Keep It Fresh

Jul 20, 2010 by Kristi Rimkus

My grandmother, Lois, lived to be one month short of 102 miraculous years. She grew up on a successful farm on Lopez Island, in Washington State. There were 8 children in the family. When both parents passed away, the children inherited 62 acres each. Can you imagine how big that farm was?

According to Grandma it was a working farm, and the family ate from the land. The family’s diet consisted of whole milk, fresh vegetables from the garden, and fruit gleaned from the abundance of trees planted in their orchards. Cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys roamed the farm and eventually ended up on the dinner table.

What couldn’t be consumed fresh was canned for later use, even chickens. I kid you not, Grandma told me the stories of processing chickens and canning them whole. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

When Grandma would reminisce about her younger years, she would say it was a hard way of life. There were always farming accidents, and long days of endless hard work.

Grandma Lois moved to Magnolia Hill in Seattle, and married my grandfather Charles in her twenties, yet the farm girl in her wouldn’t go away. She filled her back yard with fruit trees, an abundance of vegetables, and colorful flowers. She had a wonderful flair for gardening. I can’t imagine where that came from.

Why am I telling you this story?

I believe it illustrates how important whole foods and exercise are to our health. Grandma ate everything from milk straight to beef steaks. The exact foods we are constantly told are bad for us. She lived to 101 and 11 months before God called her home.

Why do I think she lived so long? Because of balance of nutrition – literally from the ground up. No preservatives – no additives – just food. Of course exercise plays a role as well. Working on a farm is hard work sun up to sun down. In Grandma’s later years gardening and walking kept her fit.

At age 50, half my grandmother’s age, I’m finally getting the message. Keep your food simple and fresh, find some form of exercise you enjoy, and life will be good.

So in honor of Grandma and as a celebration of eating healthy, I thought that both today’s post and following healthy and delicious salad dish were apropos:

Tender Green Kale with Creamy Goat Cheese and Walnuts

¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
6 cups kale, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chicken broth
1 pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons goat cheese

Servings: Makes 4 main dish servings.


1. Lightly toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.

2. Preheat large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add oil and sauté onion for 4 – 5 minutes until just tender. Add chicken broth as needed to keep from burning.

3. Add garlic and kale and sauté another 3 – 4 minute until just wilted. Add a pinch of nutmeg.

4. Sprinkle with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

What’s good for me in this dish?

Kale is very high in vitamins K, A, C, manganese and fiber. Vitamin A promotes vision and lung health. Vitamin C reduces the severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Kale’s sulfur-containing phytonutrients can help prevent some cancers.

Walnuts are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, manganese, copper and tryptophan. Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to a healthy heart. They are known to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, and raise good HDL cholesterol levels. They are also known improve and control high blood pressure.

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 12.91g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 142mg, Total Carbs: 1.53g, Dietary Fiber: 0.30g, Sugars: 0.57g, Protein: 4.12g, Weight Watchers Points 4

Nutrition details obtained from,,, and

Currently, Kristi Rimkus authors her own blog over at Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right.

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One Response to “Keep It Fresh”

  1. Richard says:

    This article is so telling and I don’t know why we don’t listen more to obvious advice such as this. Food with additives and preservatives are natural for us and not nearly as good for us. Thx for the reminder to “keep it fresh”.
    Richard´s last blog ..How To Grill Asparagus My ComLuv Profile


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