Well HELLOOOOOOOOO!! I am thrilled to be back after quite the hiatus. Needless to say, it’s been a long time since there’s been anything new in this little corner of the internet and I can say with absolute sincerity that I have missed this blog being a part of my life tremendously. There have been many reasons for this interlude including the fact that this spring/summer involved a decent amount of work and fun travel, finishing up the home renovations, and officially starting my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) program! I have clearly been interested in the topic for ages at this point (and had actually already read a considerable amount of the course material in the past), but still wanted to go deeper into understanding nutrition science in hopes that I can correct some of my own imbalances as well as work with others to do the same. I researched many of the courses out there – everything from online programs and weekend workshops to becoming an RD or pursuing a PhD in nutrition and eventually decided that the NTA was the ideal next step for me. I love that the program kicked off with discussion of epistemology and that its approach relies on multiple different ways of knowing: scientific research, experiential knowledge, and ancestral wisdom; acknowledging the strengths and limitations of each. If you’ve been around me long enough, it’s probably no surprise that this is completely in line with my own personal science philosophy, although I probably most often rely on an N=1 approach.
One of the key foundational concepts of the NTA is that the ubiquitous cliché is not entirely accurate – we are not actually what we eat, but rather, what we absorb. This means, unfortunately that sometimes it doesn’t matter that you’re “eating everything right,” if your body is ill equipped to absorb and assimilate those nutrients. Due to a variety of factors, my own ability to absorb the rich nutrition I have been supplying my body with has been limited and all signs point to some deficiencies despite my best and consistent efforts. I am continuing to learn more about how to address these issues and it is very much a work in progress. But (as is often the case!) as I try to balance things in my own life nutritionally, I can’t help but consider how this concept might apply in other situations too.
And so, I’m reevaluating not only what I am doing, but also what I am absorbing. For me, this requires an increased effort to be truly present wherever I may be. Unfortunately, I have still have some work to do here as well. It’s a regular occurrence that I have a podcast on while I am doing something else and I have to rewind because I completely missed what was being said. Or I have to reread an entire passage because I wasn’t focused on the book in hand. Even worse, I may get distracted during a meeting, my barre class, or in a conversation with a close friend or family member. Although I KNOW that proximity or simply showing up is not sufficient, I confess that frustratingly sometimes I fail to truly listen and connect. I want more for my life than to just be there – I want deep relationships and genuine quality time.
I’m reminding myself that living a full life doesn’t mean keeping busy – even if the things I am doing are “good things.” It means increasing my absorption of the things that matter. It’s about actually being present and soaking in as much of the experience as possible. It’s noticing the little things outside in nature or really paying close attention to the disposition of others we encounter even just briefly. It’s about active listening, encouraging, and deeply connecting with those around us. And it’s about viewing basically everything as an opportunity to learn and grow.
One thing I have learned throughout my NTP program thus far is the more about the complexity of particular nutrients, vitamins and minerals which work synergistically or antagonistically in relation to others. Interestingly, for example, vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble meaning that they are only able to be dissolved in lipids as opposed to water. Therefore, adequate amounts of fat must be present in order to appropriately absorb these important vitamins which play key roles in many aspects of optimal functioning of our hearts, lungs, teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin. Without (high quality) fat, absorption is impeded. Besides things like broccoli, spinach and kale taste better with some fat – we get more out of the experience in every way possible. Just like we get more out of our day when we choose to be present. <3
Sautéed Super Greens
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Baby Spinach 4 cups
- Baby Kale 4 cups
- Brussels Sprouts, raw 2 cups
- Swiss Chard, rough chopped 2 cups
- Ghee 2 TBSP
- Garlic Cloves, minced 4 each
- Wash the brussels sprouts and then using either a mandolin or grater, shred them into thin ribbons. Roughly chop the other greens and mince the garlic.
- In a large skillet, melt the ghee over medium heat and then add the minced garlic. Stir and cook until just fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add the spinach, kale, swiss chard, and brussels sprouts and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Sautee the greens, stirring to combine and allow even cooking until wilted and warm throughout.
- Enjoy! This is a super easy and delicious side which is packed with dense nutrients AND high quality fat which allows you to absorb their goodness. I paired mine with my Whole30 Lemon Pepper Salmon for even more healthy fat and some protein.