Lacto-Fermented Goddess

I saw the ad for a free demonstration of lacto-fermented cabbage at the library, and I had to go see it.  For a long time I knew I had to eat more fermented food, but I didn’t know quite what it was. I went, I saw, I tasted. I found out about an old cookbook called Nourishing Traditions, by Dr. Weston Price & Sally Fallon, and my life is changed! All the confusion about food and fads is suddenly clear.

If I ferment my grains, I am less likely to get Celiacs. If I ferment some veggies, they get super-charged. (If I ferment the Beet Kvass, and can drink it down, I am pretty sure I will live forever.) Just what is lacto-fermentation, you ask? Well, the lacto is whey, and you mix it with a bit of salt, leave it on the counter overnight, and it will ferment what is in the bowl with it.

Q& A time:

  • How to get whey? Strain it out of yogurt.
  • What does the ferment do? 1. Inserts probiotics into the food, 2. through the enzymes, makes the nutrition more bio-available, 3. neutralizes the irritating toxins off the bran.
  • Who invented this new-fangled process? Ancient tribes from the Andes, to the Amazon, to the Alps, to the Aleutians. For tens of thousands of years, this is the way (whey) food was processed, preserved, and prescribed. Isolated tribes still treat food this way, and enjoy incredible health and vitality.

The first sixty pages of the book describe foods by category (proteins, grains, fats, milks, etc) and how they work together on the human body.The book is so commonsensical, I immediately went to my cabinet and threw away my whites: flour, sugar, cereals, and pastas. Not only are they lacking nutrients, they are also anti-nutrients! They are dead foods. Yes, dead.

You know that many foods now are processed, injected with antibiotics or hormones, gmo’ed, or otherwise fake, addictive, and harmful. So, while it may cost a few dollars more up front, the reduction in future ill health/medical bills far outweighs any qualms I have about forking over the cash for whole and natural food. Actual food. Happy food.

Now, while I do not see myself grinding up soaked and dried corn into cornflour with a stone, or making my own Kombucha (yuck), there are quite a few things that I can change up right away with no trouble at all. Like eliminating the very baddies, and working in a few easier ferments. Yes, I now have the guts of a lacto-fermented goddess!

Actually, I am going to stop writing about it, and refer you to the website to see for yourself.  Here is the brochure I got at the library demo, (and I have since read the cookbook and made the ginger carrots and steel-cut oats)  http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/principles-of-healthy-diets

I feel this is really important info for an earth-honoring goddess, and I want to make sure you get the facts from the professionals. All I am saying is, Boom!, this book changed my life. What luck! And it might change yours too.

Just sayin.

step on to this path with me
The street that leads to the actual Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida. Weston-Price / Lacto-fermenting is another street that leads to the fountain of youth. Just sayin.

 

 

 

 

It’s Time To Make the Triple Goddess Elixir of Beltane.

Beltane is just an eyelash away.

One Beltane 21 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with rosebud lips.

This Beltane will be the first time that I no longer share a roof with my baby girl (and her sister too). The boat of the Crone has come through the mist to stop on my once comfy shore, where my old home is now too big for me, thus niggles me with daily discomfort. The Crone asks me to embark. I get in the boat, and she pushes it away from the shore. I cry for a long time. She silently guides the boat onward.

We land, and somehow there is only one of us in the boat. She is me, I am her, the Crone. But I am still the Mother that I once was too. And I am still the Maiden I was once as well. I am a triple goddess now, and it is jarring: I don’t know what to do, what to think, even how to be. The first page of this new chapter throws my off balance. My mind lays fallow and I just breathe.

The three of me ascend up to a small loft with a crimson wall. A wooden Buddha sits quietly, bathed in the crimson. He looks up at me, and smiles. The loft feels like a red tent temple, nested in a canopy of maple trees. The salt lamp in the corner casts a warm glow, as does the wood stove over by the small couch. A fancy stainless steel electric tea kettle hums on the kitchenette counter, its electric blue “on” switch twinkling at me like one shiny blue eye. Through a French door awaits a tiny white bedroom with sheer white curtains that barely diffuse the southern sun. An inviting puddle of sunlight spills across the white down comforter on the small bed. An egg-shaped moonstone rests on the nightstand. I hear it whisper to me “Welcome home.”

Outside in the driveway, there sits the little silver car of the man that owns this property. The license plate reads “Zeus.”

So this is where the next chapter begins. I like it!

+++++

Quick -Beltane 2012 is an eyelash away: it is time to make the Triple Goddess Elixir of Beltane! Attached is herbalist Susun Weed’s recipe for a spring vinegar for women. I am going to use it on my salads this summer. (It is actually an ancient Chinese recipe that calls for maiden/chickweed, mother-wort, and crone-wort, and apple cider vinegar – see attached recipe sheet, or go to http://www.susunweed.com ) I find the maiden and the crone outside my door at work, the mother I find out by Zeus’ compost pile.

The three of me are all here, and always have been. Wisdom might be setting in…

Beltane recipe

Goddesses & Scrybes

Gotta love local!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Berry & Croft on their show about local authors, “Scrybes.” There must have been a good star lighting my house of Hollywood that week! What luck!

 

See the video here (much better quality than the ones I usually shoot commando-style on my cell phone)

 

http://vimeo.com/38782129

Wise Woman Radio

Winter Greetings!

It is Sadie Hawkins Day 2012 and it is snowing outside as the sun sets. I sit by the fire with my seed catalogs, and dream of a multi-day herbal conference I will attend at Newfound Lake in New Hampshire this August. Will I see you there?

Speaking of herbs, I had the honor of doing an interview with one of my very favorite herbalists, Susun Weed. She is an amazing Wise Woman. You can listen to our chat here on her Wise Woman radio show. Let us keep you company by the fire, as this winter slowly ends….

http://wisewomanradio.com/interviews/allen.html

 

http://www.wisewomantradition.com/wisewomanweb/2012/02/wise-woman-radio-rm-allen.html

 

http://www.womensradio.com/2012/02/light-your-torch-with-rm-allen

2012: The Accidental Goddess

It is 2012. I do not claim to adhere to any one particular religion. I attend a Universalist-Unitarian church, and the UU tradition accepts all of the religions listed above (and more) into their fold. The only doctrine of the church is Love. It is that simple, and I am into simple. If you were to try to pin me down on what my religious beliefs are, it is rather misty but I would tell you that it is the same as any creature of this earth, like a cat, or otter.  

How so, you ask?

What is the spirituality of the mysterious cat, or the playful otter? Consider the cat. There is no separation of self and religion in a cat, the cat is its religion. The cat is an authentic, translucent manifestation of cat-being. The cat knows things we don’t, like when a storm is coming. The cat stares at things in the room we cannot see. The cat revels in the full moon, and sprawls in the patch of sunlight. The cat lives in rhythm with Earth energies, without angst. The cat lives a sustainable lifestyle. It is my pleasure to take lessons from the cat; I try my best to have no separation between self and religion. I try to be an authentic, translucent manifestation of human-being. I make an effort to revel in the full moon, and live sustainably.

 And since my brain is larger than a cat, and is endowed with the egoic capacity to reason and contemplate, I understand a concept that a “spark of energy” lives within me. (Hmmm, perhaps the fact that I can perceive this spark as separate assures me that I still live dualistically, when I am actually striving to live in Oneness. Get it? Drat.)  This spark I can perceive is commonly called Spirit or God. And since I am a woman, I call the God-ness within me, Goddess. That is how I arrive at Goddess. A long and winding journey, thru full moons and farmers markets. An accidental goddess.

 

(working excerpt from New Hampshire Goddess Chronicle, vol 2: A Scorpion in the Desert)

Is “Occupy” a Cosmic Tremor?

Oct/November 2011

By: RM Allen,

author of The New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles, vol.1. Light Your Torch, 
a fun, easy, green, and sustainable book available on Kindle, Amazon, or
at http://www.nhgoddess.com for only $14.95

I am not an activist.  I try to steer away angry events and people. Perhaps I am a coward?
To me, anger indicates winners versus losers. I don’t even like to use the word win, because it simultaneously implies lose -and both words generate sadness in my heart. I don’t enjoy competition in any form, but what I do enjoy is collaboration. So, not knowing what I would find, I hesitantly went to Occupy Boston last Sunday at my pastor’s invitation to attend the UU worship service.

This is my interpretation of the newborn jumble known globally as the “Occupy” movement:

(see my
video here:

Across from South Station in Boston a quite well-organized tent city has arisen in a park.
On the “main street” of that city are tents labeled: Logistics, Medical, Legal,
Library, Food, Donations, and more. There is even a Generator tent, with a
Gilligan’s island set-up where you pedal a bike to charge up your cell phone.
Each tent has a white-board of sorts in front of it with common daily schedules
and info. This ad-hoc city is self-sustaining. I have a MBA, and understand
that Occupy can be seen as a political or economic protest against Corporate
America by the 99% of Americans that are not millionaires.

But, to me, the self-proclaimed “Green Goddess of New Hampshire”, – I also came to
understand Occupy as a spiritual movement. There are sleeping tents are
clustered in the back “suburbs”, and in central tent-burbia, just past the
giant Gandhi statue,  is a “faith” tent. Since I am the author of a very green, spiritual book, this tent with incense wafting out of it caught my attention.

After a once-around of the whole park, and some free rutabaga salad at the food tent, I
left my shoes at the door of the Faith tent, and sat down to meditate. Can you
imagine trying to meditate in the midst of something so alive and dynamic as a
city of protest? A large number of men close by had formed an African drumming
circle, and their music formed the rhythm of my meditation.  People of all ages came and went in the tent. I stayed, like a content cat, comfortable in my slice of October sunlight.  A yoga class started in the tent. Still I stayed.

This is what I determined while in the tent:

Occupy is a spiritual movement against Greed. Occupy is movement for common sense
Sustainability. Occupy is about closing the fairness gap between the haves and
the have-nots. Occupy is a place where you can find your tribe  -all you have to do is stand there and hold up a sign of concern, or wear that message  on your shirt, and people will come and talk to you about your concern. Occupy is about the 99% of people getting together to Collaborate, because the other 1% is only interested in Competition. And Competition, at its core, is
Unsustainable.

The Mayan Calendar ends in 2012, and it is rumored that there will be a massive shift in
consciousness then. While in the tent I began to wonder if Occupy is the
beginning tremors of that cosmic shift. Occupy is a grassroots movement of the
heart. Visit it, and let it into your heart.

Sign up for the monthly Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter by sending a note to Info@nhgoddess.com 

  • Buy  The New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles, vol.1. Light Your Torch,
  • a fun, easy, green, and sustainable book available on Kindle ($2.99)
  •  Amazon.com, or www.nhgoddess.com ($14.95)

 Join in the fun on:
the Facebook page, or NHgoddess.wordpress.com, NHgoddessDotCom@YouTube  and/or NHgoddess@Twitter

Goddess in the Community Garden

By RM Allen, author of New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles, Oct. 2011

 

Eating local, fresh food is the first step on many people’s
green journey. Once you begin a real relationship with your food, it naturally
leads you to start to think about how to live a healthier, greener, and then
sooner or later – a simpler lifestyle. This green journey may be easily had for
some of us, but for those below the poverty line it may be tougher. There is a
church in Exeter, NH., that planted a five-raised bed community garden this
spring, with the point of giving 100% of the harvest for free at the small food
dry and canned goods pantry it operates. What luck for the pantry patrons! And
what a harvest it was of salad type veggies that could be eaten raw. But truth
be told, most of the patrons did not quite know what to make of the fresh
veggies and herbs at first. An educational process had to take place:  a casual basket-side conversation about what the veggie was, how to serve or cook it, and how it was good for their health.

By the end of the summer, the patrons were fresh veggie and
herbs fans and they couldn’t get enough. It is early fall now, and the garden
was put to bed last week. Looking back over the season, it has been heartwarming
for me, a simple girl who calls herself the “green goddess of New Hampshire”,
to see everyone pull together on this green project to give freely to those in
need. I smiled on a weekly basis.  See the picture below of the newly constructed and planted beds this past spring in the church backyard.

 

community garden

Community gardens are popping up all over! YAY! I recently
went to Highlands, New Jersey, which is at the base of the bridge into Sandy
Hook beach. There I found another goddess hosting a community garden.  If you read my book, The New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles, vol.1, you will see
similarities between the character Eileen, and this glorious goddess Maureen W.
in the video. Wink!
Maureen’s project is not about feeding the poor, but about bringing diverse
peoples together to engender a sense of community, grow fresh food, and to
revive a connection to Mother Earth. I had my fancy new smart phone with me, so
I interviewed her live last Labor Day weekend (after being at the beach all day
– a bit frazzled – but hey, I LOVE the summer so you will have to deal with how
I look, and the loud background noise of ocean breezes, tee hee). Watch the
video here on my Youtube channel as I walk around her 30 plot garden, and ask
her how, and why, she did it.

Watch the video now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joIeN2pyXko&feature=channel_video_title

Is there a community garden in your neighborhood? If so, chances
are it is run by a goddess. If not, why don’t you figure out how to get one
going? Be the local Community-Garden Goddess!

Build it, and they will come. The goddesses, I mean.

Goddess is s state of mind. You know it baby!

You found your tribe…..read about us in my book, available at www.nhgoddess.com

Subscribe to my monthly

Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter

by sending a note to info@nhgoddess.com

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does a Goddess Hear It?

By RM Allen www.nhgoddess.com

Green Goddess Greetings!

I was recently walking in the woods around my favorite trail. I came upon something dismaying to me. How book-shaka-lucky for me that I had my fancy new smartphone with me so I could take a video. Visit my new YouTube channel to see what I saw, by clicking the link below.

Let’s sit for a while on this old, broken log together and ponder: Trees, metaphors for life…?.

http://www.youtube.com/user/NHgoddessDotCom?feature=mhsn

*****

Hello sister goddeses! If you enjoyed this blog please sign up for my monthly (small & simple) Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter by sending me a note to say hi   info@nhgoddess.com  Thanks! ~RM Allen

New “NH Goddess Chronicles” YOUTUBE channel

Hello folks!

I just got a new fancy phone with a fancy camera on it, woo-hoo! My first video is a tour of my porch garden.

I am an advocate of fresh food, and encourage everyone to grow thier own if possible. Say you can’t? Well, I live in a condo, you aren’t really even allowed to walk on the grounds. But I can grow food in pots on my porch. This is my third summer of porch gardens, and I am getting the hang of it. If I can grow killer tomatoes, so can you!

Here I take you on a tour of the very same porch I wrote about in my book “The New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles”. ~ RM Allen

http://www.youtube.com/user/NHgoddessDotCom?feature=mhee

The Joy of Nettles (so what if they sting)

The Joy of Nettles (so what if they sting)

by RM Allen June 2011

I used to be scared of nettles. They hid in the tall grass and bit my ankles when I was a child, like a monster under the bed. Now I am in love with nettles. Especially the sting. I seek it out. I linger with it like a fine wine.

In early June I went to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar’s Sage Mountain Center for a class on identifying wild plants, and then cooking them in the kitchen. My official term for this is foraging. How I love to forage! I drove all the way to Vermont for this class to hone my foraging skills. Of course it rained… but that was ok because it kept the black flies away. Did you think foraging was easy? It is more like a booby-trapped game of hide-and-seek; one has to be up for the challenge, with all the necessary gear and knowledge.

Rosemary is a sweet, small woman with long dark hair, and is known as the “godmother of American herbalism”. This rainy afternoon she was imparting her knowledge to a group of 25 of us aspiring herbalist or foragers, who had journeyed from all around the New England region. She stood in a yellow plastic rain poncho, bright yellow rain boots with a rooster print, and a delightful crayola purple felted cap that came to a jaunty point at the top of her head. This pixie hat then trailed down in several strands from the point, past her slim shoulders, where they ended in colorful pom-poms. She looked for all the world like a woodland sprite as she flitted through the mountain woods at the edge of her yard with glee, informing us (such a wet, grey, and bedraggled group) of the names and stories of a great many of my weedy friends.

I have weedy friends already because this is not my first time around the block on what is called a weed-walk. I have been on guided walks with my local herbalist Rebecca Ross of NH, Wild Foods I have Known…and Eaten author Russ Cohen of MA, and famed American herbalist Susun Weed of Woodstock,NY. Each time my knowledge grows. On this particular walk I really wanted to see Rosemary’s nettle patch. And lo, what joy -it was a beauty! A circular patch, about the size of my living room, flowed from the edge of her driveway, and down the hill off into the woods. I immediately walked over, bent down, and thrust my wrist into it. I was on a mission to get stung, and get stung good. Why?

Because the sting of the nettle (it feels like a small bee sting) causes a rush and a flush of blood. Blood rushing to an area cleans it out and supplies it with fresh nutrients. The stung area will rise into a small welt, itch for a while, buzz for hours, and still be a little sore in the morning. Which is all good, because you know it is working. It helps swollen joints, and my wrist tends to be sore from too much mousing on the computer at work. I managed to get about a half dozen welts, and I could feel the blood rushing in. Yay! Mission accomplished.

Thus stung, we moved into the kitchen for the cooking class, and guess what? Nettle was the food of the day. Are you surprised at this? Why would one want to eat a food that stings? Are foragers crazy thrill seekers? No. (Well maybe a little.)What happens is that the stinging goes away in the cooking. The nettle has a line of very fine and soft hairs under the leaves and along the stem. It is not the hair that stings, it is the acid droplets on the hair.

cooking nettles
John, RM Allen, and Rosemary Gladstar in her teaching kitchen!

Rosemary stood in a teaching kitchen that reminded me of Julia Child’s set up, and assisted by her apprentice John, brought out a huge basket of nettle tips. She dumped them into a blender and made nettle pesto (she called it Nesto) the same exact way one would make basil pesto. I really was afraid that since it wasn’t technically cooked I would get stung in my mouth, or at the very least feel a slight numbness, but I did not. The taste was out of this world! She also cooked up: a thick stew of nettle, onion, garlic and potato; a nettle, cheese, buckwheat and wild herb casserole; wild herbs and ginger spring rolls; dandelion and rice seaweed wraps; and also chopped up all sorts of weeds and tossed them into a giant bowl of traditional salad greens. We feasted!

Nettles are one of the best things you can ingest. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids – and exceptionally rich calcium and vitamin A. Ancient Roman records show that nettle was the most widely cultivated crop in the empire. It is still a cultivated crop in many parts of the world. Not only is it a powerhouse food, but the durable stalks can be used to weave ropes or clothing. Indeed, you can eat your food and wear it too! The soft tips are the yummy part, and those can usually only be had in early spring. Otherwise, you can get dried nettles and make a strong tea to reap the benefits all year round. Or you can chop fresh nettles in season, add a little water, and keep them in the freezer.

As it is early spring and prime nettle time, I foraged around back home here in NH to try to find some growing in the wild. And I did! Only three plants, not sure it rates official “patch” status, but I know where they are and I will keep them safe. Joyfully, I will occasionally pay a visit to my hairy friends, and get a wrist flogging. Let me know if you need a flogging too, and we will oblige. Isn’t that what friends are for?

*****

Hello sister goddeses! If you enjoyed this blog please sign up for my monthly (small & simple) Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter by sending me a note to say hi   info@nhgoddess.com  Thanks! ~RM Allen