Common Ground Fair

Some of the Vibrant Mainers went to Maine’s spectacular Common Ground Fair.  We thought it would be a good idea to make a video.  Maybe interview the folks operating the Solar Cafe and Juice Joint!

But then we saw the kale.

And the many tents to visit.

We may have also got distracted by some box sledding on the hill.

We think everything went as it should, unplanned and wonderful.

September 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

Peach Amazingness!

Peach Amazingness!
1 – 4 peaches (1 – 1/2 peach for each friend)

Fillings
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
pinch of cardamom
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt

Banana Creme Frosting
2 frozen bananas, diced
Meat of one young coconut
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen coconut water

And raspberries to top it all off!

August 28, 2010 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Raw Living Quick Tip #4!

Learn to handle sharp objects as Bronwyn shows you how to slice and dice!

August 22, 2010 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Healing With Nature

A few days ago I was walking back from a lovely dinner when I saw one of the most stunningly beautiful sights of my life: a double rainbow.  One of these extraordinary rainbows would have been gorgeous enough on its own, but the two together made me stop in my tracks – I was absolutely astounded by my gratitude for witnessing something so powerful (before I ran off to find the leprechauns with my pots of gold, of course).

Recently I’ve been walking around barefoot as often as I can, connecting with the Earth and experiencing an odd rock-induced foot massage wherever I go.  I watch the pink-orange sunset every evening and often experience the sunrise as well.  Birds flock to my windows and squirrels meander right up to me begging for food.  I feel like part of the scenery myself – part of the flow of nature; and I have never felt better.

Consider that until rather recently in the development of humanity, we spent most of our time outdoors, and there was no escaping nature.  What has it done to our bodies and spirits to spend the vast majority of time inside temperature-controlled, artificially lit buildings?  Is connecting with nature important?  Have we lost something by adopting an artificial world?

Though there certainly are advantages to the technological advances we have made, I believe that spending time communing with the natural world is essential for optimal health and well being.  One of the reasons I love raw food so much is that I am eating food closest to its natural state.  Animals in nature certainly don’t cook their food, why should I?

Getting some fresh air and sunshine is good for your body and soul – so wander away from your air conditioning and carpet when you get a chance and allow nature to astound and heal you.  When you eat your food, think for a minute about where it came from: a field with a breeze, sunshine and songbirds, perhaps?

Much love,

Lara

August 21, 2010 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

Vacationland!

Living in Vacationland (as Maine is sometimes known) has many perks!  It’s easy to take it slow when there is so much beauty to grab your attention.  As you know, Jaime is up at Moosehead Lake and we had an opportunity to make a short but sweet trip up to visit her!  There was a lot to see, so much to do, and lots of wild foods to eat, including Sorrel, which you can learn more about in our newest video.

It was Bronwyn who pointed out the tasty treat growing throughout Jaime’s lakeshore lawn and we were happy to munch away on the sour then sweet green treat (rhymes!).  Bronwyn told us how she used to munch on the stuff during recess as a kid and we were much more keen than her former playground companions to share some front yard delicacies.

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August 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Buckwheat: The Gluten-Free and Delicious Alternative

Delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, and easy to use in recipes – what could possibly be better? Buckwheat is actually not technically a grain as most assume, it is the seed of a fruit – but it functions much like a grain.  It can be used to make fabulous raw pizza crusts and breads, and it is perfect for granola and cereal (mmmmm with some fruit and almond milk…).

One of the marvelous qualities of buckwheat is that is contains all eight essential amino acids – so it is great for all you lovely vegans and vegetarians out there (though if you eat whole raw foods there is no reason to worry about protein).  Buckwheat is also a great source of magnesium, fiber, manganese, phosphorous, and pantothenic acid.

Good for your heart:

  • It contains the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, which act as antioxidants, extend the action of vitamin C, maintain blood flow, prevent platelets from excessive clotting, and keep free-radical oxidation from turning low-density lipoproteins into possibly destructive cholesterol oxides.
  • It may help lower the risk of heart disease as it has been linked to a lower risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

So… how should one use buckwheat?  There are several amazing recipes out there.  I most frequently eat buckwheat for breakfast in a cereal when I am craving something more substantial than juice or a smoothie.  RECIPE: I soak buckwheat, raw oats, and goji berries in filtered water while I make some nut or seed milk and chop up some fruit (bananas and strawberries are my favorite), then drain my ingredients, throw them into a bowl, throw the fruit on top and pour my nut milk over the creation… HEAVEN!  Sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon on top as well.

As with all seeds, it is important to soak (“sprout”) the buckwheat to release the enzyme inhibitors and increase the nutritional value.  If you plan to make buckwheat flour for bread, first soak the buckwheat, then dehydrate at low temperatures until dry before blending your buckwheat into powder.

Here are some other tasty buckwheat recipes – enjoy!

Rawmazing Buckwheat Treats

Buckwheat Porridge

Raw Radiant Health Buckwheat Salad

Happy buckwheat adventures!

Lara

August 3, 2010 at 12:16 am Leave a comment

Community

Today I woke up early to the sound of a distant rooster crowing, wrote in my journal, read some great poetry, attended a group yoga class that made me feel amazing, and then shared a meal with a dozen other people who love live plant foods.  Paradise!  This experience has reminded me how lovely it is to be a part of a support system, regardless of what your individual goals may be.  As achieving high levels of health and well being is my personal goal, being in the midst of others pursuing the same transforms what would otherwise be a stressful and inconvenient task into a beautiful and effortless adventure.

After almost three years of eating only raw plant foods, I have certainly had experience of living consistently without any semblance of a raw community.  Though I have been blessed with a family that supports my strange dietary pursuits wholeheartedly (while teasingly offering me cheeseburgers), there is something very helpful about having others share in the process.

I did not truly have a raw community until I met my Vibrant Maine friends and we started getting together a few times a week for raw potlucks.  Having them in my life has been so incredible, and has made my raw journey significantly less lonely.  Bronwyn would whip up an amazing original raw soup, Alexis would have delectable salad, raw bread and a spread, Jaime would handle desserts fabulously, I’d make Blazin’ Hot Chocolate or a smoothie, and we’d all share homemade kefir and kombucha.  There would be laughter, and then more laughter.

What could be better than great conversation at a shared meal with friends?  Sometimes when we choose to pursue something unconventional, our old communities don’t seem to fit as well.  This is fine and natural – change and personal evolution is a beautiful thing.  Fortunately, we can find and attract new communities to either replace or supplement the old.  In my opinion, though when we are determined we can achieve something on our own, there is no reason to impose a solitary healing path upon ourselves.  We can gain new ideas from others’ unique perspectives and supportive understanding from those who share our values.  So reach out!  Find a group that already exists or create one in your area.  There is no good reason to do it alone.

With love,

Lara

July 31, 2010 at 11:00 am 3 comments

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