Northwood Nutrition BLOG
Hi! My name is Korrin and I'm a Dietitian and self proclaimed foodie.
I love to cook all kinds of food. I love to work with all kinds of people.
On my blog, I strive to share positive, inspiring stories & nutrition information. In addition to some real life events mixed in. Welcome!
I'm Back! After an almost four month hiatus from the blog, I decided I had to pop back on here and share this recipe with the world. I don't know about you, but with school starting and the days getting colder, the first head cold of the season is making its way through our house hold. Elderberries grow wild here in the inland northwest and I found a trustworthy source of black elderberries (Sambucus nigra). Last year, I purchased Elderberry Syrup locally which was convenient and the perfect way to support a local business (Hierophant Meadery), but I had never made the syrup from scratch before so I thought I would give it a try. I am so glad I did because this syrup does not disappoint and it was incredibly easy to throw together. The best part - I added a few more ingredients to make it even more delicious and I was able to adjust the sweetness to my taste preferences.
Barely Sweetened and Warming Elderberry Syrup
Many people have heard of the health benefits of black elderberry, especially related to cold and flu season. Research has shown that elderberry extract is not only powerful in terms of the prevention of viral infections but also in treatment, specifically decreasing the intensity and duration of the infection. I love the addition of the fall/winter spices in this syrup because it creates a warming feeling in body which always feels nice when it's cold out. Be aware that there are different species of Elderberry, and some parts of the plant and the berries may be poisonous depending on the variety. Always rely on a trusted source when using medicinal plants. Consult with your doctor prior to ingesting this syrup to ensure it is a safe option for you and your family. This recipe is inspired from the Elderyberry syrup recipe from Holistic Squid.
This syrup is wonderful as a flavorful garnish on pancakes/waffles or desserts.
Dosage for medicinal purpose:
Children: 1 teaspoon twice/day, increase up to 1 tablespoon twice/day during a cold/flu
Adults: 1 tablespoon twice/day increase up to 2 tablespoons twice/day during a cold/flu
Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! I love to talk about flavors and any suggestions you may have. Feel free to tag me on Instagram if you happen to take a picture of it ;) @northwoodnutrition.
Thanks for reading!
Good morning!! What a beautiful week so far! It has been partly sunny and a bit on the cooler side, but the clouds in the sky have been gorgeous. We have been spending time in the pool and it has felt amazing! Talk about joyful movement. Swimming is my new joy for sure. My garden has been absolutely loving the weather as well. I'm not so sure if the plants love the temperature swings, but with the random thunderstorms and especially on the super warm days, I see a noticeable difference from when I water early in the morning to when I check on the garden before bed.
This growing season I have planted the most diverse and hopefully fruitful garden since I began gardening five years ago. This is also the first year that I started everything from seed. It is so exciting to plant a seed, wait for germination and then see the sprout. I never quite know when it's going to happen! I'm always amazed at how quickly and how large the seedling is compared to the seed itself. My husband hadn't seen many seeds before this spring when I ordered a bunch from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds through my food co-op, and I still remember showing him some of the teeny tiny seeds. He couldn't believe that something so small could grow so large over the coarse of a growing season. Yes, I'm gearing out over plants and nature. But you have to admit, it's pretty neat!
I can't wait for the cucumber and melon starts to go crazy!
In other news, I had a wonderful dinner last week with a colleague (thanks to the hubs for doing all of the parenting that night!). Of course being dietitians, we ate great food while talking about food and feeding our families, particularly our kids (has anyone dined at Clover near Gonzaga U? It was fantastic!!).
She shared a story with me about her toddler eating butter by the spoonful. She is a fellow Ellyn Satter fan and educates families about the DOR. Naturally, she let her toddler make the food choices which led to the consumption of spoonfuls of butter. It reminded me of a post that Ellyn Satter shared on her Facebook page (click here to read post) which explains why toddlers have such an affinity for butter. Basically, when infants grow into toddlers, they likely aren't drinking as much breast milk or formula which is a great source of fat in their diet. As we all know, butter is milk fat and it tastes good, so many toddlers make up for that difference in fat by eating more butter at times. This is completely normal and nothing to be worried about especially when the butter is offered with other nutritious foods. I recall my daughter eating butter with her finger when out at a restaurant and now my son is transitioning and when we include butter at a meal, he will often eat his fair share. To this day, my daughter still loves butter on her rice and vegetables.
What I love about the DOR is that I have complete confidence in my feeding responsibilities and my daughters ability to eat what is right for her own body. Even though I have had years of schooling and course work that tell me how to calculate and estimate her nutrient needs, there is no way that I have the time or inclination to track what she is eating, which foods she needs more or less of to satisfy the Recommended Daily Allowance for her body. I have absolutely no doubt that she is growing incredibly well. She is healthy, strong, full of energy and is entirely capable of making those choices for herself. So I go about my job and prepare meals at approximately the same time, which more often than not offer a good variety of food groups from whole foods and other family favorites. Her body does the rest!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about this way of feeding children which has been proven time and time again to be the most effective at developing appropriate, normal eaters that are healthy from a young age, feel free to contact me.
Questions for comments: What is taking off in your garden? Anything exciting from your first harvest? Do you recall a time when your toddler or child ate more of a certain food when they were learning to eat or exploring their tastebuds?
Until next time, eat well!
Where in the world did April go?! It seems like I blinked and it was gone! Hard to believe we are well into May and spring is in full force all around us, but I am welcoming the warm weather, sunshine and outside time playing with the kids. For those of you following my private social media accounts, you already know that my daughter is obsessed with her new 'big girl bike' and has spent almost every waking moment on it. Normally the first thing on her mind in the morning is her hungry tummy (breakfast is definitely her favorite meal of the day, just like her dad) but recently, she has been getting dressed and going to the door to put on her helmet and start pedaling! It has been so much fun to see the joy on her face when she rides around! It brings me back to the days when I was a kid and would ride my bike for hours.
My son is also loving outside time. He is 18 months old today and it seems as though he is finally gaining some independence and confidence. His favorite thing is to put on his overalls and boots and toddle right over to the last mud puddle in the driveway to squish and stomp in the gooey mud. While pulling weeds or working in the yard, I'll look over and see him sitting in the grass amongst the dandelions, simply watching the bees travel from flower to flower. My hubs has this great picture of him sitting at the edge of the forest right at the base of the trees just looking out into the woods. This age is for sure challenging, but it is so much fun to watch him discover the world around him.
Anyway, enough about my family! I'm sure most of you visited this space for a recipe! When my friend visited us a few weeks ago, she asked what food she could pick up to create some epic meals over the weekend. My first thought was all.the.seafood (!!) since I have found that I am eating a bit less seafood than I did in the Seattle area. She brought with her the best little clams, tender black cod and a beautiful salmon fillet. We had clams with bacon, shallots, sake (parsley would have made it even better!) and crusty french bread the first night. The second meal we shared was an amazing fillet of black cod with a miso glaze, roasted asparagus and a crunchy salad on the side and it was absolutely amazing, so I wanted to share the recipe with you all!
Photo credit: http://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-black-cod-with-miso/ (I didn't snap a picture before the fish was all gone! Oops!)
***A great app to use is Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to find the most sustainably caught and the safest seafood at the market. ***
1. Combine all liquid ingredients in tupperware and coat the fish with the sauce. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours prior to cooking.
2. Preheat the broiler.
3. Place the marinated fillet on a sheet pan on the second to closest rack from the broiler. Cook for 10-15 minutes until fish is flaky, but not over cooked. (Depends on the thickness of your fillet)
4. While the fish is cooking, pour all of the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the mixture to medium low after it has simmered for five minutes and reduce by about 1/3 or until the mixture evenly coats the back of a spoon and is a sauce like consistency.
5. Remove the fish from the broiler and coat with the sauce according to your taste preferences. Serve immediately.
Recipe makes four, 6oz portions of fish.
Until next time, eat well!!
Questions for comments: What fish do you usually cook at home? Do you typically look at how the fish was harvested? What is your favorite seafood? Any amazing dishes that you have tried recently at a restaurant?
I absolutely love the commitment to their customers which includes locally sourced ingredients, certified organic or wild-foraged ingredients and each batch is blended, sealed and sold within 30 days of packaging so you know you are purchasing fresh tea! So far, I have tried two of the five(!!) varieties that I purchased through my local food co-op. Let me tell you, they do NOT disappoint. I'm not in anyway affiliated with the company and I have not partnered with them for this post. I just wanted to share about their mission and products because they really are that good!
On to my joyful movement goal for the month! It's a bit more than half way through the month and I feel like I have met my goal. I am definitely feeling more excited about moving my body and I don't view the activities that I am doing as 'exercise' which is a nice shift in perspective. I find myself looking forward to getting outside and moving my body whether it's working in the garden, going for a walk, playing chase with my daughter or jumping rope.
Having that said, there are a few things that I have noticed about fitting movement into my day that haven't worked the way I thought they would. With running my own nutrition practice, I am using the early morning hours to take care of business tasks such as taxes (bleh), credentialing with insurance (yuck), scheduling and following up with clients and social media stuff (such as this blog!). So I have been struggling a bit with the decision to get in some early morning movement vs taking care of business. Business more often than not wins and I haven't been doing as much movement in the morning as I anticipated when I set my goal. There have been a couple of super rainy days when I was busy with the kids waking up early or totally exhausted at the end of the day where I didn't get much intentional movement into my day.
Overall, I feel like I have succeeded with my intention to move my body more and now it is definitely more joyful rather than something that 'I know I need to do'. As to whether I am active all six day out of the week is questionable. I am averaging around five currently, but my movement time is more than 20 minutes most days. It is so important to go through this process of setting a goal, re-evaluating the process to reach that goal and being realistic with yourself. I think I am at a good place with movement and will continue through the rest of the month!
Admittedly, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with my gardening set up. There are a few things that need to be accomplished before I can safely put these plants outside. One of them is a dog/chicken proof fence around my raised beds. Currently, my chickens are roaming through the yard free ranging and they love it! They have fresh grass, clover and dandelion to eat every day as well as plenty of bugs, grubs and worms. Their eggs are incredible and I don't want to sacrifice that, but I can't have them scratching through the raised beds to get at worms and accidentally scratch up and knock over my yellow pear tomato plant that I spent two months nurturing inside. Hence a good fence needs to be installed as a barrier. We have quite a large area of land, so the chickens and dogs will still have plenty of space to roam.
I am in the process of giving the raised beds a desperate soil upgrade. The native soil here is very high in clay and low in organic matter. Over the last month, I have double dug each of the beds to loosen the soil deeper in the ground and allow the future plants to easily send their roots down. This is the only time that I plan on double digging. In the future, I will likely just add another 2x4 to the raised bed and build them up, adding compost and organic matter to the top of the soil. I'm also moving aged chicken manure into the beds to increase the nitrogen content and organic matter. I still have quite a few to go. Finally, the top layer will be fresh garden soil for heavy feeders that I will have delivered. I'm always reluctant to purchase soil, but since we moved in just before the fall/winter and didn't start a compost bin until now, we don't have many options. I guess that's it! I better get myself outside and working in the garden! ;)
Until next time, eat well!
Questions for comment: Do you have a favorite tea brand? Any movement goals or exercise related goals that you are working on or would like to share? What plants are you excited to get in your garden this year? Are there any seeds that you have started that are new to you? What is your favorite soil amendment?
This topic is near and dear to my heart. I find myself revisiting the definition of normal eating throughout my work with clients. We review what normal eating looks like and how to develop normalized eating patterns. The tricky part is defining what normal eating is for each individual client and guiding them on their journey to achieving it. This work serves as a constant source of inspiration as well as frustration for those that remain constricted and uncomfortable around food.
Unfortunately, our diet and food obsessed society bombards us with pressures to veer off track from intuitive eating which creates nearly impossible challenges for some. With patience and hard work, I have worked with clients to embrace a new way of eating. Truly, the most rewarding part of my work, is witnessing the overwhelming freedom that clients feel from intuitive eating. At first clients may be fearful of their own internal cues and experimenting with flexibility around food. But with more practice, the taste of freedom is enough motivation to continue to develop normal eating. The rules and restrictions they previously created for themselves gave all of the power and control to food. My clients are motivated and ready to take back that power and control over food by listening to their own body and internal regulations that, refined by evolution, have worked for thousands of years.
Our food system, cultural influences and societal beliefs play a role in the food that we eat. These have all changed drastically over the last century. Although our body was built to regulate our eating, admittedly our food looks very different these days. Processed, packaged and additive laden foods inundate our grocery stores. It tempts our tastebuds and manipulates our mind. Whole foods always will remain the basis of a balanced and nourished body. However, my definition of normal eating must include some processed, packaged foods in order to simply enjoy life.
I don't worry about going out to a restaurant to eat with my family and friends. There is no need to be concerned about the food coloring or additives in the Easter cupcakes that my kids will eat this weekend at school. I am confident in the food that I feed my family. Whole grains, pasture raised meats, fermented foods, whole milk dairy, fruits and vegetables all contribute to their daily meals and snacks. They are growing and thriving and their nutritional needs are met. This flexibility is essential for not only their health and well being, but also mine. It is how we teach young, impressionable eaters to follow their internal signals in our food culture. We model balanced eating and flexibility of food as a family unit and enjoy eating all different foods together.
One of her go-to meal requests right now is macaroni and cheese. Her favorite is her grandmother's home made version, but it is nice to be able to put a complete meal on the table in less than fifteen minutes on those crazy mom days. The other night we had steamed fresh green beans, whole grain macaroni and cheese (yes it is from a box!), and free range hot dogs. Not pictured were some dried cherries on the side. My daughter was quieter than usual (because she was busy eating!) which created a welcome chance for all of us to share about the events from our day!
Until next time, eat well!
Questions for comments: What are some of your favorite family meals? How do you get your kids involved in family meals? What does normal eating look like to you? How do you struggle with balanced eating and what are some things you're working on?
It's April! One of my favorite months out of the year for many reasons. Primarily because it signifies spring time and the natural world is budding and blooming, but also it is my birthday month! This year I am turning the big THIRTY! When I look back on all that I have accomplished during the last decade, there are so many things to be proud of. On the other hand it also helps motivate me to work towards a few goals that have been challenging over the last ten years. One of my goals, as you can probably guess, is to consistently integrate exercise, or as I will refer to it, joyful movement into my life to build health.
There are so many different pieces to building health! The following are just a few important parts: a positive relationship with food, joyful movement, normal eating, stress management, positive mental health, self acceptance, and oral health (perhaps those can be a focus in coming months?). While I believe that I am constantly, and usually subconsciously, working on my relationship with food and normal eating, I have struggled over the last decade to integrate movement into my life everyday. This is in part due to the attitude I had around exercise. I always looked at it as a way to control my weight rather than an activity that contributes to my health and well being, helps me feel strong and fueled for the day and improves my mood and attitude.
In my college years, I was a bit more sedentary as I wasn't participating in gymnastics in college like I had in high school. But, I was walking to and from class everyday and on a larger campus, those steps certainly add up. During the last couple years of my bachelors program, I really stepped up my efforts motivated primarily by weight loss. I went to the little workout room in my apartment building every morning and spent at least 45 minutes on the elliptical while watching TV. At the same time, I was on an elimination diet to heal my leaky gut, so naturally I did experience some weight loss and garnered attention from my peers. Once my gut had healed and I had more energy from exercising, life sort of took over and my original motivations didn't keep me going. I dropped my daily exercise routine, but I did learn valuable tools that I can use at this point in my life.
These goals will naturally shift the focus from exercise to joyful movement. Running five miles does not sound like a good time to me. I haven't ever been a long distance runner (cross country just about killed me in middle school), but I have always enjoyed running sprints. I did gymnastics in my youth and really miss it, so I will integrate some of the movement exercises that I used to do regularly. I enjoyed taking Barre classes in the past and doing some Yoga. I also really like lifting weights and jump roping. These are examples of what joyful movement looks like for me. It will look different for everyone depending on their previous experiences, what feels good in their body and their own movement goals.
Having that said, here are my goals and ideas to incorporate joyful movement for the month of April:
That looks like a great list to get started! I will keep you all updated at the midway point in the month so look for that post in the future. Today, I plan on taking a nice walk with my son on my back at Manito Park and playing on the jungle gym and swings with my daughter.
Until next time, eat well and enjoy moving your body! ;)
Questions for comments: Do you enjoy exercising or do you incorporate some form of joyful movement into your routine? What are examples of joyful movement for you? How have you been successful, or what have you struggled, with moving your body in the past?
Sorry about the radio silence last week! Things were busy and I didn't make time to sit down and write. However, I did have a chance to cook up one of my favorite dishes which I have decided to share today! It is a bit unconventional, but it is one of my go-to family meals when I only have 15-20 minutes to make something that is nourishing and satisfying, but easily delivers complex flavors that I crave.
Before we moved, there was a killer Indian restaurant just down the street. We ate there at least once a month and my daughter loved their Lentil daal when she was younger. The naan bread was always soft and fluffy with lots of garlic and rosemary. In the bowls of basmati rice, I often came across whole cardamom seeds still in tact. My husband and I craved the flavors and aromas at the end of a long work week.
Now, we live about 20 minutes away from any chain restaurant, much less an authentic Indian restaurant. Naturally, I had to create something in the kitchen to satisfy our old family tradition. This dish is unconventional in the sense that I use frozen shrimp for the protein source for the simple reason that it is a staple in our freezer and quick cooking. I also load up the curry with lots of kale and often serve this over fluffy millet. I don't think it qualifies as traditional Indian food, but it is close enough for us. :)
Questions: Do you have a favorite Indian dish? Have you tried any of the jarred curry varieties, if so which is your favorite? How do you think your family would respond to this dish?
It's Friday! And the weather forecast calls for highs around 50 degrees here in Spokane for what seems like the first time in over four months? Spring may be finally settling in. I'm excited to experience my first spring in Spokane and learn all about creating a family garden here. Hooray!
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I started some seeds this week with my daughter. I didn't want to get starts going too early because I am limited on space and presently, I don't have the greatest set up, but I had the gardening itch and felt the need to do something in the soil. So while my son was napping, I took my daughter out to the sad looking greenhouse that we have on our property and rummaged through all of the left over supplies from the previous owners. We found plenty of plastic containers to use for the starts and some flats and we got to work!
After moving to Spokane, we had to restart our compost piles and for that reason we didn't have the greatest potting medium. But I recommend reading this MSU extension article for some great tips on creating the best soil for starting seeds. Once we have some nice worm compost from our worm bins, I will be adding that to the top layer of the starts to provide some additional organic matter and nutrients.
To help me plan out which seeds to start, I used this guide from Old Farmers Almanac. You can enter your location and click change to see a guide for entire year that details when to plant seeds, whether to plant them indoors or outside and also when to harvest. According to my location in Mead, Washington leeks, eggplant, and onions are great choices to get going in early March. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but I love to use leeks in soups/stews and as a more mild replacement for onion. I also wanted to jump start other nightshade varieties and growing culinary herbs and herbs for the chickens
To start, we have leeks, yellow pear tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, thai chili peppers and roma tomatoes as well as some parsley, cilantro and oregano. I found some old heirloom seeds in the green house for some of those varieties so who knows if they are viable. But I thought since I am getting started early that I would give it a try and if they don't sprout then I can always choose another variety. In the past I have usually purchased starts for my garden and on the west side of the state the winters are so mild that I would let some of the plants self sow for the next season. I have a feeling that isn't going to work in Spokane with the harsh winters and colder temps. Also, I think it's really important for families to have seeds and learn how to grow and save seeds for the following year. I find that this skill provides me with a sense of security. In the summer and fall, I don't rely on a grocery store to provide fresh produce and once we have a suitable greenhouse (cough husband cough) then our growing season will be even longer. :)
Now, the flats are living on my kitchen counter where I can keep a close eye out for any sprouts. My daughter loves to use a spray bottle to help me water and we have a large, clear plastic bag left over from postal deliveries that I have fitted over the top as a pseudo greenhouse to encourage the seeds to sprout. We will be starting some more herb and possibly lettuce seeds this weekend. Below is a picture of miners lettuce seeds in a left over herb jar with a little package of desiccant that I repurposed. This is my favorite way to store seeds because it keeps them nice and dry and then I can easily store it in the freezer to ensure viability.
Questions for comment: Have you started any seeds? What varieties are you most excited about? Are there any seeds that you have saved year after year? If you have grown food in Spokane before, what is a type of produce that you find to be particularly challenging to grow? What was your experience growing food as a kid?
Perhaps you've heard the news? March is National Nutrition month and today, March 8th, is all about celebrating Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are the food and nutrition experts. I discovered I wanted to pursue this field almost ten years ago, right after I met my husband. It has not been an easy road to get where I am today as far as earning the RDN credentials. At best, about half of those that graduate with a degree in nutrition are matched to a required internship. It is incredibly competitive and stressful. However, I have been so very thankful for the process because it has prepared me to feel comfortable and confident in the healthcare world.
The steps to become a RDN include:
1. Acquire a degree in nutrition - bachelors at minimum and often times dietitians have masters or doctorate degrees.
2. Complete a dietetic internship - very competitive admissions process, incredibly time consuming and often times expensive.
3. Pass a national board exam.
4. Document continuing education hours to maintain the credential.
There are many different programs that train nutritionists, some better than others, but they aren't nearly as complete and rigorous as the training required for RDNs. If you know a dietitian and have the inclination, send them a quick email or note to let them know you appreciate them and the work they do. We love feedback and it means so much when we feel like we make a difference.
Just for fun, I have included a video of a project that I contributed to for Swedish hospital during my internship at Bastyr University. While it isn't my best work, I can honestly say that I was still learning at this point in my career and I could have used some more practice in front of the camera. :-D Oh well, it will just be one of those things that lives on the internet forever associated to me. Friendly teasing comments are totally welcome. :)
Until next time, eat well!
Korrin Fotheringham, MS, RDN, CD
As promised in my post yesterday, I am back today to share my thoughts in regards to cultural foods and the eating disorder field and to share a recipe with you for sourdough pancakes. You may be wondering how in the world the two are related? Read on, my friend. :)
New evidence is emerging as to the cause of eating disorders. Many researchers have documented the link between societal pressure to be thin and the rise of eating disorders as well as a clear genetic predisposition. It is also thought that eating disorders are more prevalent particularly in women of Westernized societies because the pressure to be thin is so pervasive. However, more studies are emerging that show that eating disorders are becoming more common in non-industrialized nations and the gender gap is closing. Perhaps this is due to greater awareness or better diagnostic techniques, but who really knows.
What I find fascinating and have always been curious about is the correlation between large factory farming and the rise in eating disorders. Our culture as a whole has moved away from small family farms to adopt large monoculture productions where people are almost entirely disconnected from their food supply. Granted, so many problems have been on the rise as the global food network has shifted to this model and we know correlation doesn't support causation. Having that said, a part of me just can't shake the idea that if people were exposed to growing, harvesting and preparing food then perhaps it would be easier to have a solid foundation to develop a positive relationship with food.
Take a moment to think about the food culture 50 or even 100 years ago. Ask your parents or grandparents what meals were like in their home growing up. Perhaps they ate together as a family at the dinner table most nights during the week. Maybe they harvested corn at the end of the growing season and the entire family spent time shucking, boiling and processing together. Did you grandmother have a garden or particular seed variety that she loved that grew the most perfect tomatoes? These are all aspects of our past food culture that have mostly been lost. I wonder what the prevalence of eating disorders was in that time? (For more facts if you're curious, you can visit this website.)
When I was growing up, I believe I was exposed to a greater food culture than the average person my age, which may be why I am a dietitian. My mother was, and still is, a great cook. I enjoyed food when I was a kid simply because family dishes were delicious. My parents had curious taste buds and my best friend was Malaysian therefore I was exposed to different kinds of foods that I loved. In my family now, I do my best to pass on these traits to my kids as we build our own food culture. Which brings me to sourdough.
When I met my husband, one of the first things I remember was my mother-in-law talking about her sour dough starter. If I was going to 'stick around' then she was going to give me a jar. Admittedly, I didn't do a very good job of keeping it around the first few years my husband and I were married (sorry!). But now, I get it. This starter was used to make sour dough pancakes every Sunday in her family and has survived for a long, long time. Now I carry on this tradition in our family and I use it to make pancakes and bread.