Posts Tagged ‘raw food’

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The Tour Hits the Desert!

November 19, 2010

Hey Guys!

As you can see from this picture, taken about half an hour ago, I am still alive! And doing well! Despite multiple overnight trips on the tour bus, chefs that didnt’ want me to use their space, food sourcing issues and stress, etc. I am just doing it!

I’ve learned a lot about working in huge kitchen spaces, as I am usually put in the banquet kitchen at some of these hotels. To make a salad…

Some of my clients just simply won't chew enough! They like to eat fast. So I try to chop up their romaine salads very well for them. 🙂

I get to use these enormous industrial salad spinners! I like them though, because it is the one piece of equipment that I am sure hasn’t been contaminated on some level with animal flesh. 🙂 I do always use my own knives.

I can take a lot (I like to think!) as far as not getting grossed out. I’ve been using those big walk in fridges with lots of pasteurized dairy products and some smelly cheeses (big deal you might say), BUT there was one room I went into today that I seriously wanted to vomit. The head chef was already very “chefy” and sort of hardcore about his craft and stern, so I didn’t want him to see me wrinkle my nose at the smell and general energy of this one room. It reeked of dead chicken. Not cooked chicken, not fried chicken, but dead chicken. It was a cleaning room where lots of raw chickens get um, processed. The smell was nauseating. Barf central! I breathed through my mouth and got through it though!

But then I went back to the other kitchen room with all the happy sous chefs and it was all good! 🙂

I love happy kitchens!

A few days ago we were in San Antonio and I have to say I had a great time! Our hotel was right along the river, and I loved how I could open my window and see the little boats go by and have the walking path right there. Magical!

I also went to the Alamo. I liked the short film they played on its history and seeing all the old buildings.

Then we headed to the REAL desert- Phoenix! I really loved all the amazing cacti and interesting shrub plants all around. Hardy little things aren’t they! Growing in that crazily hot, dry climate.

And I woke up on the tour bus this morning… and found myself in San Diego! I took a short walk this morning before trekking to Wholefoods. Beautiful!

The end is in sight my friends!   I am so excited to soon not to have to pack up the annoying old kitchen bag every day. 🙂 Ha! If you scroll back a few blogs when we started in Las Vegas you might remember how excited and cool and organized I thought my kitchen bags were. Well let’s just say the novelty of the constant packing has worn off, and me and Vitamix can’t wait to be positioned for one place…for more than 48 hours!

I send my love.

Kimberly

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Southern Times!

November 15, 2010

Hey Guys!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend! So I’ve been up to a bit of a southern tour these last few days. After DC we headed to Atlanta. I have to say that with the crowd I’m traveling with do get invited and get to do some pretty fun things 🙂 … like getting on the field during warmup for the Atlanta Falcons vs. Ravens game! The players are ENORMOUS up close and personal- I got a glimpse of how downright frightening it would be to actually be on the field with those big boys!

We also got to meet the owner of the Falcons… and sit in his box!

What's for dinner? In Memphis some kind of salad and something with raw kelp noodles...

We headed to Memphis and consequently some pretty hardcore barbeque territory. I got to see some of the traditional white gravies and fixins’ when I had to use the kitchen at our hotel. Below is Chef Leroy, who was incredibly accommodating and sweet to let me use all his equipment (though I think he was baffled by my raw kelp noodles and other goodies 🙂 ).

What’s my favorite part about Memphis? The trolley! It runs right down the middle of the city, and it is so old-fashioned. I love how it is made up of all wood. Fabulous!

I did get a chance to check out famous Beale Street, jumping with live music.

But here’s me about to do my favorite thing in the world right now: sleeping in my bunk on the tour bus. There is something about the rocking of the moving bus that puts me right to sleep! Sometimes I sleep better on the bus than in all these different hotels. To be honest, we are all so exhausted that I’ll take sleep anytime and anywhere I can!

We hit Dallas, which was cool, and I’m in Houston right now! Moving on tomorrow…

Come back to visit soon!

I send all my love! Kimberly

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DC and Literal Renderings of the Axiom “You Are What You Eat!”

November 11, 2010

Hey Guys,

I hope you are doing well!

I’m in Atlanta, a city I am a bit familiar with from having done some nutrition work on a film here last spring. But alas, there isn’t much time to pause and breathe, as we are leaving for Memphis in a few hours!

I did have a second to pause in Washington, DC (just under 48 hours), the city right before. I attended Georgetown University, so it brought back a few memories. Admittedly, I have not really gotten around to visiting DC very often the past few years. But since our hotel was right downtown and a block from the White House, I did have just enough time the first day to walk around the monuments and the Reflecting Pool, and up to Lincoln’s Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Here’s a blast from the past: Walking along the exact same paths and sidewalks that, in college, I used to run so often as I trained for my multiple times running the Marine Corps Marathon. Was that really me? I could not help but wonder as I walked around the Reflecting Pool. Running any distance (except a few yards to dash onto a train in a Manhattan subway!) seems like such a foreign activity. I have not run in years, and have no plans to run in the future! I still have creaky knees from years of running such long miles, and since discovering yoga and walking to all my errands, it just doesn’t seem as fun of a choice!

On my second morning in DC, I had a limited amount of time, so I could choose one of the Smithsonian Museums. What did I pick? The National Gallery! I love art, and I wanted to spend some time taking in interesting and beautiful images.

Vertumnus, c. 1590

Ironically, there was a completely fitting and wonderfully literal exhibit on show that I was able to catch that I wanted to share with you: Acrimboldo (1526-1593) Nature and Fantasy. The artist Arcimboldo painted during the latter half of the 16th century. He had his work commissioned by Maximilian II, who became the emperor of the Roman Empire in 1564 and was particularly interested in natural sciences and studies.

It was in the 16th century that the new sciences of botany, horticulture and zoology came into play, encouraging artists to take a close look at the natural world and contemplate various species of animals, as well as flower blossoms and the structure of entire plants, including their stem and roots.

This first painting (Vertumnus, 1590) is a loose rendering of the emperor himself, with rosy cheeks represented by apples and a crown of the bounties of nature, include fruits like cherries and grapes, vegetables like snaps peas and corn, and grains like wheat. It was a favorable representation of course, to symbolize the peace and prosperity of Maximilian’s reign. (This was obviously before the age of GMO corn and hybridized wheat, two foods I definitely recommend avoiding! 🙂 ).

Summer, 1573

 

I also love this painting, Summer (1573), which displays the bounty of summertime produce and grains which were locally available. I really connected with the exhibit because I love the literal representation of the foods making up the people’s faces and upper torsos- their bodies! It is in fact accurate that the foods that we eat make up the cells, tissues and organs of our body, and are the material upon which our hair, skin and nails are built. So if we want beauty, we must be sure to eat beautiful things found in nature!

The Jurist, 1566

I also found this not so flattering portrait of the vice chancellor Ulrich Zasius, called The Jurist (1566), quite amusing. He was apparently not a um, popular person in court, who was often ridiculed for exercising some questionable legal practices. The inscription at the exhibit read that Arcimboldo’s friend Gregario Comanini commented, “Of the pleasure it gave the emperor and the laughter it provoked at court, there is no need for me to tell you.”

Interesting enough, what references did Arcimboldo draw from to create this caricature? Cooked chicken carcasses to create the majority of the face and the nose, a fish mouth as the mouth, and a fish tail for chin. There ‘aint no beautiful fruits and vegetables in this painting!! When Arcimboldo wanted to create a highly unflattering rendering, he used animal food – not plant food – to make up his subject. I don’t think I need to spell out what I think about think about that! We are, quite literally, what we eat!

Lots of love,

Kimberly

PS: If you haven’t already checked out my SeeYourImpact.org campaign to raise money for sustainable gardens in Africa, and other great projects where you will directly hear from the beneficiaries, click HERE !!!

 

Okay, I also popped into the Museum of Natural History for a moment to to into the live butterfly exhibit. I love butterflies! To me they are a symbol of freedom and beauty.

Coming to a city near you!! Here I am spotted by a blog reader on the corner near 14th Street in DC! While I'm tourning around you never know where we'll run into each other. 🙂 We hit the south next!!

 

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I’m Officially a Carnie (Vagrant)!

November 7, 2010

(loosely taken from Urban Dictionary)
Carnie:
Carnival workers. Good, hardworking, trustworthy, honest, vagrants who travel or tour with a show for work

Hi Guys!

Hope all is well!

It is Day 9 of the press tour, and I have to admit that it feels like Day 30. Eek!  There is just so much packed into each day and each location. More on that in a sec but first… I wanted to show you my new haircut! Do you like it?? It wasn’t my idea at all! I had my beloved hair stylist, Mel, come to my hotel room in my very limited spare time when I was passing through NY to cut my hair, and she was like, “Girl, you need to change it up. You’ve had the same hair for over 2 years. I think we should try bangs.” Really?? Okay… maybe?... was my reaction. I never color, highlight or blowdry my hair, and I’m not one who has periodic drastic hair changes. But then I thought, Why not? It’s only hair! So here you have it!

After Boston, we briefly passed through New Haven, CT and Long Island (where one of my actors has some family) on the drive down, then had a few days in NYC!!! It’s funny b/c everyone asks me if I miss NY when I’m in LA, and I usually reply…no, not really. It’s not that I don’t love it, but it is more that I always seem to adapt to where I am and try to be present with where I am. I guess I needed to learn to be adaptable to backpack for so long. Or is it more that that is my nature in the first place, so that is why I could even backpack at all for that long?

Stocked 4 fridges at my fancy NYC hotel!

Coming back to NY brought a flood of emotions. It did feel great to come home! I saw a bunch of my friends, my parents, rode the subway, visited my apt to grab more clothes, squeezed in a few important lunch meetings, visited my old favorite farmer’s market in Union Square, dropped off food at the poster shoot for a major film coming out early next year… oh yeah and did all my work with the clients I am traveling with now on the tour. 🙂 I realized how much I do love the vibe and energy of NY!

We actually had 3 nights in NY! Which on this tour felt like moving in!

Then we left for Atlantic City. I’ve been making all the Green Smoothies and certain things that I can in my hotel rooms:

Okay I might have clogged a few sinks with bits of green items. 🙂 But I act responsibly and always call the maintenance man!! I am also a big tipper on this trip. 🙂

For dinner I have to use the restaurant kitchens in the hotels, or pictured here in AC I used the banquet kitchen at the fancy casino where we stayed. Nerdy little thing that I am, I did not go out to the casino that night. I stayed in reading Michael Pollan books!

Usually my clients are on the same floor as me, which makes it SO much easier. But at this last hotel they were not. You know those elevators that split- say one goes to Floors 1-26, then another set goes to Foors 27-56? Around 9:00 last night I was already in my jammies, but I had to drop off some food in my client’s room. I figured I would just pop up into the elevators a few floors and no one would really see me. Weeeellll… I forgot it was one of those annoying elevators that had the split, so I had to go down to the (fancy) lobby, walk around a hallway, then go to the other set of elevators- in my jammies and slippers holding a Wholefoods bag and some food! There were lots of dressed up people that looked at me like I was an alien. I felt like saying, “Um, actually I am not an alien I am a carnie!!! So get over it!” 🙂

Now one of my standards for judging hotels now is counter space in bathrooms.

So far the Mandarin Oriental is my favorite hotel

We’re in Philly now. What a great city!

Write more later. Have a great early week and take care!

Love, Kimberly

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SeeYourImpact.org and Organic Home Garden Kits!!!

November 2, 2010

Here I am in Zimbabwe with some incredibly warm and amazing women! After a few days in my campsite, they invited me to visit their rural village, which I really enjoyed!!!

 

Hi Guys,

I hope you are having a great start to the week! I’m currently in New Haven, CT this time for less than 24 hours (!). Craziness! I got to use a really nice kitchen tonight in the hotel, and the day in food went really smoothly. But honestly, I really need to get a good night’s sleep! I was starting to nod off periodically on the road down from Boston.

I also wanted to share something with you today that is very, very close to my heart. In my travels, I have seen so many different people from different backgrounds- many with the kindest hearts and biggest and warmest smiles, but all the while living without clean water or steady access to life-giving food (especially fresh produce).

Do you ever think about all the people out there you want to help, but weren’t sure how to help, or if you really could make a difference?

That’s why I was incredibly excited when I heard of this revolutionary new organization:  SeeYourImpact.org. It gives us all the ability to donate any amount, say a $10 mosquito net, or a $18 school uniform. Literally, about 2 weeks after you donate on their website, you’ll find out exactly who you helped!

SeeYourImpact.org will email you a picture and a story of the real person whose life you changed with your gift. In two weeks! I’ve never seen anything like it. You’ll know their name and you’ll see how your donation is helping them. It’s so amazing!

Here’s an example. When I was visiting their website in October, I saw that a donor named Kellie had donated to my favorite gift: $25 home garden. By the end of the month, she had received this email of her gift in action:

Afisa and Asman get help feeding their children!

Dear Kellie,

Your donation has helped to provide nourishment for a family in rural Rwanda. The mother’s name is Afisa, pictured in the purple shirt, and the father’s name is Asman.

Afisa and Asman have two kids of their own, and a third orphan child in their custody. The community health workers notified Humanity for Children about their family because they are very poor, and thus have had problems keeping their kids from getting malnourished.

Thanks to your donation, Afisa and Asman received the seeds necessary to plant a garden!

Whenever I read this letter, it does make me tear up. 😦 During my travels, I’ve encountered families struggling to find a steady supply of food, let alone healthily organic vegetables. And here are inexpensive home gardens that enable families to live healthier, more sustainable lives and you get to see exactly who you’re helping!

Help me change the world!

I want to do something really special with you this week. I’ve launched a campaign with SeeyourImpac.org to provide gardens to 15 families in Rwanda and Colombia.

All it takes is $25 to provide a family with a beautiful healthy vegetable garden. Even better, I contacted the organization, and they’ve provided me with gift certificates to give to the first 10 donors. Hurry, give and you’ll receive a $25 gift certificate to SeeYourImpact.org that you can email to a friend!

The preschool gets a garden!

Oh here’s more info on the gardens: In Rwanda your donation will provide a family with a permaculture garden. These gardens retain water better during the dry season, and require less overall work to maintain.  In Colombia your donation will turn an abandoned backyard into a productive organic vegetable garden.

I am so excited about SeeYourImpact.org and I know that you will be too. Please help me change the world for just a few people by donating a $25 home garden kit today!!! I’m eager to see the photos and stories we receive back! Share yours in the comments.

SeeYourImpact.org offers more than just gardens. Their gifts focus on healthcare, education and clean water in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A one-year beauty care course for handicapped women in India is another really cool program. After completion of the course, graduates receive a formal certificate, and all the materials they need to start their own beauty business! Check out the site for yourself. What are your favorite gifts?

In a few weeks, I’ll share the pictures of the lives we’ve changed. Let’s see what we can do! Again, please join me and click HERE and check it out!! Let’s impact some lives!!!

Please pass this along to your friends and family. You can even use the social network links listed below (see how I’m trying to get more techie these days?! And I will launch my Facebook page soon- hey I’m only 5 years behind. 🙂 ).

Love always,

Kimberly

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The Press Tour Begins: From Vegas to Boston!

November 1, 2010

Hey Guys!

Happy Halloween!! I can’t say that I did much for the holiday this year, but I do appreciate the costumes I saw floating around everywhere I went. And Saturday night in Vegas they certainly were in full effect!

So the long press tour I’m on with my clients has begun! It calls on me to stay impeccably organized, 100% on my game, and constantly thinking of all possible situations, backup plans and different food moods (within boundaries of course!) my clients might be in.

Of course, at the beginning of the trip I get spoiled right off the bat. We had an amazing villa in Vegas complete with a private pool, and a great side kitchen. I could really move in, all of the 2 days I was there! But I can’t get too cozy because the rest of the tour I won’t have a private kitchen.

I try to label things as clearly as possible for the times when I am not doing the actual food hand offs right at eating times- to avoid error and confusion! There is a certain order that the foods are optimally eaten in. Fruit first!

Besides my completely indispensable Vitamix (have you gotten yours yet??), my favorite Global knife is another must have for the road. I don’t bring the whole set, but only the one I love to cut with, wrapped in a towel with rubberbands.

This is Piece 1 of my “portable kitchen kit.” Admittedly, the biggest pain with being on such a fast-moving tour on the road (we are in each city only 2 days or less), is the constant packing up and packing in. I have to be super efficient, and I am not the super duper master packer that someone like my mom is! Still I do my best, and always pack the most important thing first, ie the Vitamix!

Essential to the kit are all my spices, partitioned into categories and bagged up to prevent massive spillage.

So just when I have everything packed up, and am feeling pretty proud of myself…

I look over at the counter and noticed that I forgot to pack my salad spinner top. Crap!!!!! Back to the drawing board!!

We took a long leap over to Boston via plane, where the buses are meeting us (since they departed Vegas immediately). It is freaking freezing here Mr. Bigglesworth!!!!!!! It is safe to say I’ll be wearing approximately the same outfit until we get to New York in a few days, where I can actually get back to my apartment and get some warm weather clothing! Here I layer a tank top, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and thin jacket. That’s all I got since I’ve been in Cali-land since summer!

I set my clients up with their food and had a few hours to myself. I really enjoyed walking around Boston! I had to make 2 separate trips to Wholefoods and one to Trader Joe’s (to get just a few small items I forgot), so I got to know my way around a little bit- at least as far as markets go!

The highlight of my day was getting to sneak away for a few hours to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. It is incredible! Below are some of my favorite images from the museum that I wanted to share with you:

Photographs by Avedon. The actress Suzy Parker above left. I love the outfits from the 50’s and 60’s!

Claude Monet’s Water Lillies– very serene.

And I love all the Buddhist and Asian art!

… and the Renaissance-style ceiling!

Here is me exploding my portable kitchen kits in my 5-star hotel room. 🙂 I have a few mini fridges. Tonight I had to go to the kitchen below to use it for a few things, and I have to say that the staff there were incredibly accommodating!! (Quite the contrast to some places in Europe that I won’t mention, that were not so keen at having me share their kitchen, just because I was traveling with celebrities!)

So now I feel newly inspired by spending time at the art museum today! I like this sort of artsy picture my friend took.

Have a great early week! Come back and visit, and continue on the journey with me!

Lots of love,

Kimberly

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Food Prep for Life on the Road (Again)!

October 26, 2010

Hey Guys!

I hope your week is starting off well!

I went and had an infrared sauna last night then a deep tissue massage.. which was amaaaazing!! I figured I might as well work out some kinks before they come back tenfold during the long road ahead!  I’m leaving Friday to go on a nearly month-long press tour with my clients. This time I’m not touring Europe like I did this summer (check out that blog HERE!), but we are traveling to many markets nationally across all timezones and regions of the U.S.

To prepare, I’m making as much of the dehydrated foods that I can before I leave, which make up a small percentage of the diet I put my clients on. Namely, it includes flax-based seeds and breads.

It is really important to soak flaxseeds overnight, to make them more easily digestible and assimilated by the body. Here are some major reasons we should soak them, as well as our other seeds and nuts:

–       The amounts of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals exponentially increases

–       Enzyme inhibitors are released into the soak water (so be sure to rinse very well!)

–       The nutrients turn into their simpler form: Proteins turn into amino acids, carbohydrates turn into simple sugar, fats turn into fatty acids, etc.

–       It makes the nuts and seeds more alkaline-forming in the body

I make my flax crackers 50-60% veggie, as I throw in tons of red pepper, zucchini, onions, etc. Looks like a party in my mixing bowl!

Here are a few other tips:

–       Sesame seeds should only be soaked about 2 hours, because they get bitter very easily.

–       Most cashews are not really raw; they have been steamed to remove them from their hard, and partially toxic shell. Therefore, soaking and sprouting cashews is futile.

I’ll write more soon as I prepare this week. The next time I’ll have a day off is (gulp) right before Thanksgiving!

I’ll leave you with one last thought:

Yes it’s true! Believe it!!!

Lots of love, Kimberly

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Where’s My Vitamin D?? And Why “Fortified” Foods are Bogus!

October 21, 2010

Hi Guys,

Hope you are having a lovely week!

Just when I was chirping about the sun’s grace a few blogs ago, it went and disappeared on us for these past few days here in LA! It is has been cloudy, a little bit misty, but still warm. Quite cozy actually… but definitely not sunny!

So where the heck is my Vitamin D?? Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that we must ensure we are getting in adequate levels. It helps our body’s uptake and absorption of calcium, helps build strong bones and teeth, can prevent rickets, and may be helpful in preventing such issues as heart disease, IBS and rheumatoid arthritis, among other things. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in this important nutrient.

I am definitely of the opinion that the best way to get Vitamin D is naturally through sunlight right on our skin for a few minutes every day, sans sunscreen. The food sources for Vitamin D are slim pickins.’ It exists is small amounts in the flesh of certain fish such as salmon and tuna (served up along with a portion of toxins like mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are synthetic chemicals!), egg yolks and beef liver (nasty!!!). You can be sure I won’t be counting on any of those foods for my Vitamin D! But what I find extremely misleading and downright tricky is when we see foods such as milk saying they are “fortified with Vitamin D”. I’ve had some of my clients tell me they drink milk, and give it to their children, “for the Vitamin D.” Big business marketing at its finest!

Commercial milk is in fact fortified with synthetic Vitamin D, aka D2. Vitamin D2 is different from Vitamin D3, which is the natural form for us humans, by way of an unsaturated side-chain. D2 is derived from the irradiation of ergosterol, which is a vegetable sterol found in yeasts and ergot. D2 is not fully compatible with our bodies, and we should not believe that our nutritional needs are being met for Vitamin D by consuming “fortified” foods.

Yes back to my first thought- and the reason I was musing about this blog in the first place. Where’s my Vitamin D?? Cocky little me just last week was talking about how I make a point to get into the sun every day for a few minutes. Ha! You would think I lived in LA my whole life, right? 🙂 Alas, I am actually a displaced New Yorker at the moment! How quickly we can forget that for many of us, sunlight is simply not available for much of the year.

If sunlight is not available every day, and especially for long stretches of time, you can consider supplementation. Be sure to purchase a form of Vitamin D supplement that is D3, and not the synthetic D2. Be sure to check with your doctor or get your blood levels tested to determine the right amount for you. You don’t want to overdose on supplementation! For more information on this, definitely check out my other blog: The Supplement We All Need. But if the sun does poke its bright head out, get thee to the light! Even my office friends can try to roll up your sleeves and sneak out for lunch and into the light for a few minutes!

Take care!

Lots of love,

Kimberly

In life we must strive to be steady and balanced even when everything around us is changing and even crashing! Life is ever-changing, so we better hold fast to our internal grounding!

 

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Harmony

October 18, 2010

Those who live in tune with the attractive force of love achieve harmony with nature and their fellow beings.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Hey Loves,

I hope you had a great weekend and are well!

I think one of the greatest changes for me moving out to LA for a few months is being so close to the ocean. I’ve been in a really meditative mood lately. These pictures were taken in Maui when I was there a few weeks ago, but here in LA I am also only a few blocks from the water.

Even when I’m not right next to the ocean I can feel its presence. There is something about such an enormous, boundless energy in nature nearby that puts things in perspective.

I love the harmony of the waves eternally flowing in and out, like our breath. The great yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda used the analogy of how we are all waves part of One great ocean, all beings everywhere. As we start to understand more and more that we are all One, hatred, ill-will and anger towards others increasingly becomes replaced by love and compassion.

We also become more in tune with universal laws, such as proper diet, which increase our happiness and harmony. When we become out of harmony- for instance eating only for taste or to please the senses- we experience negative vibrations, pain, and varying levels of self-destruction. If our bodies become clogged, full of toxins and poorly digesting foods, then the prana, or life energy, can not fully circulate throughout beings. As we clear out bodies and minds from negativity and habits that go against the harmony of the universe, we become more receptive, radiant and joyful.

We should bathe our spirits in the deep, pure feeling that stirs within us when we gaze on the glories of His creation. That is the way to know God as beauty.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Make good choices to increase harmony in your life! I am here for you. 🙂

Love always, Kimberly

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Decoding Produce Codes

October 15, 2010

Hey Guys,

Hope you are having a great week and happy Friday!! This week has flown by for me. The weather has been sunny and beautiful here in LA, and I’ve been hard at work! I am going to be traveling for work in the very near future, sooooo even given the glorious weather here I did go and buy my first pair of this season’s winter boots this week! Don’t you just love the first shopping purchase (or 2) for the new season? 🙂

When I was recently in Hawaii I was talking to a friend about grocery store codes, and someone recently asked me about it here yesterday in LA. Hence this topic was on my mind! When shopping at the market, most individual fruits are labeled with stickers. Not so at the farmer’s market, but all regular markets. Have you ever wondered what all those little digits mean? And wondered if there is any rhyme or reason to them? Maybe you’ve never really paid attention to them, except to think they were a nuisance that you had to rip off so you wouldn’t accidentally bite into them!

I used to think they were random and only corresponded to each grocery store. But then I discovered that there is actually a uniform system! It is set up by the International Federation for Produce Standards. Doesn’t that sound so official and serious?? There are only a few basics you have to be aware of, and then you can always be sure you are buying organic produce. Buying organic ensures we are getting the highest quality produce with the greatest amount of health and promoting minerals. It also supports sustainable farming practices that don’t use pesticides. Buying certified organic produce is the only way to ensure that we are not consuming genetically modified (GMO) produce, which unfortunately does not have any labeling codes to abide by (!). Genetically modified foods have been altered from their original form, and may introduce allergenic or toxic characteristics to foods. The way GMO foods are grown is detrimental to the environment.

Here are the basics:

Organic produce: Always begins with a 9 and has a PLU number that is 5 digits long.

Here’s an example: Organic Bosc Pear #93296

 

Conventional produce: Always begins with a 4 and has a PLU number that is 4 digits long.

Here’s an example: Conventional Bosc Pear #4568

 

So always check to be sure that you purchase produce that begins with a “9” on the PLU code on the sticker –  as much as possible!

Now that you’re aware of the number system, it is kind of fun to know that you know a little something about the coding for grocery stores! You can feel like a grocery store “insider.” 🙂 Go ahead and check it out next time you are at the store!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!! I’m going to my best to get my butt hiking again this weekend.

I send my love,

Kimberly