Visiting the West Coast!

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Rosemary Bush (Rosemarinus)  – (the largest I’ve seen ever in Oregon). Rosemary bushes are on so many lawns and parks! There are at least close to a dozen species in Portland.)

The last time I was on the West Coast was during Katrina in August of 2005. I visited Arizona on a few dreams I had following a young Native girl and my Aunt Tiye who would climb Red Earth mesas and fly to the next while I would climb in arms reach before their next leap. At that time, I was discovering the Sun and her children, the tribes of the Sun scattered from the Yucatan into old Mexican Arizona. At that time I had no idea the inclusive history of indigenous and native peoples on this planet.

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Frontier Airlines, Winter 2019, East Coast (Ronald Reagan National Airport) to Denver Airport

I was also heavily writing, dancing, performing spoken word and dabbling in teaching to elementary children about indigenous culture and our environment. Still a practicing vegetarian, I was getting extreme downloads from the Earth (cosmos) from the Divine Feminine realm. In fact, I had journals filled with messages from The Goddess and as I sat in the lotus position or in pigeon pose I began to see the beauty of Tantra everywhere and in everything. This was the East coast, the hemisphere of my birthplace on this planet and yet I still had this weird connection to the West coast! At least in Arizona where I felt more at home than almost anywhere I’d been (apart from Guadeloupe).

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Between flights (starving). Airport breather: food (Asian salmon salad), beer, a little writing 😉

 

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Mount Hood at Rocky Butte Natural Park at the top of Joseph Wood Hill Park where you can see Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Hood (pictured above), Mt. Helen’s, and the Columbia River gorge and Washington State’s Vancouver

 

 

But here I am on the West Coast, discovering none other than Oregon. Back home on the East coast the words “Portland” and “Oregon” made my black coworkers pause with side-eyed glares and ask almost offensively, “Why Portland?” As if my black card would be revoked by our imaginary world-wide black card institute.

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Their conjectures almost had me convinced until walking through the neighborhood and seeing others with my skin tone assuring me “there’s ‘naga’s’  here!” with a sigh of relief. Still I get the unusual looks or loud “Hi, how you doing?” It’s definitely a mixed bag. But beyond the looks — and maybe its my wild unruly “braid locs,” turquoise, and shoulder length feathers in my ears, I know there’s something super “magical” about this region I am only beginning to discover.

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Clary Sage Herbarium: organic dried herbs, teas, herbal extracts, therapeutic organic & food grade essential oils, flower essences, magical intention candles, smudging herbs and woods, cleansing sprays, crystals, natural incense, artisanal natural soaps & body care and more.

The trees alone have much to tell – and I’ve never been anywhere where trees and shrubs are as diverse as they are here in Portland. Gigantic mature Rosemary bushes are aligned with rose bushes, sage, and pine yards away from bamboo, ferns, and pacific mandrones (one of the prettiest unusual trees I’ve seen). There are palm varieties with algae, lichen and moss grown on the trunks and trees of pine and oak (noted to have over 700 varieties of moss in Portland!) I’ve even seen cacti and succulents! Why? Portland is a rain forest! The only American rain forest in the North America and Oregon is one of the states (including California, and Washington State) of the Pacific Northwest to house its unique temperate climate and home to the colossal red woods which are still part of ancient Mayan lore to date. But these tree varieties sometimes leave me feeling as if Ive walked into some far away faerie gnome village with the later I’m still trying to figure out and define. Still, I admit Portland is by far a very mystical forest region Ive only begun to discover! 🙂

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Many people in Portland look as if they are ready to climb mountains, win the iron man (or gender-neutral equivalent), homestead (Macgyver style), and Natarajasana  (yoga cosmic dancer pose) without missing a heart beat. There is a true love for nature in these parts! So much so that my first trip to the local grocery store, the cashier hesitated packing my items thinking i’d walk out in hand or had a personal recycled (preferably hemp) bag in my pocket! He gave me a side-eyed stare when i insisted on a paper bag and my paper receipt which is probably recycled on the spot. The truth is the ONLY plastic bag I gathered in my few weeks here was the one I brought with me from Virginia!!! Recycling here is not some feel good chat, it’s a religion and way of life that shocked even myself.

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The grocery stores have some amazing local markets fresh produce that I was equally amazed to see and taste! The Alberta Coop was one of the first stores I walked in and was happy to see such gorgeous veggies, mushroom, fruits, roots, and greens! Plus the cashier informed me I could ‘purchase’ or own part of the coop which really got my attention, but more on that in the Spring! For now, I will say there is a huge vegetarian and vegan health conscious population residing here.  And i cant wait to explore the food agriculture here both personally and academically.

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For now I will end with thankfulness and anticipation of new journeys, awakenings, and empowerment of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding!

 

Always Love!

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Ria


Resources: 

https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/AboutODF/NativeTreesPlants.pdf

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crazy cumin, dance, fitness & organic foods: summer in dc

I’m so thankful to be back in the DC area! It’s been both humbling and eye-opening journey home and so far I’ve been gifted with some awesome creative avenues such as Dance Workstudy program (study West African Dance, Modern Dance, Hip Hop, Salsa styles), Join a Neo Soul Jazz band as Lead Vocals, perform in a Women’s program featuring international dance, learn acoustic guitar (one was given to me!), and create natural (vegan) food recipes for friends (featured below). Dance has been amazing and challenging because I’m learning to breathe through the movements I intend to perfect (each hand gesture, feet placement, neck roll, hip thrust is deliberate and intentional with focus on the memory of Ancestors and space-time continuum of what is now through the past and even our future)! In one class, we started out with one drummer then ended up with over 7 Drummers and the company director showing up to watch class!!! Everything in my life has become primarily spiritual and humbling!

“To add your light to the sum of light. Do it with patience, and love, and respect for the depth and difficulty of the task” ~ Leo Tolstoy

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Returning to school at this time – has been perfect timing. I’ve managed to keep most of my As and stay at a decent GPA while adding Creative Writing and International Business to my minors. And I love starting Poetry Workshop this term, as it allows me to dive deeply into the very intimate aspects of my Self and explore greater depths of creativity and the craft of poetry.

 

Rainbow Kale Salad with Crazy Cumin Chickpeas and Creole Sweet Tomato Salad

Rainbow Kale Salad with Crazy-Cumin Chickpeas and Creole Sweet Tomato Salad (pictured above) a great organic Summer meal, snack and in my case breakfast! Shout out to MOM’s Organic Market in Waldorf, Maryland (3301 Plaza Way, Waldorf, MD 20603) for their exquisite organic selections and great customer service. Everyone who worked there had that beautiful #MelaninMagick glow! I’m a nut for fresh organic foods and love, love, love diverse recipes I can sample and ‘recreate’ into my own unique creation; to me “EVERYTHING IS ART!” and food is no exception. The more diverse the colors the better, not only does the presentation look amazing, but you’re getting all the nutrients your body is seeking! So what did I make? First-course Vegan Wraps (not pictured). I found the most beautiful selection of Swiss Chard I used along with Collard Green leaves.  These were stuffed with mashed avocado and chickpeas, sliced avocados, sliced red and yellow bell peppers (so sweet), spicy arugula mixed sprouts, sliced carrots, organic tomatoes, sweet red onion… The organic cumin was such a treat! I couldn’t get enough of it. That morning, I made a dressing with organic Olive Oil, Braggs Aminos, Cumin powder, squeezed Lime juice, salt, and pepper! Chopped the Dinosaur Kale thinly along with the chopped Swiss Chard leaves, let it soak with the red and yellow peppers, threw in the sliced tomato and red onion and mashed chickpeas and Voila! the yummiest salad breakfast ever! As for my “Crazy Cumin” obsession? Not so crazy after all, cumin is known for its healing properties including its dietary fiber content! It’s a carminative (calms the body), antifungal, antimicrobial, and stimulates digestion. Since my friend had been juicing most of his foods I thought it would help him ease into eating raw foods. I remember the Rasta in Harlem teaching me all about the healing benefits of cumin seeds adding to cooked or oiled foods. And I secretly love the flavor it adds to cilantro, avocado, and lime! ~ Delicious!

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Crazy Cumin & ChickPea Kale Salad

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Rainbow Kale Salad

 

Simple Riasweetaw Recipes

 

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The Beauty & Magic of Anthocyanins

I’m obsessed with all things containing Anthocyanins, why? Because they are Nature’s powerfully packed nutrient rich chemicals that help to active, stimulate and empower melanin compounds. They have a higher pH the darker their pigments (although recorded as red-purple at pH 7 while green at pH 8-14). Ever hear the phrase “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice?” well it’s a lot more to that phrase when it comes to our sunkissed magical composition.  The Reds, Purples, and Blues of the darker leafy greens, black rice, eggplant, dark red cherries, red apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red cabbage and black grapes. These nutrient-rich dark pigmented fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids and a variety of healing properties.  Preventing cancer, diabetes, neurological, liver, vision, cardiovascular disorders and more. They are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and pro-oxidants.  One of the scientific goodies I found was that these molecular compounds “convert light energy into electrical energy!” Oh yes, anthocyanins! I love you! ❤

 

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Rainbow Swiss Chard 

 

 

 

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The city has so much to offer, I am being reintroduced to the many gifts it holds and I’m continually awakening to the many beautiful beings, people, energies I meet and allow into my life.   Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Hard, & Empower Your Soul (Mind/Body/Spirit) ~ InLove, Daria (Ria)

A little drumming from this Saturday’s dance class! My YouTube student channel where I post school media projects and videos.

Ancestor Chuck Davis

Honoring the Ancestors |  Baba Chuck Davis,  Dancer Choreographer-Director

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Sources: 

Konczak, I., & Zhang, W. (2004). Anthocyanins—More Than Nature’s Colours. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology2004(5), 239–240. http://doi.org/10.1155/S1110724304407013

Be a Solutionary! Say No to H.R. 1599 (aka DARK (Deny American’s the Right to Know Act))

It’s really easy to ACT, DO SOMETHING, BE LOVE,  GET INVOLVED, BE A SOLUTIONARY! If you think Monsanto and GMO foods are harmless think again. Studies show Monsanto’s GMO weed killer damages your DNA! If there ever was a time to act it is right now!

WHY:

JLI_DARKerActBlocksSafetyRules_1a-444x444Your Right to Act and Know! Please be informed, educated, and ACT for GMO labeling transparency. Not all things need to be passed in the DARK (Deny American’s the Right to Know Act) the new H.R. 1599 Bill making it illegal for states to require GMO labels on foods and products. If you already agree the term “natural” has been stolen from Nature’s natural order it would be even more obscure to identity and demand the true meaning of ‘natural’ labeled ingredients.

This bill also threatens the integrity of organic farming, because it would make it illegal for states and counties to restrict the planting of GMOs – which may lead to GMO contamination on organic farms.

Fortunately, it’s really easy to call Congress and urge them to vote NO on H.R. 1599.

WHAT: 

The “Denying Americans the Right-to-Know” (DARK) Act would.

  • Preempt states from requiring labeling of GMO food.
  • Preempt states from regulating GMO crops to protect public health and the environment.
  • Virtually eliminate FDA’s ability to craft a national GMO labeling system.
  • Codify the current, broken voluntary labeling system.
  • Create a GMO “safety” review system based on industry science.
  • Allow “natural” foods to contain GMO ingredients and preempt state efforts to end misleading “natural” claims.
    (resource: JustLableIt.org)

HOW:

It’s really easy to ACT, DO SOMETHING, BE ACTIVE, GET INVOLVED, BE A SOLUTIONARY:

  • Pick up the phone and dial: (202) 224-3121
  • Provide your zip code
  • Provide your zip code and they’ll connect you with your rep.
  • That is all! It only takes a few minutes – and you’ll be part of history if we can stop this bill together. 

I thank you, the Earth thanks you, your children’s children thanks you!

InLove, Freedom and Action!

Ria 

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Additional Info:  For Georgia Residents

Contact:

 

Sen. David Perdue

District: GAS02
Phone:(202) 224-3521
Fax:(202) 228-1031

Sen. Johnny Isakson

District: GAS01
Phone:(202) 224-3643
Fax:(202) 228-0724

Rep. Rick Allen

District: GA12
Phone:(202) 225-2823
Fax:(202) 225-3377