Archive for December, 2010

The Holidaze


December 26th, 2010

presents
Look what Santa left under my tree? OK. It wasn’t really Santa. It was my boyfriend. He knew just what to get. I have been wanting that ANI PHYO book since it came out. But he also found another one which I haven’t seen before. It’s kind of nice. It’s organized according to ethnic groups: Italian food, Middle Eastern food, Asian food (kind of like the stations at 105 DEGREES).

kim chee
Speaking of ethnic food. I’ve been hooked on this kimchee lately. Now that my garden is in hibernation, it’s time for FERMENTATION projects. I’ve got all manner of these going at the moment. Pomegranate kefir is another favorite right now. My friend, Helen, and I made a VIDEO which I released recently explaining how to make this (as well as yogurt and cheese). AND there still a few days left to enter the kefir kit giveaway if you haven’t seen it yet (check the video for details).

boots
This is another one of my Christmas presents (from my Mom). I LOVE these boots!!

boots
And they are coming in more than a little bit handy now. That’s for sure. Winters up here are quite a bit more brutal than the pseudo winters I grew up with in Texas. In Texas, boots are more of a fashion statement than a necessity. I remember coming home for Christmas with blue toes the first year I lived here. I don’t think my mother was very happy to see that because she has gotten me new boots for Christmas pretty consistently since I’ve lived here. :)

ice palace
The Minneapolis library looks kinda of like an ice palace with all of this snow. I took this picture while I was switching buses the other day on my way to yoga. Speaking of, I just finished day 14 of my BIKRAM YOGA CHALLENGE. It definitely feels like my body is doing some power healing right now. This week, the issues that I’m noticing more are my hamstrings on my left side right where they connect to my hip. This makes a lot of sense as I’ve had to do a lot of physical therapy on muscles that attach to my hip. It’s funny how unaware of these muscles I was before my ACCIDENT. I’m also noticing my rib cage a lot. It just feels sensitive and bruised. Not in any particular part of my rib cage. It’s more like the whole thing. This makes sense too as I broke a couple ribs, this part of my body was clearly subjected to some trauma. It’s peculiar though. It’s almost like emotional baggage that my rib cage is holding on to. Or something. It’s hard to describe. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I am drinking a LOT more water. I can’t drink enough. The air here in winter is BONE DRY. So today we got a humidifier. That should help with that. I will keep you posted on my progress. I am going to start ramping up the raw food quotient as well now that I’ve acclimated somewhat to the yoga. Those recipe books are going to come in handy!

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Merry Christmas


December 24th, 2010

truffles
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are all having the most wonderful of holidays. I am in the middle of making some lovely holiday truffles for tomorrow. If you would like to know how, check out this lovely VIDEO that I made on Christmas Eve last year for PRL TV (which details the entire process)!

prl tv banner

On that note, I will leave you with a Christmas Carol. A perfect piece for Christmas Eve. My boyfriend recorded me playing it. I love how the door squeaks at the end. :) Enjoy! And Happy Holidays…

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Bikram Yoga Challenge


December 19th, 2010

yoga sign
As you might have guessed from my LAST POST, this is the time of year when Minnesotans switch up their exercise routines. I have been finding myself rather addicted to BIKRAM YOGA lately.

walker
If you have been following my blog for a while, you might have heard about some of the health lessons I’ve been working through lately. Last summer, I was in an ACCIDENT. I sustained a number of injuries in the crash including three pelvic fractures and some broken ribs.

hospital
Prior to that, I had worked through a number of complications related to a toxic exposure. It’s kind of a LONG STORY. But essentially, I had a severe exposure which unfolded into a colorfully epic saga involving seemingly every organ system in my body. The lastest drama is that I’ve now tested positive for rheumatoid factor twice (the antibody seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease). Now before you get too worried, I actually had a SIMILAR DRAMA to this last year when I tested positive for ANA twice (an antibody seen in patients with lupus, another form of autoimmune disease). We’re still figuring out what this means. The exposure that happened to me is actually pretty unusual. So, it’s difficult to predict how things will evolve. I’ve personally gotten kind of detached from the outcome at this point (this has been going on for four and a half years – YAWN. I’m over it). Whatever it is, it’s just a name. In a lot of ways, I think the mystery is kind of a blessing. As long as the future is unknown, the possibilities for healing are limitless. But what I can say for sure is that I have issues. Liver issues. And autoimmune issues.

studio
This is perhaps why I find bikram yoga so compelling. Bikram yoga class consists of a series of twenty six postures and two breathing exercises which are practiced in a room heated to 105 DEGREES! Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? (The same temperature that my CULINARY ACADEMY was named after). The heat does AMAZING things for my muscles. I have had a lot of muscle pain since the accident. I distinctly remember the moment of impact. It was like this incredible amount of energy was transferred to my body in an instant. I remember feeling like every cell in my body was spinning in overdrive. For months after the crash, I couldn’t really feel anything. I was in the ‘beyond pain’ state where the muscles just clamp down. The process of restoring them to a normal state of tension requires you to work through the pain little by little. I can say that without a doubt, this form of yoga is having a huge impact on this issue! I can’t get enough. I go to class and find relief for a few hours. Then, I wake up the next day and need another fix. It’s a good kind of addiction.

awkward pose
I’ve noticed a lot of changes with this pose this week too. This is awkward pose. You sit down in an imaginary chair and try to lean back as far as you can. This pose uses a lot of muscles which got really weak during my sedentary phase of healing. Back muscles and hip muscles. Triangle pose is another one that uses those muscles a lot. I’ve made a lot of progress on these two already.

window sill
I feel like this yoga is having a big impact on the autoimmune issues as well (a revelation that perhaps deserves it’s own post). I have decided this winter to dedicate myself to the next phase of my healing, and my instinct is that this is it!

studio lobby
Luckily for me, Minneapolis is home to a really wonderful BIKRAM YOGA STUDIO owned by Martha and Eric Williams. I just purchased an unlimited pass there. Many Bikram studios offer these ’30/60/100 Day Challenges’ as a motivator for students. Right now, I’m feeling very motivated to practice yoga as it is acting as a pain reliever for me. I’m not sure if my own challenge will conform to the 30/60/100 day model. But, I am starting a challenge of my own. Since I have a number of medical issues, I am hesitant to commit myself to one of these numbers as I don’t want the number to take precedence over my focus on healing. But, I am committed to seeing how the yoga can impact my health issues. And I appreciate and respect the discipline that goes along with the challenges. I just want to be gentle with myself. Today was my seventh day in a row. I am noticing lots of positive changes already. I will keep you posted on my progress…

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Snowmageddon


December 14th, 2010

snow moi
Things have gotten nutty up here in the Great White North. They’ve dubbed it ‘Snowmageddon 2010’. The biggest snowstorm in Minnesota since Halloween 1991. I didn’t live here then, but people still talk about it. This time, it was SEVENTEEN INCHES in the Minneapolis area!

no roofThe snow was so heavy, it caused the roof of the METRODOME TO CAVE IN. A fitting end to BRETT FAVRE’S STREAK.

kitty window
This is officially the biggest snow storm I’ve ever been in.

parking meter
Check out this parking meter.

bench
No more benches for waiting on the bus. Not that you’d want to. We also dipped below zero this week.

parking lot
This is the road that leads to the car…Looks like it’s time to catch up on some reading :)

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Fermentation 101


December 10th, 2010

bubbly
I haven’t posted much lately, and I apologize. I’ve been busy!! I’m am very excited today to post my latest video for PUNK RAWK LABS TV!

helenand me
The video features NYC based raw food chef, Helen Castillo, of THE RAW PALATE and a kefir starter kit from WATER KEFIR GRAINS (where I buy my kefir grains).

prl tv
This is also the first video that I edited myself. Now that my boyfriend has gotten his grammy nod, he doesn’t have time to help me. I suspect though that now that I know how to do it, I will be posting more videos and blogging less. Not a bad tradeoff. :)

I hope you enjoy the VIDEO. I’m kinda proud of it…

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