Forest Therapy, Another Cookbook, and Tea


It has been a year of changes, endings, and new beginnings. Grab a cup of rose hip and fireweed tea and I will tell you all about it…

After much contemplation, introspection, and counseling, I decided to totally switch careers and do what I love – spend time in the forest and share it with people. I am now a certified nature and forest therapy guide. “What is that?,” you ask.

Forest Therapy is a practice of spending time in the forest for the purpose of enhancing one’s health, wellness, and happiness. Research has shown that spending time in nature:

  • Reduces levels of cortisol, a stress hormone
  • Can boost the immune system
  • Activates production of, cancer fighting, N-K white blood cells

Spending time in nature can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and potentially cancer; it can help reduce inflammation, restore mental energy, and improve mental health, short-term memory, concentration, creativity, and sleep.

A guided Forest Therapy Walk is a gentle 2 to 2.5 hour walk, during which I offers a series of invitations to help participants slow down, engage their senses, release stress, and be more present while they connect with the natural world and experience the restorative qualities of nature. We end each walk with a tea I brew from native plants.

So, in September, I created my new business, Red Cedar Forest Therapy. I offer walks to the general public, families, groups, and businesses. I have been busy this fall providing walks to visitors to Portland through AirBNB. I am very excited about this wonderful new path I am on.

One of the side benefits to being a forest therapy guide is that I have the time this winter to focus on cookbook #2 and get all my recipes developed. You all remember cookbook #1, right? In case you haven’t bought it, it is available on Amazon.

Cookbook #2 is about marriage, the marriage of my husband’s Persian flavors with foods I like to cook. It has been such an enjoyable journey working on this new book. I have re-imagined dishes from my childhood, added new flavors to baked goods, and turned everyday dishes into real treats by adding a Persian twist to the cooking technique. We have been migrating to a mainly vegetarian diet, so as an added facet, almost all the recipes will either be vegetarian or have vegetarian options. Here’s a sampling of what will be included…

So, my dear friends, I will try to be better at posting periodically as I work on the cookbook, cook with local PNW products, or bake some bread.

Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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