Thursday, July 30, 2009

today was a great day because...

...I ran (!) two miles without stopping.  I've still got it!

...I picked up my CSA box this morning.  The ritual of unpacking this treasure chest each week is beyond compare.  I relish lifting each fresh, crisp item out and "processing" it into storage.  Five heads of lettuce are carefully wrapped in paper napkins to absorb moisture and popped into plastic bags.  The tomatoes are mounded onto a favorite plate to add color to the kitchen counter.  Tops of carrots and radishes are snipped and fed to the chickens (beet tops are processed like lettuce and savored for smoothies!)  Root veggies go into recycled mesh bags and, along with squash and cucumbers, placed into the cooler drawer to stay nice and crisp.  Heaven!!!

...this gorgeous bouquet was included in the box, along with a basket of melt in your mouth strawberries.

...I found this runner at my favorite thrift store today (see how perfectly it matches the flowers!), along with this book~a classic for raw foodists.  Each item:  $1.00.

...I did another yoga class with Jane this evening.  She is, I believe, a true midwife for me.  She is powerful, confident, warm, funny, and has arms to die for.  I want what she's got!  What a blessing.

What made your day great?

Monday, July 27, 2009

road trip

Little P. and I have just arrived home from the Raw Health Expo in Santa Rosa.  She was a real trouper, sitting through seven hours of talks and demonstrations, trying some raw specialties at the Exhibit Hall, even munching some kale at the Farmer's Market that someone gave her.

Here I am with Cecilia Benjumea.
Cecilia talked about transitioning to raw foods in a sensible way.  She just exudes love and enthusiasm for her subject.  My favorite tip was to create four lists (I LOVE lists) of foods, entitled "always", "sometimes", "rarely", "never" according to how often you plan on eating them.  I found this tremendously helpful.  I personally plan on never eating meat or dairy again.  I'm supposed to try this for 30 days and let her know how it went.  Doesn't she just glow?  I look so red and tense compared to her.

I just bought Cherie Soria's newest book last week.  She did a great demonstration using a couple of the recipes.  She looks so fantastic, and she has great energy.  I would love to check out her school some day; for some reason I can't get the link to work, but it's called the Living Light Institute.

Cherie is very spiritual as well; her second talk was about making your life delicious.  She had some great things to say about self-esteem, treating yourself well, and creating the a life of abundance and joy.  Can you believe she is 62?!  I look older than she does here!

Victoria Boutenko was there, the Green Smoothie Queen herself.  I told her how she had changed my life with her formula.  She was pretty reserved in person, but quite animated during her demonstration of making green smoothies.  I like her scientific approach, and the way she carefully researches all of the information she presents.  She even studied chimpanzees for a while.  I have to say that the smoothies she made were a little too chunky for my taste.  I'm pretty sure I will always peel my mangos.  Here I am looking a little puffy.

Overall, it was a great experience.  I didn't learn anything new really, not surprising since I have read so very, very many books on the subject.  But it was great to meet these inspiring women and rub elbows with people sharing a common goal:  eating as clean and fresh as possible, sustaining the planet through our choices, and overall just feeling great.

What did YOU do this weekend?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

your dose of cute

OK, that's all you need.

We got this chick at the feed store.  The girl said she was a bantam Silkie (sp?).  I call her adorable.  Her little feathers stick out all which way and look like angel wings.  Here we are teaching her to perch.

It's like having a living powder puff.  But she's kind of warm and damp too... like everyone else right now.

Long afternoons have made my tomatoes double their height this last week.  It's kind of a crazy explosion down there... time to pick like mad before the new moon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

angels and fairies

Herm is the guardian of our house.  We discovered Herm at our favorite little shop in Noe Valley.  Herm watches over everything, sees all and tells nothing.  I forgot to light Herm's candle for this picture.

There are fairies in the house too.  I caught these two cavorting in the sunbeams.  Tricksters!

Fairy dogs are so very special.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Things are heating up this week.  We have a little break until swim lessons.  The obvious answer?  Sprinkler time.

A couple of yoga mats make a cushy landing on the deck.  And yes this counts as a bath.

Batik fish flag made at Art Camp.

How are you keeping cool?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

and then her head exploded

I thought you might enjoy seeing my CSA box load from last week.  It was so fantastic that I ordered another one yesterday.  Yes, I ate (and juiced) it ALL.  There was squash, carrots, beets, beans, radishes, six heads of lettuce, fennel, kale, spinach, potatoes, onions, chervil, basil, and huge bunch of sunflowers and (eaten on the way home) two baskets of the most delicious strawberries EVER.

Guess how much?  (wait for it)      $25.00!

Now you see why I'm getting another one.  I feel as if I've found the end of a rainbow...

Some things, like the delicious buttercrunch lettuce, were torn up and devoured.  Other pieces went into the juice.  I've had 16 oz if fresh juice every day this week (sometimes more).

It tasted as beautiful as it looks.... a rainbow cocktail of minerals and enzymes!

I used the huge bunch of basil and some of the spinach to make pesto.  I have so much basil!  It's great to use it like this.... simple and fresh on flax crackers or (squash) pasta, or tossed with roasted root vegetables!  Mmmmm summer...

The kitchen goddesses smile.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

fun yum

Flowers from my garden.

Have you tried blackboard paint?
You should.
This stuff is fun
And fun is good.

Fun and yum come together in my latest cobbler creation.  People I have made two of these and both times I ate 90% of it.

For starters, this fits in a pie pan 1/2 the regular size.  That way, if it's just you eating it, there's no waste.  This recipe is a fusion of recipes from Alissa Cohen, Ani Phyo, and myself.

For the crust:
1 cup dry almonds
1/4 c dates (about 4 - 5)
1/2 t salt
Process until it looks like the picture above.  Press 1/2 the mixture flat into the bottom of your pan.

The syrup:
5 -7 dates
1 1/2 T cocnut oil
splash vanilla (purists use beans)
1/3 c water
Blend until smooth.  Fold into 3 cups of your fruit of choice:  I have tried all apricots (heavenly) and a mixture of apricots, strawberries and plums (also excellent).  Next I want to try peaches.

Pour the syrupy fruit into the pan.  Pour the other 1/2 of the crust over it and press lightly.  

If you are lucky like me, you might have one of these plastic takeout containers - it is exactly the right size, and has a nice lid to keep your treasure safe.  Like a little raw cobbler bento.

Please enjoy eating the whole thing.  I know I did.

Monday, July 13, 2009

summit rider summer

Our local horse show comes twice a year.  This year we were a little more prepared... did some practice.... filled out our forms early.  We got there with time to spare (the horses load easily now).

It's fun to get the gear on and show off a little.  Here ND's horse Sparky struts his stuff.  This horse is bomb proof.

I placed second in equitation, first in pleasure, second in the stake race, and first on barrels.

ND beat me on the stake race!  Beginner's luck.  Is friendly competition good for a marriage?

We sure did have fun.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

the days

We start with tea (or hot chocolate almond milk) on the occasional foggy morning.  Early is a good time to water the flower pots, putter an hum a little.

I have become a little obsessive with water lately.  I believe this may be related to my diet.  I use a dishpan to catch ALL the water that I use in the sink; this gets dumped onto the fig tree, or the lavender bushes, or strained into the watering can I use to keep the seed starters moist.  No drop wasted!

Little P. is getting a little healthier with her cravings as well.  Here's a sunny treat:  apples and almond butter.  Best if licked off your fingers.

A batch of buckwheaties has been dutifully soaked, sprouted, and dried in the sun.  This stuff lasts forever and makes a great cereal; I'd like to make some crackers with it too.  I'm experimenting every day.

Here are a couple of cute chicks.  Seems like we just can't get out of the feed store these days without more critters.  Last chicken count:  14!  But the last three are little banties and damn those things are cute.

Tomorrow's the horse show!  Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

gratitude list

** My favorite bowl

**Massive quantities of juice

**Mango salsa

**Flax crackers are SO easy and ND loves them

**Alissa Cohen's blueberry pie.  How does it get this texture without agar?  It's only four ingredients!

You GOTTA make it.  YUM.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

sun kat

Here are just a few of the panels that run the solar system for our house.  Generally in the summer we can really turn on the power:  watch TV (not that we have it - just movies), play around on the computer, and run the dehydrator (more on this later!  I'm really having fun with it lately)

The rest of the panels are up on our roof.  It's a clean and clear feeling to life where there are no wires, none of that buzzing energy that surrounds most neighborhoods.

The sun is coming into play in the garden too.  Finally the days are long enough that things are really starting to take off.  This bed holds salad greens, cilantro, dill, parsley, a tomato and two kinds of squash.  As of this post I am harvesting most of the lettuce as I go, juicing and smoothie - ing it up in anticipation of getting a lot more in my CSA box (I hate waste!)

I am particularly proud of my Pumpkin Patch.  These plants are twice as big as when I took this picture just last week!  We will have a happy Halloween for sure (just have to keep watering!)

A morning shot of my kitchen:  chard getting ready to be smoothied, peppermint tea (I've actually started to hate coffee - it smells good, but tastes like motor oil to me), the cup and squeezer I use to make my tonic (I have lemon juice in a big glass of water immediately after I get up) and back in the corner, my growing Raw Library.  It's a little embarassing:  these are just the cookbooks.  Upstairs I have an equal number of all the classics (12 Step To Raw, The Live Food Factor, etc. etc.)  Last week at the thrift store I even found You Body's Many Cries for Water!  I am really reading them all, too, really, I am.

It's getting tough to be a carnivore around here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

art smart

Little P. has started Art Camp this week. She goes every day, 9 to noon. The best part? This frees me up for YOGA!

I found an awesome little studio with an amazing instructor just two minutes down from the Art Center. In a fit of bliss I bought four classes. I came home after my first one yesterday and just floated through my day.

Not that the P. needs any creative nudges..... she adores painting on the deck, and I splurged on a little "make your own fairy" kit that she has been enjoying. We now have fairies peeking out from all the corners of the house (that's a lot, since we live in a dome!)

I notice, Day 7 on the raw journey, how calm and comfortable I feel. My energy is increasing daily, but I am aware of just wanting to BE and not DO a lot. I have a gift certificate to Well Within and I plan on having a lymph massage very soon.

And did I mention..... my yoga teacher also has a CSA farm, and I'll be purchasing a big box of summer delight on Thursday? It just doesn't get any better than this.

Hurray for Art Camp.
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