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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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Twenty Nineteen

When did that get here! Thankfully, the new year is filled with fresh optimism and energy. And as a farmer, I really appreciate the increasing day length that comes with the turning of the calendar. We get to practice eating healthier for another year!

The New Year resolution season is upon us and more than a few of us are going to be getting after making some changes.  After 26 years of being involved in this organic food movement and 21 years at the helm of Klesick Farms, I have thought through and lived through a lot of food trends. I want to say: “our bodies are amazing!” Every time we take a bite of healthy, minimally processed, or raw food our bodies start a healing journey. We can eat poorly, never exercise and then as soon as we start the process to eat better and get a little more exercise, our body starts to repair and heal itself.

We must love ourselves, believe in ourselves and trust ourselves to do healthy things. Healthy habits reward us with healthy bodies, minds, and emotions. Adding vegetables, one big salad or cooked veggie dish a day, could be a goal for some. Eating more fruit and less packaged foods could be a goal for some. Everyone should KILL SUGAR in their diet.

Eliminating sugar is not so easy, especially because it is a very addictive substance. When I refer to sugar I am talking about processed sugars. I do not believe that sugars found in whole fruit are an issue because they come with fiber and a boatload of phytochemicals our bodies need to prosper. White sugar, sugary drinks, etc… no fiber, no nutrition and no phytochemicals.

I would encourage anyone who thinks they are addicted to sugar to read Susan Pierce Thompson’s book Brightline Eating and check out her Brightline Eating program. She really “unpacks” how to lose weight and the science behind how the processed food businesses keep us coming back for their food. I wish I could say that the USDA and FDA are on our side and want a healthier American population, but I can’t. The USDA’s job is to promote calories. The more calories we eat, the more the farmers make. Less calories, less profit. And the FDA regulates what products get to the grocery store and ultimately to us.

The bottom line is: health is a personal choice and a personal decision. And for anyone to succeed, they need a plan to eat better and move more. Only you can affect your health and only you can make the changes for your health. The awesome thing about change is, IT IS POSSIBLE.

The quickest way to get discouraged is to tackle too many lifestyle changes at once. If I could encourage one change for the new year, I would start with eliminating sugar, and then add more whole foods, water, and exercise. And if you slip up, just get up, or as Susan Pierce Thompson says: “just re-zoom” and make the next food decision better.

I believe in you,

Your Farmer and Health Advocate,

Tristan Klesick



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Christmas Tree Salad

Yield: 4 servings | Prep Time: 17 minutes | Source:


  • 1 bunch swiss chard (red or green), chopped
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 3/4 cup red grapes, sliced
  • 2 mandarin oranges, halved, segments separated
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw


  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp coriander
  • a few pinches of orange zest
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/3 tsp salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Star topper: 1 slice of toast, sliced into a star


  1. Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor.
  2. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the “star” tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.