How Does Your Garden Grow?

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So far so good this week, ¬†but last week will be tough to beat. ūüôā

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Rancho Alegre

It started with an evening class at Rancho Alegre. ¬†Pilar led a discussion about ¬†probiotic drinks and essential oils. ¬†I’m always game to discuss Kombucha and Keifer! ¬†Besides she and I have really hit it off and it was great to see her and experience her farm first hand. ¬†My daughter loves animals so I took her along for the ride.

Mid week, I went to Truly Living Wells Wednesday Market in East Point. ¬†Remember Rashid? I met him at the Multicultural Sustainable Argriculture Conference last month. ¬†I purchased okra, tomatoes, and red peppers. It’s okra season so I never pass an opportunity to get my hands on them!

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Some of the goodies found at Truly Living Well’s Wednesday Market in East Point

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My favorite Fall Stew

I wasn’t able to speak to Rashid that like I had hoped so when I found myself in downtown Atlanta on Friday, I decided to swing by ¬†TLW’s Wheat Street garden (I had heard from a reliable source that he would be there). He didn’t seem to mind that I was stalking him; he actually invited me to have a seat and join in on an interview that was being conducted by a group of Georgia Tech students.

I had stumbled into a gold mine.

Rashid gave detailed (and sometimes irreverent) accounts of his experience starting his garden and his vision moving forward. He explained how urban agriculture addresses many different urban community concerns including: need for quality whole foods, skill/trade building, crime control and connections between neighbors. ¬†He obviously knows what he’s talking about; it shows in his garden. While we sit, children chase each other through the rows of growing vegetables and young men and women working on behalf of TLW guide customers as they make purchases; all while the city buzzed in the backdrop.

As it turns out Atlanta is a perfect place for growing your own food. Rashid is very proud of the fact that he has an operating market every week of the year. He also sees the demand for the vegetables being greater than the supply  to be a good problem to have; it shows that the community (from high-end restaurants to local residents) value what they offer.  It was great to hear this leader speak about his love of food and people. How wonderful to be able to bring the two together!

Here is how I prepare my okra and tomato stew:

Ingredients: 2 cups sliced okra, 1 onion, diced,  2 cups diced tomatoes, 5 garlic gloves (I leave my cloves whole), Himalayan  sea salt, turmeric, 1 diced chile, (all seasonings to taste- my momma taught me to tap the spoon on the back of my hand and taste until it is right) 1.5 pounds shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Bring all vegetables and seasonings to a boil (I do not add water, I find the tomatoes are all I need to keep it nice and chunky!). Simmer ¬†on low heat for 10-15 minutes (don’t let the okra get mushy). ¬†I add the shrimp after I remove the heat. The hot liquid cooks the shrimp and they don’t get rubbery. That’s all! It taste even better the next day! ¬†The boys eat theirs with rice and hot sauce. ūüôā

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Shirt says “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” Sure Ain’t!!! Big things are happening… stay tuned!

I was in downtown Atlanta to scope out locations for an upcoming photo shoot. ¬†It is connected to a really AWESOME project! Yeah I am being secretive. I wish I could say more but ¬†I’ve been sworn to it! Very hard for me but I promise when I share… it’s going to be good!!! The photographer on the project is Jeff Guyer of Guyer Photography. ¬†Check him out, he is an awesome photgrapher and very patient person. Anyone who photographs me has to be. <— not kidding. ¬† Here’s a test shot from that day. I wasn’t prepared to be photographed (hence the t-shirt and barely combed hair- I cropped out the flip flops) but I’m all smiles inside!

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Kale Mango Lassi

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I really try to keep my ego in check because ¬†I know how dangerous she can be. ¬†Good thing I screw up enough to stay humble. ūüôā But, every now and then I do something brillant. ¬†And today is such a day!

Allow me a moment to share…

I got to the park ready to run and realized that my one of my kids stole my headphones.¬†Wasn’t¬†happy¬†with those two at that particular moment.¬†¬†So¬†that left me time to really think on my run. Which I really did not want to do. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. As a matter of fact, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I’ve been experiencing some new symptoms. ¬† My disease (Antiphospholipid¬†Antibody Syndrome) is known to travel with Sjrogren’s¬†and Lupus and I can tell I am headed in the direction of one or both of those. ¬†Extremely dry eyes and mouth, kidney pain, rashes and photosensitivity have all been coming in waves the last few months.

I’ve made adjustments in my workouts (post about that coming real soon) and tweaked my eating AGAIN. Which leads me to my thoughts on my run. I am a clean eater but I when I am having a ‘flare’ I have to take extra measures. I’ve added some additional supplements and I been focusing on restoring the good flora in my gut. ¬†For the last year I’ve been brewing and drinking Kombucha and really seeing a huge difference in how I feel. ¬†I am sure that it has something to do with the fact that I’ve put it in the place of my evening glass of wine BUT there is no denying the tremendous probiotic benefits of fermented foods. ¬†My husband has been making yogurt for about as long and also cooks with the Keifer¬†(close probiotic cousin to yogurt). ¬†I am a one fermented girl! I truly believe that the reason I am able to get up from a rough night and still run 2.5 miles is because of my lifestyle and eating choices. ¬†Oh, and there is that being stubborn thing.

 

When Jan and I were on our way back from our run, she mentioned that she had a ton of yogurt left (our friend Nirmala makes it for her; she actually got my husband started on his journey). I remembered that I had two mangos that needed to be used…. MANGO LASSI! Now, ¬†it is really not the season for mangos or mango lassi ( a refreshing Indian drink) but neither of us like wasting food. Besides, I had a rough night of symptoms last night and could use a healthy dose of good stuff in my belly. ¬†I was prepping to make the lassi when I thought…

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I  should put greens it!  I was daring to be great on this one (Brene Brown anyone?).

The kale, mango lassi was born. ¬†I can’t swear by it but I think this is an original invention. <—–here is Miss Ego. ¬†Thought I’d point her out. ¬† Regardless, is really, really good.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups yogurt (homemade is best but organic store bought is fine too)

2 very ripe mangos sliced

Blend until smooth.

Add two cups of kale to the mixture.  Blend.

Squeeze about a tablespoon of raw, local honey and blend a bit more.

This is how it looks. What a pretty shade of green!!!!

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Pretty damn proud of myself. ūüôā

 

I still have a little yogurt and a pineapple that is looking at me sideways.   Round 2 here I come!