Recipes For Rebuilding: How to Combine the Powers of Live-Cultured Fermented Veggies and Herbal Medicine for Deep Healing

A few weeks ago one of my big dreams came true. Ever since 2005 when I first went to Breitenbush Hotsprings Retreat in Oregon, I knew I wanted to lead a workshop there. As I flipped though the color catalog with all the well-known facilitators and teachers, I pictured myself featured in the spread.

Fast forward seven years and here I am…not only am I teaching at the Breitenbush Herbal Conference, but I was invited with all expenses paid. Now that’s a dream come true with icing on top!

Here’s more info about the conference:

My film crew was there as I taught a room full of nutrition nerds and herbalists! During the 5 hours, I told my personal healing journey, my philosophy, and my mission. I lectured on Creating a Thriving Intestinal Ecology, Fermentation 101, and Recipes for Rebuilding. I demoed How to Set Up A Fermentation Station in Your Own Home – Without Stinking Up the Whole House, Lacto-Fermentation, and Fermentation with Herbs!I reveled in the experience of teaching a 5-hour intensive called: Recipes For Rebuilding: How to Combine the Powers of Live-Cultured Fermented Veggies and Herbal Medicine for Deep Healing

Action packed, I tell ya!!!

I lay in the silent pool that night under the stars. Hot water steaming. Exhausted. Grateful. Satisfied.

On Sunday, I taught a class called Acid-Alkaline Balance: The pH Health Mystery Explained.

After I lectured, 34 people lined up to grab pH papers, plates, and lemon juice. I walked them all   through my own method of testing pH to determine how to proceed with cleansing toxins, rebuilding the gut, and boosting alkalinity.

Not everyone can go at the same pace. If your mineral reserves are depleted (from years of coffee, processed foods, sugar addiction, medications, et. cetera) you have to rebuild first before you can cleanse. This is common among my clients. They’ve been cleansing for all these years, but they haven’t actually been building the mineral reserves that allow for their body to ‘contain’ the mineral reserves.
I hope to share all these videos and information with you someday. I condensed 12 hours worth of lectures into a 5 hour slot. And it worked!

I attended other herbalists’ classes and connected with teacher of various herbal medicine schools in the Pacific Northwest like Howie Brownstein, Cascade Anderson Geller, Erico Schleicher, Scott Kloos, and more.

I was totally in my element with all these health and plant geeks at every turn.

This is what some of the participants had to say about the workshops:

Donna Johnson, Accountant – Seattle, WA

“I am a visual and auditory learner & I enjoy being able to experience “you” and listen to your knowledge in person. Thinking of making kraut without listening to tips & tricks would make me nervous to try to making it. However with this class I am more apt to try it home. I hadn’t eaten kraut except with a hot dog. Now since your class I have made sure I don’t run out of OlyKraut. I love it!”

Julia Vieau, Student – Austin, TX

“I learned a lot in Summer’s miso-making workshop. I no longer feel intimidated by the process and I’m excited about trying my own variations. Summer is knowledgeable, prepared and fun. She made sure to answer all of the questions that came up and provided information on where to find all the supplies adn ingredients needed. Great class!”

Sarahann Swain, Student – Seattle, WA

“As always Summer balances science, practicals and wit to convey helpful information. She’s approachable, easy to learn from and always prepared.”

Caitlin Caldwell, Farmer – Seattle, WA

“This was an awesome class. I really appreciate you supporting everyone to truly listen to their body in order to create health. I loved learning about pathways of elimination and ways to detox. This topic is so complex and substantial that I feel like it needs more time- but great info for what time we had. Loved your thoughts on sharing food with others! SO important.”

Lori Lively, Editor at Marlene’s – Seattle, WA 

“Summer is a natural educator. Her educational background is impressive and she is in full command of her facts. Her casual approach is inviting and the information nothing short of life-saving.”

Sanya Brown, Herb Buyer – Ashland, OR 

“Summer is an excellent teacher. I learned much new information that I can take home to use for better health and to share with my customers. I was surprised at the depth of knowledge she has and how good she is at making it all accessible with humor and wisdom.”


Creating Your Master Schedule (aka How I Get So Much S*** Done)

People are always asking me, “Wow, you’re really busy. How do you get it all done and still make time for taking care of yourself?” And some people just ask me point blank, “How do you do so much?”

I run two very successful businesses in two different cities. I’m passionate about growing the local economy and creating sustainable food systems while boosting the health of everyone (including the planet) involved.

I play on the weekends, travel to NYC every three months, lead a yearly retreat in Mexico, teach 2-6 classes per month, and have a very full and big lovely life!

So, how do I do it all?

I have a secret. Many secrets, actually. ;)

My secret for getting everything done is two-fold.

1. My Master Schedule

2. Clarity of purpose.


Allow me to tell you a little about each.

Using my favorite Moleskine journal (with graphing paper) I create an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute play of everything I need to do each day. I suggest writing out all your weekly and monthly tasks and having that list handy as you create this.

It’s all about being realistic with time and priorities.

Most people make the mistake of giving themselves way too many things to do. They want to take this class and eat healthy and get up earlier. But they never sit down to see if it all fits in their schedule. This is the reason they never reach their goals and always feel like there’s not enough time.

For everything you need and want to do each week, you have to make time for it. So, if you want to eat healthy, you need time in your schedule not only for preparing your food, but for grocery shopping as well.

I create a Master Schedule every single quarter and post it on my wall. Your schedule is continually evolving as you grow and evolve.

Here is an example of my current Master Schedule:

When you look to highly successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson is a good place to start. When asked how to become more productive, his answer was, “Work out.”

Getting exercise should be a high priority on your list. But do you know which kinds of exercise make you feel awesome and make you super productive? It’s highly individual. You’ve got to feel good in your body and this is one of the foundational pieces. Where is it in your Master Schedule?

Cleaning up your diet and healing unresolved health concerns will convert tons of stuck energy and ADD into focused and powerful action. Make time for this in your schedule. When do you get massage? When do you prep your lunch for the next day? Do you have healthy, healing foods on hand at all times?

If you need help figuring this out and making this personalized to your specific needs we should talk.

Rituals are very important. I have a personal morning ritual that I do to keep me inspired, focused, and tapped in to my higher self. My number one goal is keeping myself grounded, relaxed, and calm. This is the fodder for creativity. Without this, I get burned out and start self-sabotaging because I need deep rest. Prioritizing self-care will give you a solid base whether you are building your business, taking charge of you or your family’s health, or being the expert in your field.

Check out these famous people’s examples of their schedules and rituals to get inspired.


So, what’s this Clarity of Purpose?

This means getting more and more focused over time. Refinement. Clearing out the clutter.

When I was in college, I was a hip-hop DJ, I played 8 different instruments, studied media, film, produced electronic music, made fermented foods, studied botany, made herbal medicine, and was keenly interested in nutrition. I was obsessed with bike-riding, rowed in crew, took all the pre-requisites for medical school, minored in audio recording, started a gourmet sauerkraut company, started a health coaching company, saw herbal clients, worked at a supplement store, worked on prairie restoration for 4 years as a scientist technician, made art, painted, invented things, skinned a couple dead animals, played Capoeira, went to Brazil, created and maintained gardens, did Ashtanga yoga, traveled to NYC for school, hosted wine and chocolate parties, studied the mold that makes tempeh (R. oligosporus), and many more things.


Yes, I clearly had a problem and it’s called OVERCOMMITMENT. But I love learning and I love having varied interests. I love people and I love all the cool things that are happening everyday and want to be involved in the things that inspire me.

But you can’t do everything. There isn’t enough time.


So you have to pick what you spend your time on. The easiest way to do this is to create a mission.


My mission is to make healing accessible to all people. I don’t want over-the-counter medications and pharmaceuticals clouding people’s journey to health. In fact, I want people to stop settling for everyday problems like headaches, digestive troubles, and low energy. Stop looking for health from the outside and access their own internal healers. This is the only way people will heal and stay healthy.


This is my purpose. With this mission in mind, I can look at my daily activities and see what needs to stay and what needs to go.

This hasn’t always been easy. When I gave up DJing, I was sad. But it wasn’t congruent. I couldn’t stay up late DJing at parties where everyone was drinking and using drugs. Not in line with my mission. So, I sought out DJs I liked and listen to their music now. Maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again, but for now, I’m not willing to water down my time or money when I know exactly what I am here to do.

This doesn’t mean you need to become a boring robot. You need varied interests. But stick with the ones that boost you up and bring you closer to your goal. What is your mission? What activities are you doing on a daily basis that are in line with your bigger goals and higher self? That is clarity of purpose.

Summer Unplugged

This week I went on a camping trip in the woods with some amazing people. There were 5 adults and 8 teenage boys. We jumped off rocks into ice-cold water, walked through the lush rainforest under trees dripped with lichen, and laughed when we discovered that the raccoons had eaten our chicken.

The best part about the trip for me was not having my phone or computer. As an owner of two businesses, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.

I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but I wake up in the morning to the alarm on my phone and check my Facebook and email to get my brain in gear to help me wake up. It’s terrible, I know.
But 3 days in the woods helped me see just how much I don’t need this little bad habit.

So, I’m banning my computer and phone from my bedroom.

What do you need to unplug from? Do you spend too much time in the kitchen snacking? Or do you make the exception for buttered popcorn at the movies (trans-fat galore!) Are you still addicted to sugary treats that you reward yourself with for a job well done? Or are you still overeating when you feel depressed, mad, sad, frustrated, or lonely? Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Do you need to sort out your relationship with food?

In order to figure this out you need to unplug from your daily life and habits.

I propose that you join the Nutrition Geek Detox this summer so that you can step away from your bad habits, get a fresh perspective, and come back with a clear head and a decision to make it better.

Register here…

You deserve to have everything you want. What is getting in your way of having the life you want to have? What is in the way of having the relationship with your body that is loving and generous?

You are in charge of removing these obstacles so you can achieve your dreams (and deep down you must realize that you are the one that put these obstacles here in the first place – most likely you did it subconsciously.)

When you cleanse, you remove the physical toxins from your bodily tissues. These physical toxins are actually blockages for energy flow. By removing these physical barriers, you also free up mental and emotional energy simultaneously. Brilliant!

I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted. I’m here to help you get that. If you’ve worked with me before, you know that I take a stand for all my clients to get *exactly* what they want from life. And no matter which way you throw the dice, life is better in a body that is healthy, clean, and full of energy.
I want you to unplug from your bad habits. Let’s go there together. July 16th-23rd. We’ve got over 20 people on board. Don’t let this ship sail without you.

Register here…

Making Calendula Oil

I went by my friend, Rebeca’s house recently and she had 3 GIANT calendula plants. There were so many bright orange flowers I had to pick some! I use calendula flowers to make tea and oil. The active constituents in calendula flowers activate rapid healthy cell growth.

TEA (Dry Flowers)

I used calendula flower tea when I got gastritis. I recommend it to my clients when they have problems with their gums, mucous membranes, skin abrasions, or are feeling down in the dumps in the middle of winter.

OIL (Wilted Flowers)

Use the oil after showering. It is great on cuts and scars.

Here’s how to make it yourself:

1. Pick lovely calendula flowers and let them wilt for about 4 hours. This will remove some of the moisture from the plant and reduce the chances of molding in the oil. Calendula officinalis is the Latin name.

2. Place the freshly wilted flowers in a clean jar.

3. Pour oil on top of the flowers. You can use olive, almond, sesame, or avocado. Use raw cold-pressed organic oils, please.

4. Cover the flowers completely with the oil.

5. Push the flowers down with your clean fingers or a utensil to make sure they stay under the oil.

6. Put a lid on top and label it with the date, type of oil, and where you got the flowers.

 7. Place it in a warm place for a couple weeks to let the oil infuse. It will start to turn bright orange. Beautiful!

8. Strain off the flowers and compost them. Put the oil in a clean, dry glass container with a good lid. I often mix it with Cottonwood Bud oil and St. John’s Wort oil. Mmmm. Smells pretty like the woods.

From ‘Cleansing Reactions’ to Breaking-the-Cleanse

Register here for this Free Tele-Seminar:

Do you want to learn:

      • Why breaking the cleanse is the most important part of cleansing
      • What it means to ‘slow down’ or ‘speed up’ a cleanse
      • The concept of ‘cleansing chronologically backwards’
      • About cleansing reactions and healing crises
      • The four levels of cleansing and how to access them all

If so, check out the tele-seminar this Friday at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern) called: From ‘Cleansing Reactions’ to Breaking-the-Cleanse: The Top Mistakes That Everyone Makes While Doing a Full-Body Detox. Register below to attend this free 60-75 minute seminar.  If you can’t make the call, don’t worry…I will email you the recording if you are registered!!!

The Nutrition Geek Detox: Something New

This is something I haven’t offered in years, but I’ve had many requests for a summertime detox…that I scooted some things around and made it possible for you!

Make sure you jump on over to check out the website. I have a special offer for those who sign up before Friday the 22nd. Check it out!

Have you watched the Nutrition Geek Detox go by each time without jumping on board because it didn’t fit in your schedule? Maybe this is the

Four Ways to Save Time (and make more of it!)

The #1 excuse I hear for why people aren’t doing what it takes to be healthy is always TIME! Or not enough of it.

This is the worst excuse demon out there! Do you want to find out how you can make prioritizing health and healing easier?

As a Nutrition Nerd, I’ve figured out how to run two businesses, exercise, socialize, and eat extraordinarily healthy ALL THE TIME. I live in Portland and commute to Olympia, WA once a week for OlyKraut. My life is very full and I always make time to have healthy food on hand at all times. 

All my Nutrition Geeks out there know what I’m talking about. In the video, I share the fourth reason (this is the juicy one!) for why all of us nutrition nerds are able to make time when it just seems like there isn’t any. It’s not magic (although it feels pretty magical to me when I’m on my game and eating super healthy!)

Remember to post a comment below telling me what the video made you think about!

More importantly, I want to know what you do to save time, make time, and prioritize your health. Post your answers to these questions in the comments below!

Gut Rebuilding

Check out my newest program description in the video below. Enter your email in the box to the right or below to request an invite if you’d like to learn more about the program…

Spirit Vegetable

I just invented a new funny game and subsequently a new term. Are you ready?

Here goes.

What is your Spirit Vegetable?

Your Spirit Vegetable is the vegetable or edible plant that you can call on to give you power when you need it. You can ask your Spirit Vegetable for guidance or insight.

It’s what spinach was to Popeye. What polyjuice potion was to Harry Potter. What mushrooms are to the Super Mario Bros. What snuff was to my friends Grandma. What kale is to most health coaches. What flat-leafed parsley is to me.

This vegetable gives me energy like nothing else when I add it to my green smoothies. It makes me relaxed and centered.

What’s yours?

Insider Secrets to Excellent Digestion

This is what you are about to discover:

  • The #1 thing you can do right now to maximize digestion and flatten your belly
  • How to save hundreds on supplements
  • How to boost your nutritional absorption and watch your energy levels soar
  • Not have to use your tummy troubles as an excuse to cancel a date or party
  • How you can detox your body to create clarity and momentum in your life
  • Your food cravings may even disappear…
  • and much more…