Berry season

10 lbs purchased berries, plus another 20 lbs given to us by a neighboring organic farm in exchange for our beekeeping services, plus another few lbs on the way…..do you think we could use more strawberries? lol.

These are all frozen and eaten throughout the year. In addition, our raspberries are ripening plus we have a flush of mulberries and an even smaller amount of aronia and goji,  which likely will just get eaten straight away. Its our first year for the three, so I feel lucky to be getting any at all.

Other than freezing, I may opt to make jams but I haven’t felt up to it. I have made fruit leather however so might get around to making more. Both drying and freezing are optimal ways to preserve the nutrients in many foods. Fermenting is another but I have not tried it with fruit.

Buying bushels of produce while its fresh and in season plus local, then preserving them is how one can make a raw/ alkaline diet sustainable throughout the winter months. The key is keeping nutrients intact without relying on the acidification that sugars and vinegars bring to the table.

Luckily, I enjoy these passtimes. Do you?

 

 

Happy Fathers Day 

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake made mostly by using Peaceful Cuisines recipe. Had I not poured on blueberry syrup it might not have cracked. It was delicious however- not raw(crust is baked and filling cooked on stovetop) but very worth it. Easy as well. His recipe calls for less cashews. I added 2 cups total because I have made desserts using agar agar in the past that solidified into a dense gelatine which can be fine but its not what I wanted with this. I increased the nuts but kept the agar measurement the same and instead of water I used coconut water. He also uses a smaller pan so mine is thinner but still was appreciated. 

Early Season CSA “Box”

I’m a great believer in creating community food supply chains but in my region, our local farmers have been hard pressed to offer early season boxes for a variety of reasons. Yet once in awhile we have an opportunity to encourage somebody in that endeavor and while our young farmer struggles to fill those boxes the orders grow each week,  slowly but surely.  Last week he added eggs from his hens which Garry loved, but this week, those hens were raccoon food. We don’t know what co es in ahead of time.So what have we here?

From the back: spinach, kale, garlic scapes, bok choy, lingon berry(?), radish, cilantro. 

Whats on the menu? Salads, pesto ( the scapes), fermented bok choy plus something dehydrated with the cilantro. 

After my trip to Madison, where I fell off the diet bandwagon, I have actually been in alot of pain. I had to resume taking acid reflux medication and am struggling a bit with other pain. What did I eat? You really don’t want to know, but lets say this- sugar, bad fats and poor grain choices make for one angry liver and body.  I have been detoxing since. No matter what anybody tells you- detoxing does not feel great. 

As to the purpose of my trip? I am not happy with the second opinion. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear but thats not it. I felt that I was in the wrong place with the wrong doctor. I sensed that he felt the need to defend my home base hospital which meant that he wasn’t hearing me. I left there feeling oddly dirty. I have no other way to explain it. He wasn’t rude or mean. It was the vibes. 

 So I discussed this visit with my primary and she suggested that I go to Mayo or to one of the Cancer Centers of America. I have to get pre approval for either consult from my insurance company. So the struggle continues. 

Gazpacho Recipe

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Summer is here, arriving about a month later than usual. We had no opportunity to acclimate and so its been a struggle for me. I love hot weather but our region involves humidity and thats really tough on me. I can’t breathe out there as it feels like I’m drowning.  I’m a natural desert dweller I guess;)

Gazpacho is probably the easiset raw dish a person can make as it involves only a knife, cutting board and maybe a blender.  Its tomato based and I’m willing to bet thats nearly everybodys favorite flavor. Any spices can be added so its customizable. I think the key is to make it a day ahead so that its very cold when served and that the flavors have a chance to “marry”. Blending is optional but I like to do that because I get tired of sweet smoothies. Its nice to drink this instead.

My current recipe:

2 large tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 ear corn, shucked

1/2 of English cucumber, diced

About two inches of diced young garlic- thats garlic that hadn’t formed its cloves yet….but use regular garlic if thats not available.

2 cups no sodium tomato juice, or juice your own

lemon juice and black pepper to taste

Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth, then chill. Or if eating it chunky style, in a bowl and chill.

Toppings: balsamic vinegar, avocado, green onion, pumpkin seed, nigella seed, sumac powder

About the plating. Two words- Matthew Kenney. I am not the type to follow chefs as a rule but this guy is a rock star in my opinion and I am now a fan girl:) Check his Instagram out and also google his very interesting talks on Ted Talks regarding his journey into raw foods. I recently got my paws on one of his cookbooks so I’ll be taking things up a notch as well.

 

 

Dessert: yes,its on the menu

I have been out of town for two weekends in a row-last week we went to an immigration appointment for Garry in wonderful Milwaukee (get all your ducks in a row in Trumps America) and then of course, this week we were in Madison. Also this  week , we  brought our dog Molly since we couldn’t get our daughter here for the weekend to babysit.

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Road trips are hard at the best of times, but when one has dietary specs they are harder and harder still is when you have a dog who is prone to anxiety and cannot be left in a hotel room alone and yet cannot be left in a car either since we were in the midst of a heatwave………so my diet went to hell despite my best intentions. I did bring some foods so that helped. I am getting back on track today.

The night before we left to Milwaukee and inspired by the success of my granola, I made the raw version of baklava.

 

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This version uses thinly sliced, ripe pears to replace the philo pastry. There are recipes online but I winged it. Basically, I sprinkled each layer with cinnamon then drizzled our home produced honey over that before topping with granola, etc. I then placed the serving platter into the dehydrator at 115 Farenheit for about an hour. The only problem was that I didnt make huge portions as this was too die for!

Sugars are strictly off of cancer diets in processed forms and limited in natural forms because cancer cells thrive on it so its eaten sparingly if at all. Honey is actually acidic and not vegan but we harvest our own from our beehives who we spoil like human babies and when we rob we don’t take it all-the bees get most of it. Those are the issues you want to look for in mass production along with honey that is diluted with processed syrups.  Our honey is very sweet so a little goes a long way therefore using it sparingly comes naturally.

Its far too hot today to turn on the dehydrator but I was hoping to come home and make some staples since I felt challenged to travel with this diet. It made me think about simplifying.

Some issues are afoot in town regarding a slaughterhouse. I am not fully up on it but it was all granted by the town counsils in underhanded ways and there are local water issues at stake as a result. The place will slaughter up to 700 pigs a day. Nobody seems concerned about that-just the water issues. The wish appears to be to move the waste water elsewhere. Away. But if you all have ever read the Archdruid Report-he has pointed out many a time-there is no such thing as  “away”.

I might have some facts wrong on this-so far what I have mentioned was brought to my attention by somebody who was getting people interested in fighting this. But I was not focused on it at the time she was talking to me and my thoughts were much more akin to concern about the animals. I could lend my support of course but I really wanted to watch how it unfolds in regards to people getting it as a whole picture rather than its parts-the parts that affect humans only.

I don’t have a vote regardless. But its been interesting to note that Facebook is actually useful sometimes, as that is the mode of communications on such matters. I am still not going back;)

Crazy Accurate Horoscope

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My horoscope has never ever been accurate so imagine my shock when I picked up a free copy of a magazine called Concious Community (horoscope by Kaye Berjot)at breakfast on the same day that  I

a. have a second opinion appointment

b. found out that my tumor marker was back in normal range after climbing steadily (will talk more about that after I talk to my doctors about it)

and c.    Decided on very deep level that something has to change and fast!

For people who live outside of Madison, Wi. this is a good introduction to the atmosphere here. On one hand, its home to one of the very best universities in the nation, has top notch medical care and is the state capitol. Infact, a couple of years ago, this town was voted “the most educated populace” in America. We had breakfast on the patio of a coffee bar , next door to a library where people were coming and going with piles of books! It was nice to see.

Then,  on the other, the cancer clinic offers integrative care, including cancer psychology, accupuncture, nutrition, spiritual guidance,  etc. and the area is teeming with yoga studios, meditation classes, Goddess this and that activity. I like  it here. I live in an area of two extremes- Methodist conservatives and “hippies” for lack of a better word. I’ve grown discontent with the level of polarization that has become more apparent in the last year. Madison is balanced.

As we drove down here yesterday, I had grown sadder and was becoming teary. We stopped at a garage sale and bought some planters from an elderly man. As we talked, he suddenly asked, “Would you like to see my garden?” Naturally we did! So he took us out to the back of his house and lo and behold….

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Iris! Lots and lots of iris! I gradually realized that I was cheering up and that this was no random accident. Something profound is happening. Good, bad? I don’t know.

Raw Mexican and Second Opinions

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While I’m on board with eating raw, I’m not yet fully convinced regarding some of the texures. As I learn more techniques however, I am beginning to have more faith.The  above plate was mostly successful. Flavor wise, it was pretty good. I didn’t have a couple of the key Mexican flavors on hand, such as lime juice and jalapeno peppers. I think that would of changed things. Yet, I’ve eaten in Mexican restaurants that offered far less flavor so I still give it 4 stars.

I’m not convinced about eating sprouted raw lentils honestly and so I marinated them in a lemon dressing for a full day to help cook them down. Again, missed the lime. Corn tortilla was store bought and cooked. Everything else was raw.

Salad, guacamole, kale chips, butternut squash chips . It took time. Thats another downer of some recipes.

We are leaving tomorrow to head down to Madison for my second opinion oncology appointment. I’m quite nervous because I’m counting on this doctor to instill some semblance of hope tnrough long term planning. My goal is to try to create more tangible goals for my treatments because all this time, its just been about keeping it at bay and that has had very limited results.

So many options are off the table as well and I can’t understand why this is. I’m inoperable for this or that reason. I’m not ideally qualified for some lymph treatment for whatever reason. My lungs can’t be biopsied for another reason.

Most of the reasons are about location of tumors. But thats three seperate metastasis’ at three locations with the same exact reasoning. It seems unbelievable that I would have such crap luck….and the doctors want me to believe thats just it- luck of the draw. I have no idea how improbable this is. It just seems ludicrous that in 2017, where doctors can operate on nerve endings, that tumor licatiln is such a big issue. If chemo fails to work on my lymph nodes then the cancer is heading to my pancreas in no time.  And that will not be good…might even be irredeemable infact. So we have a sticky situation on our hands.

I just cant see continuing without an end game of some kind, i.e., having liver resected after eliminating the other tumors or removing the lymph, etc. Why keep treating the untreatable if I’m trully hopeless? Its not like treatment is giving me life…quality of life is important too.

Tough decisions ahead. But I’m breathing deeply and taking this one day at a time.