“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A phrase that has been attributed to the Father of Medicine himself, Hippocrates. There pretty much wasn’t a day that went by while in nutrition school that I didn’t at some point read/hear/speak this phrase. It was at the core of everything I had learned there and thus has always been a starting point for any nutrition client I’ve ever worked with. I feel the truth of these words most when I look at the bounty that I get to bring home from the farm every few days. I feel so grateful when I have a colorful basket of healthcare right in front of me. However, after years of disconnection from whole food ingredients, it can understandably be daunting to anyone just starting out on their health journey. If I were to give any one single sentence of nutrition advice (after telling people to put down the processed foods and focus on only fresh ingredients from quality sources) it would be: add more fresh herbs to your diet.
Fresh herbs have been used for millennia for both their taste as well as their medicinal properties. They bring a meal to life, are packed with flavor and medicinal benefits, and can be used in a variety of wonderfully creative ways! Getting into herbal medicine is a really great way to connect with your individual wellness needs. It can also be done with relative ease from your home, or with the help of a practicing naturopath if you want a more in-depth perspective. It’s a component of self-care that requires getting to know yourself a little better as well as finding your own personal point of balance. The best part is, our traditional culinary herbs, like parsley, basil, and cilantro, have powerful medicinal potential. They can be used at high doses for therapeutic results, or as everyday ingredients to act in effect as preventative medicine. They’ve been found to support a milieu of body systems from digestion to the cardiovascular and nervous systems. However, I do think it’s important to note, herbal medicine isn’t a magic pill that can solve all your health problems for you. But instead, is a way to give you back a little agency to help you find ways to better heal yourself. Over the next few blog posts, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite herbs that you can grow in your own backyard (or find at Woodside Farms)! We’ll discuss their medicinal potential as well as a few different ways they can be prepared. I’m really excited to share with you some of my favorite resources as well as maybe introduce a few new ideas on some of your old favorite standby herbs.
Some food for thought: I wanted to share with you my (current) favorite herb-packed breakfast. It’s full of farm-fresh ingredients and I’ve made it almost every day for the past two weeks. Keep in mind that I get to the farm most mornings around 6:30am so you know it has to be a fast meal and able to keep me full all morning until we break for lunch.
I toast bread from La Bella Vita Bakery and top it with cottage cheese, Woodside Farms’ Hot Pepper Relish, farm-fresh arugula, chives and oregano, and then finally a soft-boiled egg from Pinwheel Farm, salt and pepper to taste. I often pair this with lemon balm tea I’ve dried from Woodside Farms as well. I can’t get enough!