Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Technology is not my friend

Yesterday I tried to reformat my blog.  I feel like I've outgrown my current template, and I was seeing so many other lovely blogs out there.  I just wanted to try something new.  Three hours; many dysfunctional incarnations of the blog including over-sized headers, overlapping text, and random "flickr" images across the screen; and one vanished blog roll later, I'm back to my same template.  I did figure out how to stretch it a little, but before I threw my computer out the window, the babe suggested that I step away for a bit.  I did.  I came very close to stopping the blog altogether, so I think it's a sign of good things that I was able to open the page and look at it today.

I should be creating a new blog roll soon, so if you would like to be added, please let me know.

Also, if you know something brilliant about changing blog templates, you could let me know about that too.  I was trying to use a cool 3-column template from Our Blog Templates.  I've seen other blogs with it, so I know that someone knows how to make it work, but it caused me problems, including the random "flickr" image across the back - like behind the posting area.

Anyway, I figure at this point, I should just let it rest for a bit - the cutesy flowers will remain for the meantime.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Detox": Day Three

My new favorite thing:  Breakfast smoothies.

The babe and I have been loving them - introducing all sorts of fun ingredients but sticking with that same basic recipe.  We've added in frozen raspberries, ginger, spinach (you can't taste it!), unsweetened apple juice, blueberries, peaches.  Yum yum yum.

Second favorite thing:  Homemade granola.  (Recipe at the bottom!)

The "detox" in general has been going well, though my mom laughed at me today when I told her what we've been eating - You're not really doing a cleanse, are you?  Well, perhaps not in the traditional sense, but I'm not going to spend 7 days eating just cabbage soup.  I'm still sticking to the goals I set for myself, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it, if I do say so myself.

I had a wicked caffeine/sugar withdrawal headache the first night and into the second day, but I just kept drinking more water, and eventually it went away - thank goodness because at one point I did think that my head was actually going to explode.  Just goes to show how much my body's gotten used to the caffeine and sugar.  While I can't see myself going cold turkey for any extended length of time, I hope this will help me change the balance a little - more water, less caffeine.

I've been loving all the time in the kitchen cooking up yummy healthy vegetarian meals, though I did buy some chicken today at the farmers market for when I'm back to eating meat.  We had friends over last night, and I made some delicious whole wheat crust for our veggie pizzas.  While the lack of cheese made it difficult for my veggies to hang on to the pizza, it was quite delicious.

Drinking more water has been shockingly challenging - I just forget!  But I'm working on it.  And I've got plenty of energy for cooking, playing the wii, doing yoga, and bathing the Jamster.

And now, for the homemade granola recipe!

Easy granola recipe
Adapted (ever so slightly) from our dear Vermont ladies' granola

7 cups rolled oats
1 cup each:
    toasted unsweetened coconut (I toast it myself)
    wheat germ
    sliced almonds
    sunflower seeds
    pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients in a pan (maybe two pans) and bake for 3-4 hours, stirring once every hour.
Your house will smell amazing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Detox": Day One

In the last month, I have gotten into bed several nights and realized that the only water I consumed that day had been infused with coffee grounds.  I've basically been living on caffeine, sugar, cheese, and alcohol.  I've been feeling gross and sluggish...and cranky.  So I decided that I needed to gently but firmly pull my hand out of the Lucky Charms box and pry my fingers from my coffee mug to get myself back into some good healthy eating.

I wanted a little kick-start - I think in part to accentuate the end of the law school life and the beginning of the not-law school life, whatever that may be.  I started by browsing the web for "detox diets," but I had a really hard time finding one that was focused on health and not on weight loss.  After struggling with an eating disorder for many years, juice fasts and super calorie restriction plans just don't work for me.  So I was delighted to land on a recent (never home) maker post where she made reference to a detox diet that she did earlier in the year.  She based her gentle plan loosely on Gwyneth Paltrow's, but with more food - which sounded just right for me!

Using Ashley's and Gwyneth's diets, I created a plan for my own 7-day "detox."  The major goal for me is just to reintroduce my body to healthy eating and get rid of some of the junkier stuff that I've been feeding myself.  So, first things first:  More. Water.  I'm trying for the old standard eight glasses per day.  Second, more fruit and vegetables.  I'm making yummy smoothies for breakfast in the morning (and I'm including the recipe for the first one below), and incorporating more salads and fruits and veggies as snacks.  Finally, I'm cutting out some of my....less healthy habits.  That means no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy* (except yogurt), no processed foods - including processed grains, and no caffeine (yikes!).  Because I'm being very gentle about this, I am going to use natural sweeteners like agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup sparingly.

Those who do real detoxes would likely scoff at mine, but I'm pretty excited about it.  After feeling blah for the last few weeks, I'm looking forward to getting back to a happier, healthier me.  Starting with some really good food.  Add yoga, sleep, crocheting, and novels - I should be as good as new in no time at all.

I loved the smoothie this morning - perfect for summer.  The oatmeal in the recipe threw me off at first, but it turned out really great.  I just made the oatmeal last night and then threw it in from the fridge this morning.  It would also be a nice substitute for bananas in a smoothie if bananas don't work for you.

Strawberry Smoothie
From Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

2 cups chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened soy milk because it had fewer additives)
1 tablespoon sweetener (It's optional - I used agave nectar but probably could've done without)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Makes 2 servings.

*I don't actually think that dairy is unhealthy - just that it's a good thing to cut out every now and then for a little system cleanse.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Oh interwebs, I have missed you.  I would like to say that I was kidnapped and held for ransom, and that's why I haven't been writing.  But that would be a lie.  The reasons for my absence are no less exciting, though.


2.  After #1, I didn't want to look at my computer anymore.

3.  I went to North Carolina, just like last year, and had a ridiculously wonderful time.  I tie-dyed.  I learned new card games.  I engaged in sing-alongs.  I drank.  I played wiffle ball.  I ran through a sprinkler.  I played in a pond.  I ate tons of yummy food.

4.  I also pulled ticks off myself, my beloved, and the Jamster.

5.  I worked on my bar application.


7.  I GRADUATED.  (In case you missed it the first time.)

8.  I played with my family.

9.  I worked on my bar application.

10.  I cursed my bar application.

11.  I worked on my bar application some more.


So now I can breath again and return to the computer and catch up on all of you and possibly clean my apartment.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who knew DC was so pretty?

After 8 years in DC, I finally made it down to the National Arboretum.  All I can say is that I'm ashamed and saddened that I never went before.  It was absolutely lovely and incredibly peaceful.

I was tickled by the azalea garden.  In the south, EVERYONE has azaleas in their front yard.  They're everywhere, and I have never really been a fan at all.  They're just sort of messy.  The bushes don't have a shape, and when they're not flowering, they're ugly.  And the white flowers turn brown really quickly, so there were lots of yards with ugly-shaped bushes with brown flowers on them.  Gross.

So I thought it was weird that the National Arboretum had a whole garden devoted to them.  But it turns out that the azaleas were in bloom and actually very beautiful.  I saw some varieties that I had never seen before, which people in Georgia should maybe think about substituting for the white ones in their collections.

And we loved the dogwood garden - so peaceful.  I didn't get very many good pictures, but we thought these two trees had very interesting blooms.

And I enjoyed relaxing on the grass and staring up into the sky.

Then I fell in love with this man.

Probably okay for the babe because I don't actually know who he is.  And he's a man.  But painting out among the trees?  Awesome!

But what was most wonderful, you ask?

The fiddleheads in Fern Valley.  I just adore the little whimsical things.  A whole frond curled up into those tiny little heads.  Love them.

All in all, a completely delightful day in DC.

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