Didi’s Buttery Fish Bake with Noodles (Gluten Free, FODMAP)

My 20-year-old son Henry started a new eating plan that follows a gluten-free, soy-free, organic, grass-fed version of the “FODMAP” diet (which has hugely helped his digestive troubles.)  Now that he’s home for the summer, I’m going to be creating recipes for him. didi's buttery fish bakeHere’s one that came out REALLY well tonight! I wish I had pictures but we ate every bit of it.

Serves 3
1 1/2  pounds white flaky fish (we used cod and haddock)
4-6 tablespoons grass-fed salted butter (we used Organic Valley Pasture Butter)
3 slices gluten-free bread (we used Udi’s)
2 tablespoons finely ground parmesan cheese, plus additional for the table
One sprig each of rosemary, mint, tarragon, green scallion tops, and parsley (or whatever herbs are fresh in the garden. Note that FODMAP doesn’t use any onion, garlic or bulbs of scallions or leeks.)
1/8 cup of white wine
1 package of Manischewitz gluten-free egg noodles
Slices of lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for the fish. Set a large pot of water on to boil for the noodles.

  • Break the bread into small pieces.
  • Put the bread and 2 tablespoons of butter into a small saucepan, melting the butter and stirring the bread until it is coated in butter.
  • Cut the herbs into small pieces with scissors into the pan of bread and butter.
  • Lay out the fish in a small baking dish.
  • Cut about 2 tablespoons of butter into pats and put on top of, and under, the fish.
  • Pour the bread, herb, and butter mixture over the fish.
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the whole thing.

Bake the fish about 15 minutes then…

  • Pour the wine into the sides of the baking dish, being careful not to soak the now crispy bread.  (You probably could add it earlier, but I liked the way it kept just a bit of its alcohol flavor by adding it later. A happy accident, because I tasted the fish and it seemed like it needed something more.)

Continue to bake until fish is flaky–about another 10 minutes.

  • While fish is baking, cook egg noodles according to package directions, being very careful not to overcook–they should be al dente. I did about seven minutes and they were perfect.  Strain and put in a bowl with some more butter.

Turn broiler to low, and broil fish for 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Serve fish over the noodles, adding additional Parmesan cheese if you like. Make sure you pour the liquid from the pan over the noodles as well.

I served it with sauteed spinach for Henry, broccoli for Alden, and asparagus for me, as well as a simple Boston lettuce salad with a Dijon vinaigrette.

For dessert we had fresh strawberries and organic chocolate from Cedar Circle Farm.

Colby dropped in from across the street part way through the meal and took a bite. He confirmed that it was awesome.


Thetford Town Meeting: Didi Pershouse’s Testimony on the Rights of Nature

This week in town meeting, Thetford and many other towns are voting on the question of whether our state should consider protecting the rights of nature under the law. This has already been passed into law in certain US towns and cities, and in 2008 was incorporated into the constitution of the entire country of Ecuador. Bolivia has done the same. In places where this has passed, people still have rights to use natural systems in ways that do no long term harm (for sustainable forestry, farming,  etc.) and courts help to weigh the proper balance between human’s legal rights as members of the natural world, the rights of nature itself, and the interdependence between the two.

In Ecuador this amendment has been used to help efforts to protect the Amazonian rainforest as mitigation against climate change, to stop illegal mining, and repair damage to local waterways, just for a few examples. South African Attorney Cormac Cullinan’s book “Wild Law,” (available in the US from our local Chelsea Green) explores the ins and outs of giving nature legal rights of its own, and comes out strongly in favor of it.

Here is how I understand it: The lines between our own health and the health of our ecosystem are much blurrier than we thought they were when our current environmental legislation was written. Current legislation falls under the “commerce” clause of the constitution. This means that these outdated laws view nature as property, and mainly serve to preserve one person’s commercial interests against another’s by regulating how much damage can reasonably be done, and how much of nature can be used up. When legal damages are awarded, they are given from one person to another for the money that has been lost because of the damage that was done to natural property. (This has been compared to previous laws entitling a slave-owner to damages when another person beat or killed his slave.)

Even when citizen’s rights are “protected,” nature itself is not. For example, if people won a lawsuit against a hydrofracking operation that polluted their drinking water, instead of the money going to restore a polluted river, people would be paid to move somewhere else where there is clean water. This way of viewing nature–as something that we own, and can buy more of if we need to–does not reflect the reality that we live on a relatively small planet, and that we would actually need another half a planet in addition to our own in order to keep feeding our current appetite for natural resources without using them all up. Unfortunately paying another person rarely helps the effects of a damaged and “used up” environment, which affects the health and survival of all the species that depend on it, including us. When nature has no rights, there are many situations where there is no lawsuit possible.

This is complicated even further by our new legal situation in which corporations are considered “persons” under the law. Corporations use up nature much faster than single persons, so environmental regulation (currently designed only to protect other humans’ legal rights) now can be argued to “impinge on the rights of” corporations–giving them legal reasons to undo environmental regulation. This can be remedied by giving nature legal standing, and giving people the right to petition on the part of nature.

Our new understanding of the interconnectedness of environmental and human health calls for updated laws that actually protect our climate and the natural processes and genetic patterns we depend on for life. This is our chance to show our support for those at the statehouse who would like to update these laws to reflect our current world and our current scientific understanding.

Health, Empowerment, and Resiliency Training (HEART) Starting 3-1-13

Imagine a vibrant and resilient community where people feel deeply connected to each other, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to live vital, purposeful lives.  Everyone takes such good care of themselves, and others, that hospital care is rarely necessary. Imagine a community where people are strong, connected and empowered enough to tackle problems that once seemed impossible whether personal, local or global in scale. This training is designed to make this vision a reality.

Health, Empowerment and Resiliency Training (HEART) is a dynamic course designed to build a core group of leaders with the skills, resources and support to bring permanent, transformative change in the health and resiliency of their local communities.

We have designed the HEART course in response to two interrelated concerns:  First, we know that most modern illnesses are easily preventable, when people are given the tools and support they need for self care.  Second, we know that community leaders and caregivers (like nurses, teachers, social change leaders, and civil servants) are the very people that are best situated to lead by example and transform the well-being of their communities yet they often neglect their personal health and relationships in their efforts to serve. Our goal is to give participants the skills needed to be effective and vibrant leaders who cultivate health in their communities and circle of relations. The first level of training is devoted to self-care and building a base of mutual support.  This forms the foundation towards becoming leaders who can teach and model effective self-care to others from a place of experience and wisdom.

Participants in this initial HEART training will learn a whole-systems approach to personal and community health and resiliency including:

  • Skills for building a network of support for a greater sense of connection and more effective leadership
  • Understanding the role of traditional diets as a foundation for strength, metabolic balance, and immunity
  • Practices that use our relationship with nature as a powerful tool for health
  • Understanding the body’s energetic system and how to use it to maintain vitality and focus
  • Scientific and traditional understandings of the benefits of meditation and contemplative practices, and support in developing a daily practice
  • Principles of exercise that are simple, efficient, and greatly increase physical strength, balance, and resistance to injury and chronic pain
  • Tools for understanding and overcoming addictions (chemical and otherwise) in order to move from a sense of helplessness to empowered action.
  • Tapping into the power of the heart as a source of courageous action and unconditional love, and encouraging each other to use these forces to transform our relationships

Participants in this first level of the HEART training will have the opportunity to take levels two and three, which will go into greater depth in community leadership, deep emotional healing for self and community, advanced self-care and preventive practices, as well as many simple, low-tech, affordable and highly effective treatment methods for both acute and chronic conditions. Those graduating from all three levels will be well-prepared to lead and teach this material to others. This will create an ever-growing network of vibrant community leaders who live well supported, healthy lives and inspire others through their example.

HEART training will include a weekend long intensive March 1-3, 2013, followed by 10 half-day sessions, once a week, with a culminating day-long final class.  This training will be facilitated by Didi Pershouse of the Center for Sustainable Medicine (www.sustainablemedicine.org), and Mark Kutolowski of New Creation Wilderness Programs (www.newcreationwilderness.org). Between them, Mark and Didi have over 35 years of experience teaching and treating patients with holistic health care methods including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, qi gong, counseling, meditation, wilderness medicine, and dietary consultation.

Cost: $500 – $1500, sliding scale. Scholarships and work-exchange may be available. For more information, please contact Mark at ncwilderness@gmail.com, 802-333-3950, or Didi at sustainablemedicine@gmail.com, 802-785-2503.


Location : Thetford, VT

Health and healing without medicine: Simple, powerful tools for vitality and health

Didi Pershouse and Mark Kutolowski are teaching a four-part series at the Upper Valley Food Coop in White River Junction, Vermont. This series is designed to teach participants to tap into the healing powers of their own body apart from the use of external medicines (herbal, conventional/western, or otherwise) or treatments from medical practitioners (western or alternative).  We will explore practical ways to regain, maintain, and super-charge health through our body’s own resources.  These methods are simple, powerful, profound, and offer an extremely affordable approach to basic health care.
Each session will cover one particular approach to self-healing.  Together, they represent a comprehensive approach to self-care:

  • THE HUMAN ENERGY FIELD: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011. Awakening to the reality of bioenergy, the energetic precursors of disease, and how to release disease patterns at their energetic source before manifestation.  We will learn an energy-based theory of health and illness, and specific exercises to clear and heal the energy field.  This class is based in insights from the 3,000 year old Chinese energetic practices of QiGong.
  • HEALING THE EMOTIONAL FIELD: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011.   How to recognize and release (‘discharge’) emotional pain and blockages.  The correlation between emotional and physiological illness.  Learning ways of intimacy and effective non-professional counseling.  How to release and heal from emotional pain with other people, with nature, and in body-based meditation.  In this class we will draw extensively on our direct experiences as counselors and retreat leaders, and the perspectives of Re-evaluation Counseling.
  • TEMPERING THE BODY WITH THE FORCES OF NATURE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011.  How to use air, water, earth and fire to heal and greatly revitalize the body.  This includes breath work to strengthen the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, alternating hot and cold (fire and water) in European sauna traditions to revitalize the body, cold water therapy to restore the nervous system, and strengthening the immune system through earth-laying and barefoot walking.  We will draw heavily from practices rooted in the indigenous Russian Health System.
  • TRUE NOURISHMENT: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011.  Traditional diets, the role of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and micronutrients in healing.  How to build an optimal diet for lifelong health and vitality.  This session also includes discussion of the role of fasting in restoring and maintaining abundant health.  We will root our insights in the common principles of traditional diets used to build health worldwide before the advent of the industrial food system.

$20 for UVFC members or $60 for all 4
$25 each for non-members or $80 for all 4
Limit 20 Participants per class.
Mark Kutolowski is a unique energy healer and a passionate instructor of the body’s capacities for self-healing.  Mark studied traditional QiGong energy medicine in Malaysia, has over 14 years of experience in QiGong healing, and is also a practitioner of classical Slavic health systems. Mark treats patients through a combination of QiGong, dietary change, and facilitating connection with the healing forces of nature.  Mark is also a professional wilderness guide, and teacher of wilderness living skills.

Didi Pershouse, LAc, CCH is a licensed acupuncturist, classical homeopath, dietary consultant, and the director of the Center for Sustainable Medicine in Thetford Center, VT.  Didi has over 17 years of experience practicing her gentle and transformative approach to healing in the Upper Valley.  She is an instructor in peer counseling, and a popular speaker on the topic of sustainable medicine – including models of self-healing and community empowerment.

Didi Pershouse Speaking To Transition-Town Putney, VT Feb 18th, 2011

Reskilling for a Post-Oil Health Care System

“Reskilling” is a term used to describe relearning or reviving skills that were essential to surviving in the days before high-tech everything was easily available. In agriculture, this means using hand tools, using oxen or horses to plow a field, etc. What does it mean for medicine?  How do we diagnose and treat illness at times when technology fails due to power outages, rising oil prices, or natural disasters? Are there skills that we are losing that could be useful even when modern technology is available? Where can one learn these skills?

Come to this talk and find out more!

Didi Pershouse will be speaking to Transition Town Putney, Vermont on Friday, February 18th, 2011, from 7 to 8:30pm. The talk will be held at the Putney Libraryr located at 55 Main Street. Open to the public. By donation.

Didi Pershouse is the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine. Her work involves developing, practicing, and writing about models of health care that are sustainable: environmentally, socially, and economically.

For more information call 802-785-2503.

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