Tuesday, May 29, 2012

good people

I've been so fortunate to spend the past couple of weekends with some really good people. The kind of people you can pick up a conversation with even after a year [ok, a couple] of not seeing one another. People who will ride for 3+ hours with you in 90 degree heat and standstill Chicago traffic...in a car without air conditioning. People who like to talk about things that matter but have no problem teasing you about your love for "Michigan hipster beer" and love being ridiculous.


I was in Chicago in what was quite possibly the hottest weekend of the year so far but had the most gracious hosts (who have the cutest Chicago apartment, complete with a mini greenhouse) and had fun despite the crazy hot weather (and the fact that my car's air conditioning is currently non-functional...yay summer). 


Highlights included dancing sweat detoxing in the gorgeous but non-air conditioned reception hall [if we look delirious, we probably were], battling NATO security...



and eating Longman and Eagle, which you should definitely visit if you're ever in the area {photo courtesy of ryan}. Such creative, thoughtful {and delicious} dishes, with tons of flavor. 


And this past weekend was spent in Bloomington, IN visiting my sister who is done with grad school and smack-dab in the middle of job searching and other important grown-up things. We brunched at Feast before turning into lobsters at the community pool. Their coffee is locally roasted and seriously amazing but probably shouldn't be consumed hot on a 95 degree day. 


Definitely in need of some detoxing via kale smoothies and homemade gazpacho after 2 weekends of good food and good fun. This is definitely my new favorite thing to make because it takes 10 seconds and includes a ton of veggies.


To make, add the following into a blender:
  • 32 oz can of tomatoes (or use your own!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 jalapeƱo pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
Blend until mixture reaches desired consistency. Eat with a spoon or drink up. 


It was so good to see friends I don't see often during this concentrated period of time; why is keeping in touch so difficult sometimes? I really need to be more intentional because good people are worth the extra effort. I think I'm especially mindful of this as I'm currently living in a city where I know very few people, and I miss having the sense of community I've experienced at other points in life. At the same time, I know that life isn't static, and that's why friendships change and people change and growth happens [incredibly grateful for all of these things]. 

Hope everyone has a good pseudo-Monday. Here's to a 4 day week!

Monday, May 21, 2012

[refresh]


Hello, hello. Thanks for all of the comments those of you who're still reading. I'll likely keep blogging, albeit a bit sporadically, but read and hopefully enjoy what's here. :)

I have a difficult time not falling into food patterns of eating the same things over and over again [see breakfast trends over the past few years]. It takes a lot of energy to plan meals, especially for just one person. If I make a batch of soup or a salad, I have to be willing to eat it for at least a week...or longer. Some day I'd love to institute a dinner club where everyone makes a different dish, and then you're left with 5 different meals to eat over the course of the week [now, just to find 5 friends ok with a veg-heavy diet...].

I recently had dinner with my friend, Jenn, and she brought along a new recipe for a raw kale salad that was really delicious.


I have to admit I was a little skeptical about raw beets, but they actually made a lot of sense in this dish. And as much as I think kale smoothies are awesome, it's a little different to eat a pile of raw kale. We deviated from the original recipe, but our toppings of choice were beets, carrots, candied pecans, and goat cheese (similar recipe here). I'll definitely be trying out more varieties of raw kale salads in the future.

I'm excited for blueberry season in Michigan. I'm still quite addicted to smoothies because they are easy to prep a night ahead and provide quick fuel when I'm running out the door to work (as in, literally). Blueberries + banana + kale + cinnamon + a shake of vanilla extract = new fave combination. Don't drink this before you going out-it will turn your tongue a lovely shade of purple.


And the first trial of gluten free granola bars. I usually eat a granola bar each day, but that can get pretty pricey fast. Due to being raised in a family of tightwads, I've been searching for an alternative. Let me know if you have a good recipe. Most of the ones I've tried turn out pretty crumbly and more like granola than granola bars. 


I did a little crafting for Mother's Day. I'm kind of obsessed with kraft paper and baker's twine right now. I haven't done any crafting projects in a while, but I think that soon I will try to do something creative such as reupholstering my extremely ugly chairs in need of a pattern change or something like that. I feel like I've been in transition a lot the past couple of years, and that's caused me to abandon some of the things I love doing while portioning energy for finding jobs, packing and repacking apartments, and moving to new cities. 


Maybe this crazy talk is the result of recently turning 27 [yikes?!] and not wanting to waste more time on the activities mentioned above [seriously who moves 5 times in 2 years?!]. So, hopefully, I'll slowly start wading back into the things that energize me, music, good books, theatre, teaching and learning, and dance classes? I love nutrition, but I crave balance. I can't do one thing 24x7 and expect sanity to happen automatically.


So here's to more growing and continually moving forward and doing//finding good things...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

it's may already...


Well, hello friends. It's been a hot minute since I've blogged, and I've spent a bit of time considering my future [or lack thereof] in blogging. I started this blog in the middle of grad school while knee-deep in crazy intense research to help me keep in touch with the practical side of nutrition. 

I've always promised myself that I would continue blogging as long as it was still meaningful to me and other people, and I've found that it doesn't quite have the same significance as it once did. All that to say I'm currently debating whether or not the health nut shall continue. Or if it might take a different direction...thoughts? What do you like reading about?

Anyway, lots of things since I last posted. My sister had an amazing poetry reading in Bloomington, as she finished her MFA at Indiana University!



I was sick the whole weekend with the spring virus everyone seems to be passing around, but it was fun to hear Bethany's poetry and be in B-town. I was able to get rid of whatever I had sans any antibiotics, so maybe that was thanks to a hefty dose of wheat grass


Lately I've been gravitating toward super simple one-bowl meals, such as this quinoa/roasted beet/cuke/avocado combination. Really good with red wine vinegar on top. Sometimes it's really difficult not to fall into eating the same things all the time, but I'm excited that more produce is coming into season pretty soon. 


And...I'll be participating in a community garden plot for the first time! I'm only a 25% gardener, which is probably a good thing since I don't have a great history with gardening.

This was taken pre-tilling...lots and lots of weeds. With a couple hours of hard work, things were looking more like a garden plot. 


So much better...we shall see what grows here. 

And May is National Celiac Awareness Month, so hopefully I'll be posting some gluten free recipes. I experimented with GF granola bars, but they still need some tweaking before being shared. Kudos to those of you who eat GF all the time-it's tricky business!

Happy Weekend...