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Tributes & Turmeric

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2014-05-13


Plus. . .

  • a note from Andrea

  • recipe for Spicy Cauliflower Soup

  • turmeric: calming the internal fires

  • & please do come join me. . .

Catch me on the THYROID SESSIONS tomorrow!

And it’s not too late to register for our signature Spring Cleanse.

a note from Andrea . . .

I’m hoping that in addition to me inviting you to indulge in some healing spring soup and anti-inflammatory tea (using our spotlight ingredient ~ turmeric), that you can indulge me in a special dedication.

Today I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what inspired my road to nutrition; to what brings me here, writing to you today, with scientific knowledge, insights about functional medicine, and the compassion and dedication that it takes to support someone moving from a state of illness to their optimal health.

Today is the day that my husband, Isamu, was born. May 13th, 1968.

If he were alive today, he’d be 46 years old.

Isamu only lived to be 34.

The path that lead me to the powers of food as medicine began when Isamu was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in April of 2000. We had just learned we were pregnant with our first child.

You may know this story well, having heard me tell it one to many times. It’s hard to forget the consequences that shape our lives and I don’t know that we should.

These consequences are not just meaningless points on the trajectory of our personal timelines, but instead pivotal moments that shape our unique story. They’re represented in the expression of our health ~ psychological, social and physiological.
These moments of our history are part of the web of who we are and what we experience today.

At Replenish, these moments of your history are critical aspects that we value in our specialized and individualized approach to nutrition.
It’s all about you. Your story is an important part of who you are!

So you may know my story, as I mentioned, or you may have never heard it before.

Today seemed like the appropriate day to pay tribute to the blessings of life and love, to good food and healing, in honor of the man who brought me to this point in my timeline, and enabled me to do the work I do with an open heart.

One thing was for sure, Isamu loved good food!

He’d get lost in a scrumptious bowl of homemade ice cream, a grass-fed burger, and his mom’s fried chicken. The first time his mother came to San Francisco to visit him and to meet me, he spent our dinner immersed in the deliciousness of the fine meal we were eating without saying a word.

Literally, not a word.

It was as if he was lost in communication with his new love, the steak on his plate.
What about me? I asked him later, having wanted more of a bridge during my first connection with my mother-in-law to-be.

Yet I too became entranced with food in my 20’s. I not only loved the sight, smells and tastes, but I savored the new ways in which I could touch and communicate with the person I cared about most.

I’d oscillate between the great culinary choices available to us in the Bay Area farmer’s and specialty markets, and the intrigue of nutrition that was suddenly begging for my attention. Ingredients that were new to me like lemongrass, pea shoots and gnarly knobs of fresh turmeric, piqued my curiosity and my tastebuds.

What was this brilliant cross-section between good-tasting and good-for-you?

When Isamu’s diagnosis came I quickly and effectively learned to marry my foodie fancies. Savory nutrient-dense food is imminently possible despite whatever seemingly restrictive parameters might be thrown your way.

I worked within these self-defined parameters like an artist works with the limitations of a canvas. The possibilities within that frame were endless. And though the size and shape of the canvas has changed many times, I still find that the landscape within is consistently ripe with potential.

Fourteen years later, this marriage (the one between food and nutrition), is such an ingrained part of my life that I sometimes find it difficult to believe that anyone could think otherwise. Why not use the yummiest and most potent medicine we have to heal ourselves, stave off illness, transform our health, and strive for longevity?

Where is the intersection between the bounty of the food and its purpose (or lack thereof) in your body?

Where do sustenance and story meet and become uniquely yours?

Isamu outlived his prognosis, but it was still a life that was too short. He died in July of 2002, when our first, and only child, was 19 months old.

He was a love, a joy, and a pure blessing.

I imagine I’m not the only one who thanks him for the food and healing journey that culminated during his illness. I aim to spread as broadly as I can the gifts that I learned during the years I shared with him, during his health, throughout his illness, after his death, and in my never-ending pursuit to understand not just the healing powers of food but the intersection between food and physiology ~ where the rubber meets the road.

Today I give thanks, to the man who still inspires me to learn and serve, every single day.

Happy Birthday Isamu.

Alice Waters’ Spicy Cauliflower Soup

Get ready to be surprised by the earthy and satisfying flavors of this spring soup!

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon chile powder

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

6 cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed of green leaves and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups water

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chile powder, turmeric, chile flakes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, over medium heat.

When very soft but not browned, add the cilantro sprigs, cauliflower, chicken broth, and water. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir vigorously with a spoon or whisk to coarsely purée the soup. You may need to add more broth or water to thin the soup if it is too thick.

Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve hot. Garnish each serving with yogurt (I choose coconut cream), cilantro or mint, and a squeeze of lime juice.

serves 4 to 6

from Alice Waters’ ‘The Art of Simple Food’


Turmeric 411 replenishpdxTurmeric root is used as both a spice and a medicine. It’s traditional to Indian cooking and is used extensively in Ayurvedic healing practices.

  • You can purchase the root, which looks much like an orange knob of ginger, or powder. The powder is made from grinding the boiled, peeled, & dried root.

  • To maximize it’s healing benefits, you can saute it in a little ghee before adding other ingredients.

  • Turmeric turns food a bright mustard color and adds a warming flavor and aroma. Besides curries, it’s great in many vegetable and grain dishes as well as breads, where it can lend a golden yellow tint.

  • Be careful when using turmeric, as it can stain your counter tops and clothing! In fact it’s used in Asia for dying clothes, particularly the robes of Buddhist monks, and is also a great natural dye for next year’s Easter eggs.

Please Come Join Me!

Don’t forget to watch me tomorrow in the Thyroid Sessions.

(You don’t want to miss this expert line-up of presenters, including me! Every single presentation has been stellar and the information is what you need to catapult your thyroid health.)

And it’s not too late to join us for the TrulyFood Cleanse of the season. . .

Rejuvenate: A TrulyFood Spring & Liver Cleanse

Are you aware of your toxic load in these toxic times? It’s pretty scary.

The good news is that you can DO something about it. You’ve got the power!

Get ready to cleanse your liver with LOVE!

Even if you think you already know HOW to cleanse, the TrulyFood Seasonal Cleanses promise to deliver a difference. Come find out what hundreds of others know.
click here to learn more about the Spring Cleanse.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

Got an ingredient you always wanted to know more about?
Andrea Nakayama

Functional Nutrition

503 866.8079

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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