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Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention







Short journal entries detailing the nuts and bolts of our ventures in growing food at our micro-farm

Entries in raw food (2)


The Raw Food Detox: Transitioning Back With A Renewed Perspective On Food

Freshly shucked peas. The work it takes makes you think twice about using that bag of frozen peas as an icepack for your knee.Two weeks ago, in an attempt to detox from a suboptimal diet, we began a strict 7 day raw food cleanse knowing full well that we'd be irritable, hungry, weak and likely symptomatic with headaches, dizziness and weakness.  We knew we'd have to overcome it with persistence and discipline.  And we did it!  What's more surprising is that we are continuing with this detox program but attempting  to make it seasonable, local and real world.  The reason is this: we feel better, lighter, trimmer, our sleep is deeper and eating this way has forced us to enjoy and appreciate fruits and vegetables even beyond the level we reached from growing our food for the last 2 years.  It has also forced a sense mindfulness and presence during eating because it has allowed the clear clean notes of the food to shine through unencumbered by extraneous fillers like sauces, bread and elaborate seasonings.  In a nutshell, this was, for 1 week, a vegan, extremely low carbohydrate (but not carb-free) diet.  After the first week we began adding animal meats back in and some more starches.


The Basic Principles:

1. Eat as much raw foods (cooked no higher than 112 degrees) with the larger meals at dinner.

2. Crucial combination of foods.  This was the most difficult for us.  Though I am very aware of how fermentation can occur with certain combination of food types  (I've had several patients with digestive issues get dramatically better) it is VERY hard not to have protein with carbs.  Eggs without bread?  Meats without potatoes? Chicken without rice? 

The food groups to keep apart for 3-4 hours: a)Animal meats, eggs, raw cheese and fish  b)starches (rice, pasta, bread and cooked legumes)  c) nuts/seeds/dried-fruits   d) Fresh fruits.  Non-starch vegetables may be combined with any of these.

This is based on how quickly food leaves the digestive track and I have seen patients experience less bloating and gas with food combining principles.  The principle is that our digestive tracks were not designed to handle complex meals.  Each food type has very specific enzymes produced by the body to breakdown those substances, for example, lipase is made to breakdown fat, lactose for milk sugars etc.  Food combing is not new.  Carlos Gracie, founder of the Brazilian Gracie Jiujitsu, has championed a food combining diet. He lived until the age of 92 and his diet and teachings still live on.Broth made from leeks, pea pods and parsley



This is NOT a local food diet.  In fact, I felt quite guilty about consuming a ton of tropical fruits like bananas, coconuts and grapes from chili, apples from New Zealand.  The best I could do were berries from California although strawberries are just coming into season locally but hard to find organically grown. [FYI: Non-organic California strawberries should have a surgeon general's warning.  In 2006, 280 lbs of pesticides (known carcinogenic ones included) were applied PER acre for a total of 9 million pounds].  What we did use locally from our farm was tons of siberian and tuscan kale, peas, sugar snap peas, yellow and green beans, lettuces, edible flowers, tons of herbs, collard greens, kohlrabi leaves, small fava beans, carrots, mustard greens, garlic scapes and celeriac stems.


As physicians who are already very conscious about nutrition and health, especially me, this took us to the next level and showed us that we really had a great deficit in fruits and vegetables in our diet.  I love fruits but I do not go out of my way to obtain it because of seasonality issues, organic availability and shelf life.  Now, I can't stock enough fruit in my house but better yet, our plans for an edible permaculture forest garden will provide us with paw paws (great local substitute for bananas), strawberries, raspberries, black and blue berries, currants, gooseberries, and sweet cherries. There are also plans to install a mini-orchard with apples and stone fruits next year.


So, we continue our quest for optimal eating and growing with a celebratory LOCAL cooked meal with all HMG produce and lamb chops from McEnroe's farm in Millerton NY.   Tonight's menu:

Elixir of Fresh Peas

Herb Salad with purslane, celeriac and parsley leaves, basil and lettuces

Grilled Lamb chops with oregano and lemon



1 bunch scallions or 2 small leeks including 2" of the greens, thinly sliced
5 large parsley stems with leaves
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 lbs of fresh pod peas, shelled and reserve the pods for the stock
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion or young leek
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
truffle oil, garnish with fresh chervil and chive blossoms


1. Bring 1 qt of water to boil.  As it's heating, add scallions, parsley and 1/2 tsp salt. Add about 3 cups of the pea pods.  Once water boils, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes then strain.

2. Melt butter in a soup pot and add the sliced young leek/onion.  Cook over medium heat for a minute then add 1/2 cup of the stock.  After 4-5 minutes add the peas, 1/2 tsp salt and optional sugar.  Pour in 2.5 cups of the stock and bring to a boil and simmer 3 minutes

3. Transfer soup to a blender or processor.  Puree.  Serve immediately in small soup bowls, adding a few drops of truffle oil to each bowl, chervil and chive blossoms as garnish

Wine is back. To the Village Vitner of Nyack, we await a celebratory wine tasting you promised! 



 Recipe adaped from Deborah Madison, Local Flavors



A Late Spring Detox: Remedy to too much Grass-Fed Meats and Biodynamic Wines

We are bursting with food even before setting foot into June and looking back at last year's photos, we are way ahead of the game thanks to high tunnels allowing us to plant beans, tomatoes and peppers in April and to planting things normally direct seeded like snap peas and English peas in soil blocks weeks ahead of time to get a head start.


It's been a tough month of May between our usual jobs but with the added stress of Charlie's hospital, St. Vincent's closing, 4 farmer's markets, an eco-house tour we participated in, planting our own farm, expanding another area to accomdate our next experiment (permaculture and edible forest gardens), me prepping for a talk on Food and Cancer at Donna Karan's Urben Zen and moving my private practice to Beth Israel's Center for Health and Healing, this Memorial Day weekend has been our first breather.


I've been wanting to do a "detox" or juice fast for a long time.  The closest I've ever gotten was during a Goenka Vipassana retreat in 2004 but I never found the time to actually buckle down and do it.  Then after getting married to a meat and bread lover, it became even tougher.  And since I guide people in food as part of my work, I've put myself through a variety of food challenges from yeast, gluten and dairy free diets to elimination diets to partly understand how difficult the process is, but to also be able to tell patients how to exactly navigate these sometimes difficult food modifications.  I mean, it's hard to give advice and conversely take advice from someone without a true understanding of what's it's like to embark on such a journey of food  that can be so emotionally charged.  I've had a variety of patients ask me about detoxing and the various different protocols and books written on the subject.  I have to say, they all have a very common thread plus or minus colonics (which I don't routinely advise), multiple supplements and herbs usually profiting the author's protocol (though there is sometimes rational use for them).  I have now decided to plunge in and go through a detox regimen.  Thankfully, it was suggested by Charlie who was ready to make changes as well.  So much easier when you have a partner in crime.  In this case, a partner in health.


We decided on following Natalia Rose's book The Raw Food Detox Diet for the next week rather than taking off days from work to do a juice cleanse.  Juice cleanses are fine if one has the time to rest and relax but Natalia's book allows for meals which makes working plausible.  What is most motivating for us is the availablity of our own food which has offered us access in abundance at the moment in kale, beans, snap peas, shell peas, chard, beet greens, celery, lettuces, fennel, leeks, garlic scapes, cabbage, mustard greens, bok choy, berries, and herbs galore (chervil, basil, sage, marjoram, oregano, savory, thyme, cilantro, vienamese cilantro, dill, parsley).


Wish us luck and we'll report back shortly with our findings!  Tonight we feast on wine, cider beer, pizza, Wagyu beef burgers, and BBQ'd organic chicken drumsticks.  You gotta hit rock bottom sometimes before surfacing to the top.