Food House Project™

The Food Growing, Cooking, Preserving & Healing Self-Sufficiency Adventure

Welcome to the Food House Project

Food House Project Adventures from Our Farmhouse

The idea for the Food House Project™ grew out of our efforts to become increasing self-sufficient in our food growing and food independence. Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook is an international bestselling and twenty-time published book author and blogger for as well as the highly popular health and environmental site and Curtis Cook is a long-time business consultant who increasingly became involved in food security and local food movements. We both share a passion for great food and healthy living.

We’ve watched the food supply become increasingly degraded through pesticides, additives, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), poor agricultural practices, and industrial processing. We decided to take action by growing more and more of our own food. Starting with indoor sprouts over two decades ago, to more recently when we dug up most of our suburban lawn to turn it into fruits and vegetables, to now: buying an old farmhouse on an acreage and breathing new life into the home and land. We have big plans, a tight budget, and a steep learning curve, but we want to share the whole adventure with you. Welcome to the Food House Project™!


Let the Adventure Begin

7 Reasons to Eat More Beets

People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets.  I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETs camp.  I still remember the first time I ate them as a child.  I wanted them every day after that.  Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.

Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.

In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.

Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer.  The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.

Beets help fight cancer.  The phytonutrients--proanthocyanidins--that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.  

Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.

Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.

They are versatile.  They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.


8 Ways Tomatoes Keep You Young

It looks like we may be getting an early frost tonight based on the weather forecast.  We decided to pick the rest of the tomatoes and bring them inside to continue ripening.  Our harvest was small this summer due to all the other work occupying us but we had some of the best tasting tomatoes ever.

Great taste isn't the only benefit of tomatoes.  They are an anti-aging superfood that deserves a place in the diet of anyone interested in maintaining healthy skin, preventing age-related diseases like osteoporosis, and even preventing cancer.

Lycopene found in tomatoes is one of the compounds known collectively as carotenoids.  A large volume of research has shown for decades that carotenoids help protect skin against sun damage.

The incidence and risk for most types of cancer tends to increase with age.  Research in the CMAJ:  the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the risk of serious chronic diseases like cancer is reduced with increased tomato consumption.  Although lycopene has been credited, the scientists found that other nutrients in tomatoes may play a role.

Lycopene, widely considered the most potent antioxidant of the carotenoids, is a powerful antioxidant that not only protects against UV damage it also helps protect against damaging bacteria.

Lycopene also appears to strengthen skin by inhibiting the activity of collagenases--enzymes involved in the breakdown of collagen in the skin.  Collagen helps ensure the firmness and elasticity of your skin and prevents wrinkling.

When scientists analyzed the tissue and blood levels of lycopene in subjects they found that those people with high levels of this nutrient, primarily found in tomatoes in the Western diet, had a lower risk of chronic diseases.

Lycopene found in tomatoes keeps your teeth and gums healthy.  In studies it has shown antibacterial and antifungal properties and, specifically aided tooth and gum health.

Thanks again to their rich lycopene supply, tomatoes can help protect our bodies against the effects of toxins, especially aflatoxins (a type of mold often found in peanuts and peanut butter) and cadmium.

Numerous studies show that lycopene can assist with cardiovascular health.  Heart disease is often attributed to poor diet and aging.  Increased lycopene consumption helps to improve heart health and obviously helps to displace less healthy food choices in the diet.

Our tomato supply won't last long this fall and winter but I have saved seeds and can't wait to get next spring's larger crop underway.


Dreaming of Apple Orchards

A Crisp Organic Apple Fresh From Our Tree

The first time I set my foot in an apple orchard, I fell in love. I loved the fragrant, fruity scent that wafted through the air. I loved walking among the trees with their gentle canopies full of plump and beautiful fruit. And, I loved the feeling of being among them, the energy that instantly picked up my spirits and made me feel so alive.

But, the trees soon faded into shadows as I discovered that owning an apple orchard was simply not in our budget. Fast forward several years when my husband and I decided we were going to leave our beloved British Columbia after living indoors for weeks at a time during the summer months while forest fire smoke filled the air and our lungs, making it hard to breathe even indoors.

At the same time, we decided that we were tired of large mortgage payments where more than half of the money we paid out was eaten up by bank interest. We knew we wanted land and to become more self-sufficient so we bought one of the most affordable forested acreages we could find in Ontario, close to a town with amenities but with enough space to roam. Upon it sat an old, brick home built around 1890. The house needed a lot of work, after all, it didn’t even have a full kitchen or even a stove for that matter. And, we couldn’t find a single hookup for a washer and dryer. It appeared that the old farm house had never seen such modern luxuries as laundry facilities.

After many months of installations, renovations, restorations, and what felt like endless amounts of cleaning, we finally took to the land, slowly but surely cutting through the overgrown grass and brush. Since we arrived at the home at the end of November while the land was already covered in a thick blanket of snow, we were pleasantly surprised to find two lovely apple trees in our yard. There were many dead and craggy branches so we weren’t sure if the trees would even yield apples, but they did…lots of them.

Apples on One of Our Trees at Food House Project

Imagine our great surprise as we ventured further out into the forest on our property to discover an ever-increasing number of apple trees, including a gorgeous old, heirloom tree that looks to be about forty feet tall. And, many other trees approached that lofty stature. Today alone, after hours of cutting trails through the brush with our old, but tough, riding mower, we discovered six more apple trees, bringing the current total to twenty.

Curtis Who is 62

[Photo: Curtis is 6'2" and looks small in this massive heirloom apple tree.]

I nearly burst into tears of gratitude when I suddenly realized that Curtis and I were the unexpected but proud owners of a magnificent apple orchard full of beautiful heirloom trees. We still have lots of brush to clear and plentiful amounts of skin-piercing, thorny buckthorn that makes the job all the more treacherous, but beyond it lies our coveted and beloved apple orchard. In some ways battling the thorny and tough landscape to reveal the forgotten and beautiful rewards has been a metaphor for life. And, while the apples, aren’t going to win any beauty contests, with a few nips and tucks of a paring knife, they’re perfectly crisp and delicious to eat and ideal for apple sauces, cider, hard cider (check out our awesome new Alchema for making homemade artisanal ciders, wines, and beers—save 10% with the coupon code COOK10), and baked treats.

Making Homemade Hard Apple Cider in Our Alchema

[Photo: Making Homemade Hard Apple Cider from Organic Apples in Our Awesome Alchema. The device makes the whole process effortless and trackable on a smart phone. Use coupon code COOK10 to save 10%.]


Better yet, it’s clear that these apples have been organically-grown for years, if not for their full lifespan, so we don’t have to worry about toxic pesticides that may potentially cause cancer, nerve or brain damage, or other serious health concerns.

But, perhaps the greatest part of the whole experience is that Curtis and I are waking up early and sharing a walk on the newly-cut forest trails with our wicker baskets in tow to pick (or pick up, as is more often the case) the apples from our trees. While we have always dreaded mornings, and have indeed been night owls our whole life, the excitement of the fruits that await us each morning has turned us into cheery morning people. Will we find tart green Macintoch, large or sweet Golden Delicious, or maybe a few brilliant red and crispy heirloom Jonathans? Every day is an exciting adventure worth waking up early to embrace. Join us for more of our thrilling farm life escapades on our acreage at




Food Fix Ebook by Dr. Cook Check out Michelle's latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download.    


The "No Dig, No Dirt, No Problem" Garden Bed

Having a large wooded acreage results some serious biomass. When the snow finally melted on our property, we were amazed by the number of branches, leaves and even full-size trees that had come down during the winter. Additionally, large areas of the property had been cleared and planted with grass so we had a long uncut lawn that needed serious dethatching and trimming.

On other properties we owned, it was always a challenge to manage yard waste because we grew a lot of plants in small spaces.  We would compost as much as we could but that can take time and space as well. Now that we have some space, we have a great solution: make another garden bed! In late May, we did just that with our yard waste in anticipation of having a rich and healthy vegetable bed next year. We were amazed by the result.

Based on the yard waste and space we had, we decided to create a hybrid garden bed combining no dig techniques with hugulkultur, a technique that uses wood and other debris to form a composting mound that is covered with topsoil and planted with produce. We didn’t want a mound and opted for a raised bed about a foot (30 cenimetres) off the ground, knowing that we could add to it in the fall and increase its height for planting next spring.

We started with rotted logs and large limbs – pieces of wood that could not be used in our woodstove. We spread them out in our chosen space and covered them with smaller branches, over which we heaped both grass clippings and wood chips that we chipped ourselves. Based on the size of the bed, we had enough topsoil to give it about an inch and a half (4 centimetres) of coverage.

At first we thought this would be adequate to hold all the biomass in place over the summer, generate some heat underneath and start the material composting. However, our curiosity got the best of us by mid-June. ‘What if we planted some food in here?” We found some inexpensive organic peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash starter plants and stuck them through the meagre topsoil into the crevasses between the branches and wood chips. We had some beet seeds and we through them in, as well as some organic potato pieces and sprouting garlic cloves. Would it grow? The answer is yes.  This is what it looks like now.

Remember, this garden bed is about 95% branches, twigs and grass clippings. It illustrates how you can clean up your yard waste, make your topsoil go much further, and extend your garden many times over with little or no cost (especially if you plant from seed). I am still amazed that the beet seeds, potato chunks and garlic grew in so little earth.

We didn’t expect to have any harvest from this garden bed this year and now we have an incredible amount of food. It is late July and we have already enjoyed cucumbers and various chili peppers. The tomatoes are ripening and the squash are increasing in size.

Next year, the garden bed will be even more nutrient-rich but for now, we are enjoying the harvest we didn’t expect to get. The next time you look at those grass clippings, twigs and branches, try to imagine delicious tomatoes, cucumbers and squash!


13 Reasons to Start Drinking Cherry Juice Today

There are numerous benefits of eating cherries and drinking real cherry juiceWe just added a couple of young cherry trees to our property and are already dreaming of the day we harvest our very own cherries. The amazing taste and health benefits make the picking worth every minute. There are so many health benefits to eating cherries or drinking real cherry juice that you’ll want to read on to learn more.

Antioxidant Powerhouse: According to the University of Michigan, one cup of freeze-dried tart cherries has an ORAC value greater than 10,000, making it extremely high on the list of antioxidant-rich foods. The researchers found that tart cherries have a wide diversity and a unique combination of phytochemicals that boost their antioxidant function.

Arthritis Alleviator: In an analysis of studies on cherries, researchers found that 5 out of 5 studies of the fruit on arthritis demonstrated benefits to arthritis study participants.

Blood Pressure Reduction: A new study published in the medical journal Nutrients found that drinking around one half of a quart of tart cherry juice daily reduced high blood pressure in the study participants.

Cholesterol Reducer: The same study found a reduction in cholesterol levels among those drinking the juice.

Exercise Recovery: Research published in the European Journal of Sport Science found that tart cherry accelerated the healing of exercise-induced muscle damage.

Gout Healer: Tart cherry juice and tart cherries are well-known for their ability to alleviate the pain and inflammation of gout—a form of arthritis that primarily affects the big toe.

Heart Healer: In a series of 3 studies published by the University of Michigan, researchers found that tart cherries reduced cardiovascular disease risk and heart-damaging inflammation.

Inflammation Suppression: The study in Nutrients also found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in a 25% reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP)—a marker for inflammation and frequently a precursor to heart disease, as well as a reduction in inflammation.

Nutrition Booster: Cherries are nutritional powerhouses that contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, which literally means plant chemicals, including: anthocyanins, flavonoids (such as quercetin), chlorogenic acid,

Osteoporosis Aid: Another study published in the journal Nutrients found that tart cherry juice significantly prevented bone loss and may therefore be helpful in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. What’s more: a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that tart cherry actually increased bone mineral density.

Prebiotic Gut Benefits: According to research published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, tart cherries and tart cherry juice act as prebiotics in the gut, meaning they provide food for beneficial bacteria to ensure their growth and ability to multiply.

Sleep Inducer: In a study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, researchers found that drinking 8 ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and again 1 to 2 hours before promoted sleep among those suffering from insomnia. The juice was so effective that the insomniacs slept an average of one hour and 24 minutes more, on average, each night while incorporating the beverage into their daily regimes.

Weight Loss Booster: Because tart cherry juice reduces inflammation, it may come as no surprise that it reduces inflammation linked to obesity, suggesting the fruit and the beverage made from it may be a helpful addition in weight loss programs.

While most of the studies were conducted on tart cherries, sweet cherries also offer many health benefits. It’s easy to get more cherries into your diet. There are fresh, frozen, freeze-dried powders, juice, and dried cherries to choose from. Add fresh, frozen, or dried powders into your smoothies. Drink the juice, preferably diluted with equal parts of water, and snack on the dried cherries or add them to leafy green or quinoa salads.


Food Fix The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease by Dr. CookDr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, RNCP, ROHP, is an international best-selling & 21-time published book author, and a celebrity nutritionist. Check out her latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, WebMD,, and Thrive Global. Learn more about her work at    


21 "Need To Know" Facts About Water

Here are some important facts about water that you need to knowWe had an unusually wet spring this year but we also know that our area had a serious drought through the summer last year. The weather seems to be increasingly unpredictable around the world and water often factors into that uncertainty. At the same time, industry is consuming more fresh water than ever to make an excess of products we don't really need. Whether your part of the world is experiencing flooding or drought (or both) or excessive water consumption, one thing remains true: we cannot live without fresh, clean water. While some corporations claim that access to clean water should not be a human right, it absolutely is and needs to remain that way because our lives depend on it. Water is essential yet few people know much about it. Here are some important facts about water that you need to know:

The average adult human body is made up of 50 to 65 percent water.

The human brain is 75% water and depends on water to ensure the electrical communications in the brain work correctly.

A person can live about a month without food but only about a week without water.

68.7% of the world’s fresh water is found in glaciers.

A whopping 97% of the world’s water is salt water and is therefore not drinkable.

Whatever we pour into the ground or flush down the toilet or add to our washing machine ends up in water supply.

Whatever spews out into the air finds its way into our water.

According to the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the artificial sweetener sucralose, which is also known under the brand name Splenda, is now a widespread contaminant in surface water, ground water, and waste water. Most likely, it finds its way into our water supply by those who use it and urinate it out or through the manufacture of this artificial sweetener. Scientists determined that sucralose is a recalcitrant compound, which means that it resists break-down during chemical processes or treatment. Once it finds its way into the water supply it is likely to find its way into your drinking water.

According to research cited by the national coalition Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse, 70 percent of household drinking water contains glyphosate. They also found that the amount of the toxic pesticide, glyphosate, (also known as Monsanto’s Roundup) allowed in American drinking water is much higher than the limit should be. The current limit in the United States is  0.4 parts per billion, which might not sound like much but research shows that even with only one-fourth of that amount which is the limit in the European Union (EU), glyphosate can damage 4000 genes and can cause many serious health problems. 

Unsafe water kills 200 children every hour.

In just one year the average American household uses over 100,000 gallons of water (indoor and outdoor use).

Water helps to regulate the earth’s temperature.

Water performs many functions in the human body, from temperature regulation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects tissues and organs, and removes wastes, to name a few.

Growing animals for consumption uses more than 50% of the fresh water. Simply reducing our animal foods consumption, we would reduce our water use by at least half.

One pound of beef requires between 2000 and 8000 gallons of water to produce—for either grass-fed or grain-fed cows. Pound-for-pound and gallon-for-gallon, animal foods use many times the water of plant-based foods and produce vast amounts more carbon than plant-based foods. According to UCLA, ounce-for-ounce, plant sources like legumes, seeds, and grains yield similar amounts of protein as meat yet also provide fiber, sterols, stanols, vitamins and minerals.

One gallon of cow’s milk requires 1950 gallons of water to create.

Compare the amount of water to yield animal products to the amount of water needed to produce plant-based foods: one pound of oats requires 290 gallons of water; one pound of tofu requires 302 gallons of water to produce.

To compare the environmental effects of animal-rich diets to plant-based ones: it costs 20 to 80 gallons of water to yield one gram of protein from beef compared to 3.8 gallons of water to yield one gram of protein from oats.

It takes 20 gallons of water to produce one pint of beer.

A cucumber is 95% water, making it an excellent source of water when you need it.

While water may seem endless because it flows from the skies, we only have the amount of water that we have. As a result, we need to show water greater respect, conserve it and keep water pure.


A Celebration of Celery and Celery Seeds

Celery is one of the most overlooked superfoodsCelery is probably one of the most overlooked superfoods. While some people add chopped celery to their soup or chili, or eat them as raw snacks, their healing powers are tremendously overlooked. I want to change that by showcasing celery’s true healing powers. Here are some of the best health and healing benefits of eating celery, and celery seeds, on a regular basis:

Brain and Memory Superfood: Celery might just be the most overlooked brain health superfood.  Perhaps it is because affordable, readily-available celery is just too commonplace to be a considered a superfood but when it comes to your brain you’ll want to give celery a second thought. Over 900 years ago Hildegard von Bingen, a writer, scientist, musician, and nun wrote about celery’s anti-inflammatory properties.  But it was only much more recently that scientists have proven what she knew almost a millennia ago. James Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy and world-renowned botanist, discovered that both celery and celery seeds contain over twenty natural anti-inflammatory compounds including an extremely potent one known as apigenin. These anti-inflammatories help reduce brain inflammation that can occur as we age and make us more vulnerable to memory lapses and brain decline.

Pain and Inflammation: Celery and celery seeds are a great addition to your diet, particularly if you suffer from any inflammation or pain. In addition to Dr. Duke’s research citing these foods as among the best for brain inflammation, they can also quell inflammation elsewhere in the body. In a study published in Progress in Drug Research scientists found that an extract of celery seeds was at least as effective as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen in the treatment of arthritis.

Arthritis and Gout Remedies: Celery and celery seeds are proven arthritis remedies.  They are particularly great against the arthritic condition gout, which is primarily felt in pain in the big toe. 

Diabetes Preventer and Treatment: Celery contains compounds known as flavonols which research in the Journal of Nutrition shows can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%. Additionally, these nutrients can help those already suffering from the disease. Unlike many fruits that are also high in flavonols but are also high in natural sugars that may not be suitable for all diabetics, celery is low in sugar and an excellent choice for anyone.

Gut Protector: Due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, including its unique apiuman content, celery and celery seeds offer protection against inflammation of the digestive tract.

Antiaging Antioxidants: A growing body of research shows that celery and celery seeds can help prevent the effects of aging thanks to its many free-radical-fighting compounds. Some of the unique antioxidants found in celery include compounds known as lunularin, bergapten, and psoralen. But, you don’t need to remember their complex names to benefit from their antioxidant protection for your cells, blood vessels, and organs.

Healthy Blood Clotting: Due to its high vitamin K content, celery can help ensure healthy blood flow and blood clotting. Just one cup of diced celery contains one-third of your body’s daily vitamin K requirements. Of course, if you take warfarin or another blood thinner, or have a blood clotting disorder, it is wise to keep your vitamin K intake consistent on a daily basis to avoid any issues with your medication or condition.

Heart and Blood Vessel Health: Due to celery’s many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, it has been found to protect the blood vessels and heart from damage, making it an excellent food to ensure your cardiovascular health.

May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure: Thanks to celery’s compounds known as phthalides which act as natural diuretics and thereby help to lower pressure inside blood vessels, eating celery on a daily basis may help to normalize high blood pressure.

Bone Health: Due to its high vitamin K content which helps build strong and healthy bones, eating celery on a regular basis may help strengthen your bones.

Anti-Cancer Properties: While the research on celery’s potential anti-cancer properties is still in its infancy, there are animal studies showcasing celery’s anti-cancer effects. Other research in the Journal of Cancer Prevention found that apigenin, which is found in celery and celery seeds, demonstrates anti-cancer activity by preventing free radical damage to cells and DNA, suppressing inflammation, slowing cancer cell growth, and causing cancer cells to commit suicide through a process known as apoptosis.

How to Benefit

Celery is one of the most versatile foods, making it simple to add to your daily diet. You can juice celery in a juicer or blender.  If using a blender you’ll want to add a bit of water and drink immediately as the fiber causes the drink to quickly thicken. Add chopped celery or celery seeds to soups or stews.  My sister blends pieces of celery into her excellent Caesar salad dressing to thicken it and give it a hint of celery taste and all of the health benefits celery offers. 

Enjoy raw celery crudités with almond butter, hummus, or your favorite dip or spread. Add chopped, raw celery to salads.

Use celery seeds or as a salt substitute in many recipes. One of my favorite foods as an appetizer instead of garlic bread is celery bread. It’s made the same as garlic bread but uses celery seeds in place of the garlic. Better yet, use the garlic along with the celery seed for a delicious appetizer or snack.  Simply brush olive oil on whole grain gluten-free bread and sprinkle with celery seeds, bake in a 325-degree oven until golden-brown and serve immediately.


Food Fix The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease by Dr. CookDr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, RNCP, ROHP, is an international best-selling & 21-time published book author, and a celebrity nutritionist. Check out her latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, WebMD,, and Thrive Global. Learn more about her work at    


Eat Your Greens! Here Are 10 Reasons Why

There are many great reasons for eating more leafy greensIn our house we love leafy greens so much that we grow microgreens year-round in our kitchen, as well as many types of leafy greens in our outdoor gardens in the summer. They are delicious additions to sandwiches, salads noodle bowls and all kinds of meals. We all know we should eat more greens but perhaps the following information and research will provide the incentive needed to actually eat more. Here are some great benefits - beyond the fact they taste great - of eating more greens:

Male Sexual Health: Many leafy greens, and beet greens in particular, are good sources of the mineral zinc. According to a study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences researchers found that moderate doses of zinc enhanced male sexual health, including a reduced likelihood of premature ejaculation, increased ability to maintain sexual activity for longer periods of time, and improved testosterone levels.

May Help to Alleviate Heart Palpitations: Leafy greens are among the best food sources of the mineral potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Sadly, due to the high amount of sodium in most peoples’ diets and the fact that sodium displaces potassium, it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in America, with some estimates around 98% of the population being deficient. Addressing this deficiency may help to reduce heart palpitations.

May Help with Eye Health: Leafy greens are powerhouses of lutein, with beet greens being among the best source, containing over 275 micrograms of lutein, which is a critical nutrient to maintain eye health and vision, and in the prevention of eye conditions. When it comes to eye health few foods can compare to leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach. That’s because they contain a wide variety of eye-protecting and eye-healing nutrients, some of which include: alpha-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin.  

Help Protect Against Heart Disease: If you’re suffering from heart disease you’ll want to load up on your favorite greens, including: kale, lettuce, parsley, and spinach. That’s because research in the journal Atherosclerosis found that some vegetables are better than others in preventing condition. Vegetables with a high lutein content, like leafy greens, were particularly beneficial in reducing heart disease and in treating the condition after it has formed. Leafy greens are high in many nutrients, including the B-complex vitamins, including vitamin B6, B12, and folate—all of which are essential for normal homocysteine levels.  Homocysteine is a type of protein that is produced by the body and found in the blood, ideally in low levels. High homocysteine levels is a factor for heart disease so it’s wise to keep them low by eating more leafy greens. Additionally, leafy greens are high in the nutrient lutein. Research in the journal Atherosclerosis found vegetables high in lutein were particularly beneficial in reducing heart disease but even treating the condition after it has formed.

Osteoporosis Protection: Veggies like kale and spinach contain high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation and boost bone health.

Cancer Fighters: Leafy greens have many anti-cancer compounds, some of which include: alpha-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Dandelion greens, in particular are potent cancer fighters. While not unusual in traditional Italian diets, few people in North America eat dandelion greens. But, for those fighting cancer you might want to reconsider in light of the research published in Nature Chemistry which found that dandelion greens offer hope in the treatment of this dreaded illness. The researchers identified a substance called JPC11 which appears to interfere with cancer cells' ability to divide rapidly--a process necessary to the survival of cancer in the body.

Diabetes Aid: Ground-breaking published in Endocrine Journal found that a vitamin A deficiency may actually be at the root of diabetes. The scientists found that vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the beta cells of the pancreas. The beta cells are responsible for producing insulin, which in turn helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Leafy greens contain beta carotene, the precursors of vitamin A.

Liver Healers: Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses that are good for almost everything so it will probably come as no surprise that they are also good for liver health. According to a study published in the medical journal Lipids in Health and Disease, eating more leafy greens has been found to improve the liver’s fatty acid profile, which not only offers liver health benefits and may reduce the risk of a fatty liver, but may also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lymphatic System Cleansers: Leafy greens like arugula, spinach, and kale are good for almost everything so it will probably come as no surprise that they are also excellent lymphatic system cleansers. They contain many vital vitamins and minerals that boost your lymphatic system’s ability to keep your tissues clean and healthy. Be sure to eat a couple of cups of fresh greens daily.

Weight Loss Booster: If weight loss had a color, surely it would be green. That’s because leafy greens are power-packed with nutrients that help maintain a healthy metabolism. Whether you add spring mix, spinach, kale, mustard greens, or another type of leafy vegetable to your diet, they are all excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants that alleviate inflammation, which has been linked to weight gain and obesity.  And, if you eat them in microgreen form, you will boost up your nutrient consumption even more.


Food Fix The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome DiseaseDr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, RNCP, ROHP, is an international best-selling & 21-time published book author, and a celebrity nutritionist. Check out her latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, WebMD,, and Thrive Global. Learn more about her work at    


Strawberry Fields Forever: 10 Great Reasons to Eat This Early Season Berry

There are so many great reasons to eat strawberriesEvery June when strawberries burst into gardens and markets near my home, I am reminded of my strawberry-picking expeditions as a child with my dad and sister.  My mom agreed to make dozens of pies or fresh jam if we’d pick the strawberries needed.  Well, that was all the incentive I needed to spend some serious time in the massive strawberry patches in the countryside near where I lived.  Nowadays, I try to eat fresh strawberries to benefit from their many healing properties…and, let’s be honest, for their intensely delicious flavor. Here are some of the best reasons to eat more strawberries:

1) They’re antioxidant powerhouses.  Actually, as fruits go, strawberries have the fourth highest level of antioxidants of foods recently tested.  Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals linked to aging and disease.

2) They’re excellent sources of vitamin C which helps boost the strength of arteries, prevent bruising, and strengthen your body’s stress glands—the adrenals—which require the highest levels of vitamin C of all organs or glands in your body.  Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange.

3)  Strawberries have been shown in studies to regulate blood sugar levels.  Eating one cup of fresh strawberries caused a significant reduction in blood sugar spikes.  Blood sugar spikes are linked with weight gain, mood swings, diabetes, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).  That’s because the spikes are followed by plummeting blood sugar levels soon afterward.

4)  Strawberries have anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties.  In a study published in the medical journal Nutrients, researchers found that eating strawberries regularly helped alleviate the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis in the knees. Of course, strawberries can help reverse inflammation and pain in other places in the body, but the study only explored the knees.

5)  Strawberries are high in many nutrients that help protect us from heart disease. According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, there are many compounds found in strawberries that help to protect us against heart disease. Some of the main heart-protecting compounds include: flavonols, anthocyanins, elligitannins, and others. More and more research continues to pile up about the heart-healing and other benefits of these nutrients.

6)  Strawberries contain anthocyanins which stimulate the burning of stored fat in the body to use as fuel, making strawberries a great choice for anyone looking to lose weight.

7)  They have anti-cancer properties.  Their flavonoid content causes the body to interfere with the stages of development of cancer cells, preventing their ability to multiply.

8)  Strawberries’ phenolic acids demonstrate anti-allergenic properties, meaning they help reduce the biochemical processes that are linked to allergic reactions.  Of course, as with any food, some people are allergic to strawberries so if you suspect an allergy you should avoid them.

9)  Research in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that strawberries help to protect our genetic material from damage from ultraviolet rays, specifically UV-A rays from the sun.

10)  They’re delicious and versatile.  Add fresh or frozen strawberries to smoothies, shakes, or blender “juices”.  Top whole grain waffles or pancakes with fresh strawberries, blend them with avocado to create a delicious pudding, or just enjoy them on their own.


Window Sill Greenhouse: Six Week Update

Window sill greenhouse with mature potatoes and peasAt the end of March, we wrote about re-purposing an old storage bin and using it for a windowsill greenhouse inside our home. As we begin planting outside, it is amazing to see how our plants fared in the window over the last six weeks.

We ended up with seven strong and healthy potato plants out of the nine potato scraps we planted.  We later added peas from sprouted peas that fell in the bin while draining water from them.  We also added some sprouting organic garlic cloves we bought at the store. You can see the peas climbing over the edge and reaching for more sunlight.  The garlic is a bit slower and has not reached the lip of the container.

About two weeks ago we added some beet scraps and the greens are starting to grow as well.  The challenge is ensuring that the potatoes don't block out all the light.  We keep rotating the bin but the potatoes keep leaning toward the light.  It might be time to bring the windowsill greenhouse outside. 

Considering the food in this bin was grown primarily from scraps that would have gone in the compost heap, we are thrilled with the results. And unless we had a heated greenhouse outside, there would not be any way we would have potatoes this far along in our northern climate.

I can't wait to try our windowsill harvest!



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About Us

Curtis and Michelle - The Food House Project People


Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook is a best-selling & 20-time book author and popular blogger for and the world's largest health and environmental site Her books include: Be Your Own Herbalist, The Cultured Cook, and Cancer-Proof.

Curtis Cook is a former international business consultant who now focuses on his passion for local food movements and resilient communities. 

They share a love of great food, gardening, nature, and each other.

What's Growin' Outside

July 2019




Black Raspberries


Apache Peppers

Cayenne Peppers

Banana Peppers