bedside reading and cleaning shop

I'm off to Florida for a few days and have packed some books to help me stay on track with my eating during my trip. While my parents' kitchen there is fully equipped to cater to a full dinner party, we typically eat out, and I've been known to partake in a poolside wine cocktail or two (in a shatterproof glass, of course).

I've been following the guidelines in Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet for a couple of weeks now, but just got over a surprise three-day bender that has left me feeling puffy and tired. If you've never heard of Kris Carr, just check out her YouTube channel. Her positive spirit literally jumps out and slaps you in the face, and that's saying a lot coming from someone who was given an incurable cancer diagnosis seven years ago. To give you an idea for Kris' disposition, she sometimes spells it canSer, just to poke fun at it. And how cute is her pink hair? The general idea of the Crazy Sexy Diet is to eat more fresh vegetables and other healthful foods as close to their natural states as possible, all while eliminating (or eating very little of) animal products - this includes dairy and fish -, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and gluten. Pretty simple.

What I like about Kris, and particularly her book, is that she doesn't expect anyone to be perfect. Instead, she just recommends that you "lean into" this lifestyle. Try to eat 50% more of the good stuff, even 40%, or 30%. You'll feel better, sleep better, look better, and your body will thank you for helping to reduce inflammation and the toxins flowing through your system. I don't know how far I'll take the Crazy Sexy lifestyle, but if the timing is right sometime this spring I am going to try to do the CSD 21 day adventure cleanse.

The Crazy Sexy Diet also inspired me to invest in a juicer, which I've been having a lot of fun with. I plan to share a few of my successes and (many) failures with this new appliance soon.

My second book is Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. I've only made my way through the first chapter but I'm already hooked. I'm a fan of his fiction writing, but since this book is a memoir, the family anecdotes he tells really add a special, personal tone. I can't wait to dig into this on the plane.

Have a healthy Tuesday!


the thinking cup

There's a new-ish coffee shop on Tremont Street and it's pretty special. The Thinking Cup is the only place in town brewing Stumptown Coffee, a Portland, OR original that caffeine addicts have been worshipping for years.  I have no complaints about a place whose standard short latte comes with two shots of espresso, and it doesn't hurt that the barista is a soft-spoken, tall, flat-cap-wearing fella.  Try it.  I think you'll like it.


kale. that's it. kale.

Seems like everywhere I look, people are talking about how easy it is to make kale chips. I was once really intimidated by this nutritious winter green when I'd see it at the market, and would pass it by for the baby spinach or some other tender green. A few months ago, I found a recipe for a raw kale salad and decided to grow up and bring home a big bunch of the stuff. Now I'm a total kale addict and prepare it a few times a week. This winter I've been using it a lot in stir fries and soups, and recently started juicing it. More on my adventures in juicing later.

Back to the chips, I used Abi from Vanilla and Lace's recipe, and they were good! So good, I failed to take an after photo before I ate them all. Oops. I had seen another recipe that recommended sprinkling the kale with fine fleur de sel before throwing them in the oven (rather than mixing it in with the olive oil and lemon). I didn't have any fine fleur de sel, so I used my food processor to work with what I had. The only thing I'd do differently next time would be to go really light on the salt. The lemon flavor adds such a nice kick as it is, you almost don't need it. I made another batch later and brought them to work the next day as a snack.  They may not be quite the same as a potato chip but I guarantee you won't feel as guilty about eating a whole bag.

hello again (cue creepy voice)

This won't be the most flattering re-entry to the blogosphere, but who are we kidding? I'm willing to bet that we all act a helluva lot more put together than we really are on this thing called the interwebs. With that, I give you something to ponder about the world of the pack rat. Boxes.

Did I just go shopping? Move into a new apartment and hit up Bed Bath and Beyond? Oh, if only. These fellas have been living on the upper shelves of my coat closet for over three years. A box for my iron, a box for my hairdryer, a box for my Christmas tree lights. Perhaps most disturbing, a plastic clamshell box for the Motorola flip phone I got in 2001 before I moved to California. I've lived in three apartments since I had that phone (let alone had a T-Mobile account) and somehow this empty box has moved with me. It's not like I'm saving the boxes my fine China came in, which I could justify. Why do I do this? Do you do this? Help.

Boxes are going out. Shoes are going up on the shelves. Lots more to share about the state of my nest (as if you care) and some other cool stuff I've got going on.