Thursday, November 1, 2007

Little Pleasures in Life and Planting Trees

Fig and Berry Madness

One of the benefits of my occasional night job (many models and actors will continue to do bartending/catering just because its a steady income, the work is relatively easy, and its nice to socialize with your co-workers). The jobs are always different too, so nothing gets too stagnant. get freebies. For most of them, its the occasional bottle of wine or leftover cooked foods that were served to guests. For me, its fruits, herbs...and bottled water. ( I got 3 Evians the other night) alcohol for me usually, although I'll bring home stuff for my roommates to try. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have money in the bank, but I'm not turning my nose up to free stuff. No way.

So last night was Halloween. I was working a dinner party that was being held for clients and friends of a boutique that sells high-end lingerie and erotic items...but REALLY high end. It was in Soho, and there were four of us serving drinks and passing food. The funny thing was that they hired a woman to lay on this table completely naked with fruit all around her. None of it was on her, just around her on this large table near the entryway. She had a mask on and just nibbled (unwashed) grapes for a couple of hours. Somehow, I was given the duty along with one of the assistant chefs to make the big piles of fruit around her. We had loads of conventional red and green grapes (no thanks) and, even though they were also conventional, massive amounts of...blueberries...raspeberries...and FIGS!

I kid you not, as I was piling up that fruit on the table, I was 1000 times more focused on how I was going to get those figs in my bag at the end of the night than I was on the naked woman laying in front of us. It was like she wasnt even there...I mean, of course you look when there is a naked person laying in front of you, but let's be adults here...WHO CARES? Its just a naked body. The novelty of it tends to wear off pretty quickly. But massive loads of my favorite fruit? Just waiting to be rescued at the end of night and taken home by yours truly? That deserves some attention!

Is there something wrong here? Do I need help? Or is this just the thought-pattern of a raw-foodie?

After eating about 10 plump, juicy figs, I wrapped the rest up along with a crazy amount of raspberries and blueberries. My co-workers were eating cold crepes sitting in melted ice cream, and here I am feasting on figs and raspberries! Thanks guys! I made the best smoothie ever today too! True - they werent organic, but certain berries and especially figs and persimmons are some fruits that I will gladly make an exception for if they are free. I will never pass up a fig.

They are just a sweet little condensed piece of perfection. Too cold to grow in Minnesota though, but for everyone further south, buy 4 of these trees NOW and start planting!

In fact, spread this idea...anyone with some extra land, or even suburbanites...go to either one of these websites - Peaceful Valley Organics and Willis Orchards

Buy some fruit trees and PLANT THEM! You will be so happy you did when you have fresh organic fruit growing in your yard. They cost so little, and give back so much. You can still buy land that is located 1 or 2 hours outside of many major metropolitan cities in the US for a decent price, especially if you share the costs with family members or close friends. Get a piece of land and at least plant 10 or 15 fruit trees on it. Build later on if you wish, but at least you will have that productive land when you need it. That is what I call investing for the future.

Willis Orchards sells trees that are already producing, so for a small investment, you can basically have a fruit orchard in one year. This is a no-brainer for me. Look into David Wolfe's Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and also Tree People. But this can be a total Do-It-Yourself thing. Plant awesome heirloom fruit tree varieties in your back yard and thank yourself a million times over afterwards.

I have an audition for a shampoo commercial tomorrow that shoots on some exotic island...would LOVE to get that one. That is why I got into this line of work...the free travel. Although when you are in NY, they tend to shoot in the studios quite often. If you go to Miami you will shoot a good amount of work in the Florida Keys and sometimes off in the Bahamas. Its a really nice bonus of the job.

Have a great Friday, and be sure to check the videos too! I'm making some cinnamon-raisin-apple Essene bread in the dehydrator...hopefully I wont eat it all before its done!

And to close...a post found from my friend Linda on her blog Linda in the Raw:

"I look my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses?" -George Bernard Shaw



Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,
I love your site! You are doing a great job updating and adding videos which livens things up and really gives insight into the raw/live foods lifestyle.

I have a question for you as a person new to raw food: Do you ever get terribly hungry and/or have cravings for cooked food? I am 50% raw right now and can feel a difference due to adding a greens smoothie to my day and fresh fruit and veg. But I am concerned that I will get really hungry with higher % of raw foods each day, then eat too many nuts or high fat raw and get fat. Neither condition is desirable to me. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!
P.S. Those figs look GORGEOUS!

mary said...

I enjoy the humor in your writing. It makes my day. I am a seventeen year old girl and I have eaten raw for a month. I find your website resourceful. I admire you for having the information free for all to enjoy. :-)

raw by default said...

I was just thinking about fresh figs earlier today. I can't recall ever having one (though I've had them dried). I'm definitely curious now.

Your pudding (in the video) looks tasty. And I'm envious of your blender. Mine can't even handle a banana!

Azura Skye said...

ya certainly can't beat free food - especially wonderful berries like that! blueberries are SO expensive over here (UK) it sucks.

KIKI - Anthony will probably answer your question wonderfully - but if I could just put in my 2cents ...

you really needn't worry about going hungry on raw food. I was always hungrier when I ate cooked food, as my body was calling out for nourishment in the form of hunger. If you satisfy your body's need for vitamins and minerals it won't keep ringing the hunger bell. Also because raw food tends to be crunchier you chew it more - sending the "I'm full" signal to the brain. just give it a go and see how you feel.

Sorry for jumping on the bandwagon.

AS x

Jennifer said...

ahhh...fresh figs...that delicate, jammy fragrant sweetness...i lament the fact that their season is pretty much kicked...easy come, easy go (i've got pomegranates and persimmons to console me.)...i've bought them by the POUND out here, 4-5 in one sitting(!) but FREE fresh figs? good grief...heck yea, i'd be SCHEMING to take them home. my other favorites include papayas and cherimoyas...i will slam the brakes on my nonexistent car for those babies any day! i'm a durian virgin, haven't even ever smelt it. i want my first time to be really fresh, not frozen, but i may have to go to hawai'i for that. ^_^

kiki - i agree with azura, i'd say if you went 100%, eat as much greens and fruits as will satiate your hunger. it's true that you ought to take it easy with the nuts, though, because too many can make you sluggish and create a temporary addiction to them (which can be adjusted with more greens and fruits)...what's most key is that you LISTEN to what your body is telling you. each of us is different. i've found that after going completely raw it became easier to hear what my body is telling me it needs. good luck!

on a different note - has anyone had sensitivity to their contact lenses after going raw? i recently hurt my leg and have been taking MSM supplements among other things and am wondering if that is a contributing factor. yesterday i tried to put them in my eyes and spent half an hour crying in the bathroom, they were burning and hurting that bad. i use the kind you replace every few weeks and these weren't even more than 3 days old, tops. i finally just went to work without them...blind and on crutches, i managed to make my way over to lenscrafters on the trolley to get a pair of nerdy (fake) tortoiseshells, eat your heart out, williamsburg hipsters! ;-) i've been over wearing contacts for vanity's sake for awhile now, except maybe for special occasions so the timing is spot on.

"a nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." ~old New York proverb

Anonymous said...

Hi As x and Jennifer!
Thanks for you input. I can use all the advice I can get. I got up today and had 16 oz of water then worked out and had a greens smoothie. So far so good. :-) I think sometimes I am simply thirsty and that is why the hunger signal kicks in.

Thanks again and best wishes to you both!

Anonymous said...

One more thing, have you guys ever checked out Catra Corbett's site?
She is a raw vegan trailrunner and has done some amazing athletic feats on an all raw diet. She is located in the West coast where I think it is easier to get good organic produce throughout the year, etc. But it is amazing to me that someone could run 100 miles on all raw food!
Have a great day,

Jenny said...

Although I have a full time job as a bench jeweler/designer, during the summer I occasionally moonlight as a server/caterer for my friend who owns a lovely and very busy company. . . and I too, am the one who takes home all the beautiful champagne grapes, fresh strawberries, figs (my favorite too!!) and local veggies for the crudites. . . it's heaven! i'm lucky that she only uses organic and local produce. . . so the entire time i'm doing garden parties, cocktail parties and sit down dinners. . . at beautiful summer homes, i'm completely captivated by how much fruit i can get home and the incredible ocean views- it's a fantastic job. . . glad someone else is enjoying the same little perks Anthony! and as always, loving your blog. . .

Jennifer said...


In sixth grade Mrs. Walker
slapped the back of my head
and made me stand in the corner
for not knowing the difference
between persimmon and precision.
How to choose

persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down the newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew on the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet
all of it, to the heart.

Donna undresses, her stomach is white.
In the yard, dewy and shivering
with crickets, we lie naked,
face-up, face-down,
I teach her Chinese. Crickets: chiu chiu. Dew: I've forgotten.
Naked: I've forgotten.
Ni, wo: you me.
I part her legs,
remember to tell her
she is beautiful as the moon.

Other words
that got me into trouble were
fight and fright, wren and yarn.
Fight was what I did when I was frightened,
fright was what I felt when I was fighting.
Wrens are small, plain birds,
yarn is what one knits with.
Wrens are soft as yarn.
My mother made birds out of yarn.
I loved to watch her tie the stuff;
a bird, a rabbit, a wee man.

Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to class
and cut it up
so everyone could taste
a Chinese apple. Knowing
it wasn't ripe or sweet, I didn't eat
but watched the other faces.

My mother said every persimmon has a sun
inside, something golden, glowing,
warm as my face.

Once, in the cellar, I found two wrapped in newspaper
forgotten and not yet ripe.
I took them and set them both on my bedroom windowsill,
where each morning a cardinal
sang. The sun, the sun.

Finally understanding
he was going blind,
my father would stay up all one night
waiting for a song, a ghost.
I gave him the persimmons, swelled, heavy as sadness,
and sweet as love.

This year, in the muddy lighting
of my parents' cellar, I rummage, looking
for something I lost.
My father sits on the tired, wooden stairs,
black cane between his knees,
hand over hand, gripping the handle.

He's so happy that I've come home.
I ask how his eyes are, a stupid question.
All gone, he answers.

Under some blankets, I find three scrolls.
I sit beside him and untie
three paintings by my father:
Hibiscus leaf and a white flower.
Two cats preening.
Two persimmons, so full they want to drop from the cloth.

He raises both hands to touch the cloth,
asks, Which is this?

This is persimmons, Father.

Oh, the feel of the wolftail on the silk,
the strength, the tense
precision in the wrist.
I painted them hundreds of times
eyes closed. These I painted blind.
Some things never leave a person:
scent of the hair of one you love,
the texture of persimmons,
in your palm, the ripe weight.

~Li-Young Lee

Jennifer said...


The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.

Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom, with your lips.

But the vulgar way
Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.

Every fruit has its secret.

The fig is a very secretive fruit.
As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic:
And it seems male.
But when you come to know it better, you agree with the Romans, it is female.

The Italians vulgarly say, it stands for the female part; the fig-fruit:
The fissure, the yoni,
The wonderful moist conductivity towards the centre.

The flowering all inward and womb-fibrilled;
And but one orifice.

The fig, the horse-shoe, the squash-blossom.

There was a flower that flowered inward, womb-ward;
Now there is a fruit like a ripe womb.

It was always a secret.
That’s how it should be, the female should always be secret.

There never was any standing aloft and unfolded on a bough
Like other flowers, in a revelation of petals;
Silver-pink peach, venetian green glass of medlars and sorb-apples,
Shallow wine-cups on short, bulging stems
Openly pledging heaven:
Here’s to the thorn in flower! Here is to Utterance!
The brave, adventurous rosaceƦ.

Folded upon itself, and secret unutterable,
And milky-sapped, sap that curdles milk and makes ricotta,
Sap that smells strange on your fingers, that even goats won’t taste it;
Folded upon itself, enclosed like any Mohammedan woman,
Its nakedness all within-walls, its flowering forever unseen,
One small way of access only, and this close-curtained from the light;
Fig, fruit of the female mystery, covert and inward,
Mediterranean fruit, with your covert nakedness,
Where everything happens invisible, flowering and fertilization, and fruiting
In the inwardness of your you, that eye will never see
Till it’s finished, and you’re over-ripe, and you burst to give up your ghost.

Till the drop of ripeness exudes,
And the year is over.

And then the fig has kept her secret long enough.
So it explodes, and you see through the fissure the scarlet.
And the fig is finished, the year is over.

That’s how the fig dies, showing her crimson through the purple slit
Like a wound, the exposure of her secret, on the open day.
Like a prostitute, the bursten fig, making a show of her secret.

That’s how women die too.

The year is fallen over-ripe,
The year of our women.
The year of our women is fallen over-ripe.
The secret is laid bare.
And rottenness soon sets in.
The year of our women is fallen over-ripe.

When Eve once knew in her mind that she was naked
She quickly sewed fig-leaves, and sewed the same for the man.
She’d been naked all her days before,
But till then, till that apple of knowledge, she hadn’t had the fact on her mind.

She got the fact on her mind, and quickly sewed fig-leaves.
And women have been sewing ever since.
But now they stitch to adorn the bursten fig, not to cover it.
They have their nakedness more than ever on their mind,
And they won’t let us forget it.

Now, the secret
Becomes an affirmation through moist, scarlet lips
That laugh at the Lord’s indignation.

What then, good Lord! cry the women.
We have kept our secret long enough.
We are a ripe fig.
Let us burst into affirmation.

They forget, ripe figs won’t keep.
Ripe figs won’t keep.

Honey-white figs of the north, black figs with scarlet inside, of the south.
Ripe figs won’t keep, won’t keep in any clime.
What then, when women the world over have all bursten into affirmation?
And bursten figs won’t keep?

~D.H. Lawrence

Anonymous said...

FIGS RULE!!!!! You are so blessed to have been gifted the ultimate gift of a fig. your blog. I am also a raw model here in NYC...just moved here two months ago. I've been doing the raw thing about 14 months, and I always tell the other models to just eat right so they don't have to starve/ smoke. I don't want to sound preachy, but then I sit there and think, "ya know I really do know something that will make such a huge difference for these girls" and I can't sit there knowing something that could potentially change their lives.
Anyway, I was listening to your interview on WLIR, and how you were talking about fresh air and the air quality in NYC- well, you will be so completely amazed at the difference when you finally get into nature! Oh my gosh Anthony, it will blow you away. Before moving into the city, I lived in the woods in NJ gardening my whole life, surrounded the beauty of Mother Earth, so when I got here it really took some adjusting. I still struggle because I miss my Mother SO MUCH ( not my mom hehe, nature), and Central Park doesn't compare. I also live in Williamsburg, which I recently found out is the most toxic place in the country, with the air being 90x more polluted that anywhere in the US!! Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for my life and the opportunity I have with modeling, but what I resonate with is the purity of nature that I just can't find here. I am grateful because this is another lesson which will only make me open my heart even more and teach me to become even more aware of my energy and the energy of the people around me. That's why green smoothies are an amazing way to connect to something green. I also look forward to meeting other Raw foodies and Ashtangis in NYC, because right now it's just my boyfriend and I drinking massive amounts of greens and chowing down on durians.
One more thing- I was in Sri Lanka for two months last March/April with my boyfriend as he worked on his bodywork program there, and we both talk about this everday-how while living there in the tropical environment, we truly felt like we were thriving. We literally lived off of King coconuts, papaya, and gotu kola. It's so interesting to see the differences in how we feel based on the quality of air. You could go the beach, lay in the sun -call that lunch, and have it be more satisfying than anything you could possibly conjure up otherwise.
(PS the coconuts are 10 cents, avacados are 8 cents, papayas the size of your arm are maybe 20 cents !!!)
Well, I am very happy to know that there is another raw model in the city. I hope to see you maybe at a casting or a potluck. I am actually moving to PA for a few weeks until I get a check to pay for another sublease, as mine ends today.( you know how those clients like to take forever to pay)
much peace and love to you.
-jennifer s.

Hamilton said...

Hi Anthony, great to meet you the other day. I'm loving the informative blogs on shakes. I've got to get myself a blender.

Good to see you with my name above you on the watch campaign, what a coincidence? The Universe is at work.

Remind me to speak with you about clonics, next time i see you.


Anonymous said...

haha, Anthony I couldn't help it the crepe looked so good! And that has nothing to do with what it was supposed to look like! It was just a good crepe! Oh yea, I ate one of those delicious fig's...then I got yelled at!
Awesome site man, you got me thinking about this "raw" business!


Anonymous said...

I love figs, too, and just happen to have a bag of them in my fridge. They are one of my favorite fruits, but a little foreign to me and my recipe skills. What do you put in your fig smoothie?