Attention JCC Members and Guests: The JCC will be open 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM tomorrow, November 27th for Thanksgiving. Click here to see group fitness classes and hours for specific areas of the building. 

Kitchen Health: Nourishing Your Mind, Body, and Soul

January 17, 2013

By Tamar Peltz - Special Guest writer and leader of the Kitchen Health Program

Why is Holistic Nutrition or Nutritional Wellness and keeping a S.O.U.L kitchen important to me and how do I apply it to my daily life??

This question is in my mind every day. It starts when I wake up in the morning. My son and I say “morning” to the trees, the sun, the birds, and the people he knows. I sing a little breakfast song and we start preparing food to “break the fast.” It is essential to eat no more than 30 minutes after you wake up; it stimulates your metabolism and gives you the energy to start the day. I soak grains the night before, to cook in the morning; like Millet, Oats, or Brown rice. I usually serve it with Goat Kefir or yogurt with honey or use leftover greens or vegies and make a savory warm cereal bowl. We often have farm eggs and smoked salmon too. I drink a glass of water when I wake up, take our supplements when needed. Yes I have an espresso or black or green tea to perk me up, but it’s all done with a sense of care and mindfulness. My son is happy to help me grind the coffee or put in the tea bag, cut the vegies, or drink the kefir before it even hits the grain. He likes green food and drinks. We sometimes have a protein energy powder or smoothie with fruits and vegies. He and I love food. His taste buds enjoy sweet, salty, tangy, bitter, and spicy.

I never ate this way as a kid. I believe we should strive to live in synergy with nature and be conscious and mindful of our planet earth and our bodies. Proper nutrition is a major form of health investing. Some people know more about their car parts and home maintenance than their own bodies. People choose top fuels for their cars but not quality “fuel” for their health.

Holistic Nutrition promotes Eating for Health; a whole foods approach to nutrition. It involves choosing nutrient-dense and diverse foods -S.O.U.L foods: Sustainable/ Seasonal, Organic, Unrefined/Unprocessed, and Local. Poor quality foods drain our nutrient reserves in our body. The goal is to provide optimal amounts of macro and micro nutrients, phytonutrients, and other vital factors that can be effectively digested and assimilated. It makes so much sense to me because it focuses not only on the whole person, but the ecological/environmental, social, and economic impact of our food choices on our world and planet.

How food is grown and made is absolutely beautiful to me and such a natural miracle in my mind. My education in Holistic Nutrition, travels, and my cooking/baking background has given me the opportunity to gain a further appreciation for food. What it can do for our bodies, minds, and souls. The money I spend on food is taken with great thought. I am aware of how it affects me, the world around us, and impact on our planet earth.

My nutrition practice emphasizes high quality and organic food. I promote a lifelong learning about optimum nutrition, the healing effects of foods, and an aesthetic and spiritual approach to cooking. It’s different from other diet systems in that it allows for personal choice, variety, seasonality, tastes, ethnic origin, and commitment level. My education on Nutrition wellness draws on many different systems and philosophies such as Traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, naturopathy, cutting edge biochemistry, and ecological sustainability.

I promote the idea that food is some of the best medicine and we should all understand ourselves and our bodies better. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine said, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. We must grab our health and look to our ancestors and connect with the earth.

Nourishing my body is a high priority for me. Living in San Francisco for 15 years or so opened my world to seasonal, organic, and farm to table foods. California soil, climate, and topography produce an endless bounty of food. At my small Pizza restaurant in San Francisco we celebrated the seasonal farm produce by changing our pizzas, salads, soups, cheeses, and desserts weekly. The pizza combinations were created after we spoke to the farmers.

Wisconsin seasonal eating is a bit of a challenge, but I take it as a new adventure. I have been taking classes at Wellspring Farm on growing food and food preservation for the colder months. I also had a CSA (community supported agriculture) last April- November with Wellspring Farm too. It was the best experience. I cooked and ate so well. I felt I was walking around with a Wisconsin glow. I try to shop at farmers’ markets and buy as much local food from nearby grocery stores. I truly believe our body’s systems work more effectively when S.O.U.L foods are eaten. One of my food bibles is The Jungle Effect written by Dr. Daphne Miller from San Francisco. She writes about some of the healthiest indigenous diets around the world and how to recreate them in your own kitchen. She proves that eating from your “terroir” can prevent some chronic diseases. Basically she says our diets in America have been “lost in translation”. That is exactly why I have become a Holistic Nutrition Educator. I want to bring people back to our traditional diets and further away from our highly processed modern diets. The President of United States has an organic garden at the White House, more people are going to farmer’s markets and joining CSA programs, School Lunches are becoming healthier, movies are out about fake food corporations and poor food growing practices,... so we are moving in the right direction.

Kitchen Health: Nourishing Your Mind, Body, and Soul is the title of my talk at the JCC on Wednesday, January 30th at 11am. Come and bring your family and friends to a positive and delicious talk about good food and good health. Learn how to create your own S.O.U.L kitchen and find your medicine in your cupboard. I will give wellness advice and food shopping and cooking tips. Begin the new year with an exciting adventure towards greater health, peace, and a toast to a sweet life!  Learn more by contacting Jennifer Ziegler at 414-967-8338.