And The Awakening Begins

It was a beautiful late afternoon in July, and as I arrived at my weekly CSA pickup I noticed they’d set up a demo of some sort. I vaguely remembered seeing an email announcing a special guest, and as I had no further plans for the rest of the day, I grabbed a seat and figured I’d stay as long as my 3 year old would let me. The special guest that day was introduced as Joan Palmer, founder of The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition. She began chopping a lovely, organic cabbage, and explained that she would be making sauerkraut. As she continued prepping, she began discussing the benefits of fermented foods, and how integral they are in maintaining optimum health. Fermented foods weren’t something I was terribly familiar with, and I was intrigued. As a mom and small business owner, I had little time to do fun things in the kitchen, and here’s this engaging lady telling me that I could cut up some veggies, soak them in salty water for a week or two, and essentially create an amazingly healthy, medicinal food for my family? I was hooked, and made my first batch that very night.

Joan and her sauerkraut demonstration permeated my thoughts the rest of that week. By the weekend, I had finally looked up the TIOSN website to learn more about the certification program. Their philosophy and curriculum really resonated with my beliefs about the importance of the food we consume. The four components sounded really exciting- I’m one of those people who knows a little about a lot, so the thought of being formally coached by these experts was truly appealing. As I gazed upon the price tag, my heart did skip a beat. Ok (deep inhale), so this means I’m not going to attend just out of curiosity.  I will pursue the financial aid, and I will consider this an investment in my own future. I wasn’t quite certain what direction I would go with it, but I did know this- just the thought of attending this program made me feel intensely awake, inspired, and motivated. I’ve learned to follow the path that makes my heart sincerely happy, and I knew that by pursuing this education the path would open itself up to me. I just had to make the leap.

As I reflect upon my choice to enroll at TIOSN, I am grateful for that sunny day last July. I am grateful to my CSA farm for coordinating the event, and I am grateful that Joan chose purple cabbage to ferment. Purple is my daughter’s favorite color, and that is the only reason she agreed to sit with me through the lesson. Before I enrolled, I did my best to provide healthy sustenance for my family- we stayed active through biking and walking, and ate as “clean” as our budget would allow. As I near the end of the program, I now have a more thorough understanding of what it means to be healthy. I am better able to cook and meal plan, thereby stretching that budget for sourcing clean food. I now have a firm comprehension of how the body functions on an anatomical level, increasing my awareness of how important true health really is. There is so much more to the awakening that’s been brought about by the instructors, it’s too much to list in one paragraph. As I’ve learned about wild edibles, I now look at the roadside weeds and see a nutritious salad. It’s an amazing awareness, and a true sense of connection to our world that’s been brought to me by TIOSN. I feel I have a good sense of how I will share my education with other families in the community, and I look forward to continuing my journey on this path. It’s been an incredibly rewarding and life changing experience so far, and I know it’s only the beginning.



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  2. I am so excited for this blog and to follow along in hopes of incorporating this education into my own health toolbox!

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