• think, sink, or swim

    September 27, 2009

    I just completed my certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, a course I was inspired to take after reading Dr. Campbell’s The China Study. If you need any more convincing about the benefits of a plant-based diet, read this book.  After decades of research, Dr. Campbell comes clean about the medical establishment and why we don’t hear more about the benefits of plant versus animal protein.  And yes, this includes fish.

    I was very impressed by a lecture on the environmental impacts of aqua culture and eating fish by oceanographer Bruce Monger.  A Senior Research Associate in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, Dr. Monger reminds us that “the ocean is owned by everyone” and urges us to take responsibility for it in the same way we do any other aspect of our lives.  Only then can we preserve this precious resource.

    See what’s happening to your ocean with this powerful presentation on The Global Fish Crisis from National Geographic.

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  • a return to suburbia and super-sizing

    September 25, 2009


    I wish I had put something for scale in this photograph, but this smoothie wasn’t much shorter than that fire extinguisher behind it.

    It was 11am, my mom and I were shopping for yoga pants*, and it was blazing hot outside.  Hence the smoothie stop.

    The Tropical Smoothie Cafe, funnily enough, has as many chicken salads on the menu as it does smoothies.  This one, “Sunny Day,” was a mix of mango, kiwi, orange, and banana.  Oh, and something they forgot to mention: a 2-ounce scoop of turbinado sugar.  How do I know?  Little chat with the manager during the 1/2 hour it took to finish the thing.

    The nice manager insisted that this little addition was not at all like regular sugar.  Let me check.

    Wikipedia:  Turbinado sugar, also known as turbinated sugar, is made from sugar cane extract. It is produced by crushing freshly cut sugar cane; the juice obtained is evaporated by heat, then crystallized.

    Hmm, sounds like sugar to me.

    It’s sad that Tropical Smoothie Cafe thinks it needs to add sugar to fruit.  It’s sad that we’ve become so hooked on processed sugar that perhaps their market researchers deemed fruit-only smoothies not profitable.  What else could be the reason?

    Lesson learned: always ask what’s in your smoothie. Even if there’s a menu.

    *I’m going to yoga teacher training next week!  An intensive, one-month immersion program in an ashram on two meals a day.  Stay tuned.

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  • there’s a splinter in my smoothie

    September 24, 2009

    There’s a reason for the quiet.  Actually, two.

    One: I’m back in the States.

    Two:  I am sans Vita-Mix.

    As for the first, it would require a long post more suited to a personal blog and possibly a book, if I finally get down to it.  The short story: after nearly six years in London, I needed to be closer to family.  Several ingredients contributed: my mom’s heart attack last year, the pull of heartstrings, a need for change.  I left London much lighter than I came in, in more ways than one.

    And that brings me to the second reason for the lack of noise.  I had to sell my Vita-Mix.  Ugh.  This was tough.  I’m not kidding.  I’m not about labels, but there are three things I’d put my name to:  Doc Martens (see heartstrings above), MBTs (those ugly, boat-like shoes that really do work), and the Vita-Mix (actually deserving of all the hype).  Oh, and make that four: Marks & Spencer underwear (because, along with a bus pass or a tube ticket to Heathrow, is one of the UK’s great buys).

    There are many things I could go into here about the reverse culture shock of it all, most of which is contained within the walls of Walmart.  So I’ll spare you unless you decide to buy the book.

    I’m currently staying with my mother in Florida.  My mom started making green smoothies earlier this year (and as a result of this site).  My mom, however, has a regular blender — the kind I thought was pretty cool up until I got my Vita-Mix earlier this year, the one I owned for one brief, shining moment.  The one with the plunger that got all those little bits down into the ridiculously fast blade.

    I’ve broken two wooden spoons already.


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  • never-boring breakfast bowl

    September 9, 2009

    I’ve been eating the same breakfast for about seven weeks straight, and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I wake up and think about it.  Seriously, it’s like being in love and the honeymoon period never ends.  And it’s so, so simple.

    new recipe: never-boring breakfast bowl

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  • instant pear pudding

    September 3, 2009

    The statement “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” assumes that whatever the “norm” is the simplest approach to begin with.  But what if you found that a new way is not only easier, but produced a better result?

    Enter pear pudding, if you can call it that.  Take a few pears, throw ‘em in a high-speed blender; and watch them go from grainy fruit to silky puree with no heat, no scrubbing pots, no waiting, and even no need to core or de-seed.

    It’s like applesauce, only better and fresher.  You can do this with apples, too, by the way – and I’ve been known to toss a few in with the pears.  But I find that pears alone are magic here, and I can polish off a deep soup bowl of it for dinner.

    new recipe: instant pear pudding

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