Thursday, February 26, 2009

Juicing Couture

Friends, it's that time of year again. Time to face up to the reality of what my arms will look like in a sleeveless shirt, my thighs will look in a pair of shorts and my belly in a snug tank top. With a current temperature of 80 degrees in Tulsa today, it's a sudden reality check that summer (along with it's skimpier clothes) is right around the corner. As I stand looking into the full length mirror, I have to be honest, I'm in need of some serious "juicing couture."

Last year on March 1st, I began a 92 days juice feast. During that time I learned so much and gained valuable insight about health, cleansing, my personal relationship with food and I also learned that for me, it's not necessary to drink juice for a full three months to find rejuvenation, rehabilitation, clear skin & eyes and to lose weight and gain an amazing spring in my step. As I look back through my journey, I see that the most significant changes occurred within those first 21 - 40 days. I experienced my personal best during those days and I also lost the most amount of weight. From about day 50 on, I actually only lost a few more pounds, with an overall weight drop of 28 pounds. I'm certain that unseen healing and rebuilding happened during those last 40 days so I have no regrets for completing the entire process. It was a life changing experience in many ways. To learn more about the concept & benefits of juice feasting visit David & Katrina Rainoshek's website.

This year I'll be doing a juicing journey again, but this spring I'm setting my intention on a shorter time period. I'm not actually even going to put an absolute date on when I'll end but I would love to make it through 21 days, but preferably through the end of March. There are a few people in our Real Food Tulsa group who are going to be juicing, as well as a number of my friends on Twitter and Facebook. There is just something about group momentum that I find motivating and inspirational. I'd love to have you consider jumping on board the juice train along side me. It'll be leaving the station this Sunday, March 1st. Even if you are just interested in juicing throughout the day and then having a raw food dinner for a certain part of the month, or maybe you don't have a juicer and you'd like to do a green smoothie cleanse, I'd love to hear from you! It's not a moment too soon to start thinking about how you want to look and feel this summer. I'll be blogging/vlogging daily starting this Sunday to share what I'm drinking (yes, there will be some recipes coming), how I'm exercising and how things are going daily. I'll also be facilitating weekly support group meetings for those of you who are in Tulsa (Sunday afternoons - 3 pm - juice bar in Whole Foods). I hope you'll stick around for the ride. Leave a comment below and tell me about your spring cleaning plans.
Photography by HafTone

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Punk Rock Special Delivery.....

Today I received an unexpected, yet totally awesome delivery from Alissa of Punk Rock Labs. Alissa and I share a number of things.....Oklahoma roots, the love of raw vegan cuisine (with a mutual fondness for the creativity of Matthew Kenney) and we've both been the lead singer of a band. Today's package contained a demo from her band, The Screaming Cherry Blossoms, some impressive cherry almond biscotti and spicy herb/flax crackers. Her music ROCKS and so does her delicious food! Thanks, Alissa, for making my day so much sweeter!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Canning - In The News

Yesterday my father and I attended a home canning class at the OSU Extension Center. As many of you know, my dad is a long time organic gardener and I grew up around an atmosphere that included planting, cultivating, tending, weeding, composting and harvesting. Although my mother was a master gardener, it was my father that did the canning when we had an over abundance of fresh produce. He was also a master bee keeper and he created quite an impressive eco-system within the one acre on which I grew up. Unfortunately, I was too young and immature to have a real appreciation of the blessing of all of that being part of my childhood. Now as an adult, I find myself drawn back to these roots and have a desire to learn and understand more about those things that are just second nature to my father.Of course, canning is not raw, but there is an art to it that intrigues me. I believe that raw, fresh, organic, locally grown produce is nature's very best nutrition, but I also understand that canning for the winter months certainly can have it's place, especially when one has cultivated a thriving garden of their own. I particularly like to dry certain fruits and vegetables at low temperatures which really helps to maintain the enzymes and nutritional value of these foods. Freezing is another method of preserving food's integrity, if you have adequate freezer space available.

Raw food is my passion, yet I find myself drawn to the entirety of the slow food movement. It was interesting to find out that the demand for yesterday's class was well beyond the centers expectations. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this topic, OSU Extension Center will be offering additional classes throughout this growing season. If you live in Green Country and have interest in learning more about canning or the other fine educational opportunities offered through OSU, please visit their website.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Winterball 2009

Gabrielle, my darling daughter, is allowing me to share a few of her favorite photographs from this past Saturday evening's Winterball 2009 at the Tulsa Garden Center (Metro Christian Academy). Gabby is in the red dress. Oh, to be 16 again :- )

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Raw Story on Pure Jeevan

Today my personal raw transformation story appears on Pure Jeevan, a website that provides constant inspiration along the path of transforming your life through living foods. Wendi & Jim Dee are such an asset to the field of natural health and raw and living food education. I hope you'll add their website to your subscriptions! A big thank you to them for their support and belief in me. I LOVE you guys! Here it is:From early childhood, I suffered from persistent, unexplainable intestinal problems. Although many doctors were consulted and performed every known test, there was never a clear diagnosis other than the vague IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which never responded to traditional medical treatment. At 15, I contracted a severe case of mononucleosis, which ultimately led to a breakdown of my immune system. This compromised immunity opened the door to multiple allergies, asthma, eczema, skin problems, reoccurring urinary tract & yeast infections and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, otherwise known as Epstein-Barr virus.

Due to a past riddled with chronic health challenges, I became interested in natural health by the time I reached my late teens, when I finally became disillusioned with the promises and failures of modern medicine. By the age of 22 my passion for natural healing therapies was further fueled when I began as working with (as a patient) and then studying under Dr. Joel Robbins, MD & ND in Tulsa, and I enrolled in his Natural Health & Optimum Nutrition continuing education program. I earned my Natural Health Certification in 1992, but even with this new life impacting eduction, I still found that I was struggling with elements of my own binge eating, yo-yoing weight, less than optimum health and depression.


the last picture was actually from April 2008

Monday, February 9, 2009

Matthew Kenney in Oklahoma

Yesterday I had the pleasure of traveling to the Oklahoma City/Edmond area for a very special educational class and for additional insight into the exciting plans that are well underway just about an hour & a half to the west of Tulsa. Edmond's living food chef, Mandy Canistelle, has partnered with internationally known raw chef, restaurateur, and food writer, Matthew Kenney, to bring one of the most ambitious projects in the raw & living food world to Oklahoma. In September, they will be opening a living food restaurant and education center called 105 degrees.

105 degrees will be located in Chesapeake Energy's new Classen Curve development in Oklahoma City. Matthew Kenney has been working intensively with the 105 degrees team on kitchen design and all aspects of operation. Matthew has shared with me his excitement about this endeavor by saying that this restaurant and cutting edge culinary education center "has the potential to be one of the best and most refined raw concepts in the country." Matthew will be an ongoing member of the business, promoting 105 degrees as one of his prestigious projects, along with Cafe 118 Degrees in Orlando and Free Foods in Manhattan. Please make a point to visit Matthew's website for additional information about his projects.

I couldn't be anymore delighted that Oklahoma will be the home to such a glamorous and ambitious raw center. Spending the afternoon and evening in Edmond with Mandy, her impressive team, Matthew, Dara Prentice (another business partner) and some of the lovely members of the raw community of OKC was an honor and joy. Matthew Kenney has a gentle, gracious and engaging presence and his generosity and creativity is obvious within minutes of speaking with him. He was kind enough to bring a signed copy of his soon to be released book, Entertaining In The Raw, for me. I nearly slept with it last night...I couldn't put it down. I'll look forward to reviewing it here soon, but I can already tell you, it is a masterpiece and it is a must have for your library.

I'll be sure to keep you up to date on what's happening with 105 degrees as the days get closer to its opening date.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Real Food Bartlesville

Real Food Tulsa member, Melyn Bellati, recently decided to spawn an offshoot of our existing group in Tulsa, creating Real Food Bartlesville. Bartlesville has a population of approximately 35,000 and is about 50 miles north of Tulsa. This quaint community is perhaps most notated as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company, now merged and known as Conoco Phillips.

Frank Phillips, founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still Indian Territory. His former home in Bartlesville is now a museum maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society. His ranch and retreat about 10 miles southwest of Bartlesville is called Woolaroc (a portmanteau of the words woods, lakes, rocks). Woolaroc is a working ranch of 3,700 acres, and houses a museum exhibiting Phillips' extensive Native American, western, and fine art collections, and one of the most complete private collections of Colt firearms in the world. Also on the property are the Phillips family's lodge and mausoleum, along with a huge wildlife preserve with herds of American Bison, elk, Texas long horn cattle, water buffalo, zebra and more than 20 other animal species.

Price Tower, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, stands in downtown Bartlesville. The nearby Bartlesville Community Center, designed by one of Wright's students, hosts the OK MOZART International Festival, a week-long music event, each June. Begun in 1985 and organized around the music of Wolfgang Amadaus Mozart, the festival features performances of classical, jazz, light opera, and more. World-renowned musicians perform each summer at OK Mozart.

What a pleasure to be part of the budding raw food community within this lovely, historical city in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Living Cuisine 101

If you are in the Tulsa area, I'd like to invite you to join me for an informative and fun lecture on Living Cuisine this Thursday evening, February 5th. Whether you are completely new to the concept of raw and living foods or if you're a seasoned pro, it would be my pleasure to have you in attendance as we discuss the fundamentals of this vibrant, healthy way to approach eating.

At this lecture, we'll cover creative ideas of how & what to eat when you are busy, traveling, or just at a loss for how to get started with raw & living foods. There will be handouts on raw food resources, a list of raw food staples and some of my favorite, super easy & delicious recipes. Did I mention I would have a sampling you you to taste too? Come and enjoy...."Roasted" Red Pepper Hummus, Portobello Steaks and "Sauteed" Spinach!

Whole Foods Market - Juice Bar
41st & Peoria - Tulsa, OK
Thursday - February 5th - 7 - 8 pm

I'll be looking for you!!