What’s New at Hahn’s Market?

When you first walk into the new Hahn’s Market you may not notice anything different than any other grocery store.  However, that could not be farther from the truth. Since last October, Hahn’s has been slowly and steadily changing over to a natural and organic grocery store, which is awesome for many reasons: organic and natural foods are better for us; we need a store like this in the area (especially on the north side of Eau Claire); and their bulk section will blow your mind.  With more than 200 bulk items at your fingertips, you have entered the bulktastic world of grains, nuts, teas and spices.  Prepare to be impressed and not just by the bulk section.

Please, take a verbal tour with me, I will show you around.  As we go left into the store you will find local meats and cheeses from Louie’s Meats in Cumberland, Castle Rock Cheese in Osseo, as well as a number of other well known local farms and dairies. As we proceed past the meat counter with prime choice cuts of steak, local meats like Meyer’s beef and Beeler’s pork as well as fresh seafood, we hit the produce. Here you have your choice of organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables. As we keep walking we see some local beers and wines from around the area and then we are at the dairy case in the back. So Delicious coconut yogurt is nestled between Organic Valley milk and other brands of organic dairy that you may have never seen anywhere else. The selection is superb.  As we round the back of the store, we find organic chips, crackers, and pretzels; then we round right and enter the frozen foods. Delight your taste buds with Amy’s Pizza, Kashi frozen dinners, and other frozen natural and organic options. The inside isles are equally impressive with organic baby items, organic canned foods, organic cereal, organic spices, and so much more. So stop by when you have time, stop by to browse and explore. With so many awesome options, you may be here a while so get a baby sitter if you have to.

We’ll see you when you get here. Drive Safely!

3045 North Hastings Way

A Short Guide to World Tea Brewing

by Drew Seveland, Owner of Infinitea Teahouse

What is the best way to make tea? A simple question, but one with a myriad of answers. The traditional American experience, of course, requires a tea bag and a steaming mug of hot water. Steep until you can taste it, and it’s ready to sip. But throughout the ages, the art of making tea has transformed from one process into another, splintering with custom to give us multitudes of ways.
In much of China, the method prevalent is called gongfu. It involves placing a large clump of loose leaves into a small pot made of porous clay, called yixing, and steeping quickly and several times. In this way, Gongfu produces progressive steepings, each a little different from the last.

In Japan, there is a tradition of using a powdered tea called matcha. Matcha powder is made by finely grinding very fresh and high quality Japanese green tea leaves. In preparation, water is heated in a cast iron pot called a tetsubin, then frothed into a small bowl by a server using a bamboo whisk. A Japanese tea ceremony consists of several other steps, one of which is turning the cup several times to pay homage to the provider of the cup and the tea, a custom as functional as it is honorable, as matcha tends to settle quickly if the cup is not kept moving.

Chai is known by Americans for the latte syrup used at many coffee houses, which is most commonly combined with frothed milk. The term chai comes from India, where chai means, literally, tea. It has come to be understood in a wider sense as the preparation method of Indian black tea with cinnamon, clove, ginger, black peppercorn, and cardamom. Traditionally, this tea blend is prepared over a stove with slowly stirred milk and honey, then poured through a strainer.

From the preparation of Russia Kombucha, a fermented beverage with a small alcoholic content, to the multiple pots of Turkish tea, to Tibetan tea thickened with yak butter, we live in a world of many beverages, many tastes and customs, of one simple leaf.


by Aphrodite Blue

Years ago I decided to do a long fast during the summer months. Having been so proud of myself for just finishing a 10-day water fast, I felt light, fresh, and wonderful. Upon completing my fast and thinking nothing of it, I returned to eating my Standard American Diet (SAD) of vegetarian food. Immediately my body took offense to cooked foods. I could not believe how bloated and all around sick I felt. Knowing foods shouldn’t make me feel this way, I recalled reading an article a few months prior about super model Carol Alt. She spoke of thriving on a living foods diet and how it changed her life. That night I started researching and discovered that when food is cooked it loses most of its nutrition, enzymes, and vitamins. AHA! I thought to myself, no wonder the SAD diet made me feel so bad. The following day I started my journey to an extremely high percentage raw lifestyle.

Fast forward almost four years, and I have seen many benefits of this dietary change, including little to no allergies. For a person that used to take at least one allergy pill daily just to survive, that was amazing. For the most part, my health problems have completely disappeared. I have wonderfully soft skin, unlike the bumpy skin I dealt with for most of my life. I rarely ever get sick and when I do it is usually only a day or two while others are sick for more than a week. However, one of the very best parts is that I have been able to release 30 pounds of unwanted weight.

If only I had a dollar for every time that someone has asked me how I get my protein. Out of curiosity, a few months ago I actually went and got my first blood test to see if I was indeed getting all the things that I needed. My numbers were perfect all around. I now carry a handy chart in my wallet to answer those questions about protein.

Although there are some challenges to remaining a raw vegan during the winter months, generally I no longer have any problems sticking to it. I tend to get excited for the seasonal produce that I can only get during the winter months at our local stores, such as oranges, mangos, plumellas, clementines, grapefruit, dates, and jicama. Creativity allows me to come up with new and fresh ways to eat these foods as well as fills up my original recipe book for the days when my creative juices are not flowing. Keeping such staples as raw Cacao, shredded coconut and flakes, coconut oil, agave, vanilla powder, lucuma powder, hemp protein powder, camu powder, chia, flax, sunflower and sesame seeds as well as many types of nuts, gogi berries, lentils, and Brazilian nut protein on hand allows for raw treats when I can’t make it to the produce section in my local store. On my counter are fresh growing alfalfa sprouts, mung beans, and sunflower seed sprouts which I throw on top of organic baby greens or make a salad of sprouts with a dressing. There is something so tasty about eating something fresh, alive, and full of nutrients started from seeds only a few days prior. It tastes almost as though the summer gardens have returned.

As a treat, occasionally I will make the trip over to my favorite fast food restaurant, The Raw Deal, in Menomonie, where they serve á la carte entrees and desserts that are uncooked. It is wonderful for a person like myself to be able to go out to eat every once in a while. It is also a great way for someone to be introduced to raw foods.

There is great support here now, unlike when I first began four years ago. Our raw vegan monthly potlucks have a fun social aspect to them while keeping the spirit of raw alive. These potlucks have become one of the highlights of each month and are growing in popularity as more people learn about the benefits of a raw vegan diet.

People ask me all the time about whether or not I actually like what I eat. I can’t get enough of the raw foods. Each and every experience is a taste explosion in my mouth. I no longer eat empty foods to fill me up. I no longer will eat something that doesn’t satisfy my taste buds. I absolutely LOVE the taste of living vegan foods.

Peacelovemusic@sprynet.com | http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rawmazingpotlucks/

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in 3-4 cups of filtered water overnight
  • ¼ cup chia seeds, soaked in filtered water overnight
  • ½ cup maple syrup or agave
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

Do not drain water. Put soaking water and cashews into the blender. Add maple syrup or your sweetener of choice and blend until smooth. Add sweetener to your desired sweetness. Add raw cacao powder and blend. Taste. Add more maple syrup for a sweeter pudding or cacao for a more chocolaty taste. After reaching your desired taste, pour chia seeds into the blender and blend only long enough to mix. Blending the pudding longer will get rid of the tapioca texture.

This can be made without the cacao as well.

Enjoy. Keeps in the refrigerator for a week, however it won’t last that long without being eaten!

The Health Side of Tea

by Drew Seveland, co-owner of Infinitea Teahouse

People often come into our Teashop and ask for the healthiest tea we carry. Others come in with preconceptions about Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, whatever it may be, that it, and only it will cure them of their ailments and indulgences. While others arrive with a willingness to try whatever we have that could possibly help shed a few pounds, or at least stop the pangs of hunger that send them reeling for another Big Mac.

The truth is, there is no one tea that is necessarily healthier than any other. Each has its own benefits and peculiarities. That said, there are some you should definitely consider when seeking a tea for health purposes.

One way of differentiating tea is by the level of caffeine. Tea is wonderfully color-coded. The darker the tea, the more caffeine. Herbal teas, for the most part, are caffeine-free. Thus, from least to most, teas can be arranged as such: herbals, white, green, oolong, and black.

If you are seeking a tea for general health, feel free to branch out! Nearly all teas, including most herbals and tea substitutes like yerba mate and African rooibos, have antioxidants, the attribute that gives green tea its reputation for promoting good health and longevity.

For the exercise enthusiast, try yerba mate. It is packed full of a caffeine-like stimulant called mateine, that gives you energy for hours. Mate’s molecular make-up also helps to prevent lactic acid build-up in the joints; that is, it helps prevent soreness.

For blood pressure, try anything with hibiscus in it. Hibiscus has been known to combat high blood pressure for years, and has just recently been taken head to head with the leading blood pressure medications to test its comparative effectiveness.

For sleep, try chamomile. Chamomile is a muscle relaxant with a subtle vanilla flavor, which, combined with a book and a warm bed will make any eyelid heavy. Many teas, like oolongs, are hunger suppressants or are good for fighting high cholesterol. Others, like peppermint, relieve stress. Ginseng root is good for memory and circulation. And the list goes on.

Great Food to Boost Your Mood

by J. Quinlan

We all love our comfort foods: bread, ice cream, mashed potatoes with lots of gravy. There is, in fact, scientific research that indicates what it is about comfort foods that can make them so, well, comforting. Many of these types of foods contain sugars and carbohydrates that give a temporary mental and physical lift. The downside of staving off the blues with these foods is that the lift is always followed by a crash, which can take us even lower. A better option: regulate your sleep, exercise, and watch your diet. You may be surprised at the results.

Nutrients, like antidepressants, work by releasing chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinepherine, and endorphins. These chemicals send messages between neurons, or nerve cells, and affect the functioning of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters need amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to function properly. UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, suggests opting for a good multi-vitamin isn’t your best attack against mood issues. “In most cases, a balanced and varied diet is the best way to influence brain chemistry,” he explains. Good brain nutrients work best when in whole-food form, because the nutrients work together for optimal absorption. In addition, you’re much less likely to overdose on a certain vitamin or mineral in your regular diet; though this is not always the case with a supplement. Overly high doses of something in supplement form can cause negative side effects. For example, too much iron in a fortified vitamin supplement, can cause problems with painful constipation and digestive discomfort. Too much folate can result in cardiovascular problems and increased risk of certain cancers. Simply put, Gomez-Pinilla says it’s best to just eat whole foods with brain-nourishing nutrients.

What foods, specifically, can help boost even the nastiest moods? National magazine Natural Solutions provides this list you’ll want to stick on your fridge for regular reference.

Amino Acids
These help the body naturally produce neurotransmitters which affect your mood. Think turkey, cheese, chicken, fish, beans, almonds, avocados, bananas, and pumpkin seeds.

The brain needs zinc in order to produce GABA, an amino acid that eases irritability and anxiety–both symptoms that can exacerbate the effects of depression. Think oysters, crab, turkey, lentils, yogurt, barley, and pumpkin seeds.

Also often found lacking in sufferers of depression, magnesium is essential in the synthesis of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. It is also said to help relieve anxiety and insomnia. Good sources of magnesium include oat bran, halibut, spinach, barley, pumpkin seeds, beans, and artichokes.

B6 helps convert amino acids into neurotransmitters; without this vitamin, the conversion process isn’t as strong and may not produce the desired mood-elevating serotonin levels. Go for beef, tuna, chickpeas, bananas, turkey, and prunes.

This B vitamin helps in the conversion of aminos into serotonin and norepinephrine. It also helps the body make SAM-e, a compound involved in neurotransmitter production and function. Pick up some clams, oysters, chicken, crab, salmon, turkey, tuna, milk, or eggs for your B12.

Folate doesn’t just help the neural tube development in the fetus of pregnant women. It is also said to help form SAM-e and the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Research shows low levels of folate are almost always evident in depressed and anxious people. Lack of folate has even been linked to schizophrenic behavior. Stock up on turkey, lentils, pinto beans, spinach and other leafy greens, asparagus, and black beans.

Vitamin E
This antioxidant keeps nerve cell membranes flexible, allowing neurotransmitters to travel as they should. Go for sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, tomato sauce, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, and hazelnuts.

Omega-3 Fats
These heart-healthy fats also help protect nerve cell membranes, plus they boost oxygen levels in the blood. This helps the body convert amino acids into neurotransmitters and get those good brain chemicals into the blood. Find omega-3s in foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed, and tuna.

Still Don’t Know What to Eat?

Margaret Adamek, PhD, suggests these “mood-mending” meal ideas.

To boost energy

Breakfast – Boiled egg and bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon; breakfast burrito stuffed with pinto beans, salsa and cheese; smoothie with protein powder, milk, cinnamon and fruit

Lunch – Whole wheat bread with turkey and Swiss cheese and carrots on the side; tuna on whole wheat crackers with a spinach salad; smoked salmon on rye crackers with a tossed salad

Dinner – Roast chicken breasts, skin-on mashed red potatoes, and steamed broccoli; stir-fry shrimp with veggies over brown rice

Snack – Handful of almonds with a piece of fruit; cheese stick with a whole-grain bagel; whole apple slices spread with almond-butter

To lift the mood

Breakfast – Yogurt smoothie with whey protein powder and fruit; a bowl of muesli with some flaxseed oil

Lunch – Grilled cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread with a banana on the side; tuna fish sandwich with walnuts and spinach salad

Dinner – Roast chicken or poultry, baked potato and tossed salad with dark leafy greens; grilled salmon with wild rice; grass-fed beef on sprouted wheat buns with broccoli on the side; pot roast with carrots and parsnips or sweet potatoes; buffalo steakkabobs with brown rice

Snack – Cottage cheese on rye crackers; cheese melted over blue tortilla chips and a dab of salsa; raw almond and raisins

To relieve stress

Breakfast – Bowl of unsweetened muesli with a sliced banana and touch of maple syrup plus a a few breakfast sausages, a boiled egg, or scrambled tofu on the side

Lunch – Spinach salad with grilled chicken plus whole wheat crackers on the side; tomato soup with a whole grain roll; fresh fruit like an apple for dessert

Dinner – Bean and cheese enchiladas in whole-grain tortillas, topped with guacamole and salsa; shredded cabbage salad with cilantro and cumin vinaigrette and a slice of fresh melon

Snack – A peach and macadamia nuts; almond butter on rye bread; a cup of chamomile tea with a touch of cinnamon

Foods to Avoid

The diet, brain chemistry, and blood-sugar relationship is now recognized by scientists around the globe. Here are a few things to avoid or completely eliminate from your diet when battling the blues.

Sweets: Sugar has a major effect on the production of neurotransmitters and brain function in general. Simple sugars and carbs create mood swings, since they cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels. Avoid refined sugars as well as chemical sweeteners like aspartame and splenda. These compounds decrease the efficiency of neurotransmitters in the brain, decreasing their ability to transmit information. Try to limit sweets as well as simple carbs like bread, pasta and cereal; replace them with those proteins and complex carbs instead.

Caffeine: Cola, coffee, energy bars … they’re all loaded with this chemical which can block serotonin. Stimulants like caffeine can also create a constant sense of anxiety and overload the adrenal glands. If you need a pick-me-up to get going, try adjusting your diet a little. Eat more frequently (at the very least, three times a day), starting off by eating something within an hour of when you wake up, suggests Jennifer Brusewitz, an Oregon-based naturophathic physician. She adds that keeping a consistent meal schedule everyday helps your body stay fueled and prevents lulls or shut-downs throughout the day. Also good energy boosters: protein (a deck of cards sized serving) and complex carbs (fist-sized serving).

Alcohol: Even though it’s sometimes the first response when things are going poorly, consuming more than two alcoholic beverages a day can actually worsen symptoms of depression. It’s a central nervous system depressant and slows the functioning of neurotransmitters. It also hampers serotonin production by disrupting the REM stage of sleep. Opt instead for a calming cup of herbal tea or a non-alcoholic drink.

High-fat foods: As you know, there are good and bad fatty acids. Omega-3s are your winner, and they’re found in cold-water fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna and wild-caught tuna. Andrew Stoll, of the Harvard Medical School, says the kinds of oils in cold-water fish not only help boost serotonin levels, but also positively impact stress hormones and electrical functioning of neurons. Instead of a donut, have a bowl of oatmeal with some cinnamon (which can reduce and stabilize blood sugar levels) and flaxseed or walnuts sprinkled on top.