Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Smoothie for Dinner

We were invited to dinner last night in Capital Hill, and while it sounded delicious, I was feeling more like returning home after Oly-lifting. My lifts have been increasing consistently! Yeah! I am going to plot them out in Excel to show the Rolfer.

I got home and, while there were plenty of leftovers, I didn't really feel like anything warm. It's been fantastically warm for Seattle the last few days, and I have been making efforts to get outside and revel in the sunshine. I didn't really feel like turning on the grill, either, and I wasn't super hungry. So I decided to make a green smoothie. 

This wasn't necessarily a low-carb smoothie, but it was pretty darn tasty. 

Green Smoothie 

- 2 cups Swiss chard, chopped, lightly packed
- 2 cups spinach leaves, lightly packed
- 1 inch of ginger, chopped finely
- 1 cup coconut water (I used Zico unsweetened coconut water)
- 1/2 banana
- 2 small kiwis, peeled

Dump ingredients into a Vita-Mix and blend till smooth.

Some notes: 

- The kiwis were getting wrinkly in the fridge, so rather than see them in the compost, into the drink they went. 

-  I love my Vita-Mix. It really makes big leaves process down to a smooth texture. I can't say the same for any other blender. 

- All that volume filled about 2/3 of a pint mug I have sitting around from college. 

Of course you could change this up - don't want coconut water? Use tap water or coconut milk for more fat. Maybe you have some apple sitting around, or lemon juice to brighten things up? Go for it.

Yes, half a raw banana has about 14 g of carbohydrates. Two kiwis have about 18-20 g of carb. One cup of coconut water has about 9g of carbs. Get this - the four cups of greens have about 4-5g of carb, total.  So if you're really low-carb, consider going light on the fruit.

All that being said, I don't know many more ways in which you can drink 4 cups of greens and consider it a treat!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Finally, I've got pictures off my phone. However, for some strange reason when I open them on my desktop, they are oriented correctly, yet the blog chooses to display them incorrectly. Hmph! 

First up: I didn't know this color of azalea existed. I saw this in Oregon last weekend when we went to Taste of the Nation, which is like a fancy food show, except you buy a ticket to stuff your face and end child hunger. Yeah. I wonder what the restaurants do with the extra food no one eats? I hope they give it to a shelter or something - although who knows how much hungry people care about artisan salumi or a quintet of wild mushroom soups (which, oh my god, were so tasty).

We have Tang, Tang, Tang, and Tang. Yes, but do you have Tang?

Rotate your head and look at how cute we are. And how Daniel's not looking at the camera. I've got my "eatin' hair" - up and back, so as not to interfere with stuffing my face.
Here's some evidence of my gardening. This last weekend, I shoved 96 gallons of weeds into my yard waste container. How do I know it was 96 gallons? Because that's the size of my container, mm-hmm. I weeded several beds, dug them out, added horse-poop-compost from my friend Helen, and also a generous amount of organic fertilizer I made from the vegetable-Cascade-book guy.

In the picture below, you see some sad looking Calla lilies. I didn't know that's what they were (beyond having my suspicions about their leaf shape), till I found an old brittle plant tag stuffed behind an overgrown bunch of them.  I should take this time to mention that the amount of non-plant material I found in the yard was pretty stupendous. Taking honorable mentions are: the tip of a Sawz-All blade, a Lego, many feet of black plastic sheeting apparently used somehow as a controller or roots-don't-grow-past-here type of thing (this was pretty much everywhere I was digging), nails, bottle caps, and hundreds of rocks. There were so many rocks it was easier for me to start by shoveling off the rocks out of the beds and sacrificing that little bit of soil, before adding the compost back in and turning the beds over. Oh yeah, and Daniel and his friend found a vintage original Star Wars action figure in the ceiling of the rental unit as they drywalled it in. Score!

So, where was I... oh yes, Calla lilies. So there were several overgrown, overcrowded clumps behind the house. I left one clump, but the others I dug out, chopped up, and redistributed. Hopefully their turgor pressure will return!

Here's the side bed off the front of the house on our side. I planted a passionflower vine on the trellis, in the middle is a lilac bush, and on the right is a Nootka rose (a native, fragrant fuschia rose).

Here's a surprise from the former owners - a plum-colored iris that just started blooming against the back of the house. Gorgeous!

If you can tilt your head 90 degrees (ugh), you can see that the top of the Space Needle has been painted orange for it's 50th anniversary celebration of the World's Fair. Fun fact: the last time my dad was in Seattle, it was for the 1962 World's Fair. He was in college at the time.

Well, I need to figure out what the heck is wrong with these pictures. But first, I want to get back out in the sunshine and garden before the clouds return!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Round-Up

First off... Happy Mother's Day! Alternately, the greeting I gave my childless-by-choice friends: "Happy Choosing Not To Be A Mother...'s Day!"  Whatever your choice is, it's a beautiful, gorgeous day in Seattle.

I took an opportunity this afternoon to get a little sun reading The Herbal Kitchen, by Jerry Traunfeld (of Herbfarm fame), and promptly fell asleep in our new lounge chairs outside on the lawn in dappled shade.

Now, I'm turning to cooking. I've got one of the Original-Latin-Sass-Women, Tita Merello, on the iPod (this song is hilarious: Se Dice de Mi, but it's in Spanish... towards the end, she says, "If they think I'm crooked, they haven't seen me in my nightgown!"). and I've got bacon in the oven, and a load of broccoli on deck to roast next. I'm thinking of what to make with some ground beef (PS...a little late now, but Skagit River Ranch had ribeyes on sale today at the Ballard Farmer's Market - I scored and bought four!), and am mulling over incorporating some veggies into my burger patties.  I'm headed out to the grill, since the weather is so nice.

I was poking around Chowstalker for inspiration, and came across this crazy product: grain-free noodles. They look like they actually might not taste like ass! I can't say the same for those shirataki noodles pushed on me during the HCG diet.  Gag. Just use a vegetable or eat something else, people.

Back to the burgers... I am going to play with this recipe from TGI Paleo for turkey burgers , but of course using my fatty ground beef & maybe a couple of different vegetables. Basically, it sounds like you chop up a bunch of veggies, then stick them in the food processor till they are finely chopped, then mush them into your burgers. I believe TGI Paleo says that you can add up to 1/3 of bulk from veggies without the burgers falling apart... we'll see! If so, this is a great trick for shoving more veggies in.... well, I was going to say into kids, but really, nobody I know eats enough veggies!

Oh, and our new tenants are moving in next door today! My first instincts told me they seemed like nice folks, which is always a good thing. The guy is wearing a hilarious 80's red/white/blue terrycloth headband - how can you not appreciate that?!

And, finally, we've been working hard this weekend. Daniel's been busy installing new drywall in the basement bedroom's ceiling in the rental unit next door, and I filled our 96 gallon yard waste container yesterday with weeds and extra calla lily plants that I split off. I hope the smaller plants I split get turgor pressure back soon! They're sort of flopped over in the back right now... I also met an incredibly sweet older guy at a plant sale he was holding at his house (77th and 10th NW in  Ballard) - he holds one on Mother's Day weekend, and one on Father's Day weekend. The crazy thing is, he's blind, but he is just a font of knowledge about all his plants.  I bought a six pack of kale starts from him, and I also got a mouse plant.  It's a crazy little shade plant that looks similar to a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, but the flower has a long "mouse tail" at the top of what looks like a plum-colored bean.

Pictures soon! I really must get better at that.

PS, I sewed up the piece I was concerned about in my red sweater... just have to sew the buttons on now!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


(Parate = "stand up" in Spanish... at least in Panama)

Thanks to Medical Billing & Coding for the following infographic, and to The Clothes Make The Girl for reminding me to Get Up, Stand Up!

People can yapper on all they want about how "good it is for you", but Maaan I know I feel better when I cruise around during work-a-time hours. Whether or not I am at home.  I think that is part of the reason I drink so many liquids at work - if nothing else, I have to head for the bathroom about once an hour!

I actually suggested "standing meetings" to my manager a few months ago.  I emailed him this WSJ article about stand-up meetings potentially being more efficient (I actually have to give my manager major credit for thoughtful consideration whenever any of us in his group suggest things we'd like to implement at work), but he suspected, in not so many words, that the majority of our group was lazy enough to not want to deal with standing meetings and that he thought standing meetings did not promote thoughtful discussion because everyone was in a rush to 'get out'.

Interestingly, while getting rolfed today I was discussing standing up at work with the rolfer, and I told him how reticent the Ergonomics people at work were in initially lowering my desk to an appropriate sitting height, that I had no desire to engage them for a standing workstation. So he simply said, "Maybe you need to bring in a couple of boxes..."  Simple problem, simple solution.


  Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thirty One

I turn 31 tomorrow!

Gratuitous Submarine Birthday Ball picture.

I just came across an interesting Huffington Post article entitled Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know.

I have to admit I'm pretty happy where I am right now!

I have a great boyfriend! We love each other, and he understands my weirdnesses, which is key, I think. And I clean the toilet without complaint once a week. Hey, it's give-and-take.

My family is awesome.

I have a good job that I reasonably enjoy.  I earn a nice salary and have the opportunity to earn overtime pay if I so wish. I get to travel occasionally and dine out on the corporate card.

I am in the best shape of my life. I wish I was a little smaller in the gut-area, but doing Oly-lifting has me starting to see more definition in my shoulders, thighs, and gut-area.  Plus, you can't beat the folks who work out there - they are awesome!

I can afford to get my face peeled / microdermabraded every few weeks. It has made a huge difference in the texture of my skin, as I had cystic acne for about the last 15 years. I truly believe Paleo eating made it go away, as it can resurface any time I have an extended 'vacation' from Paleo eating.  I can also afford a nice skin care regimen.

I choose to eat high quality, organic / grass-fed / pastured food that nourishes me and keeps most of my food dollars in the local economy.

I can use tools comfortably. I rebuilt a VW Beetle back in high school, and being a mechanical engineering major had me in the metal shop many times over the years.  I worked on a research project called (at the time) Future Truck, where an SUV was retrofitted to become a hybrid vehicle. I learned how to work with carbon fiber there. I also took a welding class my last quarter in college for fun.  These days, most of my mechanical know-how has been put to use doing house remodeling projects.

Oh, and since I rebuilt a VW Beetle... I can drive a stick. I can't wait to own a sports car... and let someone else teach Daniel how to drive a stick. I don't want to be responsible for that. You really need a third party.

I can drive 40 foot buses.  In college, I got a B-class California commercial drivers license. Good times. I've driven the large U-Hauls over the years, and love driving our big Dodge Ram V10 full size pickup around and maneuvering in city streets with that thing.  My favorite is backing it up at the garbage transfer station and tossing things over the cliff into the Garbage Abyss.  It's very satisfying.

I have good friends, good hobbies, and the secure knowledge that when I spend time by myself, I am most certainly not lonely.

I feel secure in my choice to not have children, and rarely do I have to defend that choice to anyone anymore.

I have ridden horses several times.  I wouldn't say I'm GOOD at it, but I've done it.

Things I want to learn?

- How to shoot a gun
- Scuba-diving... but somewhere warm, not up here in Puget Sound
- Make a compost pile out back
- How to smoke meats

Happy birthday to me!