Combining nourishing practices like mindful eating and listening to your body with foods that support rather than deplete will naturally make you healthy, strong, and full of vitality!
For the next 6 weeks pick one tip per week to commit to and build into a new habit. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
Source Local and Seasonal foods. Get to know the farmers in your area and shop at the farmers markets. A great resource is LocalHarvest.Org. Visit their website to find farmers markets, CSA’s, recipes, cooking programs, community gardens, and more.
Another great resource to find out what is in season is on SeasonalFoodGuide.org. Visit their website for a printable guide of seasonal foods, markets, and more.
If you live near me on the beautiful seacoast of New Hampshire then check out my favorite resource for local and seasonal foods, Seacoast Eat Local.
Host a Pot Luck. Invite family, friends, and/or co-workers over to join you in a community feast. Not interested in hosting one? Check out sites like Meetup.com to find like minded individuals hosting potlucks in your area.
Eat Mindfully. When sitting down to eat, fully be in the moment of eating. Involve all your senses in the art of eating. Feast your eyes on the vivid colors of the food. Smell the enticing aromas. Notice the texture and feel of the food. Allow the taste to linger on your lips and your tongue. Chew well and enjoy everything the food provides. Then allow it to nourish and fuel your body, mind, and spirit.
Follow Tradition, Learn a New Tradition or Start Your Own. Does your family have certain traditions that you may have lost touch with? Do you not have any traditions or customs around food? Get back in touch with and honor family traditions, learn a new tradition from another culture, or start your own and pass it down.
Eat with Nature. Take your meal outside. Eat on the patio or pack a picnic basket to go. Cook over a natural fire. Use items found unaltered in nature and use in your meals (add edible flowers to your salad, sprinkle chopped pine needles in pasta, enjoy wild foraged foods like dandelion leaves).
Listen to Your Intuition. Start listening to your body and the needs of your body. Notice the difference between being physically hungry versus psychologically hungry. What does your body want? What does it need? Are you overeating because food is ‘’free” and available to you? Or are you grounded, secure, and safe in your body and know what it needs to be nourished and well fueled? Learn to trust in yourself and your body’s inherent wisdom.
**This blog post is an excerpt from my eBook titled Eat to Nourish & Support your Beautiful Vibrant Life. If you want a free copy (includes a dozen recipes!) email me and let me know what recipes you are looking for as I am working on the next eBook!
Spring has finally arrived!
Mother Nature artfully showcases this grand period of renewal and rebirth through vibrant colors, intoxicating perfumes and delicious culinary delights.
Her beauty excites my senses and enlivens my spirit, while the anticipation of spring foods such as asparagus, dandelion greens, artichoke, fiddlehead ferns, and garlic scapes get my creative juices flowing.
Personally, spring has also brought a sort of rebirth within my life as I spent the winter recharging in the Caribbean and opening my mind to new ideas and possibilities. I have already taken the leap of faith last year to delve 100% into my passion for whole foods, whole health and vibrant living. But this year I want to explore my connection to the earth and community through advancing my practice in gardening, herbalism, and sustainable design.
All the while combining my culinary and holistic health background, along with my desire to make a difference, to therefore create some amazing new projects that I look forward to telling you about soon!
During this period I will be renovating my blog and website to reflect the transition of Chef Stacey Jean into Food, Farm & Wellness Maven (not literally the new name, just wanted you to get the point that I am a Jane of all food, farm and wellness trades!).
I am excited to share my passions with you and continue to help you Love Food, Love Life, and Love YOU.
In the meantime get dirty in the garden, wild in the kitchen and create your vibrant life.
It’s the New Year and you want to make healthy living your new norm. This means developing habits that nourish and fuel your body so that you can wake up every day ready to positively take the world on. You want to live life to its fullest, adventure, be wild, feel energized and exude vitality right?! Yes!
Here are 5 new habits to get you there this year:
Habit #1 – Wake up, fuel up.
Start the day first and foremost in gratitude that you are alive. Deep breath, stretch, smile. This day is gonna be awesome. Ditch the coffee and try a hot lemon water with a pinch of cayenne. Your cells with plump up and say thank you. Make yourself a pot of warm oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.
You just owned this morning.
Habit #2 – Stop the rush, sit down, chew your food.
Yes I said it. Sit down, take another deep breath, and enjoy doing nothing but eating your lunch mindfully. This may seem weird to you (and your co-workers) at first, but you will come to enjoy this once you notice how well your body digests and utilizes nutrients when you are relaxed and actually chew your food.
Take THAT mid-day slump.
Habit #3 – Bypass the office cookies, eat a healthy snack.
Now that you started your day right and ate a healthy lunch you will want to continue the good feeling by powering up the mid-day with energy boosting snacks. Try making your own granola bars, trail mix or other homemade energy snack. These types of snacks will give you the boost you need to get you ready for the after work marathon/indoor climbing/cross training session (insert whatever kick butt activity you like).
Afternoon adventure, here I come.
Habit #4 – Refuel from your kick butt after work activity.
Your body loves protein after a good workout so hydrate with lots of lemon or cucumber water (yes it sounds spa like, but your body will love you if you add cucumber slices to your water bottle), then make a protein packed smoothie. Good choices include banana, peanut butter and almond milk or strawberry, banana, and almond butter with spinach, chia and either hemp/whey added.
Feeling strong, loving life.
Habit #5 – Relax, nourish, love.
You made it through the day full of vitality so now it is time to relax and nourish your body. This may mean something different for everyone. What does it mean for you? Maybe a yoga session, meditation, tea at a local café with friends, drawing, taking a bath, reading, playing music, watching football, cooking…. Whatever it is take time to do it. Wind your body down, nourish it with good food, and express love.
Girl, this day was awesome.
So there you are. Five simple habits to living this year and every year full of vitality, adventure, love, and life. Now go positively take the world on!
Several years ago I had the honor of spending my spring, summer, and fall in the gardens and woodlands studying herbalism at Misty Meadows in Lee, NH.
It was such a rewarding experience to embrace Mother Nature and learn about what she offers to keep us healthy and to heal. And as crazy as this sounds, the plants did speak to me. But that is a whole other story…
The tradition of making ‘fire cider’ has been passed down from generations of herbalists since the 1980’s, starting with Rosemary Gladstar. One lovely fall weekend, the tradition was passed down to me to create this immune-boosting, infused apple cider vinegar elixir.
We started with a base of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and added harvested roots from the garden, such as burdock and horseradish, along with onions, garlic, hot peppers, and fresh herbs. The plants we chose were known for their amazing properties to support the immune system, while the cider vinegar was the medium used to draw out all of the therapeutic components from the plants.
Traditionally, you let the vinegar infuse for about 4 weeks and then strain all of the plant material. You can add ground cayenne if you want even more heat, and a bit of honey to sweeten it out.
At first taste it is a powerful, pungent, spicy shot of fiery plant love. The taste shocks some initially, while others just love it.
For me, I was a bit shocked, but then I felt the rush of heat and energy fill my body. I was immediately hooked.
Since I fully believe in the power of this traditional herbal remedy and wanted to spread the love for this immune boosting elixir, I created a special blend for The Juicery/Maine Squeeze community to enjoy. Although I no longer work there, my special blend is still available by the shot or by the bottle.
Fire cider can be enjoyed daily by the tsp. or Tbsp. to keep the immune system strong, kick a cold in the butt, break up any congestion in the body, increase circulation to warm you up, support your digestion system, and boost your energy.
While it was my teacher who taught me this traditional remedy, I can still hear the plants sharing their ancient wisdom in offering us healing and health through their use.
Now, let me share this tradition and wisdom with you. Join me for a combo yoga, reiki relaxation, and fire cider making workshop. For upcoming dates click here!
“We must cultivate an attitude of respect for all living plants and animals and accept them as a gift” – Michael Tierra
NOTE: this blog post was first published in The Squeeze, the Juicery blog.
Throughout my years in the culinary world I have received a lot of questions about my favorite cookbooks, kitchen tools, and resources.
Therefore, this holiday season I am going to tally these up for you so that you can give (or request!) these plant based chef approved gifts! They are great for any foodie, home cook, health nut, or for those with specific food allergies.
'Tis the season to live the delicious life!
Vegan Fusion World Cuisine by Mark Reinfeld and Bo Rinaldi
One of my all time favorite vegan cookbooks that is dear to my heart because it was written in Hawaii (where I used to live). I also had the honor to visit Mr. Reinfeld's amazing cafe in Kauai, The Blossoming Lotus, which was the first time my mind was blown away by vegan cuisine. A truly inspiring cookbook with easy recipes, info on veganism, and lovely photos of Hawaii.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Hands down THE BEST vegetarian reference cookbook. He also has this cookbook with meat proteins for your non-veg friends.
Eating Clean by Amie Valpone
Simple, clean vegan and gluten free recipes with a 21 day detox plan. I have tried many of her recipes and they come out delish!
The How Can it be Gluten Free Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
I love anything from America's Test Kitchen because they tell you how and why things do or don't work. This is not vegan, but gives you a great understanding of gluten free cooking and baking.
Babycakes Covers the Classics by Erin McKenna
Super fun vegan and gluten free baked goods from the famous Babycakes bakery. Vegan donuts...enough said!
High Powered Blender - the Mercedes of blenders are the Vitamix brand, but I love my Warner professional.
Food Processor - the one I used professionally, that is a total beast, is the Breville Professional. This bad boy will NOT burn out! Mini choppers are also great to have in the kitchen. I have a Ninja mini chopper / blender set.
Knife Sharpener - maintaining sharp knives is essential in the kitchen. Get a good knife sharpening stone like this one.
Assorted Gift Basket - a good fine mesh strainer, wooden spoons, durable glass measuring cups, mini whisk, mini spatula, mini offset spatula, springform pans. I use all of these very often! Add some pretty kitchen towels as those get worn out quickly.
Education - for those who want to learn more, get them a gift certificate to online training. Great educational sites include:
FOR SEACOAST NEW ENGLAND GIFT GIVING
Workshops with me! People are purchasing tickets to my co-hosted yoga & herbalism workshops in January 2019 in the Portsmouth, NH area already. These make a fantastic gift for anyone who wants a relaxing, rejuvenating morning to themselves or with a friend. Click here to learn more.
Have a question about gift ideas? Send me an email!
**I am not being sponsored by any of the above. These are all sincere products and companies that I like!!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.