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Count, Curb, and Confess

The other day I was listening to a Bible devotion on the Youversion app from Your Time of Grace. I really like their devotions. This one was about tackling sin in our lives and how to get victory over it. 

As I was thinking about the concept of Count, Curb, and Confess, I thought about the last 4 or 5 newsletters and how I have been sharing strategies to win with food. Food isn’t a sin, but our attitudes towards food can certainly manifest in addictive ways, prideful ways, shameful ways.  

Disclaimer: I have only 500 words to share each week in this format and will never be able to fully unpack any of the concepts that I introduce or am writing about. There isn’t enough space in this newsletter to go very deep.  

For people who are addicted to anything, getting/trying to get back to “normal” is why they use harmful drugs. From the research I have read, many addicts do drugs, alcohol, sugar; not to escape, but to feel normal. The book “Brightline Eating” does a really good job of explaining this. Having a good relationship with food is important because we don’t want the pursuit of food to be consuming our lives, we want to consume food to help us pursue life and health and happiness.  

Getting back to Count, Curb, and Confess. The pastor encouraged the listener to Count the sin and how many times a day they were engaged in it (swearing, or drinking excessively, watching bad movies, …) and then Curb the inappropriate action or attitude, and lastly Confess it. What I wanted to share with you is that changing habits is hard, and taking a real honest look at ourselves is hard and humbling. But I believe people can change and win, but sometimes we don’t really know how big the problem is. That is why the pastor said “Count it” so you could know how big the problem is. How many hours did I spend on Social media today? How many sugar laden foods did I eat today? Personally, I am not a calorie counter. I don’t like to count calories, but I could surely count how many unnecessary treats I ate or look on my iPhone to check my screen time.

Once you have a good understanding of how big or small the problem is, you can Curb it, and finally, Confess it. This is the hardest step for a lot of people. If you are addicted to anything or wanting to change something, you are going to need accountability. You are going to need someone in your life that will hold you accountable. That person has to love you enough to be honest with you, and you have to love yourself enough to be honest with that person. You might even have to switch friend groups.  

I would like to look at this idea of Count it, Curb it, and Confess it inversely. Instead of counting things/habits we want to change from a negative perspective, count them in a positive perspective. First of all, change is possible. You can make change, don’t let anything/anyone dissuade you. Is change easy? No. Instead of counting sugary treats or sugary drinks or calories from sugar, try counting servings of fruits or vegetables you eat in a day. Did I eat a piece of fruit, have vegetables, cook a meal with vegetables?  

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that 1 in 10 Americans eat enough fruit and vegetables. 10 percent! That is unacceptable. Use a Medium size apple (1 cup) as your guideline when thinking about servings and try to get to 10 every day. That is not a lot, but almost no one gets there. Your homework this week is, once you have read this newsletter, to think back one day and count all the servings of fruit and vegetables you ate yesterday, and your family ate yesterday. Then, if you believe that fruit and vegetables are important, make getting 10 servings a day your goal.

Your Farmer and Health Activist,


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Potato, Leek and Celery Root Soup

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 40min | Source:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 leeks, white and green parts (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped fine)
  • 3 med. potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 knob of celery root (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, marjoram, or basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley, dill, or chervil for garnish


  1. In large 4 or 5-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, leek and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped potatoes, celery root and bay leaf.
  4. Stir the vegetables, and then add the stock.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.
  6. Add the thyme, sea salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaf, and puree soup with a vertical blender.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.
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Parsnip and Shiitake Lettuce Cups

Yield: 8 Servings | Source:


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. parsnips, peeled and cut into very small dice
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, w/o stems, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco®
  • 8 large lettuce leaves (iceberg)


  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. When hot add oil, shallot, and garlic. Stir gently for 90 seconds and add the parsnips and shiitakes.
  3. Cook over medium high heat, stirring every couple of minutes, until parsnips and mushrooms are tender and browned.
  4. Increase heat to high and add ¼ cup of water, soy sauce and Tabasco. Stir constantly until all excess liquid has all evaporated.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Divide among lettuce leaves and fold or roll to make wraps.
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Exercising is Important

The most important kind of exercise is one in which you exercise self-control! 1 pound of fat equals 3500 Calories. Which means if a person would like to lose 1 pound of fat, they would need to eat 500 calories less a day (7 days x 500 calories = 3500). For those of us who would like to lose 10 pounds over 10 weeks, we would need to eat 500 calories less a day for 70 days or eat 35,000 calories less over those 10 weeks.

That is crazy?!??? But that is just the math. Shedding 500 calories a day is not as difficult as one would think. A Cliff Bar or Lara Bar each have 200 calories packed into those healthy “cookies”. A Grande Latte averages 200 calories. Snacking on nuts, even a small handful = 180 calories. And who can eat just one handful of nuts?

Exercising a little dietary discretion can really jump start your diet and health goals. Just losing the extra weight improves your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers. America could sure use a course correction in the world of healthy numbers!

If a person did nothing else but cut out some “treats” or all treats and didn’t add anything to replace them, it would be enough to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. What happens if you add walking one mile a day? A 150 lb. person burns 80 calories/mile. The pace is important but not that important.

The trap here is that most people “reward” themselves when they do something healthy with a treat! Don’t buy the lie! Just do the math! For a 150 lb. person to burn off one latte or Cliff Bar or a small handful of nuts, they would have to walk 2+ miles a day to ZERO out that treat. Do we have to mention ice cream as a reward???? The deck is figuratively stacked against healthy choices and healthy gains.

What can a person do? I believe that eating mostly whole plant-based foods and exercising are critical steps to losing weight and being healthier in the long run. But exercising only accounts for 10% to 15% of calories being burned. It is important for heart health and strength, but not as important for weight loss. If a person would like to lose weight the biggest factor is eating better and eating less. Our bodies burn 70% of their calories just by doing body things: thinking, breathing, digestion, pumping blood, etc.

Adding exercise to your regimen is great but exercising self-control over what you eat will have the biggest impact at the scale. For me, the real goal is to live as healthy a life as I can for as long as I can. Which means that today, tonight, and tomorrow I get to make another healthy food choice for a healthier me, and you get to make the same choice for a healthier you.

I believe in you, cheers to a healthier you in 2019!

Your Farmer and Health Advocate,



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Roasted Red Cabbage Soup

Yield: 4-6 Servings | Prep Time: 1hr 5min | Source:


  • 5 cups large-chopped red cabbage (1/2 large head)
  • 2 cups large-chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper seeds removed
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper seeds removed
  • 1 rounded cup chopped pink or yellow apple
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped winter squash
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 tablespoon high-temp cooking oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Fresh dill sprigs optional garnish
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dry squash seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic lemon salt


  1. For the soup, preheat oven to 400F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, apple, squash, and garlic onto baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss to evenly coat.
  2. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring veggies around halfway through. Once tender, with lightly-browned edges, transfer baking sheet contents to a large soup pot. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth to pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, adjust heat to medium-low, cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Next, in a blender or food processor, carefully puree roughly 1/2 of the fruits/veggies. You can also use an immersion blender, though it may take longer, and not be as smooth.
  4. Return pureed mixture to the pot, and stir in paprika, marjoram, and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes, while prepping squash seeds. After 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. For the toasted squash seeds, warm oil in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add squash seeds to pan and toast them until golden brown, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. In the last minute, add garlic lemon salt, and stir to coat seeds evenly.
  6. Once ready to serve soup, garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, fresh dill, and 1 tbsp. toasted squash seeds.
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Have To and Get To

Motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar had a lot of great quotes, and the two ideas that always come to mind from Zig are “No Stinking Thinking” and “You don’t have to, you get to!” For Zig everything was a positive, the glass was never empty, never half full – it was always full.

To make changes to anything (diet, working out, not swearing, showing up to work on time, cutting down on social media… you pick it) you have to have a “can-do attitude.” All of us have a list a few blocks long that we would like to work on. So much to accomplish and so little will power to do it.

But starting with the right attitude is the first step in making changes. Let’s assume you already are wanting to make changes. Wanting to change is a good place to start but wanting is not starting. So, if we are going to turn a want into a start, we have to start. And the best time and place to start is now and where you are. Don’t let time hold you back, don’t let where you are hold you back, and for sure don’t let the past hold you back.

Last week I shared that it is best to pick one goal/lifestyle change and get after it. When you pick one new goal it will require a lot of will power to change and at any given time you only have 15-minutes’ worth of will power to use. 15 minutes is not very much and saying no to any temptation (donuts, cookies, mochas) takes effort and a plan. That is why I recommend only 1 change at a time. I know, you are thinking “I have so many things I want to change.” I hear you – me too!

But if you commit to one meaningful change and develop a strategy to help you “conquer” that goal you will end up winning in other areas of your life. I have seen it happen over and over. Someone cuts out sugar and loses weight? The reason is because when you cut out sugar, you cut out a lot of high fat and high sugar foods. And cutting out those two categories sheds pounds like nothing else.

However, you are going to have to commit to “no stinking thinking!” The reason you are making the change is because you want a healthier version of you. That is a great reason, don’t let any negative thoughts change your mind. You can do it.

The other thing that you have to train your mind away from “I have to do this” to “I get to do this”! Yes, you do get to do it. Other people have done it, which means you can do it too.

I know you can do it,

Your Farmer and Health Activist,


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Local Farm – Food Bank Donation

Most of you know that Klesick Farms loves to participate in doing good. Working with our local food banks is a core value at Klesick’s. One of the great things about our food bank program is that we are impacting local needs and often with local farm produce. Recently, I was visiting with another local organic farmer who happened to have their produce stored at a local community warehouse – right place, but at the wrong time. A conventional farmer was also using the storage facility to house their “treated” potatoes and ended up cross-contaminating my friend’s crop. There are strict Organic rules about cross-contamination, and while the good news is that the food is still edible, the bad news is that it can no longer be sold as Certified Organic. And to organic farmers like ourselves, this is a big deal. I would like to help them realize some revenue from this unfortunate situation.

The Plan: I would like to help my friend by offering a 40lb box of produce at $24 to be delivered to our local food banks. If you would like to partner with us, please click on This Link and add the Local Farm Foodbank box ($24) to your next delivery. Our team will handle all the details and get the produced delivered to one of our 12 local food banks we sponsor. As always, your Foodbank donation is tax-deductible.

Thank you in advance for investing in a local organic farm and supporting our local food bank system and the families they serve.

Tristan Klesick

Your local farmer and community activist

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Twenty Nineteen – Part 2

Well how is the second week of the New Year going? Are you settling into a good routine? For us, this is the week the kiddos are back in school and everything gets back on schedule. Scheduling and automaticity are keys to making successful changes to many lifestyle choices. When habits become more of a routine/automatic, life can be easier, and goals can be achieved. So, a life that has automaticity built into it can be more fulfilling and healthier.

Steve Jobs wore the same “uniform” to work each day, he took “what to wear to work” right out of the decision-making process. For him, he had other decisions that needed his attention. Food can be like that, the more automatic the meal planning and prep, the easier it is to eat. This is especially true for people who feel they are addicted to food, especially sugar. We have to eat, so meal planning and making it as simple and automatic as possible can be a great strategy.

Last week I mentioned Susan Pierce Thompson’s book “Brightline Eating” in the newsletter. I feel like this is a really good book to read and program to follow. She totally unpacks why it is so hard to lose weight and why we are drawn to poor food. I would encourage anyone to read her book and arm yourself with good ammunition to fend off the wares of the processed food industry.

Think of the food industry like Visa or MC (sorry if you have a big Visa bill due 🙂). When we don’t have a plan or budget for our money, Visa is there to “help” us. It is the same for the processed food world, they are happy to “help” us when we don’t plan our food choices. It is really hard to plan for everything, but a plan catches most of the stuff that is easily planned. Don’t fall prey to the processed food world’s eating plan.

The Cutting Board 

I think that this is the most unheralded tool in the kitchen. Really!!! Last week, I cut up a boatload of veggies (2 bunches of carrots, one bunch of celery, one bunch of radishes, a watermelon radish and a cucumber). This was at lunch. By dinner they were mostly gone, and by bedtime they were polished off. No dressing, no hummus, just vegetables and gone! I was secretly bummed, at least as bummed as a parent can be when their kids are mowing down vegetables, but I thought I had cut up enough for two days! Oh well, back to the cutting board.

We have separate cutting boards for meat and cheese and then we have bamboo and wood cutting boards for fruit and vegetables. I use cutting boards morning, noon, and night. Every meal at our home has fruit or vegetables in it. Cutting boards are akin to a “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to our food eating habits. The more you use one, the healthier you probably are.

Wishing you a healthy start to 2019!


Your Farmer and Health Advocate,

Tristan Klesick

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Zucchini Pear Salad – Susan O’Connor

This week’s recipe was created and submitted by our very own Susan O’Connor, in Everett. Despite not being fond of zucchini or pear, there she was with both in her Box of Good. Combining her creative juices and some orange juice for the dressing, she whipped up this delicious mixture of colors, perfectly balancing the tension between salad items and fruit items. I tested it out on my in-laws last week (always a risky move!), but it was an immediate hit. The dressing really completes the whole thing.

Thank you, Susan!


  • 2 zucchini – sliced thin
  • 2 pears – cored and sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp onion – minced
  • 2 mandarins – diced
  • 1 red pepper – diced
  • 1 cucumber – sliced thin


  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (2 oranges, squeezed)
  • 1 tsp honey/vanilla
  • Pinch of chili flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Orange zest

Mix dressing, pour over salad and toss.