One hand holding the dead azalea branch, the other hand gripping a small metal trimmer. I cut the branch with a dull snap. Throwing it off to the side. Over and over, snap snap snap. Until the bush is buzz cut. Around me, I see honey bees searching for nectar in the tiny purple flowers of creeping charlie. A bee dips into the cup of a glassy yellow daffodil bloom. Daffodils, jumping the shark of Springtime. Today is cloudy and warm, but only a week or so ago snow capped those bright flowers. Mink coats on a gaggle of sloppy golden divas.
It’s a landscaping day. And I’ve effectively convinced every person in my family who lives within 100 miles to help me clear out brush, shape bushes and cut away invasive plants. I find myself dreaming of what might become of our space, which is really quite big for a city plot. A fire pit and hang-out space in the front yard. In the backyard, a private fairy garden with a writing bench, winding honeysuckle and red poppies swaying as if drunk with Summer sunshine. A pizza garden (basil! tomatoes! eggplant!). A semi-circle dedicated to french lavender. A fence line planted with multi hued sunflowers. There’s so much potential. And so much happy work to be done.
But for now the work is all uprooting, cutting back and killing. In order to make room for those garden dreams, we must first disrupt.
About the Book
This book, Eating Clean by my friend Amie Valpone, touches on that same theme. It’s not just a recipe book — although the recipes I’ve tried so far are delicious, easy and creative! It’s a guide. Amie walks you through the process of detoxing your body like a kind friend. Helping you to root out inflammation and improve your state of being. Like a gardener teaching us how to pull the weeds and tend the soil, Eating Clean is remarkably practical. It shows us how to take a hard look at the things in our lives that might be causing states of imbalance and illness. She shows us how to disrupt in order to reset.
Now, Amie’s story is pretty incredible. She’s not just some babe who’s into juice cleanses talking about detoxing for funsies.
“I most certainly was sugaring toxic effects on a grand scale — mainly from heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. My levels were off the charts, and it was contributing to my hypothyroidism, leaky gut, candida, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Lyme disease, and severely suppressed immune system.”
Her personal experience, healing from extreme toxicity and illness, informs the whole book. She’s created a veritable road map to wellness. For the very ill and the functionally ill. Headaches, GI discomfort, brain fog, mood swings, fatigue — these symptoms are not normal. They’re the result of inflammation and a disease state. And Amie holds our hand through the process of reclaiming health and wellness. And with 200+ dairy-, gluten-, soy- and sugar-free recipes, it can be a delicious process! (And OH YEAH there are tons of gorgeous color photos!)
Sunrise Nori Wraps!
Nori wraps are the new black. I mean, they’re basically burrito wrappers but with awesome deep sea veg flavor! If you’ve been following me on snapchat (which, if you don’t, follow me here!) you know that I’ve been eating a lot of nori wraps lately. Nori is a paper-thin sheet of seaweed — brittle when dry and flexible when wetted. You’ve probably had it in sushi. But it makes a killer tube-of-goodness when filled with veg and a delicious sauce! In this recipe from Eating Clean, we fill our nori wrappers with thinly sliced veg, avocado and a fabulously creamy spicy tahini dressing. I was eating this sauce with a spoon. Straight sauce to face, folks. It’s delicious.
I ate these as a light dinner yesterday. But they make a great, packable lunch or anytime snack.
- 4 nori seaweed sheets
- ¼ small head red cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 small yellow summer squash, julienned
- 1 small cucumber, julienned
- 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
- 1 recipe Spicy Tahini Drizzle
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ¼ tablespoons chickpea miso paste
- 1 tablespoon raw tahini
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Water, as needed to thin the drizzle
- Place the nori sheets on a flat surface. Divide the cabbage, carrot, squash, cucumber, and avocado among the sheets. Top each pile of vegetables with a heaping tablespoon of the Spicy Tahini Drizzle, and then roll up the nori sheets into a tube shape.
- Make the tahini sauce: Combine all of the ingredients except the water in a blender. Blend, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time as you go, until the mixture becomes a thin sauce.