gardening relationships

Our enchanted front yard garden is overflowing with grandeur. The juicy abundance feels so exuberant with greens, reds, yellows and oranges. In Houston it takes only a little effort to have a garden grow & then overgrow.

Our unruly tomatoes are sprawling over the edge of their container & taking over the entire front lawn, sweet peas are creeping up the fence in front of the sunflowers with the help of some twine Larry put up. Their swirling tentacles are like magic, or intelligent at the least. Then we are growing spinach, lettuce and a new baby papaya tree in the rest of the containers.

 

sweet peas

Finn usually eats the little orange tomatoes as they ripen & we picked our first red big tomato just yesterday. We are teaching him how to pick peas off the vine and crunch on them.

sunflowers

All of this gardening & growing reminds me of how our family is taking root in this new chapter coming up next weekend where Larry & I are committing to one another in a ceremony in front of our community. The purpose of a marriage for me is to deepen the roots in the relationship.

I guess I can see that is how the juiciest of sustenance is created in gardening as well as in relationships. When we cultivate, nurture & share with our community, the plants or each other the deeper the roots grow & hence a richer experience in food, love & family.

Kale

Papaya Tree

the neighbors blackberry bush

onion flower

bliss lettuce

 

a Tuesday in my life . . .

dandelion root tea w/ sassafrass

I had such an amazing day today, Tuesday (don’t you just love Tuesdays?), the last Tuesday in August. I love how everything is shifting for me, in my inner & outer worlds. I just feel better with more energy, more joy, more focus. It just feels good all over. Today was for some reason just so delicious. I started it with a cup of dandelion & sassafrass root tea. I have many dried roots that I’m experimenting with. Dandelion root is great for digestion & heaven knows I need all the help I can get. Actually, now that I’m mostly eating raw & realizing how important consuming tons of water is everything is flowing much better! (I bet you’re glad for that update! :o)).

I wrote a job description while sipping my root tea for a position for our newest company, Wildcat Bulk Water Services. It was written for a Marine who is transitioning into the “real” world to help us deliver bulk water. Yippy, it’s all coming together so easily. I’ll write more about this in another post.

For lunch I met my beautiful friend & soul-sister at Tiny’s Boxwood for our second lunch in two weeks. This is actually is born from an intention to grow our community here in Houston. Sara is a great friend who is completely aligned with me & yet it has been months since we have made time to see each other. But now I am making a commitment to open up & allow community & friendship to come into my life. We shared this amazing Beet Burger minus bun. Yum, I didn’t know they could do that to beets.

the glowing Sara @ Tiny's

After lunch I had time to puruse through a new antique store in the Heights. I actually fell in love with a ring & then was able to talk myself away from the edge & out of wanting/needing desperately to buy it all in the 15 minutes before picking up Raine from school.

We went to JoAnnes for some fabric for a skirt for Raine & curtains for our backyard naked patio. This is the fabric I chose for the curtain. What do you think?

new curtain fabric!

Larry, Finn & I went to pick up our bushel of luscious fruit & veggies at the Rawfully Organic Co-op tonight just to get hugs from the lovely Kristina. She is this incredibly dynamic woman that I want to hang out with. She runs the co-op & about a dozen other things!

The Lovely Kristina & her beet!

 

Rawfully Organic

Kristina & Lisa at Rawfully Organic

I took my bushel of veggies & chopped it up into this delicious chop salad for dinner!! so Goooood.

chop salad

Raine sewed up this sweet skirt tonight for picture day tomorrow. She is so crafty! She got the idea off of the Sweet Verbena blog.

Raine Sewing

Raine's Handmade Skirt

After whipping up this skirt she did her homework & then baked cupcakes to give to some friends at school tomorrow. What a gal!!! I’m so proud of her creativity & ability to just independantly jump into projects.

Okay now I’m sitting with Larry both of us with our laptops open, eating cold watermelon listening to Adele on Pandora. Time for bed.

goodnight!

Kat

I’m juice fasting

Beet Carrot Juice

I’m starting my 11th day of a Juice Fast, which is hardly a fast, as I get to drink sweet, luscious juice from real fruits & vegetables all day long. Plus I drink water & herbal teas as well. But still it is cleansing to the body to not have to process all that food through my system. I’ve done real fasts before, once with just coconut water for 10 days & another time with master cleanse for 12 days. This fast  is a very different experience & in some ways it’s much easier, the good news is I’m never hungry.

I was inspired by the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead where Joe the guy making the documentary goes on a 60 day juice fast to lose weight & heal himself of some strange disease he suffers from. The real magical moment is when he inspires a obess truck driver to juice & helps him get started which ends up changing his life direction & inspiring others. It’s on streaming Netflix & is very upbeat & inspiring.

My reason for starting this fast was to detox, feel healthier, downsize & see if it would help with my depression. In the movie those who fasted had a lot more energy & felt better about life in general. I could use some more energy & some relief from my constant digestive issues. I’ve been on an active quest this year to figure out my digestion issues that have plagued me most of my life. This year alone, I visited with a nutritionist who took out sugar & gluten from my diet but that didn’t bring relief or weight loss. Then I visited an Ayurvedic Doctor & she had me cut out tomatoes, ice & gave me some herbs. She told me I’m naturally a Kapha but my Vata was running the show. So in other words I needed to stoke the fire within & stop diminishing it with my food & life choices. This actually made a lot of sense to me. Then I was told by my medical doctor that I should stop drinking alcohol for 30 days to see if my labs would improve. This was no problem after the first week but led to weight gain & still no digestive relief. I actually learned a lot from all of them.

2 greenies

I’ve been intrigued with the raw food movement for over 30 years, but for some reason never really understood how I could do it fully or correctly. I even have a lot of recipe books on my shelf from years ago that I’ve never really used but keep moving them with me, hoping someday will be the right time to start eating raw. So after seeing the movie I figured juicing would be an easy segue into eating purely raw. The good news is that since I’ve started juicing & buying my food from the co-op I have met a handful of people who eat solely raw, plus we have friends in Malibu who are a raw family. And thank goodness for the web there are now so many resources just a finger click away.

 

Beet Carrot Green Apple Juice

After 10 days of juicing fruits & vegetables, no digestive discomfort, I have regular movements & I’ve lost about 10 lbs. Yay!!!  Most mornings I wake up feeling great, some days I’m tired. The most exciting part is having no discomfort in my bowels.

My goal was to juice for 14 days & then move onto a 80-10-10 diet by Dr. Douglas Graham. I may actually continue to juice longer, depending on how I feel.  I can’t really tell you a lot about the 80-10-10 diet because the book hasn’t arrived yet, but something about what I’ve heard feels right. I’ll let you know when I figure it out if your interested. What I really want is just a healthy relationship with food – a more mindful way of communing  with food.

The amazing side effects to juicing have been that I’m now much more mindful of all the triggers that drive me to eat because I’m experiencing an emotion or exhaustion. Now that the eating or drinking (Starbucks!) is not an option, I have to nurture myself in other ways. I’ve been, instead, practicing more mindful meditations like the one’s Thich Nhat Hanh shares in his book  Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. “Breathing in, I embrace my discomfort.  Breathing out, I feel a lot of space and security inside me.”

For the last few years, I have suspected that my journey to living more authentically & at peace within & without was about mindfulness. I also suspected that my biggest learning of mindfulness would come through my relationship with food because of my contentious relationship with food most of my life. It feels as if the time is NOW!!!

To read more about juice fasting watch the movie, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, & read Laura’s blog, Food: A Love story.

composting juice pulp

 

living coconut cream pie. . . oh my!

living coconut cream pie

So this was the coolest pie to make. It’s all with raw ingredients, basically every part of the coconut & then dates. I got the recipe from Laura Plum’s blog, Food: a Love Story. She says it came from “Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Grateful Recipe book by Terces Engelhart, which I so gratefully received from a friend. If there is one raw food recipe book to have, for me it is this one. Along with great recipes it is filled with techniques, inspiration, and a fabulous Resource list at the back.”  (Cafe Gratitude in San Fran is a place I want to visit soon)

I think I need that recipe book as well. It’s funny, I have been called to eat a raw diet most of my life, but for so many different reasons, I never did. There is something about it, that resonates with my soul. I have never been a meat eater & I LOVE fruit. I was not raised on much dairy & have probably never drank a full glass of milk – ever. I first became interested in a healthier lifestyle when I was a young buck in the Marine Corps & I read Fit for Life. I have held onto some of the basic principles from that book over the years. I have tried many different kinds of eating habits that just were not a fit or didn’t stick for whatever reasons. Eating healthy in the Marine Corps is not always the easiest thing to do.

But all the signs always point me back to yoga & vegan raw. Hmmmmmm????? Is this something I should actually assimilate, once & for all? Perhaps it could clear up some of the difficulties I have with digestion, depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. etc. etc. You think?

Well anyways, this pie is fabulous, we loved it. Go to Laura’s blog to find the recipe & many other recipes as well.

Nom Nom Nom

Yummmmyy!!!

Oh & we picked up our first box from the Rawfully Organic Co-op & oh my goodness, there was such a bounty of goodies. Raine was so inspired she made herself a juice with 5 strawberries, a sweet apple, & an orange. She called it Raine’s Juicy Fruit.

Just some of the bounty

Raine's Juicy Fruit

Raine is really great at coming up with great concoctions. Yesterday she put a cucumber with a pear & a granny smith. It was like liquid fresh-ness, a living elixir.  I forgot what she called it, but we’re going to document them so we can easily recreate. I usually just throw a little of every veggie we have on hand & sweeten up with a pear, apple or strawberries.

I’m enjoying this journey, I’ve never been a foodie so it is odd for me to be writing so much about food but I’m really loving this kind of food & what a better way to live juicier than to drink juice!!! :o)

ps. I am embarrassed to report that Raine is cooking SPAM in a frying pan as I write this. She is making a SPAM sandwich. I think she thinks it’s an Asian thing & part of her heritage. She’s just doing her part, I guess. :o)

pastries & juice

Green Goddess Smoothie

This morning we drank Green Goddess Smoothies for breakfast. I got the recipe off of Laura Plumb’s Blog, “Food a Love Story” Laura is my best friend, Ginger (aka Dianne)’s good friend & sister in yoga. Larry & are wanting to juice more frequently & possibly juice for a week or so as sort of a fast. We are constantly looking for better health. Have you seen “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?” It’s a documentary about juicing changing the health of so many. Great movie, we watched it on Netflix streaming videos.

We also joined a co-op called Rawfully Organic here in Houston, where we get a box of local veggies every week. This is so fun, to be this connected to what we eat & for it to be so life giving. I’ve always had an inclination for a more vegetarian/raw lifestyle, but just haven’t done it. AND . . . we joined Urban Harvest after visiting an organic soil farm (Nature’s Way)up north a bit. Urban Harvest has classes & advice to grow your own garden. We are just babies in this gardening stuff, but are so excited for our next crop with great, organic soil.

THEN, there was a huge shift over to This the finale of Raine’s Teen Pastry Class at Sur La Table. Larry joined her for the entire class (he’s such a wonderful Pappa Bear). I joined them later for the tasting. It warms my heart to see her in her element & so happy. She had a ton of fun, oh & her team won the competition with their Vanilla Souffle with Chocolate Sauce. I tasted Turtle brownies, Blue Berry Tart with Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Apricot ravioli & then the souffle. Yum, Yum, Yum!! Oh & a solo espresso to top it off. Heavenly!!!!! It felt a bit like France or Rome.

Fresh out of the oven.

Team Souffle

Final Prep

great presentation

so cute & yummy

Happy Souffle

Pappa Bear Tastes the Masterpiece

Okay so now that the class was over & we were buzzing on sugar & sweets it was time to switch gears once more - it was time for juicing with our new Breville Juicer. We mixed, kale, cucumbers, ginger, spinach, apples, carrots, oh & a little stevia & mint from our garden. This was our first run & it was so delicious.

2 greenies

Breville Juicer

larry is very excited!

Today we juiced again & later I’m going to make a living coconut cream pie! I can’t wait to try it. You know I will take photos & give a full report after!! Just making this the juiciest weekend ever.