Friday, March 16, 2012


Doing the best I can with what I have...

Just because I'm the opposite of rich doesn't mean I have to eat poorly.  I manage to eat very well because I know how to shop and prepare simple meals.  I purchased a rather large piece of salmon at Fresh & Easy yesterday for $5.99.  I think most people would crucify me because I purchased farm raised, but the reality is, if I want salmon I can't be picky on my current salary.  I prepared that with a side of shredded cabbage that was sautéed in 1 tblspn water + 1 tblspn unsalted butter + sea salt n pepper.  The entire head of cabbage was $0.50.  This meal cost about $1.80 and that includes a sliver of salmon, cabbage, apple + almonds.  I was full.

Salmon Preparation: I seasoned the salmon with sea salt, pepper and cut up a grapefruit that was lying around, placed slices on top of salmon and roasted everything together at 350 for 12 minutes and it came out totally tender and amazing.  This piece of salmon fed me for lunch (see photo), dinner - with soba noodles and more cabbage, salmon for my eggs with spinach this morning, salmon for my large dinner salad tonight and mayPublish Postbe even tacos with veggies tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I made a delicious juice today that cured my allergies.

handful of dandelion greens 
1/2 apple 
2 leaves of chard
1/2 cucumber (take off skin)
lots of ginger


We inherit a lot of our allergies from our parents.  But we also acquire allergies from bad diet, environment, medications, etc.  Allergies are often a symptom of a weak liver. If the liver is weak, it struggles to remove the histamine produced by our lungs and consequently builds up in the body leading to more allergic reactions.  The best place to start allergy treatment is at the liver.  It is the Master Detoxifier.

The liver performs over 500 other functions:
  1. Stores and produces glycogen which produces glucose
  2. Rids the body of excess red blood cells and bacteria
  3. Produces hormones like estrogen (ladies)
  4. Stores the fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K and B12
  5. Creates bile
  6. Helps with digestion
  7. Creates the thing that creates antibodies
  8. Detoxifies
  9. And 491+ other things
Ever notice after a heavy night of drinking you get really bad allergies the next day?? So to strengthen the liver take a look into the following herbs:
  1. Nettle
  2. Dandelion
  3. Burdock
  4. Goldenseal
  5. Barbary Root
  6. Red Clovers
All these herbs stimulate the liver and alkalize the body to pull the moisture out. The easiest of these to get a hold of is Dandelion. I drink dandelion tea on a regular basis. You can get this at Whole Foods or most health food stores. Online you can get any of these. When I took my herbalism class, my teacher, Joanne, told me a few solutions such as:
  1. Nettle leaf or root - addresses the liver
  2. Ginseng – Reduces swelling and great for asthma
  3. Dong Quai – great for liver, best for females and for asthma
  4. Chamomile, Ginger and Feverfew act as antihistamines
  5. Milk Thistle Seed - Can regenerate the cells of the liver. It comes in powder form so add to your breakfast in the morning by sprinkling it on a bowl of yogurt with fruits and nuts.
HONEY – I did an ENTRY on this a couple of years ago. If you purchase organic, raw honey that is cultivated within 20 miles from where you live, it can really help with allergies. Think about it. Your allergies are usually a result of the environment around you. Honey is made by bees that feed off the flowers within the area, the same flowers that can cause your hay fevers. Like most cures, a part of the problem is used to create a cure. Consume about a tablespoon of honey every morning in your tea, etc.

The best medicine for allergies is preventative. If you know you suffer from allergies prepare your body for allergy season starting 6 months before. Start with the consumption of the herbs (mentioned above) that address the liver. Strengthen your liver so that your body is stable and functioning optimally. It's up to you how you want to consumer them. I always like to consult an herbalist at the health food store, or if you order online, call the company and talk with a representative. I like to drink my herbs in tea form or take as a tincture. Some forms are more potent than others.
When it comes to herbs remember a couple things: 1. Herbs can take up to 3 months to work, but with patience, it's far more rewarding than taking a simple pill like Claritin and you do it naturally so your body is thankful and 2. Don't be bashful about experimenting and 3. Like any kind of medicine be careful and research everything. I think I've given some good guidelines on the basics, now you do the rest. If you want to consume the herbs as tea, make sure you make an entire pot and drink it throughout the day. Since there is more than one herb that addresses allergies, make sure you mix it up. Variety is the spice of life. Do dandelion one day, nettle the next, etc. If you take in tincture form, follow the instructions. ETC. Every person is different and it's about finding out what works for you. Don't be afraid to try different forms of herbs. Herbs as medication really work. Remember, this is the way they did things before modern medicine came about.

Here are some great sites to retreive your herbs. Herbs come in bulk... so maybe share with friends. Try and buy in small quantities... herbs weigh nothing so even the small amounts will last you a while. I like to find small farms that either grow their own. Just make sure they're organic:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Circle of L I F E - - Everyday We Be Hustlin.

I've spent a good portion of my day sitting in a hospital room with a dying woman who happens to be my best friend Lauren's mom.  Margaret has cancer.  She's had it for six years, and now it seems to be the beginning of the end.  When you try and put something like this in perspective, you think of your own mother in this position and that's when reality hits and the tears fall.  You wonder what you can do during moments like this and really the best thing is to just be with the other person.  Just sitting with Margaret as she fell in and out of sleep and sitting next to Lauren holding her hand felt like the most rewarding thing in the world.  It absolutely changes one's perspective on life to see the end of the cycle.

Photo By ARK Seeds
I came home after that and checked on my germinating seeds that are sitting wet in a paper towel on my balcony.  What a crazy circle to go from the end of one life to the very beginning of another.  Spring is approaching and there's a new feeling in the air and I am thrilled to bring life into my home and grow my own food.  When I realized my seeds were germinating just fine, I sat at the dining room table and stared out the window for about an hour thinking about my day with Margaret, which got me over-thinking about so many things in my life.  I have my moments of self doubt, as we all do. Sometimes I question my decision for quitting the corporate world.  I lose faith and think there is absolutely no way I can make money without being behind a desk. I knew that transitioning into this type of life would require faith and perseverance.  I remind myself that Milton Hershey went bankrupt six times before hitting it big with chocolate. Something about that means mistakes are a necessary part of success. This always makes me feel better. I think it's realizing how short life is that really gives me the fuel to make sure that everything I do is rewarding... like my Etsy store. I FREAKING LOVE doing my Etsy Store.  

My ARK brand is slowly growing and I am hustling to make ends meet for next month April so I put 10 new things up on my Etsy, ARKfinds today! 

Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.
~ Mame Dennis

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

juice → soup (how to not let anything waste when juicing)

Now that I've taken this Leap of Faith, more like Leap of Life having quit my corporate job and live off a small amount of savings, a part time job and Etsy sales, my income is sparse and I have to make due with what I have, and be smart about waste.  This entire amount of fruit and veggies cost me $5.50 at the Korean market, so I'm afraid, it's only partially organic.  Nonetheless, I washed the fruit and veggies to the best of my ability and made this intensely delicious juice above.

Chard + Parsley + Fuji Apple + Carrot + Ginger

With the leftover pulp I made a yummy lentil soup.  I used the pulp as the base for the stock of the soup.  First I sauteed the pulp in a pot with 2 tablespoons of butter and of walnut oil.  I added sea salt and pepper for taste  and threw in a diced onion.  I added about 10 cups of water (that will vary depending on your amount of pulp) and let that come to a boil and then bring to a simmer for a couple hours.  Add more sea salt to the water, taste for flavor and adjust appropriately.  About 1.5 - 2 hours later, throw in some lentils and some other legumes.  I added mung beans to the mix.  Mung beans act like a thickening agent to the stock as they soften.  About 2 hours after that, I had a delicious vegetable, lentil, mung bean soup.

Stir often.
Wing it.
Practice often and then cooking starts to get pretty easy.