Archive for June, 2012

This month, I am going from campus to campus to meet with people who want to learn about Bauman College professional and community programs. The Open Houses are from 6-7 pm on Thursday evenings, followed by a book signing at 7:30 pm. I was in Penngrove last week, and will be in Boulder this Thursday, June 14th, in Santa Cruz, June 21st , and in Berkeley on June 28th.

I love sharing the Bauman College mission, which is to bring the Eating For Health™ model to our  community and to the world. I also introduce our philosophy of the health benefits of eating fresh S.O.U.L. (seasonal, organic, unrefined and local) foods. In our programs we provide our Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chefs with a grounded approach to working in community or clinical settings that is bioindividual and person centered, rather than belief or disease based.
During the Open Houses, we’ll be providing our guests with a refreshing and health supportive snack of cool hibiscus tea and a delicious and nourishing haystack confection, made from nuts, seeds, oats and maple syrup.

At the Open House in Penngrove, I had the chance to connect with Christian, a 15 year old boy who is passionate about health, sports and nutrition. He came with his dad, who wanted him to meet me and see if there would be a way for his son to gain some experience doing community service with me or the college this summer. I suggested they organize a class for Christian’s friends that I could teach and have him be my assistant.  I asked him what his buddies ate, and he reported, “lots of sodas, chips, pizza and ice cream.”  He was different as he realized that his mental and physical performance would be best if he ate mostly whole foods rather than the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) his friends chose.

I suggested we offer a Nutrition Heroes and Nutrition Bandits class with food samples for his friends to taste and recipes for them to make at home and share with their parents. We were both excited about introducing tech savvy kids, motivated to succeed in sports and in school, but clueless about the consequences of eating packaged, processed, chemically treated food, to an Teen Eating for Health class or series. I suggested we offer classes for the youth, classes for the parents, and then a family class, where we could all cook and eat together. What an impact this would have all thanks to Christian and his dad’s request.

In a world driven by advertisements for fast food, and instant gratification, I can bring Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chef graduates with me to open up the eyes of our local youth, the leaders of tomorrow, on how they can grow up strong, smart and beautiful by eating more fresh food instead of the artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives and high calorie, low nutrient foods they enjoy and in some cases, are addicted to. We could also plant a community garden where they can grow and then harvest super fresh vegetables, fruits, such as berries, herbs and spices. When youth or adults connect with nature, they see and feel the intrinsic value in eating lower on the food chain and thinking about sustainable nutrition and healing themselves and the earth. This is how Eating for Health™ paradigm can create the culture of health to which we aspire, one request from youth, one bite, one class, one garden at a time.


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Fast Forward

What a fantastic Vitality Fasting Retreat we had on May 10th – 13th.  After 28 years of leading fasting retreats, our spring fast was the best ever. Why so? It’s always about the group.  In this case 35 guests and 9 staff.  About half of our guests were newcomers to the retreat and to fasting. The other half were returning guests who come year after year to reconnect and enjoy the personal gift of a seasonal cleanse.

At each retreat the goal is to set the scene for people to have a life and health changing experience. We create a space that welcomes exploration and connections. We allow people to work at their own level and pace to enjoy a mixture of solitude and group interaction. From opening, to closing circle, this May’s group shared a desire to regain inner balance. Guests were supported to work through layers of physical, emotional, mental, relational, and chemical toxicity. From the start, our guests engaged in meaningful conversations, walks, activities, and social learning. Our practitioners offer private sessions in massage, acupuncture, facials, and nutrition consulting from morning till night. When fasting, energy opens and, as a result, buried wounds and issues become amenable to insight, nourishment, and resolution.

The love of the teas, juices, mineral broths and smoothies inspired our magnificent chefs to bring forth new and ever more delicious blends like Turmeric Ginger Morning Tea, Apple Berry Juice with Lemon Ginger, Apricot Vital Scoop Smoothies, Carrot Citrus Lunch Juice with a Basil Pesto Drizzle, and Savory Shiitake Mushroom Broth with variations on the Spice of Life seasoning (seaweeds, chili, oregano, rosemary and thyme) from the new Flavors of Health Cookbook.

Our Vitality Fasting Retreats are an exciting adventure, which inspire guests to continue exploring healthy and flavorful cooking at home. Herbs and spices not only accentuated detoxification, but add a pizzazz that increases circulation, alkalinity, tissue repair, improved mental acuity, and for many, elation.

Three themes emerged during the retreat: the need to (1) create and follow a daily morning and evening self-care practice, (2) eat and live more mindfully, and (3) sustain community by staying in touch with each other, hosting dinner parties and helping each other deal with stresses of family, work and aging.

Retreats help us see that we are all dealing with the same issues that alone overwhelm us, but that together we can manage.  At the retreat we created a delightful community. We had an excellent structure (daily events), function (participation), and outcome (letting go of bad food and stress) to regain a feeling of well being that we lacked when we began the retreat. We could call this process a fast as it accelerates our evolution and self-healing process.

I hope to see many spring retreat goers at our summer program, August 4-10th as well as those of you who have always wanted to rejuvenate with a fast, but worry about crashing if you stop having sweets, meats, stimulants and TV. No worries. The redwoods, the spa, and the holistic programs will help you adjust and gently cleanse. Imagine yourself smiling, surrounded by new friends, enjoying health activities, and nourishing beverages.

Thank you all for a wonderful Vitality Fasting Retreat. I very much look forward to seeing you all in August.

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