Friday, February 18, 2011

Smoothie Sensation.

I've never been one to get enthusiastic about "drinking" a meal. Now, I'm not talking about alcoholic beverages - that I can do. I'm talking about healthy shakes, smoothies and what not. I know this isn't a new concept and maybe I've gotten a little soft since the recent death of Jack LaLanne, but I have finally embraced the wonderfulness of fruit and veggie smoothies. And I'm not promoting retail-created smoothies, I'm talking home-whipped delicious ones; the ones you know exactly what's in them.

My husband is ever-the- rockstar-smoothie-maker and, for years, has been trying to get me to embrace the concept. As most know, I'm an egg eater. I want to eat eggs every morning, not drink my breakfast thankyouverymuch. But, something came over me recently. I'm hooked and now I want to shout it out to the world. Yes, I get it, it's what everyone else has been doing for years . Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, but, several years ago, we received a juicer (yes, Jack LaLanne's official juicer) as a wedding gift. Of course, my husband was immediately gung ho about it and shot out of the cannon "juicing." I could've cared less, although I appeased him and tried all his creations which included beet and carrot juice. I admit, they were pretty good - if not a little thick - and I think I would've gotten into it if the juicer didn't waste a ton of fruit and vegetables or if it didn't take a fricken week to clean the darn machine. So, after a couple weeks, like everything else, it eventually wore out its welcome.

Fast forward five years. We decided we needed to incorporate more variety into our diets and add more raw ingredients, but sometimes you just get sick of how boring it is to eat raw vegetables. (Unless you have a bowl of ranch next to it.) My husband decided to take matters into his own hands. He busts out the standard blender and goes gang-busters on making one-of-a-kind smoothies. I took baby steps and realized when my 3-year-old was digging them, that I should be digging them, too. It, also, started leading me away from the starches and carbs I imbibe while eating my eggs, so it really was a noticeably win-win.

Now, we have them every morning and I am addicted. Bring on the crazy ingredients because nothing is off limits. I'm not kidding. The best thing about it is all the additional vitamins we're getting. Plus, it uses up extra fruit and vegetables that otherwise end up in the chicken coop or the compost.

In honor of my creative husband, here's a few of his specialties (Serves about 2.5 pint glasses):

2 bananas
1 handful of raw spinach
3 raw carrots
1 cup frozen or fresh berries (we just used up huckleberries we froze from last year's farmer's market and now use blueberries and strawberries.)
1 cup pineapple (or more...this always gives it a really cool, sweet flavor.)
2 spoonfuls plain/Greek yogurt
1 cup milk (or less)
1 cup ice

2 bananas
2 raw beets
2-3 raw carrots
1 cup frozen berries
1 cup pineapple
2 spoonfuls plain yogurt
1 cup milk (or less)
1 cup ice

1-2 bananas
1 cup cooked, raw or frozen broccoli
3 raw carrots
2 cups pineapple
2 spoonfuls plain yogurt
1 cup milk (or less)
1 cup ice

2-3 leaves Kale
2 cups strawberries
1-2 cups pineapple
2 spoonfuls plain yogurt
1 cup milk (or less)
1 cup ice

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Clean 15: food you don't have to buy organic.

I know you've seen this list before, but we all have those crazy friends and co-workers who get on such an organic kick it can be hard to look past this annoying trait. So, I thought I'd reiterate the top 15 foods you don't need to buy organic because of their low pesticide rate. (And follow up with ones you should.)
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango's
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Honeydew Melon
And so here we are with the top 12 foods you should seriously consider buying organic due to their high pesticide residue levels:
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes (imported)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dove Creek

I'm happy to announce I've recently gotten involved with the publishing side of things and have taken on the undertaking of marketing books and new authors. I'm happy to profess my enthusiasm about my first book managing Dove Creek; written by Paula Maria Coomer, this book is a raw and honest chronicle of a woman's life working as a nurse on an Indian reservation in Idaho.  
"Dove Creek is a wise, eloquent, fiercely honest fictional chronicle of a young woman’s venturesome journey from her bare-bones Kentucky background to an Indian reservation in the Pacific Northwest. She finds a new life as a much-loved healer—a blonde, female, hillbilly shaman who happens also to be a nurse for the Indian Health Service."
I encourage you to check out this book! You can read it for free online at or buy through Amazon for a hard copy or Kindle version. If you like it, review it here and online at

Let me know your thoughts! FREEDOM OF THE BOOK!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green: a modern-day rant.

Thanks to my sister-in-law who inspired today's blog when she referenced a newsletter about the consistent trend in our society over the past 30+ years that "bigger is better". Ugh! I spit on that kind of talk and battle my own internal demons when I want things I shouldn't. But I am aware during these modern times that - and I will take this time to quote Kermit-the-frog, "It aint easy being green."
So, let me step up on my soap box for just a quick second.

In her recent book, Juliet Scor, author of Plenitude, responds to the recent economic crisis by highlighting a few important trends:
  • The average single family home built in the U.S. in 1980 was 1,740 ft sq. By 2000, it had expanded 45% to 2,521.
  • Nineteen percent of new homes have 3-car or larger garages.
  • One in ten houses now rents storage space, a 65% increase since 1995. (For all that additional crap.)
  • In 1991, Americans bought an average of 31 pieces of clothing each year. By 2007, the average rose to 67 items, which means that Americans buy a new piece of clothing every 5.4 days. (The damn Macy's sales encourage this type of behavior.)
  • To keep up with one's neighbor, Americans work more than any other country, with the exception of Japan. In 1979, the U.S. worker averaged 1,703 hours each year. By 2006, that number rose by 180 hours - the equivalent of one full month of work - to 1,883 hours annually. (I might be the exception to these statistics.)
These numbers disturb me. I want these numbers to shift back in time when a narrow, one-car garage is all it took. I want attitudes to change and people to lead more simplified lives. I want folks to be content with a glass of wine (because you must never leave this out) and the outdoors; digging deep within to develop one's own authenticity without the desire to keep up with the Joneses.

In a recent letter to Natural Home Magazine titled, "Sustainability? Really?", the writer clearly was disillusioned with the way the term "sustainable" is used when homes highlighted for being "green" and "sustainable" include excessive square footage for a two-person family unit. The writer went on to give examples when referencing a 2,028-square-foot house for two people. She began, "This amount of new built square footage per person is certainly not sustainable on a planetary basis." When referencing another article focusing on a new, 7,370-square-foot Virgin Islands home for two people, she continued, "I'm disappointed in the trend toward mega-homes and inaccurate terminology."

I'm disappointed too. I'm discouraged with this need for more, more, more. I am more inspired when I read about a young couple buying a cheap, un-buildable lot in Eastern Oregon only to create a small, 300 sq-ft getaway cabin built on stilts to utilize the land. They looked so rested and relaxed sitting on their rail-less deck with a peek-a-boo view of a lake. I like creative minds and wish I was savvy enough to attempt something like this. I regret thinking I needed more than my first 600 sq-ft condo in the city. I was really happy there and went to great lengths to be comfortable in the space. I still find myself fighting the urge for more space when I walk into my unfinished 1,000 sq-ft basement. Should I or shouldn't I?

Within the past three years or so, when our economy took a downward hit and is still staggering to make its way back up, I actually enjoyed seeing people buying less - even if it was/is forced because of the lack of currency. I want more people to move toward this lifestyle. I want more simplification in my own life. I don't want to keep up with the Joneses or Johnson's or Smiths. But, I know, as our economy strengthens, we will see an upswing in consumption and I, also, know we need this type of spending to generate a healthy economy. Just this past holiday season, we saw sales up to pre-recession conditions. This is inevitable. But, I don't want things to return to business-as-usual. I want folks to be more conscious in what they are doing and buying and driving. I want patterns to change. And I want people to create a more genuine existence reflecting what really matters in life: staying relatively sober, taking walks and spending time with family.

As I am reminded time and time again how far we've come, I realize how much further we have to go. My new year's resolution this year was discipline. Not about anything specific, but just using it every day. So, I will continue to exercise this new mantra of mine in hopes of a better mindset and a brighter future.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Simplicity is my style.

It's no secret, and I've mentioned it before, I like things broken down and am a big fan of the 'cliff note' versions. It's, also, no secret that I love to garden, cook and occasionally throw a craft project around. Actually, I'm not a super crafty person, but I love to bust something out that inspires me, on occasion. So, when I was introduced to the book, Simple Pleasures of the Garden: Stories, Recipes & Crafts from the Abundant Earth, I was thrilled to learn it was right in line with my style; easy to read, simple with short and sweet ideas to run with if you get in the mood. The best part about this book is you can read it FOR FREE online at or you can purchase it at Amazon using the link below.

If you like it, recommend it and review it online through Amazon! Check it out and leave me any comments about what you think of it.