Archive | July, 2011

Just 8 Ingredients, To Your Satisfaction

19 Jul

I was watching an old episode of “True Life” on Mtv, and the subject happened to be extreme allergies.  There was this one teenage boy in particular who struck me because, basically, his food allergies were so severe that he was intolerant of all but something like 8 foods.  Of this entire wide world of foods, just 8!

Of course, he was suffering from a load of nutritional imbalances since his diet was so limited.  But it really started me thinking about how I eat foods with a million ingredients all the time, and that’s not very healthy either.  Anything processed, weird chemical dyes, etc.

chemistry in the kitchen

What if you had to limit yourself to eight, whole foods?

I posed the challenge to myself to create something healthy with 8 ingredients that I would be equally happy eating in the heat of the day or in the middle of the night.  My mission lately has been to incorporate as many vegetables into my diet as possible… so meet my salad!

pico de gallo, on the half shell

Just 8 Ingredient Salad

  • cucumber
  • bell pepper, multi-colored
  • tomato
  • onion, from my boyfriend’s nona’s garden
  • corn
  • lime juice
  • cilantro
  • tajín
1) Let the lime juice soften all the ingredients for a while in the refrigerator.  Come by every now and then to add more tajin & stir it around.
       1a. Or don’t wait, whatever!  I’m not your mother.  I just think it’s better cold.

Una knows healthy food when she sees it

photo credit 2


Intuitive Eating, To Your Satisfaction

17 Jul

Not to brag, but I actually lost weight on vacation.  While eating stuff like the chamomile creme brulee pictured above!  And it’s such a relief.

Writing down everything that you eat for two whole months makes you hyper-aware of the pervasive nature of food.  Exhausting hardly begins to cover it.  I’m grateful that I’ve learned how to eat in a healthier way, but I can’t go on being afraid of the things I love forever.

So I decided to just say, “fuck it,” and go on a real vacation from all the head games with food.   I was nervous about going off the wagon, but I think I knew intuitively that I could make good decisions.  Trusting myself in that way again felt foreign and very, very nice.

The craziest thing to say is that it was really easy.  I scavenged what I could from the continental breakfast, went outside and moved around a lot during the middle of every day, had fancy dinners with my sister, and everything turned out okay.

tree pose at the gravity garden in Carmel

I guess it’s all about striking a balance :]




Handmade Trail Mix, To Your Satisfaction

12 Jul

I’m so hungry for everything right now – food, views, life!  I was walking around the forest today, catching glimpses of pretty little bays and inlets through the trees, and thinking “I want to go to there.”  So, I used my legs and went to there!  Repeat as necessary, and chase with:

  • Teddy grahams
  • Cocoa almonds
  • Dehydrated blueberries


Point Lobos preserve, North Shore trail

Photo credit  1,2: personal

Feeling at Home on the Road, To Your Satisfaction

11 Jul

At home, anywhere: in this case, Pismo Beach

I’m currently on the road, hiking my weight in gold up and down central California.  My sister and I are having a beautiful trip so far, alternately driving up the coast & stopping to explore interesting cliffs, meadows, and possibly happy hours, too.

Even when I’m in itinerant mode, I still feel pretty at home.  I guess maybe that’s not so strange.  I find comfort in a mixture of the familiar and the (as of yet) unknown.

In the last 2 days, I’ve found secret waterfalls, collected beach glass, climbed cliff top trees, scraped my knees while clambering over mysterious rocks.  But I’ve also sat in the room & done just the right amount of nothing, watched Harry Potter on ABC Family (which is, exactly what I would be doing at home).

current view from my static position


Being flexible, not sweating the small things, and making a practice of relaxation is a good thing :]

Your Life as a Bento Box, Part 1

7 Jul

The Bento fruit salad: both an art and a timeless pursuit

I have a friend (who also created the layered pillars of fruit pictured above) who I may or may not have accused of having a life like a bento box.  What I mean to say by that is – uniformly portioned; aesthetically pleasing; and segregated by color! I don’t mean colors found on people duh, more like on blouses and foods!

And though I’m not always the most orderly person, sometimes there’s harmony in a system… Case in point, my own latest foray into the Bento Box lifestyle.

Rows: red, thru violet

Recently, I found myself in the unique position of having: (one) freshly moved-away boyfriend and (one) awesome New-to-Me bookshelf that got left behind during the moving process. Not exactly tit for tat.

But to make the whole installation and shifting of stuff more exciting, my art-oriented sister decided to color organize my books.  She had a burning desire for rainbow book that was, so burning, it could only be quenched by rainbow book! rainbow book!

rainbow book!

So she color arranged (almost) my entire collection, and added a shoe, and it looks great!  A veritable reading rainbow.  Sometimes, a little aesthetic appeal goes a long way towards making things feel special :]

other fun ways to arrange your books (other than by subject) –

  • stack them on their sides to make pyramids/geometric shapes
  • use sparkly shoes or other decorative objects to act as bookends
  • rig a lazy susan or other rotating device to hold your books

New Inspiration home design

  • utilize open space!  especially if you have tall books and narrow shelves
  • if you’re a monochromatic control freak, cover all of your books in matching scrapbook paper!
Organization is more than kind of a sport, I’m coming to realize.
photo credit 1

photo credit 2,3 personal
photo credit 4 here