I learned how to make bread in a valley nestled between the Red Cloud and Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.  Two summers spent as an assistant cook at a youth wilderness camp provided ample opportunity to practice combining water, yeast, flour, oil, honey, molasses and a bit of salt.  I learned to knead the dough smooth.  I learned to form the dough into uniform loaves and how to tell when to take them out of the ovens.  For good measure, I learned how to carry 50 pound sacks of whole wheat flour down a narrow staircase and how to keep mice from getting into the storage room. We used a bread recipe that made seven loaves at a time, and I eventually became pretty capable of turning out something edible for the camp guests.  There’s not much better than homemade bread to come home to after spending all day on a mountain trail.  I remember thinking that the bread we made gave everyone just that much more energy and provided just that much more comfort than something commercial would have been able to.  And the kitchen staff had really strong forearms from all that kneading.

After those summers of baking bread everyday for three months straight, you’d think I would have continued the practice.  But I didn’t.  Instead I went back to college after each summer and baking fell promptly off the radar in the wake of studying, the local pubs and life in a dorm room. Continue reading “Bread”

Eat your veggies.

Eat your veggies.


I talked to a grown man last week who, when asked how he felt about his nutritional habits, responded with, “Well, I don’t eat vegetables. They make me gag and throw up.”


There is a lot of brokenness in the way first world countries interact with food today. At this point, that pretty much goes without saying. But being able to say you don’t eat vegetables? (a staple of the human diet since the beginning of the human experience on earth) Ever? Because you don’t care for them? It’s like saying you don’t brush your teeth – ever – because you just haven’t found the perfect shade of turquoise toothbrush. It doesn’t make sense. How did we get to this place where a human being can be say, “I don’t eat vegetables” and still be alive to tell about it?

Perhaps planting an organic garden, or supporting someone who does and who will share their harvest, should be required. Kind of like taxes. You pay your taxes. You plant your garden. You eat your veggies, and you learn not to throw up. Because that makes sense.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

A good mantra to live by, I think.  Thanks for the wise words, Michael Pollan.


If you need more ideas on how to change your eating habits to include more plants, check out the following:

Healthy Eating Plate – Harvard’s take on what to eat.

Wellness Today – The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s nutrition article online library.

Healthy Eating Education, in the form of recipes – From The Edible SchoolYard Project.

Shop at the farmer’s market.  Plant a garden.  Learn to cook.  Avoid food that has a barcode…but if it does come in a package, make sure the ingredients list is short and recognizable.    In short, eat your veggies.  And if you can, know where they came from and how they were grown.