Cheers to Change + Homemade Yogurt

Happy New Year everyone! Yes, I know I am days late in wishing you my very best for the coming year, but my holiday break was pretty busy: my dad got married (yay!) and we went away to visit my husband’s family. (I also may or may not have spent a day or two in my pajamas binge-watching Drop Dead Diva but don’t tell anyone about that, ok?)

2014 has kicked off with me doing something new and completely out of my comfort zone: radio interviews to discuss my book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life; I’ve done 6 so far. The very first one I did was LIVE and ONE HOUR LONG, with call-in participation from viewers. I was terrified beforehand and did a lot of sweating while I was on the call. The ones since then have been shorter but they are still a bit stressful for me, not going to lie.

During these radio interviews, I’ve been talking a lot about the overriding concept of my book…the idea of making one small change at a time. I’ve been talking about why it’s important to take things slow, and to become comfortable with the fact that permanent positive shifts in your health and well-being do not happen overnight. My feeling is that if I can convince one person to stop doing extreme things (such as lengthy juice cleanses, diets that eliminate carbohydrates, or exercising for hours a day) in the name of health, then I will have succeeded in what I set out to do in writing this book. Small tweaks to the way you eat, your lifestyle, and your attitude work just fine…they work better than fine, actually. Small changes can be really powerful if your goal is to have a happy, healthy life.

If you are wondering exactly what kind of information is in One Simple Change, you should know that while I do share my nutritional philosophy throughout the book, there’s much more to One Simple Change than that. I touch on many, many other things that come into play when you are approaching your health in a more natural and holistic way, such as sleep, exercise, and stress management. Some chapters are devoted to matters related to living in a more eco-conscious manner. There are also 15 nourishing recipes. My friend Kaela called it “The Self Help Book for People Who Hate Self Help Books” which made me laugh (but it’s really true).

I don’t expect everyone to love everything about the book, but I really do believe there is something for everyone in One Simple Change. I even find myself re-reading specific sections and applying them to my own life lately…this may seem ironic but I need to take my own advice sometimes!

The first printing of the book sold out but more are on the way. My publisher tells me One Simple Change should be back in stock Amazon.com and elsewhere next week, which is great. Once again, thank you to everyone who has purchased the book and let me know that you enjoyed it! Cheers to change! I plan to continue celebrating healthy, simple lifestyle changes on my blog throughout 2014 and I can’t wait to share many more posts with you.

As I mentioned above, there are 15 recipes in One Simple Change. These are recipes I chose to include because they are somehow related to the content of the book. This homemade yogurt recipe, for example, comes from the chapter titled “Cook More” but it’s also related to the chapter called “Get Some Culture”, which is about eating more cultured/lacto-fermented foods.

diy yogurt | healthy green kitchen

Yogurt made with live cultures is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which aid the digestive system. I’m a big fan of low-tech yogurt making; you don’t need any fancy equipment to make wholesome plain yogurt.

diy yogurt | healthy green kitchen

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The Deal With Dairy

Before I get to today’s post, I need to say something that’s been on my mind for a while, and even more so after a couple of the comments on my last post got a little heated.

When it comes to healthy diets and what we should/should not eat, a lot of people seem to think their way is the only way. I do not agree. No matter what you read in a book, or anywhere else for that matter, there isn’t one single “dietary prescription” that’s going to work for everyone. We’re all different: from our unique cultural backgrounds to our taste preferences to our biochemical makeup. We each need to find our own satisfying way to eat that will best support our individual health. I believe that a whole foods diet supports the health of everyone, but there’s a fair amount of “finessing” that can be done from there…like whether to eat animal foods or not, whether to eat grains or not, discovery/management of individual food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities, etc.

My opinions on nutrition- and therefore the foods that I choose to eat- have been influenced by my upbringing, my naturopathic medical education, my personal dietary experiences/experiments, and all of the research I’ve done (and continue to do every single day) since I set off on this holistic lifestyle path 20 years ago. I started this blog so I’d have a place to share my perspective, which I try to keep both dogma and fad-free. I am grateful that I have a place to express myself, and that there are people who are willing to listen.

That said, I am fine with it if you don’t agree with me…and it’s alright if you want to let me know that in the comments. I can’t possibly please everyone. But I want you to know that I stand by everything I write and I write it with only the best of intentions: to help you live a healthier life. I am well aware that a lot of us are very emotionally invested in our eating patterns and get nervous when our ways are called into question; if that’s true for you, I ask that you keep an open mind and hear me out even if what I am saying makes you uncomfortable. Change can be hard…there’s no doubt about that…but change is what this series is about!

Now let’s get to this week’s One Simple Change topic, ok? Let’s discuss dairy.

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Homemade Organic Cultured Butter Recipe

Recently, when I made homemade creme fraiche, I figured why not make my own cultured butter, too. Butter made by first allowing heavy cream to culture naturally has a rich and complex flavor, and it’s really quite easy to prepare. Using the best quality cream (definitely organic, and raw if it’s available to you) results … Read more

Deeba’s Mango Ice Cream

When Amanda came up with the idea to form a secret recipe club, I just knew it would be a blast; I was thrilled when I was assigned to make something from one of my very favorite sites: Passionate About Baking. I’ve admired Deeba’s blog for a long time. She’s got serious talent: both as … Read more

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese (+ Home Dairy Review)

The folks from Lark Crafts have been so kind to me. They sent me the first two books from their Homemade Living Series a few months ago, and they recently sent me two more. Today I’ll tell you about Home Dairy… …I’ll tell you about Keeping Bees in my next post. I’ve really got quite … Read more