Monday, November 21, 2011

We've Moved!

Oh hey there. Welcome to my old blog, the one I never took very seriously. I've moved over to my own website where very exciting things are happening. If you'll just mosey along to you will see what I mean. Go on- I'll be over there waiting for you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer foods: Gaspacho

Gaspacho is one of my all time favorite "Tastes of Summer." The cooling combination of cucumber and the spice of onions balanced with tomatoes is freaking awesome. My mother made it when I was a kid, and I would often have a glass of it for breakfast. There are hundreds of recipies out there, some with fish, some with cream, almost all a lot more complicated then my mother's. I learned a long time ago not to bother ordering gaspacho in restaraunts because I would be dissapointed.

Here is my recipie:

Bottle of your favorite tomato-based vegetable juice
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (skin removed)
2 cups diced cucumbers (peeled and seeded)
1/2 cup diced red onion 
several minced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste (optional)

To remove skins from tomatoes, drop whole tomatoes in vigorously boiling water and shut off heat. Remove tomatoes after 60 seconds and plunge into ice water.  After a few minutes the skins will be loose and easy to remove.

You can pulse the veggies in a food processor- I don't have one so I hand chop everything.
Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and garlic in a large bowl (I use one with a lid) and pour just enough vegetable juice to cover. Stir it all up and add the cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add more juice if you want your soup a little soupier. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RRARF day 6: My Kitchen

I usually spend about 4 hours a day in the kitchen. I hang out in there, listen to the radio, cook, think about cooking, avoid cleaning and sometimes I do the dishes. People come over, I bake and cook which everyone loves, I am master of all I survey. When my father and step mom show up I run out the door and let them have the run of the place.

They have very big kitchen personalities. My father is a "recovering chef." Meals are planned and executed, generally with about 10 more steps and 15 more ingredients then anything I would make on a daily basis. There is also a whole lot of knife sharpening and deep cleaning of pans and utensils and what-not that goes on. There are multiple dishes and sometimes courses and often times yelling. I just sit around and wait for the food to appear.

This weekend, armed with RRARF- I actually ate breakfast and lunch, in and around the larger productions of what they were doing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

RRARF day 5: Coffee

Black gold, black nectar, rocket fuel. The wonderment of coffee is something that I have had a hard time giving up. Its not the caffeine. I have long only drunk coffee on the weekend and gone long stretches of time with only decaf. Its the coffee itself, the bitter, robust flavor that I miss whenever I am off the coffee. The smell gets me all excited for relaxing and getting stuff done. Sometimes late at night Jason will turn to me and say "I can't wait until its morning and I get to wake up and have coffee!" I feel similarly about it.

My parents gave Jason a gift of some amazing coffee from this great roastery in their neighborhood. It was roasted on 1/11/11. It smelt like heaven. In 25 days it will no longer be fresh and I would have missed my opportunity. I gave in without a fight.

I drank 6 ounces, and it was blissful.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

RRARF day 4: My Parents

I have three parents. Unlike the crap-show many children of divorced parents are put through my dad, step-mom, and mother are best friends. My father and step-mother came up from New York City yesterday to hang out with us Massachusetts folk. We went to the People's Pint in Greenfield and feasted on head-cheese and pickled sausage, thai curry and assorted other goodness.

My step-mother and mom tried to parental pressure me into drinking wine and beer, and eating cookies. Having years and years of experience with buffering this kind of pressure, it was easy to deny the deliciousness that passed beyond my nose. When I was 14 I told my parents they were putting me under "some weird kind of peer pressure" when the tried to get me to drink wine at dinner. I remember the three of them laughing over this for whole long minutes.

So all of them are here talking together loudly. They are hilarious and wonderful people, but they kind of make me exhausted.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

RRARF day 3: Stress

The last 9 months have been crazy. I have been to 4 weddings and two funerals, hosted several weekend long parties and an endless stream of welcome house guests, and traveled to at least 5 states to see all my friends and family (as far as California and as close as New Hampshire) and finally went on a real vacation with Jason to Canada. I worked many many extra days, then worked two jobs, then had a total career shift that lasted 7 weeks. Thats just some of what I have been doing. No wonder I am depleted. Every time I thought things were letting up, they didn't.

I have stopped exercising. I haven't seen my friends at the circus studio in about a year. And my friend who teaches Pilates thought I blew her off because after seeing her weekly since November last year, I disappeared off the map in June and didn't call her until October. We played phone tag for a while but still haven't caught one another on the phone. I cancelled my gym membership. I haven't done any yoga or stretching. My garden pretty much died. I didn't even hike that much spring-fall. I spent a lot of time in the river over the summer, but that was mostly spent sitting on the dam and occasionally jumping off of it. This is a sad story for this former dancer.

Now that I have a week of unemployment and three days of RRARF under my belt, I actually find myself wanting to move. Which is my normal state of affairs, I love to move and dance and jump and climb. I am thinking that my over-taxed system shut down the impulse to move my body. Since I am rather adept at listening to my body I couldn't make myself exercise.  Yesterday I rolled out a mat on the floor and then just rolled around on it. I stretched my back and played with my abs for a while. Sara the cat seemed very pleased that I was doing this again and walked all over me and under me and wherever else she could be in the way. Even though this is Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding, movement and gentle exercise is still a must. I hope to continue to wish to move and possibly begin to do some Pilates again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

RRARF day 2: Nerve Impulses

I did better at eating copious amounts yesterday then the day before. There was one moment when I was totally in the mood for a nap. I thought to myself "oh good a nap opportunity!" Unfortunately I was not able to take it. I had an interview in the middle afternoon about 40 minutes from my house. It took Jason and I a long time to dig out the cars so that we could use them. Our landlord came by with his big snowblower and cleaned up our parking area and made some paths around the house. I was very grateful for that. I went down to this staffing agency that is looking for a new staffing coordinater right at what turns out is my "second lunch time" 3:00. On the way home I got hungry, although it had only been a few hours since I had eaten quite a bit of food. I mean REALLY hungry.  It made me think that the brain must regulate hunger in a similar way to pain.

When the body is in pain for any long stretch of time, the brain will quiet down the nerve impulses so that you don't feel it as much. You are in pain, but it isn't your sole focus. That is how there are so many of us walking around in chronic pain completely functional.  From a bodywork stand-point, once you take the body out of pain those nerves get a rest. When the pain comes back, it hurts a heck of a lot worse then it did before. As Dr. Ruch said "the body likes being out of pain, it gets addicted to it." Obviously your organism would love to be at a healthy stasis all the time. Since in the past I would spent a lot of time hungry before I ate, it stands to reason that the nerve impulses were dampened until I was SERIOUSLY HUNGRY generally around 1 in the afternoon and then dinner time. Now that I am filling myself up at the first signs of hunger (which are hard to determine, but I imagine will get stronger) those nerve signals are resetting themselves. Although I wasn't SERIOUSLY HUNGRY on the way back home after my interview, I was hungry and my nervous system definitely wanted to let me know about it.

p.s. I decided yesterday to skip a day so as to blog about the whole entire day after it happens.
p.p.s. The interview went very well

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RRARF day 1: How am I going to eat all this food?

Things started out pretty well here in RRARFland. The day dawned cold and snowy and slept straight through to 9 am. Upon rising I made the traditional breakfast of champions, you know the one: eggs, bacon, potatoes, buttery toast. I ate until I really didn't want anymore. That left some toast on the plate. As soon as I thought of eating again I ate the toast and some salad.

This continued throughout the day. Although I probably spent a little more time hungry than advisable. It is hard to eat so much in a sitting every time. I have spent practically my whole life eating most meals until I was no longer hungry- not necessarily full. The transition to eating past full all the time is weird, and a little uncomfortable.

We took a great little walk in the snow mid-afternoon. Our house is right on some town conservation land with some nice trails. I thought about bringing my snowshoes but  decided that I would rather trudge though in the knee deep snow. Our landlord and his family go cross-country skiing back there often. I would love to do that. I'm so happy we had a proper snow storm, we have more snow due next week. Yippie!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ready Set GO!


Tomorrow I will start the day eating as much a possible within 30 minutes of rising. It probably won't be all that much to begin with, as I am accustomed to eating only a slice of Ezekiel Bread with cheddar cheese on it for breakfast. Or, barring a lot of time- just a few ounces of cheddar. Yeah, I know its weird, but it really keeps me going.

Other fun things tomorrow is that its supposed to snow. Seriously snow (FINALLY)- they are predicting a foot, but I hope we get more. Sometime tomorrow I will be tromping around in the woods enjoying the quiet. I may even get a chance to snowshoe this winter!

While go RRARF for the next 30 days I will weigh myself twice a week. I know a lot of people advocate against doing this. Letting go of the scale is a freeing thing for many women. However, I've never been concerned about my weight. My general indicator that I need to shape up has always been when I suddenly start bumping into things with my hips and butt and I need to loosen my bra straps. With that in mind I am interested in any weight fluctuations that occur for the next several weeks. I weighed in just now at 123.5 which is lower then I have for a while- probably because I have actually been eating for the last half week. Since I have one of those fancy shmancy scales with a body fat % meter (which is I am sure woefully incaurate) I will also track that. Today I had 29% body fat which is totally usual for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Re-Thinking Moderation

I have decided to start doing the full RRARF diet on Wednesday, instead of easing in for two weeks. The reason for this is my current unemployment. I hope to not be unemployed for long; beyond the three zillion jobs I have applied to, I also can go back to the massage job I left seven weeks ago if need be. In light of that I may be unemployed for a month, but probably no more then that. A fantastic use of that month would be RRARF, since rehabilitative rest is a vital part of the program. Now that I have "more time on my hands" I can sleep as much as I want (score!). I have already napped twice in the last 3 days. Plus working on my health will hopefully keep me occupied instead of getting depressed. Normally, when I get depressed I stop eating.

Another thing I am planning on doing is going through some of the stuff I have accumulated. I tend to attract things, lots of things, and then hold on to them. It would be great make more space to attract money instead.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hog Death

Today I went to Old Sturbridge Village to witness the butchering of the hog they slaughtered yesterday. I had a blast, and not completely because one of my best friends works there. I learned some great things about how much bacon it is possible to get from one pig. Bacon is any meat that has striations of fat and muscle that is brined and smoked. That means that you get bacon from not only from the belly, but also from the jowles, legs, sides, and back. Especially if the hog is a high fat breed such as the Large English Black pigs they raise at OSV. In ye olden times they would use pork fat for cooking as well as making soap and candles so a high fat to meat ratio was highly prized.

I snuck away for a bit to walk along the river and swish my way through the downtown area in my very large coat. I found my way over to The Small House where two older women sat knitting by the hearth. We had a lovely conversation about various topics.

I have spent many hours at Old Sturbridge Village in the last few years, but its been a long time since I thought about what a treasure it is.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday food success

I am very proud of myself. In one day I had both my Achilles heels (one for each ankle) for proper food consumption working against me. 1) I was upset about losing my job and 2) I was only in charge of feeding myself. However, I managed to eat three meals today plus two snacks. Dinner was my favorite, I had salad, sweet potato, and shrimp cocktail.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Tomorrow I am going to Old Sturbridge Village to watch some people butcher a hog.

Friday, January 7, 2011

And now...

So today was a bad news day. I lost my job. This was unexpected to an extent, my remaining time there was limited. I was cut down to part time before the holidays and was looking for work before my eventual departure. But things happened a lot more suddenly. Now I have no job. . . crap. (I'm mostly upset because I am going to miss my co-workers a great deal)

I am hoping to find something really cool soon, one of the ideas I'm kicking around is going to practice massage somewhere warm for a few months. I love the winter, but I could totally dig an adventure right about now.

Food-wise I feel great. I ate breakfast successfully, I came home from work at 1:30 and made myself a sweet potato, two slices of sourdough toast, and lamb's lettuce with lime juice. It was really delicious. Then I went out to hang with my now former co-workers at Packard's, where I succeeded in eating a lot of fried potatoes. When I get hungry again I think a spinach salad will be in order.

Once again I feel better then usual- even with the emotional turbulence of the day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easing into things

I tend to be a jump in feet first kind of person. Sometimes I try to temper myself a bit. Matt Stone, of and the inventor of my newest food adventure RRARF, suggests starting small. Eating until full when hungry and starting to remove the nasties (caffeine, sugar, alcohol) for a good space of time before going full RRARF. I'm planning on doing this phase for two weeks, as my main dietary problem is habitual under-eating and I might just explode if I start eating past full so often.

Today I woke up early enough to make breakfast (it is laughable that this is an accomplishment, as I don't leave for work until 9:30) I prepped some scrambled eggs and cheese grits, threw some lamb's lettuce on my plate and called it a success. Although I didn't eat much while I was at work I still felt like a functioning human being when I got home at 3:30. I steamed up some pork dumplings, and when those didn't fill me up I ate a piece of toast- this is a huge accomplishment. We are about to eat dinner. Yes, it is 9pm, but that is normal around here. What isn't is that at this point in the day I am usually starving and cranky, but today, I still feel like a human being.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm back!

I am seriously poor at doing things intermittently. But doing things everyday I can handle. So I am going to update this little blogity blog every day. I am pairing this everyday extravaganza with the RRARF diet.

RRARF stands for Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding. It is a diet I can get behind because its all about eating a lot. The idea of the RRARF diet is that we are so depleted from eating empty calories that our bodies are starving- which causes weight gain and lots and lots of health problems. One of the main symptoms is low body temperature. You can learn everything about this diet by going to

I eat well and I'm a healthy weight. I weigh between 124 and and 127 and am between a size 6 and 4 (yes, I went there). I still think there are deficiencies in my diet. I often forget meals and unintentionally starve myself (especially on days off). And my intake of whole foods has diminished in the last few months, I've been eating a lot more pasta and bread. I've also noticed a drop in my basal temperature in the mornings. Gone are the days when I would bring in a nice 99.0 degree reading on the thermometer.

The diet has a period of "overfeeding" and I may gain some weight during this time. People have been known to gain quite a bit, but I've never been one to hold on to fat, so I think the maximum I will gain is 10 pounds.

Well, we will see won't we.