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Leslie Cerier in the organic garden at Rancho La Puerta

My culinary journey begins in the garden. yours may start in a farmers market, grocery store or coop.

Here are some other cooking and eating tips to keep you healthy and maintain an active lifestyle all year round.

  • Drink plenty of clean water. Add a slice of organic citrus: lemon, lime, orange or some fresh or frozen organic berries, sprigs of herbs to naturally flavor, variety and vitamins to your drinking water.
  • Eat plenty of mineral rich delicious organic whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, gluten free whole real foods, as many locally grown and sourced as you can find.
  • Add antioxidant rich, plant based proteins: hemp seeds and chia seeds to salads, smoothies, and use as garnishes, too. You will find recipes on my website using hemp seeds in raw pie crusts, cilantro and basil pesto, and more.
  • Also, for protein, as a vegetarian, I recommend eating organic, local grass raised organic eggs, yogurt, and cheese. In the Pioneer Valley in the Amherst, MA area, local farms like Simple Gifts Farm and River Valley Coop are still open and sell many varieties. Though I recommend you call ahead to make sure the shelves are stocked to make the trip out worthwhile.
  • Eat a variety of healthy fats:
    • If you are plant based, that means nuts and seeds: pistachios, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to name a few. Though they do come in a shell, I always recommend buying and eating organic for the good of the earth, the farmer and our health.
    • Other healthy fats include organic: virgin olive oil, hemp oil, sesame oil, virgin coconut oil, ghee and butter. I avoid the processed vegan want to be butter substitutes and favor of coconut oil as a spread and for making pastries. I have many more ideas for you, too.
    • Organic nut and seed butters: tahini, almond, cashew, sunflower among others are great on bread, wraps, dressings, sauces, and eaten with a spoon.
  • Sea Vegetables, such as nori, dulse, arame, wakame, and kelp are staples in my kitchen. I make nori rice rolls with avocado and local grated veggies and salad greens. Cook beans from scratch with kelp Make Asian salads with arame; miso soups with wakame, among other delicious dishes. These mineral rich, flavor enhancers, boost immune systems and heal disease. Be sure to source your sea vegetables from companies like Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Maine Seaweed Company and Emerald Cove. They test their sea vegetables and are reputable companies, you can trust. There are others, too.
  • Add super foods like organic goji berries, shiitake mushrooms, maca, berries to your diet.
  • Season your dishes with garlic, ginger and other organic fresh and dried herbs and spices.
  • Make teas and soups with fresh and dried nettles, ginger, and astragulus.
  • When in doubt about a product, call the company.

This is a great time to stay home and cook.

Last, but not least, I am offering a Zoom class on April 26, 11AM-NOOn EST  that I hope you will join me for Foods to Enhance Your Immune System

It has been a long time coming; please stay tuned for some online cooking classes and experiences. I am excited about offering you more opportunities to expand your kitchen skills and cooking repertoire for health and your pleasure.

Also, I am available for private cooking classes on zoom. And please contact me for wellness coaching, offering cooking tips and recipes for your health and vitality on the phone, Zoom, and FaceTime; please email me to set up a time:

In Community and Wishing you all Good Health,



Photo of Leslie Cerier walking in the organic garden during the time when Leslie was teaching farm to table cooking classes at Rancho La Puerta mid Febrary 2020 by Tracey Eller



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