Category Archives: Food

Invisible Me

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So the last time I posted anything to my blog, I was a different person. I was making some choices within my life that would affect the next decade(s). I had filed for divorce, I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, I detached myself from a life I had known since I was twenty, (i’m almost 45 now), and I focused on myself. I began a transition into starting over. I had no house. I had no savings. But I had freedom to make any decision about my life going forward. It was SO strange. It still is at times actually.

In detaching myself from material things, I also weeded through my garden of acquaintances, friends and possibly enemies. I narrowed my support circle to just a handful of loving friends. I focused on using Facebook as an avenue to share articles about health, eating organic and loving oneself. On Pinterest, I focused on my hobbies, animals, knitting and self love. And Instagram, I focused on my creative side. I posted photos of my fermenting, jamming and of the little things in my day that brought the most amount of happiness like sunsets, sunrises and hot toddies on a cold night.

I recently moved back to the Bay Area and enrolled in college. I am now focusing on my second career, becoming a Nutritionist with a focus in Community Health. Being back in school, among bright eyed twenty somethings has been very humbling! Yet, I feel a connection with them as we all have something to learn from one another. This week is finals week and I am feeling overwhelmed. And anxious. And highly emotional which then transcends into self doubt, unfortunately. Up to this point have I made the best decisions for myself? Is going back to school the right thing to do? Moving back to the mainland the best step for me?

I recently attended a woman’s creative workshop that focused on becoming more in touch with your inner queen. Amazing photographer, Stacy del Rosa took the photo of me above. This is what she said about the picture, “When I see this photo of you, I see a woman in love with her own becoming. A woman who keeps a sacred message just for her inside her crown. A woman who is willing to see the whole of herself and love all of it with compassion and kindness.” I was speechless when I received this picture. Her words couldn’t be more true.  At times when I feel that I can’t do this new life, I look beyond the self doubt and realize I am loving who I am becoming. I can do this!

I continue on with an open heart and an open mind

xoxo

 

 

 

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Case of the Mondays

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This past Monday I woke up tired and out of sorts. I fed the pups, let the chickens out to free range a bit before work and went back inside to make some tea. I also made a scrambled egg sandwich on Rudis GF multigrain bread. Since this past year with my allergy, I haven’t really wanted to eat bread. I no longer craved it, but this morning, I knew I wanted an egg sandwich.
As I was walking down the hall, the entire sandwich slid off my plate. Ugh! So it ended up that my dogs had a nice breakfast instead of me. I went back into the kitchen and tured the kettle on. I’ll make myself some tea I said to myself…I grabbed a mug from the cupboard and accidentally bumped it against my sink. It cracked in my hand, leaving me with a cut. I washed the cut, put a bandaid on it and reminded myself that yes its Monday, but I had tomorrow off. I need to get through the day…I MUST get through the day…
The past couple weeks, I’ve been feeling fatigued. Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons, who knows.

Even though the morning didn’t go as planned, no more disasters happened. In fact on my way to work I made myself laugh because at first I was feeling bummed my favorite mug broke…but then my next thought was that ALL my mugs are my favorite! Not just that one. I had many left to enjoy!

Here’s a chicken picture for no reason except that yes, those fluffy furry puffballs are hens. And she’s probably thinking, what you looking at?

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Summer was just here, I swear

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The summer’s coming to end. The days are definitely getting shorter. The weather still has some heat, however my garden is getting tired. The tomatoes are not really turning red and the zucchini are growing few and fingerling sized.

School is back in session which equals to hellish commutes…who’s whining? 🙂
But I do know that love is about and shows up when you least expect it sometimes.

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Today I decided to take out most of my garden to get it ready for the Fall garden. I usually dread this task because it is admittance that summer really is over. After clippinga and pruning the vines I was left with a few pounds of immature tomatoes. And what does one do with all that fruit? Make relish!

Being raised on the West Coast, green tomato relish wasn’t something that I ever had. However after reading this recipe Farm Girl it had a familiar resemblance of chili verde. So I decided to give it a try.

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I had all the ingredients handy and it didn’t take more than an hour and a half. You can find the recipe on the link above to Farmgirl.

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I used a water bath method to can them. I will share a few jars with my family, however after sampling the finished product it was amazing. Not only can it be used for chips and dip, but I can use it to make chicken chili verde too.

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With the end of summer, good things do come from the changes of the season. Finding the heart shaped tomato today validated my decision to grow food for my family, which I shared pounds of tomatoes with friends and family with my abundant crop…taking the time the other night to look at the beautiful sunset then stare at the stars reminded me to be grateful for what I have and the life I live.

Onwards and upwards to your dreams…

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Tiny little things

I admit openly, that life has its challenges. At times, its easier for me to think and worry about the big issues. The problem with doing that is I feel bogged down, depressed and overwhelmed. However, time after time I am reminded that I cannot change what cannot be changed. I am reminded about the little things everyday…such as…
I had a good nights sleep last night! I woke up this morning from dreaming about some of my favorite people. Yesterday, I definitely had a case of the Mondays when another close friend called me and asked for a hug or two, she was visiting the mall I work at. I received a surprised visit and a reminder that I am special. This morning, I was watering my garden when a tiny little female hummingbird swooped in front of me and landed on a tomato cage. She sat there looking at me for about 30 seconds then zoomed off. My son is home from college for the summer. My apron strings don’t feel so tight, it’s great seeing him sleep in his bed and hear him laugh at my lame jokes!
It really is the tiny little things and small moments that make a happy life…well if it so, I feel very lucky lately 🙂

More on tiny things, my friend had a tiny little baby and I made this blanket for him.
It’s a go to pattern from Lion Brand, Little V Stitch For baby blankets I always use machine washable cotton or wool yarn. I added a simple picot trim around the edge with washable cashmere.

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I also was given some beautiful porcini mushrooms that I used to make a wild mushroom ,kale and leek soup.

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Here’s my tiny little girlfriend Miss Hummingbird.
Isn’t she adorable!

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Have a great day! Cheers to the tiny things that make a big difference!

Happenings

Lots have been happening around here lately. The garden is taking off, all my seedlings have been transplanted. I have been reluctant to pull out my kale since I’ve been making green smoothies to have on hand for the past two weeks. The marigolds are warding off pests and the ladybugs are hatching all over the place!

I also went to see a specialist last week. I scheduled more tests and finally for once I could talk to someone who understands what I have been feeling. We talked about my digestion system, food habits, mental health, to my surprise accounts for a large problem to my issues, and Rome criteria and of course poo. Did you know there are 500 billion probiotic bacteria on a piece of poo the size of your thumbnail? Amazing!

I walked away from my appointment feeling that there is help for me in the near future. I’ve been very careful about my diet, eating only at home. In fact last week I ate completely raw. I had lots of energy, lessened mood swings and no cravings for chocolate for example…
Preplanning meals has been pretty easy as my husband has adopted my green slime smoothies with open arms and wants to continue to eat gluten free or close to it for as long as possible.

Last night I was at my local Mi Pueblo market and I saw a water trough full of lentils. I just had to scoop and take home 5 lbs. I decided to make lentils for dinner, which would be perfect as I will make it vegetarian as well.

It’s a very simple recipe that I made up this morning. I usually have celery, onions and carrots on hand. In fact most soups and stews begin with the trio. I knew I had a couple leeks that I brought home from the Farmers Market Saturday. Leeks are milder than onion. Replaced the onion with the leeks to give the lentils a creaminess. Last week I pulled out my carrots, boy, have I missed those dragon carrots…so I substituted a orange bell pepper instead. Here’s the recipe…

Indian Spice Lentil
2 cups rinsed Lentils, red, green or brown all ok
4 cups stock, I use homemade that I have on hand, any store brought is good
1 onion diced, I used 2 leeks diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced, I used 1 orange bell pepper diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2-6 cloves garlic, diced, I love garlic so I always add tons more than the recipe asks for
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garam masala, any other Indian curry blend
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or any other healthy oil

Drizzle EVOO twice around heavy Dutch oven pot.
Sweat out onion, carrot and celery for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add lentils and spices. Add stock, bring to a boil.

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Lower heat. Simmer for 20-35 minutes, covered,until lentils are open. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated. If you like al dente lentils, keep an eye on them after 20 minutes.

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Your home should be smelling very yummy at this point. If you are anything like me, you will not be able to wait until dinner. I just had to have a bowl for breakfast.

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I’ve also been busy deep cleaning all closets and cupboards. Ill be posting a few things on ebay and hopefully making some spending $$ for my trip to Peru, which is right around the corner! More on that next week. Until then, make some happenings!

Earth Day is Everyday

Can you believe it’s almost May!
Seriously where does the time go? I feel as if I haven’t really made the best of the year yet.

I have been spending the mornings before work weeding, planting and watering. The birds are out and the dachshunds are begging for some overgrown kale. Its peaceful. It helps set the tone of the day.

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Last week I had a migraine for days. I admit I am a huge baby when it comes to headaches. Chop my finger off I’m ok, but a headache? I just can’t cope. I felt exhausted by Friday.Saturday night we celebrated my moms birthday at one of our favorite restaurants. I ate a spinach salad and later that night I had a huge allergy attack. I just can’t be sure of ever eating out I suppose. Whenever I have an attack, the next day I’m fatigued and my stomach is sore. I drink fluids but I stay away from eating for most of the day. I know it’s not healthy but really it allows my gut to rest.

This week I have given up eating out, at all costs. I have focused on eating raw. It’s been somewhat of an easy adjustment. By Tuesday I was making green smoothies with my kale. Amazingly, I have had consistent energy throughout the day too. I do make sure I eat breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and a light dinner.

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For this smoothie, I whirled in my blender…a cup of frozen berries
1 inch of ginger
Large sprig of fresh parsley and cilantro
Half banana
Cup of fresh pineapple
Handful of fresh kale
I looked at different recipes online however all used juice or yogurt. I used 1/2 cup of water instead. I wanted the smoothie to be light and not too sweet.

For this smoothie…
Half peeled chopped cucumber
1 inch ginger
Sprig of parsley and cilantro
I also added fresh lemon verbena because I grow it…
Handful of kale
Half of banana
1/2 cup liquid, I used H2O
Squeeze lime to taste

Experiment with what’s on hand. I almost added a jalapeño to the green smoothie but refrained. Maybe for tomorrow’s breakfast…try different combinations and favors. Have fun with it!

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I put tomatoes and marigolds in the ground this week too. The weather in the Bay Area has been between 72-85 degrees. It’s been lovely really.
I used one compost bin worth of freshly grown dirt. It smells great and full of red wrigglers too!
The tomatoes will love the richly nutrient compost I’m sure!

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These small actions of growing my own food, and eating clean makes me feel good about my life. It’s easy to plant lettuce in pots or even a tomato plant. If everyone grew something they ate, they would feel better mentally, eat healthier and be happier. I’m on my way to a healthier lifestyle and a more happier life too.