Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow Day

Today was an official snow day in Seattle (schools closed, government offices, heck even Microsoft closed its campus). I think when you work for yourself snow days have a different meaning...your wallet, your cost! So with MY snow day... I ice skated down my driveway, blew frost smoke rings, and blew my nose too many times to count. Ah yes...winter in Seattle. WAIT! 19 degrees F; that's not right...is it?

Stop the Shop

Christmas is pretty easy for me ever since I was 24. It was at that moment I released myself from all REQUIRED gift buying and only moved toward getting and making things for people I felt needed something or I truly wanted to give (rather than forced to give because some holiday says we should). It was pretty darn freeing once I moved to this new space - better yet, I LOVE the holidays. YOU can get there too. STEP 1: Tell all your friends and family that you will NOT be giving gifts this year as a way to avoid superficial consumerism. STEP 2: Advise people right and left that you are joining in the TRUE spirit of Christmas (buying lots of wine for group consumption is ok). STEP 3: if Steps 1-2 fail, you should shop locally and or sustainable. Some gift ideas for those that have unforgiving friends.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Goji Berry WARNING

I made myself the most lovely salad for lunch yesterday...after returning from a rugged bike ride. I'm now making a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: WARNING...Goji Berries are dangerous. Those little buggers might be full of antioxidants...and you might think they are your typical soft cuddly little dried fruit from high atop the Himalayas...but heed warning...they BREAK TEETH! Now I've got to go to the dentist first thing Monday. Ugh!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanks!

There is a Chinese proverb that says:

"When eating bamboo shoots, remember the man (or woman) who planted them."

To me this is a profound concept for our grand ol' day of thanks...and it should be taken further. I'm finding a lot of benefit in mindful, or better yet, concsious eating. Mindful eating focuses on the messages our bodies give us about hunger and satiation. Conscious eating takes these objectives to another level and asks us to be more present during the process of nourishment. For example...when I fix my breakfast, before I consume it (which right now I'm really into sprouted quinoa, cinnamon, almonds, goji berries and almond milk - okay so I'm a little funky right now)...I think about the following:

Give thanks to the farmers who planted the food, think about the sun's energy used to grow the seeds, nuts, berries...think about the water that nourished it, think about the people in the Himalayas who picked my berries, the truckers that carried the goods in their rigs through sleepless nights...to the store clerk that allowed me to purchase it. I think about all that power, energy and people embodied in this little bowl of cereal...and I'm grateful! I eat a bite and feel that energy, that love, that gratitude.

Try it sometime. It makes your food taste so good...and you become energized and blessed by it. I'm not kidding!

Here is another quote of Gratitude...

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. --Melody Beattie

Monday, November 20, 2006


Most of you know I'm a bit of a health geek. I'm often ask what sugar (or artificial substitute) I consume? Basic answer (as with anything we put in our precious bodies) Don't deviate from the natural state. My sweet of choice?

1. Agave syrup (slow processor in the body) as my liquid sugar when maple syrup is needed (and calories for a good long bike ride); NEXT
2. Stevia (natural leaf that fools our tongue) in tea, cooking, etc (when I don't need calories and there are other great nutritional elements to the food I'm eating). Newer versions have less after taste and I recommend Sweet Leaf Liquid with Vanilla Creme.

What about Splenda????
DUMP IT! Its a chemical! What? Yeah...that's right its actually a chlorine derivative. Chlorine? But wait, it's just sugar that has been modified. Modified? This is crazy speak! Can't you remember those summer days in the highly chlorinated pool that made your eyes burn? Well, drink it...its just water!?? So why does Splenda (or Sucralose) get to claim its just sugar when saccharin (pink packet) also started with sugar as did aspartame (blue packet).

Sucralose (Splenda) is a chlorocarbon (chlorine has been added to sugar molecule - therefore not its natural state). Chlorocarbons have long histories of causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. Sucralose use is linked to 40 percent shrinkage of the thymus: a gland that is the very foundation of our immune system. Sucralose causes swelling of the liver and kidneys, and CALCIFICATION of the kidney. So I tell you....DUMP IT!

Oddly, our nation is getting fatter since the widespread introduction of artificial sweeteners into the food supply. Why? Fact: When we eat something sweet, but do not take in any calories, our bodies crave more calories than if we ate real sugar. Thus with artificial sweeteners we run the rat race of unsatiated hunger. For many people, the more they eat of the artificial stuff, the more weight they gain, and the more they crave sweet foods. Further, these artificial sweetened foods are usually empty calories (no nutritional value - at bleached wheats and simple starches). Hunger continues and is never satiated because the body is not getting nutrients it needs.

FEED your body the good stuff and moderate what you eat!
Okay...I'm off my soap box now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My 3rd El Tour

Today I rode 109 miles on my bike at an average pace of 21 miles an hour. That's pretty amazing. Upon finishing...I felt the best I have in years. This is the 3rd year in a row and this year felt easier as I hammered at an average of 165 bpm heart rate for the last 50 miles. WOW. I realized that with lots of rest, no stress, we can stress our bodies longer (duh!). I vote for taking stress out of our lives as much as possible so we engage in fun stresses!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

El Tour de Taco

I set out at 10am to meet Guy at Ventana Resort (where he is staying). With a list of Tucson's finest tacos in my pocket...Guy was giddy about the mission...to sample Tucson's tacos and bike there doing it. The first venue was St. Mary's. We gave it a C. Then we went to the sacred shrine of tacos....Pico Di Gallo. We went no further. WOW! Hand made corn, your choice of pescado, barbacoa, carne asada, ceviche, yadda, yadda. We finished with some fine mexican fruit ice to sooth the habanero sauce. Oh...wait, we now need to bike back! 50 miles, three tacos, lots of water...and smiles on the faces.

Glowing Ball in the Sky

Seattle is breaking records this month for rain. A lot of the wet stuff has fallen from the sky, with ample clouds covering the heavens each day. Recently I heard the word "sun" and I had to look it up on wikipedia to remember what its all about. WELL, yesterday I saw it again...and rode my bike for 3 hours in unfettered sunshine, slight breeze out of the northwest and 80 degrees. Yes, I'm biking the next 5 days in Tucson, AZ. Its nice to visit the Sun. Funny, I've been here for a day...love the dryness...but know where I belong; land of trees, moisture, culture, oh...and rain!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dinner with Fish Mongers

My neighbor Bugs (as he is called) has been a fish monger at pikes place market for nearly 10 years (and the guy is under 30 years old) - here is is mug shot. He and his wife had me over for dinner last night with their friends who own and operate Frank's produce at Pikes Place market. It was cool....so needless to say we had quite a foodie experience. Wow! It was also fun to learn about market culture...and how people look out for each other and take care of the needs of all (including those in the community). Bugs and Alissa (his wife) just purchased matt's in the market (a very cool restaurant)...and its soon to be one of my local hangs. A hip evening of drinking Chateau Neuf de Pape (yum) mole drenched loin, arugula salad and wine soaked clams (from the market). Cheers!

Tie my hands behind my back...

I often think of myself as a pretty good cook. At least I know I like what I fix...and know when I've not "hit" it. Last year I met an artist that challenges her creativity by establishing rules about how she will paint her next canvas to challenge her skills. I decided to attempt a similar tactic.

So...I could only cook with items made from natural, organic non-animal sources. Okay...so making menus on vegan fare is no big deal, been there done that (although I'm really good with slabs of meat). So to up the anty, I decided that I would do only RAW foods, meaning I couldn't cook anything but could apply heat up to 150 degrees. Why is this important? Well, RAW foodies know that food carry natural enzymes that provide power and energy to our bodies. When we cook food (i.e. heat above 150 degrees - or 118 degrees extended) we destroy these properties and our bodies actually must do work to process it. So to make this challenge even greater I invited two people I've never dined with previously over with two other friends. Gosh. I was sweating bullets on this one. It was a success! Or at least I thought so! Here was the menu:

Avocado Hummus and Jicama Sticks
Cracked Pepper and Dill Sunflower Aoli
Mejool Dates with Macadamia Nut "cheeze"

First Course:
Zucchini Lasagna with Pistachio Pesto

Second Course:
White corn portabello tamales with raw cacao mole

Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream w/Fresh figs and Coconut Chocolate


I love it that people close to the pulse and in the know "muddled muses." Therefore I must post a retraction/correction to the post about Dr. Carmona who became the new EVP at da Ranch in Tucson. And the letter to the editor was as follows: "FYI, Dr. Carmona does NOT drive a yellow Hummer -- he drives a 12-year-old BMW. One of his friends left a white Hummer for him to use several months ago when he first returned to Tucson and his car was in the shop, but mostly it sat in his driveway. He really is a great guy and brings a whopping load of common sense and true leadership to CR. Personally I think he walks on water."

Friday, November 10, 2006


Ok, Ok....
I'll write soon!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

TV for the Educated

Now...when I have more free time, I get to sleep 8-9 hours a night (wow is that a luxury), can clean my dishes as soon as I'm done with them (as opposed to piling them up for washing on Saturdays), do my laundry when its dirty, read that article in the WSJ when I'm interested (rather than putting it in the "to be read" pile), AND amazingly...I now have at least 1 hour a day I can actually watch Television. Its not something I will elect to make a discipline and I'm the type of person that so likes control...so commercials and slow paced local news (rather than surfing the internet) completely annoys me. SO...I'm an I-tunes junkie when it comes to my Videopod.

Just last week I read an article in the WSJ about the new TV show by Sorkin (West Wing fame) called Studio 60. The article basically said that such a brilliant show was popular with the educated crowd and not middle America. This concerned the network (toward possible cancel) because the educated audience really doesn't view commercials given their DVD-R/Tivo machines. This issue is quite parallel to the shows theme. I guess someone needs to pay for the nearly $3M per episode. Well...with my hour a day...I downloaded the Pilot and first show of this series. WOW, brilliant TV. This is the stuff for the progressive, educated folks (like me and the readers of my blog). Well, I've since downloaded the 5-6 episodes created as of date and plan to watch (and support) the show on its Monday nights at 10pm (at least once).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Medical Secrets

Since leaving CR, I've continued to be deeply interested in the health and wellness arena (maybe more so). I believe that if we have a passion, its where we do our best work. Further...I spend endless hours reading about what makes us tick...that I'm deeply fascinated by what I can learn. Yesterday I spoke with an amazing woman who single handedly found her own cure for MS (saw a blue ribbon panel report to the governor on local access). I found her through a web search and a link to her drug company she created to offer the cure to others (because drug companies are only interested in making pills we need to take for life - no money in the one power pill that cures us). She is a registered nurse, entrepreneur and passionate person. She has uncovered other areas where the incentives in medical care screw us. She shared her stories and research...here are just twoexamples:

1. Epidural Use - these are highly profitable procedures for hospitals in childbirth (almost pressured to have them). What is known is that as these procedures have increased, so has childhood autism (hmmmm). Just think how many people you know who have kids suffering from this condition. Well after careful research, we know that a child's brain continues to develop the higher thinking (socialization) elements to its nervous system 7 days after birth (when we think all that is developed prior to birth). When a mother is administered an epidural, it releases a synthetic hormone that creates a chemical imbalance preventing this process from continuing. Its staggering and you can read it here. Talk to your soon to be mothers.

2. SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the highest in the US of all of the 13th industrialized nations. Why? Well...we know that SIDS can be prevented by a mother taking Magnesium such that her risks of her child having SIDS is reduced to .001%. Why do we not get enough magnesium? Well the natural blocker for magnesium is calcium (read more here). Our media and dairy industry tells us to drink our milk! Then we take calcium supplements on top of all of that drinking. Balance, Balance, Balance!

More tidbits later...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I just logged into a networking website called LinkedIN. Its an electronic professional network; amazing really. I have just 5 people that I'm currently "LinkedIN" on the FIRST degree (via invite). HOWEVER, when I search my network of 5 people and who they are linked into....WOW! My network included some people in industries that I've wanted to (or may want to) connect with in the future. Check it out here.