Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chris Paul Captures the Feeling of Strange Creek

Chris Paul captured the amazingness that is the Strange Creek Music Festival. Click on the link above to watch a slide show of the weekend.

The festival takes place every Memorial Day Weekend in Greenfield, MA at a children's camp. All camping is in the woods which I love because you can sleep in if you want to and you never wake up to a tent that is 150 degrees because of the blazing sun. Another aspect I love is that it is a family festival. You see the same people there every year. We are all committed to Strange Creek and the Worms and wouldn't want to be anywhere else that weekend. You also feel safe. The kid's area is the best one I have seen at a festival ever. Gabrielle (one of the producers) is responsible for this amazing area. It is blocked off to keep spun out wookies from wondering in and messing with the kids. They also have their own cabin, playground, and activities including the Healthy Hippie Dance Class I taught on Saturday afternoon.

There are three stage areas. The main stage where such acts like Max Creek, Strangefolk, Zach Deputy, Ryan Montbleau, Assembly of Dust, Nate Wilson Group, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Buzz Universe, and more perform. The field is open and you never feel crowded. You can dance as big as you want to. Another area is the River Worm Cafe which is found in the camping area. The last is Vernville which is also located in the camping area. Many times you will not only be treated to music at Vernville, but also breakfast and late-night movies.

Mark and Gabrielle are the people behind Strange Creek and it is obvious that they give it their all. They leave out nothing. Every night at the campfire we are treated to fire twirlers and drum circles. They recycle everything and donate the rebates back to the camp. There are enough port-o-potties and they are always clean. They offer flushing toilets to vendors, press, artists, and staff. There is the perfect amount of vending and you can get everything from a new drum from Everyone's Drumming, to a new hoodie from Hooked Productions, to glittery lotion from Woodland Pixie, to a new tie-dye dress from Bangkok Don, to a chicken curry pita from Ali Babas. To top it all off they offer us an all star line-up that goes until 6am every night! My only advice...don't miss their fall festival, Wormtown!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vitamin B1 is Nature's Bug Repellent!

If you’d like to take advantage of vitamin B1’s bug repellent properties naturally, it’s easy to add some by eating good, healthy foods. It takes 2 weeks to build up B1 in your system so start now because the bugs get hungry for you. Some foods that are high in B1 include:

Sunflower seeds are particularly high in thiamin
Beans, such as black beans, green peas, and lentils
Whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice
Yeast (brewer’s yeast supplements) !!!!I recommend this!
Dark leafy greens such as kale
Organ meats, such as liver
Enriched bread products

One thing to note, especially if you’re upping your intake of vitamin B1 for bugs; since it is water soluble, B1 is automatically flushed from the body and your reserves will need to be stocked regularly, either by taking a vitamin supplement or eating foods rich in the vitamin. The next time you’ve got the munchies, consider munching on oranges slices or sunflower seeds as a snack!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Easy Star All Stars at Higher Ground

I have never seen the Easy Stars All Stars live before May 14, 2009. The band took the stage around 10:00 adorned with three of my favorite colors. Red, yellow, and green. They immediatly brought the energy of the room to an extremely high level. Everyone started dancing and jumping up and down. You couldn't help it. The music made you do it and the band continued to give it to you good the entire night.

Not only are their original songs amazing and uplifting, but they cover some of the best bands in the industry dub syle! They played a lot of songs from their new album, "Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band”." Hearing Beatles songs dub style is so unique and awesome. Whoever had that idea was a genius and I love them. They also cover Pink Floyd on their album, "Dub Side of the Moon" and we were so lucky to hear some of those songs as well.

Everyone who was in attendance that night left with happy ears, hearts, and souls and chances are they were exhausted. I know I was because I was jumpin, movin, and groovin for a full two hours. I can't wait for the Easy Stay All Stars to come to town again or even a town kind of near Burlington because I would travel to see them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rock Climbing at Petra Cliffs

Yoga instructor and event producer Jane Jarecki (,, and I (Taraleigh) decided that we wanted to try rock climbing for the first time together. We went to Burlington's best rock climbing gym, Petra Cliffs. When we arrived we met our instructor, Eli. He set us up with shoes (tip...if they look too small and are really tight, that is the correct size), a harness, and some chalk. Jane and I were confident that we would be rock stars because we are so athletic. I forgot that I'm not as athletic as I used to be when I was a cheerleader. I'm still strong, but I'm not flipping twenty times across a basketball court strong anymore. Now I'm regular person who runs, walks everywhere, takes yoga classes, and dances at shows.

Eli explained all the basics and at first he held the rope for us as we climbed up the wall. We conquered the first track with ease, but I think that is the one that five year olds can tackle with ease as well, but we felt cool anyways. Here we are rockin out and up!

Since we were so awesome, Eli let us hold the ropes for each other. We didn't drop each other and we were ready to move on to a harder track. This one was much harder. It was rated a 5.7 which means that your grandmother would have trouble getting to the top...we did too. My arms were tired. They weren't burning, but they just stopped working. I wanted to reach up to grap the next peg, but my arm just wouldn't go. I felt wimpy, but realized that it was my first time. I got much further than I ever would have if is wasn't for Eli and Jane. They were cheering me on and they yelled things such as, "You can do it! You are a rockstar! Push push! Yay!" Here are some pics of Jane and I tackling a much harder track.

Now we can go together whenever we want thanks to Eli's expertise! Watch out rock climbing world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Green Vibes Talk with Harry

Taraleigh and Harry had a conversation with Harry who is in charge of all things green and sustainable at Gathering of the Vibes this year. The festival which takes place July 23-26 in Bridgeport, CT is on the forefront of festivals that are doing their best to be more green. As you will see from this interview, "It's not easy being green," but it is possible and Vibes is doing it!

HH- I love that Gathering of the Vibes has been and is continuing to go green. Let's go step by step and discuss the challenges and triumphs that go along with all aspects of a festival that is going green! Let's start with the solar stage. I heard that it is impossible to completely power the stage with solar power. Why is that?

Harry- What we've learned over the past few years is that we can power some of our stage with solar power, but the production equipment we use takes a ton of power with sound and lighting. It is a huge electrical demand. Most of the solar rigs out there aren't up to scale at this point. There are also issues with that the rig that might work is in California, but is it that economically viable to ship that rig across the country? There is also a serious eco-footprint that goes with transporting it. We need to find something reasonably close to the site.

HH- It can't always be 100 percent perfect all the time. You have to do what makes sense environmentally as well as makes sense for your business.

Harry- Exactly. It is an evolution. We can't always get to the holy grail, but what we want to make sure of is that the things we are doing have a real measurable impact and we aren't doing things that just sound good. It is a balancing act. Weighing many factors.

HH- It is so great that you have compostable cups and utensils. Who composts all of that when the festival goers are done with them? Do you make it easy for the festival goers to know where to throw compostables?

Harry- This year we now have built in with our agreements with our food and beverage vendors that they need to use cornstarch cups, plates, and utensils. We did this on a small scale last year with the Magic Hat Beer Tent, but now it is much bigger. We have teamed up with Clean Vibes. They do the hands on site work in terms of managing the composting and that bins are where they need to be and are properly signed. They are orchestrating where it needs to be on site to get picked up. We have had some challenges getting a local farm to receive that amount of composting at one time. We are most of the way there and hopefully we will have a commitment from a big local farm soon. Many times when people accept composting they will receive small quantities of yard waste but not cups and plates from 20,000 people.

HH- Will it be easy for the festival goers to compost?

Harry- The Clean Vibes people will make it easy with big signs. They did it last year at the Magic Hat Beer Tent. This year they will be everywhere and the signage will be really clear. People who are having fun don't want to try to hard to compost.

HH- I remember the compostable cups from Magic Hat. It was easy to compost the cups. I got excited. Ok, Do you provide fill stations with clean water so people can use refillable water bottles?

Harry- That is something we are working on. One of our operations leaders has been trying to make arrangements on that front and I don't know where we stand on that right at the moment. There have been many challenges with that. We have wanted to bring in water tankers and I've run into a series of issues with the health department and other regulations. That is still in play but I don't know if we will be able to pull it off this year.

HH- I would fill my bottle in the bathrooms with running water and I didn't get sick so people could do that.

Harry- It is something that we want to implement and we believe in it.

HH- How do you get the artists to participate in greening efforts?

Harry- The artists do a number of different things with a few of our long time environmental non-profits like Rock the Earth. We had tremendous support from the artist community on this. When we have reached out to people almost without exception all the bands have stepped up. We have to do it in a way where there aren't too many requests because the bands are so busy. We've done a number of different things like having bands sign posters which we used for fundraising tools.

HH- What are the top ways that you offset the Vibes carbon footprint?

Harry- This year we are drawing the vast majority of our power from temporary power stations set up by the local power company. We are using a 100% clean energy option. We are using the grid power and way less generators. When we use this grid power we have the ability to purchase carbon offset points. We are measuring the total power we are using for the event and then paying the power company through community energy that will allow that much clean energy to be put back into the grid. We are working with community energy to measure the electrical usage on the remaining generators and have them do an offset and donate it with the The Gathering of the Vibes name.

HH- Do you make it easy for people to find ride share programs?

Harry- Yes. We do a lot through the message boards on the Vibes website. That has been the hub of that activity. In our communications we repeatedly encourage people to car pool. It is too every one's financial advantage to drive as few vehicles as possible. We want to see less vehicles and more people.

HH- Anything else you would like to share?

Harry- Yes. One of the things we have been looking at very seriously with our remaining generators is using bio-diesel. We have done a lot of research on bio-diesel in generators and we have connected with a large scale supplier that is willing to work with us. Our challenge is finding a generator rental company that is ok having bio-diesel run through their generators. Bio-diesel is one of those areas where there is a lot of mis-information from when it first started that is no more. We are interested in running bio-diesel but we have to be able to get the kinds of generators we need and that has been a challenge.

HH- Hopefully someone will say, "Yes! We will help you!"

Harry- We hope so too.

HH- This will be interesting for people to see that there are so many challenges to going green.

Harry- The surface message is so clear and simple, but it isn't always so. I make sure the green credentials are real and don't just sound real. We make a lot of effort on this front and we really want to make a difference.

HH- Thank you for doing what you do. We look forward to the follow up interview with you closer to the event so we can see how things work out.

Monday, May 4, 2009

First ever Healthy Hippie Survey!

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7 Days Article

The Hippest Hippie
Local entrepreneur Taraleigh Silberberg builds a brand

By Suzanne Podhaizer [04.28.09]
In the sunny kitchen of Taraleigh Silberberg [1]’s Burlington home, a hand-lettered “Nourishment Menu” hangs on the fridge. But the “menu,” decorated with doodles, isn’t for one of Silberberg’s Thursday-night potluck dinners or the “Holistic Health” classes she teaches. The 31-year-old — self-dubbed “the Healthy Hippie” [2] — describes it as “a list of 20 to 25 things that you absolutely love to do,” she explains. “You keep it with you all the time. If it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’re craving sugar but you’re not really hungry, you could get the nourishment from your soul instead of a doughnut.”

Silberberg’s own to-do list offers options such as drinking a cup of tea, heading to the backyard to use her hula hoop, and donning a “feather boa and dancing around.” That’s the sort of wholesome, whimsical personality with which the New Jersey transplant infuses her bimonthly rag, The Healthy Hippie Magazine. Each issue features musician interviews, Silberberg’s lifestyle tips, and recipes for nourishing fare such as “candy bars” made from dates, nut butters and berries.

Silberberg isn’t sporting a boa when she welcomes me into her home to teach me how to make crisp kale chips sprinkled with sea salt and cayenne pepper — one of her favorite snacks. But she does wear stretchy yoga attire, a thick hip belt of silver sequins and a colorful feathered band wrapped around her dreads.

To some, “hippie entrepreneur” may still sound like an oxymoron, but Silberberg is indisputably both. Besides publishing her free magazine with three business partners, the college dance major and graduate of NYC’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition [3] teaches workshops — a recent one guided participants through a rigorous 10-day cleansing regimen — and sells handmade jewelry made from found objects and braided strands of old T-shirts.

Although it’s not Silberberg’s sole focus, food plays an important role in the Healthy Hippie philosophy. Her parents, who also self-identify as hippies, raised her as a vegetarian. But “I was really unhealthy,” Silberberg recalls. “I had horrible allergies and sinus infections.” At 22, faced with the prospect of nasal surgery, she decided to try a less invasive approach — a sea change in her diet. “I started eating local, happy grass-fed meat and dairy and cutting out the wheat and sugar. I haven’t had a sinus infection in nine years,” she exults.

While she embraces the health benefits of burgers and chicken, most of Silberberg’s recipes spotlight the usual suspects: tofu, tempeh, brown rice and tahini. Still, she gets occasional blowback from folks who expect hippies to be vegetarian, if not honey-and-egg-shunning vegan. “Sometimes I’ll post a recipe on the website that has meat in it, and people will say, ‘I thought you were a hippie? Hippies don’t eat meat.’”

The opposition doesn’t faze her. “I explain my stance, and either they understand or they don’t agree,” Silberberg says. “I’m a more productive member of society now that I eat meat. I won’t die for a cause.”

Still, it’s a little startling to learn which area restaurants she frequents with her accountant boyfriend and magazine co-owner, Daniel Weathers. Although Stone Soup [4] and City Market [5]’s hot bar make the list, the first eatery Silberberg mentions is The Scuffer Steak & Ale House [6]. Why a family-oriented sports bar? “On Wednesday night they have 50 percent off hamburgers, and they’re organic, so I love that,” Silberberg raves. “I get avocado and no bun on my burger, a baked potato with Cabot butter and a side of vegetables, too.”

Other favorite spots include Sweetwaters [7], Sneakers Bistro [8], New World Tortilla [9] and Penny Cluse CafĂ© [10]. One of the pies at Bite Me [11] shares her Healthy Hippie moniker. “We go out to eat a good amount because we really like to support the local economy,” says Silberberg.

It’s a far cry from the days when the petite, olive-skinned woman sold Blow Pops she’d purchased at Costco to finance her travels with a Phish tour, and made a habit of trading burritos for concert tickets. Silberberg has led more than a few lives, as professional hippie, as Phishhead and as ... cheerleader?

Yup — after graduating from college, she cheered professionally for the New Jersey Nets and was a tumbler for the New York Knicks. “I was totally a dancer; I was a personal trainer; everything I did was physical,” she remembers.

Then Silberberg tore her ACL on the court, which she calls “the best thing that ever happened to me.” Unwilling to exile herself to an office cubicle, she resolved to make her living by helping people get healthy physically and emotionally, using food as a medium.

Silberberg met Weathers, the reason she moved to Vermont, at a Phish show. Like many who toured, they both frequented a web-based fan forum, where they rubbed virtual shoulders. “All the girls had crushes on him,” she remembers. When they met, Silberberg was in another relationship: “I had boyfriend blinders,” she jokes. When that ended, the twosome quickly realized they had a perfect match. Silberberg relocated and started the magazine just a few months later.

The Healthy Hippie recently made the transition from a single-color matte format to a full-color glossy. It’s not the food co-op press organ some might expect from its title; Silberberg is open to different, even potentially jarring, voices. When a guy named Jay Planer, lead guitarist for a New York band called Unexplained Bacon, started satirizing her web-based “Hippie Tips” with his deliberately crass “Man Tips,” she invited him to contribute to her fledgling publication. In the first issue, which came out in January 2008, “Unke Celery’s Man Tips” appeared across from a segment called “Ask The Horny Hippie.”

Planer’s advice on how to handle an argument with one’s girlfriend was enough to harsh any feminist’s mellow. He wrote, “A good ‘schticking’ will generally tame her immediately … Girls use sex to make us go to craft fairs, their girlfriend’s pottery exhibit, shopping etc., so why can’t we use it to get what we want ... i.e., some flippin’ peace and quiet!”

But in general The Healthy Hippie is more dharma than Dane Cook routine. The current issue sports a serene cover shot of an almost-blossomed sunflower and offers articles on kombucha [12] — a fermented tea drink — eco-friendly travel and “Phishstories,” including one of Silberberg’s own.

Silberberg never stopped being a Phishhead: Her next project is a collaborative cookbook inspired by Vermont’s most famous band. She got the idea after perusing a friend’s tome on “phan art.” “I thought, Why not do one on phan food together?” she recalls. “I was running on the bike path, which is where I get all of my really good ideas, and I happened to have my phone, so I texted it to myself so I wouldn’t forget.”

When Silberberg interviews bands, her questions often stray into the culinary realm with inquiries about favorite meals and recipes. In a similar fashion, her cookbook will meld melodies and meals. Contributors will put their recipes in cultural context, explaining whether the offering is “a family recipe, or were they stoned at 4 o’clock in the morning and came up with some inspiration,” Silberberg says. She’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to food banks in the towns Phish tours.

When it comes to her own recipes, Silberberg is fairly casual about ingredients and methodology. It wasn’t until she figured out that cooking doesn’t have to involve umpteen ingredients and steps that she embraced the art. “I realized cooking can be really simple and it’s really fun,” she says. For example, “When making brown rice, you don’t need to put in a specific number of cups of rice and water. You just put an inch of water above the rice and that’s it: It’s so much easier.”

For someone who’s “passionate about food and sharing food,” a natural next step is to conduct cooking lessons in her home. Silberberg hopes to draw intimate groups of about six students, who’ll help her prepare the food. “Then we’ll sit down with candlelight, a bottle of wine and music and enjoy the meal.” The first menu will be an exotic spread of “coconut milk soup, Taraleigh’s special Indian sauce over brown rice and black-bean brownies, and kale salad with tahini,” she speculates.

Right now, nutritional counseling is keeping Silberberg in the black. The magazine, while growing, is not a cash cow. “We’re making a little bit of money each time, and it’s building, but it’s not something anybody makes a living off of yet,” Silberberg admits. But she’s convinced the Healthy Hippie brand will take off. “When you’re doing the right thing and you’re on the right path, the right people always come to you and the right opportunities always come to you.”

One thing the Healthy Hippie doesn’t lack is positive energy. If that Law of Attraction stuff really works, expect to hear lots more about Taraleigh Silberberg. “We eventually want to have books, a TV show and a radio show,” the crunchy capitalist explains. “It’ll be like the Rachael Ray of hippies.”


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Liver Flush

I had fellow holistic health counselor Morella DeVost of Transformation One over for a pot luck dinner and she brought her own food that had no fat in it. I started asking her questions and she told me that she was doing a liver flush and I was intrigued and wanted to do one too!

So she led me and my friend Mary on a phone call which laid out all the rules of the flush. To be brief...we can't have any fats (oils, coconut milk, avocado, etc), no refined sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no breads for 5 days. Each day you drink a lot of apple juice. Then on the sixth day you start a fast in the afternoon and drink epsom salts and grapefruit juice with olive oil at specific hours of the day.

My challenges

The fat free diet wasn't too hard for me which I was surprised about because I really love hamburgers, avocados, olive oil, and coconut milk. I had to be creative in the kitchen to make foods that tasted good. I steamed a lot of broccoli, spinach, and tofu with wheat free soy sauce, ginger, and curry. I also drank a lot of smoothies and ate tons of raw fruits and veggies. We had a pot luck dinner on Thursday and there were delicious foods that had fats in them and I wanted to eat them really bad. I also really wanted a beer which is funny because normally I don't even drink that much beer. Mary and I practiced "hugs not beer" to satisfy our beer cravings.

The epsom salt drink was really hard to get down. It was so bitter! I put some lemon in it which made it better, but far from good. I would sip water in between and the water actually tasted sweet in comparison!

In the morning after the actual flush I felt like I was going to throw up, but after I released a lot of gallstones, I immediatly felt better.

The Result

I released a ton of bright green gallstones! It is so cool that you can clean your body naturally. I am also so proud of myself that I did it. I did this to myself and took charge of my health and it wasn't that hard. Today I feel amazing! I recommend that everyone do this. I have heard that doing this flush has helped many people avoid surgery. How cool is that?

If you are interested in doing this flush please contact Morella at

By: Taraleigh