Pick a Wild Salad in Tennessee Valley

Spring is a great time to connect with your own potential.

The video below encourages you to enjoy the flora and fauna of Spring in the serene and vibrant natural landscape of Tennessee Valley. This video can direct you in a self-guided walk along the path to the ocean, while you utilize your outing as an opportunity to connect with the vibrancy of Spring.

The principles of Chinese medicine state that nature effects our own physiology. Spring is the time of the Chinese Liver system, which is associated with important aspects of conception. Walking helps the Liver get into balance while getting blood flow distributed throughout your body. You'll also learn how to forage for a wild salad and recognize other edibles along the path!

*Just remember never eat anything you're not 100% sure about properly identifying

Tennessee Valley is about a ten-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge: 
See a Map

  • Head north on US-101 N for almost 5 miles
  • Exit onto CA-1 toward Stinson Beach/Mill Valley (this is the first Mill Valley exit)
  • After .8 miles, take a left onto Tennessee Valley Rd (the Dipsea Restaurant will be just ahead on your right)
  • Follow the road all the way to the very end, about 2 miles or so. The road ends in a parking lot. 


The Science of Chocolate for Improving Fertility

The health benefits of chocolate may improve fertility.

 In Mayan civilization, ground cocoa was thought to be a health-promoting elixir, and the Aztecs believed that cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility. Throughout history, chocolate has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, and in recent years, multiple studies have found that chocolate can have positive health effects, providing evidence to a centuries-long established use.

Beneficial fertility-related components of dark chocolate (with a cacao content of 70% or higher) include it's antioxidants (beneficial for egg and sperm health), and it's anti-inflammatory actions that improve the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which contributes to improving platelet function and blood flow (an important part of how "nutrition" gets to the uterine environment).

A traditional hot chocolate preparation involved adding cinnamon and pepper - these are both Chinese herbs that "warm the uterus," or also help blood flow. So, chocolate can be a pleasurable and healthy indulgence to incorporate (in moderation) into your fertility routine. 

 Hot Cocoa Recipe to Nourish The Heart and The Uterus:

Warm 1 cup of almond milk (recipe below) in a saucepan and stirring constantly, mix in cocoa powder (70% cacao content) to taste. Continue to stir or whisk until thoroughly blended and desired temperature. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of pepper. Enjoy!

Almond Milk

1 cup raw unsalted almonds, skin-on
4 cups filtered water, plus more water for soaking almonds
1 1/2 tsp honey, or one whole pitted date
Dash of salt

Blend everything together and strain through fine mesh strainer or muslin cloth.


Malays J Pathol. 2013 Dec;35(2):111-21. The history and science of chocolate.

Verna Nutrients. 2013 May 14;5(5):1573-84. Chocolate in history: food, medicine, medi-food.



Calcium Research and a Fertility-Boosting Recipe

The need for calcium is 50% greater during pregnancy
(so pregnancy preparation is a good time to start boosting up) on about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. If you don’t have enough calcium, your body will pull it from your bones, and since the minerals in the body are in a delicate, dynamic balance, if a deficiency in calcium exists, other minerals may also be out of balance.

Easily assimilated, calcium-rich foods include:
arugula, dried seaweeds (wakame, kombu, kelp, hijiki, arame), beans (soybeans, mung, aduki, black, lima), whole grains (buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, corn, barley, rye rice), nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, filberts, sesame seeds), high-chlorophyll foods (wheat or barley grass, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella), high quality chocolate (70% cacao content), sardines, parsley, turnip greens, watercress, kale, quinoa, yogurt, collard greens, tofu, salmon, halibut, chicken, mackerel, dried prunes and dried figs, and pumpkin.

Note: Some sea vegetables provide 10 times more calcium tha cow’s milk!

Calcium Inhibitors Include:
Coffee, refined sugar, soft drinks, diuretics, alcohol, excessive protein, cigarettes, too little or too much exercise (moderate exercise prevents calcium loss, but excessive physical activity has been shown to cause calcium loss), excess salt, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and bell peppers (these vegetables contain the calcium inhibitor solanine).

Here's an easy, calcium-rich Fall recipe:
Quinoa Acorn Squash Bowl
Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 3 cups of water by bringing to a boil and letting simmer until done (approximately 30 minutes)
Cut an acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves face down on a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees Farenheit until tender (about 1 hour).
While the squash is cooking, sautee sliced organic chicken in coconut oil until browned.
Add 1 bunch chopped kale, 1 Tablespoon almonds, 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds and cook until kale is tender.
Add juice from ½ a fresh squeezed lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with Integrative Fertility’s Pumpkin Seed Pesto (optional)

contributed by Caylie See, L.Ac., FABORM