Sticking to your resolutions with AnneCherise Jensen

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

If you spent this past holiday season reflecting on the last ten years while scarfing down a carb-loaded plate of leftovers and vowing to make personal changes after the last second of 2019 ticked, you are definitely not alone. Now more than ever, people nationwide are practicing better organization skills, picking up new hobbies, reading more books, setting higher goals and planning a brighter future. For many, the new calendar year marks a fresh start, and during this phase people take the time to give much-needed attention to certain areas of their life that they’ve been neglecting.

Perhaps the most shared new year resolution globally is the desire to better one’s health. And as a result, the produce sections at the local grocer are often overcrowded as are thousands of gyms across the country. But more often than not, as the weeks pass by, people start to give in to their old habits and give up on their goals of self-development and personal growth. Staying true to your resolution weeks down the road after the ‘new year, new me’ adage loses its luster is a difficult task to say the least. For this reason, AnneCherise Jensen of the Tulalip SNAP-Ed program took some time to offer a few tips and advice to those beginning their new health and fitness journey in 2020.

We made it to a new decade! Lets begin by talking about the importance of fueling up with proper nutrition and treating our bodies with respect.

Our bodies are a gift we’ve been given by the creator that carries our mental being; our spiritual side and physical side. It holds our heart, our mind, our love and compassion. Everything that we feel, do and think – it all stems from our body. In order for us to thrive as human individuals, we should respect our body and know that everything that we put into it is either feeding disease or fighting disease.

Where is a good place to start for those who are setting out on their first quest for overall better health?

A first good step is to start cutting out the bad foods. Think about the most-unhealthy things that you’re consuming and try to taper away from those foods and drinks. If you’re ordering really sugary beverages every day, that have about ten pumps of syrup, work on slowly reducing it down to two pumps or learn how to make your own syrups. This past weekend I made a homemade elderberry syrup and added it to sparkling water; it was sweet, tasty and still really healthy.

Also, try to cut back from the unhealthy foods like salts and fat and slowly supplement the bad foods with healthy foods. If you’re eating one serving of fruits or vegetables a day, try to up it two.

Any tips on how to incorporate more greens and fruits into your everyday diet?

Don’t be lazy and cook, number one rule. Meal prep ahead of time, buy vegetables and don’t let them sit in your fridge. Cut them up in half and roast them and have them ready to go for the week. Same with fruit. Have those foods around and available in your house, and learn how to utilize them; prepare snack trays for the kids after school, add more veggies to your everyday foods. Like with your pasta, you can add mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic. You can cook big batch dinners, just throw all your vegetables into your crock pots or Instapots. 

Find out what foods your family enjoys and stick to those so that way you’re not wasting your money on food your family is not going to eat. Start with the foods you know people are going to like, find easy recipes that are going to help you make those foods manageable so they actually fit into your diet and then slowly branch off that and try new foods as you go.

With the popularity of the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat burger on the rise, many are experimenting with meatless meals. Any advice for people curious about switching to a plant-based diet?

If you’re going meatless, avoid the meatless burgers at fast food restaurants. Those are full of artificial hormones. The food at fast food establishments, especially McDonalds and Burger King, contain some of the highest carcinogens, or cancer causing agents. They also cause a lot of inflammation as well. 

It honestly depends on how much protein you need. There are a lot of good plant substitutes for proteins, especially beans, legumes, almonds. As long as you’re getting adequate amounts of protein, that’s great. But I would highly discourage you from eating the vegetarian burgers from the fast food joints.

A lot of people, especially Natives, are in fact returning to the diets of their ancestors; wild game, native plants and fish. What are your thoughts on the traditional diet?

I think going back to the traditional diet is amazing, it’s something that I’ve been practicing myself. Over the winter break I harvested four different kinds of mushrooms and a couple different types of trees and am learning how to make medicine with it. Nature is jam-packed with more medicine than we can ever imagine. I always recommend making your own teas, going and getting cedar from your backyard, letting it dry overnight and making a tea with it. You can do that with pine needles as well. Once the nettles start coming out in a couple weeks, you can make nettle tea. There’s always something you can forage at any given time of the year.  

Many health experts encourage people to increase their daily water intake. Why is it important to stay hydrated?

We’re living in a society now where sugary beverages are all around us and it really can be the enemy of our health. Water is good not only for our bodies but for all of our metabolic functions. It helps us digest food, stay awake, stay energized, build muscle mass and rid toxins from our body. As good stewards of the earth, we want to try to avoid plastics as much as we can. Today, we are finding so many chemicals in our water – fluoride, mercury, plastic. So it’s always good for our health to carry a reusable water bottle and have a good water filtration system. For flavor, I like to infuse natural fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, raspberries and strawberries. Frozen fruits are fun, cheaper and add an icy texture. Fruits and vegetables naturally contain a lot of water in them so the more fruits and vegetables you eat; the more water content you’re getting. Try to carry your water bottle with you every day and make it a goal to drink 16-32 oz. of water a day. 

Some people are finding it easier to stick to healthy meal plans by including a cheat day once a week. Should people plan out their cheat days in order to see more success?

It really depends on where you’re at with your personal relationship with food. A lot of people are dealing with food disorders and may overeat and over indulge. Or you might be the total opposite and suffer from anorexia. You have to find the right balance and know your relationship with food. If you can control it, give yourself a cheat day where you have a little more forgiveness for yourself and leniency. On the weekends, I’ll eat two servings of pasta and have some desserts those days. It’s always good to not only feed your body, but feed your spirit because you also want to be able to have those foods that make you happy, so its finding that right balance between the good, the bad and healthy moderation.

What are a few fun ways to stay active during these winter months?

If you’re into snow sports, there’s snowboarding and skiing. You can also go snowshoeing as well up in the mountains. We are getting a lot of rain and it’s kind of yucky to be outside, but there’s always the gym. Right now is a great time to go to the gym because you can get a lot of people motivated in your family to go with you. Do some simple chair yoga and desk exercises. Hiking is really fun too. Some trails are open like Lake 22, Heather Lake, those are local. And just take time to walk at the beach and get outside on those days when we have a bit of good weather.

Any last pieces of advice or words of encouragement for those working to attain a healthier lifestyle and stay true to their goals?

Know that we’re all human. We all have those days where you’re literally driving for half the day and all you can do is go to a drive thru. Just get back on track the next day and give yourself forgiveness and grace because we all have days we mess up, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself, just try better the next day.

We have to find strategies that work for us and get together as a community, with our family and friends to overcome the easy convenience foods that like to feed disease. We need to go out into nature and reconnect with those foods and work as a team to eat healthier foods. 

Tulalip SNAP-Ed regularly hosts a number of classes throughout the year, such as the Eat Smart, Be Healthy course. To stay updated on their upcoming events and classes, be sure to like the Tulalip Food & Nutrition Education Facebook page. And for additional details, please contact the SNAP-Ed program directly at (360) 716-5632. 


Warrior’s Stew

Budget-friendly recipe. A special stew that celebrates the return of successful hunters, this can be made with venison or beef. Serves 6


  • 1 pound venison or beef stew meat cut into large chunks
  • 2 Medium onions diced
  • 8 cups Water
  • 6 Cloves garlic minced, or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary minced
  • 1teaspoon Paprika
  • 1teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tomatoes seeded and diced, or 1 ½ (15 oz.) cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 Bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 Medium potatoes diced
  • 2 Carrots sliced thickly, or ½ cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen okra
  • 1 cup Fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Ground black pepper
  • ½ jalapeño chile seeded and minced
  • Lemon Wedges


  • In a heavy soup pot, combine the meat, onions, water, garlic, rosemary, paprika and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. 
  • Stir in vegetables, parsley, chile and black pepper. Simmer, partially covered for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. If using frozen okra and/or corn, add to the pot during the last 15 minutes. 
  • Squeeze lemon wedges over stew before serving. Serve with Whole Wheat Fry Bread or whole wheat bread. 

Nutrition Info and more

Serving size: 2 cups. Total calories: 275 Total fat: 9.1 g Saturated fat: 3.3 g Carbohydrates: 25.9 g Protein: 24 g Fiber: 5.9 g Sodium: 580 mg

Publication:  Young, Indigenous, and Healthy: Recipes Inspired by Native Youth Author: Leah’s Pantry; Source: Leah’s Pantry



Budget-friendly recipe. Make this on a Sunday so you can heat up leftovers for an easy breakfast throughout the week. Serves 8


  • 1 1/2 pounds Seasonal vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, turnips or bell peppers
  • 2 Medium onions
  • 4 ounces Low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 12 Medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Dried dill, thyme, or oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 ounces Mushrooms optional
  • ¼ cup Fresh parsley, thyme, or basil


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Rinse and cut seasonal veggies evenly into small pieces. Peel, rinse, and dice onions. If using, slice mushrooms and rinse and chop fresh herbs. 
  • Grate cheddar cheese. 
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add seasonal veggies to boiling water. Briefly boil, about 30 seconds. Using a colander, drain the veggies. 
  • In a large bowl, whip eggs with a fork until well blended. Whisk in dried herbs. Set aside. 
  • Coat medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. If using mushrooms, add now. Add boiled seasonal veggies. Continue cooking until soft and some of their juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes more. 
  • Coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Layer ingredients in the baking dish in the following order: veggie mixture, egg mixture, cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  • Bake until eggs are firm and cheese is melted, about 35 minutes. A thermometer inserted in the middle should read 160°F. 
  • If using, garnish with chopped fresh herbs. 
  • Cut into 8 equal-sized portions. 

Nutrition Info and more

Serving size: 1 slice. Total calories: 160 Total fats: 7 g Saturated fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 7 g Protein: 13 g Fiber: 3 g Sodium: 350 mg

Author: Arthur Birnbaum; Source: Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters

Garden Day promotes overall health and wellness

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The beautiful and peaceful Wellness Garden Trail, located behind the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic, officially opened on the morning of April 27, as the community of Tulalip gathered to celebrate the first Garden Day of 2019. After a long, cold winter, the plant beds were ready for a new beginning and approximately seventy-five volunteers arrived bright and early to prune and replenish the garden boxes with fresh soil and new plants. 

Garden Day is hosted by the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention program and is held periodically throughout the year. Participants of all ages learn how to grow and maintain a garden by cultivating a variety of produce, fruit trees and traditional medicinal plants. The crew, equipped with gardening tools, gloves and trash bags, as well as piles of fresh soil, worked hard while enjoying good company and a view of Tulalip Bay on a gorgeous spring day. 

“We’ve been doing Garden Day since February 2011,” explained Diabetes Program Coordinator, Veronica ‘Roni’ Leahy. “It started at the Hibulb Cultural Center and then it moved to the health clinic in 2014. Diabetes prevention is really what it’s all about. To prevent diabetes, we’re looking to promote exercise and healthy foods. If we can achieve 5-7% weight loss by exercise or nutrition, we reduce our risk of developing diabetes by 57%, by just making little tiny changes. The prevalence of diabetes within Native American communities is higher than non-Native communities. For us, the foods we would’ve traditionally eaten are not readily available to us.”

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indigenous Peoples are at a substantially higher risk to develop diabetes than any other race nationwide. Previous records show that for decades, Native diabetics experienced kidney failure due to complications from diabetes. But because of programs like Diabetes Care and Prevention, individuals are now learning how to properly manage their blood glucose and sugar levels, and therefore the amount of kidney failures amongst Native diabetics dropped by a whopping 54% since 2013. 

During the event, the health clinic provides free screenings for both blood pressure and blood sugar levels as hypertension and diabetes are widespread amongst tribal members. Based on the results, the clinic can offer advice and refer them to the appropriate specialist. Throughout the day, about thirty volunteers took the time to participate in the screening to get an update on their health.

In addition to learning about diabetes and growing plentiful green gardens, participants are also treated to a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack and lunch prepared by the Tulalip SNAP-Ed program. Traditional foods were incorporated into the meal, including nettles in tasty brownie deserts, as well as fruit-infused water. The event also included a giveaway where prizes were raffled off such as gardening tools, watering cans, children’s gardening kits and seedlings of strawberries, cabbage, peas, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and cucumber plants. 

“I came out today because Roni inspired me to start my own garden,” expressed Tulalip tribal member, Tempest Dawson. “This is my third year working on my own garden, and I like to come to Garden Day and follow her around because she knows a lot about gardening and I pick up whatever she has to teach me. It’s important to continue to teach our people about the land and that there are natural foods that we can live off of, instead of relying on the grocery store or processed foods.”

Roni explained that five years ago, tribal member Walt Campbell purchased a shovel, painted the tool gold and brought it to Garden Day to gift to the hardest working green thumb of the day. Since then, gifting golden shovels became quite the tradition, adding a bit more fun at the end of each Garden Day. This time around, two golden shovels were gifted; one to Tulalip youth, Cohen Ramsey, the other to Marisol Raza and her children.

“We won the golden shovel award,” Marisol exclaimed. “It’s for being a hard working person, taking part in Garden Day. We’ve been coming for about three years or so and we absolutely love it. Today we cleaned up the plant beds, removed old plants and pulled weeds, as well as added new soil and compost. We planted cabbage and broccoli. Enjoying that final product is going to be awesome.”

Because the gardeners meet up four to five times annually, they’ve developed close friendships over the years. Young Tulalip tribal member, Kaiser Moses, has attended every Garden Day with his mother since its inception and looks forward to helping out at each event as well as visiting with his fellow gardeners. 

“I’ve been participating in Garden Day since I was about four,” Kaiser said. “It feels like old friends reuniting every year. It’s really fun and great for rebooting for your mental stability. As a group, we all work together to make the garden better and plant some new plants in the garden beds. There’s a bunch of friendly, kind-hearted happy souls who come out every time we have a Garden Day.” 

The Diabetes Care and Prevention Program will continue its busy year, promoting overall health and wellness with a number of classes, programs and Garden Days including the new 26-week Diabetes Prevention class, for those who’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. More details will come before the start of the program in June. For more information, please contact the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program at (360) 716-5642.

The gift of food and good health

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Tulalip’s own Diabetes Prevention Program is dedicated to making the community healthier by educating any and all motivated individuals who are willing to learn about nutritional awareness and healthy eating. With diabetes and obesity prevalence continuing to rise in Native communities throughout the United States, many families feel a need to change their eating habits, but just don’t know where to begin. 

Adjusting to a healthier lifestyle and diet can be an overwhelming task, therefore, the Diabetes Prevention Program has created The Gift of Food & Good Health, an all-new series of cooking classes offering guidance and hands-on instruction. Hosted every Tuesday at the Tulalip Dining Hall from 3:00pm to 4:30pm, these classes are uniquely created for our people to enjoy while learning about the many health benefits of our foods. The classes are open to tribal members, their families, and patients of the Tulalip Health System.

The latest class, occurring on Tuesday, September 18, communicated the importance spices and herbs can have in creating healthy meals. 

“Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health,” shared Jessica Bluto, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator for the Tulalip Health Clinic. “We should all be cooking with herbs and spices regularly and, if possible, using several at a time.”

Herbs, like basil, are the leaves of a plant, while spices, like cinnamon, are usually made from the seeds, berries, bark, or roots of a plant. Both are used to flavor food, but research shows they’re chock-full of healthy compounds and may help prevent illness and disease.

Chef Brit (left) explains best cooking practices while preparing a nutritional meal.

Adding herbs and spices to your diet has another benefit, “Because they’re so flavorful, they make it easier to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat,” explained culinary chef Brit Reed. “Herbs and spices contain so much nutritional value, from cleaning out toxins in your blood to fighting inflammation to even lowering blood pressure. We’re all about promoting healthy foods habits that can really make a difference with a variety of health issues our people may be going through.”

Tulalip elder Marvin Jones attended the September 18 session as a first-timer. He enjoyed learning about the variety of health benefits herbs and spices can offer, even though he admitted to not enjoying the flavor of most of them.

“I don’t like the taste of most seasonings, but I’ll try to eat them and come up with a combination that works for me because I want to eat better,” said Marvin while going through the process of mincing garlic. “I want to learn to cook healthier foods and meals. These classes will help me with that.”

Tulalip elder Marvin Jones minces garlic during a class devoted to benefits of herbs and spices.

The exciting hands-on learning experience walked each class attendee through the food preparation process, to the large Dining Hall kitchen for cooking as group, and then back to the table where a grilled chicken and broccoli meal was enjoyed by all. The meal was made flavorful with the aid of garlic (anti-inflammatory), basil (digestive aid), ginger (nausea reducer), and thyme (antimicrobial), along with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

“The staff here have been so helpful in teaching me which foods to eat more of and how to make sense of a nutritional label,” shared Joyce Alexander, a Haida elder. Joyce routinely attends healthy cooking and food classes offered by the Diabetes Prevention Program. “I was diagnosed with border line Diabetes two years ago and was told by the doctors it could be reversed by changing the foods I eat. Since then, I’ve lost nearly 52 pounds just by changing my diet and staying away from processed foods. I’ve taken back control of my life and it feels great.”

The Gift of Food & Good Health series will continue next Tuesday with a class dedicated to tender, juicy steak. As always the Diabetes Prevention Program welcomes any community members interested in learning about the many health benefits of food. 

“There is so much information available about healthy eating and cooking skills, and we want to aid, however we can, in our people being comfortable applying these skills in their daily lives,” said Chef Brit. “This series of classes will cover a whole range of health benefits. And don’t worry if you can’t make them all. If you can make time to attend just one or two, we’d love to share a nutritious meal with you.”

To find out more information about The Gift of Food & Good Health series please contact Brit Reed, Diabetes Program Culinary Services Provider at 360-716-6594 or Veronica Leahy, Diabetes Program Coordinator at 360-716-5642.

First Foods Are Ready! Spring Nettle Lasagna Recipe

By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

On a recent hike my sweetie and I noticed a bright spot of color peeking out from behind the scrubby gray remnants of last year’s underbrush. Nettles, one of the first foods of spring, were perfect for picking. We also noticed a gigantic sign that indicated no harvesting local plants. But now we knew these tasty treats were growing, so we made plans for the next day.

The freezing morning made them a little hard to spot, but we quickly found a patch of nettles. A short half hour of harvesting netted us two grocery bags of the tasty greens. After finishing our hike, we settled down for a cup of fresh nettle tea and got to work on dinner, a spinoff of lasagna minus the noodles and tomatoes and featuring our freshly picked nettles.

You may be thinking, no noodles? No tomatoes? That’s not lasagna. Nailed it! However, it is a tasty and low carb lasagna-like dish. Instead of a traditional tomato sauce, roasted red peppers provided the base for a meaty red sauce and the lasagna noodles were swapped with thin slices of zucchini. If you can’t find nettles, or aren’t interested in risking stings, you can substitute spinach.

If you’ve ever shopped for groceries or cooked with me, you know I believe we vote with our dollars, so when I shop I prioritize local, seasonal, organic and grass fed. If I have to choose, I’ll buy grass fed and organic meat over organic produce. Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) produces the dirty dozen and clean 15 lists, which can also help you decide what to buy organic vs. conventionally grown. The dirty dozen are the most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables, the clean 15 are the least contaminated, you can find them on the EWG’s website,

Spring nettle lasagna


  • wilted nettles – two grocery bags, fresh
  • 6-8 medium zucchinis – salted and drained

Meat sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound of grass fed (preferably organic), ground beef
  • 12 oz package mushrooms, chopped
  • 2, 16oz jars of roasted red peppers, blended until smooth
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Parsley cheese mixture

  • ½ cup chopped Parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups Ricotta
  • 1 cup Parmesan


  • 2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 cups grated Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350, and oil a 9 x 13” baking dish. Prepare Nettles and Zucchini, roasted red peppers and cheese mixture. Prep your nettles by removing the leaves and discarding the stems. Rinse thoroughly to remove dirt or contaminants. Place in a large pot of water, boil until wilted, drain and set aside. Slice zucchini into ¾ inch slices, salt to draw out the moisture and let drain in a colander. Blend roasted red peppers until smooth, using no more than 4 tsp of the reserved liquid (use water if additional liquid is needed) and set aside. Combine parsley, ricotta, and eggs in a small bowl, set aside.

Meat sauce: Coat bottom of pan with olive oil, bring to medium heat. Sauté onions and celery over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add garlic, ground beef and mushrooms. Cook until meat is brown and crumbly. Add blended roasted red pepper, basil, oregano and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15-30 minutes to reduce and thicken sauce.

Assemble: In a 9 x 13” baking dish, spoon enough of the meat sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Layer zucchini slices to cover the dish, then 1/3 of remaining meat sauce, 1/3 of the parsley cheese mixture, and 1/3 of the nettles. Repeat until the ingredients have been used up. Top with parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for about an hour, or until dish is bubbling and cheese is browned. Let cool slightly before slicing.


Summer Solstice With Father Pat Twohy

By  Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The skies were clear and the sun was shining on the first day of summer 2017. As the temperature reached the low seventies, the Tulalip Bay waters were glistening, providing both a cool breeze as well as a beautiful view for the Tulalip community as many gathered for the Summer Solstice Celebration. The June 21 event, held near the gardens behind the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic, is the second of a four-event series, hosted by the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program, in which the community honors and welcomes the turn of each season.

During the first celebration, the Spring Equinox, the Diabetes team reached out to honorary Tulalip tribal member, Father Pat Twohy, to bless the newly constructed Medicine Wheel Garden. During the ceremony, the Tribe honored Father Pat by gifting him a pair of moccasins accompanied with a foot-washing ceremony. After the success of the Spring Equinox event, community members requested more time with Father Pat during the upcoming events. Revered by the Tulalip community, Father Pat served as Priest to St. Anne’s Catholic Church for twenty years, according to Dale Jones, Elder Advocate for the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

“[Father Pat] is the top dog, but he don’t act like it. He only wants to serve the people,” explains Dale. “Everybody loves him and nobody wants him to leave – ever. He’s been here with the Tribe for about twenty years. I’ve known him personally for forty years. You couldn’t ask for a better guy than Father Pat.”

The Summer Solstice Celebration offered the opportunity for attendees to walk through the Garden Trail and the Medicine Wheel Garden to view the various plants and vegetables growing in the garden boxes, on the longest day of the year.

“The summer solstice is a special time for a lot of Indigenous people,” states Diabetes Care and Prevention Program Coordinator, Veronica ‘Roni’ Leahy. “Here at Tulalip, because of the opening of the Medicine Wheel Garden, we thought that this year we would celebrate the equinox and solstice through prayer.”

During this season’s event, Father Pat met individually with community members and shared an intimate conversation, before providing a prayer. Numerous community members attended the event for the opportunity to visit with Father Pat.

“We asked Father Pat to be here for the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumn Equinox and he’ll be here again for the Winter Solstice,” says Roni. “Each season he’ll come back and visit with us and pray for the people. We asked him to represent the spiritual side of the medicine wheel. Jennie Fryberg said Father Pat is our medicine; so having him here is really special for the people. His words have an impact on our hearts and minds and gives us fortitude to continue our work and move forward.”

For additional information regarding future equinox and solstice events please contact the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic at (360) 716-4511.

AgriCULTURE: Growing produce to promote healthy eating habits

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

At an amazing vantage point overlooking Tulalip Bay, community members met behind the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic, on April 29, to attend the first Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Class of the year.  The class is hosted by the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program and unites community members, youth to elders, to educate as well as promote both healthy eating and living habits by planting a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

For centuries, Native American ancestors practiced sustainable agriculture as they incorporated the crops into their everyday diet. Due to events such as the Indian Removal Act and Assimilation, many tribal nations lost the tradition of passing down ancestral knowledge, regarding the growth and harvest of produce. This resulted in poor diets in many Native communities as they transitioned to the modern western diet of high saturated fats and empty carbohydrates. This diet often leads to diabetes, a disease that unfortunately continues to spread throughout Native America as studies show Indigenous People are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease, as opposed to other cultures.

Since 2014, the Wellness Garden and Trail has been the outdoor homeroom to participants, many of whom faithfully attend the once-a-month classes between April and September. During each class, participants are presented with an opportunity to learn how to grow produce and are treated to a spectacular view of the bay while walking along the trail that connects the garden and the clinic. Dietician Susan Adams spoke to the community about the importance of proper nutrition and this year participants planted apple trees, carrots, onions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, herbs and an assortment of over 14 berries including blueberries and goji berries.

Garden class participants are encouraged to start the day with a good stretch, by means of yoga, in the newly constructed Medicine Wheel Garden. Tulalip community member and Native American Yoga Instructor, Lisa Foster, provides information about the medicine wheel as she guides participants through each pose, making sure to face all four directions through each sequence.

Attendees were treated to a gift box full of fruits and vegetables donated by Klesick Family Farm as well as lunch, prepared during a live cooking demonstration by community member Brit Reed who is currently attending the Seattle Culinary Academy. During the upcoming months of June and July, Brit will offer cooking classes on Mondays at the Kenny Moses Building for the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

Dale Jones, Elder Advocate for the diabetes program states, “[The Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Class] is here to help people eat right, make the right choices for their health and open their eyes to other choices than McDonalds. Teat-mus used to say ‘it’s pretty funny we have a clown that’s killing our people.’ With all the bad choices we make eating, we’re all guilty. But, we can teach our kids to live better lives than us.”

Tulalip tribal member Jose Diaz, who is only ten years of age, offered to perform the opening prayers as well as the meal blessings for each class held in 2017. Upcoming classes will be held on June 16, July 15, August 26 and September 30.

The diabetes program intends to begin weekday classes in the near future, geared towards adults, where attendees will be working exclusively in the Medicine Wheel Garden. The diabetes program also recently purchased the plants for many programs in Tulalip including the Betty J Taylor Early Learning Academy, the Boys and Girls Club, Youth Services as well as the Senior Center as they recently began growing plants and vegetables in their own gardens.

For additional information regarding Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Classes and the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Program, please contact the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic at (360) 716-4511.

Healthy Garden Gathering, April 23

Garden Gathering Saturday, April 23 in collaboration with Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Department and the Snohomish County Conservation District. Events begins at 10am at the Karen I Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic  and includes a brief discussion on rain barrels and master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about your own gardens. There will be a giving away of vegetable starts from the greenhouse.

Diabetes Preventions Program 2016v4_12

Hate Leftovers? Time for a leftover makeover

By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

All photos by Niki Cleary


If you’re like me, you’re chronically short on time, so home cooked meals can be a challenge. Maybe you’re like a couple of my family members, you hate eating the same meal twice and will avoid it like the plague. If you’re frugal, the idea of good food going to waste just makes your blood boil. Enter the leftover makeover, and suddenly, everyone is happy.

The leftover makeover is all about planning ahead and being flexible. It starts at the beginning of the week with a foundation meal. If you read my last recipe article, “It’s too hot to cook,” you know I’m a bit of an amateur foodie. I’m also a huge believer in food activism. You don’t have to be an extremist to be an activist, by the way. In my opinion one of the best ways to affect change is to vote with your dollars.

Most of the food I buy and eat is local, and whenever possible, I buy it from people I know. I also purchase a produce box from a local organic farm every week. That said, I’m not afraid to pick up a handful of ingredients based on pure convenience. A bit of advice, don’t make health too difficult or you won’t stick with it.



Food is far more than nourishment, it’s a way to connect with the people around you. Most of the meals you see in the syəcəb didn’t happen at my house, they happened at my mom’s, or a friend’s. Why? Food is better when it’s shared with good company. Plus you can enlist the diners as prep cooks before the meal and dishwashers after (I love food, not dishes).

Making a meal that can be plated all at once takes practice. Don’t feel bad if you botch it. I do all the time. Trust me, the people eating will be just as happy to snack in courses as they will be when you hand them a full plate. You’ll get the hang of cook times the longer you cook.

Don’t be afraid to try things out. Don’t know how to cook over live fire? Learn. Or just cook indoors, the broiler setting on your oven works like an upside down grill. If you see unfamiliar produce at the grocery store go ahead and buy it. Google it for recipes and maybe find a new favorite. Be flexible, it’s not brain surgery, just dinner.


The foundation meal: Salmon and salad




A foundation meal is like a ‘choose your own adventure,’ book. It’s just a starting point and the rest of the week’s menu can go anywhere from here. We’re starting with a fresh King Salmon caught right here in Tulalip Bay. Remember, support our local fisherman, they are a living link of our culture.

If you’ve eaten food cooked over a wood fire, then you know the rich flavor wood smoke adds. That said, I don’t cook over a fire, instead I buy salt. Not just any salt, but alder wood smoked sea salt produced by a company called Salish Saltworks.

We cooked our salmon on a Weber grill, over indirect heat. Because this is a large fish, we had to cook the halves one at a time, for about 30 minutes each. Indirect heat (notice the coals aren’t directly beneath the fish), allows the meat to cook more evenly. Large cuts of meat cooked over direct heat tend to be burnt on some areas and raw in others. The grill should be hot, about 400-450 degrees.





Salmon is tasty. It really doesn’t need much to dress it up. In this case I coated it evenly with smoked sea salt and pepper and topped it with butter. I use Plugra which is a European style butter. Why? Because America’s Test Kitchen gave it great reviews, and sometimes I totally buy into the marketing. Plus, I think it tastes good. Each fillet is cooked for about 30 minutes, no need to flip the fish, just leave it alone.

Remember when your mom used to yell at you for opening the door because, “You’re letting the heat out!” Same principle. Every time you raise the lid on the grill or open your oven door you let the heat out and extend the cooking time. Be patient, what’s the worst that happens, you burn it? Trust me, it’s still tasty, just add some cayenne pepper on the backside and call it ‘cajun’ blackened salmon.




For a quick side I chopped some red peppers and apples and tossed them over a bed of mixed greens. A healthy meal definitely needs something decadent, so I went to the freezer. Anytime I make cookies, I make a double batch and freeze half the cookie dough.




The cookies pictured are adapted from a Quaker oats recipe for cowboy cookies ( Since I’m not fond of raisins and chocolate together, I cut the raisins out. I use real butter, and reduced the sugars from 1 cup each to ¾ cup each. You can generally reduce sugars by ¾ to ½ without affecting the texture, but be aware, the cookies don’t brown as quickly. Pay attention or you’ll overcook them. Of course, if you’re like me, crispy cookies are even better, so, who cares if they get overcooked? Break out the milk or coffee, dip them and enjoy anyways.

As soon as you’ve eaten, prepare your salmon for the following meals by flaking it (peel it apart with your fingers and pull out all the bones), then packing it up and freezing immediately. You have two hours from safe temperature (off the grill) to refrigeration. Food safety is one of the few places where I am a fanatic. Process your leftovers immediately or just throw them away. Don’t risk food poisoning. It’s not worth it.


prepare your salmon for the following meals by flaking it (peel it apart with your fingers and pull out all the bones), then packing it up and freezing immediately.
prepare your salmon for the following meals by flaking it (peel it apart with your fingers and pull out all the bones), then packing it up and freezing immediately.


It’s okay to put it in the fridge and pack it the next day, but better to freeze it the same day you cook it. My rule of thumb is that meats are good for about six days total. Three days from the time you buy it to the time you cook it and an additional three days after you cook it. However, you can keep meat in the freezer for about 1-3 months. Just thaw overnight in the fridge prior to use.


Meal 2: Salmon tacos




Even if you didn’t remember to thaw your frozen cooked salmon the night before (I didn’t, as usual), you can toss the freezer bag into a bowl of cold water and it will thaw in about 30 minutes. While your salmon is thawing, chop veggies. These will end up in your tacos, so pick stuff you like.

I have some general rules I follow when making tacos. I rarely use lettuce, I choose cabbage instead. Why? Lettuce is a pesticide heavy crop and cabbage isn’t. Cabbage also tends to be less expensive and it’s crunchier. As for the other toppings, I’ve almost always got bell peppers on hand during the summer, I love cilantro, and lime, so that’s what I chopped. This week we also received pluots in the produce box, a pluot is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. It tastes like a plum, but slightly sweeter. I diced those up too. A little fruit added to something savory just takes it to the next level. Trust me, it works. Don’t be shy with the veggies, any extra will be repurposed later this week.




Finally, I’m prejudiced against microwaves. I don’t actually own one anymore and I find that I rarely miss it. Instead of nuking your tortillas, toss them directly on the burner over low heat (if your burner has settings from 1-10, that’s generally a 2 or 3). The tortillas end up flexible and the char marks add flavor. Want tostadas? Just cook them until they’re crunchy instead of flexible.

Now that all your toppings are prepared, and your salmon is thawed, toss it in a skillet along with whatever seasonings you love. If you were hoping for specifics, sorry, I don’t measure unless I’m baking. I do toss my spices in a bowl, mix and taste before I add them to the food. In this case I used garlic powder, chili powder, salt, paprika, black pepper and a little bit of allspice. Trust me on this, the allspice doesn’t taste sweet in small amounts, and it plays well off the pluots.

Now that everything is done, heat your tortilla’s and assemble. Eat. Repeat.


Meal 3: Chicken tenders, stuffed jalapenos,  pasta and fruit salad




You’re probably wondering, where is the salmon? It’s in the freezer, we’ll use it tomorrow. Tonight we’re taking the leftover veggies from our tacos and turning them into homemade pico de gallo or fresh salsa. Size matters. The finer your ingredients are chopped, the more surface is exposed and the more the flavors pop. This salsa is made from finely diced red and yellow bell peppers, garlic scapes (which taste like a cross between green onions and garlic, what can I say, my mom has a lot of random ingredients in her fridge), roma tomatoes that have been seeded (slice them into quarters and scrape all the wet stuff out) and diced, juice from about half a lime and the same spices we used on tacos yesterday. Cover this and let it sit out at room temperature, cold food doesn’t have as much flavor as warm, so unless there’s a food safety reason, I don’t refrigerate before serving.

Once the the pico de gallo is done, we need to light charcoal for the grill. Everything being cooked today is actually grilled, which means high heat and short cook time. Barbecue has become a general purpose term, but it actually means low heat and long cook time. So for future reference, grill = hot and fast, BBQ = low and slow.

Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and seed them. Fill each with a small rectangle of pepper jack cheese, top with pico de gallo and sprinkle with fajita seasoning and toss on the grill.
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and seed them. Fill each with a small rectangle of pepper jack cheese, top with pico de gallo and sprinkle with fajita seasoning and toss on the grill.


Stuffed jalapenos are up next. First, slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and seed them. Fill each with a small rectangle of pepper jack cheese, top with pico de gallo and sprinkle with fajita seasoning. Then set them aside. We’ll grill them as soon as the coals are ready.

Now we’re going to get some pasta underway. Here’s where convenience rules over principles. Instead of making it from scratch, I opened a box, in this case the box is Kraft Suddenly Salads (pasta) classic flavor. Prepare according to the box instructions and if the mood strikes you, add pico de gallo or veggies of your choice to the finished pasta.

Time to prep the chicken. We used chicken tenders because they cook quickly. I basically rolled the chicken in olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Done. There’s so much flavor going on in this meal, you don’t need extravagant chicken too.

For desert today we have fruit salad. I chose peaches and blueberries because both are still in season and yummy, I added bananas to cut the acid and sweeten it, then tossed it all with juice from about half a lime. No sugar needed.


For this desert of peaches and blueberries, I added bananas to cut the acid and sweeten it, then tossed it all with juice from about half a lime. No sugar needed.
For this desert of peaches and blueberries, I added bananas to cut the acid and sweeten it, then tossed it all with juice from about half a lime. No sugar needed.


The peppers cook on the grill for about 3-5 minutes at about 450 degrees. Once they come off, put the chicken on. The chicken only needs 2-3 minutes per side. When in doubt, stab it with a knife. The juices should run clear, if it’s still bleeding, toss it back on the grill.

I’m lucky, my mom lets me invade her kitchen often. Prior to this meal I gave her a call and asked if she’d make deviled eggs. She said yes and the deviled eggs were done before I started cooking. Deviled eggs, by the way, are super easy, a great way to use eggs when they approach the expiration date and can be easily turned into egg salad sandwiches the following day (if there are any leftover, which there never are at our house).

The leftover fruit salad can become a breakfast smoothie. Leftover chicken can be sliced in half for chicken sandwiches at lunch. Save your leftover pico de gallo for tomorrow. All leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as you’re done serving today’s meal.


Meal 4: Salmon burgers


Salmon burger with fruit. Photo/Niki Cleay
Salmon burger with fruit. 


Now it’s time to throw all those leftovers together. It’s the end of the week, so this is the simplest meal of the bunch. Toss your flaked salmon in a bowl with a couple eggs to bind it together. It’s going to be wet. Add enough crushed crackers or chips (you can always go fancy with Tim’s Cascade Jalapeno chips, or whatever you like, for some extra flavor) to make it about burger consistency. Form into baseball sized balls and drop them on a piece of foil. Flatten with your hand and then slide the patties into a non-stick skillet over medium heat (about 300 degrees).


Form into baseball sized balls and drop them on a piece of foil. Flatten with your hand and then slide the patties into a non-stick skillet over medium heat (about 300 degrees). Photo/Niki Cleary
Form into baseball sized balls and drop them on a piece of foil. Flatten with your hand and then slide the patties into a non-stick skillet over medium heat (about 300 degrees).


I bought dinner rolls to use as buns. Slice them and top with some of that pepper jack we bought yesterday. I also used the avocados that I bought for tacos. Unfortunately, they weren’t ripe on taco day, but they’re perfect here on burger day. You can either cut the avocados into thin slices, or put them in a bowl and mash them with a little bit of lime to keep them from browning. Add the burger and top with the pico de gallo from yesterday.

Desert today is honeydew melon. Because we had one and it needed to be eaten. Tada! A week’s worth of meals from one foundation dinner. Remember to be flexible and don’t take it too seriously, food should be fun.




Flowers are Sunshine for the Soul

Debbie Brown, owner of Bouquets of Sunshine. photo/Kim Kalliber
Debbie Brown, owner of Bouquets of Sunshine.
photo/Kim Kalliber


By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News 

As famously quoted by Luther Burbank, a botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science,  “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

Giving flowers to someone special, on any occasion, is one of the best ways to let that person know you’re thinking of them.  A good florist can make life much easier by helping you choose the perfect floral bouquet. With the rise of online delivery florists it’s easy to forget that a floral shop isn’t just a store, it’s an experience. With the vast array of bright, beautiful colors and delightful smells, a visit to the florist is sure to put a smile on your face.

Local residents are in luck that there is such a shop right on Third Street in Marysville. Owned by Tulalip Tribal member, Debbie Brown, along with her business partner, Shonta, Bouquets of Sunshine makes choosing creative floral bouquets an adventure in art, design, history and fun. From what flowers are best suited for certain occasions or seasons, to classic flowers or modern designs, Bouquets of Sunshine has it all.

An added benefit to shopping for flowers at a shop, versus the local street carts or grocery stores is that flowers are perishable, and shops carry the freshest blooms and can teach you how to treat them for longer lasting enjoyment. Flowers sold in open markets are susceptible to damage from temperature changes and attacks from bacteria and mold.  And during holidays when flowers are in high demand, you can place an order ahead of time and beat the rush.

Debbie talks with Tulalip News and explains a bit about what led her to the floral industry and how she ties Native American culture into her designs.


Bouquets of Sunshine’s current specialty is tropical plants and orchids. Photo/Kim Kalliber
Bouquets of Sunshine’s current specialty is tropical plants and orchids.
Photo/Kim Kalliber


You’ve spent years working in tribal leadership, what prompted you to open a floral business?

Working 20 years at the Tribe, I achieved executive level. My last job was C.O.O of the Tulalip Casino. I always wanted a flower shop; I guess it was my dream job.  I love delivering flowers the joy is indescribable. I’ve had my own floral business for 15 years, this September, and was ready to expand.  We opened our doors on Third Street on June 15th.


What are some of the challenges in the floral industry? 

Definitely 1-800 numbers and places like that where you can order flowers on the Internet. For me, right now, the challenge is getting the word out that my shop is here. But we are a member of and so you can send flowers across the country. Please visit our website at


Where do you look for your inspiration and do you incorporate traditional Native plants into your designs? 

I am continually challenged by all the beautiful work I see others do.  I have created specialty items for funerals, graduations and weddings.  And my husband Howard does work on the design forms I use.  As far as Native plants, I use Sword fern, huckleberry and salal.


So far, what is your career highlight as a florist?

I think for my current career as a floral designer, initially it was graduating from Seattle Floral Design School.  I discovered a talent I didn’t know I had.  Sometimes I’m designing a floral arrangement and thinking about the person I’m designing it for and voilà it’s finished and oh so beautiful.  A lot of times I look at it and can’t believe I even created it.


Classic red roses are perfect for Valentines, anniversaries and other occasions. Photo/Kim Kalliber


What is your favorite flower and favorite flower combo?

My favorite flower used to be a Stargazer lily, but now I’m allergic to them!  I think a colorful arrangement is the best expression of how someone feels that day; cheerful is always good! Our specialty right now is plants, especially tropical, orchids and anthuriums.


Do you have suggestion/tips for what types of bouquets to send for certain situations? 

Definitely roses for an anniversary, the more the better, and always in her favorite color.  For weddings, definitely come here, I›m less expensive than anyone else.  Often you can›t even do it yourself for what I can make them for. I love to stay at the ceremony too so that I can see that everything is perfect for the bride to walk down the aisle. Funeral arrangements are always a hard part of loss. Tulalip does a great job expressing their love and support through flowers.  I can bring my flower books to the family›s home or meet them at the Funeral home.  Now I’m just a few blocks away from Schaeffer Shipman.  I try to take into consideration the family›s choice of flowers and colors and coordinate all other orders with what the family has ordered.  Thank you and other arrangements are generally a very affordable $15 to $35.


Besides walk-ins, what is the best way to place an order with Bouquets of Sunshine?

Most of my orders come through phone calls or emails.  I am available by also text at 425-501-5406.  You can visit our website at and like us on Facebook. We have lots of choices to help you find the right flowers for any occasion.  I’m open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.   My shop is located at 1512 3rd Street, at the same place Marysville Floral was previously, just down from Hilton Pharmacy. The shop number is 360-716-2626. I’m also the first business uptown to use Salish networks phone service.




Contact Kim Kalliber,