Archive for October, 2010

October 21, 2010

The Benefits of Fermented Foods


The Wellspring School for Healing Arts Wholistic Nutrition program students (group 2) recently hosted a free  community event in Boise. The focus of the event was health and wellness through nutrition and had great  information tables replete with recipes, samples and demonstrations.  One topic from the evening was the  table highlighting the benefits of fermentation, including a hands-on demonstration for making your own  sauerkraut. Some highlights below from students, Demetria Ramakers and Patricia Young who provided  samples and recipes to very willing and interested attendees. Way to go students!



Fermentation is produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and molds.  Fermentation enhances the micronutrient profile of several foods. Virtually every food with a complex or simple sugar content can be successfully fermented.


These foods are so beneficial to overall health that it is recommended to consume some sort of fermented food everyday for overall wellbeing.  Here are many of the overall nutritional benefits of fermented food:

  • Contains probiotics, the “good” bacteria that our body is absolutely dependent on for availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in our body.
  • Aiding digestion
  • Supporting immune function that fight harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.
  • Fruits, legumes and grains, vegetables subjected to fermentation also see increases in both their macro- and micronutrient profiles.
  • The fermentation process of grains decreases the activity of phytic acid content naturally present in grains.  Phytic acid is an antinutrient that binds up minerals, preventing full absorption of minerals in the gut.  Since souring grains reduces the phytic acid content, the fermentation process actually enables your body to absorb more minerals from the grain than you would be able to otherwise absorb.


There are a variety of good fermented foods available to supplement our daily diet.  Do your research on what brands support the lacto-fermentation process.  And better yet make your own fermented foods at home, it’s inexpensive and is very easy to do yourself.  There are many cookbooks and websites to find easy recipes for at home fermentation.  Here is a small list of the many fermented foods that are easily available at your own health food store:

  • Miso – a fermented soybean paste that can easily be added to soups, dips, or any savory recipe.
  • Sauerkraut – shredded cabbage that has been fermented.  Taking just a couple of tablespoons a day has great health benefits.  Add as a condiment to meals.
  • Soy Sauce (or tamari, wheat free soy sauce) – a fermented soybean condiment that is easily added to recipes.
  • Kefir – a fermented food that starts from milk. Can be used much the same way as yogurt.
  • Tempeh – fermented whole soybeans, softened and soaked.  Can be added to stir-fry dishes or used as a meat substitute.  It best served cooked and seasoned.
  • Kombucha – a fermented tea that can be used as a beverage a couple of times during the week.

October 13, 2010

What Do Sea Vegetables and a WSHA Wholistic Nutrition Instructor Have in Common?



Sea vegetables are a wonderful source of nutrients and something we definitely recommend be a part of your daily diet. Now when most of you think of sea veggies, you probably think of visiting the beach and tiptoeing over the “slimy” green and brown stuff that washes up on shore. Well, there’s way more to sea vegetables than that!  Did you know that there are more than 15,000 varieties out there, and that sea vegetables are high in iron, calcium, iodine, Vitamins A, B12, C, and other nutrients? Not to mention they are great with beans, grains, salads, soups, and yes, even desserts!

Sea vegetables are near and dear to one of our Wholistic Nutrition Program instructors, Jennifer Adler, M.S., C.N. She hosts yearly harvesting trips to collect; you guessed it, sea vegetables!!! Jennifer recently provided us with an update we thought we’d share since it was so cool.

“I am so excited to share “Miracle Lettuce of the Sea,” a new Kashi video (featuring yours truly) that just went live on the Kashi site. Each summer I teach seaweed harvesting/cooking workshops on Lopez Island, and this year Kashi captured it on film! As many of you know, I am quite passionate about seaweed, and teaching folks how to sustainably harvest and cook with it is one of the best parts of my summer. I hope that you have as much fun watching this video as we did making it.” (Make sure to check out Jennifer’s video!)

For those of you in Boise, the current group of nutrition students are hosting a free community event this Friday, October 15th, from 5:30-8:00PM (RSVP, please!). And guess what? There is an information table on…SEAWEED!




October 6, 2010

Busy Fall at The Wellspring School!

Programs, Public Classes, Workshops, Events, Clinic and more!

Fall is always a busy and productive time for most of us. This is no exception at The Wellspring School. Amidst the buzz of new classes and events, we are also working on a new logo and hope to have that out in the next few weeks. We can’t wait to share our new look, which includes a new website, with you!

On the class front, we kicked off October with a weekend workshop with 13 attendees in Portland, Food in the Treatment of Disharmony, taught by Rylen Feeney, Dipl. CH & ABT (NCCAOM). We are working on all to final details to launch our first Wholistic Nutrition Program in Portland as well, so stay tuned!

In Boise, we are busier than ever. We kicked off our third Wholistic Nutrition Certification Program in September.  The second program group is hosting a free community event on Friday, October 15th from 5:30-8:00PM. The soon-to-be-graduating class also clinic openings in October and November. Check out our events page for more details on all these.

We are definitely all about movement around here. Our weekly Saturday morning Tai Chi class (8:30-9:30) will run through the month of October.On Sunday, October 10th from 10AM-5PM, Nedda Jastremsky is teaching a 1000 Hands Buddha Qigong workshop. On Friday, November 12th we will begin a new weekly Qigong class, Return to Kidney, from 4:30-5:30.

Whether you are curious about Wholistic Nutrition or Amma, want to investigate a new career, are looking for a CEU source, or you just want to take a couple of classes for your own enjoyment, we think we have a little something for everyone here. Come visit us or call us for more information!

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