Author Archives: Alfalfa's
Myra Goodman’s marvelous book, The Earthbound Cook: Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet (Workman), is much, much more than a cookbook. In addition to recipes, it is replete with gorgeous food, farm and family photos, practical kitchen tips, and eye-opening information on how to live sustainably to protect the earth’s precious resources.
And what a story! Myra, the co-founder of Earthbound Farm (EBF) along with her husband Drew, started EBF on several acres in their backyard in 1984, and today, their once-small garden has grown to more than 150 farmers growing organic produce on 37,000 acres, making EBF the largest grower/producer of organic produce and related products in the U.S.
In reality, there is nothing earthbound about Myra—more like heavenly in my view!—and her new book is chock full of out-of-this-world recipes accompanied by mouth-watering photos of delectable dishes made from organic food, straight from the garden.
Myra’s passion for organic food comes alive in recipes like Curried Garnet Yam Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Tart, and Whole Wheat Crepes filled with a variety of sweet and savory ingredients. Each and every recipe inspires even the most reluctant cook to action, and the accompanying photos are a veritable feast for the eyes.
Adding to the value of this beautiful book is the information Myra offers on a wealth of food related topics: responsible living and eating; preserving our precious resources; avoiding harmful pesticides; cage free v. nest fresh eggs; wild or farmed salmon; carbon footprint measures; energy saving cooking tips; clarification of oft-confusing terms such as grass fed, pasture forage or free range; the environmental benefits of organic farming, and more.
The Earthbound Cook is Myra’s second book and her first one, Food to Live By, are equally pleasing, educational, and inspiring. Enjoy it, regardless of your culinary proficiency, and be sure to visit EBF’s website for a wealth of information and videos of Mrya whipping up dishes in her kitchen: http://www.ebfarm.com/story
Thanks to our continued partnership with Ecocycle, Alfalfa’s was able to divert 93% of its trash from landfills. Instead our waste was nearly all sent to be recycled and composted. We couldn’t have done it without our guests! Thanks to you, we composted 335,000 pounds of food scraps and sent nearly 200,000 pounds of materials to be recycled!
This equates to 108 cars off the road for an entire year, or 11,200 gallons of gas saved!
Dave Matthews and Danny DeVito express their opinions about GMOs in our food system as the Prop 37 vote in California draws near. We hope you find it as entertaining as we do!
Click here to view: Right to Know?
When you think of sustainability and using “every last drop” of something, generally you think of something like energy or water. Fortunately, there are people like Peggy Furth, co-founder of WholeVine Products, who marry the principles of sustainability and zero waste with food and drink.
Located in Napa Valley Wine Country, WholeVine takes the scraps, skins, seeds and general muck—officially known as “pumice”—leftover from the wine making process, then turns it into ingenious and tasty products. Founded in 2009 and using Jackson Family pumice as a base, they have created a line of grape seed oils from different grape varietals, and some delicious, gluten-free flour made from an extrusion of the pumice. They are working on other products too, including gorgeous all-natural food colorings made from- you guessed it- grape skins. Sound high tech? It is. WholeVine has no less than 4 PhD’s either on staff or as consulting scientists.
Fortunately, their flavored oils and signature line of baked goods taste anything but high tech. On a recent press lunch at Alfalfa’s (the exclusive place to find their goods outside of California) WholeVine laid out a spread including pizza, salads, cakes, popcorn and even a baked chicken dish, each with an ingredient from their vine-based products, as well as their packaged cookies and oils. Honestly, they have something here. No gluten? No worries, you don’t pay a sensory price. To the contrary, using, say, flour made from rich purple Syrah grapes provides an unexpectedly pleasing surprise for your tongue, and your eyes. From a company that donates a portion of the proceeds to children in need, the reasons for not trying their products are indeed slim.
Learn more at wholevine.com, but if you are into pleasure and experiential learning, pick up some of their peanut butter cookies, or Cabernet grape seed oil at Alfalfa’s and school yourself the old fashioned way. Sustainability never tasted so good.
~Allan Parr for EatDrinkBoulder
A shopper can save an average of 89 percent by purchasing natural and organic foods in the bulk foods aisle of a grocery store, according to a new study.
The study by Portland State University’s Food Industry Leadership Center (FILC), the first of its kind in the United States, examines three main areas related to buying in bulk: cost comparisons (to packaged counterparts), environmental impact and consumer attitudes toward buying in bulk. The study was conducted on behalf of the Bulk is Green Council (BIG), based in Portland, Ore.
Researchers made cost comparisons between organic bulk foods and organic packaged foods in a number of key categories, including coffee and tea, nut butters, flour and grains, dried fruit, spices, beans, pasta and confectionaries.
The percentage of savings when buying in bulk differed from category to category, but averaging the savings across all categories resulted in an average of 89 percent lower costs compared to packaged counterparts.
Chief among the environmental advantages of buying in bulk is reducing the amount of product packaging going into landfills. According to the study, if coffee-drinking Americans purchased all of their coffee in bulk for one year, nearly 240 million pounds of foil packaging would be saved from entering a landfill. If Americans purchased all their almonds in bulk for one year, 72 million pounds of waste would be saved from a landfill, according to the study.
The study also found that food manufacturers choosing to market bulk foods versus packaged foods can save an average of 54 percent on material and delivery costs since more pallets of bulk food can be packed onto delivery trucks.
Researchers found that consumers who do buy in bulk are aware of the benefits of doing so. The study’s findings show the main reason consumers shop the bulk foods aisle is for the ability to buy the exact quantity needed.
As a result, consumers said bulk items were less likely than packaged items to be thrown away, which results in less food waste. Consumers also cited cost savings and the environmental aspect of using less packaging as the other top reasons for buying bulk.
“We’ve long touted shopping in the bulk foods aisle as the most economical and environmentally friendly way to shop, and now we have the data to back up those claims,” said Todd Kluger, a founding member of BIG and vice president of marketing at Lundberg Family Farms, the top U.S. organic rice producer. “Even better, with more and more U.S. grocery stores now offering a larger selection of bulk foods, these benefits are widely accessible.”
“Many claims have been made regarding the benefits of buying in bulk, but there have been few quantifiable statistics to support those claims,” said Tom Gillpatrick, executive director of FILC. “We’re excited to be the first research team in the United States to substantiate that buying in bulk does offer tangible environmental and economical benefits.”
To check out the findings from the study, click here.
Via ~ sustainablefoodnews.com
People who arrive at my office on a statin frequently complain of one of the following things as a direct side effect of the drug:
Fatigue, mood changes, irritability, headaches, insomnia heart palpitations, arrhythmias, stomach pain, or muscle weakness
These are all listed right in the Physician’s Drug Information Handbook as common side effects. But the new news is that users of statins have a 48% increased chance of developing Type II diabetes, even with short term use at low dosages.
Then What About Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is not the bad guy!
No really, it’s true. Cholesterol is the duct tape of the body. It is for patching up holes (damage) to blood vessels and internal organs. Cholesterol is actually a structural material for maintaining integrity of vital body parts like your arteries, veins, liver cells, brain cells, and much more. Here are just a few other things for which cholesterol is needed:
Adrenal and sex hormones are made out of cholesterol. The myelin sheath that protects the brain is made in large part of cholesterol. Every single cell requires cholesterol in its wall or it gets leaky.
What causes damage to blood vessels, brain cells and other internal organs? Think toxins and inflammation. Car exhaust, solvents such as industrial and household cleaning products, Febreze, paints, heavy metals found right in our food, water, and air on a daily basis. Not to mention that aluminum in the Tums or baking soda or table salt.
I’m much more concerned about a person’s anti-oxidant status, levels of vital detox nutrients and nutrients for balancing inflammation than I am about their cholesterol levels. It’s also about balance of essential fats in the diet. A person on a statin to bring down their cholesterol is still not addressing the reason their cholesterol is high in the first place.
Statins may be called for in cases where cholesterol is extremely high (i.e. over 350 or so) or where triglycerides are very elevated, but this is not the average person you find on a statin.
Think deeper America…
~Dr. Julie M. Barter, ND
Dr. Julie Barter, ND currently practices in Niwot, Colorado, serving the Denver, Boulder and Longmont areas as a natural medicine expert. She is family doctor who works with everyone from infants to seniors. She specializes in women’s and children’s health, food allergies, cancer support, digestive, hormonal and environmental concerns.
She has extensive experience in resolving most common health complaints using clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies, and physical medicine for relieving aches and pains.
She enjoyed a busy private clinical practice in Maine before relocating to Colorado.
As a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, an accredited four-year medical school program, Dr. Julie underwent outstanding clinical training with some of the finest Naturopathic Doctors in the country. She completed internships in internal medicine, environmental medicine, gynecology, and acute care for underserved populations. One medical school training was not enough to give her all the expertise she desired in physical medicine, so she also attended Western States Chiropractic College to attain a high level of competence in adjusting and biomechanics. She takes a special delight in physical medicine, completing over 1000 extra classroom and clinical hours in Applied Kinesiology. She also holds Certificates in Botanical Medicine and Homeopathy.
Natural medicine is a second career for Dr. Julie, having worked in research at the University of Colorado, Boulder for nearly 10 years prior to entering medical school. She participated in NIH-funded research in molecular biology, immunology and neuroscience with an emphasis on pain in chronic illness. She managed the laboratory of approximately 50 researchers for five years, teaching others proper laboratory procedure and technique as well as equipment operation. This has put her in a unique position to be able to evaluate the validity and implications of scientific research on current medical issues.
Dr. Julie has also been an avid athlete her entire life. She used to be an elite amateur cyclist, competing at the national level both on-road and off-road. She rode about 10,000 miles per year for over 10 years. These days she sticks to running, enjoying about 20-30 miles per week on both roads and trails. She takes an insider’s interest in helping other athletes to achieve their maximum potential and enjoyment in their sport.
She also finds great satisfaction in gardening, and finds the practice of natural medicine using herbs and homeopathic remedies derived from these beloved plants to be a very natural extension of her love and respect for nature.Dr. Julie M. Barter ND LLC 303.652.0903 www.nfmedicine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
7105 La Vista Place Suite 150, Niwot, CO 80503
Julie will be a panelist at our Wellness Wednesday event on the topic of heart health, which takes place on February 8th from 7-8 pm in the Alfalfa’s Community Room. Please see guest services for registration details. Or give them a ring at 720.420.8400. Hope to see you there!
After 30 + years of working with clients with all forms of health issues and health challenges, including obesity and difficulty losing weight, certain things become obvious about what helps people lose weight, and what does not help people with weight loss.
Over 90% of people who have had the experience of trying to lose weight by dieting either have no success or they lose the weight only to have it return within the year.
The fallacy of weight loss being the product of simply cutting calories and increasing exercise is seen in most gyms and weight loss centers where people diligently follow all of the rules but never lose a pound, (unless you are a contestant on The Biggest Loser and exercise 8 hours a day!). Once someone has gotten far enough out of balance metabolically to put on large amounts of weight, the imbalance drives your metabolism. At this point the cure is more complicated than just the reversal of the habits that got you there. At this point, the imbalances caused by poor eating habits have now turned into metabolic imbalances involving a major organ or system such as the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas (diabetes), liver, kidney, digestion / intestines, mineral imbalances or brain chemistry imbalances. Until the missing links in the underling imbalance(s) are found and corrected, the person will be faced with “yo-yo” dieting for temporary results.
In spite of what most people may think, weight gain is a valuable sign that there are deeper metabolic problems that may ultimately lead to more serious diseases. Because of that, the goal of a good weight loss program should be to find the underlying imbalance and when that is corrected, the weight will be lost more easily and the weight loss more easily maintained.
Kathy is an RN with 30 + years experience in nutritional counseling. She owns a consulting practice specializing in blending leading edge alternative therapies aimed at finding the core biochemical and nutritional imbalances. This often includes uncovering distortions in the information pathways in the body fields responsible for orchestrating the deepest levels of communication between the organs, glands and systems of the body. Consultations also focus on deep mineral balance. Minerals are the spark plugs for all of the biochemistry of the body. Finding the significant mineral imbalances and mineral ratio imbalances allows us to re-balance the body, which in turn allows all of the systems and organs to begin to function normally as they are designed to do.
Kathy’s consulting practice is centered on her skills as a practitioner, researcher, and educator. Her goal is to help each client find their core imbalances in order to restore them to wellness, and not simply treat the symptoms.
414 S Cedar Brook
Boulder, CO 80304
Kathy will be a panelist at our Wellness Wednesday event on the topic of weight loss, which takes place on January 11th from 7-8 pm in the Alfalfa’s Community Room. Please see guest services for registration details. Or give them a ring at 720.420.8400. Hope to see you there!
When we want to share a gesture that shows how much we care for someone we can find ourselves going back to the basics. We craft. We write. We cook. This year, Alfalfa’s has made it easy to warm your loved one’s hearts and wow their taste buds. Begin a tradition of homemade gifts that people look forward to year after year.
From candied nuts to macadamia butter-crunch popcorn, we’ve got tons of recipes for you. And we even have some FREE gift tags for you to download.
Tag your homemade gift with our homemade tags
Circular Holiday Gift Stickers
Swing by target, staples or a local shop and pick up Avery 2.5” recyclable craft circle gift labels. Print your homemade gift tag, a gift from us to you.
Diamond-Shaped Holiday Gift Tags
You can print these gift tags on any paper, no specific paper or labels are needed for these cute little gift tags. Just print, punch and tag.
Not long ago Stephen Oakley asked if I would join him to speak at Alfalfa’s Wellness panel coming up on December 7th with the theme being mental clarity. I said sure, that would be fun, with a bit of an authoritative chip on my shoulder. We were actually having lunch together. Chatting back and forth, I began to wonder, am I the best person to be speaking on mental clarity? On more than one occasion I have left my treatment room to retrieve a remedy for a patient from the pharmacy and stopped in my tracks asking myself, “what did I come in here for?” Or lost my trend of thought when briefly interrupted by a child’s momentary demands of the mother I was treating. When I am tired after a long day and need to finish up paperwork it can be a challenge to hold my focus.
I decided to ask some of my sharpest patients who were not complaining of overt memory or cognitive issues what they experience on a day to day basis, to my surprise they shared similar experiences and most seemed amused when they thought about it. Janis, who works for us, said, “I have good mental clarity, but I have to work at it.”
Janis was referring to the way she held her attention, a way of being in order to achieve the results she was wanting around mental work. I realized that I did the same thing. I would dig in in a certain way, posture myself to hold concentration and when I did it I was solid and clear. Except when I hadn’t eaten for most of the day or when Mercury was in retrograde and the whole computer system in the office didn’t work for 5 days in a row. Then I turned to mental mush.
I’m pretty sure you can relate to this scenario. It is in all of us to a certain extent. And it requires our attention to breed attention and greater mental clarity. So it is clear to me, get it, clear to me that mental clarity is on a continuum from sharp to dull, from Einstein deep and clear to delusional. So the following is my ideas in brief, in categories, as to how we all can keep, for the most part, on the sharp side of the continuum. May we all support each other in the process!
I view the human being as having 4 members or domains that without each the others cannot express the fullness of life:
The physical body, which is grounded in the mineral world (primarily carbon) is what we sense with our five senses.
The etheric body, or life body gives form to the physical body. It offers the forces of growth and proliferation. The plant kingdom exemplifies the physical and the etheric.
The soul or astral body allows motions and emotions. It is the member that is linked with knowledge from external sources which forms “primal memory.” The astral body keeps the proliferative forces of the etheric in check. We share the three members with the animal kingdom.
The spirit or ego is the fourth member expressing the level of individuation only known to human beings. The spirit (ego) furnishes life to the soul (astral) and is considered the seat of consciousness – awareness of inner activity, creative thought based upon inner experiences and self- contemplation are examples of this member of the being
So, with this view, with this perspective, I want to plug in some examples of dysfunction in each domain that directly influence mental clarity.
Physical. Any conditions that affect the cell getting its needs meant to produce life (metabolism). A few examples:
- Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – the brain consumes 45 % or more of the circulating blood sugar to function properly.
- Insulin resistance – the cell receptor does not accept the hormone that delivers glucose to the cell therefore less glucose get to the cell (this includes brain cells).
- Hypothyroid – this hormone plays a major role in the control of metabolism – low thyroid equals low metabolism (drowsy, sleeping, low cognitive function).
- Toxicity (toxic tissue burden) – our environment is loaded with them – they are ubiquitous, meaning they are everywhere and they inhibit normal life process.
Etheric (life body, chi). One of the laws of physics is energy precedes form. The etheric governs the physical body. If the etheric flow is inhibited, the chi is inhibited, then the physical is inhibited.
- In Asian medicine this disturbance is termed a disturbance in Shen (wakefulness, alertness, brightness).
- Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of how the disturbed feeling sense realm can cause illness in the body when the thought process overwhelms the felt sense realm of the being. The thinking gets out of control draining the heart-feeling-sense of the world and the knowing that comes from intuition. The heart is a cognitive organ. When it is not in the driver’s seat mentation gets out of control and disturbs mental clarity. This is a good one for open panel discussion.
Spirit. In our culture we’ve all experienced, one time or another, some level of disembodiment. This manifests as various forms of disconnect. Mind objectifies and separates from body, which in turn, places us out of touch with the feelings of the heart and the sensations of the belly.
Sometimes we are unable to perceive the pulsations of the earth’s heart, and we waver in our contact with the infinite heart that as one substance pervades all that is.
Mental clarity is directly connected to our state of awareness. Mental clarity does not always yield true clarity. True clarity is when the heart leads the mind in thought and feelings.
By Dr. Darryl Hobson, a wellness educator, author and a practicing physician of integrated natural medicine. His career in medicine began in 1969 when he awoke one day to find himself blind. Modern medical diagnostic approaches did not reveal the cause. He was taken to a healer who simply placed his hands over his body. Two days after that first session his eyesight returned. Darryl wanted to know what kind of process through the use of just the hands would bring about such a healing. He has spent the last 42 years investigating not only that form of energetic healing but many other areas of the natural healing arts with a particular interest in chiro-practic and energetic medicine.
Clear thinking is something we all need. Our brains rely on a constant stream of nutrients, blood sugar and oxygen to produce the energy that facilitates learning, thoughts and action. Feed yourself brain boosting foods that optimize mental clarity and mind health.
- Carbohydrates such as white potatoes, pasta, rice, bread and other forms of grain are best suited to feeling mentally serene rather than sharp.
- Sugar, considered an anti-nutrient, causes the body to lose valuable nutrients.
- Fried foods can make one feel foggy, soggy and groggy when poor quality fats and free radicals combine in the bloodstream producing a waste product called lipofuscin, which can adversely affect brain function.
- Black and and dark blue foods, according to Asian Tradition, such as chia seeds, seaweed, wild rice; black beans and black olives provide many kidney and brain nourishing minerals. I want to share that after a month of eating chia seed porridge for breakfast, my husband exclaimed, “I feel like my neurotransmitters are functioning better!” And I feel like a superhero every day thanks to chia.
- The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil nourish nerve cells and are being researched for its ability to improve Alzheimer’s and dementia due to the production of ketones from the saturated fats to fuel brain cells.
- Cauliflower, cabbage, hazelnuts, coconut, walnut, hemp seed all resemble the brain and according to the ancient tradition of The Doctrine of Signatures, foods that look like a head or brain, often prove in modern times to be nourishing to our mental faculties. What the ancient ones knew is being validated by modern science. We know hemp seed, chia seed, hazelnuts, and walnuts and are all rich in omega 3 fatty acids, all needed for mental clarity. Cauliflower and cabbage contain that sulfur helps repair the myelin sheath, the protector on the end of every nerve in the body and is stored in the brain.
- High chlorophyll foods are excellent oxygen transporters
- Super foods like wheatgrass, barley grass juice or blue green algae can help one think more clearly. Other high chlorophyll foods include the leafy greens such as kale, collards and beet greens. Seaweeds have traditionally been used to increase longevity and clear thinking.
- Aromas that can be used to stimulate mental alertness include basil, lemon, lemon grass, lime, peppermint and rosemary. It is ideal to smell such aromas when studying and then use them again when taking a test or having to perform.
Select foods that are fresh and unprocessed. Protect your brain by avoiding aluminum, claimed by many health authorities to be cumulative in the brain and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Chemical exposure such as house cleaning products, pesticides, paints and some art and cosmetic supplies can affect the brain adversely. Protect and nourish your precious seat of thought and consciousness!
By Brigitte Mars, an herbalist and nutritional consultant with over forty years experience. She is the author of 8 books, such as Beauty by Nature, Rawsome, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, and more. Brigitte has had a radio show on KGNU called Naturally for over twenty years, and is a professional member of The American Herbalist Guild. Ms. Mars teaches at Naropa University, Boulder College of Massage, Omega Institute, Kripalu, and Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. Brigitte is a blogger for The Huffington Post and Care2. For more info, visit her website, give her a ring at 303 442-4967 or email her at email@example.com