Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Duct Tape Use #479 - Tape knees in a backpacking emergency

Another past backpacking adventure into the Sierra's. In July 2008 we trekked along the John Muir Trail (JMT) for most of the trip. We made our way from Piute Pass (near Bishop, CA) past the North Fork of the San Joaquin River into Evolution Valley and up to Dusy Basin, and came out Bishop Pass (and almost were killed in a rock slide but that is another post).


For the record Bishop Pass scares the crap out of me. It is just a series of steep, narrow switchbacks cut into the mountain. With each step there is the threat of the overhanging rocks giving way.  There is even a sign that basically says "move your a$$" as you are in rockslide territory. Well it really says "Hikers should enter at their own risk and keep moving" – which means "move your a$$". This is just a section of the switchback you have to navigate your way around.



Anyways, I got side-tracked! Okay, back to my original post about duct tape, RA, and backpacking into the John Muir Wilderness.


Yep, this is me! Athletic Tape and an ole ace bandage to support my crappy joints! Hey whatever it takes right? This pic is up near Evolution Lake. Just taking a much needed rest. My wrists are wrapped tight as they get excruciating with RA pain, but…



I know what you are thinking. "What a nice leg!" Haha. I got so many comments on my duct taped knees while hiking! I did not pack my knee braces for this trip, but I was trying to shave off ounces from my pack. I will not make that mistake again! By the way those are Montrail Hiking boots, and I LOVE them. They have the greatest heel support eva! I purchased them at REI – the greatest place to shop in the world.


This makes the duct tape and wrist braces all worth it. Evolution Lake in the High Sierra's. This is in the heart of the John Muir Wilderness.  He was an amazing man and naturalist. Did you know he had memorized the entire Old Testament as a young boy? Among many of his accomplishments, was the founding of the Sierra Club and the preservation of Yosemite Valley and other wilderness areas. He considered the Sierra Nevada Mountains his home. CIMG1468-1

"The mountains are calling and I must go" – John Muir

One of my favorite places in the backcountry is Evolution Lake. I could live here all summer long. Me and the hubby stopping for a photo op. We decided to go a bit further and camp at No Name Lake…what a creative name. But there is no name on the map, so that is what we called it.


Our campsite at No Name Lake. Now this is really the high country. We are way above tree line and the camp site is a little rocky, but it was still pristine and beautiful.


A view looking back on our way up to Muir Pass. You can see Wanda Lake on the far right which was named after John Muir's daughter.


The John Muir Shelter (hut) at 11,955 feet in Kings Canyon National Park was built in the 1930's to provide shelter for hikers. A young couple (I say young cuz we are like the oldest hikers in the backcountry usually!) And if I recall they were vegan. Well she was, and had packed all vegan stuff. he was dreaming about In-N-Out burgers.

Until our next Raw food, Backpacking, Arthritis adventure!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Glaser Organic Farms – Fab Raw Food!

I just received a big box of goodies from Glaser Organic Farms and I have to say that I am so in love with their yummy, raw food! They are based in Florida and grow most of their organic produce and carry a huge variety of raw items.

My Scrumptious Raw Food from Glaser Organic Farms

I ordered tons of raw goodies! Pates, Pestos, Salad dressings, preserves, granola, muesli, a few desserts, coconut water, agave syrup, hummus, and bread.

Here is a snippet about them from their website:

  1. Welcome and thank you for your interest in our products. We are a Certified Organic farm dedicated to growing the finest naturally grown organic produce and preparing Gourmet Raw Vegan Foods for over 29 years.
  2. Established in 1980, we specialize in growing tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, lychees, bananas, avocados, rare and exotic tropicals, winter vegetables and herbs. Our practice of organic farming is one of exceptional quality, using only nutritive components on our trees, garden and soils. It is our dedication to working and living with nature that allows us the pleasure of offering you foods of such exceptional quality.

They host an Organic Farmers Market in Florida every saturday that showcases all their organic raw food and chef's raw creations. Its called Coconut Grove and I so want to go there! Now alot of the good stuff is perishable so it has to be shipped overnight. You know how shipping is, a little costs alot and alot does not cost too much more than a little (did I just make sense?) – lol! In other words, it is more cost effective to order alot of perishable items if you need to overnight them to your state.

Today I had their Mock Tuna Pate which is made with Sprouted organic sunflower seeds, farm fresh organic dill, organic celery, organic macadamias, organic pine nuts, organic cashews, fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, organic scallions, fresh coconut water, fresh organic garlic, organic mustard, Celtic sea salt, and organic black pepper. This pate was super excellent. I am so excited to try their salad dressings and I ordered like different kinds.

They package their products for delivery really well

I know this was a boring picture but I wanted to show you how well they package their products for shipping. Everything is bubble-wrapped and taped.  If you receive an overnight shipment, ice packs are inserted into a syrofoam box which is then placed in a regular shipping box and secured.

Here are some of the items that I have tried so far:

  1. Orange Cranberry Grawnola – Fantastic
  2. Mock Tuna Pate – Excellent
  3. Temple Balls - (like fudge babies) – Excellent
  4. Maple Cinnamon Walnuts – Yummy
  5. Sprouted Chickpea Hummus – Very good
Here are some of the items I ordered but have not tried yet:
  1. Spinach-Basil Pesto
  2. Cranberry-Date Preserves
  3. Salad Dressings
  4. Muesli
  5. Raw Chocolate Brownie
  6. Raw Pineapple Carrot Cake

I am not associated with Glaser, but I discovered their site about a month ago and decided to order a few things and I was very happy with their quality and customer service. So I thought I would pass it along to everyone. I have looked online for a similar raw, organic farm that creates their own gourmet raw food items (perishable items, not just pantry items) but I have not found any besides Glaser. If you know of any please post in the comment section! So to sum up my raw opinion of Glaser Farms products, their raw food is outstanding! I told my hubby I want to go to Florida so I can visit Glaser's Farms

Can you say Road Trip?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

118 Degrees – A Raw Restaurant in the OC

After 9 weeks on the raw food diet, my hubby and I actually went out to eat at a restaurant minus our kiddos! I was dying to try this new raw food restaurant in Orange County. So we did a crazy, fast-paced 7 mile walk on the beach, freshened up and drove to Costa Mesa to dine raw style! We had a little detour as my hubby spotted a Patagonia store (this is like chocolate to him) – if you know anything about Patagonia, they make awesome clothing, but its soooo expensive. Anyhow, got him out of there and we walked on over to the 118 degrees restaurant.


Ok, so I was really, really excited to have someone else uncook for me! We have nothing close to raw or even vegan where I live, so I was gonna go for it and try lots of raw goodies.  My darling hubby was game too even though he is still an omnivore (*sigh*) –

025 032

So I started out with their Lemonade and Hot Chocolate – I loved the hot chocolate as you can tell, but they did say it was hotter than 118 degrees (go figure) but the ingredients were raw, so I was happy. The Lemonade had cayenne and agave in it and it was tart for me, but the hubby liked it. He said it cleansed the palette!


Fried Avocado Mini-Tostada

Now this little dish was probably my favorite of the night. The Fried Avocado Mini-Tostada and it was awesome!. The avocado slices were rolled in some type of crumb mixture (they are on the side of the dish) and the buckwheat shell was topped with spinach, corn and peppita sauce. I would definitely order this yummy little dish again!



Coconut Ceviche

Next was the coconut ceviche, which was pretty good. It had fresh coconut (to mock the usual fish in ceviche) and fresh mango, cilantro in a ceviche sauce. It was a huge serving and came with the raw corn tortilla chips. This was very filling! But I liked the Fried Avocado Mini Tostada's better.






The hubby enjoying his non-raw (but organic) beer and coconut ceviche. I am lucky he likes any type of food and he is such an awesome guy for supporting my raw food thang!




Pomegranate-Blood Orange Salad

This salad was fab! It had a very light vinaigrette dressing and was just delicious! Hubby really liked it too!


Trio of Enchiladas

How gorgeous is this? We decide to split dinner as believe it or not we were getting full (and I had planned to pig out!). This was a mild, medium, spicy combo of raw enchiladas topped with avocado sauce, chipotle sauce and pine nut sour cream. They were pretty tasty. I preferred the mild one as it was stuffed with some type of nut cream and fresh corn and matchstick carrots. If you are expecting authentic mexican food, you would probably just think this dish was ok. I mean, there is a mexican place up in Bishop, CA, called Ms. Amigos that serves TO DIE FOR mexican food. Of course it is not vegan – so us raw foodies have to find replacements.

Now for the fantastic ending to our raw food adventure! Drum roll please………………………………………………………………….


Raw Apple Pie with a yummy caramel sauce

Da bomb baby! This was soooo good! The only thing missing was raw vanilla ice cream, and I asked for it, but they did not have it (shame on you 118 degrees! Didn't you know it is a crime to serve apple pie without the ala mode?) – haha…anyways, this was really delicious. They only had three desserts to choose from, so I was kind of bummed as I hear that their chocolate stuff is amazing. I saw a gal come in asking for their brownies to go, but they did not have any.

On a side note, we escaped the kids for the day but sat next to a cute family with two little ones. Their children were soooo cute and the little girl was just a doll, declaring in a loud voice for all to hear that her smoothie "was delicious!" – How cute is that? And how awesome that these kids already like healthy, raw food! I would come back to this restaurant just to meet the lovely raw people!

118 Degrees Overall Review (in my raw opinion)


  • Nice, quaint setting
  • Next to the Patagonia store (lol)
  • Food is very fresh and not bland (ya know how raw can be sometimes)
  • Nice selection of juices and smoothies
  • Nice selection of appetizer dishes and salads
  • Food presentation is beautiful


  • Dessert menu was very limited (C'mon, I'm a girl, dessert is on my mind 24/7)
  • Somewhat limited entree menu (about 15 of them – I guess I expected more, but maybe its just me)

The prices for all the entrees was about average for a nice restaurant, so that was no issue (I mean we were expecting to spend some money so I was ok with it). So overall, I liked 118 degrees and I would go back there if I was in the OC (which is about 2 hours away). I think next time I would order one of their salad entrees, more appetizers, and skip the main entree.

So this raw food critic gives them 4 out of 5 stars! Of course, I have never been to another raw food restaurant besides this one, so I have no comparison. I can make some pretty delish food using recipes from KristensRaw.com and some other raw recipe books I have, so until my next raw food outing, I will be uncooking in the kitchen baby!

Some Beach, Some where...

Yesterday was an adventure in the Raw!  My hubby and I drove down to Newport Beach for a romantic "stroll" on the beach. But it turned into a 7 mile butt-blasting walk! We stayed to watch the sunset before we headed out to a Raw Food Restaurant in the OC called 118 Degrees. I will post my official review and delicious pics soon!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Backpacking adventures – McClure Meadows High Sierra's

McClure Meadows - July 2009

McClure Meadows, Evolution Valley, High Sierra's – July 2009

How beautiful is this place? I mean, this was a breathtaking spot for a portrait. This is McClure Meadows, located in Evolution Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We camped nearby and had perfect views of Evolution Creek. Now you can see why I am addicted to backpacking. This was July 2009 before I went raw, so those packs are filled with prepackaged Mac n Cheese and Clif bars! So I have a huge task ahead of me preparing to stay raw/vegan on the trail. When you are backpacking every ounce counts! So you just can't bring a bag of apples or my juicer along with me. I have a few ideas, like dehydrating fruit, crackers, bringing some Amazing Wheat grass powder, nuts, organic almond butter, oatmeal, larabars, pure bars, and dehydrated veggies. I will bring some GoRaw stuff as I love, love, love their granola and snacks! Backpacking burns at least 5000 calories a day so you are starving at dinner and ready for carbs! I am sure I will eat cooked at night and include some quinoa and other stuff. But, I hope I can get enough to eat!

Okay, I will post another gorgeous backcountry pic soon!
Hugs and prayers to my vegan/raw peeps!

PS – if you are wondering how I backpack with RA, well let me tell you it is very difficult. Lots of motrin, darvocet, and sheer determination. I really hurt ALOT when I backpack, but I will not bow down to RA, in fact RA can kiss my a$$. I have to tape up my knees and wrists and use lots of icy hot. Mornings are full of stiffness and pain. But I will crawl on the trail before I give up backpacking!


Oh, and Chocolate Covered Katie is having an awesome Vitamix giveaway! Go here to see!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The ugliest smoothie in the world! I name thee Primordial Ooze


Good morning all my lovely raw and vegan peoples! Only I could create the ugliest, most unattractive smoothie in the universe!

But hey it has a good personality!


It is almost camouflaged with my granite countertop


What does Lucy say in her vita-veta-vegamin episode? "And its so tasty too!"  NOT!…this was one of those "I know its good for me, so just chug it down cuz I dont want to waste it" smoothies. Why did it turn out this way? You are dying to know right?


Amazing Wheat Grass Powder! This was my first attempt to use it. Is it amazing for my insides? Yes. Did it make my smoothie taste good? Not so much.


Here is the rest of the culprits that formed the most ugliest smoothie in the world. Steamed spinach, blueberries, hemp seed, nut milk, chia seeds, and bananas. I also added a spear of fresh pineapple cuz its gonna go to waste. 

It tasted like bentonite clay. Yes, some of us have licked rocks and actually know what clay tastes like! Yes, geologists are weird, but we know how to party!

So i dub this smoothie "Primordial Ooze" cuz that is what it looks like…not that I have seen primordial ooze but I am guessing it would look like this.

So on the agenda today is:

  • Workout with some type of Cathe weight tape
  • Walk with hubby at lunch time
  • Laundry eternal
  • Figure out what I will uncook for lunch and dinner
  • Take Cody to the Dr to remove stitches from his ear

So enjoy your raw and vegan day everyone!


Our two labs, Misty and Jake, littermates, being dorks in their kennels last night! They love to sleep in our room in their kennels. But they are definitely dork dogs! They escaped yesterday for like four hours, and you can see the results of their explorations…they were zonked out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Say yes to carrots

Well, today I made 2.5 cups of fresh carrot juice so I could make the lovely Carrot Avocado Bisque recipe by Gena at Choosingraw.com and I have to tell you that this “boup’ (bisque+soup=boup) is so totally awesome.  You can drink it semi-warm straight from your vitamix or cold straight from the frig. Well, needless to say I had carrot pulp! What should I do..I hate to toss pulp into the garbage. So I made some carrot chia crackers and some carrot cupcakes with cashew vanilla cream frosting.


Today is a bleh day. I do not know why.  Several mishaps these past few weeks include a traffic ticket, a blown out tire and a ripped up and stitched ear – all from the same kid. Is there a superfood that helps you not worry! lol…its called God! 

For lunch today I had a few cups of cut up veggies over organic greens with some Tahini dressing and chia crackers. I cannot figure out if I like Chia seeds or not! Do I like picking them out of my teeth for several minutes after I eat the crackers? I will get back to you on that.


I have a few items on my list that I want to make. Oh She Glows Angela has these breakfast cakes that she makes that sound yummy…I know, I know they are not Raw, but they are vegan. her site is wonderful and she is really inspiring. She seems so sweet! I have never met her, but her writing style seems to exude a lovely person (reminding me of my bestie). I want to order some of her gluten free glo bars and I cannot wait til she offers them. Anyways, I want to make those breakfast cakes and I also want to make a few of the Rawmazing.com goodies like her newly posted Whoopie Pies.

Ever since my hyst-o-whatever-omy in Sept 09 I have been a sluggo…yes I have hiked some miles on the good ole PCT and around the neighborhood but I am not back to my presurgery workout self! I need to start a weekly workout plan and stick to it. If I just wasn’t so dang tired all the time. Oh how I wish I had energy!  I have been off coffee for 3 weeks now, but I was in the store and had my nose glued to the Peet’s Coffee – literally I was hugging all the Peet’s 1lb bags!  haha, I know I am weird. But I love the smell of coffee and Iove Peet’s Coffee! Okay off to work out and if I see my bed calling me I will not succumb!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Presentation - its all about presentation!

plantbloodWe have been living with plastic glasses for like eons! Well, since my kids are older I decided to go buy some real glass glasses to drink my plant juice in. But now I am the one that drops and breaks everything (have you seen my hands! They dont work!) Anyways, Kristen at Kristensraw.com has great advice in her books about presentation and I am a firm believer. This juice just tastes better when I drink it out of a nice glass with a few little garnishes. Im weird I know..but whatever works right?!

The PCT thru hike is on my bucket list

What is my obsession with the PCT? I dont know..but I am obsessed. My hubby wont do the thru hike with me in 2010 - is it that hard to take off 5 months from work! haha...I fear that if we wait until 2015 when he retires I will be to old and crippled - nothing prednisone cannot cure I am sure! I will start stocking up now...but then I would be the only person to finish a 2,650 mile, 5 month thru hike fatter! This is a pic of me last week hiking a section of the PCT along Silverwood lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I want to go to cool places with you

Hey hey! Long time no blog! I have been busy (i.e. tired) and also busy I guess! This fab dish is from Choosingraw.com and it is "peanut" noodles - a really great tasting sauce with miso and lime and namu shoyu or something like that...anyways tasted awesome. I am really staying away from fruit the last 3 days except for the occasional banana in my smoothie.

The hubby wants to get away on Saturday and try this cool place which is a raw food restaurant in Costa Mesa called 118 degrees but he forgets we have the children to look after...you know, those one that have been living with us for such a long time! Why not leave the 17 year old in charge?  haha - those who know him would never ask such a question!

Lets see...about the RA (RA sucks - my new bumper sticker)...I had to take prednisone the other day as I was in agony..I sleep with both wrist braces on and rub icy hot all over my joints...and my hubby says icy hot is NOT an aphrodisiac...lol - well it is to me! I could bathe in that stuff. I was thinking of trying Epsom salt baths - anyone know if those will help me?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 and a neW YeAR

How ironic that the letters R-A-W are in the words New Year...me and my warped thinking...Well after a laid back New Years Eve with best friends and family filled with juicing and homemade pizza for the fam (salad and spicy and sweet veggie noodles for me) - I caught up on some ZZZZs today. I took a huge, fat nap and stayed in jammies all day. But I did get busy and make Mountaineers' Hearty Hemp Pancakes - that is a pic of them in my dehydrator..and the batter tasted heavenly, but I am hooked on hemp, what can I say. These babies are for breakfast tomorrow and then we head off to hike the PCT at Cajon pass on the 15 frwy. Join me followers! Penny and Leslie that means you!

Look at my 5 lb Hemp Seed bucket from Manitoba Harvest....yum! hemp seed tastes awesome plain and in smoothies, and in everything else you can think of...I love the fact that they are so good for me too!

And that hot girl in the picture behind the hemp seed bucket is me...lol

Oh, and I cannot wait to work with Gena of Choosingraw.com  - she will be my Raw food coach, friend, mentor, nutrition expert for the next month or so! She is going to help me realize my potential for a healthy new me in 2010...Thanks Kristen for the referral as I know I will love working with her!