Flat grey skies and fruit trees blooming, it must be Spring in the Pacific Northwest.
Welcome March, come on in.
First, clinic business. Three things.
- Insurance. As of today, I am back under contract and "in network" with seven companies: Aetna, Amerigroup, Cigna, First Choice, Healthnet, Regence Blue Shield, and Multiplan. All others are still pending. Premera Blue Shield, which many patients use, has given me permission to see patients, but has asked me to hold off on billing until credentialing is complete, which I take to mean Premera is imminent. As always, I urge patients to call their insurance company and know their plan, goodness knows they are all different.
- Yoga Basics. Last night I finished up a six week series of foundational yoga, with seven lovely and adventurous souls. Are you next? The next 6 week series starts Monday evening, March 14, at 6PM. Cost is $72 per person, or $60 per couple. Register by calling the clinic at 253-442-4901 or online here.
- Instagram. Last month I made the personal and professional decision to leave Facebook behind. It wasn't a decision made lightly, but in the end, if social media is the marketing tool experts tell me it is, I need to use one that more closely aligns with what I want to do with PranaVisMedicine. I happen to love photography (most everything you see here will be something I shot), I also happen to believe the world needs more beauty. Instagram, used sparingly, makes much more sense for me. If you're on IG, look for updates at pranavismedicine, and if you're not, good for you, keep looking for clinic newsletters at the beginning of each month. And really, I highly recommend a digital detox! A day, a week, a month, whatever it is, remember one of my favorite quotes, from Anne Lamott: "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you."
OK, raise your hand if I've recommended including more probiotic foods in your diet. Right. That would be nearly everybody, because I make that recommendation every. single. day.
Fostering beneficial gut flora is that important. And if you've never eaten sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, or kefir, knowing where and how to start can feel overwhelming. I get it.
Enter this cookbook, which has the benefit of hitting two categories this month: book of the month and recipe of the month.
I read a lot of cookbooks. (A lot.) As I'm reading, recipes that sound tasty get tagged. When I first read this book, I stopped tagging after 6 recipes, went ahead and bought it, and sure enough, it's become a staple in our kitchen. The authors, owners of Seattle's very own sauerkraut company Firefly Kitchens, have made it so easy to enter the world of fermentation.
Classic Kraut (adapted from Fresh & Fermented)
1 cup water at room temperature
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 head green cabbage (approx 2 lbs)
1 tbsp salt
Clean everything well, but don't obsess. People have been making fermented foods long before bleach was invented. Make the brine by stirring 1 1/4 tsp salt into 1 c. water until it dissolves. I promise you, it won't get much harder than that.
Take the outer leaves off the cabbage, put them aside. Begin to slice the cabbage (I start by cutting it into quarters) into long, thin strips, trying to keep the thickness as uniform as possible. Put the cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle it with between 1/2-1 tbsp salt. I use the end of a rolling pin to pound and soften the cabbage, usually working through the bowl for 5-7 minutes, but you can also work the cabbage by (clean!) hands. Cabbage juice will start to collect on the bottom of the bowl - this is brine.
Stuff the cabbage, really pack it down, into a Mason jar (or, a Kerr jar!), leaving a bit of space at the top, an inch or so. Take the original brine and fill the jar, all the nooks and crannies, until the cabbage issubmerged.
Put a lid on the jar, tight, but not too tight, and place the jar on a plate (it will likely bubble over during the fermentation process), out of direct sunlight. Begin to taste it after 5-7 days and when it tastes good to you, it's ready to go.
You don't need a lot of sauerkraut or fermented foods, really 1/4 cup a day will do the trick. And for inventive ways to incorporate kraut into your every day diet, see the book. Really. You'll thank me.
© 2016 Alison Olt Kerr, ND, RYT - PranaVis Medicine. All rights reserved.