"White Sugar Blues" Class Wednesday, June 11th

kick sugar

Whole Health and Healing Academy Class #1 Endorsement:

“Your whole foods class truly impacted us. Although not perfection, Rick and I are both rethinking choices on a regular basis. As we run out of food items, replacements will be different. And, there is so much more. I cannot thank you enough for opening my eyes.  I knew some of it but your whole food healing message really hit home.”        Michelle Young, Natural Horse Lover Farm, North Lawrence, NY

The Local Living Venture is working in cooperation with Me!, Hands On Health Holistic Healing, in launching a Whole Health and Healing Academy for individuals interested in gaining a well-rounded knowledge of holistic health issues.

Come One, Come All!  Classes are designed to enhance personal health and inspire confidence in the ability of our bodies to heal self through good nutrition.

Invite me to support you in creating your farewell to the sugar craziness, the sugar addiction, in your life!

Whole Health Healing Academy Class #2:

“White Sugar Blues:”

  covers what sugar is, the forms of sugars, why it is so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to truly kick sugar out of your life, and ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar.

When:     Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. 

Where:    Potsdam Community Room

 next to the public library.


       All who desire to create vibrant personal health.

 Join Us!! 

You will not be disappointed!

My Promise to You!

: You will walk away empowered to make amazing changes in your eating and lifestyle choices to ensure vibrant health and healing from the tip of your toes to the top of your head and every cell in between!


:  Book give away


All classes in this ongoing series are 1-1/2 hours long and include a slide show that will be emailed to all participants, as well as various educational handouts.

Follow up information will be tailored to address the health needs of participants in the session.

Pre-registration is suggested, $20 general admission, $10 student, for material fees and to benefit Local Living Venture workshop creation.  A discount will be offered for attendees who register for the full Whole Health and Healing Academy series.

PS  Be on the lookout for the continuation of this Healing Academy, September 2014!  We will repeat classes 1 & 2 and add several more.

Whole Health Healing Academy

Whole Foods Healing Class  

(Please forgive this post being all jumbled together.  It does not want to let go of the word formatting. Technology!)

cooking class

POTSDAM, NY -- The Local Living Venture is working in cooperation with Hands On Health Holistic Healing in launching a Whole Health and Healing Academy for individuals interested in gaining a well rounded knowledge of holistic health issues.

Classes are designed to enhance personal health and inspire confidence in the ability of our bodies to heal itself through good nutrition

- which also means "eat yummy food!"The "academy" will commence in September, but this Spring they will jump start the sessions with 2 classes to pave the way for more sessions in the Fall.

Attendees who successfully complete a certain number of sessions will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment for their personal resume and will take advantage of this opportunity to put health and healing into your hands.

All are welcome to attend if they desire to create vibrant personal health.

  Employers are especially encouraged to send staff members, to reduce and eliminate health issues and insurance costs.  Employers themselves are welcome as well; to enhance their health, providing leadership.  Also welcome are health care workers who wish to learn more about prevention and self-responsibility in health and healing.

The two kick-off sessions are as follows:

"Whole Foods to Heal Everybody and Every Body Cell"

covers: what are whole foods, why it's important to eat them, how to make changes in your life including the why’s of eating seasonally and locally, and how eating whole foods will heal your body from the cellular level.Join in with your questions on 

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Potsdam Community Room

, located above the police station, behind the public library - park in the lot next to the fire station or street parking on Main St.

The second in the series is entitled "White Sugar Blues"

and covers what sugar is, the forms of sugars, why it is so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to truly kick sugar out of your life, and ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar. 

Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., also at the Potsdam Community Room

next to the public library.All classes in the ongoing series are 1-1/2 hours long and include a slide show that will also be emailed to all participants  as well as various  educational handouts.  Follow up information will be tailored to also address the health needs of participants in the session.

Pre-registration is suggested, $20 general admission, $10 student, for material fees and to benefit Local Living Venture workshop creation.  A discount will be offered for attendees who register for the full Whole Health and Healing Academy series.

Contact 315-347-4223 orLocalLivingVenture@gmail.com for details and to register in advance (not required, but suggested - first come, first served.)  All upcoming events may be viewed on the website at www.LocalLivingVenture.org by clicking through to the website for the Workshops / Events page.

Instructor Paula Youmell, RN, MS, CHHC is a NYS licensed Registered Nurse,  author & blogger, Certified Holistic Health, Nutrition & Fitness Counselor, Certified Herbalist, Reiki Master, NYS Licensed Health and Physical Education teacher, and Yoga teacher.  Through her private practice, Hands On Health Holistic Healing in Potsdam, NY, Paula Youmell supports people on their path to whole health and healing and can be found on the web at www.HandsOnHealthHH.com.

The Local Living Venture (LLV) coordinates near-weekly resourceful Living Skills Workshops promoting traditional rural and simple living skills as part of their vision for an even more capable community.  Listings of other upcoming workshops and events can be found on the Workshop Schedule page by clicking through to the current site at www.LocalLivingVenture.org.

me and chelle

I Popped the Cranberry of Fermentation...

first sauerkraut

I Popped the Cranberry of Fermentation


Threw in an Apple or Two

That's correct, my first fermentation of veggies!  Sure I have made yogurt, cheeses, and other fermented foods but this was my first attempt making "kraut."  Isn't the deep pink color pretty?!

I have eaten plenty of fermented veggies over the years and I figured it was time to stop being lazy in the kitchen and start making my own.

Now I confess, I did not follow a recipe.  I prefer to do things my way, figure it out as I go sort of method.  Those who know me are not shocked by this confession of being a "do it my way" kind of girl.

I put myself into a shredding frenzy with my loyal kitchen friend, the metal cheese grater! I grated:  beets, carrots, celeriac, turnip, rutabaga, cabbage, and apples.  Then I chopped up frozen cranberries.  All the goodies, except the apples, were from the Kent Family Growers.  Thanks Dan & Megan for contributing to my kitchen frenzy!

prepping kraut

When I finished grating I had a huge stainless steel bowl of grated veggies.  I added 3 tablespoons of unrefined, Celtic sea salt and got to kneading the colorful mess.  I mixed and kneaded with my hands for 10 to 15 minutes and then let it sit for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point I decided to read a recipe to see how I was doing winging it in the kitchen.  Well, I read to salt the cabbage and let it sit before adding the other veggies.  Whoops, too late for that.  No sense crying over spilled milk.  I got in gear, cleaned the table of renegade shredded veggie pieces and did up the dinner dishes.

Then I:

1.  stuffed the salted, grated veggies into my new German fermentation crock,

2.  made certain the liquid covered the veggies,

3.  placed my whole cabbage leaves on top,

4.  set the clay weights in place,

5.  put the lid on,

6.  and added water to the trough around the lid.  This water must be kept in the trough the whole fermentation period.  I was on this water "watch" like a Mom watching her babe!

DONE, finished!  Now I just had to wait patiently for 8 days to see if my method of doing things created anything tasty and edible!

28 Days Later 

happy face sun

OK, another confession:  I actually waited the full 28 days, no peaking!  That's more than I can say for Christmas presents as a kid. Yeah, sorry Mom, nothing you can do about it now.  'Ya should have hid them better.  I only peaked at one per year; honest.

So, back to the root veggie kraut.... It turned out fabulously.  Pretty pink, crisp, and tasty. The longer ferment time allows for growth of full spectrum gut microbes. You want this to happen!

My Favorite Way to Eat It?

Well, right out of the jar... but, when I am feeling like putting a bit more effort into the meal or snack I add grated, raw slaw and goat or sheep milk feta to the pile of veggies.  Then I top with lots of yummy, raw, organic walnuts and feast away!

This has to be the nectar of the Gods and Goddesses!  If not, I will ferment my hat and eat it!

Interested in learning to ferment?

Add your name to the Local Living Venture's mailing list.  They just held a fermentation class on Thursday, January 30th.  Why am I taunting and teasing with a class that is now over?   Because it was full and had a waiting list!  This is a good sign that it WILL be offered again.  Go ahead, sign up for their email notifications,  and get notified when all sorts of fun, food classes are being taught!

From their website, http://www.sustainablelivingproject.net/

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feel free to share your interests, ideas, questions, and comments!


Be well, eat good food, have fun, & love ... Paula

Healthy Kid's Birthday Parties

Healthy Kid's Birthday Parties

What?  Healthy birthday parties? Is that not an oxymoron?  (Remember, this is coming from the gal who eats birthday cake for brunch!    http://wholefoodhealer.com/2013/07/31/no-body-is-perfect-birthday-cake-for-brunch/     I will remind you it was a cell nourishing, whole food birthday cake.)

bday cake

Whole food chocolate cake made for Valentine's Day 2013

Yes, it is possible to throw a healthy kid's birthday party AND have the kids like the snacks and the celebratory cake AND have fun! Why would you want to do this?  See below.*

1.  Come and play, no gifts please.  The kids are allowed to play and be kids, no adult organized games required.  Go outside and play!  Our parents and grandparents had wisdom with that "get outside and play" command.

2.  Come back inside hungry?  That is a good thing!  Snacks that promote healthy cellular reproduction and growth in kids:

a.   fruit slices with yogurt spiced dip

b.   veggie sticks and yogurt herb dip

c.    whole grain pita or tortilla pizza (works well on a whole grain English muffin)

d.    tortilla chips (free of genetically altered corn, please) with 100% natural salsa and mozzarella cheese stix

3.   Bake a homemade, from "scratch" cake, cupcakes, or cookies out of 100% whole foods.  This eliminates refined, white flour and sugars, hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrups, and other non-food ingredients in bakery made cakes and pastries or the boxed cake mixes.

ters cake

Whole food carrot cake for my sister's 50th, August 2013

Ask me for my handout defining what whole grain flours really are.  It is not "unbleached"  or  "all purpose" flours. pyoumell@gmail.com

4.    100% all natural ice cream that does not have fillers, stabilizers, or gums.

*Why throw a healthy, whole food birthday party?

1.  Our bodies cellular health depends on whole foods.  It was all we could put into our bodies in the days before factory made food products.  When we put refined food products into our bodies we are seriously disturbing cellular health.  Over a lifetime, this creates degenerative diseases.  Why set a kid up for this when healthy, whole food alternatives are just as easy to offer?

2.  Creating lifetime habits of good health, whole food eating, and positive lifestyle habits begins at conception (really, it begins even before that.  That is another article on cellular regeneration vs. cellular degeneration over the generations of a family's history on this planet.)

3.  Teaching your kids that in promoting health we are preventing disease.  (This is the next book I am working on!)  An ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure.

These are my top three reasons that  I do not have this attitude:  "oh, a little bit won't hurt them."

Food products were never meant to enter the human digestive tract having their profound impacts on cellular health. Yup, I am a tough, health gal!   happy face sun


Jake's b-day cake, July 2013

Wondering how I got to this point?

I have raised my kids on whole foods.  As they get older, it is harder to keep them away from refined packaged food products as these products are everywhere and everyone is eating them.  Kids think they are invincible (my cells won't suffer the consequences...) AND they want to eat what others kids are eating.

Birthday parties have always been a nightmare for me as I know that I am taking my kids into a lair of packaged food products that are all laden with refined and unnatural ingredients.  Yes, I think about their cellular health over the long term! If I don't, who will?

I took them to one birthday party, about 3 years ago (yes, this visual is forever emblazoned in my memory!), and I will describe the visual of food products laid out on the breakfast bar island:

1.  Several bags of flavored Doritos, the worst, as flavored (sour cream & onion, etc.) means more synthetic ingredients

2.  Two large bowls (4 quart size or bigger) FULL of gummy worms, bears, and various other gummy critters.  And these were not the organic, fruit juice varieties one can purchase at the Potsdam Food Coop or Nature's Storehouse in Canton.

3.  Several 1/2 gallon, plastic jugs of various soda flavors.

4.  Bowls of potato chips, enough to supply several super bowl parties.

5.  A pinata full of corn syrup sweetened, artificially flavored & colored type candies (sour skittles, etc.).

6.  A large, commercial, sheet cake made of white flour, white sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, fillers, conditioners, and the standard Crisco decorating frosting.

7.  Two 1-gallon tubs of inexpensive ice cream, cheaper option for feeding 12 to 15 kids but loaded with more artificial ingredients than I cared to know about.

So, I stood there thinking, "oh my God!"  I do not want my kids eating this crap.  I work hard to feed them whole, local, seasonal foods from very conscientious local farmers.  Truthfully speaking (or writing, as this is what I am doing) from a health perspective, none of these "products" were ever meant to be in the human body.  If nature did not create it, don't eat it, is a good motto to live by.

Back to the birthday party scene... this was a true nightmare visual for me.  At the same time, the social interaction with other kids is so important.  I leave them there at the party, hoping my kids remember the rules:  one very small piece of cake, no ice cream, no soda, please show restraint with the mounds of candies and junk chips, and please let your manners shine!

So, fast forward 3 or so years later... hoping to help create a generation of healthy kids' parties is one of the reasons I teach the whole food baking classes for the Local Living Venture.  This particular cooking class is called Learn How to Bake (& Convert Your Favorite Recipes!) to Whole Foods.  

Sign up for the LLVs newsletter and you will get notices of the classes offered.  Then join us for the next whole food baking class. Your cells will thank you.

HOH Whole food treat's conversion chart

1 cup refined flour = 3/4 cup whole grain flour

1 cup refined, white sugar = 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

1 cup refined sugar = 1 cup sucanat or rapadura unrefined cane juice sugar

1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup butter from grass fed, pasture raised animals

1 commercial, grocery store egg = 1 egg from free range, natural fed chickens 

Free range means the chickens range freely out side, not just living "cage free" in a factory farm chicken barn. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/31/california-weighs-sweeping-laws-against-factory-farm-cruelty.aspx

Hint: If a recipe calls for 1 ½ cup sugar, I would immediately decrease the original recipe to ¾ cup sugar.  Then I would use ¾ cups Rapadura or Sucanat sugar  OR  1/3 to slightly less than ½ cups of local maple syrup or honey.  Honey, I find works best in things I am not cooking, peanut butter balls, etc.  It makes cookies, muffins, baked goods heavy and sort of sticky.

I find most treat recipes are way too sweet, masking the flavors of all the other yummy ingredients, such as the nuttiness of whole grain flours.  Also, the more simple sugars we ingest, even honey & maple syrup, the more blood sugar / insulin issues we create in our bodies.

Add extra spices and vanilla to make up for the reduced sweetness.  Your tongue will enjoy the extra flavor and not miss the excess “sweetness”!

Reducing sugar, sweeteners, in the recipe also reduces the impact on your body and the negative health consequences of constantly having high blood sugar and elevated insulin levels. (diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, feeding cancer cells, depressed immune system function, irritating your nervous system....)

Completely avoid hydrogenated oils & partially hydrogenated oils (shortenings and margarine).  These are trans fats and are highly toxic to the human body.  Their consumption is connected to many diseases.

Use eggs from naturally raised chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese.

Let your whole grain batter sit for 5-10 minutes as the flour absorbs moisture over time.  Check to see if the consistency seems right for the type of treat you are making and adjust accordingly.

Making treats from whole foods creates home baked goods that have nutritional value.  They are still treats to be enjoyed on special occasions, not daily, but you can feel good about the whole food value when you avoid the refined ingredients: white flour, white sugar, hydrogenated fats and all refined foods.

Remember, we were never meant to eat sweet treats on a daily basis.  200 years ago, were people eating cakes, pies, cookies, and donuts every day?  Not a chance. Read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books if you have any doubts.  They got one piece of candy for Christmas and made it last for weeks.  If we treated “treats” with this respect, our body would thank us.

Take your time and work into this by doing a ½ and ½ mix, then ¾ whole grain & ¼ refined, then finally move to 100% whole grain flours.  This eases you into the heavier texture of whole grain baking.  (These whole food treats WILL be heavier, denser and this is a direct reflection of them being heavy and dense in nutrition!)  In time, you will not notice and your body will be better nourished for it!

If you are an all or nothing person, like me, just make the switch to whole grains, cold turkey, and never look back!

Eat well & be healthy!!  Paula

Grains and Beans Cooking Class

Grains and Beans Cooking


This is a class I co-teach with Chelle Lindahl of the Local Living Venture.  It is a great class to learn new cooking skills and add some new food choices (cheap ones!) to your menu whether you are vegetarian, vegan, meat & potato, omnivore, carnivore, etc.  

Adds some fun living skills to your life and new tastes/smells/textures for your senses!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 5-7 PM in Potsdam.

Only a few spaces left... don't hesitate if you are interested!

All proceeds support the Local Living Venture:  http://www.sustainablelivingproject.net/

Click the below link to view the workshop poster with all pertinent information!

NutritiousDelicious Beans PDF 2013