Friday, July 29, 2011

Scattered

You guys. With BlogHer coming up and the rest of August looking fairly insane, I feel like I have attention deficit disorder. So: bullet points.

  • I'm reading a book called "The Diet Cure" that claims to be able to cure carbohydrate addiction and improve mood problems and PMS using amino acids. I'm skeptical, but I'll keep you posted. 
  • Have I mentioned BlogHer is next week?! I've got all this nervous energy about it, and keep eating to soothe myself. I'm grazing all day. To ensure I'm as fat and bloated as possible for BlogHer. 
  • I bought some clothes for BlogHer, and I'm second-guessing some of them. The friend I went shopping with asked me, "Now are you really going to wear that?" This was regarding a cute jersey dress. Me and dresses are not usually friends. I need to think about this. 
  • Also happening in August: our neighborhood block party. Our neighborhood watch captain has been heading up this effort for the last eight years or so. We all get together on the neighbor's lawn and say passive-aggressive things about each other's houses. 
  • I am still writing a book. Shoot me. 
  • I am also doing Facercise. Well. I was doing Facercise and then I stopped and I think I should start back up again. I have no idea if it helps ... my face. I think it must. I think my nose looks shorter? I might be insane. 
  • Also happening in August: My husband's birthday. He is the hardest person on the planet to shop for, aside from my dad. 
  •  I mentioned on Twitter -- I had a dream (a nightmare really) about BlogHer: It was dark, and everyone hated me, although I didn't know why. This is probably exactly how it will play out.
  • Also happening in August: I am "hosting" a bridal shower. I use quotation marks because my responsibilities as it pertains to the shower are fairly small -- I am basically supposed to make sure the house does not look disgusting, and make a salad. Not being in charge is the bomb. 
  • There is a lot of information in the world about which foods are good for you and which are not. The only things everyone seems to agree on: Organic is good for you. Sugar and processed foods are bad. Amen. 
  • The checkout lady at a certain clothing store where I purchased certain clothes for a certain blogging conference was rather rude. What is it with retail people being so damn rude these days? You are being paid, yes? I have not been rude to you, no? Then fucking suck it up and smile.
  • I wish I had planted a garden this year. 
  • One of my new "treasures" from the haul from my parents house: A cute silver counter-top composter. This may not end well.  
  • Every Friday the retired men in my neighborhood gather on my next door neighbor's porch to shoot the shit for several hours. I don't know why this entertains me so. No, I do not live in the American South. I live in the hellish suburban sprawl of the SF bay area. 
  • Today's organic fruit/veggie delivery included: Lettuce, corn, basil, grapes, summer squash, red plums, green beans, and a cucumber. The most delightful delivery yet!
  • At some point I need to do a vlog for next week. Yuuugggghhhhhh......
  • Oh cripes I need some sun so I don't look like the walking dead at BlogHer next week. Related: "The Diet Cure" says you should try to get sun without wearing sunglasses every day to increase your serotonin. This is the first time I've heard of the sunglasses thing.
  • I wonder if I'm going to get all sweaty and shaky and nervous when I meet my favorite bloggers. When I met Ree Drummond at a book signing I basically slipped into a coma and then afterward was like, "What happened? Did I meet her? How did it go?" 
  • I might need new shoes and I definitely need a mani-pedi. Last night I dreamed I was scheduling my mani-pedi. Because I'm insane. 
  • There are definitely too many bullet points in this post. 
  • I am worried my phone will run out of juice at BlogHer. Should I bring a laptop?...
  • I plan to stop writing new bullet points very soon. 
  • Oh my goodness, wait until you hear about my newest fertility plan. Suffice to say a certain friend's father is like a fertility guru or something, so I'm going to give his technique a try. You have to wait until next week's Tired & Stuck post to hear more. 
  • At any given moment in my neighborhood, someone is using a power tool or mowing their lawn. 
  • Goodbye.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's going on

Last week I made a vlog. Actually, I made two vlogs. I'd been drinking some wine and had decided it was a good idea.

In retrospect, it was not. I've watched them both, and they are both ... yucky. For starters, I was completely broken out and hadn't done my hair and was wearing a really ugly shirt. Also, the first vlog was boring, and in the second vlog, which was EIGHT MINUTES (like eight hours in Internet time), I simply read updates from other people on Twitter and went off on tangents about random stuff while drinking a glass of chardonnay.

So, much as I'd planned to post a vlog here this week, this shall not be happening. I am planning to post one next week, though, when I've had a chance to make myself appear slightly less terrifying and maybe come up with something to actually talk about, rather than just ramble aimlessly. BlogHer is next week and on the off chance that someone who reads this blog is attending the conference, I want them to know who they should avoid (Get it? It's me. In the video. Never mind.).

In other vagina news, you can catch me over at Tired and Stuck today. There's nothing new other than my vagina still thinks it's running the show. Little does it know I have other plans for it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Forgotten treasures

About one hundred percent of the time, I am the sucker who accepts other people's castoffs, and gladly. This is particularly the case if the castoffs in question hold a fraction of an iota of sentimental value, and my dementia is quadrupled if the sentimental item in question happens to be an antique and/or the item was owned by a relative. Whether the relative is related to me by blood and whether I ever actually met the relative who owned the item(s) is unimportant.

The exception to this rule is when my father-in-law asks me if I want something my mother-in-law, who passed away five years ago, owned. My husband is always present to put the kibosh on the acquisition of any more "treasures" from his parents' home, not that I blame him seeing as how he and I could open a museum containing solely the items we acquired from his grandmother's home several years ago.

Anyway, due to my demented love for all things familial and antique, I left my parents' home last week with my car crammed full of keepsakes. Crammed too full to fit my grandmother's old sewing machine, which I need to go back for.

My parents have decided to downsize from their five bedroom, three bathroom house to a two bedroom, two bathroom condo. This requires a fairly enormous purge of furniture and forgotten treasures, many of which have been in the garage, collecting dust for several years. Where they plan to go, there will be no garage.

Which is how I ended up with this stuff. 

Cut glass bowls that belonged to my great-grandmother, whom I've never met. Incidentally, the table these bowls are sitting on is vintage as well -- from my grandmother-in-law's house. You didn't think I would sell her neat old table, did you? Also, the chairs? Are a castoff from a friend who didn't want them anymore.


An entire set of china in this pattern, called Pink T Rose, also belonging to my great-grandmother. Well, it's almost an entire set. The good news is I can complete the set by purchasing any missing items online, pretty cheaply.

Funny story: I received two place settings of china for my wedding. The problem was that I registered for china that cost wayyyy to much. I have no idea why. Anyway, recently my china went on sale -- buy one, get one free!! What an awesome deal, right? Well I found out that in order to acquire only six more settings? I would need to pay $1,000. AT A BUY ONE GET ONE FREE SALE. Gimme a break.


Vintage table linens, authentically stained with the au jus of yesteryear. These belonged to my grandmother who lives in a senior home, and believe me: That woman loves her some au jus.





 More of my "new" china, wrapped in another vintage tablecloth.


"Vintage" jewelry, from my mother's drawers. I vividly recall her wearing these during the 80s. Lucky for me, the 80s are back. I also acquired a number of funky items from the 70s that need a little spit and polish.

The purge at my parents' home is far from complete, so I'm sure this is just Installment #1 of stuff I will "need" to have. Which my husband is going to be really thrilled about.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Green face

I'm constantly reading about how I shouldn't be smearing cancer-causing chemicals onto my face, and since I tend to agree, I've been on a search for quite some time for the perfect green cosmetics.

And what I've found is that a good green cosmetic is hard to find. 

I find recommendations from Sophie Uliano's Gorgeously Green book and web site, as well as those listed on the Environmental Working Group's cosmetics database. What I've found is that the best stuff costs a pretty penny. And some pricey green cosmetics simply do not work for what I need them for. I fear paying good money for something that's a piece of crap, and what's apparent is that I can't just take Sophie's word for it because she's recommended a couple real stinkers to me in the past.

So what I'm hoping is that if I share what's worked for me and what hasn't, that you'll share the same.

Let's begin.


First, the face. I've found a good moisturizer. It's Kimberly Sayer's of London ultra light facial moisturizer, with SPF 25. 

What I like: It is light, as it claims to be, and has a nice citrus smell. It's also in one of those air pump bottles that lets you get every last drop out. 

What I don't like: The SPF is not that strong, so I wouldn't rely on it if you're going to spend any significant amount of time in the sun. Also, it costs $32. Previously I'd been buying giant tubs of Oil of Olay for $7 that would last me a year, so this was a harsh change. But one bottle of this stuff honestly lasts me a long time -- the first bottle lasted 9 months. Not too shabby. I think the second bottle is disappearing a little quicker because I've started using it on my neck and chest as well.


Next up - foundation. I simply cannot get on board with mineral powder foundations. I'm sorry. I've tried and it's a no-go. So I was pleased to find Jane Iredale liquid minerals foundation, which is essentially little balls of mineral foundation in a water solution. You pump it out and it all squeezes together to make a liquid foundation.

What I like: It's light coverage and simply works well. All I really ask of a foundation is that it not be too thick or streaky or make me feel like I'm wearing a mask. 

What I don't like: This foundation took some getting used to. When I first tried it out I honestly thought it wasn't going to work out because it doesn't come out of the bottle smooth and silky and creamy the way my previous brand -- Laura Mercier -- did. But what I found is that if you just smoosh a little bit out onto the back of your hand and then use a finger to mix it around a little before applying it to the face, that works best. Also, this stuff costs $45. Basically a lateral move from Laura Mercier, which was $42. I just ordered another one of these -- the first lasted me eight months.

For pressed powder, I've also been using Jane Iredale's stuff. It works essentially exactly the same as the Laura Mercier stuff, just with less chemicals. Win! The Iredale stuff is about $35 with the compact (refills are cheaper). The Mercier stuff had been about $30. I've been using my Jane Iredale compact for eight months and it shows no signs of running out yet. 








Now here are a couple things that have not worked for me:

Mascara by Terra Firma. Just clumpy and overall not a good mascara.

Mystikol eyeliner by Jane Iredale. As it turns out, Jane Iredale is not infallible. I hate, hate, hate powder eye liners and was looking for a liquid organic one when I found this one. It's difficult to apply so that it actually looks good, and then it smears all over the place about 20 minutes later. 






Things I'm still looking for as far as cosmetics: Blush, eyeshadow, and lip gloss. Bring on the green suggestions!

Now -- shampoo. I have found one shampoo I like, among a crowd of stinkers.




Alba plumeria replenishing hair wash. It smells terrific (reminds me of Hawaii) and my hair feels pretty good afterward. Lots of other organic shampoos have a tendency to make my hair feel like straw. This stuff is downright cheap on Amazon, just over $7. A lot cheaper than if you bought it at Whole Foods, where I think it was $12 or more.






Other shampoos I've tried that I didn't like because they made my hair feel too dry:


- 365 Everyday Value lavendar shampoo.

- Andalou Naturals shampoo & conditioner


I'm still on the search for the perfect hair conditioner, if you have any suggestions. 

Lastly - lotion/moisturizer. I'd like a nice, light moisturizer that isn't too thick and doesn't make me feel sticky or make my clothes stick to me. Anyone?







Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A decent Italian dressing

So the problem with my favorite store-bought dressing is that it contains MSG and gluten. The problem with the dressings I make at home are that I tire of them quickly -- balsamic vinaigrette grates on the nerves after a while because it's so tangy.

And the problem with salads overall is that they can't all taste like the one you get at the Olive Garden. Mock the Olive Garden if you will, but their salad dressing is the best vinaigrette I know of. So I went on an Internet search for a recipe for their dressing, and I finally settled on a recipe that doesn't taste quite like the Olive Garden's, but is mild, unoffensive, and tasty. If you added parmesan cheese, it would be almost like the restaurant's.

The dressing is easy to make and probably doable with staples you have on hand. It won't harden in the fridge because you're using canola oil -- not olive oil. I know you'll be tempted to use olive oil. I've tried it in this recipe and just trust me, it's not as good. The recipe also includes good old white vinegar, not any fancy ass red wine or balsamic vinegars. Again, I've tried the recipe with other vinegars and it's a no-go. 

 Here are your ingredients: garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, dried oregano, pepper, dried thyme, dried basil, dried parsley, salt, canola oil, white vinegar. Not pictured: water.



First you mix all your dry ingredients together and then put em in a sealed baggie or some other airtight container. The dry mix makes enough for about three cups of dressing, and I prefer to make only about a cup at a time. 



Then you whisk a couple of tablespoons of your dry mix into the oil, vinegar, and water, and voila. You might think this looks overly herby, but it's not. It's very mild. More time spent marinating in the fridge will enhance the flavor but you can use it right away.

I got this recipe off of allrecipes.com. Visit this link for the recipe. Happy salad-eating!








Monday, July 18, 2011

When someone says they're you

(This is not going to be the kind of post you'd normally see from me, but I hope you read it, anyway. It might help you or someone you know.)

We were asleep in bed on Friday morning when my husband's cell phone rang.

You are almost guaranteed that any time you're asleep -- during normal sleeping hours, like before the sun has risen -- and your phone is ringing, it's going to be bad news. In my personal experience, at least half the time this happens it means someone has died or is about to die.

Thankfully, this time everyone was still alive, but the news was still rather rotten. The woman on the phone worked for a chain of jewelry stores. She said someone had attempted to open a credit account with them using my husband's information: His social security number, name, address, etc. The good news was that the thief had been denied credit. The bad news was that the reason he'd been denied credit was because this woman had noticed about a dozen applications for credit elsewhere on the same day, which is an indicator of identity theft. 

Some credit accounts had been approved. Some had been denied. We've learned over the past few days that:

1) The crook has a DMV-issued ID card with my husband's name and address on it.

2) Not all stores require a credit check before they will issue a credit card. Nor do you need the card before you can begin spending money. At Target, for example, the thief maxed out his $500 limit last week. We received his credit card in the mail on Saturday, complete with my husband's name spelled incorrectly on it. 

3) The three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) are sadly not as up-to-date as you'd hope they'd be if you were a victim of identity theft and trying to figure out where a thief had applied for credit. There was a lot of information missing from the reports.

4) The thief is spending lots of money in Southern California.

5) Having your identity stolen is a huge pain in the ass and leaves you feeling scared and vulnerable.

Now, what you should know about my husband is that he is the most paranoid person I know. He always has been. He doesn't carry his social security card in his wallet. He doesn't hand out personal information to anyone without having a damn good reason for it. He won't leave outgoing mail on the mailbox and insists on taking it to the post office. He is like this about everything; diligent. Almost militant.

What I'm saying is: If identity theft can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. It can happen to you.

We have no idea how this happened, which makes it all the more frightening. What we suspect is that someone probably sold his information to someone else, or perhaps his information was stolen from some facility. 

So what I want to do is tell you of a few ways you can protect yourself and at least limit the likelihood of this happening to you.

1) Use a credit card or cash for any and all purchases. If your ATM card gets skimmed, you're screwed. Thankfully, so far the thief has been unable to access our bank account. For extra protection, we created an additional verbal password that anyone calling the bank will need to provide in order to gain access.

2) Never give out your social security number. Agencies that have a right to demand your social security number are: The DMV, the welfare department, and the IRS. Your doctor has no right to ask for it. Your utility company has no right to ask for it. Your school has no right to ask for it. If they give you a hard time, give them your social security number, but put in two or three incorrect digits. If you're applying for credit, you will need to provide it because businesses use it to check your credit history.

3) Protect your driver's license with your life. Carry it in your wallet, in your zipped purse.

4) Request your free credit reports right now. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com or freecreditreport.com and just look at what the reports say about your credit. It takes only a few minutes. If there is a credit account that you don't recall having applied for or received, call the credit company and ask them for every detail. If it's ID theft, you will want to speak to their fraud department. They're normally very helpful. If you do find out your identity has been stolen, go to the FTC site for more information on what to do next.

5) File your taxes as soon as humanly possible. If someone has stolen your identity, they can use your information to get a job. If they do that, they're likely to file taxes early in order to obtain a tax refund. If you then file your taxes after that person, the IRS thinks you're the crook and needless to say, it's a huge clusterfuck you don't want to deal with.

6) Create as many safeguards as you can on your accounts. Many companies will allow you to require a phone call to you before any action can be taken on your account. Most will allow you to create a verbal password that only you know, and which must be given before anyone can do anything with your account.

7) Be careful with your mail. Don't leave outgoing mail with sensitive information on your mailbox. Collect your mail from your mailbox as soon as you can. Maybe even get a PO box so your mail isn't just a sitting duck all day while you're at work.

8) Be smart about the information you give out over the Internet. Only government and credit agencies need your SSN. Have crazy-hard passwords on sites that retain any of your personal information, and change them frequently. 

All these things can help prevent your identity from being stolen, but not indefinitely. There's no stopping an immoral person who works for a government agency or a credit company from selling your information. There's no stopping a thief who's hell-bent on breaking into a locked drawer to get to this stuff.

So you just have to be diligent. Check your accounts every week, and check your credit reports every year (it's free), and try to have faith in human decency.







Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birds of prey and tomatoes

Last night while I was making dinner, I heard a loud animal noise coming from the back yard. It was not unlike the chirping noises squirrels sometimes make, but much louder. I checked it out, and saw this here bird sitting on our fence, squawking at something in our neighbor's yard.


It was only there for a couple seconds, otherwise maybe I would have gotten a better shot. Anyway, feel free to begin arguing about what it is. I think it's a falcon. But it could be a hawk.

 That's as good as that photo's gonna get.

So anyway.

The other night I made another Martha recipe: Pasta shells with no-cook tomato sauce.


(I obviously used elbow macaroni instead of shells. Thanks, Lisa, for the pasta!!)

I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes, but this had a really good flavor to it, and I figured I should put it out there for people who are really into tomatoes and perhaps wanting something fresh, light, and meatless on a warm summer evening.

Here are the ingredients: cherry tomatoes, basil, peppers, garlic, pasta, ricotta, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Not pictured: salt and pepper.



I may not love the way tomatoes taste, but I love how cute these little summer tomatoes are. They always make me think of scorching days, white-hot sun, and concrete burning under my bare feet.


 I made this meal on a TUESDAY. Martha would slap my wrist.


 You chop up the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, then throw in the olive oil and red wine. You should also salt and pepper at this point, but I forgot to until the end. DON'T BE LIKE ME. Salt and pepper at this point.



Then you throw your freshly boiled pasta into the bowl with your veggies, toss in some basil, and then serve it up with ricotta on top.

This recipe says it makes four servings but I could see it easily serving six, if not more. I have a ton left over. Also, if you eat this as a leftover, feel free to eat it cold, but what I've tried is heating it up -- with the ricotta on it -- in the microwave. The cheese gets a bit melty and the tomatoes cook a bit more. I thought it was pretty delightful, if I do say so.

As per usual, this recipe isn't up on Martha's site yet, so here you go:

Ingredients:

- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (4 cups), any color, halved or quartered if large.
- 2 small red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced medium.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3/4 pound medium pasta shells
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large (I sliced mine. Whatever)
- 1/2 cup ricotta, for serving

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, vinegar, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add pasta to sauce, tossing to combine. Add basil and toss. Divide pasta among four bowls and top each with ricotta. (As I mentioned above, I believe this makes much more than four servings. Feel free to eyeball it)

per serving: 501 calories; 17 g fat; 15g protein; 74 g carb; 6g fiber

Bon apetit!

P.S. One of my Facebook friends tells me quite confidently that the bird is a Cooper's hawk. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What do owls have to do with it (or how I am battling sheer terror in the face of BlogHer)?

What I must face, and soon, is that in about three weeks I will be in San Diego, attending BlogHer.

I've known this for quite some time, and yet it has not been until this week that I emerged from a state of denial and entered into a state of panic. I realized I am going to have to try to pass myself off as a blogger, instead of the fraud I actually feel like.

I mean, it's true that I blog. And what I do have going for me is that I am who I say I am. Which is to say: I am an unemployed writer who's desperately trying to finish a book, lose weight, and get pregnant. Those last two things might seem at odds, but that's pretty much how it goes around here.

What I'd hoped would happen before BlogHer were the following:

1) I would lose forty pounds. Do not ask me why I felt the need to lose forty pounds in order to meet three thousand, mostly female bloggers. I feel the need to lose forty pounds for all events. Weddings that aren't mine, my husband's company picnic, Christmas, pregnancy, vacation: These are all legitimate reasons in my tortured brain to lose forty pounds.

2) I would finish my book. BlogHer is nothing if not a spectacular networking event. If the book were finished, BlogHer could be a great opportunity to meet lots of people who might like to read novels about fat girls. 

3) I would be a successful blogger. Which would mean that I would have lots of readers, and advertisers want to put ads on my site and pay me money for them.

4) I would be pregnant. Don't even get me started.

So exactly none of those things happened.

The only one that could possibly still happen before BlogHer would be finishing the book. Unfortunately for me, I realized about a month ago that the entire thing needed major revising, so that's what I've been doing since then. It's anyone's guess if I will be able to pull the rest of it out of my butt before BlogHer. If I do, mayhaps I could get the thing electronically published, but being completely realistic, this is probably not happening.

But never mind any of that.

I still have to find the right shoes to wear and figure out how to make my hair look un-crazy. I did manage to get business cards.



And I realize that owls have nothing to do with anything, but 1) these were cheap and 2) owls are cute.

I also have to brace myself for the flight. Flying is for birds, not people.

I have to adequately prepare my flying buddy/roommate/fellow BlogHer attendee Christina for the sheer idiocy that is me on an airplane. 

I have to choose which seminars I am attending, and more importantly -- which parties.

And I have to calmly remind myself that most of the bloggers who will be there are not just bloggers. Hardly anyone makes any money doing this. Not everyone writes brilliantly every day. Everyone's just a person, and anyone who's a BlogHer virgin is probably a little scared.

So. Are you going to BlogHer? If you are, do you want to be my friend? If you aren't, why?











Friday, July 08, 2011

Lava flows





We took a trip to Hawaii about a year and a half ago with my parents. What I knew I wanted out of the trip were the following:

1) To lie comatose in the sun for seven days. 
2) To be comatose because I was drinking volcanoes.

So as my mother and I lay on chaise lounges in the sun, my dad skipped off to procure said volcanoes. What he returned with did not resemble the volcano I remembered. I was liquidy, had about seven kinds of alcohol in it, and promptly turned the whole lot of us into zombies. I staggered back to my room and fell asleep face down, an open bottle of water in my hand. 

We soon realized we wanted lava flows, not volcanoes. Lava flow: An alcoholic, delicious smoothie. Volcano: An alcoholic, not delicious date rape drug.

Long story short: My husband loves lava flows and finally convinced me we should make some at home. He was right. Still alcoholic. Still delicious. 

 
You start out with strawberries, bananas, two kinds of rum, coconut cream (don't worry, I don't know what it is, either), and pineapple juice. 

You blend a bunch of strawberries up and pour the puree into two glasses. You're supposed to use hurricane glasses, but I don't have those.



 Then you pour the alcohol into the puree and stir it up. Yum. 



 Then you plop your coconut cream, bananas, and pineapple juice into the blender.



 
And then -- and this is the most important step -- you heap a ton of ice into the blender. If you don't put in enough ice, it will turn out WRONG. You don't want that. What you see in the photo above is enough ice for two lava flows.


 Then blend. Yum.



Then make an enormous mess while pouring the banana mixture into the strawberry mixture with one hand and taking photos with the other hand. Make sure the focus is on the wrong thing.



Then admire your handiwork. It is a thing of beauty, isn't it? Pop a straw in there and go to town. 

These are kind of filling -- I mean, they each have a whole banana in them, plus a bunch of other junk, so you probably want to have one as, like, a mid-afternoon snack or something. Or a late night snack. Or breakfast.

Enjoy!

Lava flow (makes 1)

Ingredients:
2 ounces strawberry puree
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce coconut rum
1 banana, sliced
2 ounces coconut cream (I found this at BevMo)
2 ounces pineapple juice


Instructions
Pour strawberry puree and rums in a glass, and mix. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in blender with approximately two cups ice, and blend. Pour blended mixture into strawberry mixture. Enjoy.







Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Recommit

I ate so many things that a gluten-free vegan would not have eaten over the weekend. So. Many. Things.

And my gut knows it. I don't feel exactly fabulous. 

So last night I decided to watch yet another food documentary. You know, there are dozens of them, these documentaries that go on and on about the evils of corn and wheat and meat.

But the documentary I found last night was different.

It was about something near and dear to my heart: Juicing.

It was called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. It was made by an Australian dude, Joe Cross, who has an autoimmune disease that requires him to take prednisone and other awful medications, and which causes hives to break out all over his body.

So he decided to go on a 60 day juice fast.

First of all, hats off to Joe. I did 21 days on a gluten-free vegan cleanse, and nearly went mad. What I'm wondering is: Is it easier to just do a juice fast? Because then you're not eating; food is not an option so why even bother thinking about it. I don't know.

So anyway. Joe starts off pretty overweight -- I think he weighed in at 309. By the end of the 60 days he'd lost 70-something pounds, and then after continuing on with a veggie/nuts/legume type of diet, he'd lost more than 90 pounds. He felt great, looked great, and most importantly he'd basically "cured" himself. He was off his medications and wasn't suffering any of the hive breakouts.

In the documentary, he gets a couple of other people to try the juice fast, and they have spectacular results as well. Not just weight loss -- they seem happy, energized, and their faces are glowing.

Their doctors say this is a perfectly healthy thing to do. Back in the caveman days, we weren't feasting on three meals a day -- we were just eating food when it was available. The body would store fat to live on in dry times. Not to mention that getting food was a much more strenuous exercise than it is these days, when I park my car at the accursed Whole Foods and lazily browse well-stocked aisles for my next snack.

It's making me realize that juicing should probably be part of everyday life for me. Even though I don't LOVE green juice, it's loaded with so many nutrients and makes you feel pretty damn good. If you drink green juice first thing in the morning, it goes straight to your intestines and the nutrients get absorbed right away. And it will scrub out all the dirty nasty junk that's been rotting in your colon. 

It's also making me realize I'd been going about weight loss completely wrong, for years. About a decade, actually. I'd subscribed to the low-carb, high-protein method of weight loss for so long, and completely ignored the fact that my body probably needed and wanted nutrition it wasn't getting.

Yeah, I managed to lose a ton of weight eating low carb, high protein meals, but I hardly ever had a salad and I honestly felt terrible. I've wondered for years why I never felt quite right when I was the most "in shape" I'd ever been. I was depressed, exhausted, and suffering from heart palpitations and occasional hives. It's only a guess, but I think maybe it was because my body wasn't getting the micronutrients it needed. 

Should I follow that sentence with a big, "Duh"?

Some day I might have it all figured out. I feel like I'm closer. But even if I do know all the tips, the tricks, the secrets to thinness and energy and longevity -- can I stick to a plan that will result in those things? When there are chocolate cupcakes and lasagna in the world? I can't, strictly. Obviously. But I hope to achieve a "most-of-the-time" lifestyle. 

(Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is streaming on Netflix. You can also watch the trailer here.)