Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raw Fruit Roll Ups!!

...a.k.a. fruit leather! Our Excalibur dehydrator has been very busy the past 2 weeks...dehydrated apples, dehydrated pears and now, raw fruit leather. My love has our camera, so perhaps I'll catch up on the pics later, but fruit leather is really easy to make. I had harvested a bunch of plums and apples, so I pitted the plums and tossed them in the  Blendtek. Oops! I did that picture by accident, but it's funny, like mad libs or something! Then, I chopped apples and added those (I used about twice as many plums as apples). Blend to a puree, slather on teflex sheets (about 1/4 inch thick) and dehydrate at 105 degrees. We have been cutting the big fruit leather sheets in quarters, rolling them up in wax paper and filling gallon freezer Ziploc bags for the freezer or fridge. We'll have lots of yummy power food for skiing and hiking! Yum!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wilderness and Meditation....

My love and I headed to elk country for the weekend. He has begun to explore the world of bow hunting and I gleefully hunt for wild...Huckleberries!!! We awoke in the dark, starry morning to hooting owls and donned our layers of clothes we eventually stuff into our packs as the sun warms us. Driving to the trailhead, we saw a mama moose and her baby. We walked in silence on the trail as the sun barely started bringing light. Elk were bugling! Have you ever heard it?! It is such an amazing, ancient sound (like a dinosaur)! They continued calling throughout the day and I savored my time, slowing picking berries, feeling like I was in the middle of Jurassic Park (although a lot calmer than if pterodactyls were flying overhead) . It felt immensely quiet in so many ways, yet nature is also so rarely quiet...birds chirping, squirrels throwing huge pine cones out of the trees, deer snorting and of course, elk bugling. Perhaps the quietness I am aware of is inside myself as the harvest transforms into a meditation. I noticed this as I was picking with my homegirl yesterday. We happily picked at different bushes, joyous to have time in the woods to catch up on life with each other. Our conversation slowly, naturally eased into silence... individually immersed in our moving meditation. As we grew out of sight of one another, we would occasionally give a hoot and a gentle return, just to check in.
So simple and so rich!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Apple Cider/Sauce, Dehydrated Apples (Do I sound like Bubba Gump yet?)

The thunder rolled, rain let loose last night and now it is clearing into what is expected to be a yummy 70 degree day-September is my favorite! It is a month of so much abundance (I get to harvest my friend's pear tree today), both cool and warm weather and although work is slower with less visitors in town, the streets and woods keep getting quieter and calmer...and then the locals come out to play!

Ma-in law and I harvested grandma's tree and churned the fruit into amazing apple cider using a great old school press we have in the family. The sacred Juice is soo yummy and sweet that you almost have to dilute it. Then, I use some of that cider to make applesauce from our tree (rather than using the sugar water that most recipes call for). I also chopped up apples, tossed them in lemon juice and have them dehydrating at 105 degrees in the radical Excalibur dehydrator as we speak.

So many things are calling me to Arizona this weekend, but I won't be there. My gorgeous nephew is turning 2 years old and there is a family birthday party. I usually go home 2-3x/year, but haven't been yet as I was traveling this Spring and the call to the Old Pueblo (where I grew up) and my family is strong. Also, Raw Spirit Fest is happening in Sedona, which I would love to go to, but why is it planned right during harvest season? It's probably gorgeous there right now. I send BIG LOVE to my family that will be gathering and also to all the amazing folks I have met (even it is is via computer) in this amazing raw food community!

This weekend is still going to mega-fabulous with sunshine and 70 degree days expected. I am going camping with my love, and while he is exploring the woods with his bow, I will have my trusty bucket strapped to my belt, stuffing fat huckleberries into my mouth, I mean my bucket, by the purple handful! Quite the little hunters and gatherers, aren't we?!

If you haven't read We Like It Raw lately, here is some crucial info on greenhouse gas emissions and commercial meat. That being said, I would also like to put a shout out to my uncle in Maine who works for Wolfe's Neck Farm and all other cattle farmers who work at a more sustainable level. Keep up the Love! (Wolfe's Neck Farm is a historic 626 acre farm on the Maine coast dedicated to sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and community well-being...Hallelujah!)

Back in November 2006 the UN published a study that concluded "Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars."

The calls to action that the UN attached to the 2006 study primarily focused on better factory farming methods. But no one from the UN was publicly recommending that the world eat less meat.

But that all changed this past weekend.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Prize winner and chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has announced that if we as a world society want to get serious about climate change, we must eat less meat.

Although eating less meat was always implied by the UN, no formal statements were ever issued. Considering that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world authority on global warming, you can bet that this is the boldest action challenge ever issued on the topic of warming to date.

You can also bet that there are thousands of meat lobbyist around the world who are totally pissed!

Via the Guardian

People should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make a personal and effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change, the world's leading authority on global warming has told The Observer.

Pachauri, who was re-elected the panel's chairman for a second six-year term last week, said diet change was important because of the huge greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems - including habitat destruction - associated with rearing cattle and other animals. It was relatively easy to change eating habits compared to changing means of transport, he said.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. These are generated during the production of animal feeds, for example, while ruminants, particularly cows, emit methane, which is 23 times more effective as a global warming agent than carbon dioxide. The agency has also warned that meat consumption is set to double by the middle of the century.

'In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,' said Pachauri. 'Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,' said the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian.

Who would have ever expected that an international organization, or even a national one for that matter, would have ever taken a public stand on food and how it effects our planet?

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Love Affair with Juice...

How could I forget my love affair with Juice? It's been so long, perhaps that's been part of my funk. I have some silly resistance to my Juicer, like it's going to take forever to clean up or something. I have been opting for the green smoothie, with all of its glorious fiber and wicked easy clean up. I've been thinking about my Green Star and even got it all prepped the other morning...right before I made a green smoothie. But this morning I finally made Juice-she wasn't mad at me, she welcomed me back with the unconditional love my dogs give me, no matter how much I've ignored them. Tails wagging and everything! The most abundant produce we have growing right now is cucumbers, chard and ripe apples and this is what I made the Juice out of....yummylicious! It instantly ignited something in me and it feels and tastes awesome!! Oh, yeah, and the clean up was a piece of cake! XOXO, KO

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Checking in with Rules and Regs!

Wow-Fall is definitely in the air! Our last day of August brought us snow capped mountains in Glacier Park and a chilly rain in the valley-yikes! The days have been reaching a high of 70 degrees, but not for long in between the cool mornings and evenings. More rain right now. I do hope we get our usual gorgeous Indian summer.
I have been feeling a little bit funky monkey lately, just not feeling like my uber-champion self! I don't feel like my diet and daily practices are serving me to my highest potential. I have still been eating mostly raw (green smoothies, salads, anything with cucumbers :) ), but I have also been pretty lax. After 8 months of not having any beer, wine, or alcohol at all, I enjoyed a glass of red wine on the airplane coming home from Bali and felt totally happy and content about it.
That opened rule has gradually lead to more frequent glasses of wine and beer, and even a few late night buzzed up snack sessions (since when do I eat sweet bread and graham crackers?!)
After traveling in Guatemala, my mind felt more open to food beyond raw. I simply felt grateful to have enough food to eat to be in good health. Needless to say, I was still loving eating mostly raw. Then, I had a tortilla chip, then a cracker, then a little cheese...
I do really well with rules, guidelines, goals. I love having something I am working towards to motivate my daily actions. Besides a few days of mind struggle in the beginning and mid-way through my Juice Feast, it was pretty easy for me to be on all liquids. That was the protocol, I had already made the decision for what I was going to do and it was easier to keep up than to change my new daily rituals. For me, at this time, I think I still need a general focus to be making my decisions from...
For a little while, I'm going to focus on this and see where it leads me:

  • 2 quarts of green smoothie or green juice (the cukes have been great in my smoothies!)
  • snack of fresh, raw fruit or veggie if desired (the local watermelon has been amazing!)
  • one reasonable yummy meal (or another juice or smoothie)
  • stay atleast 80% raw
  • drink lots of water and tea
  • no tortilla chips!
I like the idea of not trying to be 100% raw right now. It gives me a little lee-way, an ease. Although rules and discipline serve me, I'm not sure if 100% rules do. I feel totally great about eating applesauce that I have canned with love from the tree in our yard. I'm not worried about eating toasted Nori sheets. But I do need to lasso in my appetite a bit, cowgirl! My tummy has been feeling a bit bloated and uncomfortable and I just can't feel my true self as clearly this way...which has been leading me to a bit of introspection...what is it that I haven't been wanting to feel? Perhaps I'll share more on that later.
Another thing that has been interesting is my menstrual cycle. Since I had become slimmer with my cleansing, my periods became really irregular. This is common for me and I had experienced it a lot with low body fat in college from playing so much soccer. This year, I have had 2 periods that had a 2.5 month gap in between and 2 with a 1.5 month gap in between. Now that I have gained a few pounds back, I had my 1st regular period in atleast 9 months. It's definitely something to be aware of since we do want to have a baby some day, if my husband ever stops giggling nervously every time we talk about it! A friend of mine who is pregnant (what's up girl!) told me her husband did the same thing, and recommended I talk about the sexcapades during ovulation more often!
On that note, I'll bid you a farewell for the evening-hee hee! What's up with you all out there in this gloriously dynamic Universe? XOXO, Kelly O