Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

We're in the middle of another late winter snowstorm here in the midwest which requires more food intake, obviously. Something rich, warm, hearty, and full of flavor fits the bill. I love a one pot meal as I'm not crazy about doing dishes even with a dishwasher, yes I can be that lazy.

Here's the one pan meal we had for lunch today.

4 slices bacon from Kinman Homestead Pork, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 turnips, cut into quarter in sticks or diced
2 handfuls fresh spinach
2 eggs
1 T whole grain mustard
Splash of water

In a cast iron skillet cook bacon until crisp in one side. Chop turnip while bacon cooks. Turn bacon to other side, add turnips. Sauté turnips with bacon until tender and slightly brown. Add spinach and cover. Whisk egg, mustard, and water in a small bowl. Remove cover and add egg mixture to skillet. Replace cover and cook until eggs are slightly firm. Cut into quarters and serve. Serves 2. (recipe is easily doubled)




Hello again. I've given myself a little time off lately and it's been good. Even when the thing you do everyday is the thing you love with all your heart and would do no matter what, it's still nice to have some time off. Tuned out, turned off, disconnected and reconnected.

I'm not sure I really even meant to take time off, it just kinda happened.

After our magical night with Feeding LeRoy at Bem General, we spent time catching up with old friends and hanging out. We said goodbye and then continued to relish the visit. Even now thinking about it, I can still feel it. A good friend summed it up best in her note to me, Feeding LeRoy at Bem Gen was a night of pure magic and love all mixed up together. I don't think my feet hit the floor all night.

I never really got back into full routine that week. The weather turned bitter cold the day after our friends left town and then I caught a nasty bit of the junk going around. So I took full advantage and retreated, curled up, and shut down. I'm so glad I did. I needed that time and didn't even realize it.

Ready to get back to work and back to our routine this week, I got THE BEST surprise in the mail. I'm still pinching myself. One of my photos got published! In an international print publication and I had no idea it was coming! Holy crap, awesome!

When my husband came to pick me up monday night because our car broke down (not awesome) there was a package on the truck seat addressed to me that said "complimentary artist copy." Hmm, artist. Let's just say opening that package was better than Christmas! I jumped out of the truck to go back into my parents' house and tell my family. My husband insisted I at least wait until the truck stopped moving and off I ran.

The farmhouse erupted with cheering and hugging and jumping up and down.
It. was. awesome.

Good news was just what we needed, and this was some fantastic news. It feels so good to see something I've created be enjoyed and appreciated by others. What a rush to put yourself out there and then have it come back to you. This post is the one that spurred it all. I wrote this just a few days before submitting my photos to "Somerset Digital Studio." I took a leap of faith and just put it out there, let myself be vulnerable and brave. I couldn't be happier I did and that April 1st this issue will hit the stands with my little photo from Bem, MO in it.


Feel the Presence

Let's be honest, February has never been my favorite month. I've enjoyed the quiet recovery and new beginning of January. I've thought about plans for the year, what I'd like to have more of in my life, changes I will make, and I'm ready. Then comes February. It's that awkward little in between moment, not yet spring and with little enthusiasm left for winter. We try to cheer ourselves with little pink and red hearts, but that doesn't quite do the trick either. This is the month that typically leaves me feeling antsy, chomping-at-the-bit to get out of town, take a break. I dread it.

This year there is something different about February. I'm enjoying it. I haven't quite figured out if it's my willingness to be more present and mindful of my experiences just taking them for what they are, or if this is just a really good February. It's a bit of a chicken and egg thing, right?

It is a really good February for us at Bem General and Be Well Studio. We are already seeing some of our plans and intentions for the new year flourish. We have live music coming to Bem on Tuesday the 10th and a Community Health night planned for the end of the month at Be Well Studio. Everyday we work together and fill our hearts fuller with wishes and dreams and love. Some days are harder than others, but every day we are grateful. Grateful for each other, for the moments of a good life, and love always.

Love is especially on our minds this month, how can it not be as we make valentine's boxes for school and plan treats and games and snacks for parties, see little red boxes of chocolate around every corner, balloons and flowers and glitter in every aisle.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the stuff, which I can be, let it be a reminder to love more. Shift these signs from being a reminder of all the things we have to do, to a reminder of the only real thing we have to do. Take a deep breath, breathe love and warmth into your heart center, close your eyes if you have to, and feel it there. Then breathe out, letting go of your to-do list, your should-do list, your need-to-do list, just for the moment. Feel the presence, feel the love that is there for you, know that it is always there for you, and you can access it at any time.

Love yourself, love your heart, and live with boldness.


The Truth About Reflexology

Yesterday my sister Amy and I had the opportunity to participate in  a corporate wellness fair at a local business. It was a good day meeting lots of hardworking people with a great sense of humor and providing moments of much needed relaxation and pain relief.

Days like these are a wonderful reminder of the need for our work, the true call to connect with others and serve in a healing way filled with ease and laughter and big smiles.

Through my work as a reflexologist and holistic nutrition consultant, I have the honor of supporting and facilitating health and healing. I see people transform before my eyes, I feel the their muscles and tissue transform through the technique and skill of applied principles in which I have been trained. It is truly amazing how deeply relaxing therapeutic reflexology is.

I have clients living day to day with interrupted sleep that can rest and sleep through the night after a reflexology appointment. I have clients with pain scales of 10 when they come for a session and after 30 minutes, leave with a pain scale of 2. I see clients who struggle with blood pressure, better able to regulate their blood pressure with regular reflexology sessions. I see clients with chronic joint pain and restricted mobility move more freely with regular reflexology sessions. It is widely accepted that the body's innate healing process is greatly supported through rest and relaxation. Reflexology powerfully facilitates the body's innate immunity and restorative cycles.

One of the top questions I get asked is why I became a reflexologist. My answer always starts with service, my call to serve others is a passion, it's what drives me in my family, my work, and my community.  And, I am grateful that my work also serves me by providing a nourishing and peaceful space in which to work. In many ways it is reflexology that saved me, that led me further down a path to whole health, that taught me how important it is to tune in and listen to my body. The truth is, I love reflexology.


Simple Pleasures and Northwoods Treasures

Last spring I was sitting at Bem General, talking with a friend about how I would love to start hosting live music events at the General. Then, a couple weeks later Sonja Bjordal of Feeding LeRoy contacted me, told me she was booking a southern tour the following winter and asked if they could stop off at Bem General and play a night. I was and still am beyond excited. Sonja was here for a farmstay when we first opened Bem General. We sat in the space and talked and dreamed and envisioned all that could be. So, on February 10th at 6:30pm, dreams are coming true. It's going to be a magical night that I am so very grateful to share with you all.
I first met Sonja and Lee in Duluth, MN when my sister was living there. My brother, husband, daughter and I went north for a winter visit. The first time I heard them play together was around our dining room table. It was love at first tune. I was in a room full of people I loved, music and laughter filled the air, I'll never forget it, I was hooked.
In the years following we went back up north for winter ski weekends when Sonja and Lee were playing at the lodge where we stayed. We played in the snow, soaked in the hot tub, skied the trails, toasted in the sauna, plunged through the polar ice on the lake, and ran around in our swimsuits and muks between cabins and tall tall trees; it was like summer camp for big kids in the winter.
Every time we came home from these trips, I dreamt about creating a place like that here. A place filled with simple pleasures, good times, great friends, where we're all young at heart. This February, I feel as though we have a bit of the Northwoods coming to us and I can't wait to share the music of my favorite northern songbirds with you. So come on out and play!


Sisters with a Story

If you have followed along with me here for a while, you may have noticed that I love good food and the health and joy it brings us. My passion for living a good life, full of health and wealth, connected with my community, my family, my animals is what drives me. I am grateful for a life filled with people and work that I love. I am also grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow in health and wholeness. In each challenge, frustration, or heartbreak, I have experienced growth and insight and change. Rarely are these things easy, yet I am grateful. Don't get me wrong, it is not the challenge or hurt these things may bring that I am grateful for, but for the love and compassion with which they can be met I am very grateful.

Love and compassion that grows with every step, for myself, family, community, life.

I've seen a meme going around lately (probably on Facebook) that says "Grow what you have." What a great reminder to be present in the blessings around you and in you, yes seek growth but not necessarily elsewhere or in something new. Foster growth in what you have, make flourish what you have already planted, go deeper not necessarily further.
So, as for my sister and I who share work (and most other things, sometimes willingly), we have begun to share our stories. These are our stories of transformation.

From Amy:
This time last year I was calling Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center to cancel an appointment I had made in the middle of December. We had dreams of having our own children, like many, but started behind in the game. My husband, having had children already, was infertile when I met him. We incurred a large cost for the reversal in hopes that would be the only obstacle to overcome. We were wrong. And thank goodness we were, because it gave us a tremendous opportunity to take a good look at ourselves and our health. People may often only think of women's health for reproduction and hormonal balance, but men's health and hormonal balance is just as important. After a year and half of building in nutrition through whole foods and supplementation, bodywork and self-care we were able to give our baby girl the best possible foundation for health. Living our happiest healthiest lives yet!!

From April:
Sometimes it's hard to even remember how bad I used to feel, until I begin to write down symptoms that I experienced on a daily basis. There was about an 18 month span where I was in and out of Drs. offices, underwent blood tests, MRIs, scans, surgeries, was on prescription antidepressants, pain relievers, and convinced I was suffering a major chronic debilitating disease like MS.
What I know now is that I was suffering a major gut imbalance and candida overgrowth. Issues such as these can be triggered from antibiotic use, chronic and acute stress, acquired food sensitivities, toxin overload, and just plain overworking ourselves and our bodies. Today I begin airing my laundry list of health issues that no longer challenge me or minimally challenge me since I have begun to restore balance in my gut through probiotic use and avoiding simple sugars.
-joint pain
-interrupted sleep (like eyeballs peeled wide awake at 3am)
-eczema, rashes/hives
-dry flaky scalp and skin
-tired (sick and tired of being sick and tired)
-irritability, anxiety, depression, panic attacks
-bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation
-chronic sinus/allergy infections
-autoimmunity lupus/shingles
-nerve pain shooting/tingling/numbness
-headaches, migraines
-PMS, missed periods, excessive bleeding, hair loss, infertility
The top 3 things that have helped me regain my health:
1. Restore Balance of gut flora with probiotics and fermented foods
2. Heal gut lining with anti-inflammatory and collagen rich supplements and 
whole food.
3. Reduce cravings and simple sugar intake with whole food and natural 
supplement substitutions.
I don't really want to call these "before and after" photos. I'm still moving through this health journey. I am, in so many ways, a different person than that girl on the lower left. I barely recognize her, and could easily convince myself she never existed (if it wasn't for this old facebook photo.) Instead, I honor and acknowledge what I have learned along the way, and am grateful for who I am now. Stronger, deeper, happier, healthier, bolder, braver.


Bone Broth Heals

If you follow us on Facebook , you may have already seen the videos we posted this week on making your own bone broth. As part of our holistic health services at Bem General, we highly recommend incorporating bone broth into our everyday diet. Bone broth is integral in the healing process as it contains basic nutritional support for nearly every system in our bodies. We can take in many of the nutrients found in bone broth from various sources, but none is as easily digested as broth. 

“It’s been known through history and across cultures that broth settles your stomach and also your nerves,” said Sally Fallon Morell, an author of the new book “Nourishing Broth.” “When a recipe has that much tradition behind it, I believe the science is there too.” -Bones, Broth, Bliss

As we begin another new year, many of us renew our vows for a healthier year than last and set our intentions to achieve these goals. Incorporating bone broth into our daily lives is one routine that can improve our well being inexpensively and simply. There's comfort in the tradition and ease in the preparation.
Bone broth is rich in trace minerals, collagen, gelatin, and protein amino acids. It has been implicated in healing digestive issues, inflammatory diseases, joint pain, skin issues, and much more. Several of the essential trace minerals are found to be deficient in people with chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, diabetes, immune disorders, anemia, nerve disorders, dermatitis, asthma, and seizure disorders.
These minerals play an important role in antioxidant function, metabolism, bone development, and wound healing. Collagen and gelatin are also important building blocks in joint repair and healing of the gut mucosa.
A Nutritional Snapshot looks something like this: 
Bone Broth Nutrition Overview- 8oz. serving
32% DV recommended Daily Value Protein and Amino Acids
27% DV Vitamin C
31% DV Vitamin B6
13% DV Iron
43% DV Manganese
10% DV Selenium

Today is the day to start your healing journey! Watch the first of our Restore Balance video series >>>here<<< contact us via bemgeneral.com to order grass fed, pasture raised bones from our Bem General CSA farmers.

sources: nutritiondata.self.com, whfoods.com, Ipi.oregonstate.edu, nytimes.com