Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lazy Gardening

No kidding.  Best salad.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.

This is a Tower Garden.  The first time I saw one was a couple years ago at a friend's house.  Then a friend got one.  She sells them now.  I became a distributor too, just to save money.  Anyone can.  When I first heard about them they were $1200.  Now they are $500 and that includes every single thing you need for your Tower Garden including the seeds!  In just days -- seriously less than a week -- I had the seedlings in the tower.  You are seeing the bright green seedlings with little miniature signs I made to remind me what was growing, in case anything didn't sprout.

I went to OSH and got extra different seeds in addition to what was provided.  Gourmet lettuces, tomatoes and herbs.  Everything is now - almost 4 weeks in burgeoning except the nasturtium.  Tomato plants are getting ginormous but no tomatoes yet.  But the plants are brilliantly healthy.

This was a shot I took several days ago when I went out to harvest my LUNCH!  Oh my God it was so delicious.  Last night I had people over and they loved it too, so I'm not biased!

And the super cool amazing thing about these Tower Gardens is they use a tiny percent of the resources used to grow these crops in the ground, and the nutrients are higher!

So many things about this are fun, especially since I eat one or two salads a day and have spinach and kale in my smoothie every morning, but man oh man is it LAZY and also just so incredibly satisfying to grow stuff -- any stuff -- but stuff you can eat every day -- WOW1
Can't more highly recommend to any Lazy Women out there!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Don't Want My Body To Break Up with Me!

I lost yet another friend far too soon.  He was only 56.  This keeps happening.  When we pass that mid-century marker, our bodies start breaking down from long-term stressors like weight.  When I heard about my friend I used it as a wake-up call to reassess my own weight.   I am blessed with health and energy, but it was a call to action to get back to my fighting size.   How dare I even have 15-20 pounds of extra pressure on my heart, veins, joints, ligaments?  I dare not. 

We demand so much of our bodies.   In some cases, the relationship between our bodies and minds is like a rocky marriage, where the husband and wife are essentially roommates after years of unexpressed feelings.  At some point though, maybe after a rich, heavy meal and a third glass of wine, the body chooses to express its long-term unhappiness and resignation to the mind: "Look, I've worked as hard as I could up to now, but you have just gone one day too many in taking advantage of me.  You have abused me on your worst days, neglected me far too much overall, and have not honored me as much I deserve.  I am no longer going to work this hard to keep you alive. "

I don't want my body to break up with me.  Frankly, I'd like for us to have a long and lovely run.   I knew I had two immediate issues to solve in order to heal this relationship.  First, since I haven't been able to work out at full throttle for 4 months due to a torn ligament, I have been unwilling to decrease my calorie intake for fear of being hungry.  Second, for a couple of years I've been battling one profoundly annoying hormone-induced symptom:  bouts of extreme hunger. 

I saw that the solution to both of these issues was in my developing a hot and juicy relationship with hunger pangs.   In honor of my friend I did what I hadn't been able to do.  I pulled way back on calories by doing the Isagenix 11 Day Cleanse that a few friends had done and loved.  I was hungry at first and started paying attention to my reactions to hunger.  Usually it triggered the thought "Something is WRONG here.  Must fix.  Must feed."   But a pang does not an emergency portend and it is clear that I will survive even if my stomach is growling.

I did the cleanse twice in the course of 5 or 6 weeks.  I lost 12 pounds and have kept it off now for over a month.  Isagenix really does keep all the cravings at bay and it gave me a brand new, recalibrated relationship with hunger.  

My relationship with my body is definitely on the upswing.  And, my new friendship with hunger is definitely on the mend as I learn to not make it bad and wrong, and embrace it as a signal that my ideal body is on its way back. 

I can't more highly recommend Isagenix.  I have started my day with smoothies for years and the Isagenix whey powders are the high quality equivalent of what I was getting from my accupuncturist.  Prices are better, quality just as high.  And, I love all the flavors of every product I've tried so far.  I became a distributor to get better prices and I'm glad I did because I use the products every day and love them. They curb my cravings and make my energy consistent. When that is the case, hunger pangs are real, they aren't misfiring cravings due to lack of nutrients.  I don't crave wheat and sugar anymore.  That is nothing short of a miracle.

I'm dealing with the emotional side, and Isagenix is taking care of the nutritional craving side.  It's a healthy little threesome: me, my body and Isagenix.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Super Lazy Birthday Cake AND Food & Wine Mag Redeems Self

After last week's Food & Wine fava bean debacle, you would think I would set it aside for a long, long time.  Alas, no.  Once I saw the photo of the Baked Alaska Birthday Cake in the recent mag, I had to make it for my dear birthday girl friend, Elisa.

Now, I will also admit that this recipe --  -- looks unbelievably complicated.  But, it's not if you buy the chocolate pound cake.  I couldn't find any, though, so the only un-lazy part of this process was scouring several stores for it.  I settled on store-bought, store-made sliced chocolate cake in the bakery section of my Pavilions.  It worked out just dandy.

The meringue also reads a complicated AND if you've never made it you might think "How could anything that dramatic be easy?"    And it is!   Ideally you will have a standing mixer.  It will make it super easy.  It's a 4 step process.  Make the sugar syrup.  Whip the egg whites.  Throw it on the cake.  Torch it.

So, yes, you need a kitchen torch. If you don't have a kitchen torch, let me tell you it is the absolutely most amazing kitchen tool. It is SOOOOOOOOOOO fun, easy to use and it creates drama in seconds.   

I didn't do the pastry bag application of the meringue because I was a wee bit tipsy after we had all gone out for the birthday dinner....but my buddy, Daniel, who played slightly tipsy assistant, did a great job of creating peaks with the back of a spatula. 

Don't be scared of this recipe.  Also, use the birthday boy or girl's favorite ice creams.  For instance, I found out -- sadly, after the fact -- that Elisa's favorite flavors are chocolate and peanute butter. I could have used that flavor ice cream.  So choose flavors that work for the honoree.

Once it's done you can add decorations and candles all holds up just dandy!

So even when you don't make your own chocolate pound cake, people may be eating it for seen in this video!  LOL!

Happy Birthday to all the Lovely Libras!!!!!  You guys are my faves!