Basil Pesto

Late season be made into pesto.
Late season basil…to be made into pesto.

Today I harvested what will probably be the last of this season’s basil. I carefully washed and dried the leaves, and they now wait for me to transform them into pesto for the freezer. The scent of basil has become the day’s perfume, both on my hands and in my house. I am drowning in its aromas…and I mean that in a great way!

It is funny how I never used to like the taste of basil. But then suddenly, one day…I did. And it became an obsession. It is the first thing I plant in the Spring as I dream of ripe red tomatoes and creamy mozzarella. I use it in everything, including drinks. Have you ever had a Gin and Tonic with a few sprigs of basil? Divine!

My Basil-Lemon simple syrup gets used in all sorts of creations as well. It makes a refreshing lemonade, and it also can be made into an ‘adult’ beverage with the simple addition of either vodka or gin and some fresh lemon juice. So many possibilities…

Nothing beats the taste of a summer-kissed corn, cucumber and tomato salad with torn leaves of basil gently folded into it, then drizzled with an olive oil dressing. Unless some avocado was added. And perhaps some red onion. Sigh…

I’m sure I will contemplate next year’s basil crop as I chop and mince and grate and mix all my ingredients, transforming them into a magical pesto. I will reminisce about the meals I’ve had and dream of the meals yet to come each time I use it.

I don’t have a recipe. I start with the basil, then add in the other ingredients (pine nuts, parmigiano-reggiano, garlic and olive oil) in whatever proportions my taste buds dictate. I will keep mixing and adding and tasting until I deem it to be just right, both in flavor and texture. At the end of the day I will have basil and garlic emanating from my pores.




Lula – Take 3

In the oven: Crackers – made from discard sourdough starter; various toppings. (See recipe at bottom of post)

Focaccia 3 ways: truffle sea salt; fresh herbs; fig, goat cheese and caramelized onions. There is also a pizza bianca thrown in there (made from leftover pizza dough)
Focaccia 3 ways: truffle sea salt; fresh herbs; fig, goat cheese and caramelized onions. There is also a pizza bianca thrown in there (made from leftover pizza dough)

Lula is my bubbly new sourdough starter. She is named after a character in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Lula’s character sports a huge personality; someone practically bursting from the seams (literally). She brings life to the series even though she is not the main character. I felt it an appropriate homage to name my sourdough starter after her.

This is my third rendition of Lula. Lula I and Lula II faded into the sunset a few years back. But I am ready to try again. I finally have had the time to hang around and see her  properly tended to and fed on a regular basis. Hey, third times a charm, right?

In this version I took a different approach (after all, what is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…). In the past I made my starter completely from scratch. I began with organic bread flour and water (reverse osmosis).  It is perfectly acceptable to stop there and make the starter from only flour and water; however, I added organic grapes which have a natural yeast to help get the ball rolling. And it does work. I have made a bread starter several times in the past with success. It does, however, take a bit longer to build up to its full baking strength, and seems quite a bit less resilient to the ‘occasional’ user error (neglect). And it was, ahem, user error which led to the downfall of Lulas I and II.

This time I began with a starter culture which I received as a freebie from Cultures for Health last year. It has been patiently waiting in my freezer for my travel schedule to open up…and for my life in general to have a bit of extra time. The opportunity arose this month and I took full advantage!

I was worried it had been in the freezer too long or that perhaps it had not been handled properly in its shipping. I was not in any way expecting the results I got once I finally mixed her up. An established starter took way less time to build up to its full potential. The instructions said it could take up to 7 days to be ready – my previous versions took closer to 14 days to reach full potential, so this was already an improvement. In reality, Lula III was ready to bake in only 3 days. Three days!!

Sourdough Crackers
Sourdough Crackers


It was such an unexpected surprise that I was caught unprepared to actually bake with her. I figured I would have time to leisurely peruse my bread baking books and scroll through some of my favorite online sourdough sites to come up with some fun recipes to try. While I have finally taken the time to do so, I have yet to make an actual loaf of bread. To date I have made homemade crackers with some of the discard starter – of which there is a LOT; sourdough waffles, and focaccia bread.

We are having fun already and the party has only just begun…

This starter is AMAZING!
This starter is AMAZING!
Day 1...a new beginning
Day 1…a new beginning

Sourdough Crackers* 

*adapted from the King Arthur site

  • 1 cup Flour (I used half whole wheat, half All-Purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unfed (“discarded”) sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • oil for brushing – I used olive oil. 
  • coarse salt, chopped herbs, poppy seeds, sesame seeds – for sprinkling on top. (optional)

1. Mix the flour, salt, sourdough starter, and butter to make a smooth dough. I use only a spatula for this…no fancy tools needed!

2. Divide the dough in quarters; Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I’ve kept it in the fridge for several hours before and had them turn out just fine.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

4. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough to desired thickness. I prefer them very thin and crispy. If you leave them thicker they will not be as crisp. It’s all to do with your preference (experiment here!! It’s only dough…). 6) Transfer the dough and parchment together onto a baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil and then sprinkle the salt over the top of the crackers.

5. Cut the dough into about 1 1/2″ squares. I use my pizza cutter.

6. Prick each square with the tines of a fork.

7. Bake the crackers for about 12 minutes, until the squares are starting to brown around the edges. Turn halfway through cooking time. They may need to stay in a tad longer if you leave them thicker.

8. When browned, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Store airtight at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.


Raspberries from Heaven


“A house needs a grandma in it.” ~Louisa May Alcott

My grandmother’s birthday was this past Tuesday. I passed much of that day thinking about her. About her life, about my life with her…about how much she meant to me. I am quite certain that in her own way she saved me. Grandmom was my biggest cheerleader.

I spent many school-free summer days and nights at my grandparent’s house. I can still hear the squeaking of the metal springs on the back porch glider as we swayed back and forth…back and forth…back and forth…a methodic, eerie squeak, yet oddly comforting at the same time. We would sit together: me and her and my grandpop. They listened intently as I read my latest creations – often poetry, but sometimes a short story or the occasional play (of course it was all wonderful, and I was the best writer ever). At lunch we dunked saltines in our hot tea (Lipton, of course), crunched sandwiches layered with potato chips or smeared grape jelly on grilled cheeses*, and afterwards we enjoyed Breyer’s Ice-Cream out of the etched glass dishes she kept in her dining room cabinet, seemingly for just that purpose.

And in July we picked raspberries.

Whenever I eat even one raspberry, I am instantly transported back to her house on any given July day of my childhood. Pine trees shaded the backyard; shirts and pants and sheets hung from the clothesline to dry; hydrangeas bloomed a beautiful bluish-purple hue. Train tracks ran along the back edge of the property, one section of them lined by raspberry bushes. Even now, I can almost feel the dew on my feet and smell the pungent scent of pine as I crossed through the yard to get to that luscious fruit.

As early as the middle of July, but for sure by the end, those berries reached the height of perfection. She and I would each grab a bowl and head for the back of the property. I don’t recall that we talked about anything in particular as we harvested, although she did show me which berries were ready to pick and which ones still needed to ripen. I loved to pluck the particularly ripe ones straight from the bush and pop them directly into my mouth. Each bite was like eating sunshine itself. Heaven.

It took no time at all before our bowls were filled…with a few pauses here and there for sampling (just to be sure!). Many did not survive the short walk back to the house, and even fewer made it to the table later.

Anything that did survive was usually mixed into Jello for the evening’s after dinner treat. Or perhaps served with that Breyer’s Ice-Cream I mentioned earlier. 

To this day I think of my grandmother with each and every raspberry I eat. Every. Time. And when I encounter an especially ripe one – one that is extra juicy and fragrant and tastes just like Sunshine itself – I know in that instant she is with me. She is there in spirit enveloping me with Love and Happiness.

There is a sense of wonder knowing a certain taste or smell – or even a touch – can take me back in time. Back to a place where my grandmother is still with me. Encouraging me. Loving me. And knowing in those moments that she has never really left me. All along, she has been right there. Right here. 

And that comforts me to no end.

*“Tea and Saltines…Grilled Cheese with Grape Jelly”

Autumn Rising

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot

In the oven: Stone Fruit Cobbler, to be served with ice-cream on the side (see recipe below).

Labor Day is upon us – the unofficial end of summer. I have spent the past few days in Seattle where the weather is cooler – I even saw someone wearing boots yesterday!! Hooray for boot weather! But even in Texas I have sensed the sneaking up of Autumn, despite the heat that remains. There is an underlying crispness to the air, and I have noticed the subtle disappearance of light from each day as summer gradually fades. 

School is back in session, shavings from freshly sharpened pencils thick in the air while children reluctantly leave carefree days of summer behind (and parents secretly rejoice!); football blares from TVs across the country. Yes, September 21st may be the official date, but we all know Labor Day signals the true end of Summer.

I rather prefer Autumn. Autumn feels romantic. Thinking about the rich aromas of spice and dampness and fallen leaves excites me. I look forward to its brilliant hues of gold streaking the landscape around me. Even though I live in Texas where Fall is more alluded to rather than truly experienced, the idea of needing a more substantial meal is appealing. 

And so it is that I welcome Labor Day with open arms and a free heart. It is more my ‘new year’ than New Year’s Day. My yearly resolutions are set in September rather than January. I like to set them and then let them hibernate for a bit, allowing them to come to full fruition in the Spring. At least in theory. 

Most of us think of back yard BBQs and end of summer pool parties when we think of Labor Day. There is football season and back to school and cooler weather right around the corner. 

But what, exactly, are we honoring on this day?

The first Labor Day in the United States was held in 1882 in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.  Oregon was the first state to declare it a ‘real’ holiday in 1887, and it was finally 1894 when President Grover Cleveland named it an official holiday for the entire country. Other countries held their own versions in May (called ‘International Worker’s Day’); however, the Haymarket Affair* had occurred in May of 1886. When President Cleveland made Labor Day a holiday he worried it would be associated with the event, thus causing further rioting and re-igniting any anger still smoldering. And thus, Labor Day happens on the First Monday of September rather than the first of May. 

This year my husband and I will celebrate the weekend as we have the past several years. The Sunday before (would that be ‘Labor Day Eve?’) we will participate in our annual Fantasy Football Draft party. Everyone brings a dish to share and we spend the afternoon eating, drinking and choosing our [winning] teams for the upcoming season. And the next day there is generally another cook out…sometimes at our home, but often hosted by others. Again, it is usually a ‘bring-a-dish-to-share’ event. This year I am bringing dessert to the draft party. I am making a stone fruit cobbler (see recipe below) and also bringing homemade brownies.

What does Labor Day mean to you? How do you typically spend the weekend?

*Haymarket Affair: Occurred in May, 1886 in Chicago. It began as a peaceful demonstration, but it turned deadly when a dynamite bomb was ignited, killing seven police officers and at least four other civilians, and leaving many others wounded. The rally began in support of an eight hour work day. At that time, it was not uncommon to work twelve hour days seven days a week.

Recipe: Stone Fruit Cobbler

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 6 T cold butter

Stone Fruit Filling

  • 4 lbs mixture of stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc) – pitted and cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and set aside.

Streusel: In a medium bowl, mix all streusel ingredients except the butter. Cube the butter and cut into the dry ingredients until it is crumbly. Set aside.

Filling: Toss the fruit with the lemon juice, then the flour to coat. Mix in the remaining ingredients and pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly.

It is best to let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving. I like to serve it with either a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


Dark and Stormy Weather


**I am sitting out on my back porch as I write, Magen’s Bay as my backdrop, watching the pelicans dive for their meal and listening to the water gently lapping at the shore below me. Yet I know this peaceful setting will disappear come morning…

In the oven: Pork Shoulder, braised in white wine with a medley of vegetables; Tex-Mex Black Beans; Rice; Carrots Glazed with Mustard and Brown Sugar

In my glass: A Dark and Stormy (see below)

The past several days have been crazier than normal for me. Between traveling, a funeral, and preparing for Once-Hurricane-Then-Tropical-Storm-Now-Tropical-Depression Danny I have stayed plenty busy! Danny is supposed to come through late this evening, and while we certainly do not need the flooding and winds that come with a hurricane, here in the islands we have been experiencing a drought and could really use a good soaking rain and filled cisterns. This is the driest I’ve seen it in the two years we have been living here.

Every indication is that the storm will barely cause any damage and bring maybe 2-4 inches of much-needed rain. The Sahara Dust that hovers in the air keeps most of the approaching storms at bay; however, Danny may bring enough moisture to clear away much of that dust, and the storm lingering just beyond Danny could be trouble. So really we are worried more about the storm brewing behind this one. As any good Girl/Boy Scout knows, it is good to be prepared…

And so we are now properly stocked up on water, canned goods, batteries, and Rum…you know, island essentials. Our landlord has installed the Hurricane Shutters on the house we rent and made sure the generators are fueled. Most of the boats we normally see moored around the island have been moved to safer waters. It seems odd to drive around the island and see so much open water harboring so few boats. The cruise ships are even keeping their distance, meaning fewer tourists, as well. On a positive note: this makes for much less congested trips to run these all important pre-storm errands.

‘Dark and Stormy’ 2 parts ginger beer, 1 part blackstrap rum. Serve over ice w/ lime wedge

Despite the impending storm, today has been rather sunny. The skies are only just beginning to cloud over now. But I know once that first storm of the season passes, it will take with it the refreshing breezes we have now, and the air will grow still and mosquito-filled. This will last until some time in November or December when the Christmas winds return. Until that time (which may be sooner than later) I will enjoy every second I get of this. 

Tonight I am preparing a hearty meal in anticipation of the weather to come (see above menu) and hope I get enough for two meals so I don’t have to cook tomorrow. Somehow it seems appropriate to have a robust meal when a storm is coming, even in this heat. Below is the recipe for my Braised Pork Shoulder. Enjoy!!

Braised Pork Shoulder

  • 1 3 lb pork shoulder (season both sides with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalked, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 T whole grain mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. White wine
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Brown the pork shoulder on both sided in a heavy duty dutch oven. Remove from pan and let rest.

Add vegetables to the pan and sauté until softened. Stir in the mustard and garlic.

Add the wine and bring to a boil. Place the pork shoulder back in the pan and remove from heat.

Cover, place in oven for 30 minutes. Turn after 30 minutes and cook for another 30 minutes or until done.

When done, take pork out of pan, let rest for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve. Don’t forget the vegetables!!



It’s a HOT summer day here in TX, and a nice rum drink – preferably with one of those cute little umbrellas attached – is a happy way to make the heat feel a tad less oppressive…


I have spent a LOT of time in the Caribbean in the past couple of years, and rum drinks abound there. Cruzan Rum is original to St. Croix, and Captain Morgan moved its operations there in [I believe] 2010 from Puerto Rico. Both are wonderful rums!

In the British Virgin Islands there is a drink called a Painkiller which hails from The Soggy Dollar Bar…it is rum-based and fruity and delicious! Pussers is usually considered to be the original rum used; however, that is heavily debated by many. In any case, it is my favorite rum to have in that drink. A Painkiller consists of Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Cream of Coconut, [Pussers] Rum, and a dash of nutmeg on top. [drool]

Hmmm, pineapple juice, rum and cream of coconut…that sounds familiar… This brings us to the Piña Colada, which is original to Puerto Rico. Barrachina Restaurant is considered by many to have made the original, though this is disputed by The Caribe Hilton (who claim to have invented it about 10 years prior to Barrachina). I’ve been to Barrachina, and I’m not sure if what they serve is the original recipe, but it was a frozen pre-made concoction. I cannot vouch for the taste of the Caribe Hilton as we did not make it there. My husband and I found our favorite piña colada at a place called Moreno Spot. Theirs was made to order and served in a hollowed out pineapple (the juice of which was actually in the drink!). It was $12 and well worth it!

So…What is YOUR favorite recipe using Rum? And do you have a preferred rum?

My recipe for a Painkiller:

  • 3 oz Pusser’s Rum (you can vary this to taste)
  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz Cream of Coconut
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour the first 4 ingredients in…shake to mix. Pour into the glass (I include the ice) and grate nutmeg over the top. Garnish with an umbrella, preferably speared with a chunk of pineapple and a cherry.

Sit back, admire your concoction…then sip. Repeat until glass is empty.


Evolution happens all around us. It is in everything; it is everywhere.

I have had my own transformations over the decades of my life, especially in the past two years. Cleansed Palate is no exception to the evolution process. For the past few years I have been struggling with this blog. My writing has stalled, and I’ve had trouble figuring out how to make it come together on the site as well as it does in my mind. I have brainstormed and written and made all sorts of lists in this process called Evolution. Yet I have been unsuccessful.

So what has been the issue? What was “wrong” with Cleansed Palate as it already was?

Nothing, really. I could have just kept it going, aimlessly, continuing with it as just an average food blog. However, that was not resonating with me. Food is my life’s passion. I am a food geek. Anyone who knows me gets that in about five seconds.

But I also love to travel, to meet new souls in my journeys, to renew relationships with old souls. I love history and spirituality. I don’t even mind the [occasional] round of political discussions. And I want to write about it all.

So how could I tie all of this together? And could I do that under the Cleansed Palate name, making it into one cohesive blog?

I love the name, and there has been something just under the surface telling me that it really does all tie together. Ah, but “HOW?” I kept asking myself…How, indeed…

So now let me digress a tad. I have recently been participating in a memoir-writing workshop. It is four classes and made up of some absolutely amazing souls on a similar writing path as my own. Despite the fact that it is a memoir class, I originally had no intention of writing about my life. Oddly enough, I was ‘tasked’ with writing my life story recently. I had postponed beginning. And then one day there appeared in my inbox an email for this Memoir Workshop.

The Universe had spoken.

So I signed up, and I have attended the first two classes so far…two more to go. And it has really jump-started my writing. I have written more in the past few weeks than I have in the past 3 years. I think I have only missed one day of writing since I began. I am amazed at this sudden transformation.

Let’s now fast forward to this past Friday when I had a session with my writing coach (First of all: WooHoo!! I have a writing coach!!!). We spent much of the session discussing Cleansed Palate and how I could make it work for me. At the end of the session I had committed to writing this post, by today. And so here I sit, writing this post.

On Saturday I woke early, lying in bed pondering why in the world I could not sleep (seriously, why can others seemingly lounge in bed on a weekend morning so readily??) when, suddenly, an amazing thought popped into my head, “Cleansed Palate IS my memoir”!!!

What an incredibly perfect name for the memoir of a food writer. I can incorporate all of my passions in one place: food, spirituality, recipes, travel…etc, etc.

And I fully intend to do just that…thank you, Universe. You have spoken, and I have listened.

Stay tuned for more tales from the memoir of this foodie…

Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

I have aIMG_0891lready been planning my upcoming Thanksgiving menu. In fact, I have been working on it for a few weeks now, since early September as a matter of fact…

Am I crazy??

It’s not as crazy as it may first sound given the amount of travel I do each month, and given the fact that this Thanksgiving will be a bit more hectic than normal. Yes, there will be a multitude of pies. That is a must in our family! However, this year I am adding a few more guests to the mix – both for dinner (No, not in a Hannibal Lecter sort of way!) and as house guests. I am also throwing a big bash to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And of course Pie Night is the day after Thanksgiving (which is the day before the big party). Then there is decorating the house for Christmas…my goal is to have it completed the day after Turkey Day so my eldest can see and enjoy it before he leaves. He will not be back for the holidays this year. To further add to the complexities, this is the first Thanksgiving since my youngest son adopted a vegan lifestyle, so I have been diligently poring through new recipes to add to many of our traditional ones.

My challenge is to combine traditional Thanksgiving choices with vegan options, but options which are every bit as festive as the holiday itself.  I will still make my turkeys (two ways: roasted and smoked…sometimes I add in fried for some extra fun and gluttony!), and I will still have traditional sides such as stuffing/dressing, potatoes, breads, etc. However, I firmly believe that the point of Thanksgiving is about family and friends first, food (gulp) second. Yes, you heard me correctly: food is second. And so I will be adding in vegan choices.

I have not always treated Thanksgiving as a ‘food second’ sort of holiday. In fact, I imagine my family will agree that they often felt the roles were reversed.

This year will be different!

I may even let my family help cook the meal this year! This is a dramatic departure from the norm, and will require a great deal of letting go on my part. My son has already offered to help, and I plan to let him. Vegan options for the main meal are not so much of an issue for me; however, dessert proves the bigger challenge. I firmly believe in butter and lard as not only ingredients to make the best pie pastry, but also that they are healthy for our bodies. All in moderation of course!

Some ideas I have had on the pie front: Using vegan cookies as an option for crusts on the vegan pies. While the vegan butter my son has bought does taste good, it uses oils and ingredients I don’t want to incorporate into my eating lifestyle. I have also found a crust recipe that uses dates as the ‘fat’ in the crust from a vegan Coconut Banana ‘Cream’ Pie recipe I stumbled upon which sounds very tasty.

I will keep you all updated as the menu progresses. Perhaps I will even provide a recipe or two.

Buon Appetito!!

9.11.01 – A Soul Cleansing Tribute to the day we will never forget…

Remembering this day 13 years ago…Seems as if it was so much more recent than that. So much changed for our country. Some for the good, some not so good. People came together in ways they had not for decades. And then the fear set in, and we became more estranged than ever.

So when people post on FB ‘Never Forget’…well, how can I? How can we? I feel it was an awakening for all of us. We have, both as a country and as individuals, reacted in many different ways. Some have become overprotective, like helicopter parents hovering, fearful that everything they have worked so hard for will be taken away. Some have retreated in their fear, ‘protecting’ themselves from the unknown. Some have chosen Love.

I chose Love, and I continue to choose Love. I choose not to retreat, but rather to engage. I choose opening myself to all cultures, all beliefs. It is in the listening that we develop understanding and acceptance. Your beliefs may not be mine, but closing myself off to them is like cutting off my own hand. For if we as a country – as a Universe – continue to judge and profess which way is the ONE way it should all be done, that leaves out an entire population of souls who don’t share in that particular ONE way.

How sad.

Denying another’s view is like denying their very existence. Not only does it not offer any sort of validation, it labels them wrong as humans. Who wants to be a mistake? Is it so difficult to see why entire groups who have been ostracized for their beliefs would develop such hatred?

Peace can only be found through Love. Through listening and understanding. Through non-judgement. It IS attainable. And it begins within each of us. We begin by loving ourselves. We cease to judge ourselves and begin to accept who we are – all of it. This then translates to loving others, again, choosing acceptance over judgement. And so on…and so on…

I choose Love. This is how I honor this day and all days. Namaste…

Go [pastured] Pig or Go Home!! A small rant…

This cutie lives on Ridge to Reef Farm in St. Croix!!

So this morning I have already found myself on my soapbox regarding bacon, eggs, grass-fed beef, et al. I get so frustrated when I see all those diets floating around…and there are so many supplements out there it truly boggles my mind. I know it is generally more expensive to eat organic produce, pastured eggs and chicken and pork, and grass-fed beef. Or at least in the short run. It is MUCH more expensive in the long run to eat all that processed food…expensive in the form of higher health care bills and the possible [probable] cost of a shorter life span and lower quality of life.

What if we all began demanding GMO-free foods? What if we all demanded grass-fed beef? And pastured chicken, pork and eggs?? What if, what if, what if…?? And more important than ‘what if’ is why don’t we already? How did we let something so important as food get out of our hands? This is what goes into our bodies. It is what our bodies use to grow and be nurtured and sustained. You know the expression: You are what you eat. I certainly don’t want to be some sort of chemically processed, sugar-laden, GMO filled being!!

Somehow it was decided that raw milk is no longer good for us, and in most states is it illegal to even buy it. How did we let that decision get taken away? If I want/choose to buy raw milk, I should be able to buy it. I can read about and determine the risk factors for myself. How did it come to be that someone else’s opinion about what is best for me overrides my own?

And how about fats? Yes, I said it: FATS. “Fats” is a BEAUTIFUL four-letter word that has been vilified over the years – especially saturated fats. Saturated fats are necessary in our diets (did you hear that:necessary!!), especially when they come from sources such as pastured pork and grass-fed beef. They are rich in many nutrients our bodies need. NEED…Did you know that the nutrients in vegetables are better absorbed when you add a little fat – such as butter – to them? Lard rendered from pastured pork is high in vitamin D. Just a couple of examples to blow your mind a little.

These subjects and others are topics to delve into further at another time. For now  I will finish by stating that I stand by my credo of eating in moderation. Anything can be bad for you if you go overboard…I don’t do ‘diets’…at least not in the typical sense. My ‘diet’: I eat as local as possible, I consume grass-fed/pastured  meats/eggs/poultry, and I move my body…generally via walking or Nia. I work to keep balance in my life spiritually, mentally and physically. Life is just too short to eat fake food…