lbs of local organic blueberries. I love being able to pull out a bag of frozen blueberries in the middle of winter and throw some in a smoothie, muffins or pancakes, but when I look at a 10lb box of blueberries at the farmers market the anxiety starts to build.  I immediately start thinking 'I have to wash/sort/dry/freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer into bags!' and that's about enough to have to me running to the grocery store to buy some! Last year I decided  I needed to make it easier on myself and made the decision to 'cheat' a little.

I start by dumping a large amount into a big bowl in the sink and fill it with water. When you put the water in the bowl most of the bad berries, along with any leaves or stems generally float to the top. After swishing around a few times and getting all the debris out I dump them into a collander in the other side of the sink.

As I'm letting those drain I re-fill the first bowl and also lay out a bath towel on the counter. I then take the berries from the collander and transfer them to the towel and then again sort through for any bad berries or leaves I may have missed the first time. I generally use a smaller towel to try and dry them off a little bit more and leave them in a single layer while I go re-do the bowl/collander routine.

Once the berries are fairly dry (and little hands have not eaten all of them!) I fill  gallon zip-lock bags about 3/4 full and viola, they are ready for the freezer!

To be fair, this probably does not yield the exact results of freezing the berries on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together, but they are kind of like ice, wherein if you give them a little whack on the counter they separate nicely and I'll certainly take that small step for the time savings!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Whole30


As I mentioned before, I believe everyone is on a journey and part of my journey right now is doing The Whole30. The Whole30 was developed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig as a way to reset your body by eliminating all foods that are known to cause inflammation, trigger cravings, or are just down right not good for you, for 30 days. Those include:
  • Grains
  • Sugars
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Alcohol
Basically you are eating lots of nutrient dense meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts and good fats like coconut and olive oil, ghee and avocados. After the 30 days are up you gradually add back in the foods that you have avoided for the last 30 days and see how your body reacts. Generally people find that they either no longer desire the unhealthy foods they once did, or they realize how bad they feel after eating said foods, and no longer think they are worth it.

Personally I am looking to reduce bloating and acne that have become chronic since my last pregnancy, and also stop my cravings for sugar and carbs. I am currently one week in and am feeling great! I have more energy (despite not getting a full nights sleep in well over a year) and rarely feel bloated. I'm still waiting for my skin to start to clear up, but I'm confident that it will.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting recipes that are Whole30 approved and updating on my progress. For more information check out their website or their new book It Starts with Food.

Where are you at in your journey?

Friday, July 27, 2012


Welcome to my new blog! I'm so excited to finally have a place to share my knowledge and encourage others to lead a more natural, healthy lifestyle. As a chiropractor and mom to three, I'm always on a mission to find the healthiest foods, products and general information to keep me and my family healthy and happy.

I believe that all of us are on a journey to do the best for our family and ourselves. We are all starting at different points in our journey, and wherever we are is okay.  I hope to be a source of new ideas, support and encouragement to you on your own journey. With all the conflicting information floating around out there, making decisions for your family can be overwhelming and stressful. I never want anyone to feel guilty or resentful for making making decisions that are different than mine. No one is perfect, myself included.  We do what we can, with the information we have at the time, and usually it all turns out okay in the end.

I love good food and have a passion for spreading the word on how food affects so many different aspects of our lives. I think we should eat real, whole foods that make us feel good. That's not going to be the same for every person, and may very well change throughout time. Fad diets come and go, but real food should always make you feel good. I will be discussing what we are currently eating as a family and the reasons why I feel it is best for us at this time.

I'll also be sharing recipes based on whole foods (and how to get your family to eat them), natural health information, some DIY attempts (and failures), gardening adventures and so much more!

You may not agree with everything I say or do, and that's okay.  A friendly, fact based debate is often a good thing! We can only have our eyes opened to new things if we can keep our mouths shut long enough to hear others out. I hope for this to be a safe place for all of us to grow and learn.

This whole blogging gig is new to me, so please bear with me as I get this going and show me grace when I take bad pictures, make spelling and grammar mistakes, and just plain mess up! Special thanks to Katie and Theresa for helping me with the technical stuff that I am so bad at, and for everyone else who encouraged me to start this.  I'm looking forward to sharing, learning, laughing, and having you join us on our journey!

real food - real health - real life

It's what it's all about!

~ Dr. Amy
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