Shop local this Spring

As the days lengthen but the cool and wet temperatures drag on, the primal urge to seek signs of spring grows strong within us all. Budding trees and sprigs of green may be hard to find out in the natural world at this time of year in Alaska, but with a bit of simple modern technology and the help of some local professionals, they are simple enough to bring into your life and home.

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My Garden Experience

When my family and I started our garden we knew it would be a commitment, but we didn’t know what to expect. The first year, we had to make our garden beds. We had to get measurements and figure out exactly what we wanted to plant and where to put it. We had decided to plant tomatoes, snap peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, beats, cauliflowers, broccoli, strawberries and rhubarb.

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When Plants Attack: Lectins, Phytates and Oxalates

Of all the nutritional recommendations that are passed around, eating more fruits and vegetables seems like a tip that should be universally good for everyone. Like every guideline, even this one has caveats. Many plant foods contain compounds that are irritating to our digestive system, immune system, and even nervous system. These compounds can cause certain plant foods to do more harm than good. In some cases, proper preparation of the foods can mitigate the ill effects of the compounds, but in other cases, the foods should be avoided in their entirety.

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From the Garden: Kale: The Gateway Vegetable

When introducing kids to the idea of eating fresh vegetables and edible flowers, I often hear, “I do not like vegetables.” It’s always amazing to me when I ask them to try a piece of, “Fresh broccoli, right from the stalk,” to then have them declare that they now LOVE broccoli! Kale gets a bad rap. Just today, I introduced a new group of students to the Optional garden. I innocently offer the unidentified vegetable to trusting children. “Did you like it?” Most declare they liked it and are shocked to hear they just ate kale - and enjoyed it!

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Candida

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not alone? You should. You are never really alone when you consider the vast populations of bacteria and yeast living inside of you. Your skin, mouth and digestive tract are teeming with little friends. And friends they are, most of the time. Those organisms that make up the microbiome are an essential component of good health until certain environmental factors cause them to become a component of poor health. When certain “good” microbe populations are damaged by antibiotics, nutrient deficiencies, stress and/or processed foods, the “bad” microbes are presented with an opportunity to grow out of control. When they are comfortably fed with refined sugars, they have the fuel needed to take over.

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