Bittersweet

As you all know, this is my (Jennifer’s) last week here at IHD for a handful of months. Bonnie Olson will be taking my place for the summer and is happy to get you scheduled in June.

It has been a bittersweet week of “goodbyes” and “good lucks” as I have met with many of you in person and even heard from some of you via email and phone call. With reflection on my 11+ years in practice, I am excited to take a little break and get into nature but will certainly miss seeing and hearing from you all. My gratitude goes out to each and every one of you who has been in my practice and life. Continued thanks to those who have brought me your stories, trusting me with your health and supporting every version of IHD. I look forward to continuing to share the wellness tidbits I learn with you through my Evolve Personal Wellness Blog, while I travel. 

You will be in great hands with Bonnie while I am away and of course, Melanie and Amy are here to serve you as well! Keep your eyes peeled for a welcome note from Bonnie in the next week or so. As a reminder, staring in July, I will be continuing to do phone consultations for clients who would like continued support around diet, herbs, lifestyle and supplements.  Due to my travel, my schedule will be limited but I hope to hear from you! You may email me at Jenniferleonardlac at gmail dot com .

Wishing you all an amazing summer and many thanks for all you have brought to me and IHD.

Choosing Your Produce Wisely

With warmer weather on its way, many of us are seeing a widening variety of produce at the grocery stores. It is so tempting to grab a container of strawberries or blueberries now that they are more available and less expensive. At the same time, many of us still ask, “Do I have to be buying organic produce all the time? Is it worth the price?”

The impact of glyphosate and pesticides on our planet, our bodies and our food system is a huge ongoing issue for consumers, hands down. But, on a practical level, what does this mean for our shopping habits? Because these additives to the farming process have left much of our food nutrient depleted, it is more important then ever that we consciously choose the plants we eat to be healthy and nutrient dense.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)is one of my favorite resources to see what vegetables and fruits are most effected by pesticides and antibiotics. They make an easy distinction between the “Dirty Dozen” foods that are most effected by these additives and the “Clean Fifteen” that are least effected and can be eaten relatively safely as either organic or conventional. Beyond produce, they are a wonderful way to find out about the safety of your water, skin care and body products and even the relative safety of common products from the grocery store shelf.

Not sure how to use the seasonal veggies and fruits you are finding? 101 Cookbooks is a great resources for recipes that are seasonally focused. The Golden Beet Hummus is a personal favorite.

Get cooking and enjoy those longer days!

 

Winter Diet to Support Your Health

We are smack in the middle of winter right now, with about 6 more weeks until spring officially arrives. The warmer, longer days may seem far off but it is a good time to think about choosing some supportive foods to help your immune system stay strong. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the immune system is known as “protective qi” and the stronger it is, the healthier we stay. Coming out of the winter with strong protective qi ensures that when spring time allergy season hits, our bodies will be much more ready to cope with it.

Below are some general guidelines on how Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends we eat during the winter:

  • Soups and stews – warm, easy to digest, soups and stews make it easy for our bodies to absorb nutrients.
  • Root vegetables – including onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips.
  • Fruits: Apples, cranberry, dates, Dried fruit, grapes, Kiwi, oranges, pears, pomegranate, persimmon, Tangerine
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, chard, ginger, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, parsnip, potatoes, rutebega, spinach, squash, sweet potato, turnip
  • Nuts and seeds: Almond, Brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, pecan, pignola. Pistachio, walnut, Flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Beans : adzuki, black, black eye, carob, garbanzo, Great Northern, kidney, lentil, lima, Navy, peanut, pink, red, soy, white
  • Grains: (cooked): amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, wild rice, rye, wheat
  • Miso paste and seaweeds- used to flavor or be the base of broths

Not sure how to use some of these items? Here are some of my favorite recipes to keep on hand, as you get through the winter months:

Magic Mineral Broth– Great for the beginning stages of a cold

Miso Salmon– Wonderful week night dinner

Root Vegetable Hash– Great with eggs in the morning

Roasted Nuts– Add the flavor of your choice. (I love rosemary)

Kitcheri– Great to warm the body and ease digestion

Stay healthy out there!