Workout

The Wild Blueberries of Maine

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Travel

Wild Blueberries in the barrens
The Wild Blueberries of MaineGeologists state that nearly one-third of the world was covered by ice. During the last ice age, roughly 20,000 years ago, much of North America was covered by glaciers creating a barren land of ice. As the glaciers moved when the ice receded, they carried huge rocks that were worn down creating smaller rocks, gravel, dirt, and sand leaving a very complex, layered, mineral rich soil combination. The melting ice gave birth to newly formed streams and rivers thereby nurturing a foundation for new vegetation, including wild blueberries.
In the wild blueberry fields of Maine

Recently, the Wild Blueberry Association of North America invited a group of registered dietitians and food bloggers, myself included, to visit the massive wild blueberry barrens of Maine. The beautiful state of Maine, in fact, is the largest producer of wild blueberries representing nearly 40 percent of the world’s total wild blueberry production.
David Yarborough, right, with one of the lead growers
It is here, in Maine, that I learned to admire the wild blueberry. Most of us have admired them for their vitamins and antioxidant properties. We’ve heard that eating blueberries helps fight cancer, many refer to them as a superfood, and of course, we all know they taste delicious. But what is it about the wild blueberries of Maine that sets them apart from the patch?
Layers of glacial soil

Native to North America, wild blueberries have been thriving in the glacial soil referred to above for thousands of years but it was the Native Americans who first encouraged the growth of the wild blueberry by burning the fields, called barrens. The burning process actually stimulates the growth of the wild blueberry which grows up from the ground through their natural roots called rhizomes. One single rhizome can produce an entire field of wild blueberries and it is natural for several varieties of rhizomes to rise up in the fields producing deep blue wild blueberries, some more red in color, or even lush purple colored wild blueberries. Not only does this naturally occurring variety of berries make for a savory product for you to enjoy, but it also makes the fields so inviting I chose to lie down in them – see photograph below taken by writer and public relations executive, Betta Stothart.
Absorbing blueberries in the field

It is important to note that most people visualize blueberries as growing way above ground on a tall bush. These tall bushes are called the “high bush” blueberries and although all blueberries are derived from the wild blueberry, the high bush blueberries are cultivated. They do not grow wild and were thereby given the official name of “tame” by the US Department of Agriculture.
Wyman's Wild Blueberry processing plant
It’s pretty remarkable that the wild blueberry began growing naturally through the incredibly dense glacial soil, right? These must be some pretty strong plants. This strength just may prove my theory as to why the wild blueberry claims 2x’s the antioxidants as their tame cousins. The wild blueberry is also a bit smaller and more concentrated than the tame cultivated berries, however, this year’s harvest showcased some of the most plump, lush, and flavorful wild blueberries ever. According to David Yarborough, wild blueberry specialist with the Cooperative Extension and professor of horticulture in the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine, good buds in the winter, the high amount of pollination by honey bees and bumblebees, adequate rainfall, and good weather during the harvest season have led to the success of this year’s crop and helped the blueberries thrive in their wild environment.
hand-raking the wild blueberries on Merrill Farms
Hand-raked wild blueberries
When the wild blueberries are ready for harvest, usually in late July or early August, 500 growers, of which 50 are certified organic, pick the berries by either hand-raking or mechanical harvestings. Our group had the opportunity to view both harvest techniques and actually experience hand-raking “first hand” at Merrill Blueberry Farms. Owner, Todd Merrill was kind enough to teach us the process which uses a fairly large metal rake that you hold by hand and scoop and shake the blueberries off the vines. Then you politely dump them into a bin and repeat the process for about 8 hours. What a workout! And, Merrill Farms is one of the top organic wild blueberry producers in the region. However, another important aspect to point out is that even non-organic farmed wild blueberries are grown with limited pesticides due to their emphasis on natural pests and insect control.
Merrill Blueberry Farms of Maine
After the field harvest, whether mechanical or hand-raking, blueberries are taken to the processing plants where they are handled with kid gloves and processed from fresh to individually quick frozen in 24 hours. A triple washing and air drying process that is so proprietary we were not allowed to photograph, the blueberries are then individually frozen. True! The IQF (individually quick frozen) process is so specialized that the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavor of each blueberry is locked in providing you with the highest quality for your family. As Thomas Gardner, VP of Wyman & Son, a family owned company since 1874, says, “the IQF process is nature’s pause button.” Wyman & Son, a proven leader in the wild blueberry market, processes on average 1 million pounds of wild blueberries per day. WOW!
Mechanical harvesting of wild blueberries
Giving a new perspective to fresh frozen fruits, fresh cultivated berries found it most grocery stores are often picked early and travel long distances thereby depleting vital nutrients and flavor. The IQF wild blueberries which, in my opinion, fought their way out of the ground to produce the antioxidant rich blueberry, provide you and your family with the highest quality fruit year round. Locally, in Maine, fresh wild blueberries can be purchased at Farmer’s Markets, shops and grocers. As for the rest of us, buy these specially frozen flavor dense berries in the freezer section of your grocery store. Your grocery retailer does not carry them? Don’t be shy! Request they bring them in. Most of the time, store managers are thrilled to do so. Chances are if you are looking for them, others are too.
Chef Lou Keifer in his restaurant garden at the Bar Harbor Inn
A few more reasons to love Maine Wild Blueberries… chefs love them! Bar Harbor Inn Executive Chef Louis Kiefer grows them in his own backyard. He brings in what he calls this “versatile ingredient” to serve with dishes like Wild Blueberry & Tomato Salsa, Taste of Brie with Pear, Wild Blueberry and Basil, and Wild Blueberry Sorbet.
Wild blueberry cocktail at Havana

Maine Diver Scallops with Wild Blueberry Sauce
At Havana Restaurant, where we dined “with” Martha Stewart – she just happened to dine at the table adjacent to us, wild blueberries were the feature of the evening with selections of Wild Blueberry cocktails, Seared Scallops with wild Maine blueberry vinaigrette, Beef Tenderloin Skewers with a wild Maine blueberry chimichurri, and Goat Cheese Cheesecake with wild Maine blueberry compote.
Captain Dan
Dining didn’t stop there. The next night we were whisked away in a power boat steered by Captain Dan which took us across waters filled with lobster pots to the quaint island of Little Cranberry Island where we dined at Islesford Dock Restaurant “with” again, Martha Stewart! Yep, who would have believed but the Queen of culinary walked in again – for the second night in a row – while we were dining. We dine in good taste, wouldn’t you say, Martha? Our Islesford Dock dining experience had most of us diving in to the truly fresh Maine lobsters. Lobster so tender the butter didn’t stand a chance. And, Little Cranberry Island couldn’t keep the wild blueberries away. We finished dinner with one of the best Wild Blueberry Crisps ever to touch my lips.
Islesford Dock on Little Cranberry Island
A few antics in the kitchen at Islesford Lobster Pot
As the chefs will agree, wild blueberries are a versatile ingredient. From savory dishes to sweet, nearly every recipe can be made with blueberries year round. Look for fresh frozen wild blueberries in your grocer’s freezer section. You won’t be disappointed.
Bar Harbor Inn Housemade Moon Pies with Wild Blueberries
A final note, I am a Certified Food Healer. My trip to the Wild Blueberry barrens supports the food healing properties of the berries in that they are filled with vital phytochemicals like anthocyanins which help repair cell damage (ie, help you age better), decrease inflammation in the brain (ie, help you think better), slow memory loss in adults (ie, help you remember better), and are linked to increasing memory and attention in both adults and kids. Bottom line for your top of the line superfood wild blueberry – eat up!
Eating wild blueberries directly from the field
Wild blueberries for your skin? Wild blueberries are abundantly found in everything from soaps,
Wild Blueberry soap
to jams and syrups,
Wild blueberry syrup and jam
to pancake mix,
Wild blueberry pancake mix
and honored on coffee mugs, ceramics, and all kinds of gifts.

Wild blueberry soaps and mugs
Walking in Bar Harbor, you’ll find wild blueberries on every menu.
Wild blueberry pie and tea
Even the local lobster loves wild blueberry ice cream. 🙂 There are an abundance of ways to celebrate the wild blueberry…

There's a lobster loose in Bar Harbor

A few links for your enjoyment:

Wild Blueberry Association of North America

MerrillWildBlueberries.com

Wymans.com

BarHarborInn.com

IslesfordDock.com

HavanaRestaurant

Wild Blueberries everywhere!


5th Anniversary Party of The Bikini Lifestyles Show

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in News, Press

Purse Baby presents The 5th Anniversary Party of The Bikini Lifestyles Show on Talk Radio 790 KABC benefitting the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women’s Cancer Research

The Bikini Lifestyles Show with Susan Irby The Bikini Chef  790 KABC Talk Radio

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
9pm to 11pm

at Nic’s Beverly Hills
453 N Cañon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 550-5707

We invite you to celebrate on the Red Carpet and help raise funds for women’s cancer research

Enjoy a night at Nic’s Beverly Hills:
*Bikini and Martini* food and cocktail specials
*Sneak Preview – new TV show, “Wine, Dine and Workout”
*Celebrity appearances
*Introducing The Bikini Chef Diet Plan
*Introducing Skinny Cuisine by Artisan Bistro Pro tastings
*Surfing “bikini” tunes
Donations will be accepted at the door. Each donation will place you in the drawing for one of many Marika Yoga Sets, Purse Baby products, and Skinny Cuisine fresh frozen meal packs delivered to your door!

The event is FREE but donations are encouraged and will be accepted for the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women’s Cancer Research. The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Make a difference in the Fight Against Women’s Cancers! And, celebrate 5 years of The Bikini Lifestyles Show on Talk Radio 790 KABC.

Our team (Melons and Moobs) will be participating in the Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women on May 10th in Los Angeles, CA. An inspiring and motivating day, from the confetti start to the emotional crossing of the finish line!

If you can’t join us in the walk, join us in the fight by making a donation on behalf of one of our team members. Your donation will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education, and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

RSVP for this event is appreciated. Electronic tickets accepted here: 5th Anniversary Party

Nic's Beverly HillsEIF Revlon Run Walk

skinny cuisine turquoise final

The Bikini Lifestyles Show is proudly sponsored by Fladeboe Automotive Group of Irvine

“If you need a car, you gotta go to Fladeboe”
Fladeboe Automotive Group
Irvine Auto Center
Irvine, CA
www.fladeboe.com

*Girls in bikinis get free martinis


Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” Promo 3

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Bikini Lifestyles Videos

Internationally acclaimed cookbook author and an award nominated radio host, Susan Irby The Bikini Chef is joined by co-hosts, Denice Fladeboe and Steve Valentine during the 6-episode, half-hour television series Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” launching on National Public Television and independent cable networks April 2012.

In its first season, Bikini Lifestyles heads into the kitchens of celebrity chefs to cook healthy, delicious “bikini cuisine”~ foods that make you look and feel confident. When these entertaining and energetic hosts have wined and dined, they head to the gym, Pilates, and the outdoors for workouts with top fitness experts. Susan, Denice and Steve share fashions from internationally acclaimed designers to finish off the show with a champagne toast sending “gourmet wishes and flattering waistlines.”

Bikini Lifestyles season one features: 2011 CNN Hero Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House, Iron Chef contestant Victor Casanova, Culina Modern Italian at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Food Network champion Chef Richard Ruskell, Montage Beverly Hills, James Beard nominated Chef Brendan Collins, Waterloo and City, and Award-winning Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro. Top fitness experts include: author Dr. Levi Harrison, celebrity trainer Marco Reed, Skinnylates creator Amy Cady, internationally acclaimed fitness expert JJ Virgin, tennis pro Randy Myers, and celebrity trainer Paul Jurevich. Bikini Lifestyles is underwritten by Fortun Finishing Touch Sauces, visit: http://www.fortunfoods.com


Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” Promo 1

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Bikini Lifestyles Videos

Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” Promo 1

Internationally acclaimed cookbook author and an award nominated radio host, Susan Irby The Bikini Chef is joined by co-hosts, Denice Fladeboe and Steve Valentine during the 6-episode, half-hour television series Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” launching on National Public Television and independent cable networks April 2012.

In its first season, Bikini Lifestyles heads into the kitchens of celebrity chefs to cook healthy, delicious “bikini cuisine”~ foods that make you look and feel confident. When these entertaining and energetic hosts have wined and dined, they head to the gym, Pilates, and the outdoors for workouts with top fitness experts. Susan, Denice and Steve share fashions from internationally acclaimed designers to finish off the show with a champagne toast sending “gourmet wishes and flattering waistlines.”

Bikini Lifestyles season one features: 2011 CNN Hero Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House, Iron Chef contestant Victor Casanova, Culina Modern Italian at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Food Network champion Chef Richard Ruskell, Montage Beverly Hills, James Beard nominated Chef Brendan Collins, Waterloo and City, and Award-winning Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro. Top fitness experts include: author Dr. Levi Harrison, celebrity trainer Marco Reed, Skinnylates creator Amy Cady, internationally acclaimed fitness expert JJ Virgin, tennis pro Randy Myers, and celebrity trainer Paul Jurevich. Bikini Lifestyles is underwritten by Fortun Finishing Touch Sauces, visit: http://www.fortunfoods.com


Promo 4 Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout”

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Bikini Lifestyles Videos

Gourmet recipes, fun workouts, a splash of fashion… enjoy it all on Bikini Lifestyles with The Bikini Chef Susan Irby and co-hosts Denice Fladeboe and Steve Valentine.


Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” Promo 2

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Bikini Lifestyles Videos

Internationally acclaimed cookbook author and an award nominated radio host, Susan Irby The Bikini Chef is joined by co-hosts, Denice Fladeboe and Steve Valentine during the 6-episode, half-hour television series Bikini Lifestyles “Wine, Dine, and Workout” launching on National Public Television and independent cable networks April 2012.

In its first season, Bikini Lifestyles heads into the kitchens of celebrity chefs to cook healthy, delicious “bikini cuisine”~ foods that make you look and feel confident. When these entertaining and energetic hosts have wined and dined, they head to the gym, Pilates, and the outdoors for workouts with top fitness experts. Susan, Denice and Steve share fashions from internationally acclaimed designers to finish off the show with a champagne toast sending “gourmet wishes and flattering waistlines.”

Bikini Lifestyles season one features: 2011 CNN Hero Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House, Iron Chef contestant Victor Casanova, Culina Modern Italian at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Food Network champion Chef Richard Ruskell, Montage Beverly Hills, James Beard nominated Chef Brendan Collins, Waterloo and City, and Award-winning Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro. Top fitness experts include: author Dr. Levi Harrison, celebrity trainer Marco Reed, Skinnylates creator Amy Cady, internationally acclaimed fitness expert JJ Virgin, tennis pro Randy Myers, and celebrity trainer Paul Jurevich. Bikini Lifestyles is underwritten by Fortun Finishing Touch Sauces, visit: http://www.fortunfoods.com


BIKINI LIFESTYLES to Debut on PBS – LAdineNclub.com

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Press

We all love to wine and dine, and with that pleasure is the need to workout and make sure we don’t fall into a dangerous gluttony cycle. That’s where Bikini Lifestyles: Wine, Dine and Workout comes in handy. Debuting April 15 on PBS, the show will focus on eating healthy, feeling better and working out.

Bikini Lifestyles

Internationally acclaimed cookbook author Susan Irby, known around the world as The Bikini Chef, will team up with personalities Denice Fladeboe and Steve Valentine as hosts of the program. The six-episode, half-hour series heads into the kitchens of celebrity chefs to cook healthy, delicious “bikini cuisine”, i.e., foods that make you look and feel confident. When the wining and dining is over, the show’s entertaining and energetic hosts then workout with top fitness experts, whether that means heading to the gym, doing Pilates, or simply getting fit outdoors.

Susan, Denice and Steve will share fashions from internationally acclaimed designers to finish off the show with a champagne toast sending “gourmet wishes and flattering waistlines.” This is the show to watch for gourmet bikini recipes, kitchen and fitness tips…all the tools you need to live your very own Bikini Lifestyle.

Bikini Lifestylesseason one features 2011 CNN Hero Chef Bruno Serato, Anaheim White House; Iron Chef contestant Victor Casanova, Culina Modern Italian at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills; Food Network champion Chef Richard Ruskell, Montage Beverly Hills; James Beard nominated Chef Brendan Collins, Waterloo and City; and award-winning Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro.
Bikini Lifestyles
Top fitness experts include author Dr. Levi Harrison; celebrity trainer Marco Reed; Skinnylates creator Amy Cady; internationally acclaimed fitness expert JJ Virgin; tennis pro Randy Myers; and celebrity trainer Paul Jurevich.

Chef Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef, is an eight-time cookbook author helping people obtain their healthy “bikini” goals by focusing on a lifestyle change rather than a short-term diet. She is also the host of the well-loved Bikini Lifestylesprogram on 790 KABC radio Los Angeles with listeners spanning the globe from Italy to Australia, Canada and beyond. Denice Fladeboe is president of Fladeboe Automotive Group of Irvine, one of Southern California’s largest dealerships. Celebrity public relations expert Steve Valentine is founder of Valentine Group L.A., which handles high profile clientele, such as Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Los Angeles Magazine, and Sofitel Beverly Hills. Valentine has been an integral part of the Bikini Lifestyles team for two years.

Listen to The Bikini Lifestyle with Susan Irby every Saturday on Talk Radio 790 KABC at 7 p.m.

Bikini Lifestyles