Today is day 8 of the 28 day Cleanse I’ve been doing under the very impressive tutelage of Jocelyn. Boy, does she know her stuff. I made it through the first week with very little discomfort. I haven’t really been missing the sugar or the wheat. Which is surprising because, though I know it doesn’t make me feel great my very favorite food is probably a pastry…any really good buttery pastry. I don’t eat them very often, but I would eat them several times a day if I could without any repercussions.
I can’t believe I waited until the second paragraph to brag that I am off caffeine. The slow weaning was painless after that first day, and yesterday was my first day with 0 caffeine, probably since I was pregnant with my first baby 6 years ago. (I had a cup of tea each day with my second pregnancy…less paranoid, I guess). I have to say it feels good. I even contemplated continuing without the caffeine after the cleanse…which did not sound interesting to me a week ago! My energy is fine, and I’m not even missing the ritual. Of course, it’s been replaced with another one. Tubs of powders to mix together with water or alternative milks into a thick, off greenish sludge resembling a shake. Twice a day. They’re a little bit salty and a little bit sweet. Quite filling. Satisfying even. I like eating food better.
One more thing: I have gas. It must be the shakes…or maybe I’m detoxing. My house is aromatic, and my family is giggling a lot. Sorry everybody. I hope it resolves before my class tomorrow. It better not be not too crowded!
Since 2001, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers has spearheaded Farm to School projects across California. Our Farm to School initiative has developed and coordinated on-the-ground programs connecting schools and schoolchildren to their local farming communities while also creating resources, workshops and materials that help further the Farm to School movement in California.
Here in Santa Cruz we reconnect children to agriculture and wholesome food through our Know Your Farmer and Harvest of the Month programs. We bring farmers into classrooms so students can meet and learn from local farmers, and provide engaging in-class lessons on nutrition and foodsystems. Our Harvest of the Month Tasting Kits supply 180 classrooms in Santa Cruz county with great lessons and fresh locally grown produce from small farms. These Tasting Kits help teach kids first hand about agriculture and nutrition by giving them the opportunity to them to taste different kinds of fruits and vegetables from local growers. We also bring classrooms out on farm field trips where students have a blast learning about their foodsystem through science, language arts, and nutrition lessons.
This Thanksgiving Nourish hosted a fundraiser for our local Farm to School program and raised over $500 dollars! Being a non-for-profit organization, we rely on the support of community members and grants. Your generous support this holiday season helped us reach even more students with these dynamic programs that teach kids about food and farming, inspiring them to make healthier eating choices that support their local farming community. Thank you for your support!
So it’s not the most original New year’s resolution… but in 2010 I told myself I would eat healthier. I generally don’t have a terrible diet. Compared to some of my acquaintances, who live on a staple of Burger King and Taco Bell, I am positively zen. However, I do have weaknesses that bring me down. Weaknesses like bread – I could easily eat a loaf a day – and white rice and Miller HighLife (it’s the champagne of beers) and British tea with milk and sugar and, well, anything that tastes remotely sweet and candy-like. It was with these weaknesses in mind, and a desire to improve my diet, that I went to see Jocelyn.
Slightly nervous, although everyone I spoke to who had seen Jocelyn assured me of her patience and brilliance, I sat down and shared what I had eaten for the last 24 hours. After talking to me about my eating preferences and habits, she then began to make some positive suggestions; taking into account my likes and dislikes. Suggestions such as yogurt and nuts with my cereal in the morning to provide me with protein to give me more energy throughout the day, or fish once a week to make sure I get those all important Omega 3’s!
All the changes she brought up sounded very do-able. I can often be picky about foods and stubborn, I’m sure my partner would be glad to testify to that, but Jocelyn’s smile and common sense approach prevented me from ever digging my heals in. She asked about my family history and any medical issues I had and looked for foods that could help me feel good and avoid any future health problems. I really valued this approach as it helped me to try things that perhaps I would ordinarily dismiss as “not for me”… such as hummus! After trying it once a few years ago I hated hummus and decided chickpeas were for hippies. After discussing what it was that I didn’t like about hummus, Jocelyn suggested I try a particular brand and low and behold now I eat hummus on all of my sandwiches… and listen to The Grateful Dead.
At the end of the consultation she handed me a a list of everything we had discussed; complete with a grocery list of where to buy the items. And on the list there were even sweet treats! A week into my new regime I do feel better. There have been lapses, I guess that comes with the territory when your friends like Taco Bell, but on the whole I’m on a march to good health… powered by flax seed, walnuts and spinach. While many who make the resolution to eat better quickly recoil into a familiar groove of carbs and Coors come February, I think I can stick to it. Why? Well, fortunately for me, I work at NOURISH and have access to the all-knowing nutrition queen… Jocelyn Dubin!
Jocelyn works late on Thursday nights. It’s the schedule we’ve had for a while now (Dalia in preschool all day M/W/F; On Tues. with me during the day and Jocelyn at night, on Thurs. with Joc during the day and me at night).
Most Thursday’s she’s in the office seeing clients who need after work hours appointments, or taking someone on a guided grocery shopping at New Leaf/TJ’s/Staff/Whole Foods. Tonight she was in Monterey at CHOMP giving a presentation for the American Cancer Society, “Fight Cancer With Your Fork.”
Until February of 2009 Jocelyn worked part time at the Monterey Bay Oncology Center doing in person and phone consultations with cancer patients. In that capacity she mostly helped patients find foods they could keep down during chemotherapy, find nutrients to support getting well, and for some simply find joy in one of the basic pleasures of life during their transition into death.
Tonight, the spouse of one of those patients came to the presentation in order to meet Jocelyn in person and share how much the sessions his wife had had with Jocelyn in the last weeks of her life had meant to them and their family.
While she told me this my eyes swelled with tears. Tears of pride (I am so proud of my wife). Tears of sorrow (suffering and loss). Tears of gratitude.
The other day I was in Los Gatos at Sur la Table, and a certain kitchen gadget caught my eye: the Misto olive oil sprayer. Misto is a refillable canister which can be hand-pumped to produce a fine mist of oil. After a week of using Misto, I am quite impressed with its performance and would recommend it to anyone who uses olive oil in home cooking. Here’s how it went:
I filled my Misto with olive oil and pumped feverishly until I felt too much resistance to continue. It is a pretty easy process, but after a while can get a bit tiresome. (You pump the Misto by pushing the cap up and down over the canister) If you have enough will to pump the Misto totally, the charge lasts for a few meals. Otherwise, you have to pump it each time you apply a mist. Overall, the pumping is the worst aspect of the Misto, but not enough to turn me off in comparison to all its positive benefits.
I like using the Misto to lubricate pans and baking dishes before cooking with them. The Misto produces a mist that works just as well as Pam or any other kitchen spray, but doesn’t have an unnatural taste or residue like those store-bought mists. I will even use the Misto to top broccoli or pasta instead of tossing the food with oil, as the coverage tends to be a lot lighter and even. I don’t really eat salad, but I imagine that the Misto would be an awesome substitute for too-rich vinegarettes if you added some balsamic to the salad and then sprayed a light layer of Misto over the dish.
I have begun to use the Misto almost daily in my cooking, and I feel like it has improved my diet a lot. My foods are less oily and taste fresher and crispier as left overs. I also can appreciate the money Misto saves by using less oil and saving me from buying cooking sprays. I am not sure if other oils can be used in the Misto, but it would be worth trying out. For about $10, I think the Misto is a great buy in all aspects.