Gently Green What I Love Please Join Me
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Drink Your Vegetables

Drink Your Vegetables    healthy foods 687x470

 

Part of living a Holistic lifestyle is taking the best care you can of your mind, body and spirit.  Today our world is host to innumerable chemicals and potential toxins that we breathe into our lungs, absorb into our skin, and digest with our food.  Some of the environmental assault is unavoidable, but we all can make healthier choices to feel good so we have the energy to do good.

I feel my best when I eat foods that are gluten-free, sugar-free and organic.  Everyone’s body and nutritional needs are slightly different, so it may take some trial and error before you find the foods that make you feel terrific and energized, instead of drowsy and fuzzy-headed.

For those of us in Connecticut, there are organic cafes nearby that offer healthy, green drinks and organic, raw foods to add energy and zest to your life.  Here are two of my favorites:

 

Drink Your Vegetables    the stand1 850x400 687x323The Stand Juice Company

The Stand Juice Company,  located in both Norwalk and Fairfield, Connecticut, serves vegan muffins, cupcakes and cookies, as well as salads, vegetarian sandwiches and of course, a large array of juices.  The “Greenie” has kale, collards, cucumber and celery; the “Freshie” is a blend of cucumber, apple and lemon.  You can find a smoothie with raw cacao, dried cherries, banana, flax seeds and almond milk (the “Choco-Cherry) or apple, banana, cinnamon, hemp protein and almond milk (the “Hempster.)

The guiding principle behind their foods and juices is that our bodies need fresh, organic, alkaline foods for optimal health.  You can find them in Norwalk at 31 Wall Street, and in Fairfield at 87 Mill Plain Road.  Or check out their website here.

Drink Your Vegetables    catch a healthy habit 2 687x545Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe

Healthy Habit founders Glen Colello and Lisa Storch created the raw food and juice cafe to offer their customers a wide array of foods that cover the healthy-eating spectrum.  They offer raw juices, smoothies, and meals that sound familiar (burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, pad thai) but that are made from healthy ingredients.  The pad thai has zucchini and kelp noodles, for instance.  And the “meatballs” are meatless.

Mr. Colello trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in Manhattan and is certified as a health counselor.  Although he changed his eating habits in one day ten years ago, giving up meat, dairy and sugar, he understands that most people transition to healthy eating more slowly.  The shop is designed to help customers on their healthy eating journey, and appeals to all different palates.  Visit them online here.

Drink Your Vegetables    green drinks 687x513Connecticut Green Drinks

Every month, people who are focused on green, sustainable living and who are working toward a healthier planet can meet to discuss their plans and goals at events across the state called “Green Drinks.”  Green Drinks offers a social networking venue for the eco-conscious, and most groups meet monthly.  Groups meet in Stamford (Wednesdays), Norwalk (Saturdays), Fairfield (Tuesdays), Bridgeport (Wednesdays)  and New Haven (Wednesdays).  For more information, go to ctgreendrinks.com.

I hope 2013 is the year you take better care of yourself.  Start small if you need to, by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  And try out some of the delicious juices offered at The Stand and Catch a Healthy Habit!  You’ll love how you feel.

 

 

 

 

 

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   Aldrich Museum 1

In mid-October I had the opportunity to attend Makers Market, an open-air display of artisans’ work held at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut.  DJ Carey, a longtime friend of Dujardin Design, is the talented editorial director of Connecticut Cottages and Gardens Magazine and served on the host committee, which made this event a must-see for me.  The artisans presented in this three-day celebration of the arts offered an inspiring look at what’s being created in modern design, covering everything from furniture to candles, jewelry to ceramics, and more.

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   wendell castle2 687x457Wendell Castle, father of the Art Furniture Movement

The highlight of the day for me was the chance to meet  “the father of the art furniture movement,” Wendell Castle.  The Aldrich Museum has curated an exhibit of the modern furniture designer’s stunning work, and as the first major exhibition by Mr. Castle in more than 20 years, you shouldn’t miss it!  The exhibit coincides with Mr. Castle’s 80th birthday; he’s been creating unique pieces of handmade sculpture and furniture for over five decades.

(He reminded me of my father’s brother, Uncle Willie, a furniture designer in the East Village for many years who gave me my first wooden paint box that I carried all through high school, college and graduate school, and taught me so much about design.)

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   Castle17130F 774178

His pieces are bold and graceful, often organic, and are crafted from beautiful hardwoods, plastics, veneers and metals in a timeless contemporary style.  The pieces selected for the Aldrich exhibition were chosen for the narrative they tell about his work.  Almost all of them were hailed as revolutionary in changing the way we look at furniture.  He was one of a group of designers who were recognized in the mid-twentieth century as important to the growing studio craft movement.  Today, his masterpieces are fast becoming some of the most coveted examples of twentieth century design.

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   CastleHellRaiserF 779389

Wandering Forms–Works from 1959-1979 is at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum until February 24, 2013.  If you haven’t been to the Aldrich yet, or if it’s been a while since you visited, don’t miss this chance to see a museum nationally known for curating outstanding new art and cultivating emerging artists.

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Ridgefield CT USA

Larry Aldrich (1906-2001) opened the museum in 1964 as one of the country’s first museums devoted exclusively to the exhibition of contemporary art.  Today, the mission of the museum is to advance creative thinking by connecting today’s artists with individuals and communities in unexpected and stimulating ways.   The building itself, located in a historic district with colonial roots, was built in 2003 and based on an abstraction of traditional New England architecture.  The white clapboard and granite museum is a beautiful addition to the original “Old Hundred” building, built in 1783, where Mr. Aldrich first housed his extensive art collection.

Wendell Castle Exhibition at the Aldrich Museum   Aldrich Museum 3

A visit to the property and the exhibition would make a wonderful day out in Connecticut–I hope you’ll go!

Autumn in Connecticut

Autumn in Connecticut

photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

 Dear Readers,

This post was written before the devastation of Hurricane Sandy across the northeast.  The beauty of fall is one side of the story; storms and dangerous weather are also part of life in Connecticut, and throughout the world.  I invite you to join me in a look at the gentler side of Autumn, even as we keep those still without power or homes in our thoughts.  I’m making a donation to the Red Cross today.  I encourage you to do whatever you can to help restore our communities.

Autumn is such a beautiful season.  My friend Michael Passarello sent me some wonderful pictures he’s taken, and it inspired me to share the beauty of Connecticut with all of you. Come join me on a virtual walk through the countryside I love, and let’s enjoy the beauty of a Fall day together!

 

Autumn in Connecticut   japanese maple leaves; photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

“Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.”  –Albert Camus

Autumn in Connecticut   autumn hydrangea; photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”–William Cullen Bryant

Autumn in Connecticut   stewarthia; photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.”  –Faith Baldwin

Autumn in Connecticut   photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers, we more than gain in fruits.”–Samuel Butler

Autumn in Connecticut   photo courtesy of Michael Passarello

“The morns are meeker than they were, the nuts are getting brown; the berry’s cheek is plumper, the rose is out of town.  The maple wears a gayer scarf, the field a scarlet gown.  Lest I should be old-fashioned, I’ll put a trinket on.” –Emily Dickinsen

Autumn in Connecticut   autumn bird 687x453

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”–George Eliot

You can’t celebrate autumn without enjoying its wonderful foods.  My husband, Frank, makes a delicious pumpkin tart:  it’s gluten free, sugar free and lactose-free!

Autumn in Connecticut   Connecticut pumpkins1 687x456

  Here’s the recipe.  We call it:

Frank’s Amazing Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Sugar-free Pumpkin Tart

(that makes its own crust!)

Do it all right in the blender!

First of all, all ingredients must be organic.  No pie crust needed – it makes its own thin crust – more like a souffle.

Place in blender:

  • 1 can 16 oz. organic pumpkin
  • 1 can or 13oz. either organic unsweetened evaporated milk or organic Rice Milk or Almond Milk (Amasake) – each one gives a different consistency
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons organic pumpkin pie s pice mix (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup sugar OR 2 teaspoons local organic honey –which we prefer (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of organic rice flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly butter a pie plate. (We use Earth Balance–an organic buttery spread that’s gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, expeller-pressed oil)

Put all the above ingredients –except rice flour– in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Gradually add 1/2 cup of organic rice flour to the blender mix until absorbed – can add more if consistency is too thin.  Pour into pie plate.  Bake until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 – 55 minutes.  Refrigerate any remaining pie.

Enjoy!

 

Photo credit:  Michael Passarello is a writer, photographer, greenhouse consultant and all around nice guy, living in the woods in North Stamford in Hedy Lamar’s old house.  You can reach Michael to inquire about his photographs at zylvert@gmail.com.

Thank you, Michael!

Autumn in Connecticut   fairfield sandy 15 687x458Hurricane Sandy, Connecticut Coast, October 29, 2012