Wow! What a day we had for the Women's Health Retreat this past Saturday! Held at Headlands Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands, we had gorgeous weather, terrific speakers, great exercise and a terrific group of women. Despite being the facilitator and running around a good portion of the day making sure everything was running smoothly, even I walked away from the day feeling inspired and relaxed!
I first want to thank our lovely participants for taking the time out of their busy lives to gather and to talk about a not-so-easy transition in life. You were all inspiring in your own ways, so open to discuss and so full of good spirit. Truly appreciated!
Secondly, thank you to our speaker Marnie Reasor, CCH of Resplendent Healing! Coming all the way from Tennessee, we were all fortunate to listen to two informative lectures giving us her gathered knowledge from over fifteen years experience working on natural healing of female-specific health issues. You can see a partial list of the tips she distributed at the end of this post. She covered a lot more, so I would highly recommend contacting her for a consult!
We ALL raved about the food! Katie Powers, exclusive caterer for Headlands Center for the Arts is a passionate advocate of sourcing local and organic foods for most of her cooking. She went to her local farmer's market the day before our event to shop for the incredibly fresh ingredients she used for our two meals. I heard more than one person say they felt like they were eating freshly picked lettuce right out of the garden. She also took great care in presenting everything so beautifully for us AND took the time to talk to us about what we were eating and where it came from. Truly another highlight of the day!
Jessica Prentice of Three Stone Hearth was another highlight and dang does this woman know her stuff about whole foods and ancestral cooking! She talked to us about the nutritional benefits of bone broth (I make my own, but seriously - consider ordering some from TSH - theirs is incredibly gelatinous (read: NUTRIENT FULL) and eating whole foods all-the-while showing us how to make a chock-full of nutritional goodness spring nettle soup. I'm now kicking myself for not have the energy to go to the Farmer's Market the next morning to get nettles from Happy Boy Farms. I have lots of leftover containers of Three Stone Hearth bone broth in my fridge and would have loved making the soup this week! Asking a group of women to quietly sip our soup sample in silence so we could appreciate the flavor was not easy to do, but I think most of us were stunned into silence at the incredible flavor and obvious nutrient-dense soup. Then we instantly started talking again because we couldn't help raving about the soup!
Topped off by a bit of light exercise, between the hike and Dr. Alicia Thomsen's restorative yoga session, I think I can speak for us all saying we walked away from the day feeling stretched, relaxed, informed and having truly enjoyed the peace and gorgeousness of Headlands Center for the Arts and the Marin Headlands. We all probably would have loved to spend a little more time on Rodeo Beach, but there was some more learning to do!
Here are some tips from Marnie and the nettle soup recipe to leave you with. What a great day!
For hot flashes
Know your triggers like:
- Spicy foods
- Hot drinks
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Heavy Exercise, saunas and hot tubs
- Toxins in food and personal care products
- Minimize wheat, sugar and dairy
- Large meals
What you can do:
- Exercise moderately
- Stay hydrated!
- Dress in layers
- Keep a fan in the bedroom
Sounder sleep tips
- Blackout curtains, earplugs, eye shades
- Sleep between 10:00PM and 5:00AM
- Natural Calm powder
- Remove any blue light from bedroom (computer, phone, no wifi router)
- Epsom salts bath or foot bath before bed
- Alternate nostril breathing
- Marnie's consult!
- The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change by Christine Northrup, M.D.
- The Natural Center for Homeopathy: Homeopathy Center.org
- Environmental Working Group Guides
NETTLE SOUP RECIPE by Jessica Prentice as published in her book Full Moon Feast
SPRING TONIC NETTLE SOUP - Copied from Edible East Bay's Online Published Version February 16, 2015 in Soup
This recipe is adapted from Jessica Prentice’s Full Moon Feast (March 2006) and is printed with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing.
Some important notes about nettles: If you’re picking wild nettles for eating, don’t touch them with your bare hands, and harvest only the top 4 inches of the plant. In the kitchen use tongs or a large fork to pick them up. You may want to remove the thick stems from the nettle tops before cooking.
2 leeks, cut into rounds
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
¼ pound stinging nettle tops
1 bouquet garni
1 quart chicken broth, filtered water, or other light chicken stock made without vegetables or herbs
(A strong stock will overwhelm the flavor of the nettles: The broth from Three Stone Hearth would be perfect for this recipe.)
2 egg yolks
½ cup crème fraîche
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Sauté the leeks in the butter or olive oil. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Add the nettles (being careful not to touch them with your bare hands!), bouquet garni, and stock or water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until the nettles are very soft.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and crème fraîche.
Remove the bouquet garni from the soup, turn the heat to low, and purée using an immersion blender, adding a generous pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
Take a ladleful of soup and stir it into the egg mixture. Return the egg-nettle mixture to the soup and stir gently over very low heat (do not let it boil again).
Grate some fresh nutmeg into the soup, taste, and add more salt as necessary to make it savory and delicious
Variation: Add a handful of sorrel leaves to the soup for a lemony flavor. ✦