Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In Tulsa this past Sunday afternoon, over 26 raw foodists came to Lava on Brookside for an amazing raw food meetup and potluck. Above are some pictures, courtesy of Western Doughty of Haftone Photography and one of our lovely members, Paula Jones. Then my husband, Gordon, and our little Taylor both took turns shooting video of the event, which is in the YouTube clip below.
All who attended seemed to have a lovely afternoon, enjoying the impressive and creative food dishes, as well as hearing testimonials from people who have had life changing transformations by the incorporation of raw foods into their lifestyle. It's hard to believe this was only our third meetup as a group. I feel so encouraged and excited by this wonderful, growing community and who would have known that all this time they were all here, right in my own backyard?!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I know, I know....you were hoping for something a little more exciting, right? Well, lately, along with my kombucha cultivating & brewing, I've gotten into sprouting in my kitchen. From the beginning of my journey into the world of raw foods, I've read about sprouts and learned that they are considered top on the list in the living foods category. I've bought sprouts from time to time and have incorporated them into salads, sandwiches and have juiced them on occasion. But for some reason, I hadn't passionately jumped onto the hard core sprouting train nor had I fully understood the real importance of these little powerhouses of nutrition until recently.
Jordan Rubin, of the Maker's Diet fame, shared in a recent newsletter that soaked and sprouted seeds are some of the most dense nutritional foods around. The sprouting process helps develop healthy nutrients in the seeds including , carotenoids, and , especially B2, B5, and B6. Even more importantly, Rubin adds, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all seeds that inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Sprouting also neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors that are naturally found in all seeds. This is important, because these inhibitors can destroy the precious enzymes in our own digestive tracts. This is one reason why many people seem to develop a stomachache or excess gas after consuming large amounts of seeds, nuts or beans.
Dr. Brian Clement, the internationally respected founder of the Hippocrates Institute in Florida, has been a proponent of sprouting for many years. Dr. Clement teaches world wide regarding the ancient cultures and their knowledge of the value of germinating and sprouting grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts. He shares in an article written in early 2007 that the use of sprouted seeds for food and medicine is more than twice as old as the Great Wall of China and was even noted in Chinese historical records. Living foods that are germinated and sprouted afford us the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, chelated minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. These also contain abundant enzymes and bioelectrical energy, a most important reason for their desirability. Pound for pound, lentils and other bean sprouts contain as much protein as red meat, yet in a digestible form without the fat, cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics that are found in meat. Another answer for those naysayers who are always asking, "But where do you get your protein?"
Clement goes on to teach that the soaking of seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts removes certain metabolic inhibitors which are present to protect the seed from bacterial invasion and preserve it during its dormant state. Soaked seeds are more easily digested. During the germination process the seed springs into life and becomes more available nutritionally for human needs. After after the germination period, which is usually 4-12 hours, sprouting carries this life-beginning process farther, resulting in a variety of living foods, such as luscious sunflower and buckwheat greens.
Dr. Clement writes that there are endless varieties of foods that can be sprouted, the most beneficial sprouts have evolved which provide for different types of utilization by the body. Wheatgrass and tray-grown greens (such as sunflower and buckwheat) provide chlorophyll, and clean and rebuild the body most efficiently. The next group of efficient sprouts is alfalfa, clover, radish, cabbage, daikon, chia, and broccoli. The energy givers are the grains wheat, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and the legumes pinto, navy, red, and white beans. Mung and adzuki also provide important minerals, and fenugreek should be added for improved digestion and elimination.
So....you can see why I have finally gotten on the sprouting bandwagon. You can have a continual sprout garden in your kitchen year round. For more specific details on germinating and sprouting times you can visit Chet Day's informative website. I personally like Sun Organic, Sproutpeople and Living Nutz (one of the only sources I know of to get truly unpasteurized almonds) for ordering my seeds, grains, nuts and beans, but there are other great reliable sources out there as well. If you prefer to have your sprouts sent to you fresh with no other effort than surfing the world wide web, check out the great folks at Sprout Living. The health benefits we can get from these inexpensive and nutritious foods are a marvelous way to come against modern day problems of dietary deficiencies created by eating a standard American diet. Go ahead and get a handful of seeds, beans, nuts or grains and enjoy making your kitchen garden grow!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Matt Monarch just produced a mini-video for Bunny Berry 's 100 Day Raw Fu Challenge, today being Day 20. I wanted to post it here because Matt hit upon a couple of points that I think are critical for anyone that is wanting to embrace healthy change in their diet, regardless of whether they are a committed raw food eater or not. Matt may seem a little radical to some, but I appreciate his view point and his dedication and passion to this movement. He leads by example and he just happens to be engaged to one of my role models, Ms. Angela Stokes. They are such a darling couple and I look so forward to meeting them both, finally, in person at next month's Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona.
I also would like to thank you for the outpouring of love and support I received from you in comments and emails regarding yesterday's post. After I posted that blog entry, my YouTube page escalated further with more sick and dirty comments from random and fictitious accounts until it turned into a full blown slime fest. I have no remorse in making the choice to remove the bulk of them. It became apparent that the whole ugly mess had very little to do with me. I've come away from the whole episode with such a renewed appreciation for this amazing community and for the love and support I feel from you. The sad, angry, hurting souls will always be with us, friends. We must do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. Anyway.....you all are amazing and I love you beyond words. Together, we shall continue to choose to take the high road!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Just a bit later, while checking email, I received a comment on my youtube "channel" from someone I don't know that was pretty confrontational and critical of my motives and my character. Apparently this person has "been observing me in raw food circles" and felt the need to tell me how my personality is flawed, that they see me as competing in a personality competition and how fake I come across. It really startled me and gave me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that anyone would see me that way. I do agree that my new found video making skills leave much to be desired. Because I feel so vulnerable about putting myself out there as it is, this person's opinion really stung. However....difficult as it is, I do want to open to constructive criticism and I don't ever want to be so prideful that I can't take it. But in a nutshell, this person peed all over my raw granola this morning.
After sharing the episode with my husband, I received a sweet email from him with a message that helped to put a different twist on how I was feeling. What I experienced today has likely happened to you in one form or another, so I suppose that's why I wanted to share it here. I think we all face days and moments of defeat & criticism. My precious husband reminded me that I was created to shine, in my very own way, and that I shouldn't allow the opinions of others to cause me to shrink back or to hide the energy and passion that swirls inside me. One of the hardest struggles for all of us is to step out of the boat. Take the our place in the bright light. Be what we were created to be. It all feels really risky, yet without hesitation, I believe it is a risk worth taking.
I've come away from this with the message that I'm just going to live my life and live it to the fullest. I purpose to keep a humble and submissive heart all along the way. To be alive and active in pursuing whatever your passion is will put you at risk drawing attention to yourself and in turn possibly pissing someone off. Those of you who really know me agree that I'm not one to seek confrontation or an opportunity to irritate anyone, respecting others opinions and lifestyles, even if they differ from my own. I do have childlike passion, a love for people and I feel called to serve, even if it is from out of nothing more than my own weaknesses. And if someone doesn't like that about me, I hope they'll feel free to simply turn the channel and go in peace.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Instructions for Brewing Kombucha
1. Bring 3 quarts of distilled or purified water to boil in a stainless steel stock pot (scoby does not do well aroulnd metals such as aluminum).
2. When boiling, add one cup of white sugar. Stir until dissolved.
3. Turn off the heat, remove the cooking pot (in order to stop the boiling). Add four Black Tea bags (I use a combination of organic white, green and black tea), cover the pot with the lid. Let steep until cooled.
4. Remove and discard tea bags.
5. Allow sweetened tea to cool to room temperature, even if it takes overnight.
6. When at room temperature, pour the sweetened tea into a one gallon jar. (This is where the tea will ferment.)
7. Before pouring the cooled tea into the jar, pour 8 oz. of the starter tea (which will come with the scoby) into the jar. Then pour the cooled tea into the jar, to ensure an even mixture of the tea with the starter. For future batches you will use your own Kombucha tea starter.
8. Place the Kombucha scoby on top of the sweetened, cool tea, making sure that the darker rougher side faces down. (Don’t worry if it sinks to the bottom, it’s O.K.) Also, do not wear metal jewelry when handling your baby.....remember, no metal!
9. Cover Jar with a piece of loosely woven cloth (the scoby has to “breathe”. Cotton or linen or paper towel will do just fine.)
10. Secure with a rubber band to keep cloth in place and to keep out any insects or contaminates.
11. Place the Jar in a ventilated place to ferment for at least 8 days, without moving it, but away from direct sunlight and kitchen odors, plants and pets. The ideal constant fermenting temperature is 85-89 degrees F.
12. At about 8-10 days remove cover and taste. I have been letting mine ferment for 8 or 9 days since it's summer and the warmer weather seems to create a perfect environment for fermentation.13. After the fermented tea has passed the tests, it can now be called “KOMBUCHA TEA.” Remove the scoby that has formed on top of the “KOMBUCHA Tea” If the “mother” and it’s “baby” are stuck to each other (the baby on top of the mother), separate the two carefully and place each in a jar with enough “Kombucha Tea” (as a source of nourishment) to cover it, for future use. However after several batches of tea have been brewed, discard the old scoby.
Monday, August 11, 2008
- 1 cup of nuts soaked in one cup of water (you could use any nut, like hemp, cashew, or almond)
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp.vanilla extract (could use 1/4 vanilla bean if you have one)
- 2 tbsp. agave nectar
- 1 probiotic capsule, emptied into the mixture
- a nice pinch of sea salt
The flavor and texture of this mixture turned out really great! What a taste sensation to my palate! Obviously you could eat this alone, but drizzled over homemade raw granola with fresh fruit, what a delicious treat! Today I used apple chucks as my fruit because I found the most marvelous local apples from a farmer who has an orchard near Tulsa. Fresh berries are generally my favorite though. I 'm not sure how the consistency of this mixture will change once it's chilled and stays in the refrigerator for a few hours. Because of the mucilaginous nature of the chia seed, it could become to thick, but can easily thin out with the addition of a little more water.
In case you don't already know, chia seeds are one of my favorite additions to many of my recipes. The following is taken directly from an article written by Angela Stokes and I encourage you to read the article in it's entirety here.
"Chia seeds are said to have:
# 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
# 5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that
helps transfer calcium into your bones,
# 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
# 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
# 3 times more iron than spinach
# copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids...
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fibre. One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavour, odour or nutritional value. You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.
The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically. People add chia to their sauces, bread batters, puddings, smoothies and more. The flavour is retained, plus masses more nutrition is added ;)
Chia has been called a dieter’s dream food because when added to foods, it bulks them up, displacing calories and fat without diluting the flavour. Thus, someone can eat a typical serving, yet only consume about half the calories they might have eaten, because the food has been bulked up with chia. PLUS, the eater gets a bellyful of nutrient-rich superfood goodness, which hydrates and sustains them – magic ;)
Other benefits of eating Chia?
- Provides energy
- Boosts strength
- Bolsters endurance
- Levels blood sugar
- Induces weight loss
- Aids intestinal regularity
Thursday, August 7, 2008
One of my old favorite restaurants in Tulsa is The Celebrity Club. I haven't been there much since I've been pursuing a raw diet, however, it still has to be one of the only classic eateries left in this town. When I received an invitation to be "the mystery guest" for my friend Diane's 65th birthday party earlier this week, I was delighted to accept. Diane Simpson is the mother of one of my all time favorite friends, Katie Tuttle, and over the years, I've sort of adopted Diane as my surrogate mother. I even call her mom. Celebrating with Diane and the rest of my favored group of uber eccentric Tulsans has been the highlight of my week. Some of you may be familiar with the work of Charles Faudree and his fabulous sister, Francie. Also in attendance were Bill, Crissy, Brenda, George, Mickey and Martha, the manager of my favorite store in Tulsa, TA Lorton. I can't repeat any of the stories that went around the dinner table that evening, but to say I was entertained would be an understatement.
The menu at the Celebrity Club is not what you'd call raw food friendly, however, they are notoriously famous for their table side preparation of the BEST EVER Caesar Salad. Always the odd ball, my personal favorite is the Syrian Salad, which is what I eagerly ordered. Of course they wouldn't dream of sharing the recipe, but I've come close to recreating this taste sensation on my own. Perhaps you'll try it sometime....
Celebrity Club's Syrian Salad (translated by Penni)
For the Salad
1 head romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, cut in half, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced finely
2 ripe tomatoes
2 scallions, chopped
1 small red onion
2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
a bit of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup black olives
For the Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 minced garlic clove
1 tbsp. fresh mint
sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
Blend all dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss with the dressing and serve on chilled plates.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Mayo has accepted her as a patient, and has told her to plan to come and stay for 2 weeks as an outpatient, so that she can be thoroughly poked, prodded, and scanned. Bunny has shared that she is very worried about Gypsy, since she has been recently complaining of having a high fever. It is really important that she gets to Mayo on August 26th!
One thing that insurance and Mayo do not cover is housing for outpatients. So, Gypsy is going to have to stay in a hotel for 2 full weeks. Her son and husband are worried sick about her, and will not let her go alone, of course! The cheapest place they have found to stay near Mayo is $47/night. So, housing alone for the trip is going to cost close to $700, not to mention the cost of them trying to find healthy food to eat while on the road. With limited funds, you can imagine how stressful this must be.
Gypsy set up a website at www.NoahsCloset.com, and is trying to sell a few things out of her house to raise money to help them pay for their hotel stay. So, please check that out.
BUT, after talking with Bunny, I agree that Gypsy doesn't need to be worrying about hosting an online garage sale as she is getting ready for her trip to Mayo, so Bunny has decided to Pay It Forward, and try to collect enough money to cover as much of her housing costs as possible.
As a side note, I must tell you that Bunny really wanted to use ALL of the money that has been raised for her new kitchen and give to Gypsy, but I told her that we should just try to raise money first before dipping into the funds that the Raw Fu community has so graciously donated out of their love for all that she has put into this site. Sooooo, Bunny and I have agreed to kick off the Gypsy's Club Mayo Fund with a donation of $150 each......sorry, Gypsy, maybe next time it'll be a trip to Club Med!
Our HEALTH is so important, and I think we all know women like Gypsy. Women who give and give, and never take the time to take care of themselves. That's what mother's do, isn't it? Brother, can you spare a dime?
Just click here if you'd like to help a sister out.God Bless us everyone.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Gordon was able to join up with us on Friday evening after his long work week. While the girls feasted on room service and watched movies, Gordon & I stole away briefly for romantic dinner at the Park Avenue Grill inside the newly remodeled Skirvin Hotel.
I had a really fresh spinach, pear, walnut salad. It was primarily raw, but as you can see, it had this deep fried potato string thingy with a blue cheese bundle bulb (how's that for okie hick siferin'?) Yeah.....I know, not part of my program, but I couldn't resist eating that delectable bad boy. (And yes, believe me, I paid for it later.)
I didn't take the time to get pictures on the second day, but it was a combination of Frontier City, Penn Square Mall, Nichols Hills Plaza/Western Avenue, Bricktown, and too much time at the roof top pool.
Our drive home today was my personal highlight. I've always wanted to take Route 66 instead of Interstate 44, and today, I got my way. I didn't even have any complaints from the peanut gallery, probably because of the coolest stop, POPS, in Arcadia, OK.
We had a really wonderful time, but I was quite eager to be back at home once again. Preparing my own food and dining at home affords me the luxury of being in charge of what goes into my mouth....so, Day 4 on Bunny's 100 Day Raw Fu Challenge will most likely be my best yet!