Fruit & Vegetable Buying Guide

When we enter the seasons of abundance (late spring, summer and late summer), I’m always confronted with loads of questions regarding how to choose, store and purchase all of the fruits and veggies that we find (conveniently) stocked on the grocery store shelves. If you’ve ever shopped around from say a farmers market, local grocer or a big chain store, you’ve likely noticed a huge difference in the quality of their produce. This can either be due to environmental conditions, pesticides or chemicals used in growing (or lack thereof), or length of travel from the time they’re harvested to where they’ve actually sold (maybe hundreds of miles!). Either way, when we have so many choices, we always want to make an effort to make the best choice possible, and here are a few of my guidelines for buying and storing fruits and veggies (with the added bonus of knowing what nutrients they pack in!).

GUIDE: Fruit & Veggie Buying Guide


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN |

Your Ellwood Thompson’s 7 Tips For A Safe Memorial Day & Summer

The Summer 2016 Holiday Season is upon us ! Many Ellwood Thompson customers are looking for a fun weekend.  Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind so that this Memorial Day weekend is not only fun — but safe for everyone.

1.    Safe Driving.   AAA says more that 38 Million Americans will be driving this Memorial Day — the most since 2005.   So don’t drive while tired or while drinking. Make sure that everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt.

DO NOT DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY ! Reports indicate that nearly one-third of all motor vehicle collisions and two-thirds of all automobile-related fatalities involve aggressive driving.

2.    Watch Out For Sun!   With a lot of rain and unusually cooler weather in the past few weeks, this Memorial Day weekend is the first weekend this month where high temperatures and hot sun are expected. So don’t be caught by surprise. The Sun Safety Alliance says the Sun is strongest from 10am – 4pm during the day and the Alliance has many other good sun safety tips for your review.  Be sure to stop by Ellwoods to get the very best in natural and effective sun lotions.

3.    Barbecue & Grilling Fire Prevention.   Memorial Day weekend is the start of outdoor barbecue season. While some may dismiss such warnings, fire related injuries from barbecues are serious, whether they occur from a gas leak or too much lighter fluid or other fire hazards. The National Fire Protection Association has some great tips for safe barbecue grilling.

American Flag

4.    Mosquito & Bug Bite Protection.   Besides being annoying, bug bites can be serious. In addition to bug repellent, use nets and fans over outdoor food and eating areas. Check yourself and your kids for ticks every night remove them. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great guide to bug repellents that has been updated recently to address the zika virus.

5. Food Safety. The Virginia Department of Health has some great tips on food safety that include:

• Make sure foods don’t spend more than one hour sitting out when the temperature is above 90 degrees, or two hours when temperatures are below that. Bacteria grows faster in warm temperatures.

• Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils and countertops.

• Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods. • Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145 degrees for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160 degrees for ground meats, and 165 degrees for poultry.

• When transporting food, remember that harmful bacteria can grow when prepared food falls between temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees; perishable food transported without an ice or heat source won’t stay safe long.

6.    Water Safety.   When swimming or around bodies of water, take safety very seriously. Here are some basic tips:

• Don’t swim alone.

• Wear a life vest while boating.

• Supervise children at all times in and near the water. Remember: inflatable “floaties” on a child’s arms are not substitutes for a life vest.

7.    Overeating.   Slow down when eating. Take pauses between bites. Drink more water. Choose your food wisely. Avoid going back for seconds and limit portions on the size of your plate. Of course, with great food in front of you such advice can be hard to follow. Stay conscious of what you eat so that you enjoy your food instead of gorging your food.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!  Be sure to stop by Ellwood Thompson’s for all of your food and supply needs for Memorial Day festivities.




Chrysalis Institute Presents: Coffee with Author Kristin Kimball of “The Dirty Life”


SATURDAY, May 21st | 9:30am to 11:00am | The Beet

“I was in love with the work, too, despite its overabundance. The world had always seemed disturbingly chaotic to me, my choices too bewildering. I was fundamentally happier, I found, with my focus on the ground. For the first time, I could clearly see the connection between my actions and their consequences. I knew why I was doing what I was doing, and I believed in it. I felt the gap between who I thought I was and how I behaved begin to close, growing slowly closer to authentic…I had always been attracted to the empty, sparkly grab bag of instant gratification, and I was beginning to learn something about the peace you can find inside an infinite challenge.”

Kristin Kimball was living as a single, thirty-something, writer in New York City, until an interview with a dynamic farmer changed her world.  On impulse she shed her city life and started a new farm with him on 500 acres of land in upstate New York. Kimball and her husband had a plan:  to create a sustainable farm and grow everything needed to feed a community. Now every Friday evening, all year round, hundreds of people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the “whole diet.

At Chrysalis Institute’s Spring Keynote event the night before, Kimball will share stories of running a highly diversified draft horse-powered farm while trying to balance economic, social and environmental factors; stories of farm struggles and of farm victories, and a spiritual life found in the work and rhythms of the earth.

At our informal morning chat, you will have a chance to discuss her story, life and philosophies over and light breakfast refreshments in a causal, comfortable setting.

Farmer and Author Kristin Kimball holds a degree in English Literature from Harvard College. Before farming, she was a writer and editor living in New York City. She met Mark in 2002 when she interviewed him for a story she was working on, about the emerging generation of young, entrepreneurial, direct-market farmers. She fell in love with him and his work, and has been professionally dirty ever since.

RSVP (so there are enough muffins and coffee to go around) here!


The Brain and the Gut: A Busy Two-Way Street ​



Tuesday, May 17th / 6:00 to 7:00PM


The Beet at Ellwood’s


Michael P. Jones, MD,  Ann Leggett, ACNP  and Lynn Farmer, MA, RDN | Read the teams’ bios HERE.


The brain and the gut are a busy two-way street, interconnected and intertwined more than you may realize…

Join Michael P. Jones, M.D. and his experienced team of digestive health professionals for a discussion on good bugs, bad bugs, leaky plumbing and stress.  They’ll cover the relationship between the brain and the gut, particularly gut bacteria, intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”), the central nervous system, mood and stress. You’ll find it’s a busy two-way street indeed and leave feeling empowered on how to maximize the positive, minimize the negative, and improve your mood, health, & quality of life!



Register for this class

Seating is limited for this class so register in advance to reserve you & your party’s seats. Pay below, at Customer Service, or by calling 359-7525.

The Brain and the Gut: A Busy Two-Way Street ​


Email Taylor at

Travel Happy: A List of My Holistic Travel Essentials

Upcoming spring and summer trips are upon us, and I for one am the biggest advocate for people taking vacations (multiple times a year if they can). Sometimes when people actually do go on vacation, they often use this as their excuse to do absolutely nothing on their meticulously curated health plan and their diet is usually the first to be sacrificed – and often this is just unavoidable. When we travel, we usually have very little control over where and what we eat and what we have access to to keep up with our daily rituals. Vacations and traveling in any form should still, to some extent, make an effort to keep you feeling grounded, energized, and healthy, albeit a little frazzled from unforeseen travel hiccups. When I travel, I’m a notoriously light packer, but I never really skimp on my holistic travel essentials – the things that keep me healthy and strong no matter what the nature of the time away. Here are a few of my travel essentials that are always in my travel bag:

  1. Protein rich snacks – I like to have more control over my food when I travel because I have a long and fluctuating history with digestive issues that sometimes come back with vengeance when I travel. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people that can stop to eat anywhere and go on my way. I always keep protein rich, shelf stable snacks with me that I can munch on if I’m not in a place where I feel like I can comfortably eat. I prefer a variety of KIND bars, cliff bars, mixed nuts and dried fruits, nut butters, organic jerky and (if I’m lucky enough to have a cooler), hummus with veggie sticks.
  2. Hydrating facial hydrosol – depending on the means of traveling, long hours spent in planes, trains and and dry spaces really suck moisture out of your skin. Your sleep rhythm might be a little thrown off too while you still have to drive yourself to and from locations. Keeping a refreshing facial hydrosol not only restores moisture and balance to dry skin, it’s also a welcome breath of fresh air that’s immediately revitalizing and uplifting when you’re feeling a little drowsy. I use mine multiple times a day when I’m traveling.
  3. Greens – I may not always be able to eat all the veggies and fruits I want on the road, but I can at least get in the next best thing that’s quick and easy, and a convenient way to ensure I’m getting in extra greens and nutrients on the regular. I even take the individual pouches with me on camping trips and they’re a lifesaver.
  4. Turmeric – This is something I cook with almost daily, and when I’m traveling I take the supplement form for it’s anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive normalizing, immune supporting and liver detoxifying magic.
  5. Sunscreen – because I never know where I’ll end up, I hate having to constantly hide from the sun if I’m not prepared beforehand. If I stay too long out in the open sun (like more than 10 minutes) I’ll get a wicked sunburn. I use Badger’s facial sunscreen every single day – traveling or not, but I always carry it with me traveling to re-apply anywhere that’s exposed for quick, non-toxic protection. Exciting side note – I got over being annoyed about the non-nano zinc oxide white smear of stickiness that is good quality sunscreen long ago, but they just came out with a sheer tint version (!!) that is pretty spot on.

What are some of your holistic travel essentials that keep you feeling strong, healthy and grounded during you time away? I’d love to hear what you’ve curated along your adventures!


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN |

Solar Infusions: Harnessing the Spring Sun for Delicious Seasonal Tea

Even though the weather is warming up, that doesn’t mean we have to stop drinking delicious and medicinal herbal teas. One of my favorite ways to drink herbal teas are in fact in the spring and summer by harnessing the power of the warming sun to infuse the herbs in water. This is also such a fun activity for kids too! Here’s how it works:

Usually when we make a hot herbal tea, the water soluble medicinals are infused from the herbs into the hot water within a matter of minutes. When using hot water to make tea, it doesn’t need a very long steeping time (usually no more than 10 minutes) to get a good chunk of the medicinal properties out of the herbs. But when we’re using a solar infusion, this takes a little bit longer. Because we are not starting with hot water, the solar infusion takes at least 1-2 hours (or the full day) for the water soluble constituents to diffuse into the water. A longer process yes, but it’s also kind of a magical way to drink tea too, because you’re also drinking what seems like liquid sunshine! Here are three of my favorite solar infusion recipes that I’m always sipping on while the weather is warm.

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Uplifting Mint Solar Infusion

  • 1 bunch (about 15) fresh peppermint leaves
  • 1 bunch (about 15) fresh lemon balm leaves
  • 2 teaspoons rosehips
  • 1/2 lemon (peel included)
  • 2 tablespoons honey

In a quart mason jar, put the peppermint, lemon balm, rosehips, and lemon in the bottom of the jar and fill to the neck with room temperature water. Let sit, lightly sealed, in the open sun for at least 2 hours, shaking occasionally. Bring in from the sun and add the honey, mixing well. Drink chilled with ice or with a dash of sparkling water.

Nourishing Greens Solar Infusion

  • 2 teaspoons nettle leaf
  • 2 teaspoons hawthorn leaf and flower
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon alfalfa
  • 8-9 red clover blossoms
  • 1 tablespoon honey

In a quart mason jar, put the nettle, hawthorn, peppermint, alfalfa and red clover in the bottom of the jar and fill to the neck with room temperature filtered water. Let sit in the sun for about 4 hours, lightly sealed with the lid. Bring in from the sun and add the honey, mixing well. Drink chilled with ice cubes.

Sunshine Spring Herbal Tea

  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange peel
  • 5 fresh peppermint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon hibiscus
  • 1 teaspoon rosehips
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals
  • 1 tablespoons honey

Measure herbs into a 1 quart mason jar and fill to the neck with room temperature, filtered water (about 4 cups). Close with a loose fitting lid, and place outside in a bright, sunny spot for at least 1 hour, shaking occasionally. It should develop a rich red color. After 1 hour, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey to taste, shake well, and enjoy with fresh mint, lemon, ice cubes or a spritz of sparkling water!

You can purchase most of these herbs from Ellwood Thompsons to begin making your own solar infusions this season!


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN |


As a nation, Americans have generally enjoyed free and unrestricted access to clean drinking or potable water. However, that is changing: water is literally on fire in North Dakota , water is full of lead, not only in Flint, but, according to a CNBC report, the EPA says 41 states report problems with lead in water supplies. Of course, many people are already aware of water shortage in California.

Is water becoming the next oil in terms of its value as a commodity? Should the access to clean water be a fundamental human right? How did it get to this? Does the public and do our elected officials really understand what’s happening with water, nationally and globally?

Much of the water crisis in the United States is self-inflicted. For example, in 2005, the Bush Administration’s EPA exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water  Act .  The result of fracking has been a disaster for our water and land.  Further, there is no clear national strategy or water policy in the United States.


When we value the worth of water will we begin to do something to protect it. Hopefully, before it’s too late.

According to a recent story in The Hill: The United States is on the verge of a national crisis that could mean the end of clean, cheap water.

What can you do?

Consider joining one or more of the many organizations who are proactively developing strategies, lobbying government officials and educating the public to find ways to mitigate the pending water crisis. Most noteable of these organizations are Clean Water Action and the Natural Resources Defense Council .

Not sure where to start? The National Environmental Services Center at West Virginia University has put together an extensive list of national and state specific organizations dedicated to water use issues and clean water policy.