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My New Favorite Organic Market & Clothing Store | Food & Thought

08 July

Organic food market and cefeteria in Florida

Too bad is 111 miles away from where I live! Food& Thought is an awesome organic market, cafe, juice bar, clothing store, and nursery. It’s located in Naples, Fl and it has a great space where people can shop for food, prepared and groceries and enjoy their meals outside in the nice patio. After you meal, you can cross over the patio over to the organic nursery and shopped for plants and supplies for your garden including worm castings, seaweed fertilizer, and garden decorations.

Afterwards, you can walk next door to the organic clothing store where each item has been handpicked for the store. From organic jeans to underwear, bedding, towels, and children’s clothing and more.

organic clothes in Florida

Everything is organic! Whether you go to the nursery, the cafe, juice bar, or the clothing store, all items are organic.

Denis and I enjoy taking a drive there once in a while to shop. Not only do we get to cross alligator alley and enjoy the view, but also, we get to spend the day in Naples shopping for great organic products, and if we plan it right, watch the sunset on the west side of Florida!

Organic Nursery in Florida

The last time we were there, we bought a trunk load of supplies for our edible garden that included about 5 different types of hot peppers, kale, sweet peppers, and herbs. We also found an awesome seaweed fertilizer for both vegetable and plants.

Organic soil and organic plants in Florida

 

We then walked over the clothing store and found great items to replace in our wardrobe.

This is one of the greatest places we are lucky to have in Florida! If you are visiting Naples, it’s a great organic market, cafeteria, nursery, and clothing store to visit!

3 Farmers Markets in South Florida

26 September

One of the most important parts of planning your vacation or traveling is to know where to find food and restaurants. Some people plan ahead, specially if they have specific requests for food or if they love food traveling as much as I do. As a raw vegan and eco-activist, I always plan ahead my food stops before I head out in to my destination. One of my favorites sites to help me plan is Happycow.net where I can find all the local vegetarian and vegan places to eat and shop. As a full time South Florida resident, there are several places here for my fellow vegetarians/vegans to eat and shop. So here is a list of my favorite South Florida places to shop for healthy food:

Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood

Josh’s is probably one of the best, if not THE best, farmers market in the country. Most of the produce is organically grown locally and in Pennsylvania and treated with the utmost care. You can hear Josh scream and see him run every Sunday as he tries to keep the veggies and fruits in the best condition possible. Josh’s greens in the winter beat any store in the county. Once you eat his greens, you cannot accept anything less.

The juice bar is out of this world too! Even though you may feel the prices are high, other supermarkets charge way more for less. Josh’s Juice bar uses their own greens, veggies, and fruits right from the market to make the juices and smoothies. Nothing is processed or pasteurized.

Josh’s Organic Garden is open on Sundays from 9:30 to 5:31 pm and it’s located on Hollywood Beach’s Boardwalk on Harrison street. The Juice Bar is open Sundays 9:30am to 5:31pm, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm.

 

Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove

The actual farm is located way south in Homestead, but on Saturdays Stan and Tracy bring the farm to Coconut Grove from 11am to 7pm. Located just west of the main Coco Walk center on Grand avenue, Glaser Farmer’s Market is a great place to hang out and enjoy delicious organic, vegetarian, raw food including ice cream and pies! Other vendors set up tents around the market making locals and visitors feel at home.

 

Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale

Fairly new, Marando Farms offers great prices for mostly non-organic produce. Some are locally grown from other farmers and some from their own farm. They also offer eggs from their own chickens and sometimes you can see the chickens running around. Great for the kids! They recently open another “wing” for high quality pet foods, so now you can get your food and your pet’s food in the same place!

Marando Farms is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; Closed on Wednesdays.

 

Other places for Organic Produce

Other places in South Florida where you can find great prices for organic produce include Green Wave Cafe in Plantation, a raw vegan restaurant. On Mondays Green Wave opens for their “Organic Market” from 8am to 2pm.

Thrive Restaurant in Miami Beach and LifeFood Gourmet in Coral Way also have Farmer’s Market days. You can visit their sites to see more information on when they offer organic produce for sale.

 

 

 

Preparing for Bhakti Fest

08 September

When I found out that I was going to Bhakti Fest 2010, I was extremely excited but realized I had to get in shape. Why you may ask? Well, the festival is 4 days of Kirtan, yoga, and speakers. Kirtan is almost happening 24/7, so I knew I’ll be sitting for a long time.

To prepare for Bhakti fest, I did what I usually do for any concert or event I go to. I practiced all the songs and studied all the musicians and learned everything I needed about the event. I don’t need to memorize the mantras for kirtan, because we know most of them already from all other kirtan events we have attended over the last 9 years.

For Yoga though, I actually started by registering for yoga classes early this year. But then I quit for awhile and then panicked that time was running out and I was still not ready for 4 days of yoga. So I signed up for an unlimited class pass for vinyasa flow yoga and have been attending three times a week. I guess you may think I’m nuts preparing like I was running a marathon, but if you think about it, I’m doing a “yoga marathon”.

To add more pressure, Denis actually registered me for an all-day-intensive with my FAVORITE yoga teacher/master/goddess ever! Shiva Rea! If there were yoga groupies (I’m sure there are), I would be her groupie. I absolutely adore her and have taken every class she has taught in South Florida. My favorite class is her Yoga Trance Dance.

One year, she invited Denis and I as special guests to one of her classes and it was awesome. I don’t know if she’ll remember me this time because I have lost a lot of weight since the last I was in her class, but I always keep her in my heart. So I gotta be ready for her class.

It’s going to be an exciting time for us, since we get to see a lot of our favorite musicians and speakers. Krishna Das, Deva Premal, Jai Uttal, Geoffrey Gordon, Bhagavan Das, Wah, Prema Hara to name a few. Speakers include Ram Dass, Sam Geppi, etc. Yoga teachers include Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye, Sean Corn, Duncan Wong, and many more!

Hopefully in all my bliss this week, I’ll be able to tweet about this wonderful event.  In the meantime, here is a preview of my favorite kind a yoga. Blessings!

Road Trip to ECHO Farms

01 September

About a week ago, Denis, my new BFF, and I drove to Fort Myers to ECHO Farms to check out their edible plants and trees and see what we could get. After a quick stop in Naples for lunch, we headed north on I-75 to Bayshore Rd and arrived at the farm.

ECHO stands for Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, they are a non-profit organization that educates and trains people that work or volunteer around the world to help communities in need.

It was getting ready to rain so we had to hurry. But the staff at the farms was very friendly and spent time with us showing us all the greens and fruits available.

The prices were reasonable and they had a nice variety of edible greens.  So here are some of the trees and plants they had at ECHO farms:

Avocado Trees! This made me want to have a yeard to plant some of these!

Grapefruits! Our favorites! Once again I caught myself staring at it and wondering how I can grow a grapefruit tree on the beach! LOL

Neem: We bought this little tree and I hope I won’t kill it. Don’t know exactly what I’ll use it for, but I’m sure I be making something!

Tropical fruit trees: As most of you know, Denis and I stay away from tropical fruit as most is acidic. But ECHO had a good variety of tropical fruit trees if anyone is interested.

Jaboticaba Tree: This is one we love, but won’t be growing in our yard anytime soon for sure. But at least now I know where I can get one.

Katuk: This one will be on my salads this week for sure! We got it and it was about $5 bucks! You can get any better than that!

We also purchased two varieties of hot peppers, a moringa plant, spinach plant, and cilantro seeds for next season and worm manure. It was a great trip to the West coast!

10 Tips for Raw Traveling

15 September
Computer bag, Hiking bag, and Lunch bag ready for our trip!

Computer bag, Hiking bag, and Lunch bag ready for our trip!

In the two years we’ve been vegan raw foodists we’ve travel quite often and have been able to eat what we are used to eating at home and not struggle finding food during the trip.

How do we do it? This is a very common question we get asked all the time. In the last trip we took, to DC for the RSF, I was in the plane and decided it was time to write about it. So here are my top ten tips to travel raw!

Plan Ahead

First, check the rules for traveling with foods, liquids, etc as they are constantly changing. If you travel internationally chances are it’s a bit more difficult to bring some vegetables and fruits with you are on the plane. Second, check to find the closest organic markets, local farmers markets, and raw food or vegan restaurants around the area you are staying. We love HappyCow.com because it helps us plan ahead where we will be dining once we arrive at the location. It also shows me all local markets and their contact information. Using this information, we map the places we want to go to and decide where to eat or shop for food.

Helpful tip: Write down the phone numbers and hours of operation of the places you want to visit.

Bring Your Own Food

We always carry Avocados, lettuce, and cucumbers with us for the plane ride. I also include enough fruits, nuts, and seeds for the ride.  So far, we haven’t had any issues at security. We have a lunch bag that qualifies as a carry-on where we put all our food for the plan ride. Yes! You do have to run it through the x-ray but it’s better than the “glow-in-the-dark” food at the airport.

Helpful tip: carry extra bags for compost such peels, seeds, etc.

Olive Oil

We loved our olive oil and can’t live without it. So we’ve emptied and old vanilla extract bottle that is about 2 oz and washed and filled it up with Bariani’s Olive Oil to carry with us in the plane ride. Using the foods we bring and the olive oil, we make ourselves a nice meal sometimes in the plane or at the airport while connecting.

Helpful tip: Go to any food court and ask for a plate or container to use for making your food.

Salt

This is a topic that is very delicate with most people who are healthy. Salt… we like it and we need it. We use Real Salt and carry it with us everywhere. We have it in the car, at work, in my purse, everywhere. So when we fly or travel, it’s always with us.

Helpful tip: Real Salt has a small container that can be refilled.

Traveling Lunch Bag

Traveling Lunch Bag

Water, Green Powder and pH Drops

Water is possibly the most important part of traveling. Since we can’t carry liquids anymore, the first thing we do after the security check is get water. If you are lucky, some airports carry water with a high pH that will help you keep hydrated during your trip. If you are driving, I suggest taking your own water with you in a cooler. We also use a green powder and pH drops to add to the water. This helps us stay hydrated and get all the vitamins our bodies need while traveling. We even carry lemons or limes to squeeze into the water to that it stay fresh… yes that’s more complicated, but we now carry our lemon squeezer!

Helpful tip: if you carry your lemon squeezer (like we do), take it out of the bag during security check and set it on top of your jacket so that they don’t go through your lunch bag.

Dessert

We always do desserts because if you pass the cinnamon bun stand at the airport, chances are you would be tempted to have one. If a fruit serves as dessert, bring apples and bananas as they are the easiest to carry. If you don’t consider a fruit dessert, then bring something sweet for the trip. We like to make nut and dried fruit bags for the trip. Sometimes we carry raw chocolate bars, not good if you are planning to sleep in the plane. Also, we recently discover raw cookies in a package by Go Raw and they are perfect for traveling.

Tea bags

We carry two to four tea bags to drink in the plane and ask for hot water to brew the tea. We like the Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals the best. Why we drink tea? Most time in planes people are sick and we don’t want to run the risk of getting sick, especially if you are not getting the food your body is used to eating while traveling.

Helpful tip: ask for two cups of hot water to brew one tea bag, they usually server the water in small cups.

Utensils and napkins

We used to ask for plastic utensils at the airport and then put them in a zip lock bag to re-use. We also shared one napkin as we like to conserve and travel as green as we possibly can. We now travel with a small kitchen towel, the size of a face cloth, and keep in the lunch bag during the trip. In our last trip to San Francisco, purchase traveling re usable utensils at Café Gratitude, but you can also buy them at Bamboo Utensil Set To-Go . Ok so you don’t need to buy anything, simply get utensils at the airport and re-use them throughout the trip.

Helpful tip: Carry your salt, utensils, and napkins in the same zip lock bag inside your lunch bag, that way when is time to make your food in the plane, everything is accessible.

Arriving late

So last year we flew on Christmas day and arrived in California at close to midnight and we had run out of the food we carried with us. All there was open in San Fran were Chinese restaurants, and we didn’t think they would carry a salad! So here’s what we did, we ran to a 24-hour drug store and looked for snacks. They actually carried some vegetables rolls and fruits as well as some nuts and seeds. We bought some bananas, water, and pecans and that was our meal. Basically, don’t get depressed, there is always something raw somewhere. Don’t give up!

If everything else fails, buy at the airport

So if you had a last minute trip and didn’t get a chance to pack your lunch bag, buy a salad at the airport. Yes, the “glow-in-the-dark” salads and fruits that have been transported there by so many hands and trucks. We’ve done it once or twice when traveling overseas and brought an avocado to complement the depressing lettuce they sell you at the airports, and we are not proud of it.

Helpful tip: carry your salt and oil and make a nice little meal.

When traveling overseas, the rules may be a little different. You may have to eat all your food before you get to the other country. I also heard a tip from Sergei Boutenko on how to travel to other countries, make a powder of dehydrated vegetables and pack it in your carry on. Ask for a cup of hot water and mix in the powder, with some salt and oil and you have a nice soup. Our local raw vegan farmers market actually sells the powder of a veggie mix that can be used for traveling. Nut bars and other raw treats help hold you until you land but will most likely dehydrate you.

As we continue to travel, we learn more tips on how to continue our lifestyle and enjoy traveling to new places. The best part of traveling raw is the faces of the people sitting next to you watching you eat! 😉

B&B in Mt. Shasta that has a Vita Mix and Dehydrator so we made pizza!

We stayed at a B&B in Mt. Shasta that has a Vita Mix and Dehydrator so we made pizza!