Posts Tagged With: organic

Friday Fitness #11 – The Dirty dozen and Clean 15!

Every year, a list of the “Dirty Dozen,” are announced to the public. This consists of the top (or bottom rather) 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of pesticides when grown conventionally versus organically. When testing, the Environmental Working Group uses 40,900 samples for 47 different produce.

So if you’re not going to eat 100% organic, at least make these in your organic choices!

The Dirty Dozen!

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale

  4. Nectarines

  5. Apples

  6. Grapes

  7. Peaches

  8. Cherries

  9. Pears

  10. Tomatoes

  11. Celery

  12. Potatoes

The EWG also grants us a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables that test with the lowest amount of pesticide residue.

So if you’re limited in organic selection, these ones can slide by as being safer to consume.

So fresh and so clean clean (for all of you OutKast fans)!

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet corn

  3. Pineapple

  4. Frozen sweet peas

  5. Onions

  6. Papaya

  7. Eggplant

  8. Asparagus

  9. Kiwi

  10. Cabbage

  11. Cauliflower

  12. Cantaloupe

  13. Broccoli

  14. Mushrooms

    Honeydew melon

Hopefully this knowledge gives you a little more confidence when standing in the store debating on your selection. Depending on my options, I’ve often considered these lists when making my decision at the market. For example, I’d go for a non organic pineapple over non organic strawberries any day! In fact, I’d confess to grabbing a side of cabbage over the popular spinach or kale salad if a restaurant couldn’t confirm organic or not.

Side note for thought: I wonder if we’d make the same food choices if we saw the entire process…

Categories: Edibles!, Fitness Friday’s!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Can chickens smell a chicken?

My father is an exceptional plasterer. I suppose he should be since he’s been doing it from his teen years. Even though experience says a lot, there’s a reason he’s still requested for work after 40 years of building a reputation. I explain this because we just found out he was hired to do a job in New Mexico. So with a short notice (and super-woman for a wife) his entire family was packed, kitchen and all, to hit the road for an extended out of state stay.    
As I say good-bye, they’re explaining the chores that I had offered (silly me) to take care of. Just two pups, a few feathered animals and a garden. Couldn’t be that hard… right? Ha. Ha. Ha.

The first day wasn’t to bad as it was mainly just checking things out. Food, check. Water, check. Pick the garden and walk the dogs… check, check! 

Ticks: Small arachnids (that I have a hard time finding a reason for their existence) that live off of the blood from mammals, birds, humans… pretty much anything that bleeds. I got my first after day one, so here’s my attire for future chores. 

 Day two: I remembered my cell phone today because yesterday I had left it at my Grams’s. Her mindful thoughts brought her all the way out to make sure the length of time I had been gone wasn’t due to any mishaps. (This is necessary for a story below).

First up, I fed the pups after a long walk up their country dirt road. Meet Shadow, the black dog that just appeared into the family’s yard one day and Captain, the lovable beagle my sister waited patiently to get.
   
 The 4 legged kids are fed and happy, so now it’s on to the feathered friends. Check for eggs and make sure the feed and water is full. Easy enough…

This is the view of the main chicken yard.

 I opened the wooden door to reach for the feed and walked in with confidence, chickens can smell a chicken right? Why I get goosy when a rooster heads for me, I have no idea. When I entered, like always, I lightly pulled the door behind me. Click click. It shut.. and locked. No big deal as I turned to look for the pull string that would release it from the inside. Non-existent. So there I was, trapped in a chicken coop on a hot sticky Oklahoma afternoon.    

  MacGyver time! Feathers? Too weak.   

  This metal device? Too angular.  

A stick! Too large.  

 I could crawl through the… nope. Turns out the chicken door is smaller than the doggy door I’ve had to climb through (don’t ask).

 After a solid 15 minutes of sincere efforts to make an exit, I finally decided to call upon my grandma to come let me out. Call her with the phone that I left sitting on the truck! Can you see it?! 

 Great, she won’t be heading this way anytime soon since yesterday she did for no reason. Especially after this mornings joke of “I’m bringing my phone this time so you don’t have to worry”!

After debating on kicking in the door or just waiting for anyone to come over, I glanced down and saw my last hope. Success!   

Since I made the great escape with time to spare, I made my way to the garden for an afternoon playing in dirt. Corn, okra, tomatoes, yellow squash, 3 types of peppers and one happy camper! 

 
  I learned quickly to make sure I ate before picking veggies. 2 tomatoes in the basket and one in my belly. An okra for home and one for now (yes, I even like them raw!). Have you ever enjoyed the sweet taste of yellow sun-kissed corn right from the stalk while standing waste deep in the garden? Me neither.  
Side note: If there are no chemicals that would harm these guys, there’s no chemicals to harm you. Hooray for organic gardening! 

 Even this mini crawler made it all the way home. “No worries little fella, I don’t blame ya… I’d live in the garden too if I was your size!” 

  

3 things I learned about myself while taking care of my family’s property:

1. I jump just as high if a monkey were to jump on my back or if a grasshoper leaps to a leaf in front of me.

2. I don’t want to live anywhere that ticks do.

3. When I grow up and have my own place… there will be a garden.

Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw and Juicy

I’m extremely excited to announce that the place I’m lucky enough to call my “job” has been listed in the Top 10 Juice Bars in the nation by US Today! Keep in mind we’re in a tiny Airstream that fits 3 people (4 is a cozy party) that sits on a quaint beach side street. Some of the other “best of’s” are in major cities like Atlanta, L.A, Nashville and such, so clearly the heart and energy behind Raw and Juicy speaks in volumes!

Curious of the creator behind this magical place serving things like the Spicy Rabbit, Green Goddess and Spiked Melon? Meet Jenifer Kuntz by clicking here.

I’d love to do a huge post with hundreds of photos of us playing with fruit, veggies, blenders and more (aka- “working”) but in the midst of fun, I rarely remember my camera.

So instead, I’ll post a few that were captured and link you directly to their website which is well worth a look. Please take a moment and embrace what is the Raw and Juicy Life.

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Working? Sure, you can a all it that.

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So this is Carinne, a happy little lady who happened to drop the blender lid behind our freezer. Our compact area provides such a tight squeeze, this is what I turned around to after hearing the strenuous sounds of go-go gadget arm!

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When you order from this superb place, let me confirm that any smoothie with coconut meat, milk or water legitimately comes straight from the source. It takes solid effort, but it’s well worth the results!

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As well as full description of each amazing item on our menu, I could also go into an entire post about every lovely person I get to share this space with. Instead, I will just send my full gratitude to Christin, Kevin, Daisy, Jesse, Corinne, Shen, Michelle, Jo Jo, Kayla, and Grayton. You make my work-world a vibrant place full of positive energy and mindful thoughts… Thank you.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Folsom Farmers Market

If you’ve been following long enough, you’ll know it’s very likely to find me in a local market sampling any and every thing that’s offered. I love food.

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This round of staying in California placed me living a short distance from the local farmers market. For the first time I was a tourist in my home town as I chatted small talk with the venders every Saturday morning. Walk with me (or kidnap some friends and jog with me)!

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I apologize to the non vegetarians out there as I didn’t get close ups of any animal products. Take my word, there were definitely quality hunks of meat out there and I’m not talking about the guys who came to the market still dressed in their gym clothes.

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This stand sells goodies from under the sea. Fresh fish, smoked items and unique treats such as salmon bacon and fish jerky were a just a few of the options.

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All the way from The Netherlands (one of my favorite European countries) is Marga. With vegan treats and energy boosting snacks, she greeted me with a familiar accent. I replied with the only sentence I know in her language, “Klink ik nederlands?”, which translates “Do I sound Dutch?”. She responded with a giggle and said, “Not really. WellI I guess a little bit since I understood you!”.
Her website offers nutrient packed snacks and details of how it all started. Check her out at www.commonkettle.com

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A special thanks to Teresa. As if her tasty jam wasn’t enjoyable enough, the supportive conversation was something I looked forward to each week. Ps, apricot is amazing if you ever get the chance to order from her!

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Nita, side by side with her daughter, was always eager to divi out the samples (I’m sure because they were confident that you couldn’t resist another bite). From gooey caramel enhanced rice Krispy treats to peanut butter brownies, self discipline was a must when passing by this stand!

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Peel’d has a brilliant idea that is beng loved around the Sacramento area. Each day they juice a fresh new batch of smoothies and bring the amazing flavors out to the market. I know most of you savvy little health nuts out there have a juicer or Vitamix, but this little backpacker doesn’t have room to lug those appliances around. Instead, I choose over worn clothes, trail mix, and a half empty first aid kit.
With that said, this trip I’ve been spoiled with a fresh juice every Weekend. Glorious! If you’re jealous and would love these juicy deliveries to your doorstep, check out their website at www.getpeeld.com.
To Tim and my peel’d friends, your greetings every week spoke in volumes and have still left an imprint on my Saturday morning experiences, much gratitude to the dozens of samples (that you knew I had already tried) and the gifted bottles that I enjoyed to the last drop!

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I didn’t get to know this lovely lady as well as the others, but Nicole’s creativity and passion towards organic dog food stood out to me. Add animals to the list of things that I don’t backpack with, but if you have a healthy pup at home, feel free to look her up at www.inthedoghousetreats.com

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If I could remember the exact words these folks spoke to me I’d share them with the world to brighten the day. Their supportive compliments fueled my traveling fire and the mini bag of granola traveled with me well! Thanks again!

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Usually my market posts are crammed with fruit and veggies, but this round the vibrant people and homemade goodies took over. I don’t want to leave out the vendors that kept my counter piled high with rainbow colored edibles from the earth. Thank you for the abundance of plants grown in your backyard!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Yao of cooking”

Again I start with the idea that people cross your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime. On this day, I’m confident to say that I acquired all three of them!

Days prior I met Claudia who was introduced to me by Bree (the girl I met on the flight to Asia). The three of us partook in Monk Chat that led us to a beautiful organic cafe with this sign posted:

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After meeting the enthusiastic owner we decided to return in celebration of her book release. Plus, free gourmet organic food, live music and a multi cultural crowd? Can’t really go wrong with any part of that!

Blending with us is on this little adventure is also sweet Maddi, a new gal in our dorm room that was easy to chat with and willing to join! When we arrived the double story cafe was packed full of smiles, glowing energy and enough bare feet to question the reason we even bother wearing shoes.

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Downstairs there were sample trays full of her own recipes from flavorful spring rolls and sweet dip to a pumpkin-veggie-nut mixture that I could have swam in. We over heard the waiter ask the owner “how much food will be served?” Her response, “…until everyone has had their fill”. That alone should give you an idea of what kind of woman we’re talking about. Up stairs introduced you to floor tables, bean bags and more shining faces. You really couldn’t frown in a place like this!

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Recognize that jolly bearded man? Yes, another brilliant unexpected path crossing as that guy was the English teacher for the Monks that we just met. Turns out he’s also a fan of this quaint cafe trying to make a difference in the community. What joy reached his face when he glanced over and saw the three of us smiling back!

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There’s so much to look at in this shop! Have wandering eyes? Me too.

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The food eating slows and now it’s time for sweet Yao and her colleagues to share a little bit about their goals in regards to supporting local growers and artists. This is when what I think is going to be a neat little taste of a locals perspective, turns and hits me with an unpredictable love-punch straight to the heart.
There were times I felt like they talking directly to me…. maybe in my teary eyed little world, they were.

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The band started back up and books start flying off the shelf. Not literally, but I do think there were definitely multiple reasons of why the books were jumping into the hands of all of these smiles. The author is a quality, personable human being that puts just as much effort into her community as she does in her recipes.

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Instead of paying a huge company to bind the books in large quantities, she found this local artist that personally hand-bound (I think that’s how you say it) every single one. When I approached the table, I took time to look at each design and picked my absolute favorite. She smiled and held my hand as she whispered “I only made one like that, I’m glad you chose it.”

Heart…melting…again.

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You can imagine the natural high I was floating on as we left this building of love. I met people who had just the right thing to say at that moment, connected with some that I plan on seeing again and bonded even more so with my dear friend Bree.

Dear Yao,
Your soft voice speaks in volumes through your genuine eyes and passion towards helping others. I’m honored to have met you and I give thanks for your encouraging words and devotion to leading by example. You are a hero!

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Categories: Art, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing the Tropical Farm!

The morning starts off with a bus ride in which my brave mother followed my lead and took a seat. With one brow up, she was on high alert until eventually realizing that it’s all going to be ok… for now. (Enter mischievous grin here).

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We get off at the appropriate stop to find our host Mauricio and a motor bike. He instructs mom to climb in behind him and for me to hop on the back with my gear (a backpack with all of our belongings in it). I didn’t snap any pictures of this circus, but it was extremely entertaining to me… As for mom, not so much. With a smile inside my helmet, I take in the surroundings as we make our way towards the farm.

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Arrival to our new home, HARE KRSNA ORGANIC TROPICAL HOUSE!

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We got an informative tour as Mauricio explains that everything you see on the property was either made from volunteers or the local kids using recycled material. Check it out!

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All of the stone that’s used in this kitchen was collected from the side roads and within the village. The cylinder container was created with bamboo and broken glass that was cleaned off the streets.

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As for the decor? It’s all recycled goods that’s been donated by creative people passing through. I even pitched in with a piece that I’ve been carrying for this entire journey.

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Off to the garden to do some watering or for some of us, “aquatic organic therapy”.

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This is our clean water tower followed by pictures that take you along the path to the outdoor “tropical shower”.

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As the sun starts to set, we’re shown to our room and this my friends… this is when the experience begins to take a turn for my dear mom. Before leaving the states, we had a conversation in regards to the reality of volunteering in Central America. We discussed subjects such as limited food options, less comfortable accommodations, variety of transportation and the challenges of foreign language. Oh how we quickly learn that you can only prepare for so much, as the rest requires a flexible attitude and open mind!

With that said, I feel there are too many quality photos starting from dinner to the long night that’s ahead. I’m actually going to put it in a completely separate (and well deserved) post.

Until the next 12 hours on the farm, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos that find me enjoying a moment in one of the many hammocks.

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Categories: Accommodations, Art, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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