The Key to Balance LLC is committed to empowering others to transform their health through education, consultation, support and networking while promoting the physical, emotional and environmental benefits of following a seasonal, whole food plant-based diet.
Jeanne Tennis is a plant-based cooking consultant and five season, vegan chef.
Certified in sustainable nutrition, plant-based nutrition, herbalism and macrobiotics, Jeanne is a bold advocate with a fierce desire to help others. She strongly believes in the healing power of food, herbs and wild edibles having seen remarkable results both personally and in others.
Jeanne provides her clients with the most up-to-date recommendations for following a whole foods plant-based diet while interlacing ancient herbal, Ayurveda and macrobiotic wisdom and traditions.
Her clients are empowered to intuitively transform their own health beginning in their kitchens.
Jeanne's customized recommendations compliment her client's preferences and any MD or nutritional guidelines they may be following.
Clients benefit from personalized, confidential attention in an atmosphere of loving kindness with continued support and encouragement.
"Authentic self-care begins in the kitchen."
This is the season with the most outward focus. It is a time to engage and socialize with others, be joyful, laugh, giggle, play, get involved - adopt the work ethic of
a bee and never stop moving.
This is the season for enthusiasm and focus as you enjoy the growth of all of those personal "seeds" you contemplated during the winter and nourished during the spring months.
As nature enjoys it's strong period of growth, so can you as you remain focused on your personal goals and plans.
Summer is known as the Fire Element.
Known for it’s expansive and active energy, the summer season corresponds to heat, the color red (yang) or purple (yin,) anxiety, joy, the heart, vessels and the small intestines.
Summer is associated with energy and light and a time for increased outdoor activities.
Our heart and small intestine are in focus and are nourished by laughter and joy, movement and by easily digestible foods.
During the summer months, we focus on lighter and easy to digest meals made with seasonal produce, quick cooking grains and grain products which require minimal cooking time.
These include simple soups, quick cooking grains, noodles and polenta.
Foods with the bitter flavor/taste are believed to nourish our heart and small intestines.
Cooling foods consist of those with bitter and watery qualities including all leafy greens, such as, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, endive, arugula, Swish chard, Chinese cabbage and cucumbers, celery, summer squash, zucchini, coconut water and seasonal fruits.
Edible flowers, wild edibles, such as, dandelion and mushrooms also provide bitter and cooling effects and add color, flavor and nutrients to our dishes.
Plant-based foods in their original form, aka whole foods, should be the foundation for your meal planning.
Our drinks should be cooling to our digestive system, not by adding ice cubes which slow digestion, but by consisting of cooling properties.
Herbal teas prepared with fresh or dried mint, dried hibiscus, dandelion and chicory and water served with cucumber slices and coconut water will all gently cool our bodies and balance our Summer Pitta Fire.
Summer is associated with feelings of joy and celebration. It is a time to engage and enjoy the abundance in the natural world.
Imbalances in the Fire element may show in the form of agitation, anxiety, apathy, restlessness, insomnia, insincerity, rashes, hives, heart palpitations and irrational fears.
As in past seasons, I recommend establishing, and continuing, a daily meditation practice. Literally just focusing on your breath when inhaling and exhaling can help you relax and center yourself. Ideally, find a quiet spot outdoors to meditate for a few minutes each day where you can sit on the bare ground and absorb the earth's energy.
During the summer months, we aim to stay cool and hydrated by eating less spicy, hot, oily and baked foods and more sweet, bitter, astringent and cool foods.
Adjusting our diets and daily routines seasonally promotes our health by aligning ourselves with nature’s cycles.
Digestive microbes within our intestinal tract change each season and the foods we chose will assist our bodies with remaining in balance, maintaining our energy, weight, blood sugar and even our sleep pattern.
(The Concord Grape Kanten recipe featured here can be found under the Recipes tab along with other seasonal favorites.)
Eating lighter plant-based foods, staying hydrated and literally moving our physical bodies will prevent congestion and help us to harmonize with nature's seasonal energy. Enjoy early morning and post dinner walks now that our daylight hours are lengthening. Sign up for a yoga or Qi gong class or establish an in-home practice that is just right for you.
Being physically active will support your heart and digestion, improve your mood and help you to enjoy the most of this glorious season.
Cherish each and every moment
and enjoy your journey!
Numerous studies show that getting more vegetables into our diets and avoiding processed foods can reduce our risks for heart disease, cancers and a host of other chronic illnesses. "Plant-based Diets" are everywhere. Consult with your healthcare professionals, doctors and dieticians to find the one that is right for you and your family members. There is a lot of information out there; however, you want to make smart choices based on your current medical condition, your medication regime, your constitution, your activity level and your personal goals.
Plant-based diets have been shown to lower blood sugar and ward off diabetes, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk for heart disease and stoke, reduce excess weight, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for certain cancers due to the anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and increased fiber content, reduce the risk for cataracts and macular degeneration due to the Vitamin A-rich foods and even lower your grocery bill.
Studies are showing that plant-based diets are not only improving people's physical health and reducing weight in those who are obese, they are also boosting emotional states, creating a sense of well-being and reducing episodes of depression.
Farmer's Markets, farm stands and gardens are in full swing here in the Northeast.
Enjoy your garden's bounty if you planted one and/or support your local farmers.
In the grocery store, focus on the Produce Department and avoid the middle aisles except when purchasing whole grains, such as, quinoa, rice, barley, amaranth, oat groats, buckwheat and beans, nuts, seeds and canned or jarred tomatoes and salsa.
Explore making bulk purchases of your family's favorite foods when they are on sale.
Plant-based, whole food diets are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.
Antioxidants protect against damage at a cellular level where cancers and degenerative diseases begin.
Phytochemicals in the foods work alongside the antioxidants, boost protective enzymes and help your body remain healthy.
By following a whole food, plant-based diet including avoiding processed foods, animal foods and eating as seasonally and locally as possible, you can enjoy tremendous health benefits, reduce your carbon footprint and put an end to the needless suffering and killing of animals who live short, cruel lives when raised in animal agricultural settings.
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Your initial consultation is free.