Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reminder

Hi Everyone! 

I just wanted to remind you to add my new blog address to your google reader using this link!  http://feeds.feedburner.com/tryingtoheal 

I'm still blogging about the same ol' good stuff including my Side Notes and have added in a new series concerning the environment too!!

So head on over to www.tryingtoheal.com/ to see what you've missed since I moved over there!

PS So Sandy, go to that site and you'll see that I'm still around and blogging!  I've been getting your comments through here!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Changes to Make

Hi Everyone!

I've finally going to make my big announcement!!!

What, you thought I was engaged?  Nope.  

You thought I was moving away to say, Australia?  I wish.  

You thought I was going to quit blogging? No way!  

Instead, I did this:


YAY!!!!!  

As you head over there, remember to update your google reader or what ever you use so you don't lose getting to read about my crazy bird and food filled life!  Here is the address to automatically set you up with following the site!

http://feeds.feedburner.com/tryingtoheal

See you over there!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spaghetti Squashhhhhhhh

Lately my box has started to provide me with some hardy winter squashes and if you know me, I am all over that.  The past two weeks I’ve gotten two spaghetti squashes and after posting about getting real dinners in, I MADE myself use them tonight.  I even used them to make dinner for my roomie!

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It’s a simple dinner but had lots of veggies and was better than the smoothies I’ve been favoring the past few weeks!

To make the spaghetti squashes I cut them in half, removed the seeds, placed them in a glass 9x13 pan with a 1/2 inch of water and baked at 375 for about 40 or so minutes. I let them cool, then grated out the inside of one of the halves, added some cooked black beans, broccoli and organic marinara and topped it with some nutritional yeast!

I am sooooo full now.  But a good full.  Nothing better than a satisfying dinner, right?!

Not only am I proud of the dinner that I made, but I’ve also been having snacks other than some sort of nutritional bar.  Sometimes you just have to have something savory right?

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This has been my favorite snack as of late.  I’ve been getting tons of organic cherry tomatoes in my produce box so I had to figure out a creative way to eat them other than in a salad. I got the roasted pine nut hummus using my Foodbuzz Tastemaker Coupon I received a while back and dang, this has got to be one of my favorites of Sabra’s flavors!  I’m sure you can probably tell since I only got it a few days ago and it’s basically empty.  It goes great with the TJ’s pita chips!

Anyhow, I am sorry I haven’t made my big announcement I told you I’d be doing say…last week?  I’m still in the progress of working on getting it all finished and cleaned up!  And no, I’m not engaged, married, pregnant or moving somewhere else.  Well, maybe. ((wink:wink)) 

I do have something new for you tomorrow though!  I know some people will baulk at it because this is a “food blog” but dangit, sometimes I want to talk about something other than what I eat!  You’ll see soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gluten Free!?

I had the pleasure of meeting up with two of my favorite bloggers, Amanda and Andy, this past weekend!

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Somehow I did not get a picture of Andy.  Next time Andy, next time!

Anyhow, knowing Whit and I were on our way down to my parents for the weekend, along with an engagement party I can’t wait to tell you about, we decided to meet up for lunch along the way.  Amanda did a Yelp search and found a vegan and gluten free pizza place called Tomato Joe’s that would service to both our dietary needs!

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I ordered their Garden Combo, vegan, on a thin crust

This was such a great pizza!  There was a bit too much of the “cheese” on there, but the crust was the best part.  It was thin enough to my liking and had a nice amount of cornmeal to give the edges the crunch I like.  And even better that the crust was cooked well enough through in the middle underneath all the toppings!  You can bet I ate the entire 8” pizza!

We sat and chatted for a while about upcoming events like Foodbuzz Festival, other blogs, our blogs, friends and family.  It was nice to catch up since I hadn’t seen them in a while!  We also had the pleasure of admiring some interesting weather on our way to the pizza place with things like lightening, thunder, rain, hail and crazy winds!  It was an interesting afternoon.

But because I know that Amanda lovesssss bread, and now gluten free might have a hard time finding a good one, I did some experimenting before meeting up with them to bring her a treat.  I messed with a recipe by Sarah Kramer from her book La Dolce Vegan!, and it came out delicious!   Here is my adaption of the

Wolffie’s B’nanner Bar:

Ingredients:

  • 2 T flaxseed meal + 3 T water (or an egg)
  • 1/4C vegan margarine
  • 1/4C honey
  • 2 large VERY RIPE bananas
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 +1/4C chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2C chopped walnuts
  • 1/2C dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water; let sit for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the margarine and add in honey, vanilla and smashed bananas.  Slowly mix in the flaxseed-water mixture.
  3. Very slowly and just until combined, add in the chickpea flour and baking soda.  Try your hardest to not overstir it!
  4. Add in the walnuts and chocolate chips until combined.  Spread evening in the pan and bake for 25-28 minutes. 
  5. Cool and cut into squares, makes 8 small or 6 medium pieces.

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I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture of it!  I gave half of the bars to Amanda and Andy and the other half to my family but let me tell you, they are DELICIOUS!  The chickpea flour adds a very fluffy feeling to the bar and the banana is nice and strong, pairing well with the walnuts (if you have time I would toast them, it tastes even better!).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dina’h Time

These days, my life seems to be learning from my mistakes…case in point: I’ve been running for over 15 years and I’m finally about to lose a toenail from my hiking boots that are too small, and too many years old.  I’m religious about replacing running shoes every 6 months but hiking boots that I beat up all the time?  haha.

The other thing I’ve been learning the past few weeks: a good dinner is essential for a the following day.  Lately with all the hiking I’ve been doing for work, I’ve been too exhausted to make or really eat anything other than smoothies or sandwiches for dinner.  I’m getting in a good amount of fruits, veggies and non-processed foods throughout the day, but having bread at almost every weekend can get old, and make my body weak.

All I needed was one meal to kick me back into action, and a good talk with my counselor about how eating a REAL MEAL will help me out in the long run, especially with all the exercise and other stress I’ve been under.

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So last night my roomie and I met up with a coworker at Thai place for dinner.  This was probably the first dinner I’d had in a long time! I ordered the first thing that caught my eye, mock chicken snow pea stir fry with rice.  My coworker got a black pepper cabbage and mushroom with mock chicken while my roomie got a meat dish.  I ate 2/3 of my dish with some steamed rice and was set for the night.  It was a great meal and I knew the leftovers would be great for tonight.

I did feel the huge amount of sodium that was in it last night, so tonight I tried to tone it down a bit by getting rid of the excess liquid, adding in steamed veggies and just a bit more rice to soak everything up.  It was a delicious meal to end a long day (8 miles of hiking hills in the heat!  Yikes!) along with some grapes and a few mini york peppermint patties.

Do you feel the difference when you don’t eat real meals?  What is your favorite meal when you’re in a pinch or tired?  I’m all ears and eyes!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Year

In 13 days, I will be 26 years old.  I still can’t believe that all that time has gone by.  I remember when I was around 10 years old, and thought being 22 was so far away and I was going to be so old.  At that time, I had no idea what I’d be doing, where I’d be, or how I’d be.

Oh how things changed since I was 10.

I have to admit, I used to LOVE birthdays.  It was MY DAY out of the year; I got to pick out the restaurant the family would go to (it was the only time we ever went out to dinner too!  Birthdays and good report cards!), the flavor of the cake and toppings, and what kind of party I would have.  They were glorious birthdays, without any shame or guilt or worries.

But then I grew up.  Yeah, I kind of grew out of birthdays and I tried to be with my family every year, a little before or after my birthday, because I was always away at school, something still happened.  But then 9/11 happened, and my birthday became something of the past.

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I remember that day to a T.  The memory of the whole thing replays in my mind if I think about it for a second, and I’m covered in goose bumps.  I did not know anyone that was killed on 9/11, but when I walked into my 11th grade US History class that morning after an hour of pre-calculus for zero period and no idea what was going on, I was absolutely horrified.  I remember the second that I saw the TV, watching the second plane crash into the tower and everything falling to the ground.

My life has never been the same since.  To this day, I cannot watch footage of 9/11.  I feel the tears well in my eyes, the goose bumps cover my body and I can’t speak.  And ever since then, I’ve never enjoyed my birthday.  Why?  For the past ten years, it has always seemed like the month of September was one of mourning.  In no way should I be celebrating my birthday.

But this year, 10 years after it’s happened, I need to enjoy my birthday.  Since that happened, I have been through a lot more in my life than I thought I’d ever go through, including losing grandparents, friends, developing anorexia and so many other symptoms thereafter, living out of the country, moving around the country, chasing birds as my profession, etc. 

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This year, my birthday will occur on Kauai.  I don’t know if Whit has anything planned (hint:hint; haha) but seeing my family a few days before I leave for the island, and then spending time with his family and him will be different.  For many years my actual birthday, the 20th, was spent alone; I was either in college, in the field, working, living away from home, etc.  But not this year.

Not only do I want to actually enjoy my birthday this year, but indeed, the year that will follow it leading to the 27th.  The past year has had so many ups and downs and more ups and more downs.  Right now it’s on a down slope, but I hope and am working hard to change that.  There is no reason that I should not be enjoying my life since I am able to do what I love for work, be around the people I love and enjoy, travel all over the world, and experience things that people would probably never think of doing in their wildest dreams. 

My life does not need to be a pity party put on by me, it needs to be a life filled with as much as I can do that I am able.

So this birthday will be different. This birthday, I will enjoy.  This birthday, will be the start of something new.  13 days and counting.

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Do you still celebrate you birthday?  Any traditions?!  I love to hear about birthday traditions!

On A Hike

Thank you all so much for the kind words about the fire burning in my area.  It is currently 40% contained, but has burned up and over 14,000 acres and is headed out of the mountains into the desert.  My heart is still aching over the whole thing not just because it is burning up the mountains but for several reasons.  I got a few comments about how this is a natural thing that could help the environment and yes, as much as fire can help come animals and plants, this fire was not started naturally; it was started by an airplane crash (in which I provide my greatest sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones). 

Another reason why I was so upset is because many of these areas are not open to the public and it’s hard to believe that I might have been one of the last people to see it in it’s pristine environment for the past 100+ years.  But on top of it all, there was a fire in some of the areas where the fire was headed back in 97’ and it was such a hot fire that it incinerated everything, from homes to trailers to plants and even seeds.  It’s crazy how bad it was and even now, over 13 years later, there still are no trees growing back in that burn area!  I didn’t want that to happen to what was left of the areas that weren’t burnt!

Anyhow, enough of my pity party.  Here is a picture I got this afternoon of the fire heading down into the desert.  It is just devastating to watch.  That was where I worked all the time.

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I was lucky today though to have a distraction from the fire and able to do some hiking for work in another part of the Sierra’s north of where the fire was burning.  It was hot as hades, but a good 6.6 mile hike overall.  I saw no Black Bears this time, thank goodness, but did see an array of other beautiful things!

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Some squirrel or chipmunk had a great dinner/lunch/breakfast at this area. So many pine cones eaten!

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This picture and the next is what I have dubbed Hummingbird Grove.  I took a video that I hope to show you soon, but most of all want to you listen.  You will be AMAZED at the number of Rufous Hummingbirds calling and chasing each other in the background.  I must have counted over 50 of the beauties in the 5 minutes that I stood there to admire the scenery!

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I encountered this awful plant along the hike that left me bleeding all over the place!  I have no idea what it is, but it has the sharpest thorns ever!  The little red balls are covered in spikes too!  I need to start learning my plants!

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The trail also provided me with limbo opportunities..bet you never saw that coming.  I totally did the limbo in the middle of the forest. 

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This part of the trail is one of my favorites because of the oaks that fill up the canopy and just provide such a peaceful place for you to hike and think.

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And last but not least one of my favorite trees: the Manzanita.  They trees are sooooooo beautiful because their bark is this blood red color that stands out like crazy.  And even cooler, it peels, like you can see in the picture!  How neat is that!

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Anyhow, that was my day in the field and a fire update.  I’m hoping to have some good food to post about soon but with the heat and a 10+ hour work day like today, I only feel like having a smoothie for dinner.  Sad food life for me!