Tuesday, June 29, 2010

purification program = lots of raw food!!!

This is a raw salad. Romaine lettuce, cilantro, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower,sprouted sunflower seeds, mung bean sprouts and for dressing the Liquid Gold Elixir from Natalia Rose's book "The raw food detox diet".

Liquid Gold Elixir (SALAD DRESSING)

2 cups fresh lemon juice
3 whole cloves garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce
3 heaping tablespoons raw honey (omit for purification program)
1 ½ cups cold-pressed olive oil

1. Place all of the ingredients except the oil in blender.
2. Begin blending at normal speed.
3. As the mixture is blending, slowly add the olive oil until it’s completely blended.

Ricotta and Mozzarella...we made cheese!!

On day 4 of our detox we realized that we were going to pick up 2 gallons of milk form the farm...and we could not drink it! So what do yo do with 2 gallons of fresh creamy raw milk in your fridge? You make cheese!! (that can be kept till the end of our diet)
We went to town and bought rennet, citric acid and some cheese cloth, and we were ready!

Now the process was really not so hard...it would have helped to have a little more room in my small kitchen. We got step by step instructions from the website of the people that make all the cheese accessories: http://www.cheesemaking.com

In the end we got a pretty decent mozzarealla, a bit tough, but as I sneaked a small bite the taste was great! The ricotta came out even better, although we only got a small amount. I can not wait to try to make hard cheeses!!
Buon appetito!

Here are the instructions from cheesemaking.com

Add 1 & 1/2 tsp. Citric Acid diluted in 1cup cool water to 1 gallon of cold milk. Heat slowly to 90F
Remove pot from burner slowly stir 1/4 tab or 1/4tsp of rennet diluted in 1/4cup. cool water for 30sec. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Check the curd, it will look like custard and the whey will be clear. If too soft let set a few more minutes.

Now cut the curd into
1 inch squares with a knife that reaches the bottom of the pot.
Place pot back on stove and heat to 105F while stirring slowly. (If you will be stretching in water heat to 110F)
Take off the burner and continue sirring slowly for 2-5 minutes. Transfer the curd to a colander or bowl using a slotted spoon.

Notice how the curd is beginning to get firmer as the whey drains.

Continue separating the curd and notice the color of the whey.
Drain the whey from the curd while gently pressing to aid whey runoff.
Using a heat proof bowl microwave on High for 1 min. pour off the whey.

Knead and reheat for 30sec, repeat if needed until the curd is 135F, almost too hot to handle.

Now the fun begins,
knead the curd as you would bread dough
Remove curd from bowl and continue kneading, return it to the microwave if needed.
At this point, if hot enough, it will begin to stretch,

and stretch, and stretch some more this is what makes it Mozzarella.
I hope we're having fun now.
Now knead it back into a big ball until it is smooth and shiny.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Purification program Day 3

We made it through another day (almost) without cheating.....well, Oz still smokes few cigarettes and I had a few cherries...not so bad.
Day 3 has been a bit up and down, I am tired, had a poison oak outbreak all over my arms, and got an headache that comes and goes.

I think I am not doing enough to get those toxins out....tomorrow I need to sweat more, do a dry brushing, drink more water, exercise!!! And tomorrow I have a photo shoot in the morning (I am the photographer) squeezed between the farmer's market and the weekly trip to the milk farm. As we can not have any milk for 3 weeks, on Sunday we are making cheese. That will be a fun experience to write about I think.

Well I think I am a little lightheaded now, so it's time for bed. Tomorrow is day 4, 6 more to go before eating any meat...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Purification Program - we are on day two!!

Detoxing seems to have become so common it's almost a fad, but sadly enough with the levels of toxins present in everything around us, it is more a necessity than a fashion trend! Just think about the amount of people that YOU personally know who have been affected by cancer, it could be a friend, a relative a coworker....and cancer is just the tip of the iceberg, diabetes, alzheimer, obesity...the United States, creator of the "Western Diet" also created some of the most common and deadly "lifestyle diseases".

Well, I have been quite obsessed with food and nutrition and with being healthy for a long time. (Since I moved to the US 17 years ago, I have not been once to a conventional allopathic doctor and I have never been to a hospital.) Now that I have finally changed our living environment for a much healtier one, it is time for a general health overhaul! What better time for a cooling and cleansing diet than 100 degree weather??!!

I do have to admit that this idea did not just arrive out of the blue, our landlord and dear friend Deb, who is an amazing chiropractor and nutritionist, did the same detox about a month ago. Being this a specific program from Standard Process, the manufacturer of all the whole food supplements I have been using with for the last seven years, I knew it would be a serious ad effective program.

Surprisingly, my husband Oz, joined me in the program, without even too much begging or convincing.
So here we are, at day two.

We are taking 3 or more shakes a day of protein and whole nutritional elements plus 30 capsules of greens, detoxing herbs and supplements.
In addition to that we can eat as much raw vegetables as we like, a little bit of fruit, herbal teas, and of course lots of water.

Today, as our fridge became dangerously empty, I ran into town and stocked up on organic veggies....then ran home and took out my raw recipe book.
The first yummy dish I made today was a Beet, carrot and zucchini salad with romaine lettuce, mung bean sprouts and a Umeboshi vinagrette.
Not bad for raw veggies.

Now after all this writing I am getting hungry again and am going to go and make myself a raw carrot ginger soup.

Bon appetit!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We have a Raw Milk Cow Share!

At the beginning of last month, our landlady Deb started getting raw milk from her cow share in 2 Jersey cows from a local small farm. So after sampling the first jar of fresh, creamy, rich and delicious milk, I decided I was IN!!

I have been off dairy for the last few years because of a persistent mold/candida infestation in my lungs. So the naturopathic doctor told me I' better avoid dairy altogether! it has not been an easy path as you can imagine, especially if you are a big cheese fanatic as I am!

So after drinking the raw milk the first time, I went to my doctor and got (muscle) tested for it.....and to my extreme delight it turned out that the raw milk was actually GOOD for me! YAY!! So I asked the doctor about raw cheese, and that tested really well too! So my world suddenly became a much happier place!

Now what is the difference between raw milk and "normal" pasteurized milk you might ask?! "Real Science has identified that changes that occur in real raw milk pasteurization are not always beneficial to our health. Raw dairy products are naturally filled with living enzymes and cultures vital for health. Lactose intolerant consumers can eat raw milk because Lactase producing bacteria are present. In addition to pasteurization most milk available today is homogenized, which has been proven to alter the fat particles significantly to the point of creating a dangerous product from an excellent food source. Raw milk is high in antioxdidants vitamins, (including B-12) all 22 essential amino acids and natural enzymes." (extract from the Book Family Farm Cow Share pamphlet)

So last Saturday for the first time we went to pick up our raw milk, and we met our two gorgeous, generous producers: Ginger and Cinnamon.
They are two Jersey mix, pastured, grass fed organic cows....

And as I have to run to work in the garden now, I will fill you in on the subject of grass-fed beef next time!!

Happy milk drinking!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The first radishes from the garden!!

After a long rainy super-cold spring....Summer is here! And so are the first products of our garden. Aren't they beautiful?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bomb-proof mulching!!!

That means it should be weed-proof!
After long weeks of studying the book "Gaia's Garden - a guide to home-scale permaculture" I finally got to apply my learning today, in making sheet mulch.

I have been quite obsessed with the concept of mulching since I first read about it...
It seems to me like the best way to start a new garden or improve on an old one.
Mulching improves the soil, gets rid of weeds, and makes use of a lot of materials that would usually end up burned, or in the trash. Seems like a bounty of benefits!

So today, book in hand, we went to help our neighbor to mulch an area infested by sweet peas. We had just weeded that area about 3 weeks ago, and the peas were just happlly starting to grow back.

So as permaculture tells us to make use of available materials when possible, we went around the propriety to look for stuff to use, without having to buy expensive wood chips or rice hulls...

We found an excellent compost pile, mixed with manure form the two horses, that was aged to perfection. Then for the main body of the mulch we figured we could used pine needles, as we are in the forest and the whole ground is covered with them.
Pine needles are slow to decompose and they look pretty nice and even so they make a perfect middle and top layer.

So here is our recipe for this "bomb-proof" sheet mulch:

Layer 1: whack down whatever weeds are present and leave on the ground. Then Add a 1 inch layer of compost / manure / grass clippings. (some nitrogen high material)
This layer encourages soil organisms and insects to start incorporating the mulch and turning into rich humus.

Layer 2 now we put the "sheet" part in, which consists of cardboard (plastic tape removed) and thick layers of newspapers. The paper needs to be well soaked with water before adding the next material. This layer is supposed to suffocate any weeds growing in the soil below.

Layer 3 another layer of compost, this time thicker. (about 3")

Layer 4 Is the thickest layer of carbon material, in our case we used the pine needles mixed with some dry leaves. We put his on about 8" deep.
This layer will eventually decompose and create the fluffy black humus rich soil that plants love! At this point water the muclh again until it reaches the moisture amount of a wrought sponge.

Layer 5 now a thin layer of good soil, or in our case more old, well composted horse manure.

Layer 6 And now for the top, a "pretty" layer of pine needles! Like we say in Italy "anche l'occhio vuole la sua parte" (the eye needs its part too...bad translation)

So here we are, endless loads of compost later, my back and arms got a real good workout today, and our sheet mulch is ready to go. We just have to wait about 6 months and then it will be ready for planting. Then a nice rich soil should be there waiting for us!

Now I am ready to jump in the hot tub with a cocktail for a lovely Friday nite after a day of satisfying work!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First day in Blogger's world

Here I am, suddenly living in Forest Ranch, living my dream of going back to the land, being self sufficient and learning permaculture and organic gardening. It's a bit like living with one foot in the work boot and one foot in the high heel...

The high heel is my business, Omnatura, sustainable fashion accessories. Thanx to modern technology we live off the grid, but still have high speed internet... all I need nowadays to work and run the business.

So this blog will be about trying to live a full, gratifying sustainable life, and hopefully sharing ideas on how we can survive on this planet in a more conscious way.

About Me

Forest Ranch, CA, United States
Omnatura was born in 2005 as a line of handmade jewellery in collaboration with artisans in the poor areas of the northeast of Brazil. Since then it has expanded to different countries, and has grown more and more into a concept for living. I am Vivica, the creator of Omnatura, and when my visions and priorities started shifting and expanding, I decided to let my business expand and shift with them. After all Omnatura could be translated into "All-Natural" (from the Latin base "omni" and "naturae"), and my life has been strongly moving towards this all-natural state.... After living in the city of Los Angeles for the last 17 years, and the city of Milano for many years before that, the call back to nature finally became reality this year in April, when we moved to the small community if Forest Ranch in Northern California. My dreams of self-sufficiency and threading lightly on this much abused planet are now becoming reality. A different pace of life, and still managing my business of sustainable fashions...now with more integrity than ever!