Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wild Rice...

Mmmmm. I am making me some delicious wild rice for lunch at work tomorrow. Wild rice is usually the most expensive out of the rices. At Trader Joe's it's about $5, but will last you a while. I like to mix mine with other rices, like brown rice. Tonight, I only have wild rice, so I am making a whole batch.


WILD RICE EXTRAVAGANZA!

1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
A couple pinches of salt
A couple pinches of pepper
One pinch of red pepper flakes
A few twigs of fresh thyme.

Boil water, add rice and all the other stuff and cook until ready on low heat. After it's finished cooking, add one more tbsp of unsalted butter and make sure there's enough salt for taste. Add crumbled goat cheese. Have with a salad or steamed veggies, or whatever else you want!!

Moderation..

To expand on the quote below...

I think even excess can even be justifiable, but only in moderation. I have those days, especially around Christmas and my birthday, where excess is quite fabulous - - but only followed by the strict rehab of a healthy lifestyle to get you back to speed. :D

Quote of the Day!



"Never go to excess,
but let moderation be your guide."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero
(this guy is pretty interesting)



Oh Obama!


I just have to support fellow Occidental College (Oxy) alums, Lisa Jack and Barack Obama. (Like Obama, I only attended Oxy for 2 years). There's a great exhibit in Los Angeles (May 28 - July 18) displaying photos taken by Lisa Jack of Obama during his freshman year at Oxy.

Sigh. What a guy.

Salad Dressing for the Busy Person

I had dinner at my friend Brett's place about a month ago. She made a delicious cous-cous dish and a simple, yet mouth-watering salad. The dressing on the salad was unbelievable. I begged her for the recipe. She said, "All I did was lightly sprinkle Trader Joe's White Balsamic Vinegar ($1.99 - $2.99)." I was like, "And?" She said, "And, nothing, that's it!"

WHAT!?

Yes, a dressing where you only need one ingredient, and perhaps some salt and pepper to taste. It's awesome!!! How freaking easy is that!? I assume any white balsamic vinegar will work if you do not have a Trader Joe's near you. It has a delicious, sweet aftertaste! I love it! Mmmmmm.

Sure you can add other ingredients like Olive Oil, but the POINT IS you can have a delicious dressing IN NO TIME!

There's no excuse to not eat healthy and inexpensively!!!!

Friday Bus Ride...


Good morning!

Well, last Friday was a glorious day. I had the awesome privilege of not only leaving work early, but (for all you art lovers out there, get ready to be a little bit jealous) got to see the philanthropist, Eli Broad's, coveted contemporary art collection at his Foundation in Santa Monica. I brought my friend Alex who was equally impressed. It really was MIND-BLOWING! Thanks to my sister for pulling some strings for us, because it's quite difficult to be allowed to see the collection. For an hour and a half, I forgot all the troubles of the world and filled my mind with six floors of some amazing, beautiful, thought-provoking art. Good stuff. So it was because of this that I really didn't mind my 2 hour and 15 minute bus ride from Santa Monica to my home in the Miracle Mile area. Yes, 2 hours and 15 min. Sigh. One of the main thoroughfares in Los Angeles, Wilshire Blvd., decided to be blocked off for the afternoon. :) Traffic was a nightmare and detours needed to be made. But, I had my New Yorker, I had good memories of a wonderful day and the realization that in this traffic I was not using my gas and it was only costing me a mere $1.25. To sit in a bus with lovely strangers, not worry about driving and get to read is rather priceless. The bus, in the words of Martha Stewart, is a good thing. :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grass-Fed Meat...


Riding on the bus today (Day 2 and LOVING it!), I read a fantastic article in my Mother Earth News Magazine, about the benefits of buying and eating grass-fed meat. Gawd, what a great magazine. So informative. You must read this article. While I knew the health benefits of consuming grass-fed meat, I did not realize all the outside factors it benefits like farmers, the environment, land preservation, wildlife preservation, and much more. Maybe I should buy a subscription for Obama?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Bus?! Yes, the Bus.


So... I am now officially a bus rider, bus taker, public transporter. My recent car accident is leaving me car-less for a while. My insurance money for a rental car ran out yesterday and I have the choice of paying out of pocket for a rental car while I wait for the check for my totaled car, or take the bus. I choose bussin' it. Why?
  1. I feel there's a major freedom when you live in LA without a car.
  2. I enjoy the fact that I am contributing to the environment by using public transportation.
  3. It takes the same amount of time to get to work as it did when I drove my car - - no joke.
  4. I calculated that each time I drove to and from work, I spent a total of about $4-6 in gas per day (depending on traffic), vs. $3 or less per day for a bus ride.
  5. I read on the bus.

HOW RAD IS THAT!?

Now I am just at the beginning stages of using public transportation. I am not sure whether I will take my insurance money and buy a new car, or save it and use it for future plans of travel. But if I do decide to save my money, if I am really itching to get out of town, say to Joshua Tree, or have a ton of errans to run on the weekend, I am saving so much money from not paying car payments and car insurance which added to about $500/ month, that I can easily afford to rent a car! It's awesome. People are really trying to persuade me to buy a cheap used car, but honestly? Why!? Because it's so common in LA? Who cares?! Get back to me in a few weeks and we'll see if I change my mind. But right now, I really like the luxury of reading on my way home, being a friend to the environment and smiling at the strangers on the bus.

The French Spiderman

Who the heck is that guy in the previous entry!? I'm sure that's what you're wondering, right? Well, on my way to work this morning on the bus, I read a great article in The New Yorker called "The Vertical Tourist" about Alain Robert, the French Spiderman. Alain is known to have scaled 85 buildings all over the world without any equipment. He's a free climber and he climbs alone. His journey began as a child when he saw the movie, The Mountain; "he wanted to be the Spencer Tracy character, a brave hero battling for survival against the direst of odds." He climbs in order to draw awareness to causes he believes in, like global warming. On this Earth Day, I want to share inspiring stories like Alain's.

Quote of the Day!



"We set ourselves limits, but we are all strong enough to aim higher, to achieve our goals. All we have to do is find such strength within ourselves.
Know how to develop it."

- Alain Robert


HAPPY EARTH DAY!



HAPPY FREAKING EARTH DAY!




Monday, April 20, 2009

Alternatives to Wasteful Disposables

Eating Regional & Seasonal

Something I am definitely guilty of is not eating regionally and seasonally. I do for the most part, but I have yet to really make it a conscious effort. That's my goal this year, to learn to cook foods that fall under these categories. My skills will improve tremendously!

There's a reason foods grow at certain times of the year and in certain areas. They benefit the body most when we follow the seasonal rules and we benefit both ourselves and the earth when we eat regionally. Also, rotating foods is so essential to our bodies. When we rotate our foods, meaning not eating the same thing every single day, our body will avoid developing allergies and a tolerance to absorbing the nutrients from foods. To better understand, watch this:

Bringing Slow Food to the Public Schools

Alice Waters is such a beautiful speaker with her hypnotic voice. She is such a visionary and she really gets the need for health education in our public schools.

Quote of the Day!


"Food is about love."

- Alice Waters



Alice Waters: Seasonality

I just love her. So I am in the mood to post a bunch of her youtube videos. Let the videos run... it will continue to the next video immediately after one has finished.

Alice Waters

Thanks Quentin for this great article!:

The Aura of Arugulance

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eye Opening....

This opens your eyes to the unrest that is going on in the Congo. We are directly affiliated to the turmoil when we purchase computers, ipods and cell phones. Watch this:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Agriculture Today...

Farming is a dying art.

A Word From a Younger Jack Lalanne

This definitely applies to today... times are a little dreary at the moment and people are a bit unhappy. See what the solution is:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Men Have Periods Too!

Please read the entire thing, however, for those of you who are excited to hear that men have periods too and need to read that section right away to feel good about yourself then scroll down below to the part that says: BUT NEWS FLASH PEOPLE - - MEN HAVE PERIODS TOO! and you will find all the information to back it up!

I am so tired of guys belittling the idea of a woman's period during a fight and using that as a reason for why we are "irrational," "overreacting," or even "raging."

Ok, first off, let's talk about PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome. Before it was called Premenstrual Syndrome it was called Premenstrual Tension. Woah. That's a warranted name - - inTense. PMS (as defined by Wikipedia):
... Is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (about 80 percent) have some Premenstrual symptoms,[1] women with PMS have symptoms of "sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life".[2] Such symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the two weeks prior to menses. The symptoms may vanish after the menstrual flow starts, but may continue even after the flow has begun.

For some women with PMS, the symptoms are so severe that they are considered disabling. This form of PMS has its own psychiatric designation: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Symptoms of PMS include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Inability to finish thoughts
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Extreme tearfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Worsening of existing skin disorders, and respiratory (eg, allergies, infection) or eye (bulbar disturbances, conjunctivitis) problems

Ok, so perhaps a guy has a right to say, "Oh get over it, you're just PMSing." Ok, fine. But understand that the physical, psychological changes that occur in our body warrant our emotions and complaints. Honestly, the male perspective and lack of knowledge of the PMS is not too surprising considering that not much public attention was given to it prior to the 1980's (wikipedia):
... Growing public attention was given to PMS starting in the 1980’s. Up until this point, there was little research done surrounding PMS and it was not seen as a social problem. Through clinical trials and the work of feminists, viewing PMS in a social context had begun to take place.
So what causes PMS? According to the Mayo Clinic:
...Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition. Cyclic changes in hormones seem to be an important cause, because signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and also disappear with pregnancy and menopause.

Chemical changes in the brain also may be involved. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states could trigger the symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems

Not to mention there is also a large amount of blood loss which causes fatigue and leads to some emotional problems and major discomfort - - cramps!


BUT NEWS FLASH PEOPLE - -
MEN HAVE PERIODS TOO!


Don't believe me? So I went and googled "Male periods," "Male Monthly Cycles," "Male Hormonal Cycles" and "Male Testosterone Cycles" and here are some of the resources I found:

According to this article on AltPenis, by Paul Aitken:

The idea that men experience a monthly cycle is not new. As early as the 17th century, the Italian physician Santorio Sanctorius, after carefully measuring the weight of his body, along with it's various excretions (Santorio was nothing if not thorough), discovered a monthly cycle in body weight of approximately two pounds. He noted that the peak of the cycle was accompanied by feelings of heaviness and lassitude.

In later centuries there were various attempts to establish the existence of a male cycle. The late decades of the 19th century were a particularly fruitful period for some reason, with a number of authors (Gall, Stephenson and Campbell, if you must know) finding evidence for monthly fluctuations in mood, energy and sex drive. Later in 1929, a study found that men have emotional cycles of about one-month to six-weeks in length (as my friend had suggested). During the low period of the cycle, men were reported to feel apathetic and indifferent. During the high period they reported more energy, a greater sense of well-being, and lower body weight.

There is a male period, but of course it's nothing like that of the female menstrual cycle in the sense that they don't have the physical attributes of a female period, but males experience hormonal shifts and imbalances during the month. A rise of testosterone which can lead to moodiness, increased sexual arousal, depression, etc. This is what we call the Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS). IMS is more similar to Menopause, but still proof that men have cycles. According to psychotherapist Jed Diamond in an article on MediniceNet.com IMS can be defined as:
a state of hypersensitivity, frustration, anxiety, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity.

Diamond furthers that men are as hormonal as women:
... In fact, men have a number of hormonal cycles:

1) Men's testosterone, for instance, varies and goes up and down four or five times an hour.
2) There are daily cycles with testosterone being higher in the morning and lower at night.
3) Men have a monthly hormonal cycle that is unique to each man, but men can actually track their moods and recognize they are related to hormonal changes through the month.
4) We know that there are seasonal cycles with testosterone higher in November and lower in April.
5) We know about hormonal cycles with males during adolescence, but also the years between 40 and 55 have what we call male menopause or Andropause.
6) Finally, we know there are hormonal changes in men going through IMS, related to stress in a man's life.
Ha! And that's only touching the surface of this research! You see, it's not fair that men attempt to shut us up with some period excuse especially since both genders suffer from monthly hormonal cycles. Do we tell you that when you want dinner, sex or football that you must be going through your monthly? So how about a little EMPATHY on the man's part? Realize that just because we may be PMSing, doesn't disparage our feelings. Yes we may be more emotional or possibly irritable, but please don't throw that in our face and make us more upset and hurt. Instead, listen to what we have to say, and you can avoid so much anguish. During anytime of the month, a woman's feelings are warranted and it's cruel to associate and minimize them to something like our periods. But if you do decide to throw the period excuse in our face, you better pray it's not around that time of the month. : )

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mmmm. Breakfast

Mmm - another goat's yogurt delight!

Goat's Milk Yogurt (Trader Joe's)
Almond Meal (Trader Joe's)
3 strawberries chopped
A few crushed cashews for crunch (Trader Joe's)
A few drops of Agave (Trader Joe's)

People, this was absolutely delicious. The almond meal makes the yogurt consistency thick and so delicious. And the goat's milk yogurt is so much easier to digest than cow's milk. Plain yogurt with added yummy-ness (as above) is so much better for you than those sugary yogurts that have no nutritional value. This was easy and took 2 min. to make.

Diet Books

I heard this on my way into work:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

THE GOD OF ALL DEODERANTS...

... for me anyway is Nature's Gate: Autumn Breeze!!!

After what seemed like eons of smelling bad while in search of the perfect natural/organic deodorant, I think I have finally found nirvana for my under arms with:


This should please my fellow blogger, Vulpinious!!!!! I have been using this for months, and it's potency has stayed the same. Everyone is different, it took a lot of research to figure this out.

If you're not using natural products, you might want to start. Just as an example, aluminium which is found in most deodorants, effects the blood-brain barrier, has been linked to breast cancer and can cause DNA damage. Paraben, another popular ingredient in most deodorants, is a preservative. Traces of it can be found in tumors of breast cancer patients. Of course the cosmetic industries say there's nothing unsafe about paraben because it is an inexpensive preservative and most cosmetic companies are not in it to better the health of their customers, their in it for profit. I am least likely to believe the "scientific tests" performed by cosmetic companies since they seem to be tampered with just to please the consumer. Well, screw them. It's for these reasons alone that you should consider taking the time to find chemical-free products - - that goes with cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc.

Don't believe everything you read.

Here's some information I found on Nature's Gate Autumn Breeze Deodorant:

Description
Advanced European Formula with Deoderm, an Innovative Witch Hazel & Oak-Derived Odor Blocker.

Autumn Breeze Scented Deodorant
Created from advanced research from Europe, Deoderm™, a blend of natural actives found in Oak gall & Witch Hazel extracts, is effective in controlling odor-causing bacteria. Combined with other odor preventing botanicals, such as Myrrh & Sage, our exclusive formula gives you safe, gentle protection and that shower fresh feeling throughout the day. Contains no aluminum chlorohyrate. Gentle, natural, effective, and biodegradable.

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 0
Servings per Container: 0
Other Ingredients: Propylene glycol, purified water, sodium stearate, witch hazel extract, cocamide dea, oak gall extract, glycine, arginine, leucine, extracts of eucalyptus, sage & myrrh, fragrance oils.
Free Of
Contains no aluminum chlorohydrate. Produced with no animal by-products.
Warnings
For external use only.

Disclaimer
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication.

YUM PART DOS!

Gosh, what a day of deliciousness. I just finished a yummy lunch of salad with apple cider vinegar dressing topped with goat cheese, a bowl of miso soup and a green tea. Seriously, salads and miso soup NEVER get old. So easy, filling and nutritious. Costs probably the same as a $1.99 Happy Meal, but you actually have to lift a finger to heat water and make a salad dressing. Tough stuff.

Yum

I had such a nice little breakfast treat this morning.

Goat's milk yogurt (Trader Joe's)
1/2 an apple diced
Crushed walnuts
A few drops of Agave (Trader Joe's)

Healthy Skin

Achieve healthy skin with ingredients from your own kitchen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

GO TO SLEEP!

I can't sleep! A few weeks ago, I took a fantastic herbalism class, Fundamentals of Herbalism. Santa Monica College has some wonderful community classes. I had also enrolled in Holistic Nutrition, which was canceled due to low enrollment. SAD! But back to my herbalism class - - Woah! I learned so much. The teacher, Joanne Cohen, is so knowledgeable and eager to spread the truth about herbs. Herbs are so powerful and wonderful and natural!

So what to do if you can' sleep? Well, if this is a chronic issue for you, examine your lifestyle to see if factors about your life contribute to lack of sleep: caffeine intake, stress levels, etc. But if not being able to sleep is an occasional thing, there are herbs to help!

There are many herbs that can assist with sleep. The one I have personally tried is Valerian. Ingested as a tincture, or alcoholic extract of an herb, mixed with a glass of water, has the most potent effect. Make sure you purchase your tinctures or any herbs you from a reliable source. Small manufacturers are best because they really aim to provide a quality product.

Valerian is a perennial plant that was originally found in Europe and parts of Asia. Not only is it great for sleep, but if you suffer from anxiety, like me, it calms your mind. Every person is different, and like all forms of medicine, it can effect people differently. While this herb works for me, it may not work for everyone. But don't give up so easily. Research other herbs, like Skullcap or Chamomile, to see what works for you.

Incredible!

Bringing Nature to the Home

Thank you Quentin for sharing this article!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quote of the Day!



Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise
will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

~Edward Stanley




So easy and so fresh!

Get inspired to make your own dish with locally grown produce in 10 minutes!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yogi Tea Quote of the Day!

Spring is in the air.... and pancakes in my tummy.


It's Spring... and I wanna live on the edge. Trader Joe's has this amazing gluten free pancake batter. CHEAP! VEGAN TOO! That with some of their Agave/Maple syrup. YUM!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hot Tea and Cancer

YIKES! Read this:


Lunch

I am digging into a righteous bowl of canned Split Pea Soup (Vegan) from Trader Joe's. For $0.99 I feel like I'm eating gourmet deliciousness. I added some goat's cheese after I nuked the soup for about 2 min. It's so easy! Sure, fresh is always better, but when you're on the run at work, or for your kids at school, it's a great alternative to spending money on lunch out or Lunchables. ugh.

April Fool

I woke up this morning at 7:43 when I have to leave the house at 8:00! CRUD! I felt hungover, even though I had no sip of alcohol the night before. GROOOOOOGGY. So sipping on Yerba Matte tea. It does wonders for waking me up. I am about to leave to see my doctor to get checked out yet again after the horrific car accident I was involved in on Saturday. Sheesh.

These past few days to deal with the trauma of my accident, I've been drinking a great deal of Kava Yogi Tea. It's a blend of various good tasting herbs with Kava root, which by itself is quite bitter. Kava has such a calming effect, but awakens the brain so that you can still focus.

KAVA YOGI TEA - for the crazy in all of us. :)