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May 28, 2013
Cleanse Party Recap: Green Juice Genius, Ribald Remarks on Wrap Rolling, Biodynamic Beauties
filed under: Events,
The Cleanse Party turned out to be one of those unforgettable evenings where a handful of adventurous Hip Tasters come together for the first time to create a great experience that figures itself out as it goes along. Nicole, Adina and I only had a loose outline for the evening before getting started, and had managed to rope in Katrina Fetzer to discuss her family's perspective on biodynamics. So there were four speakers, effectively, although I stuck to the intro and mostly let the other women do their stuff. It was nice to settle into the background, although I was itching to give a bit more scope around the tasting itself and how it relates to the raw foods lifestyle. Next time.
There were so many things to cover that we picked up at a brisk clip upon everyone's arrival and stayed until after 10 - the overstaying of course the sign of a good fete! Nicole's mini meditation session at the outset reminded guests of the importance of taking time out of eating and drinking occasions (especially those where excess is a risk) to recall and reaffirm your goals and limits.
Some of the tidbits she shared include getting up from dinner and taking a walk around mid-meal. There is a pause you get from the table that can help you decide that, perhaps, you don't really need that dessert after all, or that you'll opt for a glass of water or a fun mocktail instead of one more glass of wine. Drinking water before starting drinking is also a great call, as is walking to a restaurant or party instead of driving. Just common sense ideas to keep balance in your life and stay on track to avoid overindulgence - but things we rarely slow down to explore.
Adina's cooking lesson was bomb. She went into a flurry of Vitamix blending right after Nicole's wrap-up (which concluded with a toast and our first sip of wine, natch), concocting a green smoothie numerous people dubbed the best they'd ever had. A blending / juicing neophyte, I hung onto her words and learned so much just in that first DETOX smoothie session. Key lessons on supplemental additions to the blend that enhance wellness were a key takeaway.
We were off from there into the raw foods meal prep. The energy was amazing as we collaborated to figure out who was good at what (e.g. julienning vegetables, preparing the "Bitchin' Sauce" in the Vitamix, cooking the soup and so on). I managed pouring the wines, checking in with guests along the way to make sure everyone was having a good time. The wine flowed, even with the DETOX theme of the evening in full bloom, because this wasn't a true cleanse, after all - it was a HIP TASTES event! Although guests certainly left with the savvy to do a cleanse of their own, tailored to their own needs and with confidence. Cool!
The menu: raw rolls in giant leafy greens replete with julienned vegetables, similar rolls wrapped in seaweed (topped by the Bitchin' Sauce, of course), a gorgeous soup that was as flavorful as it was nourishing and chock full of good-for-you ingredients. Adina explained that non-juice cleanses often include just these sorts of items - so cleansing can mean indulging in delicious meals like the one we prepared. I was inspired to grab similar leafy greens at the market and have already replicated the meal minus the sauce, which I need to master, and have steered towards more raw foods and less gluten wherever possible. It's not a prescription I'll always follow but rather one that can be swapped in with my current diet when I feel the need to be cleaner and more conscientious of what I'm consuming. It feels right to get this balance cued up a bit more in my life, and to focus equally on wellness and wine. Cheers to that.
Our Cleanse Party gang then sat down and enjoyed the meal together at Adina's gorgeous long wooden table. We sipped more of Katrina's Ceago Vinegarden wines and learned about her family's biodynamic farming efforts in Lake County. Her capsule lesson the topic lent itself to lots of awesome questions on Bio wines, some of which we had to table as it was getting late! Wine was also provided by another Lake County estate, Hawk & Horse. H & H makes fantastic, mineral-studded Cabernet Sauvignon from higher-altitude vineyards. The big, oaked Cab was a nice counterpoint to Ceago's lighter, unoaked pours. In all, we drank well and were grateful for the contributions of these beautiful properties whose perspectives on farming kindly and with an eye to preservation for generations to come are inspiring.
Check the hiptastes.com website and Facebook/HipTastesEvents for notifications about future Wellness Series events. Feedback has been awesome, and we've already noted a few things that can make a class like this run even more smoothly. But then again, there is something magical about that figuring-out process occurring in the moment. The resulting energy at the first Cleanse Party was electric, and we will always fondly remember it as such. (And yes, it being a HIP TASTES event, someone compared the technique for rolling our rolls to one you'd use when rolling something else of the green variety - rightly ribald, I'd say.)