Monday, June 23, 2008

Spirited Away on a Blissful Afternoon

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of going to a raw potluck farm tour at Spirit Bliss Farm. 

The owners, Helen and Jeff Rose, a friendly and down to earth couple who began an online market called Natural Zing nearly 5 years ago.

How Organic Fair Trade describes Natural Zing: 

"Natural Zing, is a company dedicated to feeding the mind, body and spirit. Through two decades of research and consulting with numerous nutritionists and vegetarian specialists they have gathered the best products to develop your natural energy and health, your natural zing

In Natural Zing's Market they sell organic food, raw food, vegetarian food and vegan food as well as related chef's tools and personal care products, only the healthiest products for you and the Earth

Natural Zing specialize in raw foods, living food, vegan food, organic foods and other products to promote health, including personal care, juicers and kitchen equipment. Their products and resources meet the needs of various dietary and lifestyle choices.

Natural Zing uses 100% recycled paper for its office and printers (e.g. receipts, packing slips, letters and shipping documents). Natural Zing recycles boxes and uses mainly corn based water soluble green packing materials. 

Natural Zing gets its electricity from a 100% Green Bio-Mass generation facility. This is offered via Electric Choice through Pepco Wash DC.

Natural Zing uses a diesel VW which will be converted to bio-diesel, see for more information. They are taking steps to get off the grid in every way we can. 

Natural Zing employees love and prefer to wear hemp clothing, shoes and accesories. They believe in living by example and voting with our dollars. Lift your spirit with hemp."

The picture above is of Helen and Jeff Rose with their one and a half children. I was taking a picture of a piece of purslane and they magically appeared in the background(cute family).

I drove up alone and I wasn't sure I'd recognize anyone there (aside from the owners). But when I first arrived, we all mingled, talked, perused the bookshelves packed with books covering related subjects such as raw vegan food recipes, health & wellness, sustainability, and organic gardening. I met many friendly people; a couple who were going to be camping at a retreat with the Boutenko's in Oregon, some just going raw, and some who were raw for years. I met with an online friend, Sharon from GITMR as well as a friend(Nic) of another friend Jen from Twitter.

Jeff pulled out one of his juicers and I helped him juice up an entire gallon of watermelon juice! We got to talking and the juicer sort of overflowed, but I only spilled a little. The living foods prepared and set out on the tables looked marvelous! In a special bioplastic cup, I sampled lemon grass tea, mint tea, fresh lemonade with agave nectar, a dark musky herbal tea, cabbage rejuvelac, watermelon juice. I should have taken a picture of the main dishes and juice table but I forgot. I did get a few pictures of dessert as well as a few bites of it, too. I know, that wasn't the way to break a juice fast, but I have no guilt. I'm feeling healthier and livelier than I have in years! Life is good.

Jeff gave us a tour of the farm, describing the different plants and growing methods along the way. We saw container gardens, fruit trees & shrubs, greenhouse gardening, and covered crops.

There were fruit trees everywhere. I noticed a ginko in the front yard on my way in, as well as planters at the entrance full of edibles. Jeff said he found a sprouted seed inside his pink lady apple and he planted it. The mulberries were fresh right then and people were eating right from the tree(that's not my arm). There were two baby kiwi trees, one boy and one girl(awwwww). I'm not sure how wild pears taste, but I'll bet I could juice them...

Inside the greenhouse dome, I discovered flats of miniature tomato plants, HUGE dinosaur kale (I always try to call it "elephant kale") and an abundance of greens hanging down, growing up. An efficient use of space, really.

All the desserts looked wonderful, and by the time I pulled out my camera, much of it was gone. In addition to about a gallon of juice, I also ate a bite of raw ice cream, 2 bites of cacao/raspberry(?) pie, and a bite of hemp/coconut crispy. Mmmm!

After the tour, we all sat down to listen to the event speaker. We were back outside as the golden sun cast long shadows on the lawn. Jeff's friend Gus, gave us a talk on organic farming. Gus, owner and farmer of Jasmine Farm, in Howard County, Maryland. Its a certified organic CSA(community supported agriculture), providing weekly fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs during the growing season. He was a handsome fellow, entertaining, and informative. He seemed right at home telling us what he's learned, what works, what doesn't. Some people took notes, others just sat back and enjoyed the whole experience of being out on a sunny evening in a peaceful setting. 

Eventually, I picked up my Natural Zing order, bought one of the books I was admiring (RAWvolution by Matt Amsden), and headed home. I was so happy with how my evening went, that I was still wide awake and peppy all the way home.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shortened Colon = Shortened Juice Feast

Juice Feast Day 21= new goal 30 day juice feast. *sigh*

In the first week of Juice Feasting, I lost ten pounds. As far as I know, one headache was the only real reaction I've had. During all 3 weeks, I've had lots of energy, I've felt good, healthy, light, sleeping little, but sleeping deeply and I've been waking well rested. I had prepared to do the full 92 days but I had a few concerns. 
Since I'm only working on 2/3 colon, I had been wondering how this might affect my body. A few days ago, I sent David Rainoshek a letter describing my history, asking him his opinion on doing the full 92 days. As I have had a third of my colon removed and I've been transitioning into raw for almost a year, would he recommend I have a shortened juice feast or can I still plan to do the whole 92 days?
On Jun 20, 2008, at 10:49 PM, David Rainoshek wrote:
Hi Rawbin,
Great to hear from you, and congratulations on your successes thus far with plant-based live foods.
I am not a doctor, so I can only let you know what I would do if I were you, and that would be:
Juice Feast for 20-30 days at a time, and then move back into a less intense cleansing physiology, i.e. a solid plant-based live food cuisine. Since you do well with liquid foods, you might consider eating The Four Means to Get Your Greens, as we describe on Day 83 of the 92-Day Program on Essentially your cuisine is made of:
1. Salad
2. Green Soup
3. Green Smoothie
4. Green Vegetable Juice
Katrina and I have Green Smoothie for breakfast, Salad for lunch, and Green Soup for dinner. You might do even better with Green Vegetable Juice for breakfast, Green Soup and a small salad for lunch, and Green Smoothie for dinner. You will find out.
This is still a cleansing/healing diet, and once you are at an ideal weight, Juice Feasting for 20-30 days, Spring and Fall, should be sufficient. You might enjoy Juice Feasting one day a week (say Sundays) as well, just to help your digestive system. I take it you are doing digestive enzymes, probiotics, and getting plenty of omega-3 fats in, including DHA. If I were you I would also supplement 2,000 IU per day of Vitamin D in the months you cannot get 20 minutes of full body sun exposure.
Thank you for your letter, and please keep us updated on how you are doing.
With peaceful steps,
David and Katrina Rainoshek

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gifts for Mom on Father's Day

My mom enjoys reading, hiking, and music. She enthusiastically attends every ceremony, concert, game, or activity that her children or grandchildren are involved in. She has always tried to encourage us to be the best we can, while doing what we like best. She and Dad even dress up to fit in at the Maryland Faerie Festival each year (check out THIS video)

Our most recent hike together was a brief one in southern Maryland earlier this spring. 
So, since we did several repairs for our Dad on Mother's Day, it only seemed right to do something nice for Mom on Father's day. As my older, older brother and his family showed Mom & Dad a new pool-side grill I snuck into the house to repair the light switch in the laundry area. Mom said she was only doing laundry during daylight hours because she couldn't get the light to turn on. Now she can spend her evenings doing laundry, just like Lily Tomlin. Then as my brother set up the grill and started a meal for the family, the kids and I vacuumed the pool. 
I think my brother was a little disappointed that I wouldn't eat his cooked food (I was in the middle of a juice feast) but I would have eaten this rawmmmburger, had it been offered. I made this dinner just a few days ago. I made a seed sauce and a mushroomburger. I served it on fresh lettuce and cucumbers straight from my garden. The tomatoes and corn on the cob were from the local produce stand down the road. When we were kids, my friend and I would ride our horses through the corn fields. We'd eat corn right off the stalks as we rode. They were sweet and juicy! Nothing like it!

For my seed sauce:
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp kelp
1/2 tsp dulse
1/2 juiced lemon
1 whole red pepper
1/4 garlic clove
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 TB raw apple cider vinegar
First process nuts seeds and dry ingredients into a powder. 
Set aside. 
Then blend moist ingredients. Add dry ingredients to make a paste. Add water a tablespoon at a time to get desired consistency. (I like it thin enough to spread, thick enough to stick)

For this rawmmmburger I used portabella mushrooms, but if you use half shitake it keeps it from looking charbroil-burnt! Honestly, I just tossed some stuff into the processor after I finished making my seed sauce so I don't know the measurements, but my friend blaqberry has a wonderful looking "burger buster" recipe here that looks really good! 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Honoring the Veterans on Flag Day

Every summer the Maryland Arabian Horse Association(MAHA) travels to Colonial Beach, VA to ride in their parade. Each year they have a theme. One year the theme was the beach and Sweetie was dressed a bit like this: 

Last year's theme was watermen, so I figured a sailor should have a mermaid nearby, so I dressed as a mermaid (ooh look, I'm famous!) 

This year's theme, on Flag Day, was to honor our veterans. So I brought my horse loving niece along. 
Keri looks so cute and tiny on a striped horse!
I'm dressed as lady liberty, 
thanks to our friend 
Funny how I'm the only one wearing a great big smile. Is it all that juice? Everyone seemed hot. 
The heat wasn't really too bad, but it was good to get out of costume and back into the shade. Kathy is a little firecracker of ideas for these events, providing costumes, decorations, laughter and smiles. She even brought a bunch of cut up watermelon to share. (I had my green juice). Here's a little of what she had to say after the parade:


MAHA earned the “FIRST PLACE TROPHY” in the Colonial Beach Parade held in unison with the Potomac River Festival at Colonial Beach, VA.  The MAHA members, family and friends, did an astounding performance representing the club. The parade group dressed in various red, white and blue attire acknowledging the theme to “Honor Military Veterans and Active Duty”. The MAHA banner along with Service Military flags, adorned the front of the lead ATV driven by Karen M., a MAHA volunteer. Lynn S. drove the ATV pulling the “apple cart” with Michael W., retired Military Veteran, being the honorary “Apple Scooper”, Jimmy L., Military Veteran, took digital pictures, assisted in the “Apple Picker Duties” and enjoyed the crowd! Richard D. enjoyed his photographer role, passing out candy, and entertaining the crowd with his extraordinary comical talents! Horses were adorned with a variety of patriotic decorations. Robin A. and her niece, Keri B., were crowd pleasers as they both paraded their Arabs. Sweetie, Arab Grey, was painted to represent the US Flag and the enchanting Keri rode with grace and dignity! Robin dressed as “Lady Liberty” riding Dusty with the “proud to be an American” venue!  Our additional MAHA riders were Ellen W., Nancy E., Dub H., Ann R., a Military Veteran, Dick R., Connie C. and Kathy S.-W. 

I graciously extend thanks to all the MAHA parade participants for another outstanding performance! In addition, I give my ecstatic thanks to all our “behind the scenes” volunteers spending their time to make this parade a continuing success: Lynn S., Michael W., Jimmy L., Richard D., Karen M. and Frank H.!  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bye-Bye Baby!

My first born daughter Ivy, has officially graduated from high school! Yay! It's been a busy week. I was juicing like crazy everyday, sailing, selling cruising guides, watching my little girl graduate...
That truly was my highlight of the week. You should have seen her. She was happy, smiling, dressed in a frilly white gown, looking beautiful! Haha, Ivy, wearing white! She prefers black on black with black trim and buckles. She's come a long way this year and I'm very proud of her. She even has college plans, accepted by her first choice university. Now it's up to me to do the financial legwork. ugh...
It's amazing how fast those 12 years of school have flown by. One minute she's eagerly climbing up onto the school bus for her first day of kindergarten...

Next thing I know, she's off to the post graduation party, driving her own little truck. I've only seen her briefly since then. She's been at the beach for senior week. The only communication I get is sunburn and blister updates by text message.

She's such a mature and responsible adult now...

I tripped over a vine this morning. Hah! The pumpkin that Ivy smashed here last winter has taken root. 

We'll have a pumpkin patch on the front lawn this fall, I guess.

Today is Friday the 13th, day 13 of my Juice Feast. 

So I made it to day 12 feeling healthy and energetic. Last night I ate a ripe tomato off the vine. After that, while I was pulling the coconut meat out of a fresh coconut, I ate some of that too. I just couldn't help it. *grins* It's not exactly like I went on a binge with a bag of fries or something. It was healthy. Still, it's easier to be strong willed if you try for the all or nothing approach. It was oily coconut and my stomach felt a little like a grease pit in the morning. Right now I'm sipping juice of celery, cukes, & ginger, plus some mint from the garden to help settle my stomach. I'm just not hungry at all today.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Faerie Festival, Goddess for a day... or two.

Right after my daughter graduated, I packed up the truck and trailer with tent, sleeping bag, portable fence, water bucket , tub of grain, and a freshly bathed horse. Sounds like an ideal horse lover's camping trip, right? No saddle needed, but instead, I packed my yellow fairy dress, big iridescent wings, and... a unicorn horn? Yes folks, that unicorn you see me riding is my special unicorn. That's Sweetie. She's 25 years old and the sweetest most gentle horse you could imagine. We were going to be spending a hot and humid weekend at the Maryland Faerie Festival.

We arrived at dusk. Driving down a hill across a damp field in the dark with a big horse trailer is strange enough. Having to weave in and out of 10 foot tall flowers and butterflies is surreal. I parked, put up the fence, filled the water bucket, set up my tent, unrolled my sleeping bag, decorated the trailer, and collapsed into my bag. I fell asleep to the happy chomping of an 850 pound creature right outside my tent. She stays close to me. I woke very early and gladly found that Sweetie was still with me and snoozing beside me! 

Because I needed to get an early start, I grabbed the bag of chopped fruits and veggies for my daily juices. I gave Sweetie her grain and tromped up the hill to the juicer and dining hall. Let the juicing begin! I came back down the hill a little later with 3 quarts of juice in the cooler and one quart in my belly. I painted rainbows in Sweetie's mane, painted sparklies on her hooves, added glitter on her face, donned my costume... 10am and we were ready. Bring it on! We had what seemed like hundreds of little children in a steady flow, walking up to stand beside the unicorn for a photo. Occasionally we'd escape the corral and the crowds and go for a little jaunt out into a large hay field.

There was a crazy storm that night, and for a while we bunked together, Sweetie and I. The rain, thunder and lightning was nearby, but as long as a tornado didn't pick us up, I felt comfortable inside the trailer with my equine buddy for company. She paced a few times, pausing to sniff my hair and look outside. I was trying to catch up on a days worth of Twitter. As soon as the light show stopped, I opened the trailer, Sweetie went back to grazing, and I went back to my tent. Ahhhh. The following morning, I woke to an even better shot of the unicorn a chompin' at my tent window. The orange lump at the bottom of the picture are my feet in a sleeping bag. 

We had another beautiful sunny day. I made more juice. I think some people thought it was for my horse... Got some strange looks as people walked by with their coffee and donuts. That afternoon, I heard a remarkable sounding band playing. They sounded wonderful! It was a hint of something indescribable, like Sheryl Crow goes Celtic. I had been listening to music all day and this was different. I hopped on my unicorn, dressed in my golden fairy costume and rode up the hill, wind in my wings... *sigh*
I was so surprised to hear the lead singer's exclamation about goddess with wings on a unicorn. She called to me, "Come on up here, fairy princess!" They began to play their next song "Goddess" and I was a live music video! The band's name is Mythica and they sent me the words to that song through myspace, "A princess with wings, a heart never sweeter to yours, a goddess wrapped in gold, my aurophobia grows old." - Goddess (by Mythica). I have to say, that it was the highlight of my day! 

We were very glad to get home, both pretty tired from the heat, sun, and crowds. I went out to check on Sweetie and found she was just as tired as I was.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Three days, down the hatch, onto day 4!

So, yesterday went well, I was pleased with my juices and wasn't hungry for the most part. I was on last night and I listed off everything that went into my juices for day #2 and came up with the nutrition facts below. I did another one for day #3 and was shocked to see that I had only consumed about 800 calories, 4 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein. Plenty of carbs from the fruit, but I think I'll need to push more than I'm hungry for right now, I guess. 
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Entire Recipe 5,194g (5193 g)

Servings per container 1

Amount Per Serving

Calories 1844 Calories from Fat 75

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 9g 14%

Saturated Fat 1g 7%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 472mg 20%

Total Carbohydrate 446g 149%

Dietary Fiber Traces

Sugars 297g

Protein 41g

Vitamin A    895% Vitamin C     2182%

Calcium     75% Iron    98%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on

your calorie needs:

Calories 2,000 2,500

Total Fat Less than 65g 80g

Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g

Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg

Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g

Calories per gram:

Fat 9 Carbohydrate 4 Protein 4

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Juice on the Road

Day two wasn't bad. I drank one quart while I juiced. I consumed 2nd quart of juice before we left for Ocean City. 

I worried that I wouldn't have enough juice for my road trip so I brought a cooler, with a quart of juice and a quart of water. I had two teens in the car with me, who brought a gallon of water with them, but pointed out fast food places along the way. I finally stopped at a subway after which I was engulfed in smells of meatballs and red sauce as I drank my juice. By the time we were at the Atlantic ocean, I had about 8 oz of juice left. 

I twittered my raw and juicy friends asking for addresses of local juice bars in O.C. with the hopes of replenishing my juice supply before heading back home. While I took care of my business in town, the teens walked down to the ocean. I checked my twitters by cell phone. RawTN was the first to reply followed closely by RawAllison. Thanks to my tweet friends, I was typing addresses into the GPS (just discovered that the Garmin nuvi now comes in PINK! How cute!). In less than a mile, I'd have my juice! 

We got to the "juice bar" and found that it was just a refrigerator at a health club. All they had were bottled juices and sodas. But, as they were giving me directions to another place, one of the employees said, "Your name doesn't happen to be Robin, does it? It turns out that she (Jenny) and I were in early high school together way back when... What? Like, 26 years ago?? I didn't imagine I looked the same, but I guess close enough, because she recognized me. It's funny, because when I first saw Julia Roberts, I thought of Jenny. She seemed so excited to see me.

We stopped by a fishing center on our way out of town and we found a boating shop where I tried to sell the shop keeper on the cruising guide. Next I went next door to the dock side bar and had 2 glasses of orange juice and one glass of grapefruit. The bartender squeezed them as I watched. 

In addition to slamming a few down at the bar, here's a list of what went into second day's juicing:

The sweet juice made 2 quarts.

1 apple

1/2 lb seeded grapes

1/2 watermelon rind with 1/2 inch of pink still attached

2 cups pineapple

1/2 head celery

1 cucumber

1 orange

1/2 lemon

The savory made two quarts.

1 tomato

half head celery

1 giant carrot and it's greens

1 baby onion

1 garlic clove

1/4 lb arugula

1/4 lb butter crunch lettuce

2 handfuls blood beets

2 red radishes and their greens

2 white radishes and their greens

1 sliver of chili pepper

1 cup butternut squash (not much juice from that!)

Monday, June 2, 2008

My first day of Juice Feasting

I'm heading out to Ocean City just for the day. Not much time to post much about yesterday. Since it was the first day of juicing though, I thought I should start it off right. 

Just something briefly to tell how it went. I woke early and made all my juices for the day. I sampled both the sweet and the savory and was pleasantly surprised that the savory tasted something like V8, only less salty(one of my complaints about regular V8). I pocketed the wafer from communion at church. After church was a huge end of year picnic. I watched my friends and family eating greasy food and was really amazed that once again there were no salads including raw veggies or fruits. Everything was wheaty, meaty, or very processed! I drank 3 bottles of water and left the picnic unharmed.
Got home, savored my juice, drank more water, and went to my parents to swim for a few hours with my daughter, my mom, and my friend, Susie. Came home late, finished the rest of my juice, and then mowed pasture until dark. The dog supervised my mowing.

What went into my first day's juicing
the savory made one quart:
1 tomato
half head celery
1 giant carrot and it's greens
1 baby onion
1/4 lb arugula
1/4 lb butter crunch lettuce
1 baby poc choi
2 handfuls blood beets
4 red radishes and their greens
4 white radishes and their greens
1 sliver of chili pepper

The sweet juice made 3 quarts:
1 apple
1 handful spinach
1 handful lettuce
1 handful arugula
1/2 lb seeded grapes
1 whole watermelon rind with 1/2 inch of pink still attached

Sunday, June 1, 2008

MY Last Supper

On Friday, I took my daughter for a procedure at Children's National Medical Center. The x-ray lab technician handed me a large lead apron to wear with an additional lead scarf to wrap around my neck. "To protect your thyroid," she said. So I donned the lead costume and watched as the technician positioned my daughter on the table and then hid behind the wall to the glass booth to push some buttons. As my daughter lay unprotected on the table, I had to fight the urge to run to her, scoop her up and run screaming from the room.

Fortunately it didn't last too long. Once finished, we were both pretty hungry. Since we were in Washington, on a whim, I suggested that we try a new restaurant in D.C. that I'd heard of. Willow wasn't fooled, "What? Is it raw?" It has a great selection of raw vegan dishes. My last chance eat out before beginning my Juice Feast on June 1st. I called my friend Shannon to get directions to Java Green. She reminded me to ask for DJ (the owner), who is our friend on GITMR. She said he'd set me up with something good.

We found the place pretty fast, and Willow ordered the Garden Burger. I didn't see DJ anywhere so I ordered the Spicy Kelp Noodle. While I paid, I asked the cashier if he was around. While we waited for our food, DJ came out to talk to me. We were wearing matching Green Festival t-shirts! I don't know when DJ got his, but Shannon and I got ours at the 2006 Green Festival.

After discussing the menu with DJ and realizing how many other items I also wanted to try, he rushed back to the kitchen and changed my order to a Trio Salad, which was sort of like a sampler platter of the three items I wanted to try most. Mine had Cucumber Radish Salad, Spicy Kelp Noodle and also Kimchi Cold Soup. I really should have taken a picture, but I ate it all before I thought of that. I did get my daughter to take a picture of DJ and me in our matching shirts before we left for home. On the way home, my daughter reminded me about how I've always lectured her about meeting people on the internet. I must admit that it was so nice going out to eat without having to explain to anyone what I mean by raw or meat, wheat, and dairy free.