Thursday, December 27, 2007

Year in review

I started this blog one year ago today. At that time, I had just quit my job and was exploring the joys of free time, yoga, and art. I had no idea where my life was headed but I was pretty sure it would go in an exciting positive direction. I was totally right.

Since December 27, 2006, a lot has changed in my life. I ditched a new unhealthy relationship and reestablished an old one that has become even more amazing than it was before. I finally left Seattle and moved to a city that seems to have welcomed me whole heartedly. I've improved my diet and physical health almost without even trying. I found a way to use my technology skills on my own terms and for a purpose that matters to me - helping people live healthier lives ( will be coming soon).

On the downside, I am more disgusted with the United States government than ever before. I have an internet habit that is really quite out of control and crowding out other activities that I could be engaging in, like art or dancing. I am no longer rolling in money like I used to be when I had a "real job" and so I now find myself paying attention to the price of red bell peppers and bing cherries.

A new year is about to begin. I will be starting it off in New Hampshire, surrounded by strangers, all committed to creating a more honest, kind, respectful America. I hope this year brings me more dancing, more drawing, better posture, and better habits with regard to walking my dog (I don't aim for the stars - it's the day-to-day things that make the biggest impact). I hope to have a flourishing vegetable garden this spring. I hope to find more ways to become a positive force in my local community.

Most importantly, I hope that when I reflect on my life at the end of 2008, I will be stunned by how much better it was then I ever could have imagined. Just like 2007.

Raw food dish of the week - Banana Coconut Ice Cream

I had some left over almond milk that I'd made so I decided to take a second stab at an ice cream recipe. I found this recipe online that looked pretty good. I left out the coffee, added an extra banana, and poured in about a cup of shredded coconut to make it a little thicker. It was definitely better than my first ice cream attempt, but it could still be a little creamier, and a little more flavorful.

Ice cream: Almond milk, bananas, shredded coconut, vanilla, maca powder, well blended, chilled in the freezer for 1 hour, and processed in the ice cream maker.

Topping: "Jungle chocolate" that Aunt Kathie sent for Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Addicted to Greens+ chocolate energy bars

They remind me of 3 Muskateers bars. Except rather than consisting of pure crap, each Greens+ energy bar contains 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and lots of other vitamins and minerals. They are free from sugar, genetically modified ingredients, partially hydrogenated oils, and they are alkaline-forming (rather than acid-forming, which encourages disease). This is a very healthy snack by most standards. But it's still a candy bar, and I cannot stop eating them. I've been inhaling them for several weeks now.

I ate 3 just today. The only reason I didn't eat more is that I only bought 3. I usually get 3 at a time, thinking that I'll eat 2 and save the last one for the next day. I don't think that 3rd bar has ever lasted for more than 2 hours. Earlier this week, I made a special trip out just to pick some up. I bought an extra one to send to my sister with her Christmas gifts, but then I ate it. So I had to make another trip the next day to get her another one. I picked up 2 more for myself as well.

Against my better judgment, I eat them close to bedtime, when I know the chocolate will keep me up. I eat them when I am already full. I eat them even after the first two seem to have given me a headache.

Over the last few years, my diet has become increasingly healthy. In fact, I don't even crave most of the comfort foods that used to suck me in. Just today, I looked at a tofu pot pie and some vegan cheesecake, and it didn't appeal to me at all. But I ate 2 Greens+ bars before I even made it home, and ate the 3rd one shortly after. I am totally out of control.

Greens+ is not paying me to write this post. Maybe they should though.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Handwritten letters to Iowa

Every day, I receive multiple credit card offers, a catalog or two, and maybe a bill. Actual letters are so rare they are like gold. When I first moved into my house in July, I got a little card with perfect handwriting from the church down the street. I don't expect that I'll ever find Jesus (but you never know) but I was so excited to see real mail that I read it twice, marveled at the perfect penmanship, and displayed it on my mantle for a week.

When a Ron Paul meetup group in California had the idea to send handwritten letters to 700,000 "no party" Iowa voters before their presidential caucus on January 3rd, I immediately recognized the potential impact. Imagine, that while every voter in the state is being inundated with campaign fliers and commercials, these Iowa residents will receive that long lost relic from the past - the handwritten letter. I signed up to help.

Like many people, I've now spent more of my life communicating via computer than with a pen and paper. Not only had my handwriting become atrocious, but my arm would hurt if I hand wrote more than a paragraph. But for Ron Paul, I was willing to suffer a little. And apparently, so were many other people, because nearly 500,000 letters have been sent to Iowa.

48 letters later, I can now write a couple of pages before I have to take a break. I think my penmanship is improving a little too. Just 12 more to go and I'll consider my job done for now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Freezing my butt off for Ron Paul

Hundreds of volunteers from all over the country will descend upon New Hampshire in the days and weeks before their January 8th primary to make sure that all NH voters know about Ron Paul. Many are already there. I'm going to join them on December 31st! Freezing my butt off and talking to strangers about anything, even Ron Paul, is not terribly appealing to me. But if Vijay was willing to quit his cushy job at Google to organize this thing, I figure I can endure a week of mental and physical discomfort and do my part.

I'm actually very excited. For one thing, I've never been to New Hampshire and I hear it's beautiful. I love to travel to new places. I'll also be surrounded by hundreds of people with which I have at least one thing in common.

Rumor has it that the Ron Paul Blimp will be making appearances in New Hampshire throughout the week.

The beautiful picture above was taken a few days ago by one of the Ron Paul volunteers.