Sunday, September 7, 2008

Off 2 TWITTsburgh, Pennsylvania


We watched Kevin and Annmarie film their Renegade Health show and, hey look, we're famous, haha! Blaq Berry(our "Durian Queen") brought durian for Wendi and Annmarie to try. Kevin was skeptical because he'd tried mail order durian once and didn't like it. He tried it again and... well, you'll just have to watch this to find out what they all thought(see video below): CLICK HERE!


The Dee's very own KDcat is quite a talented artist. I loved her kitty fashion line so much that I took pictures. Annmarie loved it so much she convinced KDcat to part with this piece!
Of course we had to do a final RawFuFoto!

video
Here's Kevin goofing around High Raw Energy style in Wendi's back yard.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tweet Atlanta Raw-Fu Meet-Up


Meet Bunny and Basil.
They're a smart, funny, lovable couple, who kindly presented us a place to stay while we were in Atlanta for another tweet-meet. We met Bunny online through Twitter as @darnlucky and she has an awesome video blog where she started a raw food journey and later created a website community where she challenged people to join her in Bunny Berry's Raw-Fu 100day raw food challenge. She has such a fun personality and I felt as though I knew her already. We liked Basil immediately. He's a down to earth and easygoing sort of guy. Basil's sister trustingly offered Basil and Bunny a place to house their online friends! Quite a leap of faith, I thought!
I picked up BlaqBerry and AlienImplant Friday morning and we drove the 10+ hour drive down to Atlanta from D.C., car packed with durian, papayas, dried mulberries from Natural Zing, and kale chips from my dehydrator. 
After a long, but fun ride(filled with half finished stories, laughs, good music, twittering with @RawTN,  and pretty scenery) we finally arrived waaay after dark at the Berry Big Mansion. They quickly settled us into our beds, which was tough to do because we were all so excited to get together again! Joanna (@RawTN from Tennessee) beat us there by a few minutes. Blaqberry and hubs got the big kid playplace with the Berry Big TV screen. RawTN and I got the kids rooms upstairs and had an adjoining bathroom. We giggled like schoolgirls as we took a few pics to send to her lonely hubs! 
In the morning, we were all hungry and started nibbling on raw yummy foods, making smoothies, veggies-n-dip platters, and fruit plates, as we all chatted and laughed in the kitchen area. 
We watched the newest Angela Sto
kes video that was made just for Bunny's Raw-Fu site.  We listened to Penni (@rubyvroom) and Paula (@sassybunny) describe their luxury hotel(the "W"). Joanna and I watched Blaqberry talk with her hands again! It was really fun hearing all the different conversations going on between the 8 of us, and sometimes it got a little noisy... except right when Blaqberry was talking about maca... then it got very quiet and all ears were tuned in on her voice! 
We shared more stories and recipes. We took lots of pictures. We discussed how black was the most sexy color to wear. We talked about how to position the camera from up above to get the most flattering picture. Before we split up for the day we gathered in the back yard for a photo shoot, continuing on with the traditional Raw-Fu poses.
While some were resting and others were hitting Atlanta's most famous shops, Basil gave up watching the game in exchange for showing several twitter chicks a good time!
Basil took us to Buford Highway Farmer's Market where we filled our carts with more raw goodies. Joanna and I sampled really weird fruits. Basil and I found some nori sheets for making some fresh sushi later. While Blaqberry helped me pick out the best durian, Basil took off with my cell phone to tell Sunshine (@sunshinerawtism) how to get to the house. 

When we got to the house Sunshine was waiting for us with some dreamy creamy fresh raw almond milk! We all raced over to R. Thomas's for a raw food meet-up and met several more people there. We had web-streaming video set up and some of us briefly sat down at the head of the table to babble on about raw food and to offer encouragement to any raw food newbies out there on Raw-Fu. Penni took videos. Some of the raw foods were amazing but a few dishes I tried were so spicy that I couldn't really taste the food. I'm a simple foods girl at heart, I guess. At the end, the restaurant was kind enough to allow us to share Blaqberry's durian with everyone. She has now become famous for her expertise in durian selection!
After dinner, the twitter tribe (the original 8) took off to do some "clubbing". (I don't know if that's the right word for it, but it sounded cool to me, anyway.) We went to the W Hotel in downtown Atlanta. First we sat at a table outside on the patio. We found a table with a lush tray of wheatgrass. It looked so good until we realized it was plastic. Then a hostess stopped by our table and explained that in order to reserve this patio spot we needed to fork over several hundred dollars! GASP!!! We all guffawed and giggled, took a few more pictures, and then left the wheatgrass behind! For a while we sat around in a dark hallway on some seats laughing and talking. Then we explored a dance club upstairs. We hung out in the lounge and "people watched" for a little while before saying good bye to Penni and Paula who had an early flight out in the morning. 
I asked the security guard to take a couple of group pictures.
The place was very sparkly-glittery-shiny-interesting, 
so, like good tourists, we took lots of pictures.
At the end of another late night and we shared the last of R. Thomas raw apple pie before getting to sleep. In the morning we all headed off in different directions. We stopped along the way for a durian feast at a truck stop, the weather was warm and sunny. The drive was fun and full of more half finished stories, raw food treats and cool music. We got back so late that I agreed to stay overnight at their house. They tucked me in with a comfy matress, cozy blankets and a cute pillow case. I slept like a baby. 
Sadly, my fun-filled weekend had to end.  Before I left though, I was gifted with a special Blaqberry smoothie made just me. With the skull and crossbones bandana, I should have been afraid to try it, but who could say no to a cute smile like this???
As I wrote this from my notes and looked at my pictures, I noticed that I could almost taste the Durian again... maybe it's time for another road trip?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kidnapping Rawdorable (or, ShannonMarie springs loose with Spirited Bliss)

So, once more I made the trek out to Spirit Bliss Farm to see Jeff and Helen, pick up my order from Natural Zing, meet up with twitter friends @aromantic, @blaqberry, and her hubs, Alien Implant. I brought my friend ShannonMarie, a little rawdorable girl from my neck of the woods. She's a busy wife and mama and can't usually get away on a Saturday. A very special thanks to her hubs for giving up one of their special "SaturDate Evenings" so we could stay and play.
We had our cameras out and ready to collect the digital memories. Once more, I forgot to wear black, haha. We ate, and ate, and ate some more! Jeff gave us some wonderful goodies to sample and take home with us(thanks Jeff!)
I know! I know! There were more raw dishes besides pies, ice cream, and brownies... I took pics of them, too. Although they each tasted really good, they each just photographed like typical green salads.
We found fresh fruit dishes every where! Different flavored kale chips, and even a peach cobbler with a secret ingredient! mmm. Shannon brought fresh peaches, Blaqberry brought freshly made almond milk and apple cinnamon crackers. I made a Maple Dragonfruit Pie. I was amazed that it lasted the hot car ride. I've posted the recipe at the bottom.
I went outside, admired the ginormous rainbarrel, reminding me of a childhood song(Seriously, I have no idea who these people are). As we explored, we found yellow tomatoes, a few different apple trees, and several kinds of pear trees. Peppers, okra(really pretty, but I still can't get past the slime), miles of cucumber plants, and the healthiest kale I've ever seen!
We were all smiling and enjoying each other's healthy company. 
We definitely had the glow going on.
We spent a great deal of time investigating 
the herbs, veggies, and fruits going on there.
Blaq Berry found a ball and was kicking it around with her hubs. 
We discovered strange bugs, long shadows, and swingsets.
Our raw food meet-up wouldn't be complete without the Raw-Fu pose. I really need to come up with a more flattering stance. 
After dark we asked Jeff about the sounds we heard coming from his back yard. It sounded like a yapping coyote. His guess was maybe a fox? We ventured out into the dark, listening to sounds while spotting bats flitting about overhead. Eeek! As he lead us further and further from the house, we nervously joked about how creepy it was getting and we wondered if he had a dark side we didn't know about... cue the ominous music-Dun, dun, dun...
Before we said our goodbyes(hours later), Jeff took us out on one more wild walk into the darkness. Since he brought us back safely once before, we trusted him again. He said that there were blackberries all over the edge of the woods. None of us had flashlights so we took pictures, then examined the tiny LCD screen to see if we could find an occasional berry in the shot! Good thing there was a big bowlful of already picked berries in the kitchen. Yum!

Mrs. RawbinSan's Maple Dragon Fruit Pie:



Filling whipped up in high powered blender:

1 pkg dragon fruit

3 young thai coconuts (meat only) 

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 vanilla bean

1/2 tsp sea salt


Crust mixed up in food processor (two options make for different flavors)


Option one- 

1/2 cup almonds(ground to powder)

1/2 cup pecans(ground to powder)

1/2 cup dates (soaked briefly)

2 TB cocoa(or raw cacao) powder

1/4 tsp sea salt


Option two-

1/2 cup dates (soaked briefly) 

1/2 cup almond pulp(leftover from almond milk)

1/2 cup dried shredded coconut

1/4 tsp sea salt

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tweet Meet Down by the Bay

Dea came down the first weekend of August to stay with us and spread out a little. She was renting a tiny apartment in D.C. but wanted to show her Italian family some of beauty of the area. I picked them up at the train station and was able to show them farmland. We picked up produce from my local CSA(community supported agriculture) and then went to a local watermen's restaurant
The next day we went to my mom and dad's house for an afternoon of chatting,
swimming, kayaking, and sailing.
The tiny specks out on the water are of us 
and our children paddling or sailing little boats.

Dealivinglotus finally gets to meet Blaq Berry.
My hubs is talking with Alien Implant while Enrico takes pictures of the Chesapeake Bay off in the distance. We had raw treats and sweets to share.
Before the sun began to set, we went off to my friend's farm for a carriage ride. My lifelong friend and best buddy, Susie is always looking for an excuse to hook up the Frank-The-Horse for a little schooling. She loaded up my twitter friends and headed on down the road.
A view from the carriage. Waaay Coool!
Dea is "bonding" with Jane. Keep your fingers away from the teeth!
The long driveway. 
The water in the background leads out to my parent's place around the corner.
Frank poses for a picture before we all say our goodbyes.
The last day was a trip to monuments in D.C. I was chauffeur with Dea as my navigator. I'd drop them off at a monument, circle the block or rest in the shade somewhere. Then they'd hop back in the car for another short trip. It seemed to work out perfectly. The bell tower chimed just as we were standing under it. The American flag billowed out just as we were photographing it. My car stopped right under a rainbow to let them out at the cool new National Harbor... My car wouldn't start again. It was stuck in park, in the middle of a busy street, ontop of a crosswalk. I stopped a passerby and as other drivers honked at the car in their way, I had my photo taken, smiling under a rainbow. What else could I do but laugh about it(I did have a little cry about it, too!) The family from Italy had to take a cab back to their apartment and I got a ride home in a towtruck. Well, almost perfect!

Friday, August 8, 2008

From halfway around the world!


In the beginning of August, Dealivinglotus came from Italy to D.C. and met with Rawdorable, Aromantic, DJ, and me at Java Green Cafe for lunch. Really, the most entertaining details of our meetup was written by Shannon. For a great description of our day, go here!

Dea, Nic, DJ, Shannon, and Rawbin. 

Dea walked from her apartment. Shannon and I drove together. I had invited Aromantic to meet us there and as she had some Natural Zing business with DJ, we all gathered at one table. As we dined on the zesty raw food dishes, we also got to sample new and different raw foods available from Natural Zing.
 
Nic reminded me of Mary Poppins as she pulled out one item after another from her magic box. My favorite was the gone nuts Maple Mesquite Walnuts. OMG! they are super fantastic totally delish!
After we finished our food, sampled everything on the table, chatted for hours and hogged DJ's time so long that even his mother stopped by to say goodbye, we finally left the scene, still chattering away! We took Dea to a local Whole Foods where she stocked her temporary home with wholesome goodness for the rest of her trip.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where do you get YOUR protein?






So often on this raw food lifestyle I get the same question, "Where do you get your protein?" These same people have coffee and donuts for breakfast(1g protein) Some eat fries and a burger(18g protein) for lunch. I always want to ask them, where do you get your greens? I'm not against others eating meat, or cooked food, it's just not for me anymore. I only wish that the people I care about would get more nutrition from the food they eat. 

Did you know that in Canada, August 15, is green smoothie day

For those who ask me what I put in my green shake, here's my very first instructional video, set to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs. RawbinSan. Oh, and I know, not all green smoothies are created equal, so before you comment on the 18 grams of protein in a green smoothie, I'll should explain that I put the exact measurements for this green smoothie into nutritiondata.com and came out with 18 grams.


Monday, July 28, 2008

From Robin to "Rawbin"

I hesitantly sent Philip, from LovingRaw, a page about me with some before and after photos. Later, feeling bold, I posted some more photos on a Raw-Fu before and after group:

I'm 5'5" tall and of a small/medium skeletal frame. According to doctors I should weigh between 120-130 pounds. My top weight was 210 (before I stopped looking at the scale) and I'm currently at 156.

I've shed 20 pounds by cutting out meat, dairy, and cooked grains. I shed another 30 by adding in raw fruits, raw vegetables, raw nuts and raw seeds. A total of 50 pounds eliminated and not a single stomach ache on my 100% raw days.
My red holiday sweater, size XXL.
I thought it was flattering.
Proof that vertical stripes aren't always slimming!
This was my glamorous shirt. 
I thought it hid my curves!
The same sunglasses,
 but they fit my face differently.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spirited and Blissful Adventure



This is part two of my blog about a raw food meetup weekend. To see the first part, go to Mixing Business With Pleasure.

So, after a wrong turn, a tour of the Pentagon parking lot, and a little flirting with the Pentagon Policemen, @RawTN(Joanna) I and were pretty late arriving at Natural Zing's Spirit Bliss Farm. We recognized our twitter friend @blaqberry right away and let me tell you, she is even prettier in real life. She's just so graceful and sweet! Her husband, AlienImplant, is playful and enthusiastic. I immediately felt like I had known this couple for ages!

He spoke enthusiastically about his experiences 
with sprouting and it's many health benefits.

He had a generous supply of helpful tools from sprout bags and chart wheels showing sprouting times for various seeds, peas and beans, to more elaborate giant sprouting machines. There were juicy sprouts available to sample in bowls everywhere!   


Jeff made some of his amazing pies to share. 

My friend Stacy is just discovering raw foods and she showed up to see what it was all about. She brought some frozen strawberries that she had picked herself. I had a fresh container of my date caramel. Blaq Berry wasn't sure what to bring, so at my request she arrived with baby carrots for dipping with my caramel and she brought a bowl of cashew sweet cream for the strawberries. Joanna supplied us with her onion bread and a really flavorful raw nuts and dried fruit mix. Later Laura Fox drove up from Richmond and I had the pleasure of meeting with her again. 


I found big bowls full of Kale Chips... My Favorite!

While we all talked and mingled, 

children were running and playing, but weren't under foot. 

We saw people gathering berries,

 playing drums, 

...and being silly outside (comparing muscles)! 

Jeff and Helen, always the perfect hosts, 

appeared here and there,

answering questions and filling Natural Zing orders.

Finally, we made our first Raw-Fu Divas picture:












Sadly, we all eventually had to leave. BlaqBerry offered us a home made chocolate truffle she had stashed in her car. Really yummy. It seemed similar to the brownies I'm always making for me and my family. It started off from Sunny Raw

Kitchen's Whipped Cream Frosting and Rawdorable's Million Dollar Brownies which we modified to fit our tastes and our mini food processor. We make small batches because it's fast and easy. 


One of our favorite ways to prepare chocolate treasts is something I've been calling...


gRAWssHopper Pie:

"Green Cream Filling"

1/2 cup cashews 

(soaked in water for at least 4 hours)

1/2 cup coconut milk 

(blend 2 cups water to 1 cup shredded coconut until frothy. Pour through nutmilk bag. Use 1/2 cup for cream filling, save the rest to make ice cream-yay!)

2 TB raw cocoa butter

2 TB agave nectar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 TB wheatgrass powder (for color and nutrition)

1/4 tsp peppermint extract (covers the wheatgrass flavor)

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt (has more minerals than table salt- healthier for you)

2 tsp emulsifier/binder like *psyllium or lecithin 

Both work well to help prevent separation but I prefer psyllium because it's good for the heart and I avoid Lecithin because it's soy based and some contain GMOs)


Blend everything except emulsifier in high speed blender until creamy (it will heat up if you're not careful). Add the emulsifier last, blending well. Chill in fridge while making crust.


"Crust"

1/2 cup raw almonds 

1/2 cup raw walnuts

3 TB raw cacao powder (cacao chips ground in coffee grinder or cocoa/carob powder works, too)

1/4 tsp of sea salt

6 large dates, soaked briefly (like 20 minutes)

1/2 TB raw cocoa butter (softened)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not raw, but tasty)


Grind first 4 (dry) ingredients first until you have a fine powder

Add last 3 (wet) ingredients and blend until you have a dough ball. 


Roll this into a long log and divide into 12 equal sized balls. These are good plain, or rolled in shredded coconut, or continuing on, tuck these into a mini muffin pan like mini pie crusts. 

Spoon in a big spoonful of green filling into each pastry. Place in freezer. To remove from pan, take out of freezer for about 2 minutes. Loosen sides with butter knife and pop out. Store in an airtight container in freezer for easy snacking.


Enjoy!!