My Way: Samantha Gilbert
Samantha is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner who blends her passions of the healing arts, fitness, botany, green cuisine, biochemistry, and sustainable living into custom tailored lifestyle programs that support the various needs of her clients. At the core of Samantha’s work is her mission to educate and empower others to develop an authentic relationship with food that is conscientious, enjoyable, and results driven. Her recent move to her hometown of Portland, Oregon fueled her passion for creating a community-based resource for her love of all things green, coupled with education on sustainable and ethical farming practices. She is also the creator of Sami’s Superfoods, a line of pure foods and supplements. At one time ready to end it all, her raw journey has proven to be the most amazing, inspiring, healing force in her life.
A former fashion designer, Samantha still enjoys whipping out the occasional one-of-a-kind frock.
My Way: SamanthaSaturday – I love Saturdays! One of the amazing things about Portland (and there are many) is access to a farmer’s market in every neighborhood almost every day of the week. This one is just a lovely morning’s walk away and if I am not able to find all I require there, Whole Foods is right across the street. Sweet! I am so excited I spring out of bed ready to enjoy this beautiful sunny day. After rising, I drink about 40oz. purified water with MSM and natural state vitamin C. I also take a liquid fermented probiotic and raw high vitamin butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend (my everyday morning routine). I quickly get ready, grab my favorite baskets and embark on my little journey. While walking, I marvel at the dewy grass, inhale the fragrance of wisteria, honeysuckle and rose, and smile as the finches sing beautiful love songs to one another.
Before I know it, I’ve arrived at my destination. There is something about the enjoyment of a farmer’s market that really gets me excited and giddy. It’s more than the energy of all this fresh food; it is the knowing that I am supporting something far greater than myself.
Today I am shopping for my clients, my mom, and myself. Berry season is in full force here and as much as Oregonians might complain about the rain, it’s the rain that makes our soil so rich and fertile. We are home to the finest caneberries in the world. Caneberries are berries that grow on a cane, like raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries. You know them all by their charming bumpy texture and sweet, juicy taste. My favorite and a native of Oregon, is the marionberry. Known as the “Cabernet of Blackberries” for their complex, rich, earthy flavor, marionberries are higher in antioxidants than blueberries and marry well with just about everything! I suddenly start dreaming about my peach marionberry pie with pecan coconut crust and end up buying two flats! As my salivating mouth goes into overdrive, I pop a few in my mouth and move on to the heirloom tomatoes of which I pick the black crimson and copia varieties, then I purchase some Austrian heirloom romaine called forellenschuss meaning “speckled like a trout.” This gorgeous romaine has splotches of maroon and the taste is so incredible, I usually polish it off in a day or two. I add more leafy greens, various herbs, root veggies, some local raw honey and soy-free pastured eggs and I’m ready to head back home. The only problem is how do I carry my baskets with my marionberry flats? Just when I think I’ve got my “packing job” down, I run into a client who offers to give me a lift home. How cool it that?
Once home I do a little dance in my kitchen over all my little treasures. I love weekends because I have more time to spend here on my own creations. It’s 10am now and I’m definitely ready to eat. I decide to go with my usual: 2 cups fresh raw milk kefir, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, various Ayurvedic herbs, cinnamon and ground vanilla beans. A few whirls in my vitamix and voila! I have a nourishing, nutrient dense packed breakfast that keeps me going for several hours.
Now I’m ready to make my pie. I pull out my activated pecans from the freezer and go to work on the crust with a few dates, shredded coconut, and Bolivian rose salt. Next I slice up peaches, fold them in with my marionberries and set aside. The last step is my peach glaze that I sweeten with maple syrup. Half an hour later my pie is chilling in the fridge. By the way, I’m still salivating from my early morning excursion, but I digress…
Next I’m off to meet a friend to try an exciting new exercise called Barre. It’s comprised of ballet, yoga and pilates. With fitness being a big part of my life I’m intrigued by their concept “Develop the length of a dancer and the strength of an athlete with our highly effective 60-minute workouts. Each class follows a thoughtful sequence for fast body shaping results and long-term postural benefits.” I’ve always been a big fan of yoga and I like this class so much I think I may switch them out for a bit to see how my body responds. I am constantly educating my clients on the importance of variety in all areas of life, as this is a wonderful way to learn and grow. After, we each enjoy fresh pressed juice (apple, lemon, ginger, kale for me and carrot, apple, beet, celery for her) from our favorite juice spot and catch-up.
I kiss my friend goodbye and head home for a new client consultation via phone. This particular client has been struggling with systemic candida and GI distress for several years now. I am excited to work with her, as this is an area I specialize in and struggled with myself before changing my lifestyle. Afterward, I quickly check e-mail and catch up on a few office projects. Now it’s time to hop in the shower and get ready to meet a few friends for dinner at Departure in downtown Portland. I love this restaurant because it has an amazing view of the city and with its modern Asian cuisine, I can always find something to eat. I order the Asian pear salad and kim chi with a side avocado and snuggle in with my friends. Many laughs later, I realize it’s midnight and time to head home for my beauty sleep.Sunday – My day to do whatever I desire! Exercise takes a back seat on Sundays and I love sleeping in as late as possible. Another gloriously sunny day in Portland, I decide to drive out to my friends’ farm for a visit and get my wonderful raw milk. After a soothing drive through the country, I arrive and am immediately greeted by Lovey and Honey two of the eight jersey cows that thrive on this beautiful farm. Never before have I met farmers as passionate and caring about their animals and the land as they are. A husband and wife team, Jacki is also a nutritionist. After a long battle with so-called lupus and given a death sentence by her doctors, she and her husband embarked on their own amazing health journey. She is now free of any health challenges and her physical strength outweighs most men! We chat for a bit about various healing modalities we are using while I say hi to my wonderful Nubian goat friends Netta, Dazzle, and Brilliant. Armed with my goat and cow’s milk, I head back home to prepare a feast for my mom and me.
Once home I grab a few ingredients along with my pie and head over to my parents’ house. My mom and I are going to nosh while sitting out back in her beautiful garden. I prepare some local raw cheeses, botija olives, marionberries with fresh cream, walnut spinach curry dip, sun dried tomato flax crackers and various veggies. Then I pour my just finished kombucha into wine glasses and we gab away like two little high school girls.
I am so very proud of my mom. The main reason I moved back home was to get her on the path to recovery after years of heavy metal toxicity robbed her of her life force. After only 3.5 months, she is off all medications, has lost over 20 pounds, has greatly improved bodily processes, and is having significant cellular repair. I’ve never known her to have eyelashes and now they are getting quite long! She feels better than ever and more importantly, she now understands the importance of a truly healthy lifestyle. She is such an inspiration to me and our relationship has experienced much needed healing as a result. I am so grateful to have a loving, supportive family and am constantly in awe over how the universe works. Now let’s dig into that peach marionberry pie…
Monday – This is a jam packed day. I’ve got meetings with my web development team and a photo shoot for my new website/concept launch, and then I’ve got two clients in the evening. Up early, I check e-mail, sales reports for my superfood line, and return my east coast calls. Then I head into the gym for a strength/interval training workout. For breakfast, I pick greens and herbs from my garden for fresh pressed juice to which I add additional various superfoods and two raw pastured egg yolks. For the day, I pack kefir, fruit, kombucha, water, wild mixed greens with tomato, avocado and kim chi, and get ready for my shoot.
Photo shoot a success, I meet my first client at Whole Foods for a market excursion. Today we are focusing on supplement labels, what they mean and what to look out for, as well as demystifying produce labels and the prepared foods section. She’s excited to dive into the olive bar, but unfortunately, they cut the olive oil with soybean and canola oils, which are extremely toxic. Yet another reason to demand clean foods in their natural state.
Next, I meet my second client in her home for a food preparation class with her and her daughter. I really love working with children because they are like sponges and I find their palettes respond very well to whole, unprocessed foods. I also feel very strongly in the power of family support. It is such a blessing to witness families come together when everyone takes an “I can” attitude.
It’s now 8pm and I’m ready to head home. Once home, I get comfy, pour myself a tall glass of kombucha and decompress from the activities of the day. Then I head to my office for some additional organizing and client follow-up. I look up and realize it’s midnight, time for some shut-eye.
Tuesday – Another busy day. Since I hit it really hard in the gym yesterday, today is my day to enjoy more gentle movements. Before heading off to my yoga class, I start another round of kefir (I make fresh kefir every 3 days) and my kombucha is done fermenting so I begin another batch. I will take one of the “babies” from this batch to give to my first client and show him the process. Building and maintaining optimal gut flora is a big deal to me. One of the first things I do with a client (in addition to food changes) is get them on my high quality enzymes and probiotics so we can start the rebuilding process. For breakfast I enjoy my kefir routine, grab my water and hit the road.
My next appointment is with a local spa to discuss implementing workshops that marry inner and outer beauty concepts. I am excited to work with them, especially since they are a chemical-free spa and carry my favorite line of biodynamic skincare products.
I have a break between my next two clients so I head back home to work on meal plans and answer client questions. I’m also able to get some writing done for my blog, as well as book interviews for my community based green project. Also, my photographer has proofs ready for me to view from our shoot that I am very excited about!
I’ve got left over zucchini pasta and marinara in the fridge that I nosh on for lunch. Next I’m off to meet with my new client that has been struggling with systemic candida for several years now and was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Despite her physical challenges, she’s got an amazing attitude that I know will rapidly accelerate the healing process. After our initial consult, I go over every food item and supplement she has in her kitchen. Before throwing out 7/8 of what she’s got, I explain why these things are so toxic for her and make several recommendations. I so love it when a client has a light bulb moment when we are together! Next week I’ll show her how to shop for nutritious foods at her local farmer’s market.
On the road again, I head home to grab things to take to my next client, a man with stage IV prostate cancer. I’ve been teaching him and his wife key anti-cancer principles and I am excited about the mistletoe therapy I’ve got him on as he is seeing improvement.
Next I head over to my parents’ house to make dinner and drop off my mom’s meal plan. I also check her supplements to make sure she is fully stocked. We share about our day while I prepare dinner – mango salsa, guacamole, flax chips and romaine wraps. As we mature, I feel a deep sense of love and enjoyment for my parents and the many journeys we’ve traveled together.Isn’t it amazing how your greatest weakness turns into your greatest strength?
Peach marionberry pie anyone?
My name is Samantha and this is My Way.