Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What makes you happy

I finished reading a book that made me happy this morning.  Thus combining two things that make me happy: reading and quiet early mornings.  This book was written by a slow food adapter who gave serenity to every eating experience in the book.

I thought about what makes me happy this week, asking friends and FBers alike.  I thought myself for a while that it would be reading.  Often I answer that question with “reading a good book in a hammock”.  And while this definitely ranks way up there in my list of favorite things to do, the thing that makes me happy, the thing I do for me is yoga.





Yoga makes me happy.  I took teacher training about five years ago.  I thought I would teach and then I became afraid.  Not of teaching, but of missing out on my own practice.  Now.  I have even less time to myself and for myself and that concern remains.


But.  It might be time.


I think it is.


But will they come?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

I am not much of a baker.  Mostly because I have a problem with portion control.  I do love my sweets though – cookies specifically.  Usually my favorite cookie has walnuts, chocolate chips and oatmeal in it.  Poor hubs so wishes that he could have a white flour, sugar, butter and chocolate chip cookie, but alas, those days are gone.
I am a great lover of pumpkin though and recently when I’ve wanted to make cookies I try to think in my head what ingredients are the ones calling to me.  And as the fall, root vegetable and warming season is upon us the pumpkin called to me today.  There were pumpkin oatmeal cookies, but those seemed like they were trying too hard.  (Although I might try them out later.)

Here are the cookies.  Super yummy and soft.  Enjoy!

Am reading “The School of Essential Ingredients” right now. Next time I make cookies I will replace even more of the egg and will probably take a message from the narrator’s school and add the sugar in later… and allow more air into the wet ingredients by slowing down my blending.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finally. Binding my cookies.

About a year ago I found out that I had some problems digesting dairy and eggs.  Honestly, I ignored the eggs, but concentrated on removing dairy from my diet as that resonated with me as having caused me digestive distress.  However, as I was in experimentation mode at the time I went about trying to replace the eggs in my baking.  I tried tofu, mashed bananas and a few others (didn’t try the egg replacer stuff as it didn’t seem like a healthy thing to do).  None of them worked.  I gave up.
About 1 month ago someone said something to me that jolted me in the recognition that perhaps eggs could be causing me more subtle problems.  And shortly afterwards realized I felt horribly during a run.  What had I eaten right beforehand?  eggs.  Uh oh.
So here I am after 14 months of diet experimentation and I am starting anew with something that I should have done a while ago.  I am going to remove all eggs and dairy from my diet for two weeks.  Every ounce.  Not a speck.  Let’s see how that goes.
Wow.  Was that a tangent.  What I meant to say was, “Today I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and replaced one of the eggs with flax seeds.”  Really exciting for me cause it totally worked.  A friend mentioned chia seeds to me as a great egg replacer and upon looking chia seeds in my handy Whole Foods Encyclopedia I found that flax seeds could work as well.  (Not quite as well, so I am going to get some chia seeds soon.)  I am going to try to replace both the eggs in my cookies next time.  I am pretty excited right now because I am having no distress from eating the cookies.  The chips were non dairy so I am feeling happy having made yummy cookies.  yay!
*  On a side note, hubbend and I are starting a new thing where he asks me about a nutrition concept and I research it and explain it to him.  I’ll get back to you on that.  Yesterday was lecithin.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Food Labeling, Pt 2

Hubbend thought it was weird that as a future Health Counselor I would have have written last Friday's post on food labeling.  So let me clarify.  I don't have a problem with food labeling per se, I just feel like it is potentially another place where we can get advertised to and taken advantage of.  If the large food corporations, who we know are not developing food for our health but to make themselves more money, are the ones blasting us with information on corn sugar then we might eventually believe that is healthy because it is so pervasive. 

I also feel some concern that we would limit our food options based on these labels and our perceptions as to what healthy is based on another person's food choices.  I shouldn't be vegan because another person says it is healthy.  I should be vegan because it morally, physically, and emotionally aligns with my eating preferences.

And who is this "we" I am referencing?  Well, mostly it is not the people I know who are generally thoughtful about the food they eat and are well informed individuals with access to information.  I am mostly worried about those of us who aren't.  Because I get confused sometimes trying to discern what is fact and what is advertisement.  And the field of nutrition is an ever changing nebulous science. 

I just think we should be cautious and take care.  Of our bodies.  Our health.  Our life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

When did we stop eating food?

I am a little suspicious of all the labels that have recently begun to cover all of our food.  Why do we need to label our food so much?  Why are we raw, vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian (is that really a vegetarian then), sugar free, fat free, gluten free, dairy free, high omega 3 fatty acids, low cholesterol, high antioxidant food consumers?  Most of us don't even know what a lot of this means and even if we do then we don't necessarily know why they are important.

When did we stop eating food and start spending our time labeling what we ate.  Can't we just eat food that tastes good any more?  To quote the oft quoted Michael Pollen: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants".  Is it a wonder that people are confused?  That I really don't like to eat because I am worried about what type of food I am eating all the time?  I like information more than/as much as the next guy, but it seems a little like another form of advertising.  I don't watch commercials on tv, but I think they have infiltrated my food.

I just finished my 90% raw vegetarian green smoothie OR, what my dad has been calling it for the past twenty years, my juice drink.

Enjoy your eating experience today.  I will try to as well.  We'll meet back up here tomorrow and discuss.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We spend so much time bitching about horrible Oregon summers that we forget about what Oregon does best.  FALL.  I love the colors of fall.  It is my favorite season.  I love the crisp air, the beautiful leaves and the grounding you feel from the blue skies, wet earth, and increased dark.  I find it ironic then that I woke up yesterday morning feeling a lack of color in my life.  I ended up feeling blue.  A little sad. 

Perhaps it is cyclical.  The leaves are falling, the dead of winter approaching and people are leaving right now.  Friends and family are taking on new adventures and exciting life changes.  I am left here.  So.  I feel blue.  A little empty.  Perhaps that is part of the season.  A grounding and awaking of what happens in life.  People go and in the spring the rains return, life comes forth from the earth and I will start on new adventures.  Maybe by then I will have clients and will be able to help them live a life of adventure and live it with vitality and wellness.  Perhaps the grounding I need this winter is to spend it healing me.  Then when the springs come I will be able to give to others.

Right now I am loving the cats playing on my lap.  Talk about primary food!

Today I am looking forward to a run in this beautiful weather.  And while I am out in this day I can enjoy the falling leaves, the wondrous colors and the possibilities life may yet have in store.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I play a few roles in my life: woman, mother, wife, daughter, student, and friend.  I have a hard time balancing them.  Am wondering if right now, what is stopping me is the fear of adding another - working woman - and failing at it.  I am already a failure at it, but starting again when I already feel like I barely get the other things done competetently.  Maybe a part of my brain stops me from trying.  Maybe part of me knows that adding something else in and failing would be too much for me.  And it isn't like I am doing any of my roles very well right now.  I frankly kinda suck. 

I feel like so much is wrong right now with my life.  Sure, everything is fine, but it is held on by a string.  Maybe I need the opposite - a total life overhaul - I don't know, but it can't be just adding one more thing.  That won't work.  There isn't that much of me left.  It is like that point where you pull and pull at silly putty where everything is finefinefine... OH! it broke.  Toooo far. 

Tooo far. 

Something needs to change.  Maybe that something is me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

me and my nerds

So I think I have been going about it the wrong way.  I just listened to a lesson on feeding your family and the key to feeding your family is not to force them, but to show them the way.  Now I thought I was doing this, but my hubbend's and my view on nutrition is drastically different.  And if modeling was effective then my son would like kale a lot more than the mac n cheese/chicken nuggets/fried rice options my hubbend presents to him 1-2 times a week. Because he totally eats whatever J eats.  He automatically hates my food (no matter how much J acts out loving the food at dinner) and loves what they eat together.  I have less of a problem with J's food as he is an adult male who chooses his own path, as my son who will soon go to school and will have to make healthy decisions for himself.  Well - this scares me.  Because school food is sooooo gross.  And the paternal side of the family has eating/digestive issues that could totally be diet managed.  But they don't care to.  and I can't control it.  BUT I want to.  BUT I CAN'T.

All I can control is myself and that barely.  I think I am the last person who should be in charge of someone elses nutrition.  Weird that this is what I choose as my next career.  Probably will be successful because I will work with people who want to make a change in their diet/nutrition/lifestyle vs the people I live with.  They are content. 

Wouldn't that be nice?  To just be content.  at peace.  love myself and where I was at?  But that is the essence of me.  I want more.  I want to do a Half-Ironman.  I want to eat better (more responsibly).  I want to be a good person.  I want to have a healthy social life.  I want more.  I always have.  I honestly I think that is ok.  That is who I am.  Those who love me do so knowing that about me.  And I love them for knowing that.

I love you.

And I really do hug well.  You'd be amazed how good a Brooke hug can be.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I need a way to have some food in the car (non perishable) so that when I find myself at the gym lacking energy I can eat this thing and work out harder.  Despite the opinion of the 70 year old man who yesterday complimented my workout as "The best he had seen in this club in years" (A club where the average age is 50 :).  I am not feeling I am working out to my full potential.  I have felt lacking in energy and running has been downright HARD.  My mom commented that I hadn't eaten much on Sunday and it made me think.  I probably hadn't eaten enough to run well.  Then I thought over the past year and how I have gotten used to being a little hungry (or rather, not full), but that with the increased duration, intensity and frequency of my workouts I might not actually be consuming enough calories to work out harder.  I have started removing some coffee from my diet as that is adding to my dehydration - often I think I am tired and I really just need a big glass of water.  So, water, check.

And for food energy I am going to add more whole grains into my diet and ignore the growth of my belly until I figure out the balance.  But that brings me back to my original point.  What often happens is that in all my running around I end up hungry and thirsty and at the gym.  I would love it if I would remember the granola bars or something like that, but I probably need something non-perishable.  A energy bar?  My electrolyte powder?  Any ideas?

Monday, October 4, 2010


Am I the only one that thinks of parenthood as work?  I don't think so, it just seems like I am the only one who talks about it.  That makes sense in a way.  I have always been the voice of pessismism or reason (depending on your perspective).  The public voice (the voice everyone portrays on FB, at group outings, to their groups of people) is one of happiness and how wonderful their children are.  Sometimes I feel like I am the only who who truly needs to communicate when I feel the opposite is true.  My son is a pain in the ass.  He back talks constantly, has massive attitude (high school level) and whines to the point of whinging by the end of most days.  He is also beautiful, articulate, soooo scary intelligent, and oddly adult-like in his ability to know what you are talking about even when you can't say it.

But is that what I think about most days?  Nope.  Most days I live in the muck, the shit (sometimes literally) and piss of being a parent.  Parenting isn't fun.  It isn't nice.  It's a job.  A job with ridiculously long hours and little pay.  A job where at the annual review you get told you need to spend less time talking to other people (or you will get head-butted) and more time playing legos.  A job so tiring that at the end of each day I can barely talk.

Which means life sucks most days.  Is it worth it?  That is debatable.  Will I endure?  That I will.  Not always for me.  But for my husband and son and mother.  Because they love me.  support me.  and know what I am talking about.  right now.