Have you all met my dogs? Jake is my sweet yellow labrador rescue and Jezebel is my lovely leonberger. These two are the best of friends and had a blast playing in the snowstorm we got last week! I love these photos I took of them, and hope you will, too. At the end of this post, you’ll find a selection of links to articles I’ve read recently, that I think you should read, too. Oh, and don’t forget to enter my Blue Canning Jars Giveaway! Cheers to a wonderful Sunday/St. Paddy’s Day.

Jake from Healthy Green Kitchen

Jezebel from Healthy Green Kitchen

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I’ve got a fun little giveaway for you, my friends :)

Limited Edition Blue Ball Jars at Healthy Green Kitchen

Ball just released these limited edition vintage-inspired blue jars, and they’ve offered to give a box of them (6 jars in all) to one of you! These jars are part of the Ball Heritage Collection and they’re really beautiful.

Ball Blue Jars Giveaway at Healthy Green Kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I am more likely to drink lots of water when it’s in a pretty glass, and these blue jars are just perfect! They’re also terrific for decorating, canning, as a vase for flowers, etc. The jars are pint-sized and they have small openings, which makes them just right for covering with EcoJarz (stay tuned: I am going to be giving away a few of these awesome eco-friendly jar toppers very soon). The lids the jars come with are 100% BPA-free, as well.

Blue Ball Jars (giveaway at Healthy Green Kitchen)

As I mentioned above, these are a limited edition, so don’t wait to get yourself some of these lovely jars! (You can also purchase them here.)

Official Rules for the Giveaway: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents over 18 years of age only. This giveaway will end on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

To enter, please leave a comment below.
This giveaway is now closed.

One of the things I haven’t done all that much on this site is talk in great detail about how I came to be interested in holistic nutrition and other aspects of a natural, healthy lifestyle. I’ve alluded here and there to how I dieted excessively when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and how that caused some major health issues, but I haven’t really told you about what happened after that (mostly because it was so long ago…I am now 42).

When I was writing my forthcoming book One Simple Change, however, I decided it was important to talk about how I messed up my health, and how I got it back via good nutrition and natural medicine. Why? Because that experience is what set me on the path that’s become my life’s work: to inspire others to eat a nourishing diet and to live a healthy lifestyle. I won’t rehash the tale here (you’ll just have to read about it when the book comes out!), but I will tell you that I’ve been passionate about doing research and learning as much as I can about diet and health for the last 20 years. I spent 5 years in naturopathic school and have continued to study nutrition and other aspects of holistic health on my own ever since; I did a ton of research when I was writing One Simple Change, and there are many pages of scientific references in the book as a result!

If you are interested in learning more about nutrition and health (and I assume you are, if you read my blog), I recommend you check out The Healthy Life Summit coming up in a couple of weeks. It’s like a conference, but it’s online and it’s FREE. There are 35 speakers, and I’m looking forward to hearing from some of my favorite personalities in the Real Food movement: people like Diane Sanfillipo (who will talk about detoxing from sugar), Julia Ross (she’s speak about healing the mind and body with food), and Jenny McGruther (who will discuss techniques for making real food easy and affordable). I am also excited about the talks on healthy skin care, hormones, metabolism, GMO’s and sustainable farming.

Click here to sign up for the summit, or to pre-order the podcasts and slideshows for a discounted price if you’re not going to be able to listen to the summit live.

I can’t wait, and I hope you feel the same way!

*Disclosure: I recently joined The Village Green Network (VGN), a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about natural and organic food, healthy lifestyles and green living. The Healthy Life Summit was organized by VGN and I’ll earn a small commission if you preorder the summit materials via the links above. Please know that I only share affiliate-related “stuff” that I stand behind 100%…that’s always been the case and it will be the case for as long as I write this blog.

Deborah Madison is a legend in the cookbook world and she’s one of my favorite food writers. My parents gave me a signed copy of her book The Savory Way back in 1991 and I have cooked from (and treasured it!) ever since. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a beloved possession of mine, as well.

Deborah’s newest tome is called Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes. Please trust me when I say it is a stunner! Ten Speed Press sent me a copy about 10 days ago and if I could spend all of my time lately reading this book, I would.

Coconut Parsnip Custard

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Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to my friend Kristin Misik. Kristin is an acupuncturist, herbalist and life coach in New York City. We go to the same CrossFit gym, and we share a passion for eating whole, locally sourced foods and living a sustainable lifestyle.

When we were talking about what sort of guest post she might want to do, Kristin suggested writing up some tips for how best to eat in the spring according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Since we do seem to be done with the very cold weather, I really loved this idea. So take it away, Kristin!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a fundamental way to prevent illness and imbalance is to live in harmony with your environment. Depending on your locale, you may not yet see the evidence of new life bursting forth, but there is a distinct shift in our body’s energy as the hours of daylight increase and the earth starts leaning a little further south.

According to TCM, spring is the season of the liver and the gallbladder. These organs are in charge of regulating a smooth and soothing flow of energy throughout the whole person (body and mind). Unfortunately, they’re prone to congestion (aka “stagnation”) because most people take in too many poor quality fats and denatured foods, chemicals, medications, and intoxicants.

What happens when liver or gallbladder energy isn’t flowing properly? We can experience anger and irritability (and for women: PMS), depression, insomnia, and an inability to lead or make decisions. We are also more susceptible to problems like muscle pulls and strains, joint pains, and headaches when the liver and gallbladder are out of balance. The good news is there are many ways to alter your dietary and food preparation habits in order to prevent a major liver and gallbladder meltdown.

Springtime is the best time to start integrating the following changes, especially if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer:

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