Terri's Airy Fairie World

Musings on Music, Tea, Gardening, Food & Life…

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Smokey Beef Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw…

Have you heard of Siete Tortillas?

I first saw them on Julie Bauer’s blog, PaleOMG.com, and of course, I immediately ordered a case. And I truly enjoyed them. Now I’m enjoying my 2nd case! They are grain/gluten free, and come in 3 varieties: Almond flour, Cassava & Coconut, and Cassava & Chia.

Spicy foods are no longer on my menu, since I removed all nightshades from my diet. That includes tomatoes, potatoes (but not sweet potatoes!), all varieties of peppers & chilis, & eggplants (which I never liked anyway). It also includes chili powders. Having abstained from all these wonderful foods & spices for most of the last year, I’ve found that I feel so much better without them, and I’ve also found that when I eat them, I suffer: arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, I end up having trouble walking because my feet don’t work right, and I have various other aches and pains. Gratefully, it all goes away when I abstain.

But who doesn’t love a taco? Or a tostada?  I’ve tried various homemade paleo/grain free tortilla recipes, and some of them are pretty good, but they do take time to make. Although I don’t use a lot of pre-prepped foods, I have to admit that having tortillas in the freezer once in awhile is a pretty handy thing! Especially since they take almost no time to thaw, and make for quick, easy, & versatile meals. I haven’t tried the Almond flour tortillas, because I don’t really digest nuts well.  For tacos, I think the Cassava & Coconut come out the best. I like to crisp them a little in a skillet, and then fold them over. They come out a mix of crunchy & chewy that way. For Tostadas, the Chia version got especially crunchy overall, but both versions make great tostadas. They also are both great just lightly heated, or cut into tortilla chip shapes and cooked until crispy to dip in Guac.

For dinner last night we had them with Bolyard’s Pulled Beef, another handy  & convenient food that I’ve been keeping in stock recently. Bolyard’s Meats and Provisions is a butcher shop in Maplewood (St. Louis suburbs) that I frequent often, in part because it’s half a mile from my house, and also because everything they sell is pasture raised, local, & fresh. Also, everyone there is super nice, especially the owner, Chris Bolyard!

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Bolyard’s Pulled Beef! Just heat it gently (or eat it cold), and it’s ready to go.

I save a lot of money by filling my deep freeze once or twice a year with locally raised beef, pork, lamb, & chicken, and although I source the majority of my meats from a few local farmers that I love, sometimes I want some thinly cut breakfast steaks, or maybe I’ve used up all of my soup bones. Or I’d like some special cut of something that I don’t have in my freezer. Bolyard’s is the place! Tell them what you want, and they will cut it for you on the spot. If they don’t have it, they will suggest alternative cuts. They also make their own lunchmeats, sausages, and a variety of other things, and you can pick up eggs, grilling supplies, sauerkraut & pickles, & even dinner. Once a week they fire up the smoker & smoke all kinds of things, and that is where the Pulled Beef that I love comes from, and it is flavorful, smokey, and perfect for tacos!

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The final piece to last night’s taco dinner was creamy cilantro lime coleslaw! Here’s my recipe:

First make a batch of mayo, using lime juice instead of lemon juice. I use a stick blender.

3/4 C avocado oil

1 whole egg

juice of one lime

salt & white pepper (opt) & garlic granules to taste… I just sprinkle some of each, maybe 1/4 tsp or so?  You could also add ground cumin or other spices that you like.

Hold the stick blender all the way to the bottom of the container you’re blending in, blend down there for a few seconds first, to start emulsifying the egg, then slowly move the blending stick up to gradually incorporate a little of the oil at a time. The whole process takes maybe 30 seconds. Now you have a beautiful mayo! BTW, to make regular mayo, follow the same formula, except use lemon juice.

Now for the slaw: shred up a variety of veggies. I used 1/4 green cabbage, 1/4 red cabbage, 1 large grated carrot, and half of a vidalia sweet onion thinly sliced. I actually prefer red onion, but we use what we have. Chop up a bunch of cilantro too. If you can eat bell peppers, a thinly sliced red bell would be a really nice addition.  Toss it all together, then add the entire batch of mayo, mixing well. Sample it, and see if it  needs anything: I added a little more salt & garlic to mine, plus about 1 T of apple cider vinegar. Some toasted cumin seeds would probably be an awesome addition! I wish I’d thought of that yesterday!

 

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Heat up your tortillas, heat up your pulled beef, or some leftover chicken or whatever, layer on some slaw & a blop of Guac or avocado slices, and enjoy!

No tortillas? Or maybe you don’t want the carbs? Pile some slaw into a bowl, top with protein & guac & chow down! A great way to use up leftovers!

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If you want to check out their tortillas, here’s a link to Siete Foods.

If you live in the St. Louis area, here’s a link to Bolyard’s Meats & Provisions.

If you live in the St. Louis area, and you’re looking for a source of pasture raised beef, pork, chicken, etc,  so that you can fill your deep freeze, here’s a link to my good friend Bob Eckenfels and his family farm. I like supporting the local economy, and the Eckenfels family are also super nice folks!

Tell them all that Terri HarpLady sent you!

 

 

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The Wonderful Burden of Being Me: Creating Order amidst the Chaos…

I have, in some ways, a storybook life, where I mostly get to do whatever I want all day. I play my Harps & keyboards, sing, compose, workout, garden, make & eat awesome food, write, etc. It’s all wonderful, and although I don’t always have a lot of money, I manage to make ends meet and I am immensely grateful for all that I have, all that I am, and all that I am yet to be. My life is awesome.

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Then there is little terri. little terri is my inner child. She looks innocent enough, but in reality she’s a crazy 4 year old, who wants what she wants and wants it right now. She’s compulsive and unwilling to listen to reason.     She’s smart, precocious, and prone to Obsessions, with her current obsession being “The Wheel of Time”, a series of high fantasy books by Robert Jordan, 15 books in all!  We, and by We, I’m referring to the Me, Myself, and I known as Terri HarpLady, little terri, and Ms. Theresa (my personal inner Secretary/Office Manager/Parent), started reading the books back in July and are currently on book 8, The Path of Daggers. It’s a wonderful series, and we can’t put it down! This means I’m not sleeping enough, or doing many of the things I need to do to keep my life flowing in a manageable way, and luckily, I don’t really have a lot going on right now, or I’d be in trouble!

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Here’s another view of little terri, drawn by my Tea Sister Sil

little terri is somewhat unruly, but she is also filled with joy, wonder, playfulness, & adventure. She likes to lock Ms. Theresa in a closet somewhere in the recesses of my mind, because Ms. T is kind of bossy, and not really very much fun. Ms. T likes to organize things & create systems, dreams of creating a beautiful orderly life for us, and when she finally picked the lock and broke out of the closet, she took one look around and screamed! Here’s what our office looks like, or at least half of it.

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This panoramic view is primarily focused on our desk, which is where much of the mess lies. Granted, even when things are neater, it’s really a mix of chaos & order. We have a special system, designed especially for us, by Ms. Theresa, which includes elements of various other systems. Years ago Ms Theresa read a book, “The Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise” by Pam Brace & Peggy Jones. That book formed the cornerstone of her ongoing attempts to create order in Our lives, and her efforts continue to this day, pulling elements from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey,   “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, “The Passion Planner” by Angelia Trinidad (The best calendar ever, and yes, you need one!), and even the 12 Steps of NA.

Here is the card file, the same one I purchased back in 1983, as recommended by Pam & Peggy (known by some as the “Slob Sisters”). It’s filled with a variety of daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, and yearly tasks, each written on 3X5 cards. IMG_3336 Each day has it’s tasks, and when I actually complete each card, most of which take very little time to do, then I’ve accomplished something! Clearing off my Desk, for example, is a weekly task, meant to be done on Tuesdays, but today is Wednesday, and as you can see, I didn’t do all the Tuesday jobs yesterday. Not because they were difficult, but because I did other things, including playing a gig, teaching a few students, and then spent the rest of the day reading. Luckily, this system is kind of flexible. Although for me, that can also be it’s downfall, LOL.

Thanks to this card system, I’ve realized that I work best in cycles, and although I’m chronically right brained, my alter ego Ms. Theresa, has developed certain left brain tendencies that have helped expand upon this system. Each day of the week has a special quality to it, that instills a sense of order into my meandering life, and helps me to focus on the tasks at hand.

Maintenance Mondays consist of a few hours of concentrated housework, with all members of the house participating. The kitchen always gets cleaned, and especially on the first Monday of the month, which focuses on the first floor, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th mondays being dedicated to the 2nd floor, basement, and front yard. The 5th Mondays are for special projects, like the garage. Monday is also my cookup day, where I make some staples to enjoy for the rest of the week, and plan some meals. It’s all about doing those things that will help the rest of the week flow smoothly.

Techno Tuesdays are dedicated to my desk work: clean my desk, balance checkbooks, pay bills, and other ‘businessy’ kind of things. I have plans to designate each Tuesday of the month to a specific task as well, such as updating my website on the first tuesday, etc.

Writer Wednesdays – In theory, Wednesday is the day for writing my Blog, which I’m finally doing today. I’m also a songwriter, and I have a few NaNoWriMo novels that I hope to eventually move from First Draft to something more, and a few other unfinished projects.  Of course, there will also be a rotating Wednesday monthly schedule, and a part of Wednesdays is Wandering Wednesdays, my weekly errand excursion, which usually happens in the morning. Sometimes, especially in the Spring, it becomes Wild Wednesday, a full day of gardening.

Tidy up Thurs, which fits because it’s my laundry day, also rotating through personal monthly tasks, like vacuuming my bedroom, changing my sheets, straightening up my studio, etc. It is also Tie it Up Thursday, meaning finish any projects that were started earlier in the week, so I can end the week with a feeling of completion. I also get to plan my creative ideas for Friday.

Freedom Friday! Yes, Fridays are dedicated to music & creativity! Recording myself, learning how to use Logic better, playing my Harp with wild abandon. Of course, I play music most days for an hour or 2, working on orchestra parts, or special pieces for an upcoming gig or another, but Friday is for being original and just having fun.

When I don’t have gigs on the weekends, we’re talking Slackerly Saturday and/or Slackerly Sunday. Sleep in, have a late breakfast, take a hot bubble bath, and do whatever I want, which usually includes wearing PJs all day.

This is the basis for my system, although there are many other elements. Each day I try to get through all the dailies, like practicing, working out, gardening. Then I move on to the weeklies, monthlies, etc. I also have students on and off, gigs here & there, and a variety of projects I’m juggling (way too many, to be honest).

From Chaos to Creativity…more or less!

 

 

 

 

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My Offal Lunch, 7/20/16

First, I haven’t posted in awhile, for a variety of reasons, mostly just life in general, but Life is Good, and always better than the Alternative! So here I am, it’s mid-summer now, and although I haven’t really stuck with my plans for this blog entirely, I’m always willing to try to get back on track (in every area of my life). Every day is a new adventure!

I’ve been planning on doing a series called My Offal Lunch (pronounced Aweful, but not  necessarily tasting so) for awhile, so today is the first offering!! Why Offal, you ask?

  • Because that stuff is really good for us, but many of us tend to go into an avoidance pattern with liver, heart, and other such things. I’m no different, and this is an opportunity for me to share my experiences, and encouragement.
  • Because I have a bunch of these things in my freezer, and they are taking up space!
  • Because many of us don’t know what to do with this stuff, so again, I’ll be sharing  my ideas.

Today  is just as good of a day to start as any other, right?

French Lamb’s Heart & Veggie Soup

This soup isn’t really French, but I used herbs from my garden that might be considered French, so I figured Why not? As with all of my recipes, it is free of gluten, dairy, nightshades, and various other inflammatory things, and many of the ingredients came directly from my Garden.

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Step one: Slice up a few shallots, and by a few, I mean as many as you like! I went with 3, but I wished I’d gone with 5 or more. Heat a little fat in a sauce pan (I used bacon fat leftover from breakfast), add the shallots, and sauté until nicely caramelized.  This step isn’t necessary, but does add a richer flavor. You could also substitute an onion, a leek, or any kind of oniony things. Once they are to your liking, add some broth. Any broth will do, although beef broth would be especially flavorful in this case, and of course homemade broth is the best! I freeze my broths in pint sized containers for making soup. I also freeze them in 1 cup containers and ice cube trays, because you never know when you’ll want some broth, but not necessarily a pint! Anyway, if your broth is frozen, bring it up to a simmer.

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Step two: While your broth is heating up (or, more smartly, before you’ve even started cooking), prep some veggies. I wanted spiralized noodles, but didn’t feel like hauling out the spiralizer, so instead I opted for using the veggie peeler. I used a carrot, a red turnip, and a golden turnip. BTW, the red turnip is much milder than the golden one, also, because of the extreme heat lately, that golden turnip never got very big, and was a little pithy. The nice thing about using the veggie peeler to make your noodles is you can peel off strips until you get to the pithy center! So this is great for any root veggies that have a tough center, but still have some use! Other possible veggie choices for this soup would include parsnips, parsley or celery root, rutabega, radishes, beets (golden would be especially nice), squash, and really any veggies that you can spiralize or make ribbons out of. Not in the mood to spiralize? No problem, just slice things up into bite size pieces. Or if you have some leftover spagetti squash, use it.

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I also thawed and chopped up a lambs heart. It was actually frozen when I started the broth, so I put it in a tub of hot water to thaw for about 10 minutes, and then removed the tough looking parts, which is easier to do if the heart is still a little frozen. I added those scraps to my freezer container of bones for next week’s broth making. and sliced the heart into smaller chunks. Heat a little bacon fat in a skillet, saute the heart a little and set aside. Good news, I ate a piece and it actually tasted good! Kind of like sirloin steak, only a little stronger, but nothing like liver, just in case you were wondering.

Step Three: Once the broth is simmering, stir in the veggies and let them cook until tender to your liking. At this point I also started sampling the broth and adding salt to taste. I was initially thinking I would go with Asian flavorings, but ended up adding a few sprigs of French Thyme, a small amount of Lovage, and a little pepper.

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Finally, I stirred in the heart, a sprinkle of dill, a large pressed garlic clove, and a little Red Boat, because you can never have enough umami! I also considered adding some greens, but I ate a  pile of them for breakfast. I let it simmer a few more minutes, and then enjoyed a savory satisfying lunch!

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Using My Fitness Pal, I estimate the calories to be somewhere in the 500 – 600 range. Here’s the Macros:

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And below you’ll see the estimated nutrients, although I had to do 2 overlapping screen shots to get it all.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave a comment, including any experiences you’ve had with Lamb’s Heart! Enjoy the day!

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Hello Spring!

My garden is waking up, and I want to spend every waking moment out there! Here are a few pics I took on Wednesday!

While I was out there I started the process of digging up leeks, separating the clumps, and replanting them so they can get fat & juicy!  I grow 3 different varieties of Leeks. These are King Richard, and I still need to deal with the Giant Musselburgh and Bleu de Solaise. Then it will be on to the Shallots & other oniony things.IMG_2929

One of my favorite breakfasts in the Springtime is Eggdrop soup. It’s not pretty to look at, but it is delicious and nutritious, and super easy to make. For each serving you’ll need:

1 C of broth (chicken, pork, beef, or whatever kind you have on hand)

grated ginger & garlic to taste (or you can go with other seasonings)

Fish sauce or coconut aminos or salt to taste

Oniony things – Leeks, shallots, onion, chives, spring onions… today I used leeks. If you want to deepen the flavor, sauté the onions first.

A Handful of Greens – today I went with Dandelion, yesterday it was Kale. Any edible greens will work!

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt or a few drops of fish sauce

Get everything ready…

Heat your broth with all of the ingredients except the greens and the eggs. Let it simmer briefly, until it is infused with the ginger & garlic.

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Sample it and when you like the way it tastes, drop the greens in there, stir, and then slowly add the eggs, gently swirling just a little as you go. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Optional additions: tiny pieces of leftover meats, spiralized veggies, Shallots that have been sautéed until crispy, crumpled bacon…

Before additions, here are the estimated Macros, according to myfitnesspal.com

 Carbs 9% (2G), Fat 58% (7G), Protein 33% (10G)

And of course it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, and other good things!

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“You’re Standing in my Cumquat!”

This post contains several links. I didn’t plan it that way, but all of a sudden, there they all are. I suggest reading the article first, and then if any of the links appeal to you, please check them out!

The title of this post is a quote from the off broadway musical, The Fantasticks! For those who have never seen it, The Fantasticks! was written in 1960 by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, and is the world’s longest running musical. It’s been performed in at least 67 countries, and has been translated into many, many languages. It’s story is universal.

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The narrator, El Gallo, originally played by Jerry Orbach, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”. (quote from the Greenville College Factory Theatre page).

Anyways, I love this show! It’s hilarious, and the music is awesome, including some classic songs: Try To Remember, They Were You and Soon It’s Gonna Rain. The only accompaniment is a piano & a harp. I’ve loved it since the first time I ever played it. I fall in love with it again every time I get the opportunity to play it (this is my 5th), which is what I’ve been doing for the last week or so with The Factory Theatre in Greenville, IL. It’s an hour drive each way, and last week I drove it every day, from Wednesday – Sunday. We’ve got 3 more performances this weekend, and then it’s on to other projects.

I utilize the drive time get caught up on a few podcasts that I enjoy, such as:

Bee the Wellness This is an Ancestral Health/Paleo podcast that touches on all things nourishing. Adam and Vanessa Lambert, coaches from my beloved Unveil Your Wellness group on Vimify , talk about all aspects of health & human potential: looking at, sifting through, and explaining the latest health related sciences;  interviewing a variety of interesting & knowledgable people; sharing their own journeys; and they also laugh a lot in the process. Vanessa, aka Nesta, is also an amazing singer/songwriter, and the opening and closing soundtracks feature her music. Here’s one of her songs

TAP to Music Podcast featuring Nick Johnson. In each episode, Nick interviews a different musician, sharing a few of their songs and talking about the things that inspire them, their creative process, and music as a part of their life. His guests come from all musical backgrounds, cultures, and styles. I love this show! Every episode inspires me!

So, I’ve gotten way off track here. The real point of this post was What’s a Kumquat?

A kumquat is basically a miniature orange, more or less, roughly the size of a large olive. They are first found in 12th century Chinese literature and have been cultivated for centuries in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia.  Here is a picture of my Kumquat tree, which lives in my Sunroom during the winter months, and then enjoys being outside in the summer.

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The fruits usually begin to ripen around the HoliDaze, and then over the next couple of months I get to eat a few Kumquats a week, to add a little vitamin C & Joy into my life. You can put them in things, like a salad (veggie or fruit), or make marmalade, but most of the time I just pop one into my mouth and savor the contrast between the sweet peel & the tangy sour juices. There are also seeds, which I add to my compost bucket, because they’re rather bitter.

You can also make  Salt Preserved Kumquats, similar to preserved lemon.  This is a popular way to use Kumquats in China, resulting in a traditional home remedy for colds & sore throat. I haven’t tried doing this yet, but my kumquats are at their peak of ripeness, and I’ve had an abundant crop this year (I’ve already been eating/thinning them out since early January) so I think I’m going to give it a try!

I also have a Meyer Lemon tree & a Key Lime.  The Meyer Lemon usually produce an average of a dozen fruits per year, although this year the squirrels stole some. I enjoy using them in a variety of ways, especially salad dressings. The Key Lime is a crazy lime making machine, and although the limes are small, they are abundant, and I never seem to need much lime juice at a time anyway, so I haven’t purchased limes at the store for a long time now. All 3 trees are compact, easy to care for, and easy to move, except for the lime, which is loaded with evil thorns!

I love having my own source of citrus, and if my sunroom was bigger, I’d add a few more!

 

 


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Why Paleo?

A few days ago I turned 57. I feel fantastic. In fact, I feel better now than I’ve felt in my entire adult life. Why?

Five years ago I made a radical change in the way I ate. After years of vegetarian/vegan eating, I gradually developed a variety of health issues. No matter how ‘good’ I was, I never really felt very good: Chronic fatigue, arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, poor digestion, horrible gut aches & gas, kidney issues, headaches, weird aches & pains, slow healing of cuts, and more. I kept gaining more weight each month, in spite of an austere way of eating.  I had given up sweets in my 20s, all milk products in my 30s, and yet my immune system was a wreck, with constantly returning migraines, bronchial issues & viral infections. I also lacked motivation & focus. In my 40’s I began to suspect gluten & other grains to be a problem as well.

I’ve been gardening for a long time, and as I started looking into and incorporating what I learned about permaculture, I also began to realize that no matter what I did, I couldn’t grow enough grains & beans in my Urban Garden to support my family throughout the year. So eating those things might not be sustainable for me. I also realized that all the Vegan dogma about meat vs agriculture only applies to Industrially raised meats, and doesn’t actually take Industrially raised grains into account, and on the whole, all industrially raised foods are wasting resources and destroying our land, groundwater, the economy, and lives.

Around the time I turned 50, I read a book by Charles Eisenstein called The Yoga of Eating. It’s a very interesting read that advocates learning to trust our instincts and our desires, to recover our authentic appetites, to let go of Dogma and learn to truly nourish ourselves on all levels. It’s a short book, but very thought provoking, especially if you have a history of eating disorders & self-judgement (I do). This book was a game changer for me, not just regarding food, but regarding all kinds of choices I make on a daily basis.

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Here’s a link to the book

Eisenstein asks, “What are you saying ‘yes’ to?” 

I’m saying yes to growing as much of my own food as I can, and nourishing myself, my family, and friends on simple traditional meals. I can build health in my garden by adding certain elements (like mulch & compost) that encourage biodiversity in the soil: Bacteria, fungi, and other supportive life forms that symbiotically help the plants to flourish. I can do the same thing in my gut, the soil of my body, by making and ingesting homemade cultured foods, because health really begins with a healthy gut, and a healthy gut is a microbiological miracle of symbiosis that enables your body to absorb nutrients and thrive.

I’m saying yes to a healthy local economy, animals who are allowed to do their natural animal things, whether it be grazing, pecking, or rooting, with humane lives & as little suffering as possible. Locally sourced food supports the economy, the earth, and quality control. When you buy a side of “grass fed” beef from the guy that lives outside of town, you are supporting his family & his community. He’s just another person like you. You’re also saying “yes” to a lifestyle that supports real people, living real lives, making quality choices. No middle men.

I’m saying yes to taking responsibility for my own health, the health of my little piece of Earth that is my Garden, which I call Terri’s Airy Fairie World, and this has also led me deeper into Permaculture and it’s principles. I am my own Science Fair Experiment. Counting my body as Zone 00, and using the first principle of Permaculture (Observe & Interact), I discovered that if I remove certain foods from my body, I experience excellent health. If I re-introduce those same foods (always one at a time), like clockwork old symptoms re-appear. Remove the foods that are suspect and health returns.

This process takes time. I’ve been doing this since I was in high school, when I realized that every time I ate bacon I got a 3 – 5 day migraine. This discovery initially led to my decision to no longer eat pork, and to become a vegetarian. Many years later I realized that the pork wasn’t the problem, it was the nitrates in the processed pork that caused my headaches.

This year I observed & finally accepted that all Nightshades are out for me. When all the Paleo people started saying “Potatoes are ok now!” I quickly discovered that potatoes are not ok for me. They cause major problems for my feet and hands (you can’t blame everything on gluten & dairy). Over the course of the year I’ve tested green, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, chilis, tomatoes. They all cause the same problems, with varying degrees. My plantar fasciitis returns with a vengeance, my achilles tendons swell up painfully, it’s like the muscles that allow me to roll up to the ball of my foot while walking are temporarily paralyzed, so I can’t walk right, & my ankles swell and stiffen. That’s not all, and that’s just my feet. It effects my hands as well, and being a musician, I can’t have that! When I don’t eat nightshades, all of these symptoms miraculously go away. Some doctor would probably say that there is no scientific evidence to verify my claims, I’m just some crackpot hypochondriac. Whatever. My body is my verification. That’s enough for me!

The amazing part? Every body, like every fingerprint, and every snowflake, is unique. Some people can eat anything & everything. Good for them. I hold no resentments. Enjoy!

I flourish on rich meaty bowls of homemade soup loaded with well cook root veggies, greens, oniony things, and some animal protein. I eat eggs, meat & veggies from mostly local sources. I like food that is mostly Savory. Occasionally I eat something mildly sweet, like a custard, rich with gelatin, eggs, and coconut milk. I know that coconuts don’t grow anywhere near St. Louis. Tea doesn’t grow here either, and I love full leaf black teas….sigh…nobody is perfect, and we don’t have to be.

Call it Paleo, Primal, Ancestral, AIP, or whatever…

I’m saying “no thank you” to guilt, dogma, processed foods, and poor health.

If you aren’t experiencing robust health, I encourage you to be your own Science Fair experiment! You’ll be amazed by the things you learn from and about your body!

I eat well. I feel fantastic, strong, energized, creative, and I’m grateful for my health.

Here’s today’s breakfast: uncured fresh bacon, sunny side up eggs, and sautéed brussels.

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January 2016 – Week One

Dear Friends & Family,

Two Years have gone by since my last post here. Excuses 1 – 17, 33 – 39, 79 – 85, and various other random reasons, mostly not enough time in each day, trying to do way too many things, and I think you catch my drift. (Note to self – create a post with a list of excuses🙂

How long does it take to compose a blog post?

I’ll time myself and see.

I think the hardest thing about blogging is taking the time to sit down and do it. I get all these great ideas while I’m cooking, gardening, gigging, even knitting, but then I never get around to actually sitting down and typing something.

Add to that a simple fact. If I don’t use a technology or program regularly, I forget how to use it. This also applies to driving places & various other parts of my life…basically everything except music! So, knowing that I’ll probably have to remember how to navigate Word Press doesn’t help my level of motivation, but I’m setting an intention (notice that I did NOT say New Year’s Resolution) to post more regularly this year, maybe even weekly!

2015 started and ended very busily, all good, of course! So now on to 2016, because I have a feeling this is going to be the Amazing Year of Awesomeness!!

There’s something wonderful about January (other than my birthday). I love the beginning of the year. The hub bub of December generally exhausts me (this year I played 21 xmas gigs in 24 days).  In January I look forward to Winter weather, introspection, and relative quiet. Time to sleep in, restring my harps, drink lots of tea, make big pots of soup, start planning my garden, and recuperate from the busy-ness of late Fall.

As it turns out, I’ve played 2 Gigs this week, and booked 6 more! So January may not be quite as laid back as usual. I suddenly have a music stand full of things to work on, in addition to all the projects I’ve lined up for myself this year, including:

  1. Complete the Permaculture course I signed up for last spring…the clocks a ticking! https://www.openpermaculture.com
  2. Improve my skills with Logic Pro and iMovie, and get good at recording/videoing myself
  3. Plan my best garden yet!
  4. Keep up with my Bee the Wellness Group! I’m in better shape than I was a year ago, and I want to keep it that way! If you’re interested in improving your health on all levels & exploring the Paleo way of life, the Annual Free 21 Day Transformational Challenge begins on Monday, Jan 11th. Also beginning that same day are the 21 day Unveil Your Wellness Challenge & the 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I’ll be there!! https://www.vimify.com/app/discover
  5. Continue to get better at playing Jazz.

All of these things fall under the umbrella of my main intention for this year, which is to live a fully Artistic life, feeling  Creativity flowing through me all day, every day, in all of my endeavors.

Got any intentions for 2016 that you’d like to share?

I’ll close this first post of the year with a photo of my garden in winter. It’s kind of wreck! I got super busy in the fall, and barely could find time to go out there to collect produce once a week, but in spite of my neglect, it’s been an amazingly productive garden this year, with loads of sweet potatoes, and wonderful varieties of oniony things (garlic, onions, shallots, etc), root veggies galore, greens, herbs, berries, and lots of self-seeded things. We haven’t really had any actual Winter weather in St. Louis yet, so I’m still going out there Leeks, Greens, and the occasional Root!

Happy New Year!

BTW, this took 45 minutes to write, including the uploading part, which turned out  not to be as stressful as I imagined it would be. :)IMG_2738

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