Feeding Friends

So much of our health is tied up in how we live our lives day to day. Our habits. Our postures. Our diets. Our ongoing stresses. The ways in which we hold onto things emotionally and physically. These days, I’m choosing to slow down in my life. It’s an attempt to change the course of my health - which has been going a little haywire lately due to overload - and to see if by doing that I can flourish in different areas. I can feel my creativity soaring and expanding, and I’m pretty sure it’s due to the new space and time I have given it. I’ve been spending a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen, thinking of ways I can enhance and grow my practice, thinking of new models and platforms I can work within to help people heal and thrive, and I’ve been really trying to practice what I preach in terms of living mindfully and listening to my body and my needs. It feels so good! Today I got to sit down with two of my wonderful friends & fellow moms-of-young-children, Kelly Colchin and Ana Koehler. I fed them a Medicine Kitchen meal and we talked about work, motherhood, art, and that dream of finding the perfect work/life balance. 


I made some therapeutic foods for Kelly and Ana - a sprouted mung bean, black sesame, arugula & radish salad with some fresh ginger, walnuts, chile, sesame oil and lime juice (see the full recipe below!). A simple poached egg. A delicious almond milk tonic infused with ghee, herbs and spices. Some tulsi tea with honey and fresh mint leaves. Mung beans are a staple in Chinese and Ayurvedic cooking. They are cleansing to the gut and vascular system and have a cooling nature to them. They have long been considered one of the most important beans therapeutically as they detoxify the body as well as provide it with fluids (and protein). They are super versatile too - use them like this in a salad or cook them just like lentils in soups or with rice. 


A “jing” tonic is made to fortify the human essence, build blood and vitality. Jing is considered the refined and physical essence that is the material basis of all life. This tonic is a mixture of almond milk, ghee, warming spices, he shou wu, dates, ginger. I simmer it for a few minutes on the stove then blend together before serving. It’s kind of like the tea drinker’s version of butter coffee! This is a great warm drink to have as a snack or in the evening to help calm the nerves and promote restful sleep as well. The almond milk and ghee and very grounding while the ginger and spices provide a nice pick-me-up. One of the things about motherhood that seems to be a universal experience is the sense of overwhelm and overload one can feel. You feel like your brain is doing 6 things at once, your focus and attention is constantly split between children and your own personal needs. The juggle and hustle of work and mothering can be exhausting. You can feel like you are lost in something of a haze at times. Or a hamster wheel. But we carry on! I think having things - foods, practices, rituals - that ground us are more important than ever in this phase of life.  


I love working with & supporting moms throughout the motherhood experience. This is where I am and I enjoy the connection that is shared through this experience and it’s challenges. As I search for my own balance of work and life as a new-ish mother, taking pauses and not being afraid of change has been key for me. But I like to think this applies to everyone in their own life no matter the situation! Talking with friends and clients, I always notice how the people who really make strides in their life & health are not afraid to change it up and evolve as time goes on and as you encounter different demands and needs. It’s inspiring to watch this!


Feeding my friends was so rewarding to me today - not only to have some fun cooking and sharing the flavors of healing foods, but to connect in person over a couple hours with no interruptions, no distractions. The house was quiet & empty. All there was was conversation, sharing, listening, advice. I want to always remember that feeling nourished/nurtured doesn’t only come from food, but from your relationships, rhythms, and connection to the world. My friends remind me of this (as do my clients!) and I want to honor my time with them more. 


Kelly Colchin is an art director and illustrator. You can see more of her vast talent at www.kellycolchin.com. Ana Koehler is a painter of women and post-partum doula. View her inspiring art at www.anakoehler.com


½ C mung bean rinsed, soaked for 8+ hours, and sprouted (6+ hours)

2 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp sesame oil 

1 tbsp minced or sliced fresh ginger

½ tsp red chili flakes

1 tsp sea salt

3 large handfuls baby arugula

½ C sliced radish

¼ C walnuts

Chopped fresh basil for topping

LIme wedges for topping

Saute sprouted mung beans, black sesame, ginger, chile, salt in sesame oil on medium heat for 5+ minutes until fragrant and the beans have softened up somewhat. Turn off heat and add in arugula and toss until just the bottom leaves start to wilt - transfer to plates quickly with a little of everything from the pan on each plate. Add sliced radish, walnuts, basil and a squeeze of lime to each salad. A poached egg is a nice addition for a full meal. :) (adapted from Divya Alter’s book What to Cook for How you Feel). 

10 Superfoods for 2018

By Sarah Senter, LAc / @medicine_kitchen / written for Love Child Mag. 

As we learn from & move beyond the 2017 ascension of matcha, bone broth, and collagen powders, new healing foods are re-cycling & ready to make their next mark on our modern world. Here are my picks for the best new (to you) superfoods to try this year. All of these selections are based on an evolution of what has been trending in the wellness world lately combined with some traditional favorites that always deserve a new place in the kitchen. If you want to eat for your highest potential, try to incorporate some of these culinary dynamos into your life. Cheers to good health and happiness in 2018!

1 / Moringa. Moringa is one of the most nourishing and detoxifying plants on the planet. This is a powerful combination as it can cleanse many different parts of the body like the liver, spleen and blood - but it can also enhance digestion, strengthen the immune system, and has 25x more iron than spinach and 7x more vitamin C than an orange. There is a good reason for the buzz about this superfood and why it’s worth experimenting with in the new year. Try cooking with it in soups if you can find it fresh in your Asian market, or sipping as a tea.

2 / Functional Mushrooms. Mushrooms like reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps, chaga, and turkey tail have long been used for their immune benefits in eastern cultures. They have a high concentration of germanium, which is an element that improves cellular oxygenation and enhances immunity. The king of them all is the Reishi mushroom (which we know as Ling Zhi in Chinese medicine) but some of the lesser known fungi are becoming popularized and we will see more variation in how they are all consumed this year! (Mushroom lattes are here, folks!)

3 / Einkorn flour. Einkorn is an ancestral wheat flour that has not been altered or hybridized in any way since the dawn of agriculture. It is considered a pure form of “single grain” wheat since only one grain is attached to each stem (instead of up to groups of 4 grains in modern wheat varieties) and is much easier to digest the way that nature intended it to be. I think we will be seeing more of this grain as small farms are starting to cultivate it - and those of us with gluten sensitivity may find we can tolerate this wheat much easier than conventional types!

4 / Wild Rose. People are attracted to the beauty of food now more than ever. Floral herbs (rose, jasmine, chrysanthemum, lavender) are going to rise up this year as they are supremely lovely to look at while also having very useful health benefits. Rose is a wonderful plant for calming the spirit, reducing stress, calming redness in the skin, & slowly the aging process. Combine it with other herbs in a hot tea, add it into a hot bath, infuse it into your hot chocolate or skincare products…. the ideas are endless.

5 / (More) Fermented Foods. Everything will be fermented this year. It’s a good thing, too, since so many people need fermented foods for their gut health and immunity! Try home fermentation experiments - make your own sourdough bread starter or caraway-seeded sauerkraut, to start.

6 / Coconut yogurt. There is a lot going on in the alternative yogurt arena. Look for more companies making non-dairy, no-additive coconut yogurt or almond yogurt. Pure coconut yogurt is extremely high in fat and is lusciously creamy, but expensive. My trick is to buy 1-2 per week and eat half the cup at a time with loads of healthy toppings to make 2-4 servings. The coconut meat is very filling anyway so it works like a charm!

7 / Sardines. Sardines are generally so under appreciated and I hope that changes in 2018. They truly are a superfood. These oily little fish provide so many nutrients & fatty acids and some of the best, convenient protein you can find. Toss them on a salad or with your pasta, stuff your avocado with them, eat them with crackers, make them into sardine-cakes - we will all find new, modern ways of incorporating these gems this year.

8 / Liver. As pioneers of the wellness world keep going further back to traditional food ways, you can expect to see the resurgence of cooking with organ meats. Liver is a great place to start if you are new to this practice, especially if you are woman. Liver is extremely high in vitamin A, folate, iron, and B12 - which are all essential elements for women who are trying to conceive or suffering from any anemia. You can sauté liver with a little ghee, onion, and herbs, or make a light and delicious liver paté with some white wine in your food processor.

9 / Breakfast Salads. Vibrant, fresh foods will be climbing up the ladder towards breakfast more and more and I predict the Breakfast Salad is going to boom this year! Think fresh leafy greens with a scoop of cottage cheese, nuts and seeds, berries, avocado, sauerkraut, a slice of bacon or poached egg, roasted veggies from the night before all piled up together in a glorious bowl. Is this lunch? It could be. But it will also be breakfast in 2018. :)

10 / Ayurvedic Super Spices: Coriander, Cumin, Fennel, Turmeric. Turmeric is in everyone’s kitchen by now, but as the captivation with Ayurvedic wisdom continues we will see more of the nuances embraced. Look for more information on the uses of all of these powerful, healing spices and how to combine them for customized masalas and home remedies.