Saturday, October 20, 2012


I have fallen shamefully behind in my blogging and in my intentions stated as the reason for starting my blog.  Quite simply, the start of fall and school (for all 3 of us!) has been overwhelming.  I feel guilty for not juicing as much as I should and eating junk food due to lack of time.  I paying the consequences as well.  My blood pressure skyrocketed and the doc put me on beta-blockers and anti-anxiety meds.  My normally sweet-natured and "fun kid" daughter has turned into a prepubescent snot.  I have not been to yoga in weeks.  And I feel like shit.

TOMORROW:  I return to juicing.  No more salty snacking and excess alcohol.  I also NEED to get my butt to the yoga least twice a week.  I would love to promise myself 3 or 4 times, but setting goals and failing is bad for the psyche.  Two times a week, I can honestly, realistically fanangle. Caroline is done with the play that took over her's and my life the first 6 weeks of school.  Her volleyball league had their fall tournament today.....No more practices across town from 5-7pm on Monday eve; no more Friday night games.  I am sooooo relieved that we will both inherit some of our time back that we've willingly sacrificed each week since August 28th.

I'm done.  I'm tired.  As much as I was ready for school to start I am already looking forward to next summer.  I watered what remains of my once thriving backyard and I feel like my calladiums  look:  spent; in need of hydration and relief from the heat.  I look wilted, feel wilted and need to strive to regain my energy....I need the nutrients of my green juice.  I know what I need and how to do I just need to do it.  And I will.  Tomorrow.  For sure.

Tonite, I need a glass of wine.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Grass IS Greener

In an effort to save money we recently unhired our lawn service and decided to take lawn care into our own hands.  Since our backyard is landscaped with a swimming pool and we have a circular driveway in front of the house, we really don't have much lawn for which to care.  We also didn't have a lawnmower.  I began looking on Craigslist for a used mower, but used mowers are dirty and oily and quite frankly, I didn't want to drive across the city to pick up something that was going to trash the back of my car getting it home.

I have also read that gas mowers emit the same amount of air pollution in a one hour mowing session that a car emits traveling 200 miles.  After a little more reading and comparison shopping we decided to opt for a reel mower.  I came across an ad for a "like new" Gardena Hi-Cut Reel Mower.  I was somewhat skeptical because Amazon had a reviewer complaining about it's functionality with St. Augustine grass (what we have), but the Craigslist ad showed the mower to be in perfect condition and the seller only wanted $45 for it so we decided to gamble on it; I'm so glad we did!  Not only is Brian enjoying cutting the yard himself, he also likes the added benefit of exercise he gets from using it.  I particularly like the fact that it is quiet and has a 0 carbon footprint.

For some interesting statistics on gardening pollution check out:

For some interesting statistics on gardening pollution check out:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Backyard Yoga

It's no secret that Brian and I are proud of our backyard.  We worked hard all summer getting it in shape.  We added two beautiful banana trees that are have provided us hours of entertainment....those things jungle weeds--they grow and expand at an amazingly quick rate.  It sounds odd to say that watching a tree grow is fun, but it is!!

This year

Last year
Brian also undertook sanding and painting the backyard deck.  I think he did a great job!





We chose to stain it with a Behr product we purchased at Home Depot.  I must admit I was a bit worried because I did my research AFTER he started staining and I came across several really negative reviews online about this particular product.  We live in Texas, and that deck gets blistering sun most of the day, but so far it is holding up great, so I have to wonder if some of those reviewers prepped their deck properly in the first place.  (Next year I really want to paint all of the trim on the house....I'm think of a light Terra Cotta color.  I'll have to start doing a color test soon!)

Needless to say, we are definitely enjoying the "fruits of our labor" and we spend quite an amount of time hanging in the backyard, watering, grilling, swimming and reading.  Today I had the house to myself and most of my chores done early in the day.  Although Brian and I went to a couple of yoga classes this morning, I decided to practice privately outside.  I have never done that before, but it was beyond AWESOME!

I actually started out just meditating in the sun, then sitting quietly watching two cardinals perform a mating ritual.  As I lay on my stomach on the cushioned chaise lounge, it just felt so natural to begin a series of postures.   Moving into cobra pose I found more space and length in my spine that I ever have in class.  I think practicing yoga solo allowed me to balance and align myself at my own pace before I moved on to the next asana.  It was such an enlightening thing!  I will definitely be adding the outdoors into my practice more often.

That's all for now...  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sauna detox

Caroline had her first day of 5th grade yesterday.  We survived it and thrived.  She was ready and prepared for her second day and I was ready to unwind from the whirlwind of summer and decompress physically and mentally in a serene environment.  After I dropped her off in morning carpool, I met my friend Sarah and the two of us headed to Korea-town to King Spa & Sauna.

King Spa is truly an amazing venue.  For $25 you are provided entrance into the spa & sauna, given a locker for your shoes & another for your belongings, issued a "uniform" to wear in the co-ed saunas and have access to towel service & toiletries in the spa area (we were lucky and had Groupons that we purchased a few weeks backs for just $14 a piece--even better.)

There are about 11 different saunas that each have different temperature & humidity levels as well as structural properties that offer different benefits in each room.

Usually when I go get my sweat on I gravitate mostly towards the Fire Sudatorium which is incredibly hot.  When we went in at 10am today that particular room was close to 250 degrees F!  Needless to say, it is a great was to release toxins.  That room proved a little too hot for me and I spent a great deal of time in the Base Rock Room.  The base rock room has mineral slabs called Siraka which are from Japan and the infrared rays the slab blocks release when heated are thought to have incredible healing abilities.

King Spa is IMMACULATELY clean and the mostly Korean staff is so nice and very happy to answer questions regarding this type of spa which is very traditional in Asia.

All I know is that I feel better--cleaner, lighter, looser, purer after a few hours soaking up the heat and energy.  There are currently only 2 locations of King Spa in the U.S., Dallas & Chicago but I've heard of similar establishments around the country.  Do you have something similar where you live?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hooray for Firefighters!

Not only do our Firefighters voluntarily risk their lives for us, they make it easy for us to give back too!

I recently discovered
Firehouse Subs and am so glad I did.  Not only does my family love their sandwiches, they also sell these AWESOME pickle buckets (that include a locking lid) for a $2 donation.  These buckets are absolutely perfect for containing & carrying my never-ending flow of green "waste" from juicing.  When they are full I just load them up in my car and drive over to the City's community garden to process the pulp into compost.  

The $2 donation for each bucket goes to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation an organization set up to impact local communities by providing fire departments, law enforcement and EMS with the tools, technology and training they need.  Find out more about the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation here: 

Lots of primo composting material

As far as an update on my transition to a raw foods lifestyle, I am regretful to have encountered a setback Sunday night.  It involved pizza of course.  Once again, I felt absolutely horrid after a few slices and after I overcame my cooked food hangover, I immediately returned to more Alkaline-friendly fare.  I am happy to report I am feeling MUCH better today thanks to a massive intake of green juice.

spinach, dandelion, broccoli, kale, lemons, limes, apples, ginger and a spicy red pepper 

Green antidote for my post-cooked food agony

When all else fails, go green!

Monday, August 27, 2012

beer caps for bunny

We have been spending so much time in our backyard this summer and it came to my attention that a piece of garden art was looking a little tattered and in need of "sprucing up."
The weather-worn bunny needed a necklace of sorts.  So I got out a container filled with saved beer caps and went to work punching holes in each one. (I just used a hammer & punch to pop a small hole in the center of each cap.)  Since Caroline doesn't start school until tomorrow and she is BORED and driving me craZy, I put her to work stringing the punched caps on a long piece of heavy-duty elastic jewelry cord.

Once she laced on the last beer cap, we tied the two ends of the cord together and cut off the "tails".  What we got is a funky, repurposed necklace for the raggedy garden rabbit!

I think he looks like he is ready for luau, Texas-style!  If I have time I may knit him a mini-scarf for the winter months.

What creative ideas do you have for revamping sun-damaged garden art?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

another day, another juice

Since my last post I have stayed pretty green.  Lots of green juices and salads......I feel great.  My rosacea has definitely calmed down since the last pics I posted.  I am trying to eat/juice as many fruits and veggies as possible, especially those touted for their skin healing and enhancing properties.  According to Dr. Sandra Cabot, author of Raw Juices Can Save Your Life (easily one of my favorite books on the subject of raw juicing....,) cucumber, mango, radish, strawberries and watercress are especially helpful for skin health so I am trying to incorporate them all in my regular juicing rotation.  Cucumber is great because it is so cooling & refreshing during these hot summer days.  It also has a very high water content so it is ideal to use as a juicing base.  Mango and strawberries are very rich, very sweet fruits so they are best to use to balance the  powerful flavors of "strong" greens like broccoli, kale and watercress.  Radishes add a spicy dimension to juices, so I try not to use to much....a little goes a long way and too much imparts a bitter after-taste.  I do love throwing in a habanero adds a metabolism-boosting kick and makes the juice so much more interesting.

Brian is doing well incorporating more raw plant-based food into his diet and has lost a noticeable amount of weight through a combination of yoga 5-6 days a week and diet moderation.  My diet weakness is easily cheese and starches and his is sugary desserts.....he's not a pastry chef by coincidence!
Brian's dinner: chicken, cheese, sweet peppers & corn
One of the things that is making staying strong easy with my raw-living pursuit is reusing old jars.  If I have juice on hand throughout the day I am less tempted to stray from my intentions.  Since juice oxidizes rather quickly the best way to store fresh juice is in an airtight glass jar to prevent leaching.  I have been using empty pickle, pepper and pasta sauce jars to store the extra amount I make in the morning to drink later in the evening, or the extra amount I make in the evening to drink the following morning.  The short shelf-life of raw juices makes drinking the juice immediately after pressing ideal but sometimes inconvenient.  Jars are definitely a life-saver.....repurpose, reuse, recycle!