What I Learned from a Holistic Health Coach

I read way too many blogs, health magazines and books. It’s my hobby! I’m no nutritionist, but I’m likely more versed on all things food than your average girl. That’s why I got all smug when a holistic health coach was hired to do some training in our office. Surely I know almost as much as she does. Four weeks later, I’m humbled.

Weekly, we walked through a topic: super foods, greens, grains and beans. Jennifer cooked us lunch, and I came out with recipe inspiration. How beautiful is her slaw?


Here are a few things Jennifer taught me that I wasn’t privy to before. Quiz yourself. Did you know all this good stuff before reading?

Food Facts:

  • Bacteria is the other super food. Beyond yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and nutritional yeast are good sources. (Sauerkraut? Really? I bought some…)
  • Cruciferous means “cross-bearing.” The plant’s four petal flowers form the shape of a cross.
  • Brussels sprouts paired with a grain like quinoa add the complementary amino acids to form a complete protein.
  • Broccoli raab is not a member of the broccoli family. It’s related to a turnip. While we’re at it, buckwheat isn’t derived from wheat. It’s a cousin of rhubarb!

Cooking tips:

  • Lemon cuts the bitterness of greens.
  • To remove the stems from kale, circle your hand around the hard part, the pull away towards the leafy end. The leaves separate from the stalk. (How much time have I wasted with a knife?)
  • To get oil on veggies pre-cooking, pour it into your palm first. Rub you hands together, then gently massage the vegetables. I’m finding it’s good for my hands too!

On cooking dried beans:

  • Save the salt for the end of cooking. Adding at the beginning keeps beans from cooking completely.
  • Adding vinegar at the end of cooking makes beans easier to digest. Kombu (seaweed) can be added for flavor and increased digestion.
  • To freeze beans, let them cool in their liquid. Add beans + liquid to a container and cover with vinegar or lemon juice to keep the beans intact.

4 thoughts on “What I Learned from a Holistic Health Coach

  1. Lovely slaw. I’m a huge fan of purple cabbage.

    Didn’t know the definition of cruciferous, but I knew everything else. I use the oil-on-hands technique to keep my baked kale chips from getting soggy with olive oil before baking. Otherwise, my Mom was a great teacher. 🙂

    Fun fact: I became fascinated by buckwheat when I was about 10 years old. It was not easy to find buckwheat in those days. I grew buckwheat last fall for the first time. Saved the seeds to plant more this spring. I’m using it as my primary temporary cover crop to rebuild soil on my farm.

  2. Pingback: 5 Ways to Add Smoke to Meatless Cooking | The Veggie Vore

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