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We are fine but becoming dangerous January 20, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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We are fine but becoming dangerous.

That was the sum total of a text my dad sent me one fine day. Well, that and a self-portrait of him and my mother looking kind of gangsta. (I blame his employer for giving him an iPhone.) I admit, I was immediately intrigued. It turns out they were picking a new floor for their kitchen.  Oooooo. Scaweee.

My parents are pretty awesome. If you want to get some of your own, apparently they’re highly rated on Amazon.


After the past two days of migraines, I felt a lot better today. Started out not too bad, and got better as the day progressed. By the time of this writing, I am almost fine. Practically dangerous, even. Day three of migraine recovery went like this:

Bitch research.

Yesterday I realized I’m something of a frugivore. That means I like fruit. A lot. Since I’m eating anything I want while getting over this migraine, I’m pretty full of it right now. Just keep that in mind.

Here’s today:

Science Project Breakfast

1/2 gluten free, old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 frozen, pitted cherries (sweet dark variety, unsweetened)
dash cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
1 cup water

  1. Place ingredients in large-ish, microwave safe bowl (or you can use a cereal bowl, and watch oatmeal erupt all over your microwave like cherry-colored lava)
  2. Nuke for 3 minutes
  3. Add cold water if needed to thin it out or cool it down

Why Bother, We’re ALL GOING TO DIE ANYWAY Lunch

2 cups arugula
4 HUGE strawberries, sliced
1 egg + 1 egg white
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place arugula and strawberries in bowl. 
  2. Scramble eggs.
  3. Scrape the hot eggs into bowl right on top of arugula and strawberries.
  4. Don’t judge me, it’s not THAT weird.
  5. Season and enjoy.

One, Two, Snack, Too

Leftover roasted butternut squash

There’s not really a recipe here, or even a single meal. These are just the things I snacked on throughout the day.

I must be feeling better, because I actually cooked dinner. Plus, I discovered the Rice button on my microwave. I’m intimately familiar with the Popcorn and Potato buttons. I’ve toyed with Defrost and Auto-defrost with varying degrees of success. But I have to admit, in the 10 years I’ve owned that microwave, I never even once noticed the Rice button. Makes me wonder what other buttons I’ve been ignoring all this time because actually, there are a lot of them.

And dayum, it makes good rice. All these years, I’ve been moping around, feeling deprived because I didn’t have a rice cooker. What a waste of good angst.

Beef Stir Fry with Rice Button Rice

Servings: 4

1 cup Jasmine rice
1 3/4 cup water, plus extra for stir fry
1 lb beef, cut up for stir fry
1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces
1 small bunch of baby broccoli (or maybe they call it broccolini?) cut into bite size pieces
powdered ginger, salt, pepper, powdered garlic, oregano, to taste

  1. In microwave safe container, combine rice and water. Cover, place in microwave and hit RICE button.
  2. Mix stir fry beef with seasonings. Spray pan with canola oil and get it hot. Throw beef in pan and get it nice and brown. Remove beef.
  3. Throw veggies in pan. Season with whatever you like. I just threw in more of what I put on the meat.  I put about 1/2 cup of water in with the veggies to scrape up the good bits and make some juice. We like juice.
  4. Drop meat back in pan, and mix everything together. Everything should finish up right about the same time. Serve in bowls, with some of the pan juices spooned over the rice.

This is not trying to be amazing cuisine. This is plain old, headache-free food. I served my husband his bowl with a bottle of sriracha on the side, so he could en-spice-ify it to his heart’s content.


I Ate a Squash January 20, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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Ever said this? “Sure, it’s hot, but you don’t really feel it because at least it’s a dry heat.” I’ve said it myself about Seattle in the summer, on those three days a year (on average) that we have 90+ Fahrenheit degree temperatures. Boy, am I a dupe. YOU DO TOO FEEL IT. Stop lying to yourselves, bitches!

Fortunately, Seattle doesn’t get hot very often. Actually, it’s kind of too bad. For the last week, Seattle has been choking in a miasma of fog, a beautiful and damp blast of frigid meh. Ok, wet cold (being the opposite of dry heat) ain’t so grand, either. I have had a headache on and off for days, and I think the weather isn’t helping (also not helping: the bananas, peanut butter, and Chinese food I ate this week).

I recently discovered a mad pash for wet heat. I know, right? I hate hot weather. I hate humidity. Or do I? That day in hot yoga when we had so much steam rising off of people’s bodies that we actually formed a cloud inside the studio, that was awesome. And recently I had the opportunity to go into a wet sauna, and it was like I could breathe for the first time in forever. It was hot in there, people. And wet. The migraine I’d been feeling finally started to go away. Ok, when you’re butt naked in a room full of women you don’t know, it’s awkward to lay on the bench and put your legs up the wall, but I did it anyway. Best. Savasana. Evaaaa.

Conversely, when I went into the dry sauna…nope. Head hurt more. Hated it.

Today I’m less headachy than the past few days, but it’s there, lurking in the background, ready to come roaring back if I eat the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, think the wrong thing, whatever. There’s headache and then there’s migraine. Headache is just one symptom of migraine. As long as I feel pressure at my temples, my eyes are tearing, or I get that crawly feeling inside my head, I’m going to watch what I eat. That means no migraine triggers at all, even the ones that are safe in small quantities.

No bananas. No citrus, no sake, no PB2. Dammit.

So, what’s a girl to eat? I’m usually pretty careful to make sure I’m getting all the right amounts of protein, veggies, etc, but when I feel like this I give myself permission to eat what I feel like eating, as long as it’s not a migraine trigger. This usually means lots of fruit. Like, bordering on unhealthy quantities of fruit. Partly, because I love fruit. Also, because the last thing I want to do when I have a headache is exert myself, and fruit is usually pretty easy. Just wash and eat.

Well, here’s yesterday:

Go Away Stupid Headache Breakfast

1/2 cup leftover brown rice
2 cup fresh spinach
1 egg + 1 egg white
Garlic Powder

  1. Spray big bowl with canola oil (not cooking spray, that stuff has soy; fill up a Misto if your local grocer doesn’t sell pure canola oil in a spray bottle)
  2. Beat egg, mix in remaining ingredients
  3. Nuke 40 seconds. Mix, nuke again for 40 seconds. Mix, nuke for 10 or 20 seconds. Repeat until cooked to desired done-ness.

Not Really Hungry Lunch

Fresh blueberries

  1. Wash
  2. Eat

My Head Hurts, Might Skip Dinner Snack

One small Kabocha squash (botanically speaking, squash is a fruit)
kosher salt, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash skin, because it’s totally edible.
  3. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds
  4. Place cut sides down on baking sheet with sides, because there will be liquid
  5. Roast for about thirty minutes
  6. Let cool for about 20 minutes
  7. Sprinkle with kosher salt and eat

I’m still not very hungry but more just peckish Second Snack (What am i, a hobbit?)

Fresh strawberries

  1. Wash
  2. Eat

OK, Now I’m Hungry Even Though it’s Almost Bedtime Dinner

Oven roasted Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1 inch dice)
Oven roasted asparagus (about 10 spears)
Fried egg (One egg)

  1. Prepare two baking sheets with tin foil and canola oil to prevent sticking (I spray mine on).
  2. Scrub and cut potatoes. Arrange on baking sheet and roast in oven at 375 for about 40 min or until done.
  3. Wash asparagus, arrange on baking sheet and throw in oven for last 10 – 12 minutes of potatoes cooking.
  4. You know how to fry an egg, right? I like mine over-easy, so the yolk runs all over and I can sop it up with the potatoes.

Confession: The potatoes and asparagus were left over from dinner the night before. All I did was re-heat them and fry up an egg.

Dammit, I Want Pie Dessert

One bag frozen mango

  1. Put mango in food processor. Turn on.
  2. Slowly add small amounts of water until mango is smooth.
  3. Add whatever spices you like. I put in some maple syrup and cinnamon. It was just ok. I think I’m going to try this with frozen cherries next.

This Soup Stinks Good January 19, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food, Uncategorized.
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I love fish sauce. It has this awesome funk to it that is so funky…it’s actually fonnnnn-kaaaay. Anyhoo, I like fish sauce a lot, but it’s a migraine trigger on oh-so-many delicious levels. It’s fermented. It may contain gluten (some do). It’s tasty. Ok, ok, flavor isn’t necessarily a migraine trigger. I’m just feeling sorry for myself.

Not all triggers are created equal. I can tolerate some foods in small quantities, like bananas and citrus. Too much, though, and wham! Headache. There are some foods, though, that I can’t eat any of and fish sauce is one of them. Or, maybe there is a safe amount, I just love it too much to restrict the amount I consume. Whatever, the result is a headache, so why split rabbits?

I do pretty well, food-wise, and although my long no-no list inspires sympathy every where I go, I generally don’t feel deprived. There are so many great foods I can eat, I see the restrictions more as a logistical challenge to be solved.

There are a few things, though, that I miss terribly. One of them is pho, which is rife with fish sauce. I even used to make my own pho (it’s EASY, by the way). I love it enough that when I first went on the elimination diet, I tried making fish sauce-less pho.


Pho really needs that stinky/sour/salty taste, otherwise it’s just soup.

Well, I’m tired of doing without. It’s taken about five years of hard thinking (or maybe I just needed five years to forget what real pho tastes like), but I finally came up with an acceptable alternative. While I was at it, I decided to skinny up the recipe by replacing the traditional rice noodles with shirataki noodles.

Disclaimer: don’t expect this to taste just like pho. You’ll be disappointed. It is delicious, but it’s a pho-alternative, not a pho-replacement. Also, I’m missing some garnishes: bean sprouts, fresh jalapeno and basil would all be traditional, and delicious. But I don’t have any of those today. And the right sauces would be sriracha (rooster), hoisin, and fish sauce, which I have but I can’t eat, so they’re not listed in the ingredients. But by all means, if you have the access and inclination, dress up your soup with all sorts of accessories.

Quick Faux Pho

Servings: 4

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
3 dried star anise
3 large cloves garlic, halved
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup unfiltered sake (do not use sweet cooking sake, you want the strongest, sourest sake you can find)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)
2 14 oz packages of Shirataki noodles (I use the yam variety, but the tofu ones are easier to find and are therefore more convenient if you can have soy)
lots of salt, to taste
1 cup shredded carrot (for garnish)
fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Preheat broiler. Toast ginger, cinnamon, anise, and garlic under broiler for one or two minutes, or longer if needed. Check frequently. Anise in particularly can go from zero to crispy very quickly.

Bring stock up to a simmer. Place ginger, cinnamon, and anise in a large coffee filter (contents should be loose), and tie off with one end of a long piece of kitchen twine. Tie the other end of the twine to one of the handles on your pot. Drop the garlic straight into the soup. Bring back up to a simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken breasts, sake, and lemon juice, and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add salt and taste it to make sure it’s salty enough.

Meanwhile, break open those shirataki noodles. Drain them in a colander, rinse them well, and dry em off as best you can. You may need to cut them, sometimes shirataki noodles are really just one long noodle wound around itself a million times (sort of like every necklace in my jewelry box). Divide the noodles equally between four bowls.

Salt the soup, and when it tastes right, remove the chicken breast and garlic. Chop and divide between four bowls. Garnish with carrot and cilantro. Ladle the broth into each bowl, enough to cover the contents.

Stinks pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Calories 338.4
Total Fat 6.1 g
Cholesterol 80.2 mg
Sodium 1,200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Protein 33.9 g

Weight Watcher’s PPV: 6

I Am A Flank Steak Ninja with Superior Marinade Foo January 18, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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Marinades are the bane of my existence. They make things (especially meats) more tasty, but they are generally full of migraine triggers, and it’s the triggers that make the marinades work. Without the acids (i.e. vinegar) or enzymes (i.e. pineapple) to break the meat down and pull in the flavor, what’s the point?

One of my go-to recipes (for other people, cuz I can’t eat the stuff) has been flank steak marinated in salsa, lime juice, and a little canola oil. Well, I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines, people. I want me some flank steak!

Salsa’s not so bad, you know. Take out the tomato and onion, you’re basically left with cilantro. A smart girl can do a lot with cilantro.

I made dinner for a party of 6, and since they were good friends I felt compelled to experiment on them. I wanted to make a flank steak, marinated with ingredients that I could tolerate. In the end, I used two ingredients from the headache list: sake (all alcohol is a potential trigger) and lime juice.  These two ingredients, however, I have found that I personally can tolerate in limited quantities (every migraine-eer is different, so be careful). There are other, more traditional marinade ingredients which can give me a headache just from being in the same room.

By the way, this is divine.

More Tasty Sake-Marinated Flank Steak

Servings: 6

1 1/4 lb flank steak, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1/2 cup sake*
1 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
1 fire-roasted mild jalepeno
5 cloves garlic, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic, rough chopped
.5 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Using a sharp knife, score a shallow diamond pattern in the steak, across the grain. Put meat in ziploc freezer bag. Buzz all non-meat ingredients around in a food processor. Pour into bag over meat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, depending on how good you want your meat to stink.

Preheat broiler. Make sure your top rack is positioned as close to the heat as possible. I like to heat up my pan under the broiler so I get a nice sizzle when I slap the meat on it. When everything is nice and hot, put the meat under the broiler for four minutes. Turn meat over and broil for additional four minutes. Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing, cross-wise against the grain.

Calories 184.4
Total Fat 7.9 g
Cholesterol 47.3 mg
Sodium 117.5
Total Carbohydrate 2.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Protein 19.6 g

Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Value: 5

* Some sake is made with additional Koji enzymes derived from barley to impart extra flavor, and there is some debate regarding whether this is safe for Celiacs. If you’re sensitive, there are certified GF sakes available.

No Polenta in the ‘Verse Can Stop Me December 30, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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Like most people, I like to think about recipes I want to try while watching Firefly marathons on the Science channel. Indeed, I experienced a flash of brilliance during the last one. In one particularly violent episode, there’s this line Kaylee says which River later repeats: “No power in the ‘verse can stop me.” Now, I love Firefly as much as the next nerd, but I don’t usually take it as guidance or inspiration for life.*

But this one time, I heard that line and thought of polenta. My brain works best in alliteration mode, apparently.

I have been wanting to try making polenta for a couple of years, actually, but the good stuff is always full of way too much dairy. Oh, all that lovely cow product makes the polenta taste good, but with that much dairy and fat, there’s no portion in the ‘verse small enough to stop me from getting a migraine, a stomachache, and a muffin top. Yeah, I’ve been a little intimidated by polenta. I admit it.

But with Kaylee and River backing me up, I figured it was worth a shot.

So I spent hours searching for polenta recipes online, and found absolutely nothing that I wanted to try. Then the invoice from my next CSA order came with a very simple recipe for baked polenta, which doesn’t actually call for very much dairy. I figured I could tolerate the small amounts of butter and cheese in the recipe so I gave it a whirl and it turned out very well:

Very Well Baked Polenta

Servings: 6

1 cup medium grind corn meal
3 cups water
2 tbsp butter (I use organic hippie butter that doesn’t have carageenan in it – read your labels!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together, and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, sprinkle cheese on top, replace in oven for 10 more minutes. Allow to sit for at least 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Calories 139.6
Total Fat 5.4 g
Cholesterol 13.7 mg
Sodium 173.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Protein 3.8 g

Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Value**: 4

Now, that’s not bad in terms of nutritional value. And as for taste, I served it at a dinner party and the consensus was…yummy!

If you are a normal person, stop reading here. But if you’re watching your cholesterol, or you’re just a crazy-health-nut-bitch like me, we can do better.

Skinny Baked Polenta

Servings: 6

1 cup medium grind corn meal
3 cups water
2 tbsp chicken broth (I use home made, you can use whatever. It’s ok, I won’t judge you.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges
2 1/2 tbsp parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put Laughing Cow cheese and broth in a teeny tiny bowl*** and nuke just long enough that you can mix them together into a slurry that resembles a corn starch slurry. Mix together water, corn meal, cheese slurry, salt, and 1 tbsp of the parmesan cheese. Bake for 5o minutes. Stir, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Calories 117.7
Total Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 3.2 mg
Sodium 168.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Protein 3.8 g

Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Value: 2

So far I’m the only one who’s tasted it, but it’s damn good, if I do say so myself.

Happy New Year, Bitches!

* According to my dear husband, I am a “nerd with a U,” which I think means I’m an old school nerd. I can’t work the stereo, and frankly have no interest in video games, but I read science fiction voraciously and as a young child ran interesting experiments involving the hardwood floor, carpet, silly putty, crayons, baby powder and heat (not necessarily in that order)…just to see what would happen. I preferred to think of myself as an alchemist rather than sociopath. Whatever, I digress.

** All WW PPV are according to the recipe builder app, and assume my sometimes admittedly wonky attempts at measuring are accurate. I didn’t plug the nutritional info into the points calculator to see if it matches the recipe builder, I’m just much too lazy for that.

*** My dear husband, who is a foot taller than me, likes to remind me in his best Gilda Radner voice that I am a little, teeny, tiny, itty, bitty, little, tiny wife. I suppose it’s appropriate that I use teeny tiny bowls. It’s always something.

Those Damn Kids December 28, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Dragon Boat, Running.
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A couple of posts ago, I bragged about my frequent ascents up Queen Anne hill, smug in the belief that I was bringing enough cardio into my life.

What a bunch of bull-pucky.

Last Saturday, I had dragon boat practice with six members of the Juniors team. The two older paddlers (including moi) were in bench one, and we had the six kids distributed around the mids and back of the boat.

Let me tell you something about these kids. They’re between the ages of 13 and 17. At 8 AM on a rainy December Saturday, they have dead eyes. They need to be bribed with the promise of dim sum to come to practice. They are never dressed for the weather; one was in shorts and a t-shirt, nothing else, not even shoes! They constantly talk a bunch of inane doo-doo and giggle like hyenas that just ate a baby.

Then the minute we hear “GO,” it’s like a totally different boat. I have never felt a boat surge forward so hard with only 8 paddlers, and the surge in the finish is even more impressive.

On the good news side, I realized on Saturday just how strong I’ve gotten. I could feel and activate my obliques at will, crushing the water between my blade and foot. (In dragon boating, you have to create water resistance by pushing the boat forward with your foot at the same time you pull your body toward the blade, which is buried in the water.)

But despite my big, huge, muscley-muscles, I was completely sucking wind. I’m all poopy-pants about it, too, because now I have to face the unhappy truth that my cardio is for merde. I must have said at least four times that morning, “I have GOT to start running again.”

Duck beans.

The Lazy Glutard December 16, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food, Uncategorized.
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Last weekend, I realized that I’ve been eating my failures. Literally and figuratively.

You see, I’m usually too lazy to seek out gluten-free baked goods that meet my stringent dietary requirements and taste good (it’s a rare combination, indeed), and I’m FAR too lazy to bake anything myself. Also, it’s hard to find GF flours and other products that don’t have xanthan gum.

In case you don’t know, xanthan gum is some sort of primordial goo that is used to replace the gluten as a binding agent. It’s nasty, and it gives me the collywobbles. And it’s in EVERYTHING, people, not just GF products. Read. Your. Labels.

The one time of year that I bake is at the holidays. I started many years ago by making chocolate-pumpkin bundt cakes to give away. For the past several years, I have been baking donuts to give as gifts.

Which brings me to last weekend. I planned to bring some donuts to a holiday party, and decided to experiment:

  1. New recipe – chocolate-cherry donuts with a port wine and cherry glaze…doesn’t that sound AWESOME?
  2. New xanthan-less GF flour
  3. New mini-donut pans instead of mini-bundt pans

Sadly, all I could taste was the awful flavor of the GF flour. I tested multiple iterations with multiple tweaks. More cherries. More chocolate. A teaspoon of espresso powder. Port in the batter. Reducing down the port with some cherry juice. I tried umpteen variations for the batter and the glaze. The flavor of the flour overshadowed everything else. They didn’t suck, but they sure didn’t sing, either. They were a failure.

Here’s the twisted part: instead of just throwing them out, I kept eating them. Hello! I was literally eating my failures. It’s like a god-damn metaphor for life, my dear bitches! Don’t we often internalize our mistakes so we can hold them close and feel bad about them for a while? Wow, man. Deep.

Anyway, I finally gave up and resorted to my tried-and-true recipe for cinnamon donuts with a honey glaze, adapted from the recipe on Eating Well, and showed up at the party with a plate of minis and feeling like a complete sap.

It turns out, our hostess has end-of-year tradition that makes a pretty good party game. Write down something (or things) on a piece of paper that you want to let go of from the previous year, and throw it in the fire pit.

So that night, “eating my failures” went into the fire. Buh-bye.

Oh Blarg, my blog! December 7, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise.
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Oh, hi. It’s sure been a while. Life has changed in the last few months and I’ve been busy coping. Not always well, mind you, but coping nonetheless.

Sadly, I haven’t run very much lately. I really really want to, but ouch, mykneesmybackmyhip. I’m all old and crickety.

To make matters worse, I ate a lot of pies in August. Yes, PIES. Plural. That’s right, and I ate the crust, too.

So in September, I decided to find a healthier mechanism for coping with stress. I tried one of those introductory deals at a hot yoga studio near my house. Thirty days unlimited for $20. It’s a good deal, if you want to pay for the privilege of being subjected to Death Valley environmental conditions while a super-skinny, tramp-stamped drill sergeant in skimpy clothes barks orders at you.

Seriously, I almost went back to the pies. But I decided to give one more studio a try. Happily, this new studio is much more humane. Compared to my first experience, this place seems more like warm yoga, and the instructors are real practitioners who actually teach yoga. Coincidentally, you are in a hot room. But it’s real yoga. But hot. Super hot. And I’m a naturally sweaty person under any circumstances. Yikes.

So. Not that you asked, but here’s my advice for anyone considering hot yoga:

1) Find a buddy. I’m going with a co-worker, and it’s so nice having a buddy to keep me motivated. Since we also work together, we made a deal after our first class: what happens in hot yoga stays in hot yoga. After all, the only man who has seen me sweatier and more scantily clad than my hot yoga buddy is my husband. 😉

2) Drink a lot, all the time, but not just before class. If you’re not adequately hydrated when you wake up in the morning on the day you’re going to hot yoga, it’s too late. If you try and pound back 32 oz of water before class, you will spend the second half of class doing child’s pose in a pool of barf.

3) Do not eat for two hours before class. DO NOT. Just don’t.

4) Wear as little clothing as possible. No one is checking out your bod. I assure you, your fellow yogis are completely focused on what they are doing, and couldn’t care less if there’s a little extra jiggle in your wiggle.

5) Always know where your towel is.

That’s all well and good, but (you might be wondering) what about cardio? Oh, my sweet bitches, I have that covered.

I recently began a new job on Lower Queen Anne. As often as I can, I walk up Queen Anne Hill to Kerry Park during lunch time. You may not think much of this. If you don’t live in Seattle or San Francisco, you probably don’t know what a real hill is. You may think you know, but you don’t know. YOU DON’T KNOW MY PAIN.

I could explain to you that much of Queen Anne is on at least an 18% grade. But what does that really mean to the glutes?

Ah. I feel the burn.

An old photo of Queen Anne Hill.

Old timey Queen Anne Hill

I challenge any normal person to walk up that hill at their fastest pace without getting all out of breath. It’s worth it, though. Nice view from the top.

Image found at http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Piece-of-history-concealed-within-Queen-Anne-Hill-1198180.php#photo-666825.

All You Bitches are Gonna Eat Squash December 6, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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Consider yourself warned. Squash must be  in season, because my CSA box is full of it. So am I.

Uh. Maze. Ing Sausage and Squash Soup

Servings: 5

1 mild Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
1 lb baby bok choy, raw and cut into bite-size pieces
.5 butternut squash, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces
.5 delicata squash, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces
3 medium carrots, roasted and mashed
1 cup home-made chicken stock, skimmed of every speck of fat
5 – 6 cups water

Roast your vegetables on baking sheets in a 375 – 425 oven (depending on how much of a hurry you’re in). When the squash is soft to the touch, but not yet mush, pull it out and let cool. In a dutch oven or soup pot, brown crumbled up chicken sausage. Add chopped bok choy and cook down a bit.  Add roasted veggies. Add stock and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook at a low simmer long enough for the squash to start breaking down and for the flavors to come together. This isn’t rocket science, you figure it out. I did.

If you want a spicier soup, use hot Italian sausage and/or add some red pepper flake.

Sneaky Squash and Potato Muffin Thingeys

Servings: 12

2 small-medium russet potatoes
.5 acorn squash
2 egg whites
granulated garlic, paprika, salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with generous amounts of non-stick cooking spray. I’m serious here, go to town.

Using your super-handy-dandy food preparation device on shred mode, shred up the potato and acorn squash. You should wind up with about 3 – 4 cups total. Mix in egg whites and seasonings. Divide the mixture into the muffin tin, and spray the tops. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

The squash flavor in this is very subtle. The only tell-tale sign is that they’re a bit sweeter than if they were made with all potato. They should be soft on the inside, with a brown crust on the outside.

Barney’s Pupik in the Pot September 16, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Soup is a wonderful thing. It’s figure friendly, and convenient if treated right. I like to make a pot of soup on Sundays, portion out the soup in individual containers, and freeze them. I can then grab one each morning to bring for lunch. For a long time, my go-to soup was escarole with white kidney (canellini) beans and potato. Deeeelicious. Variety is the spice of life, however, and just as I’ve accepted the fact that my hair will never look the same two days in a row, so will two batches of soup never be identical. I still make a soup on many Sundays, but they are never the same twice.

Sometimes, I start with just a water and vegetable base. Sometimes, I have a chicken or turkey carcass in the freezer I can use as a base. You never can tell with me. I’m a crazy soup lady.

This week, I had some elderly vegetables left over from last week’s CSA box, so I decided to clean out the fridge. I found some slightly wrinkly Anaheim peppers, purple cabbage, red and gold potatoes, zucchinis, and two very geriatric ears of corn. I also scrounged a chicken back and wings from the freezer (when I see those free-range, organic whole chickens in the manager’s special section, I’ll buy em, butcher em up myself, freeze the pupik and the wings to use later, and roast the rest).

I almost didn’t include the cabbage, because I knew it would turn the soup purple and I thought that might be a bit off-putting. But then I thought “antioxidants” and put it in anyway. Yeah boy howdy, that sure is purple soup. It’s not lavender, people, it’s purple. It’s Barney the Dinosaur purple. It should come with a warning label recommending “dress entirely in black for consumption of this soup.”

Purple Pupik Soup

Servings: 8

Chicken back and wings
Small head of purple cabbage
Two ears of corn
1 lb red and/or gold potatoes
3 zucchinis
3 -4 Anaheim chilis
A few garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the chicken in a pot (I threw it in still frozen) and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375. Cut cabbage into quarters, peel zucchini and cut in half length-wise, cut chilis length-wise and remove seeds, clean and quarter potatoes, remove husk and silk from corn, and peel garlic. Lay out everything on a couple of baking sheets prepared with non-stick spray, and roast for 45 minutes, flipping over once partway through.

Cut up roasted veggies into bite size pieces. Cut corn off of cob. Dump it all in the soup. Pick any chicken meat off the bones and throw the meat back in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The longer you continue to simmer after putting the veggies in, the more purple it will be. If you ever wished a bad end for Barney the Dinosaur, this soup is the stuff of daydreams.

Calories 220.6
Total Fat 4.3 g
Fat 1.1 g
Carbohydrate 31.7 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Protein 14.8 g

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