Monday, April 30, 2007

Rattling around in my head

I've always had these images that rattle around in my head. Drawings I would draw....paintings I would paint.....if only I knew how. Sometimes they are from a vivid dream that disturbed me. Often times they are representations of how I see myself at the time.

Another one came to me yesterday. My first thought was "I need to learn to draw better so I can get this one down." My second thought was, "I don't need to draw better. Now is the time."

The way to learn to do anything is to just do it. I have this idea that by next year, my art will be hanging in some coffee shop in Asheville (or wherever I end up). I wrote it here for the world to see so now I have to follow through.

"The hardest thing about being an artist, is doing it with a straight face." ~ (Name withheld to protect the cynical)

Raw food dish of the week - Chocolates!

Ingredients: Cacao powder, cacao butter, dark agave nectar. Some chocolates also contain wild jungle peanuts or shredded coconut.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. I'd had big ideas for a huge birthday bash, but when the time came, I wasn't feeling terribly social. It was a pleasant enough day though. I have no complaints.

The yoga studio I go to gives its clients a free class on their birthday, so I started my day out right with power yoga.

I made the most delicious potato salad ever and the most beautiful birthday cake ever. Although by the time I finished making the cake, I had "tested" so many of the ingredients that I wasn't able to eat any. It made for a great chocolaty breakfast this morning.

I spent the better part of my afternoon and evening working on a PHP application that I started writing earlier this week. Insane, I know. I was looking for some simple information online and it was too hard to find. And I thought, "I could write a program that would pull all this data together much more easily." I've been obsessing over it ever since. What's truly frightening is that I actually find it fun.

What does it mean? What does it mean???!!

Raw food dish of the week - Potato Salad

This would be great for picnics. I think it would go over well with just about anyone - raw, vegan, or otherwise. No, my birthday cake doesn't count as my raw dish of the week because I've made that recipe previously.

Ingredients: jicama, red bell pepper, celery, red onion, green onion, avocado, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, fresh dill, Celtic sea salt.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Don't believe a word of this

I desperately wanted to write about something else. Anything else. I've searched my brain, trying to think of other things going on in my life. Unfortunately, I have done so little this week other than obsess over this, that I have nothing else to write about.

I'm moving to Asheville, North Carolina. No, really. I've got plane tickets to go visit in a couple of weeks, I've got a phone interview lined up for next week, I've been looking into moving costs and apartments for rent. I won't say I'm definitely 100% going to move there, but the likelihood is very high. It's the absolute perfect place for me.

Have I been there? Oh, no, but I did the next best thing - I read a Wikipedia page about it! It says,
Asheville pops up on national rankings for a variety of things: Modern Maturity named it one of "The 50 Most Alive Places To Be," AmericanStyle Magazine called it one of "America's Top 25 Arts Destinations," Self Magazine labeled it the "Happiest City for Women," it is one of AARP Magazine's "Best Places to Reinvent Your Life," and was proclaimed the "New Freak Capital of the U.S." by Rolling Stone. Asheville has also been called "a New Age Mecca" by CBS News' Eye On America, and named the "most vegetarian-friendly" small city in America.
Well, shee-it, that's all I needed to hear!

The downside to Asheville, is that the cost of living is way higher than Durham and there are almost no jobs that I am qualified for. On the plus side, I applied for the only two software jobs in town and I got interviews with both of them.

*Sigh* Yes, I said software jobs. Well, I have to do something for money and it's either that or I apply for a job at the new strip club opening up in town.

Raw food dish of the week - Sausage

The flavor is surprisingly sausage-like. Or at least it's vegan-sausage-like. I don't remember what real sausage tastes like. The texture of this could be better. Maybe I shouldn't have blended it quite so well.

Ingredients: Portobella mushrooms, cashews, sprouted wheat berries, olive oil, fresh sage, fresh basil, marjoram, garlic, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Celtic sea salt, cayenne.

Blended in the food processor, and dehydrated at 105 degrees for 7 hours.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Binge eating

At the beginning of the year, I committed to 3 months of 100% raw food. The timing was great because the 3 months happened to end during a 9-day raw food retreat in Peru. I figured by the time I left Peru, I would be more inspired than ever to stay raw.

What actually followed was 2 weeks of binge eating the worst food I have eaten in years. What made this even worse was the fact that after eating a very healthy diet for well over a year, my terrible gluten-intolerance is no longer effecting me enough to prevent me from eating all the donuts, pie, cookies, bread, and other processed pure garbage that I've had to avoid for the past couple of years.

Yesterday, I ate an entire package of 12 mini-donuts in about 15 minutes. That's when I realized it was really time to stop. Of course that didn't keep me from eating a coconut frosted vanilla cupcake that same evening. OK, that's when I decided it was time to stop. For real this time.

But I know myself well enough to know that saying I will do anything 100% forever is just not going to work. So the new plan is, I am going to eat all raw food 6 days a week. I get one day of the week to eat anything I want. Maybe at some point I'll change that to one day a month and then one day per quarter.

Right now, all I can think about is that tomorrow is the start of a new week. Mmmmm.....donuts.....

Raw food dish of the week - Veggie Burgers
These burgers were so freaking awesome. But they were best on their own or with a little of the BBQ sauce or avocado on top. The rest of the fixins didn't add much.

Burger: almonds, sunflower seeds, celery, beets, carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper, parsley, basil, lemon juice, Celtic sea salt, flax oil

BBQ sauce: onion, dates, figs, sundried tomatoes, tomato

Fixins: tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, onion, avocado, on a red leaf lettuce "bun"

Friday, April 6, 2007

Back from Peru

I just returned from two weeks in beautiful fascinating Peru! I know everyone just wants to see pictures and doesn't want to read a bunch of crap, so here's photos of the highlights. Click a photo for a larger view.

Vegetarian Restaurants
There are so many vegetarian restaurants in Peru that I found almost all of them by chance. They are everywhere. There are several others in Cusco and Lima that I never found.

El Encuentro in Cusco - great Peruvian food Moni in Cusco - awesome food Govinda in Cusco - Hare Krishna restaurant - not that good Greens Organic in Cusco - didn't have a chance to try it
Aquarium in Cusco - it was never open
Govinda in Machu Picchu - only veg restaurant in town
El Paraiso in Lima - Yum Vida Sana in Lima - not great but ok

Ollantaytambo ruins
There are Incan ruins all over Peru. Some people theorize that some of the more impressive structures are pre-Incan, created by a civilization that was extremely advanced.

Double-framed doors mark important rooms hole in the wall for enhancing sound perfectly carved stone The town of Ollantay is built directly on top of Incan ruins perfectly carved stone wall agricultural terraces

Machu Picchu ruins
Machu Picchu is huge and amazing and impossible to comprehend.

Machu Picchu ruins and Waynapicchu mountain
agricultural terraces more terraces perfectly carved rock moon temple

Saksaywaman ruins
This was the most impressive of all the ruins just because of the size of the stones and the complexity of how they all fit together. It is also full of strange and perfect carvings in the rock.

HUGE door huge stones fit perfectly together seats carved into the rock seats carved into the rock

Other ruins
The first two are from the ruins at P'isaq, known as the Temple of the Sun. The second two are from Moray, theorized to be an agricultural center for learning or experimentation. The last picture is an unidentified illuminated object flying around Saturn from NASA's website. Looks suspiciously like the Moray terraces.

Temple of the SunInca tombs Moray - steps between terraces Agricultural terraces at Moray Some say all these ruins were built by aliens

Andean school
I can't find the name of the town but this school is located in the mountains at 12,300 feet. The school was built and funded with tremendous assistance from Wilka Tilka, the retreat center where we were staying. Some of the kids walk 2 hours each way to get to the school.

chickens hanging out in the school yard
too young for school - just hanging out alone
a woman selling handmade textiles
a large house in the village
children in class

Gourmet raw food
We received three gourmet raw meals a day, prepared by Matt Samuelson who has worked as Woody Harrelson's personal chef. The food was always fabulous. He swears he is coming out with a recipe book one of these days.

burgers with all the fixins
Middle Eastern - hummus, cucumber salad, olive tapenade, etc
Zucchini spaghetti with pesto or marinara
Cacao banana pie
Desserts - chocolate cheesecake, halva with mango-coconut swirl, kiwi-lime pie

Scenic views

Random stuff

Lydia, of Lydia's Organics, just happened to be in Peru. An Andean healer walked 2 days over 4 snow-capped mountain peaks to do a fire ceremony and coca leaf readings. A low-tech cactus security fence. A bicycle used to pick up the city garbage in Cusco. A woman and child selling textiles outside Cusco. Trash cans for organic waste are all over Peru.