Sunday, April 25, 2010

Signing up for WIND power - 1-2-3-done!

This is for all our fellow ConEd customers out there who are tired of using coal-derived electricity--

We were enrolled in the wind power program at our last apartment, but since the move in February I hadn't gotten it together to enroll again (they don't automatically switch you when you move). Last time I did it by text message (yes, the perfect way in my opinion!) but this time email was required - which is why it took me longer.

Still, though, it really couldn't be much easier than this. All you have to do is email Sam and write, "Please enroll account ######## in the WIND program." That's it! So all you need is your ConEdison bill with the account number, and you're good to go. Sam submits new enrollments early on Monday mornings, so you have time to get yours in for tomorrow if you're quick... :) Oh, and I should mention that the increase in your monthly bill shouldn't be more than $5 at the most. I think that's very little to pay for a much cleaner, better alternative to coal-burning.

You can also text message Sam and he will get back to you right away. He's a very nice guy -- I met him at his booth at the Union Square Greenmarket a while back.

Sam Carroll
NYC Outreach Coordinator
Community Energy, Inc.
646-457-9320 (direct)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raindance Farm Newsletter

Siobhan's first newsletter is out! Just thought I would pass along an excerpt that is particularly relevant for our Brooklyn communities. Be sure to click the link below to read about Siobhan's new solar panel water-heating system, and irrigation for the many acres of pasture.

New Meating Place for Raindance Farm Deliveries

Now that the club has doubled its ordering power we are announcing our new and improved meeting location at a church on 66th Street. The address is 6501, 6th Ave, Bay Ridge. Thanks to the gracious church community there we can have use of the ample parking and even use indoor space in the community center during inclement weather. We are planning on meating on May first at 3 pm if that time works for the majority of members. Thanks to Hannah's hard work networking, the club generated enough orders to provide all club members with a 10% discount last Saturday. Thanks Hannah and everyone who ordered. (yay! go Bay Ridge!)

Local Buying Club
Are you interested in developing a grassroots local buying club in your area? Raindance Farm offers discounts of up to 20%. We serve the NY/ NJ metro area and Hudson Valley. If you love to organize and know like-minded families looking for healthy organic meat and cheese contact Siobhan Griffin by e-mail or phone.

For news and pictures of the farm, read the full newsletter here:

Friday, April 16, 2010

How to make ghee

Place butter in an oven-proof dish and melt at 140-150 degrees. When the clear golden liquid has separated from the milk solids, carefully pour off the oil (ghee) and allow to solidify in the refrigerator. The milk solids (which will contain the salt if you used salted butter) are absolutely delicious, and redolent of SmartFood cheddar cheese popcorn...YUM. Ghee, otherwise known as clarified butter, is suitable for people on the GAPS diet because it does not contain milk solids, the part of dairy that can cause problems in individuals with gut dysbiosis. Ghee may be enjoyed just like butter, and will not burn (supposedly -- I haven't tested this completely) when over-heated (unlike butter).

Many people bring up traditional Indian people as representatives of healthy vegan populations, but in fact these people were not only consuming fair amounts of bug larvae due to their harvesting methods -- they also ate plenty of wonderfully nutritious, cultured ghee from grass-fed cows. Of course, I always recommend using raw milk butter from grass-fed cows for making ghee, or for topping your toast. :)

Winter squash "pancakes"

Tonight Ollie and I were starving after getting back from doing errands with our new friend Esther (a great neighbor, fellow Raindance devotee, and brilliant illustrator). I decided to try some GAPS diet pancakes: a few very large spoonfuls of cooked acorn squash, 2 eggs, a pinch of sea salt, and a few shakes of the bag of almond flour. Kept adding more almond flour to make a soft consistency that would hold its shape in the pan. Cook in LOTS of melted bacon fat, lard, ghee, or coconut oil (we did the bacon fat tonight as I am saving my dwindling supply of lard for pork rillettes -- can't wait to have a chance to make them!). I served the cakes with melted ghee (clarified butter) and a sprinkling of sea salt. Oliver was SO excited, poor little guy -- he's hardly seen a carb all week. Now he is sleeping like the proverbial baby...but I fear this was a bit of an overdose, and a little more fiber than he was ready for at this point. They WERE yummy, though!

"It's MY ball!" (actually, Ollie, it doesn't even belong to you)

Oliver proves you can multitask even at the play ground.


Up until last week we had permission to do our Raindance drop-off in the parking lot of Walgreens, but this last time we had about 15 members order, and a customer complained. After that the management was pretty annoyed with us and gave us the boot. We felt like criminals doing a drug deal out of the back of a Honda minivan -- had to take our illicit activity to the streets. It's pretty funny, feeling like you have to sneak around with cartons of eggs and packages of frozen grass-fed meat! But that's often how it is when you're handing out real food instead of candy bars.

Busy busy

Getting ready for our 2010 kick-off event tomorrow in midtown for the city-wide parents' group I lead:

Nourishing Our Children: Traditional Foods for the Modern Child
44 East 32nd Street, TRS Professional Suites, 2:00pm
Suggested donation: $10-20

This workshop answers the question "Can children be well-fed but malnourished?" by offering an in-depth look at the true nutritional needs of the growing child and the dangers of depleted modern foods, including many labeled as “natural” and “organic.” We examine the historical significance of many foods that are now vilified as dangerous and unhealthy, and explain why a return to a traditional, nutrient-dense diet is crucial for returning our youngest generations to health and vitality. Angela Davis and Hannah Springer, Weston A. Price Foundation Brooklyn chapter leaders, will share dietary principles to create optimal nutrition, behavior and learning for children. We will share ideas for traditional, nutrient-dense meals to guide parents in nourishing rather than merely feeding their children, and will provide time for a group discussion of strategies for raising healthy eaters.

Nutrient-dense traditional snacks will be served.

It will be fun! Come join us! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Starting the GAPS diet

The past few days have been a little tough, and I have so little time to do the necessary computer work, let along to blog. Oliver and I are following the GAPS diet in order to correct some digestive and behavioral issues that have recently come to light...and so that I can be properly well for my own sake, and for any future children I may have. I feel positive and hopeful about this, though it is hard, as the first stage of the diet involves only bone broths with meats, probiotic liquids (from traditional lacto-fermented sauerkraut, etc.), and tea or water to drink. This is pretty limiting...and I think I've lost weight already which is definitely not the goal. I am also eating a small amount of homemade yogurt, well-cooked vegetables, and a few egg yolks a day mixed into broth, but Oliver is in much worse shape than I am and cannot have these things quite yet. I feel well-nourished actually, and haven't had the weird abdominal lumps in the morning that I was having ever since giving birth. Oliver's behavior is much different. Whereas usually he would tear into a pile of neatly folded laundry, today he simply climbed up on the couch and sat among the folded laundry very contentedly! He is showing interest in all his usual activities (he still brings me his shoes to tell me he wants to go outside, for example) but he is much calmer and seems to be less at loose ends...which had been happening a lot lately.

Also the tiny bumps (which I think are yeast) have disappeared from his belly and back. They would come if he ate any sweeteners or fruit, which he has been off for over a week now. He is also off the fresh raw milk right now as he had become sadly addicted to it (more on the dangers of milk addiction later). He slept through the night last night which is quite unusual. He is breastfeeding more than usual because of the dietary restrictions.

This is such an inconvenient time to be doing this as we plan to visit Hugo's extended family in Mexico for a few weeks in June, but I just felt that I could not wait any longer. **DO NOT READ THIS NEXT PART IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH!** His poop had become so disgusting and awful that something really had to be done. Children are not supposed to be pooping out identifiable pieces of food, and it is not supposed to be soupy or mucousy (was terribly mucousy on Saturday after eating a bunch of cheese). One time his poop was so acidic that it caused giant welts to form where it had touched the top of his legs -- horrible!!

As starchy vegetables, grains, bread, fruit, sweeteners, and fresh milk (lactose) all feed the bad microorganisms in his gut (Candida, clostridia, bacteroids, and the others) they have all been eliminated, and will not be re-introduced for a very long time. The healing foods he needs right now are bone broths, meats w/accompanying fat (cooked in the broth), non-starchy well-cooked vegetables (when he is no longer having diarrhea), probiotic liquids (whey, and sauerkraut juice or kim chee juice), and then of course yolks from pastured eggs.

I will keep you updated on our progress. It will likely not prove too exciting for most of you, so I will apologize in advance for that. But as this diet is just what most children these days need to heal, it will be interesting for many parents (especially those who have children with food allergies, asthma, eczema, candida overgrowth, ADD/ADHD, Autism, depression, low energy, poor immune function, failure to thrive, digestive issues, poor sleep patterns, behavioral and learning disorders...and the list goes on). The good news is that I am certain Oliver will be completely well in a comparatively short time as he is overall a healthy child.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This week

-interview with Alice Jamison, who is writing a book about children raised according to the Weston A. Price Foundation principles of wise food traditions
-PBS interview for a special celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pill -- they are including an 8-minute segment on fertility awareness! That happens tomorrow.
-started a new diet with Oliver (more to come on this later, but so far so good)
-3 requests for new classes, one to be held specifically for new moms in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, one full-day workshop in Rockland County, and a series on resolving inexplicable health issues in children (based on the Gut & Psychology Syndrome healing protocol)


Plus there is the Nourishing Our Children-NYC kick-off 2010 event to prepare for, happening on April 17. As tonight marked the end of my March/April cooking series, I thought next week would be vacation, but I guess not... Good thing I am a workaholic. :)

Saturday is raw milk delivery day (looking forward to my duties as site coordinator!) and Raindance Farm delivery day as well (if you want to get in a last-minute order, email Siobhan asap).

Please don't give up on me -- I promise to post something much more interesting soon!