happy 2012!: goal setting

•January 6, 2012 • 6 Comments

we are taught that the body is an ignorant animal intelligence dwells only in the head. but the body is smart. it does not discern between external stimuli and stimuli from the imagination. it reacts equally viscerally to events from the imagination as it does to real events.” ~glora anzaldúa

i’m happy to start off the new year and it’s really good to be here. i’m not one for resolutions so to speak so these are some goals i’ve got in the lineup for this year, some things to focus my energy on. dietary lifestyle-wise i’ve been wanting to do a low glycemic (aka candida cleanse – raw style) for some time now. my raw ways of days past have included anything goes so long as its raw, inadvertent fruitarianism and juicing. i first learned about low glycemic raw eating through the book rainbow green live-food cuisine and this is another area of the raw spectrum i am interested in experimenting with to see if it works for me. everything else is anchored more or less around this one. i’m scheduled to start in a couple of days (saturday to be exact – gotta stock up on some raw items in preparation and i have a juicy pineapple waiting for me in the kitchen!)

goals

1. kicking off with a low glycemic cleanse (90+3 days) for 3 months

2. no heat on my tresses except sunshine

3. read books for quality rather than quantity and do some rereading: a few titles i want to tackle/retackle this year

  • newbies: eduardo galeano’s memory of fire trilogy, staying alive: women, ecology and development by vandana shiva, more paul farmer books to stay inspired
  • rereadings: city of quartz by mike davis, conscious eating by dr gabriel cousens, dr. arnold ehret’s writings
  • en espanol: la historia me absolverá por fidel castro, el laberinto de la soledad por octavio paz

4. make more things including paint, collage, sketch, draw, sew, photograph/film, (i’m due for a new camera this year), make my home more beautiful, formulate in 2 and 3 dimensions constantly, maybe even excessively.

5. strengthen up through regular strength training in addition to cardio

i love the quote at the top by sister gloria (rip) for the way in which it speaks to holistic health principles and the importance of viewing ourselves as integrated beings on all levels. to all i wish good things, learning experiences, growth and connection with your true and highest self this coming year and always peace/love/health/radiance.

xoxo,

cy

[photo: me in my tiger stripes peering at the future]

health heroine: mary seacole (1805-1881)

•December 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

in celebration of turning in the final application in a series i’m working on in the direction of becoming a more formally credentialed health practitioner, i decided to look up some inspirational figures in health history as well as contemporaries. the first fascinating healer i came across is mary seacole, a nurse of jamaican origin with amazing travel, healing and life experiences including the successful treatment of diseases like cholera and yellow fever with the integration of natural and holistic remedies.

with a background in tropical illnesses and a legacy of herbal medicinal knowledge inherited from her mother, also a healer, mary seacole, a nurse by profession brought her health practice to others in kingston, her hometown, still a british colony at the time. her health expertise and free spirit practice carried her to work with soldiers and civilians in panama (then unified with colombia under the name new granada), the UK and most famously as a nurse to the wounded in the crimean war. as a woman of color (of mixed african-scottish ancestry), she encountered discrimination throughout her life including slandering attempts from acclaimed british nurse florence nightingale. although she suffered financial loss towards the end of her life, she is the recipient of numerous awards and has increased in popularity in recent years. her life is captured in her autobiography wonderful adventures of mrs. seacole in many lands, one of the earliest ever written by a woman of color.

interesting mary seacole quotes

i must say that i don’t appreciate your friend’s kind wishes with respect to my complexion. if it had been as dark as a nigger’s, i should have been just as happy and useful, and as much respected by those whose respect i value: and as to his offer of bleaching me, i should, even if it were practicable, decline it without any thanks.”

i have a few shades of deeper brown upon my skin which shows me related to those poor mortals you once held enslaved, and whose bodies america still owns. having this bond, and knowing what slavery is, having seen with my eyes and heard with my ears proof positive enough of its horrors, is it surprising that i should be somewhat impatient of the airs of superiority which many americans have endeavoured to assume over me.

….and the grateful words and smile which rewarded me for binding up a wound or giving a cooling drink was a pleasure worth risking life for at any time.

[references: http://www.maryseacole.com, http://www.biographyonline.net/humanitarian/quotes/mary-seacole.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Seacole; photo is the only known existing one of ms.]

the yummiest juice

•December 21, 2011 • 2 Comments

“a complete fast is a complete and literal denial of self. It is the truest prayer.” ~mahatma gandhi

in conclusion of my juice cleanse (i’m currently transitioning back to solids), i wanted to share my favorite juice of all that i discovered in the process; something i’ll probably drink whether in cleanse or regular day-to-day mode. it’s really simple as i try to keep most things simple with juicing and food prep. sometimes you can discover really fun and tasty combinations in the simplest things.

this pink delight is a combination of pink grapefruit and red pear in about a 60–40% ratio. the juice comes out a lovely coral pink color and the slightly sweeter pear juice complements the delightful bitter tinge on the grapefruit side of the picture. i enjoy pears and grapefruits are something i’ve always loved. from the yellow grapefruits in the tree in my grandma’s yard to the pink and red ones my mom would get me as a child, they are something i’ve always had a taste for as far back as i can remember.

[you might notice mason jars all over my fotos. i use these as glasses (ever since my drinking glasses all broke). they are sturdy and the wide mouth version makes a great glass drinking vessel. the foot of my juice presser is visible in one foto. having this as well as an electric juicer makes versatile juices like my pink grapefruit-red pear mixture a breeze and a pleasure (as well as an arm workout)]

archiving: mixed race raw foodist

•December 17, 2011 • 1 Comment

a fascinating and multilayered historical character, philippa schuyler, a journalist, classical pianist and standardized tested genius famous in the 1930s/40s/50s grew up on a primarily raw food diet.  her mother “believed that genius could best be developed by a diet consisting exclusively of raw foods. as a result, philippa grew up in her new york apartment eating a diet predominantly comprising raw carrots, peas and yams and raw steak. she was given a daily ration of cod liver oil and lemon slices in place of sweets. ‘when we travel,’ [her mother] said, ‘philippa and i amaze waiters. you have to argue with most waiters before they will bring you raw meat. i guess it is rather unusual to see a little girl eating a raw steak.’” i’ve never been into the raw meat angle of raw foodism but i’m amazed at the times and places in history that raw food does rear it’s head. i’ve recently added composition in black and white: the life of philippa schuyler by kathryn talalay to my to-read list on goodreads to have the opportunity to learn more.

[sources – wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippa_Schuyler, http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=127750]

simplicity: ginger and apples

•December 15, 2011 • 6 Comments

i’m fully into the “crisis” phase of my cleanse and i’m happy that i have no psychological sense of alarm; just wholehearted acceptance of the fact that it’s part of the process. my body is clearly ridding itself of something so i’ve been keeping it simple on the juice front, conserving my energies, saving fancier combinations for future days. lots of citrus juices, grapefruits and oranges rolling around my fridge make for quick low clean up juicing. today i found an apple ginger combo soothing and warming (even though it wasn’t that cold out).  these are fujis and i like to add about 2 inches of ginger into the juice, enough to taste but not overstimulate.

love to perelandra

•December 11, 2011 • 1 Comment

you don’t have a soul. you are a soul. you have a body.” ~c.s. lewis

there is a healthy sprinkling of health food stores in brooklyn; most neighborhoods in my experience have at least one or two. unfortunately not all of them contain food, but can sometimes use the health food moniker as a front for a vitamin and packaged goods shop with aisles of falafel mix, canned soy-meat products, organic gluten free pasta and supplements galore. what attracts me to a health food store is first and foremost the quality of it’s produce. how do the raw fruits and vegetables taste? this connects back to my previous post about consuming love-filled foods. determining the love quotient of a food is best done on that which is fresh and live as it’s quality reveals much about the heart and soul of it’s grocer.

 flashback to 2004 when i first came to ny. i was working in downtown brooklyn, hub to at least 10 train lines, different energies and neighborhoods cooperating, sometimes colliding, the facades and push of gentrification felt daily. i would cross court street into brooklyn heights to see what vegan fare lay in this wealthy waterfront neighborhood and this is how i stumbled into perelandra. though they have the things that some other health food stores have, supplements, packaged food and so forth, what comes to mind when i think of perelandra is the most beautiful and fresh produce. the crunchiest apples, flavor-full zucchini, juicy grapefruits with full-body flavor and rarities like black radishes. a friendly and delicious juice bar, daily food selections including raw items and a dry goods section make it a raw foodist’s downtown brooklyn dream. i can also credit perelandra’s book department for helping me solidify my perspective on raw foods for it was there that i ran into some transformative literature. i stopped by today to get some produce and it was every bit as full-flavored as my first experience 7 years ago. for this i felt compelled to send love to a brooklyn gem, one which makes me appreciate my borough thoroughly.  check out perelandra in person at 175 remsen street (almost any train will take you there!) or if you’re not nearby, check their fun blog for recipes and other exciting healthful posts.

[pic – inside perelandra’s produce corner, dec 2011]

food full of love

•December 10, 2011 • 6 Comments

you’ll be given love, you’ll be taken care of, you’ll be given love, you have to trust it. maybe not from the sources, you have poured yours, maybe not from the directions, you are staring at. twist your head around, it’s all around you, all is full of love, all around you. ~bjork, all is full of love

my experience has been you go raw, theirs is no turning back. even if you do glance back there is a pressure to return to raw, an inner acknowledgement that you aren’t putting forth the effort you could to be the person you can be, a manifestation of sunshine and good things from the earth. there are lots of questions we should be asking about all of our food, raw or not. a simple single question is does this food come from love? love is one factor that distinguishes many restaurants from home food preparation. profit margins, trying to combine cost-saving ingredients into gourmet dishes that can bring in money is the focus of almost every eatery and consequently, most of this food is not loving. any context within which money is sweeter than food itself is a precarious one whose foodstuff is not to be injested. if profit has been put ahead of the desire to nourish, to beautify, to heal, to help you radiate, it’s not the best option, raw or not. the creative force that causes the earth to produce food is the utmost loving and then you filter your love when you prepare it. some of the most loving food i’ve ever received involved people climbing trees to get me coconuts, throwing rocks at mangos and catching them for me, perfectly ripe and unbruised, gifts of guava from backyard trees, lovingly selected produce from organic farms and clean(er) water from a cold running stream.

[photo: some full of love juice oranges i drank today]