Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hippy Gourmet in Fonteverde Spa - top healing place on the planet!

Tucked into the romantic rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy, near the medieval castle village of San Casciano dei Bagni is one of the planets most healing places.

Fonteverde Spa Resort is a transformational spot that is literally powered by the earth's magma. This volcanic area of Tuscany is known for its healing thermal waters and mineral baths, with the location of Fonteverde being the
exclusive resort built in the 17th century by the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici.

www.FonteverdeSpa.com

This site, amid the precious hot springs and gentle flowing landscape, have been therapeutically utilized for thousands of years - and the power to heal, cleanse and relax are as present as ever!

From Episode 100 of Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we are so blessed to have the opportunity to visit Fonteverde to film their spa and elaborate pools, and to also spend time in their organic kitchens learning how they tailor-fit each meal to client's specific needs!




Watch it on YouTube



This is a resort that after you check-in, you meet with a doctor who not only recommends the best spa treatments, but also telephones the head chef and prescribes the most appropriate menu options, based on the check-up and optimal health.

Fonteverde does something very special to affect people's moods and dispositions into the positive. The glistening waters loaded with soul grounding minerals, coupled with the Tuscan slow-food and organic gourmet diet, makes the body and mind come together in a balanced way - and something you definitely take with you when you leave.

Grazie Mille! Fonteverde and to Luca Centoni at Phoenix Media

You can buy a full version of this episode on DVD available on Amazon.com.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is the 2010 Chevy Volt for real?


In this article from the Atlantic Magazine, we learn about the aggressive timetable GM is taking to try to get their new 'Volt' hybrid electric vehicle on the road by 2010.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/general-motors/

The Volt is different from other types of plug-in hybrids, like the ones we featured from Calcars.org - in that plug-in hybrids run on battery power until the charge is depleted, and then run as normal gas powered hybrid cars. In the case of the Volt, GM has taken a different tack by designing the small gas powered engine to only act as an internal charging station for the batteries, where the car itself is 100% electric powered.

Of course the article has lots of detractors, the battery technology is too expensive for instance, and there aren't realistic supplies to match potential demand in mass production, and of course there's GM history of taking a perfectly viable electric car (the EV1) off the road - which was a decision mostly motivated by, well we'll let our audience fill in the blank on that one...

But we give GM a lot of credit actually for 'trying' at least! What we've seen of the Volt design so far is really sexy, and that ought to help those middle of the road/anti-electric vehicle types to start taking a closer look at what's possible.

We invite your participation on this hot topic. What do you think about electric cars? Or plug-in hybrids? Or are you just getting your bicycle tuned up for a healthier, energy-free ride to work!

Peace, Love and Organics,

Your Hippy Gourmet family




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Friday, June 27, 2008

Exciting News, with more details to come soon!

Graham Kerr, the legendary television cooking chef also known as "The Galloping Gourmet," and his Emmy Award winning producer and wife Treena Kerr have officially signed on to be a part of our Organic Living Omnimedia advisory board!

Our company is expanding and so is our line up of new and exciting television and media productions, which Graham and Treena are excited to help guide us, as well as participate in.

We will be heading north later this summer to film a few new shows and episodes with Graham, and also be meeting to put the final touches on our business plan that is all about creating television and multimedia content that focus on sustainability.

As many of you know, we have been producing Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet for over eight years, entering the market in 2000 when the word organic was literally equated with 'manure.' Now of course, with the national success of Wholefoods and other green outlets for sustainable products, the word organic has been redefined to mean 'clean,' 'healthy' and yes, even 'chic!'

We would love to see the same type of positive transition happen with the word 'hippie,' so we'll never be giving up our trademarked brand that we've worked so hard to build goodwill in the community for all these years. But our new media umbrella company is so very exciting and we are working with some of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs and just plain wealthy 'foodies' - who are 100% supportive of our business plan and grand ambitions to deliver high-quality, global media with positive, pro-active messages and interactivity.

Graham and Treena Kerr are beautiful, spiritual people who have dedicated their lives to help the world be a healthier and happier place. We are so honored to have their participation in our Organic Living Omnimedia (OLO) family and believe, as they do, that we are on to something really wonderful here!

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet family


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wetlands, watching the flow of life.

We recently filmed a lovely segment on our local Audubon Society, discovering a beautiful natural resource that surrounds us here in the bay area, the wetlands.

Not too many people realize the importance of preserving the wetlands, besides the perfect nesting and resting place for migratory birds from around the world, wetlands also help prevent flooding by absorbing rain water run off.

Wetlands in the aggregate also provide the bulk of the worlds oxygen, through the green algae and plankton that are born and flow through the tall grasses.

Most of all, the wetlands offer some of the best local places for us to slow down and reconnect with wildlife all around us. The peaceful setting is perfect to visit at dawn or dusk when the birds are most active, but also during the day it's just a truly grounding experience.

Water is a part of us, and there's something about witnessing the channels of salt and fresh water blending into brackish streams that flow back into the bay and then into the ocean that reminds us of who we are, where we come from, and where we're all going.

So please do your part by going to visit your local wetlands and take your camera! Write to us and share your stories of what you find there and help support your local Audubon Society as well.

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet familiy

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Sorbet, the organic, vegan refresher!

Thanks to Lisa Ahier, Chef and Co-Owner at the world famous SOBO Restaurant in Tofino, British Columbia - we have a wonderful and very satisfying summer treat for the whole family!



This is a 100% vegan sorbet made from fresh organic seasonal fruits!

Simple enough, just take your extra ripe fruit that you've purchased from a recent farmer's market, or that you have left over from your local CSA (community supported agriculture) box - you can either grill it a little to get some of the sugars caramelized, or just whip them up with a little cane sugar and water mixture - create a nice puree, then simple as that put a lid on it and freeze it up for 24 hours. Serve it with a grilled peach (like Lisa does in this segment), or garnish it with your favorite edible garden flowers! Cool, tasty and all about the fruit.

A little bit about Tofino, BC - Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and can really only be described in one way: breathtakingly beautiful! The lush green forests cover the mountains that shoot up directly from the crystal blue waters surrounding everything here. It is the wild west coast line of Vancouver Island, filled with bald eagles, bears, whales and pristine nature that  is respected and preserved - thanks to the First Nations peoples and their steadfast stewardship of the area.

SOBO stands for Sophisticated Bohemian, and when we met Lisa, Artie, Barkley and Ella Ahier - they were teaching us how to create incredible, gourmet organic meals from the back of a Hollywood catering truck! We've recently discovered that SOBO has moved to downtown Tofino, but they're easy enough to find - just search them out at -
http://www.SOBO.ca

So if you're looking for the real deal adventure trip of your life, head up to Tofino, BC and check out the myriad of fun things they have in store for the family there - and when you're done with a long day of kayaking, or whale watching, hiking, biking or surfing, then you've got the right appetite to go sit down and let Lisa and Artie fill you up on some of the worlds best tasting food, sincerely!

SOBO gets the Hippy Gourmet Double Peace Sign thumbs up for being one of the top restaurants on the planet. Simply put. Freshest organic, ingredients, innovative but approachable comfort-style recipes, flavors and textures that make your taste buds dance and your mind giggle with joy! SOBO simply rocks.

When we left Tofino, we took a cooler full of snacks and treats with us from SOBO for the ride back over the mountain - in fact, just writing this blog about SOBO makes us want to book a flight to Vancouver Island and make our way back there right now!

Happy Summer everybody!

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet family

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

In memory of George Carlin

It's a sad day for pure sarcasm, sardonic intellectualism and down-right genius perspective on all things we take for granted as 'acceptable' and 'universal.'

George Carlin, the father of the "seven words you can never say on television" has passed on.

MSNBC.com remembers him this way:

"Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television." A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of the routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25322638/&GT1=43001

Honestly, George Carlin was not "anti-establishment," he was just a pair of x-ray glasses giving us the ability to look directly through the  establishment to make us laugh at the fact that the emperor wasn't wearing any underwear! In fact, George Carlin needed and used the mainstream to base his perfect blend of sarcasm and irony on. George's humor could best be described as deconstruction of conventional wisdom, which he would then paste back together for audiences to perceive traditional constructs in a new light.

This MSNBC article mentioning George Carlin's "drug references" is also pretty misleading, making it seem as if he was a 'Cheech and Chong' type of comedian - when in fact George Carlin was probably best known for his anti-drug philosophy, especially making fun of pharmaceutical companies and products, alcohol and even coffee. Here's a brilliant audio clip on YouTube that gives you a sense of what it was like to listen to George on the radio, or on vinyl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eFBfh9iDDI

We grew up on George Carlin records, on his incredible HBO specials and live performances at major colleges and theaters around the country, laughing until we couldn't take it any longer - one of our favorite bits was George's definition of life: "looking for a place to put your stuff" "...all your house is, is a place for your stuff with a cover on it."

Quoting him just doesn't work, here is a segment from Comedy Cares, an HBO special that our Executive Producer James Ehrlich was involved with back in the 80's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

George Carlin was only 71. We know he'd probably disagree that there's a heaven and/or a hell to speak of, but we believe he's up there right now playing the big room, shows at 8 and 11 for all eternity (that'll teach you not to believe in religion George! : )

Peace, Love and finding humor and joy wherever we possibly can.

your Hippy Gourmet family


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Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20th is mathematically the 'happiest' day of the year

Leave it to the British to mathematically calculate and equate June 20th (or the longest day), also known as the first day of summer, to be the happiest calendar day of the year!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2158104/

According to this article in the Telegraph UK, Psychologist Cliff Arnall came up with the following equation:

"O + (N xS) + Cpm/T + He.

The article goes on to translate the equation: "O stands for being outdoors and outdoor activity, N is connection with nature, which is in full bloom now, S is socialisation with neighbours and friends, Cpm stands for childhood positive memories, T is the mean temperature which is now usually warm, and He is holiday expected"

We should note that Mr. Arnall's study was "commissioned by Walls Ice Cream" and he himself conducted the study to "get people to talk about what makes them happy."

Here at Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet, our team of researchers and scientists work night and day trying to figure out not only what makes people happy, but what is it that we can do to maintain that happiness.

Our equation looks more like this: H + IP + (PY) = : )

Or, "Happiness Is Peaceful People Yes"

Joy comes from giving ourselves to greater causes. To sharing our lives deeply within our communities and participating hand in hand on projects that make a difference with our friends and family.

Or on a hot day, simply enjoying some home made Ice Cream, or vegan shaved ice, or sorbet with organic lemons and limes!

Happy Summer Solstice everybody!

Your Hippy Gourmet family

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Left Overs

Today is Thursday, the fourth or fifth day since our regular weekend visit to our local farmers market. The fridge is looking a little lean! There's only a few  fresh veggies left to think about cooking, with a couple of left over dishes we prepared, along with one lonely doggy bag from a local vegetarian restaurant.

What to do?  Celebrate!

In these times of more money for less protein, we have to see our half empty fridge as half full. So get ready to dig into those left overs and savor every bite!

Yes of course we advocate making recipes from scratch, having fun in the kitchen with family and friends preparing fresh, organic/bio-dynamic ingredients and sitting down to nice long (and slow) meals together.

But when all that fun is over and you're left with a fridge that has a variety of left over this and left over that, why not embrace the abundance of what's there, rather than succumbing to the temptation of throwing that all away. Some of the most creative times in a kitchen aren't always what you expect anyway.

Take out your iron skillet and with a dab of organic, virgin cold pressed olive oil you'll be amazed how you can gently simmer and saute those left overs back to life for delicious meals! Or use your steamer, or a steamer basket over gently boiling water to reinvigorate your veggies.

Have fun with the kids while doing it. Invite their participation to help gently re-season some of the dishes so instead of dreading left-over night, they will dash to the dining table, knife and fork at the ready!

For those just cooking for yourself, or you and your mate - left-overs are like a culinary photo album of very recent good times enjoyed all over again.

Summer time is always the best chance we have to prepare cooler salad recipes and spend less time over hot stoves and ovens, these also make for refreshing left over choices too. There's also a number of left over dishes that are actually better eaten cold than having to be reheated...just depends on your taste. You can always put your solar oven out in the morning and put some of those left overs in there to re-heat for a perfect lunch or dinner, or tasty treats by the beach, pool or park!

Best of all, the flavors of food don't always have a chance to marry at the moment they're prepared. Rather, giving a recipe a day or two (or in the case of a wonderful veggie lasagna) maybe ever three or four days, really gives a chance for all the ingredients to blend together and for true essence of that dish to come to life.

So remember, our new definition of 'left over' is "Le Ftover", which in our world means 'to enjoy yet again'

Peace, Love and Organics!

your Hippy Gourmet family



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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Buying local, growing your own

The magic of mass media is how rapidly we can learn about pressing news, current affairs and issues. The difficulty of course is that bad news has a tendency to 'sell' better, based on what we feel is the mistaken premise that people are somehow more interested in negative stories, than positive ones.

Take our friend the tomato for instance. The tomato is red, round, juicy and full of nutritious goodness that brings so many dishes to life, that it would take a zillion blog posts to even begin listing them here!

We're reminded of the movie "Tootsie" where Dustin Hoffman is arguing with his agent (played by the the late Sydney Pollack) about being fired from a job where he plays a tomato in a TV commercial...he tells his agent: "I was the most "luscious, sexy, juicy, sophisticated tomato ever..." The agent goes on to say, ..."they fired you because you wouldn't sit down!" Hoffman retorts, "It's not logical!" - then his agent screams, "what logic, you're playing a tomato!"

Back to the real world where fiction can sometimes seem more surrealistic than Mr. Hoffman's 'logical tomato'...

We've been saying this for years now, that supporting your local, organic/bio-dynamic family farm is the smartest way to shop for produce.

Going to farmer's markets, joining your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group, brings you the freshest ingredients that are healthy to enjoy.

For those with even a little bit of sunny fire escape space who want to grow their own tomatoes, there's truly no greater satisfaction in the world than nurturing and harvesting your own veggies and herbs!

In this day and age of mass produced everything, the lessons we need to share with our children should also remind us of how simple and beautiful life is, especially as we renew our perspective on the miracle of tasty food and how it comes into being.

Don't take our words for it, even MSNBC has a 'plump and ripe' story on the topic today:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25249891

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family




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Monday, June 16, 2008

European Union making a u-turn on the sale of 'wonky' produce

Ever go to a farmer's market, or get a chance to visit a real life organic farm?

What you'll find there aren't the perfect, shiny, everything-looks-the-exact-same kinds of fruits and veggies.

This our friends across the pond lovingly call 'wonky' produce. Carrots that bend a bit, peppers that are peppered with a little varied colors and shapes, cucumbers that may be a little off center in ways...but none of these oddly shaped or different colored produce items have anything wrong with them in the slightest.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7457218.stm

It's a very cute story with a powerful message: There's a huge amount of high quality protein that could feed millions of people and its going to waste, only because it doesn't fit some preconceived notion of uniform.

Recently we filmed a segment in support of Veritable Vegetable, one of the oldest organic food distributors on the west coast (also women owned and 90% plus women operated):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydIdvrKnAGg

When we went to visit Perry's Organic farm to film this segment, we learned that almost 15% of all the produce stays on the farm to turn into compost, because of its lack of 'image appeal' to supermarket buyers!

Imagine how much produce that is when you see the size of this small family farm, and realize if the majority of farms even average out to 5% of rejected food - how much of that could be going to help feed homeless veterans and hungry children.

The European Union is relaxing the ban on 'wonky' produce, creating a separate label and reduced pricing that will allow these different looking items to make it to market.

We should do this as well, and put pressure on our supermarkets to stock these items, because people need to know that life isn't always perfect - and with food and fuel prices going where they're going these days, we could all use a crooked carrot to wave around a bit - especially when it's half priced and twice as delicious!

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kaboom!

Do not adjust your screen, this is not a shameless product placement, nor is this company one of our sponsors or advertisers (as yet)...

But we did recently receive a case of these quite delicious and refreshing 100% organic wellness and energy drinks called "Kaboom" - www.kaboominfinite.com - and they were kind enough to send it off for our review and to see if we might consider incorporating some of them into a few new recipe ideas.





Now, we're the first ones to typically shy away from any kind of 'energy drink' product per se, because one normally associates these with super doses of sugar and caffeine. However, Kaboom has taken a different path with their line of beverages, opting for a blend of all natural antioxidants, vitamins and organic fruit juices - and it is really light and quenching - without anything other than a happy fruit juice smile after an 8 ounce can.

The flavors are really fun, like "Tropi-Cool", "Pomegranate-Berry" or "Orange Passion" for instance, and wellness drinks come in 15.25 ounce frosted glass bottles that have an alluring shape that's easy to handle and easy to recycle.

We normally advocate people drinking more fresh water than fruit juice, or creating your own organic juices and blends, but if you're looking for something really satisfying to drink, Kaboom is an awesome beverage sincerely.

Later this summer we'll be doing some experimenting with the folks at Kaboom on incorporating some of their drinks into a variety of light, delicious recipes - but for now, well...we're just finishing up our last bottle from the case they gave us and we honestly don't want our fridge to be lonely without it, so looks like we're off to the store to buy some more Kaboom.

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family


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Stop the Spray benefit concert

We had a wonderful weekend filming at the Harmony Festival on Saturday (segments coming soon) and at the Stop the Spray event on Sunday in Sausalito, California.



We interviewed legendary musicians Bob Weir, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur and so many more...
The event was hosted by the famous movie star Peter Coyote and was a benefit to help raise awareness for stopping the spraying of toxic pesticides over populated areas.

Not sure if you were aware of the plan to spray plastic nano-spheres filled with fertility disrupting chemicals all over the bay area (and other parts of the U.S.), in a futile attempt to eradicate a little brown apple moth - but that's what some folks in our government have it in their minds to do.

Just to let everyone know, the spraying that occurred a few months ago in Santa Cruz and Monterey caused 600 people (mostly kids) to develop chronic asthma - where previously they were perfectly healthy!

True to our Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet form, we take a positive perspective on all of this and celebrate our right to live a pesticide free existence!

It was a great day out on the Marin waterfront there, fantastic music, insightful speakers, and most of all, a truly blissful and connected community of people who came together to support a great cause!

Watch the full video to learn more about this pressing topic and which organizations are in your area who are watching out for your interests!

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet family




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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Are we in your favorite local bookstore?

A friend of ours in Los Angeles just e-mailed us this wonderful photo of our "Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating" on display in the front window of Vroman's Bookstore:





Vroman's is the leading independent bookstore in Southern California since 1894! Grover Cleveland was President of the United States...Thomas Edison was showing off the first Kinetoscopic movie of a man sneezing...the first college basketball game was played, ever (University of Chicago beats Chicago YMCA 19-11)...all of this was going on in 1894 when Vromer's Bookstore opened!

What's so wonderful is that Vromer's dedicated their front window to "Earth Day is Everyday" - which is near and dear to our hearts!

http://www.vromansbookstore.com

So if your favorite local bookstore doesn't have us in their front window, or easily seen out in the cookbook section, then please speak to a manager and ask them to do put us out front and center.

Peace, Love and Organics!

Your HippyGourmet family


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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Eco-sex appeal

On the recent segment we did on Zap Electric cars from Ethical Approach auto sales, teaming up with Akeena Solar panels - we got a lot of responses that driving an electric car was just not sexy enough.

Well here's the evidence that going green is the new sex appeal, as stated succinctly by EcoGeek:

http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1676/73/

Hearing the news today that GM is planning on shutting down the manufacture of four plants that build mostly SUVs and trucks, we can't help but feel badly for the workers who will lose their jobs, and also have to wonder why it took GM so long to figure out that they should have been moving to smaller, fuel efficient vehicles long ago.

The great news is that hopefully Hummers will be discontinued once and for all.

Anyway, back to what's sexy and appealing...going green!


www.hippygourmet.com

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