Wellness: From the Inside Out

IMG_0335When it comes to the blog, we most often focus on the How to cook. Sometimes, we also want to talk about the Why. Last week, I attended a wellness workshop held at The Hivery in Sausalito and conceived by Mill Valley’s very own Juice Girl, Melora Johnson. The panel included Dr. Josefa Rangel, an Integrative doctor with a practice in Marin, Jason Way, a Naturopathic Doctor in Mill Valley, and Clean Eat Nutrition, run by Eris Cushner and Sandrine Ghosh, two nutritionists. The interactive panel discussion offered ideas, recipes and information on promoting wellness from the inside out. Here are my key take-aways. Come and cook with us!

  • A healthy lifestyle encompasses a nutrient-dense diet, physical exercise, restorative sleep, a “healthy” relationship with stress, a spiritual connection with something larger than ourselves and a sense of purpose in life.
  • Maintaining a healthy sleep hygiene, with 8-9 hours of sleep, should be a daily priority.
  • Healthy does not come in a package. True healthy should be free. It isn’t something one can buy. It means shopping at the farmer’s market, cooking at home, hiking, sleeping. It is not promoted, but it is free, attainable and transformative.
  • Our health is not a commodity and should not be used as a vehicle to profit.
  • Eat whole foods in their natural form: a SOUL diet including seasonal, organic, un-adulterated and local ingredients.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all diet, but generally a mostly plant-based diet with the right type (e.g., grass-fed, organic) and amounts (focus on quality not quantity) of protein works best.
  • If food sensitivities are suspected, an elimination diet starting with excluding caffeine, then alcohol, diary and gluten for at least two weeks each could provide possible clues.
  • Hydration is key: as a rule-of-thumb, drinking half of body weight in ounces every day is ideal. Sipping, not gulping is what is most effective.
  • Start the day with lukewarm lemon water, using the juice of up to half a lemon.
  • Juicing is great as a complement to the meal, not a replacement.
  • Best sugar substitute is coconut sugar, thanks to its lower glycemic index, thus slowing the glucose absorption.
  • Raw honey and maple syrup are good alternatives, too. Note: Grade B maple syrup is better than Grade A, as it means that it has been less processed.
  • Keep booster foods at hand including apple cider vinegar (for salad dressings and broths), bone or vegetable broths, seaweed as snack, and plenty of spices and herbs.

We hope you found inspiration in a few of these reminders. Remember, health is not a race to perfectionism. Starting small and taking one step at a time is what helps us form new habits. Pick one and try to incorporate it into your daily lives. As the inspiring Dr. Josefa Rangel stated “lasting change comes from a form of self-love and bravery. It requires an act of courage to practice self-care which will lead to better health-care. Be prepared to open up to the complex, imperfect, chaotic life that we live.” We leave you with her Deep Immune Broth recipe that she shared with us at the workshop. Come and cook with us!

Deep Immune Broth



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