Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why I Heart Cupcakes

Is there any dessert that is as cute, fun, and happy as a platter of cupcakes?

These were served at a party, I heard they were lavender & delicious.  I didn't catch the name of the bakery, but Bravo!

Sushi - my first cooking class

I haven't taken a cooking class since HomeEc back in 7th grade.  When I missed a question on a quiz for calling this a spatula, when the correct answer was rubber scraper.  Whatever.  As you can see, I'm clearly over it.  So, when Longbottom Coffee started offering cooking classes, I was excited!  I really wanted to attend the pre-mother's day class (madeleine, lemon curd, etc) but they canceled due to low attendance. Next offering?  Sushi!  yes!  I <3 sushi!  So of course, I signed up.

We learned how to make the rice, prep the veggies and fish, and make various kinds of sushi.  The octopus was yummy, the tuna was a little too fishy (I personally think it needed a good rinse) and the scalops weren't bad - the first time I'd tried them.  I skipped the talapia, because, Seriously... however, the eel? Yum!  Eating and tasting were heavily encouraged as we built plates and plates of sushi.
It was a Great class, and I'm encouraged to try sushi at home... once I make a trip out to Uwajimaya.

Quick update

I have started a new blog specifically for health matters.  If you are interested, check it out at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

today I feel...

omg iknowright?

Borris Big Monster
buy it on ETSY
"Cotton Monster is a unique line of soft sculpture creatures made from recyled clothes and linens.
Every Cotton Monster is a one-of-a-kind creation made by Baltimore Artist, Jennifer Strunge.
Please visit for more of [her] work and info!"

The latest blood work? Still somewhere between drawn and reported.

The latest schedule? Next week I follow up w/ my primary care, and let him know that after 3 weeks of doing Nothing, my legs are still hurting as tho I just finished a very hard 70mi ride. And I'm tired. Fatigue is less, but still seriously tired and lazy and fully aware of how weak my body is and how little I could do if I tried and how much it would hurt if I did. blharg. Then another acupuncture session, and really hope that it does some good. And a week from tomorrow I get to finally talk to the specialist, see if he(?) can identify what is going on.

I've done a little cooking. Of the take various ingredients & make them work variety.
Crockpot + pork tenderloin + mango juice + thyme & cayenne + time = mango pulled pork.
Broccoli & Parsnips & Olive Oil + oven = roast veg.
(Also tossed a diced mango under the heat, added Yum.)
All these over rice, with a little cilantro, is an easy meal.

I also created a shortbread (gluten free) tart with rhubarb and pears. And a few days later, I finally found the cardamom I wanted to use... of course!

I continue to be inspired by other food creations, like a lavender cake. And I instantly think that would be lovely to make with a whipped cream cardamom frosting, and lemon chamomile filling, because I think my MIL might like it. In which case, I want to try Bob's vs. King Arthur GF all purpose flours & see who makes the best base for cakes. Because that's what I need when I'm not doing anything active, is to bake & eat cakes. blharg

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

taking action

Intake: the Diet

When we went to Tuscon for our cycling vacation, we were very fortunate to be fed delicious meals of whole grains, meats, and veggies, fresh fruits, nuts, and, basically, Real Food. And while we were doing this, I read Michael Pollan's Food Rules. This alone was inspirational to eating better, and was all the more meaningful to experience healthy eating as I read thru the Rules. (It's a quick book ~ highly recommended!)

So, I visit my naturopath, and we make some changes. Eliminate wheat (gluten), dairy. And have a pity party for myself. And then realize this is the perfect opportunity to bring back the rules, and embrace them. From there, I realize I need to eliminate corn, based on how my body is reacting. I've also cut Way Back on non-cow dairy (feta) and nuts... Even with these changes, I need to increase my protein intake a bit more.

I am eating lots of meat + produce + carb/starch meals, and aside from the occasional "I miss butter" episode, it's going well. A small piece of dark chocolate, and I'm good.


None. The most exercise I get is folding laundry or walking to the cafe. Today, that walk was a little too long for my right quad, which is really quite sad.


Massage. At this point, it's more than my body can handle... the muscles are so stressed they can't take additional work, so I'm going to hold off on that for a bit.

Acupuncture. First session done. Some muscles were so tight we had to use skinnier needles, and even those couldn't get into the deep tissue. We'll do a few weeks of this, and determine if it is beneficial.

Supplements. Lots of these, supporting various things. Plus a big ol' shot of Magnesium & B. Yowza. Felt like a 4 year old getting a shot, and wanting to cry. Waa. I don't know if this morning's waking up & feeling a little bit better is due to the shot or the acupuncture... or both.

Doctors. More blood work, and then meeting with the next doc. I just haven't found the one that can root cause me yet.

My Head. Honestly, being able to write these last few posts has been Very helpful. And a wonderful heart to heart w/ my lovingly prying friend G, and all the support & feedback from my more distant friends has been so meaningful & supportive. Not least of all, a huge shout out to my own McSweetie, who is there for me every step, in spite of my overly independent nature.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wishes & Introspection

Three weeks, with zero exercise. No walks, nothing. That's the current plan, and yes it was very difficult to hear. But, I have come to peace with that, and am honoring my bodies' need to heal. That doesn't mean I am not still driven to find the root cause, as I really feel there is something more going on. We'll figure it out, eventually.
For now, my mind has been full of what Could Be. Wishes. Dreams.

deja-vu, Alicia Bock, ETSY

I yearn to get back on the bike, and race on the track. I want to do yoga, tai chi, and kickboxing. Rock climbing? I want to run, and recover my endurance so I can actually Race cyclocross. And do more stretching, yoga, and lots of massage! I want to open my closet and see the Athleta catalog :p

I want to cook more. I want to provide beautiful, healthy, delicious meals for my little family - and more than just dinner. I want to incorporate more farm-fresh, conscientiously grown foods, transporting them via baskets on my bike when possible. I'd like to think I could contribute to a home garden; we have just planted a few plants, but they'll only succeed if M's green thumb is more successful than my lack of one.

I want to do more cooking for others, tho I'm not sure which direction that will start in. I want to figure out how I fit in the food health arena, merging the ideals and initiatives of Michael Pollan, Michelle Obama, and Jamie Oliver. I'm inspired, but directionless. I've searched for a cooking school that has a nutrition department, but so far have come up empty. I have so very many ideas, but know that I can't do them all - at least, not right away. Cook Book? Bakery? Catering? Personal Chef? Cakes? Some of these ideas conflict with my desire to support a healthy food consumption lifestyle, and I haven't quite figured out that balance for myself, let alone on a larger scale.

I want to continue to cultivate and express my creative side. Reading, needlework, writing, decorating, and playing games. I want to learn how to paint on my bamboo, and become fluent enough with image software that I can create those things I can only rough sketch today.

Above all, I want whatever I do to allow me to stay close, to continue to grow with my husband. To once again be a source of joy in his life, free from fragility and worry.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Cycling is freedom. The freedom to choose to roll along slowly, drinking in the landscape. The freedom to push faster, until the wind caresses you, and speed elates you. The beauty of body and machine pursuing a goal only the rider knows. Perhaps alone, perhaps with a friend with whom can trade pulls in the wind, and you share the same youthful, joyful, happy smile.

With effort, effort beyond the default lazi-tude of the human form, comes pain. Severe if you are doing it wrong, burning if you have done too much, or mild and invigorating to let you know that those fibers have worked, are growing, and need recovery. This last pain is embraced by many - the cost we freely pay to enjoy that which brings so much joy.

I long to experience that kind of pain again.

Instead, I have overwhelming fatigue. A slow and ancient pain taking over my body. This is not Mine. I comprehend the consequences of doing to much, or doing incorrectly. This is inexplicably random, yet all encompassing. There is another thing - a dark and very hurt being - taking me over. The less I do, the less I can. The more I try, the more I hurt. The more I acknowledge, the more I fear the diagnosis.

Strength is who I am. I can not be weak.

I do not want it to hurt to load the dishwasher. I do not want to suffer two plus days for an easy ride. And yet, my muscles and tendons are giving way, and I'm exhausted, but I can't sleep because I hurt. I do not know what I horrible things I've done in a past life that warrant such penalties now... Was infertility not enough? Must I also watch my fitness wane?

Sadness and worry replace hope. I've gone beyond taking it easy… something is broken. Wrong. And I need answers I can work with. Answers that will get me back on the bike - back to strength and freedom.