Thursday, December 31, 2009

Immune Boosters and Soup


My herblism teacher swears by this stuff. I am definitely buying some for the new year to keep my body and immune system up to par!

In addition, the herbs to keep in mind that boost the immune system:

Astragalus - for everyday use
Ashwagandha - for everyday use
Mushrooms - immune enhancer, cancer reducer

Take care of yourselves in TWENTY TEN! Make a resolution that benefits the health of your body. Preventative medicine is the best medicine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lentil Soup for the Sick...


I have not been sick in almost two years. And while most would concur that I am definitely sick, I refuse to admit it because giving into the sickness makes things always worse. So despite my symptoms, I came to work. I woke up yesterday morning unable to swallow, with a sinus headache, body aches and chills. Mind over matter! And that's not a 'West Coast' thing as some East Coast skeptic/friend brought to my attention yesterday, it's a common sense thing - - our minds control our bodies and all it's functions, duh! The mind is far more powerful than we realize, if you believe you are well and healthy, your body follows suit and heals faster. Anyway, so it was a bit late to prevent the sickness, but to remedy it as fast as possible, mind over matter still is important. I went home early yesterday, laid in bed all afternoon, listened to a ton of Catherine Wheel and watched many Netflix Instant Watch movies. I slept most of the day and in between all of that, managed to make the most delicious and easiest Lentil Soup. It took about 20 min. with hardly any preparation needed... and it's freaking CHEAP!


EASY LENTIL SOUP FOR THE SICK

Trader Joe's Ready to Eat Steamed Lentils
Trader Joe's Mirepoix
3 cups of boiling water

Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme for taste
2 tablespoons butter/ or sesame oil for you vegans
2 Cloves of Garlic


Turn on your tea kettle to bring the 3 cups of water to a boil by the time you have everything ready. In a pot, saute the Mirepoix and the butter for about 10 min. Add some pepper and salt for taste. Next put in the Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils. Mix for about 3 min. During those three min. add more salt and pepper, thyme and with a garlic press - squeeze the two cloves of garlic for taste. Add your boiling water to the mix. Let simmer, while occasionally stirring for 10 - 15 min. Add the more seasoning for taste. Tasting is the key to delicious food. VOILA! Delicious, easy lentil soup and enough for a couple days. I had two bowls yesterday and passed out.

And now I leave you with early 90's Catherine Wheel's really good song, but not so awesome video for Black Metallic (thanks Sarah):





Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BLOG: COLD SPLINTER

Thanks to my friend Ryan I came upon this radical blog:


COLD SPLINTER

What’s Cold Splinters all about?
Pretending you’re outside when you have to be at your computer.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BUScapades


I normally post my BUScapades stories far more often than I have lately, but it's really just been the same old thing... well, maybe not. Last week, I had one very crazy lady verbally attack me the second I stepped onto the 20 bus heading to work and she was very persistent and attentive to only me the entire bus ride. A few weeks ago I sat on a soaking "wet" seat and I'm pretty sure it wasn't wet from water. Last night when I was yapping away on the phone I missed my stop to transfer and realized far too late that I was entering foreign-bus-route territory. I ended up having to walk from Santa Monica Blvd. to Wilshire Blvd., about an hour detour, but on the bright side, great exercise.

But it was this morning's experience that tops the charts. On the 704, another passenger and I were literally thrown out of our seats when the bus came to a screeching halt. We were sitting in the handicap area in the front, reading our books, minding our own business when out of nowhere we were all of a sudden face down on the floor, our belongings dramatically thrown everywhere and after trying to gather our composure we heard a little voice from the driver's seat peep, "Soooorry." I broke into hysterical laughter as did my buddy on the floor, followed by the entire bus. For a good 30 seconds, everyone was laughing uncontrollably. Weirdly, it's the first time I felt the Christmas spirit this season and the first time in my bus life I felt like I was riding with friends. When I exited the bus I was a little sad to go.

I love the bus. I love what riding the bus does for the environment. I love what riding the bus does to my sense of humor and how it can bring out the human spirit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Not to Eat...

(Thank you Lizzie) Here's a short list of factoids from the experts on what not to eat and why. I must say I'm guilty of enjoying a soupçon of microwave popcorn yesterday... and lemme tell you, last time that's going to happen.

2010 LUNAR CALENDAR


It's the holiday season and you need a last minute gift for your friends and family... look no further. My friend Jeremy Rendina's beautiful lunar calendars are ready! Hand silkscreened prints in beautiful colors!! Click below to check them out and order!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quote of the Day!


"Only ask your child what he wants for dinner
if he's buying."


- Fran Lebowitz


Parents -
You decide what your kids eat, not the other way around.

Pull My Finger... The Truth About Gas

Gas -- it's everyone's worst enemy. Most of you suffer from it all of your waking hours and have accepted the discomfort as apart of your life. Some only get it after certain foods: frijoles, fruit, granola, whatever. Either way, it's there. What feels like gas may be indigestion, cramps, constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome or worse! Did you know there are ways to prevent and avoid this discomfort??? Well, food combining is the #1 way to get rid of these intestinal problems. Eliminating all dairy, or at least cow dairy products is #2. There's really no #3, so if you have one then leave a comment.

Let's learn about food combining. Food combining is something I learned from Gillian McKeith's You Are What You Eat. Like human relationships, food has relationships too; the key is finding which foods are compatible with each other for optimal digestive chemistry - - in other words, what combination of foods will go down your digestive tract easiest and what combination of foods will help the nutrients get absorbed best. Every person is different, so keep that in mind when putting food combination to use! Ok?!

So the Rules of Food Combining:

There is a whole lot of chemistry involved when explaning this. I am giving you the lay person's explanation. I am not a chemist and most likely, neither are you.

Food is divided into four groups:

1. Proteins - poultry, meat, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, beans
2. Carboyhydrates
- bread, pasta, cereals, flour, starchy vegetables, potatoes, yams
3. Selective Veggies and other stuff - non-starchy veggies, roots, salads, nuts, seeds, herbs
4. Fruits

Never eat Groups 1 and 2 together. I know, I know. You can't eat mashed potatoes with meatloaf!!?! Or granola with milk!!?! Sure you can! But you know the consequences. It's something about these groups requiring certain digestive enzymes that makes them just not mesh very well together. Who cares the reason why - - it works!

Eat Groups 3 with either Group 1 or Group 2.
Group 3 is excellent to mix with proteins or carbs, but not both! Make sure you leave 2 hours after eating a carbohydrate to eat protein.

Never eat Group 4 with any other group!
That's right, no more cereal with bananas. But listen, it's for your own good. Fruit is the fastest digesting food and needs to be eaten all by itself. In fact, it should be eaten before anything else so that the nutrients get absorbed properly. If you feel like a fruit snack while at work, eat it 30 min. after your last meal. One more thing, when eating grapes, eat them alone. Never eat grapes with other fruits. Get the book if you want to learn why (see Entry #1 for details). It's as simple as that.

Alternative Solutions:

So you're a little disappointed about the combination method. Well, let me offer some solutions, and if you have any, leave them in the comments!

So with your chicken dish, puree some carrots and they will mimic those mash potatoes. For cereal or granola, instead of milk use soy or nut milk. For additional suggestions, feel free to ask.


Eliminating Milk Products:

Most people are lactose intolerant. Yes, it's really true. Our bodies were not made to digest cow's milk. It begins with the body not having enough lactase to digest the lactose from cows. So your wine and cheese habit... it can stay, but just understand why intestinal discomfort is happening to you. Despite what you may think, goat's milk is an excellent alternative to cow's milk and is far more easy to digest. Goat's milk is most similar to human milk. The taste needs getting used to, but add goat cheese on your salad, in your stuffed peppers, on your nachos, etc. There is even goat cheese brie! I love it. Find it at Trader Joe's. Seriously, it's goat heaven!

Other substitutes for milk products are soy (but use sparingly) and nut products (best choice). There are plenty of soy cheeses that taste like cheddar cheese or mozarella. I think even at Ralphs and other supermarkets sell shredded soy cheese for your convenience. Nut milks like almond make your tea or cereal so yummy! It's a nice sweet treat and its own nutritious value.

So, say "NO TO INTESTINAL DISCOMFORT!" Eliminate gas now. It's the best feeling to know that your stomach pains and the whistling from your bum can be prevented.

Peace, love and health!

Become a Mother Health Fan on Facebook!

Inspiring: Backyard Agriculture...







Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Music is Good for the Soul


In B Flat

... it's a good break from work.

The Truth About Ketchup....

I bet some of you didn't know how much sodium and sugar ketchup has.

Rapport vs. Report

Such an interesting article on male vs. female communication. Even married couples have issues with this. Men and women communicate VERY differently as a result of culturally learned behavioral patterns that begin in childhood.

Read this article:

WHO DOES THE TALKING HERE?
by: Deborah Tannen


She happens to be the author of
You're Wearing That? - a very excellent book for the Mother/Daughter. :D

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Movie: Babies

Ummm. How can you not post something as adorable as a movie about BABIES! I love them. Thanks Noel!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Washed Out & Pears with Goat Cheese

Not much time to blog this week.

I'm finally coming out of my post-Thanksgiving depression that began this afternoon after I finished the last of the leftovers - - tragic. It took a 4:00pm snack and my fave band/song of the moment to overcome my despair. Something as simple and cheap (maybe even obvious to some), but totally nutritious and delicious as...

Goat cheese spread onto sliced brown pear - good source of calcium and fiber, which is definitely needed after a weekend of stuffing...

AND




LOVE THEM!

P.S. - Mom, thanks for an awesomely rico Thanksgiving... and for giving into watching Kingpin with me and Dadeo. xx

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Truth About Cereal


I used to regret living my youth devoid of cereals like Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, Raisin Bran, etc. I had Lucky Charms for the first time in college and LOVED it. I was bitter at the world for appointing me a health-conscious mother who forced me to live without the simple luxury of synthetic sugars. I was the child who was force-fed organic shredded wheat and yearned from afar the Frosted-Mini Wheats my peers were enjoying. The selection of cereals that were healthy and tasted decent in my day were rare. I remember sitting in the shopping cart as a little girl, watching in absolute horror my mother grab the most boring and tasteless of the healthy cereals off the shelves at Mrs. Gooch's and I moaned in pain as the boxes were placed in the cart knowing that I would be consuming that crap the next morning. Despite every plea and all my tears, my mother almost never gave into my synthetic sugar craving. Instead she would hand me an orange and hope that would cure my sweet tooth... and it usually did.

Now I am so grateful to my mother.
THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME TO EAT RIGHT!

Cereal-sly, now that I know better and know the Truth about cereal, I cannot believe parents feed this stuff to their kids on a regular basis!

So, on that note:

3 Steps to Choosing Healthy Cereals


And check out this video:



BEWARE: Medicine Interaction with Grapefruit and Other News...


I have never been so jet lagged in my life. I got back from NYC two Sunday's ago and have received roughly 40 hours of sleep since two Friday's ago.

Anyway, my brief New York trip was fantastic: Friends, delicious food, Georgia O'Keeffe, getting plenty lost on the ever-confusing subways, strolls through Central Park and even learned a thing or two about nutrition... While sipping mimosas with a dear friend in Brooklyn and considering ordering another round of the drink with grapefruit juice instead of orange juice, I was told about medicine interactions with grapefruit.

What is a medicine interaction? This occurs when the effects of a particular drug are altered by another drug or food. Basically, certain foods and drugs cannot be mixed with certain drugs or they will cease to work and may cause harm.

So how does grapefruit cause interactions with drugs?

An enzyme called P-450 located in the intestinal wall breaks down various medications. Grapefruit prevents P-450 from performing this function. So basically the side effects of the medication are gonna hit you. GASP! There's more to it... but that's the gist.

Just so you're aware.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Eating Seasonally...


Why is it best to eat seasonally?

Eating seasonally means eating locally because obviously seasons are relative to where you live. The basic reasons to eat seasonal foods are: A: Far more nutrients in something that grows naturally during it's designated time of year. B: Environmentally friendly. Eating locally/seasonally does not require shipping foods across the country or overseas. C: A lifestyle that emphasizes variety is way healthier than a lifestyle consisting of eating the same foods all the time. Your body needs all kinds of nutrients from all varieties of foods and sometimes eating the same thing over and over again builds a tolerance in your body so that you develop allergies and cannot absorb nutrients properly and efficiently. Read more on World's Healthiest Foods...





This Eat Well Guide is a fantastic way to find out which foods are seasonal in your area. And below is a general Seasonal Produce Chart:




In Season Produce Chart

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

Year Round

Apples
Belgian Endive
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Cherimoya
Chestnuts
Coconuts
Dates
Grapefruit
Kale
Leeks
Mushrooms
Oranges
Parsnips
Pear
Persimmons
Pummelo
Radicchio
Red Currents
Rutabagas
Sweet Potatoes
Tangerines
Turnips
Winter Squash
Yams

Apricots
Artichokes
Asparagus
Broccoli
Chives
Collard Greens
English Peas
Fava Beans
Fennel
Fiddlehead
Green Beans
Honeydew
Mango
Morel Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Oranges
Limes
Pea Pods
Pineapple
Ramps
Rhubarb
Snow Peas
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring Baby Lettuce
Strawberries
Sweet Corn
Sugar Snap Peas
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
Watercress

Apricots
Beets
Bell Peppers
Blackberries
Blueberries
Boysenberries
Cantaloupe
Casaba Melon
Cherries
Crenshaw Melon
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Figs
Garlic
Grapefruit
Grapes
Green Beans
Green Peas
Honeydew Melons
Kiwifruit
Lima Beans
Limes
Loganberries
Nectarines
Okra
Peaches
Persian Melons
Plums
Radishes
Raspberries
Strawberries
Sweet Corn
Summer Squash
Tomatillo
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

Acorn Squash
Apples
Belgian Endive
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Butternut Squash
Cauliflower
Celery Root
Chayote Squash
Cherimoya
Coconuts
Cranberries
Diakon Radish
Garlic
Ginger
Grapes
Guava
Huckleberries
Kohlrabi
Kumquats
Mushrooms
Parsnips
Pear
Persimmons
Pineapple
Pommegranate
Pumpkin
Quince
Rutabagas
Sweet Potatoes
Swish Chard
Turnips
Winter Squash
Yams

Avocados
Bananas
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Lemons
Lettuce
Onions
Papayas
Bell Peppers
Potatoes




Quinoa Veggie Burgers


Damn this looks good. Turn up the volume.

Quinoa poses as a grain, but is actually a seed and is closely related to spinach, weird. It has tons of protein and is a great substitute for rice, cous-cous, and other grains.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cold Blooded: How to Get Your Circulation Movin'

I'm in New York - - and it's cold!!! I am sitting here in my bleached-stained sweat pants, t-shirt, sweatshirt, thick socks and Uggs and I am shivering. The ice cold Coors Light in my hand probably isn't helping, but in all seriousness, my circulation is very poor. I remember in an herbalism class I took last year, my teacher, Joanne Cohen at Santa Monica College (who is awesome!) said that ginger root and cayenne pepper are just a couple of foods that are great for circulation and, in addition, there are ways to prepare your body for fall/winter. I am not a candidate for cold weather. Put me in 120 degree weather in Death Valley and I feel right at home. I take super hot showers, lots of steaming hot baths, as I am sure many of you do - - but that is not good for the body!

I wish I had my notebook from that herbalism class, but it's back in Los Angeles, so my memory and Google will have to do for now. Ok, so preparing your body for the chilly weather takes work. But health takes work in general and people, it should take work to get something as complex as our body into shape. So get used to actually working hard to feel good. Anyway, starting at the end of Summer, gradually turn down the Hot knob in your shower every day so that by Fall you are taking cold showers. Cold water on the body actually gets the blood pumping away from the skin and towards the organs. Hot water does the opposite. If taking cold showers everyday sounds like an impossible task like it does for me, then perhaps the hot and cold shower method sounds more appealing.

Hot and Cold Treatments

Hot and cold showers or Hydrotherapy is a good way of improving your circulation. It is something you can do every day, concentrating on the effected area. When you get hot under a shower the blood rushes to the skin and feeds it. Then when you immediately put on the cold, the blood rushes to the internal organs. You shiver, but what is happening is that your blood is flushing out your skin and leaving it oxygenated. Then, again, a hot shower and the blood rushes from your internal organs, so flushing them, to your skin.

So think about it, if you take only hot showers, the blood rushes to your skin rather than to the organs to get them properly functioning. So check out the list of "malfunctions" your body can have with poor circulation (also taken from the same website):

Hypertension

Circulatory disorders are quite common in middle-aged and elderly folk. Hypertension is one of them. It is caused by cholesterol plaque deposits along the walls of the arteries, making them harden and constrict. Because the arteries are constricted, the blood exerts great force against the walls of the blood vessels, causing the blood pressure to rise.

Hardening of the Arteries

Hardening of the arteries is another consequence because the arteries narrow due to these same fatty deposits. Buergers disease, common to those who smoke, is a chronic inflammation of the veins and arteries in the lower extremities. Raynauds disease is marked by constriction and spasm of the blood vessels in the extremities. The fingers toes and tip of the nose. This disease if left untreated can lead to gangrene.

Varicose Veins

Additionally, poor circulation can result from varicose veins that develop because of a loss of elasticity if the walls of the veins. Circulatory problems are very prevalent in this age of bad food, little if any exercise and higher stress levels. This problem is quite common in a single leg or more often in both legs.


Check out this informative video(s) on Cayenne Pepper:




Oops, wrong one! :D




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Captain Vegetable.

No time to post anything this week. Trying to get all my work done before my departure to New York City... again. So will leave you with this... :D

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quote of the Day!


"Treat food as though it was your eyesight,
as though it was that precious."


- Edward Espe Brown


Movie: How to Cook Your Life

Yesterday after leaving work, I felt the flu for the second day in a row creeping up on me. Mind over matter! One of my tonsils was swollen and started hurting. Ugh. I decided rather than taking 2 buses home, I would leisurely walk from work 2 miles to the bus stop on Wilshire Blvd. to get some fresh air and tire out my body so I could go straight to bed when I got home. Heading home on the 20 bus, I realized I was hungry and got off a few stops early at Baja Fresh to eat something hot like tortilla soup - no cheese, no chicken and added lots of spicy salsa and tons of fresh cilantro and squeezed in maybe 10 slices of lime. I devoured and felt instantly better. I walked the rest of the way home, took a really long hot shower, put on really ugly, but comfy sweat clothes with socks and was in bed by 9pm. Only I couldn't sleep. So I perused Netflix Instant Watch to see what seemed mellow and interesting... and I found this:



One of the most charming, pleasant, peaceful films about Zen and cooking! I really recommend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chew on this... Bad Breath

Parsley


The older we get, the worse of a problem our breath is.

3 Ways to Prevent Bad Breath


Also, with all I have been reading about mucus lately from the Mucusless Diet by Arnold Ehret, if you have chronic bad breath, you may have a build-up of mucus in your digestive track. It might be worth doing a Candida-like cleanse.

Starting Your Day Right: Warm Water w/ Lemon


It's amazing how a cup of warm water w/ a fresh lemon juice every morning helps my digestion and cleans out unwanted mucus from my body. Lemons are a detoxifier and help eliminate all waste from the body. Trust. :)

Read HERE about the health benefits of lemons. Start your morning with a glass of warm water w/ lemon before you put anything else to your mouth. It makes a difference.

Now read this article:

Hot Knives: All Natural Nyquil


I loooooove Hot Knives, food blog and veggie catering company brought to you by Alex Brown and Evan George. Evan's latest entry, All Natural Nyquil is HILARIOUS and you know what, something I would try in a second! Check it out:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cover Girl Culture Continued...

Interview with Nicole Clark about her film Cover Girl Culture:

Cover Girl Culture...

CHECK OUT THIS MOVIE by friend, Nicole Clark, on November 7 at the Agape Center in Los Angeles!! (info below)



Monday, November 2, 2009

2010 LUNAR CALENDAR


It's almost the end of the year and my friend Jeremy Rendina has his lunar calendars all ready to go!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad Recipe


I don't know how I came upon this page, but this looks absolutely divine!

Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad Recipe

Crops and Rawbers: Pesto Pasta

I love these girls. Crops and Rawbers is a raw food catering company founded by Diva and Amanda, members of the band Pocahaunted. Stationed in Echo Park, these groovy chicks demonstrate an easy, nutritious, raw version of Pesto Pasta:

Street

Last night I ventured out into the food world. I had heard so many wonderful thing about Susan Feniger's Street. So I took one of my best friends, Tita, there for her birthday to check it out.



Loved the decor, loved the music playing, loved the friendly and attentive service, loved the ambiance, but in the end the food was not my favorite. The menu is a fusion of various worldly cuisines that replicate the taste of street vendors of various countries. Great idea. However, the few dishes I had all shared the same theme - - doughy, bready, heavy. While I enjoy street food after a night on the town and while I understand Susan's vision of bringing that type of food to a sit-down meal, I don't want to eat the same heavy thing over and over again. I need something to balance my plate, something light, something raw. I thought that dish would be the New Jerusalem Bread salad, a combination of Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, olive bread, feta cheese, etc. But I wasn't satisfied. The flavors of this dish were not so pleasing. I felt that the combination of all the parts could not come together because the size of the vegetables were chopped too big to all fit into my mouth at once. Aside from that, it's not that original of a salad. The Mung Bean Pancake which sounded incredible - - griddled with anise, glazed pork belly, scallions and kimchi - - but all these yummy flavors were completely overpowered by the salty mustard sauce. Here's what I did like: the Kaya Toast - - basically grilled cheese sandwich with coconut jam spread and a fried egg; and the Hawaiian Alanui Poke which is raw Ono, prepared differently than what is written on the menu. You would think that a place called Street where street-like food is served would have street-like prices. No. Far from that. I knew it would be pricey, but did not think it would end up being more expensive than Mozza, Batali's restaurant across the street. The sad thing is, my stomach was still hungry after we left... and now so was my wallet. :(

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steamed Butternut Squash


One of the main goals of Mother Health is to provide easy recipes that make nutritious, delicious quick meals. The #1 reason we choose the food we eat is for taste, #2 is for convenience. We eat what we like to eat. But healthy food can become something we love to eat and easy to prepare.

My favorite resource for quick, easy, healthy recipes is George Mateljan's World's Healthiest Foods. Delish!

Here's his Healthy Seven Minute Steamed Butternut Squash.

Sugar is a Drug...

I hardly doubt we would have such a problem with obesity if sugar wasn't a drug. Withdrawal symptoms do occur when you give sugar up, so duh! It's as addictive as a drug.

Junk Food as Addictive as Drugs


So kids, moderation with the Halloween candy, yeah?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

La Bamba, I'm Home..

Last night I watched La Bamba, yes the Ritchie Valens biopic starring Lou Diamond Phillips. "Richie Valenzuela and his flyin' guitar!" I remember visiting my family in Chico, CA 17 years ago. It was my 10th birthday, and I could think of nothing better to do than going to see La Bamba with my mom. It was the only time my health nut of a mother allowed me to eat popcorn for dinner and M&M's for dessert. We sat and watched the movie once. I loved it, and asked my mom to stay and watch it one more time. She obliged. I've done this with three other movies: Sexy Beast, Apocolypto and Hairspray (the one with Zac Effron). ;) The next morning I ran to Tower Records and forced my mother to buy the soundtrack. Memories. It was that nostalgia I felt while watching the movie last night that made me come to my senses and realize that the new Mother Health website was just not working for me. Blogspot is where I belong.

Sigh

It's good to be back. I feel the writer's block and frustration has totally dissipated. I'm so happy.

TO FLU SHOT?

Don't take anyone's advice for granted, even a doctor. Do your own research first. Think carefully about what you do to your body. Take this girl as an example:

Bok Choy, Shitake Mushrooms, Oyster Sauce

Simple cooking...


Ok Ok. I tried.

I tried. I tried getting all professional and paying for my own domain, hiring a designer to add few nice touches and it failed. I love the design of the new site, but I hate GoDaddy.com. It's the most inconvenient piece of crap. Seriously. So look out for better design here. It should be coming together slowly but surely. :D

In other words... I'm back at the Blogspot.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Best Day Ever: Sky Diving and Super Rica


So Saturday, July 18, was my big day jumping out of a plane from 18,000 feet. I was doing it at Skydive Santa Barbara. I was actually really excited about driving up to Santa Barbara by myself, making it this sort of pilgrimage of courage. My parents refused to let me drive and take such a leap of faith without some guidance and company. So my mom joined me. It's been a really interesting year and I wanted to make this symbolic gesture to mark my growth from all that has occurred these past months by flinging myself from a plane from thousands of feet above ground. People have asked me why there wasn't some other way to be symbolic. :D

I rented a car last Friday after work. This was my first time driving since my car was totaled in March. I left the rental lot, headed to the gas station, and within seconds witnessed a car accident in front me. I can't escape them. Anyway, I shook that off, got gas, and headed home. Driving seemed easy again. I went to bed relatively early... that's a lie. I went to bed around 4am after spending all evening on youtube watching ballet videos to inspire me. Finally went to bed. I woke up, picked up my mother from her house and headed towards Lompoc, CA a town one hour north of Santa Barbara. Nothing too special about Lompoc, except for the US Naval Base and Penitentiary. But I could tell that once up in the air, the views from 18,000 feet would be magnificent. So I started to prepare for my journey: watched a safety video, filled out legal paperwork, and all that jazz when I realized something. I turned to my mother and asked, "Mom, why don't you jump with me?!" I have had discussions with my mom about her dreams of flying and her urge in her youth to skydive. She showed signs of reluctance, but not disdain to the idea. So I continued, "MOM! You have to jump!!!!" It took me all of about five minutes and running across the street to Ross to buy her some $17 tennis shoes before she said "ALRIGHT!" I couldn't believe it. She was going to jump from 13,500 feet. The clouds, from this height, are below you. OMG!

So my mom wore a parachute suit, I wore my regular clothes so that I could get that raw feeling of falling. We boarded the small plane. Both of us felt extremely calm. Not sure why. I felt safe. The guy who was jumping with me had done this around 9,000 times. The guy who was jumping with my mom, he just had his four year anniversary the month prior and had actually jumped naked on his special day. But unlucky for my mom, he was fully clothed when they jumped together.

I'm really not sure how to describe the feeling of saying "I love you" to your mother just before she's about to jump out of a plane. There's really no way to describe seeing your mother jump out a plane period. It's surreal. The whole day I was laughing hysterically from nervousness and total disbelief that I was actually crazy enough to do this and then when my mom decided to join, I had my hand over my mouth just giggling. My mom is just like me....or rather, I am just like her. Who would have thought? I giggled the entire plane ride.

Once my mom jumped it meant it was my turn to fly. But first the plane had to reach our height of 18,000 feet which meant we had to slap on the oxygen masks. When you hit 14,000 feet, oxygen changes and gets thinner, making it harder to breathe. I wore my oxygen mask upside down and was unaware of this until my guide said "Ok... time to jump. And by the way, your mask is on wrong."

I was the only person the entire day who jumped from this height. I found this out before I jumped and felt really special.

Jumping out of a plane.... hmmm. Yeah. No words can describe it. Your stomach is in your mouth, no doubt, but it's a great feeling. I felt totally helpless and out of control and for me, that's an accomplishment. I liked it. I liked this "not-knowing" feeling. For about 40 seconds I was free-falling at 120 miles per hour. It's unreal. The ground seemed sooo far away, but that at any second you could be colliding with it. I just couldn't grasp the reality of all this. Once the parachute imploded, we were falling at 10 mph and I felt like a bird. I could see the ocean, wild flower fields, just beauty all around. It was so quiet; the kind of quiet you never know actually exists until you experience it. Quiet, no noise, you can only hear the parachute wave in the breeze. It's the only kind of quiet that nature offers you when you become one with it.

I hit the ground with a new sense of self. When you do something this extreme, you realize that anything is possible. I'm already researching a new adventure. My mother thought the experience was a scream and can't wait to do it again with my dad for their 40th anniversary in May! I can't believe how cool they are. My mother and I celebrated with tequila shots and drove back to Santa Barbara to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Super Rica and stuffed our faces. It was the most exquisite day ever.

I can't wait to post my video... I need to first get a friend to transfer files and all that jazz.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What is in your shower curtain?

YIKES! I'm currently looking to find a PVC free curtain. The heat from the shower releases all these chemicals... CLICK BELOW!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sky Diving...

Is the most intense, radical, unbelievable experience EVER! More on this tomorrow when I post the video of my fall.

:D

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quote of the Day!



"The most important relationship you have
is the one you have with yourself."


- DVF
and my mom

As a girl in my mid-twenties this is something I struggle with. I'm learning that in the end, we only have ourselves to depend on. Treat yourself well. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WHERE DOES MEAT COME FROM?

Do you know where your meat comes from? Have you ever thought about the amount of hormones, steroids and other additives injected into the animal and what that does to your body? Do you know how the animals were treated before they died? Is the meat your eating coming from a malnourished, sick or overfed animal? Trust me, sick animals are used for consumption. Nothing in the meat industry goes to waste - - it's all turned into a profit.

So do you REALLY know what you're eating?

Two nights ago, per the suggestion of my friend Danielle, I rented Earthlings, a documentary about human dependence on non-human animals for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and science. POWERFUL stuff. More on that movie in a future entry. I want to focus on the topic of WHERE DOES OUR FOOD COME FROM... specifically meat. But after watching most of Earthlings, I felt compelled to re-watch the trailer for Food, Inc., which I have posted before. Please watch again:



After watching these films, some of you may feel compelled to become vegetarian or vegan, and good for you for doing that, if that's what you want. For me, I feel don't feel the need to stop eating meat. I respect the choices of others, but I feel and believe that meat offers nutritional value that vitamins and veggies cannot duplicate or supply the body with. I'm not a scientist, but that's what I believe. I do, however, feel it necessary after seeing these films to make the honest effort to know where my meat comes from before I put it in my mouth.

My perfect ideal: I want meat from a company that has respect for the earth and all living creatures inhabiting it. I want meat from a company that allows the natural processes of life to take place and not force drugs to make their animals grow bigger and yield whatever they yield faster, at rates that are totally unrealistic, making it very dangerous for human consumption. I WANT a company that does not use hormones, pesticides or fear as a way of producing a product to benefit their profit. I want meat from a company that puts the health and well-being of their customers FIRST!

Most of you, if I am not mistaken, would rather not know where your food comes from. Out of sight, out of mind. But people, we MUST FACE THE FACTS. The food industry only cares about one thing - MONEY. They don't really care about your health, your children, the increase of obesity rates in America, the increase of cancer rates, etc. They don't care that when they inject a cow with hormones that those hormones don't disappear when the cow is milked. And they still don't disappear when the milk is being packaged and put on supermarket shelves. And they don't care that those hormones are still there when your child is eating his pb&j with his/her glass of milk. And once the milk is in your child's body, in their digestive system, being distributed to all the cells in their body, many times many times a day or week, do you realize that you are actually poisoning your child with some REALLY heavy duty toxins?. The same goes for steroids and antibiotics. There is evidence that consumption of meat containing antibiotics or hormones can lead to infertility. Just read this article from TimesOnline.com UK:

And that's just one of the many possible side effects of additives. MILK, IT DOES A BODY GOOD... IF you know where it comes from.

When you go to the grocery store to purchase your bacon, eggs, steaks, turkey burgers, milk, etc. are you aware of the conditions these animals lived, and more specifically, how they were treated? Now why is this important? Why does that matter? How the animal you're about to eat was treated doesn't directly effect you, right? NO! Not right. This guy Jonathan once said to me, "If you eat meat, you may very well be eating FEAR." While that sounds a bit phony baloney, Jonathan was absolutely right!

What is fear and what happens anatomically when a human-animal is succumbed to fear?

Fear
, according to Wikipedia* is an emotional response to threats and danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of pain.

Depending on the severity of the fear, a person may experience anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe stress, etc. Wikipedia furthers that inappropriate activation of the stress response in humans can cause negative physiological and psychological effects. I want to focus on the physiological changes. When the body becomes anxious and fearful, the stress response halts or slows down various processes... and typically causes negative effects like, constipation, anorexia, erectile dysfunction, difficulty urinating, and difficulty maintaining sexual arousal... Prolonged stress responses may result in chronic suppression of the immune system, leaving the body open to infections...

Chronic stress is known to lead to obesity, heart disease,
depression, diabetes and CANCER. It's no news to hear that there is a link between stress and cancer. Stress takes a toll on the body, especially if you have not found a way to channel that stress out of your body. Check out the article below (this is only one of many) that talks about the relationship between stress and cancer:



Now digest all that information for a moment...

Ok... now watch this video (it's tamer than most videos out there
):




Now remembering the knowledge you learned about the anatomical effects fear and anxiety have on the body, apply that to the video you just watched. Fear and anxiety plague these animals on a daily basis and for many years until they are killed for our consumption. Every single day these animals endure abuse to such a degree that most of us could never comprehend what that must be like and what they're going through. Could you imagine what this abuse must do anatomically to an animal's body? The trauma? The stress? The anxiety? The fear!?! Can you imagine the diseases their stress produces? And we want to put this in our bodies? Our children's bodies?


KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM!



Treat your health, your child's health and all your family's health like a sport's team. Think of life as a game and you want to be the best player you can be so that you're healthy, happy so you can enjoy all the gems life has to offer. Food directly effects our quality of life. We are what we eat. We must not let the food industry hide the Truth from us and dictate what we eat! Only 100 years ago, nearly 90% - 100% of our country were farmers. Today, only about 2% of this country are farmers. The food industry is doing whatever it can to deteriorate small farms so that they can control 100% of where we get our food and what goes in our mouth so they can make money.

What happened to caring? I'm not sure. I think the only way to make changes is to educate ourselves. Most of this knowledge is common sense and it's only a matter of bringing it to someone's attention for the light to go off in their head!

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE EATING!!! Don't kid yourselves. There is a huge difference between:


AND


You have a choice.


Phew... that was a long one!


*I use Wikipedia cause it's pretty damn accurate and I'm doing this during my lunch break and it's the easiest source to use!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Perfect Summer Movie to Make you Happy

And Happiness = Healthy! :D

Biking...

I rode my bike to work today. 12 miles round trip. It took one blissful hour. I am so excited to ride home in the beautiful sun even though I'm wearing non-biking clothes! I have this theory that if I were to wear sweat pants and sneakers every time I went bike riding, only to change again when I arrived at my destination, then I probably wouldn't consider it an everyday possibility. By wearing my fancy work clothes and having makeup on while riding, I feel like it's effortless to ride my bike everywhere. So far, this theory has proved very true.

Dancing with Stars Australia w/ a Blind Man!

Seriously. The tears are flowing. INSPIRATION:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Australia and Obesity

Since we're on the subject of Australia, check out what Forbes.com says about the obesity epidemic there. The article is from 2008:


AUSTRALIAN BELLIES BULGE PAST AMERICA'S


I totally did not see much obesity in Australia, but there were a few reports on the news about the obesity problem in Oz. I definitely see much more in America. I don't judge, I just want to help people realize that being healthy must be a priority!

I love Oz!

LUNCH

Oh dear is it delicious! Made a simple salad with sprouts for protein, paper thin sliced cucumbers to keep cool in the heat, organic spring mix salad, with 1/2 lemon and olive oil for dressing, sea salt for taste and some flax seeds for more protein. MAKE IT!!! It hardly cost a thing!

And now to recap Oz:

I ate soooooo so much in Australia. I seriously had on average at least four meals a day. Restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. I'm in desperate need of detoxing my body from that heavy food and so all I've been nourishing my body with is raw foods, miso soup and other simple foods. I'm starting to feel normal again.

Here's me eating Italian in Australia, for the first time at the wonderful Guiseppe, Arnaldo & Sons - - at least it was Red Snapper and not pasta:


And that was followed by more Italian at Donnini's Restaurant. I was so full from the meal earlier in the day that I could barely bring myself to eat...:

The food was delicious... as was the waiter, Ricardo:

Hubba hubba.

And again Italian in Sydney at Uccello's, one of the prettiest restaurants I've been to. I had the most amazing lightly smoked ocean trout with white asparagus and olive oil, along with a huge salad of rocket, aka arugula, with pear and Parmesan and a bottle of some amazing New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc:


As you can tell, I was quite satisfied with my meal. That's my cousin Dean next to me:


And here's me eating Italian for the millionth time on my last night in Oz at Pellegrini's Espresso Bar in Melbourne, I was starting to feel sick, but managed a few bites of my fabulous pasta and really enjoyed the yummy and oh so sugary watermelon granita:


Trust me, everywhere I went I was trying to eat as healthy as possible, or include salads with my heavy meals. The best Italian is in Australia, well really in Italy, but definitely good stuff in Oz.

No Sleep, No Coffee and a little Yes

Today is day four of no coffee and I feel no withdrawals, surprisingly. Since my birthday in May I've been pretty addicted to the crack and when I went to Australia, oh my god, the coffee is the best thing ever - - very European, served in short glasses and just divine. I bet the coffee bean itself is better quality than what you find here, that not drinking it doesn't give a person withdrawals. But I cannot tell you how amazing I feel not being dependent on coffee. I'm drinking black tea and green tea instead. I plan to eventually progress to only green tea.

The jet lag hasn't really hit me either. I'm a little tired, but only from not being able to sleep the last few nights and getting home at 2:30am last night after seeing Yes at the Gibson Amphitheater with one of my besties, Summer, for her birthday. One would think the experience of seeing Yes in this day in age would be, well, cheesy. While that is true, I would have to argue that cheesiness makes for the best kind of show.

Prior to the concert, I found it difficult to find the appropriate outfit to wear, not that I was trying to impress anyone, but I like to look my best at all times. I ended up taking so long to get ready that we missed the opening act, Asia... dammit! ;) Some of you may remember their 1980's hit "Heat of the Moment":



Hahahahahaha... sigh.

So we got to Universal City, found parking, did a little birthday pre-concert celebration in the car with some Lindemans black currant beer, fixed our makeup and went to the show. We didn't buy our tickets ahead of time since we knew Yes wouldn't sell out the Gibson (no offense to Yes), and so we scurried to the ticket booth and inquired about the prices for various seats: $135 for the pit area (ummm. no.), $95 for a bit further back (still no), behind that $75 (yeah... still no) and then $35 (seriously?!? ugh!) for the nosebleed section. I appreciate that Yes still tours and have a following, but the band no longer has the same appeal to us as it did in the 60's and 70's; a couple members are gone, including the original singer, so aside from seeing the genius of Steve Howe, we're really only going for the entertainment value. Here is Steve Howe at his best:



After much contemplating and possibly thinking that we would just skip the whole thing entirely and just head to the Sunset Marqui or something like that, the ticket guy slides us two tickets, "Here ladies, these are the $75 tickets. Take them and have fun." Summer and I look at each other... "WHAT!?" We didn't even tell him it was her birthday! I blew him a kiss and thanked him profusely. Yessssssssss (literally!)! We were totally shocked.

The show was VERY entertaining. The new singer had a good presence on stage, but was pretty corny, and he wore the most ridiculous costumes : | and danced very neo-hippy-ish... which aside from the free tix, made the concert sooooooo worth going to!

Enjoy some more vintage Yes!:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quote of the Day!

I realize that the subject of this quote is a bit random, but "health" incorporates anything that deals with the body, including our feelings. Stress and other emotions effect health... so I want to post quotes from people who discuss and comment on human emotions.

"An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy.
It's a gift that says, 'Get honest; inquire.'"

Easy, Cheap Snack

Yummmers. I am enjoying a whole avocado, sliced in half with a couple pinches of sea salt and seasoning... and eating it with a spoon. EASY, AFFORDABLE and delicious.

It's almost the end of the work day and today is my friend Summer's birthday! And to celebrate... we are going to see the band YES in concert!!! So like duh, must post a video of theirs... progressive rock!:

CAUSECAST: How to Eat Locally...

NEW AGE-R

From my friend Jeremy Rendina!



Too funny.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bikecology

I just got home after purchasing a new bike! The things I have been doing lately seem to be rather costly - - traveling, plans to sky dive and now a bike, but not having a car saves me heaps and I have been able to save some mula in the bank. Remember, before my car accident in March, money was tight... really tight. It's a sacrifice to not get from one place to another so easily, but really really worth it.

My new bike is incredible!!!! My previous bike, God rest it's soul, was stolen when I moved into my new apartment and stupidly locked the bike in the back of my apartment building, using one of the cheapest locks I could have purchased. The person who took it must have needed it. But fear no more, my new lock is like kryptonite... sturdy and comes with insurance for the entire amount of the bike if stolen. I'm so happy! I rode home from Doheny and Pico to my apt in the Miracle Mile area, of course while sporting my oh so stylish new helmet. I've had a few accidents on bikes, running into other bikers, running into mail boxes, losing control when going too fast down a hill; and have experienced plenty of accidents in my former set of wheels, the Toyota Rav4 (R.I.P.) ... so I definitely believe in safety first. I rode through the streets of Los Angeles smiling, ringing my bike bell, thinking that there is no other way I love supporting the environment, saving money and getting great amounts of exercise than riding my adorable turquoise and brown Schwinn wheels. Saweet! :D

I encourage all of you to think of ways to cut back on your own personal carbon emissions... it's a great feeling!

There's no band like Belle and Sebastian to express one's feeling of gleeeeee, especially when it's to the visuals of the Charlie Brown:

Watermelon a hero?

I just chugged a glass of green tea like it was beer... and it was just as refreshing as beer, at least I'd like to pretend. :D

I'm back at work... the transition from living the life in Oz to being here is not that hard! I don't feel the jet lag, glad to be home to see my family and hang with my friends, but no doubt I have a broken heart... I miss Australia. I'm eager for a new adventure which is why I just signed myself up to go sky diving. I'm crazy, I'm fully aware of this, but really, I cannot wait!

I'm downloading all 600 pictures from my trip and just laughing my buns off at the glorious moments I had with family and friends. I MISS YOU ALL!

Now attention all you men out there! Check out this article about watermelon and how it promotes a healthy prostate... it's a quick paragraph to read, so read it!


WATERMELON FOR MEN'S HEALTH


And by the way, I'm listening to David Bowie's Heroes. It's a mainstream song, sure, sung by one of the greatest artists of all time. Sometimes we tend to take those for granted since we've heard them a million times on the radio. Of course I always thought it was a brilliant song, but when you finally realize the actual epicness of a song like I have in Heroes, it grabs your soul and shakes it around a bit. I like it when that happens. Heroes - - it inspires me and makes me feel like a hero, indeed. Magical.