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Boost your immune system with these dishes

Boost your immune system with these dishes

Boost your immune system with these dishes

Find your Health FREEDOM with Chef Audrey!

In our kitchen today, Audrey Barron, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, teaches us how to eliminate processed foods from our pantries, all in the name of our immune health, which = more energy and going to the doctor less! Audrey says: 

1 in 2 children in the U.S. has a chronic illness.  Asthma, autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer and infertility rates continue to rise.  Meanwhile, our exposure to chemicals like Glyphosate on our food has increased approximately 500% since the 90’s.  

Food and the way it is grown directly affects our health.  It’s not a secret, but somehow, we continue to treat our food and ourselves in a way that is detrimental to our health and the planet.  The good news is that people are waking up to why food grown organically and not sprayed with chemicals is better for our health.  It’s now easier than ever to find organic food at your local grocer or farmers market.  And you can be sure when you eat at Ezra’s Café, we are using only the most quality ingredients, always NON-GMO and almost 100% organic, even including our oils and spices.

So, how can we get out of this cycle of sickness?!  One of the first steps is to take control of what you are eating by slowly eliminating processed food and bringing the art of cooking and preparing food back into our lives.

Boost your immune system with these dishes

Boost your immune system with these dishes

When we are involved in preparing our own food from scratch, we have control over the ingredients and this is where we can find our health FREEDOM.  

Folks who start to free themselves from the grips of processed food often experience better sleep, weight loss, more energy, more mental clarity, less sickness and over all a higher quality of life.  This translates even further into less time off work, less time getting over sickness, less money spent on doctors and medicine and more time on building the life you desire.   

So, we’ll start small with two simple recipes that delight the taste buds and also provide a plethora of nutrients and minerals to fuel your body, mind and spirit.

Would you like to take a class with me?  Check out our class lineup and more about Ezra’s Café

Want to follow me (Chef Audrey) to see what I’m up to at our farm and behind the scenes at the café? Find me at @GaiaChef or

Boost your immune system with these dishes

Boost your immune system with these dishes

Wild & Fresh Green Juice
Serves 6-8

This juice is both sweet and tart – the perfect summer juice that gives you abundant energy and gently cleanses your system

•    1 apple
•    1 peach
•    1 orange, peeled
•    1 large leaf Kale
•    handful of wild greens and herbs
•    ½ orange
•    1/2 lemon 
•    Small nob of ginger

1.    Run your kale, herbs, ginger and lemon through your juicer first then follow with your orange, apple and peach
2.    Enjoy with a peaceful calm heart.

Ginger Mango Raspberry Sorbet
Makes approximately 2 servings

If you are eliminating dairy from your diet or just want a quick sweet healthy treat, this sorbet is a life saver!

•    2 cups frozen mango
•    1 cup frozen raspberries
•    1 teaspoon ginger juice
•    1 teaspoon raw local honey

Topping recommendations
•    Raw honey or maple syrup
•    Berries
•    Nuts/seeds of choice
•    Herbs
•    Chocolate sauce 

1. To make your ice cream, you have a few options.  My favorite option is to use a slow masticating juicer – like an Omega, Green Star or Champion.  Simply putting your frozen fruit through the juicer makes it come out like soft serve.

2. If you don’t have a juicer, you can also use a high speed blender or a food processor to blend your fruit to the point that it’s creamy and icy.

3. Stir in your ginger juice and honey.  Simply top your ice cream with whatever you would like – the recommendations above all work great.  

Enjoy with someone you love!

To learn more, visit


Hamilton County’s ‘Wellness Unit’ part of nationwide effort to improve mental health among officers

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — An initiative to improve employee well-being at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is among a spate of efforts across the nation to address mental health concerns among officers.

Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush announced the department’s new “Wellness Unit”  — devoted to the physical, mental and spiritual health of its deputies, correctional officers and civilian employees — Friday in a Facebook post.

“Our guys really care about the public,” he said Monday in an interview with News 8. “When you see somebody who’s injured or victimized, it really impacts us… We’re only human.”

The Wellness Unit launched in January with funding approved by county council members and commissioners.

Appointments are held off-site at undisclosed locations to protect the privacy of employees. Supervisors are not briefed on which employees seek counseling or what they discuss during sessions.

Information gathered during counseling sessions will not be used to demote or discipline employees, and will only be disclosed if required by law, including when somebody poses an immediate danger to themselves or others.

The department’s entire staff will receive training related to suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, critical incidents, addiction, mindfulness and officer wellness, the sheriff said.

Nearly 1 in 4 police officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI); the suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters.

Years of daily exposure to stress, trauma and tragedy can have other devastating consequences if appropriate coping skills are not developed, according to Susan Sherer-Vincent, a licensed clinical social worker, certified alcoholism counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist involved in launching the Wellness Unit.

“Think of the hurricanes that come in, in Florida, and think of the palm trees where they bend,” she explained. “But then, what happens afterwards? They go back up. That’s called resilience. We want our officers to bend, not break.”

Until approximately 3 to 5 years ago, officers were often conditioned to “pull [themselves] up by the bootstraps and go to the next call” instead of addressing personal struggles, Sherer-Vincent said.

Cultivating resiliency can be difficult within a law enforcement culture that equates mental health challenges with “weakness,” she said.

“[Officers] are trained to have the warrior mentality,” Sherer-Vincent told News 8. “Truly, they would have been made fun of [in the past for seeking counseling].”

She compared strong, silent officers with underdeveloped coping skills to California’s famed redwood trees.

“They’re pretty sturdy. But what would happen if you took an ax and hit those every single day, day after day, for years? They would eventually fall,” she said.

Quakenbush credits his wife, church and non-law enforcement friends with providing “a really good support system.”

“But sometimes, you need a professional,” he said, urging employees to “talk through” negative emotions instead of turning to alcohol and other substances for temporary relief.

Several internal cases that resulted in disciplinary action during his year-long tenure as sheriff may have been prevented with wellness-focused intervention, Quakenbush said.

He was unable to comment on personnel matters. 

Sources within the department indicated some of the cases involved employees with substance abuse issues that had escalated over time, possibly as a result of work-related stress that had gone unaddressed. 

“I wouldn’t say that [disciplinary action] was happening often,” Quakenbush told News 8. “But seeing it happen and knowing that we probably could have done something about it made it impactful and something that we wanted to make a priority.”

Hamilton County announced its Wellness Unit days after New York City police officials revealed plans to hire a team of psychologists to combat a spike in officer suicides.

On Feb. 13, Indianapolis police officials said they planned to swear in the department’s first full-time therapy dog by the end of March.

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