Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Fear

I have it.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I couldn't start Bikram Yoga for a bit while the rush of other Groupon buyers clogged up the schedule. Surely it's died down some by now, but I find myself terrified to call and book my first appointment. Yes, I had an unrelated heat stroke almost three years ago. Yes, when I tried it again two years ago, the teacher was a jerk and it made for a terrible experience. I cannot let those two things hold me back now. I am healthier and stronger than I was then. My energy levels have been so low lately that I know I need this. If it proves to be another terrible experience I can choose not to return. There is no reason not to try it again. I think I am also fearing all of the hard work still left ahead and see the return to Bikram as the beginning of that journey. I worked so hard for a whole year, but yet I still have a long way to go to tone and lose the last of the jiggle. It's an overwhelming and exhausting thought. What am I more afraid of-failing at it or truly achieving optimal fitness and not knowing where to go from there. I'm so profound right now my brain hurts :)
Due to bad weather and planning, the swimming scene of the indie I am shooting was cut. So, I got off the hook so to speak. Being filmed in a swim suit would have been such a big step in bravery and confidence. However, a friend is having a birthday lake/beach soiree on Saturday which presents the first of my opportunities to actually be in a public setting in my bikini. Although I will be surrounded by people that love me at any size and will think nothing of my bikini wearing (because many don't read this blog), I am still very nervous. Logically I know that is so silly. I really do. I think there will always be a 12 year old BB30 inside me that fears her measurement on the Richter Scale will be shouted out for all the world to hear when she jumps into the water. Thank you wretched 6th grade boys for doing that. I hope your babies look like monkeys....monkeys that get taunted at the pool. I also hope you are bald now.

Self care is an ongoing project and process, but I shall prevail!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thar She Grows!

Worst. Pun. Title. Yet.

The time came to pick our squash. Although I think it may be the only one we get this summer, I think it's lovely!
They grow up so fast!
The tomatoes keep on comin'! A couple of them are starting to turn at the same time which I am very excited about! I especially can't wait for our romas to ripen!!! Oh the fresh margherita pizza bliss!
Third harvest.
I just love my little garden. I see lots of pesto and sauce in my future!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Green Dinner (Literally)

Last night I used The Post Punk Kitchen's Potato Kale Enchilda recipe as a guide and made some pretty darn scrumptous Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas. As much as I want to boast about being free and no longer a slave to fearing carbs, a potato stuffed enchildada made me nervous. So, I used a pound of zucchini instead of potatoes and spinach instead of kale (because the grocery store I stopped at was out). If you try it, I suggest using less salt than recommended. I have loads of leftovers too which is nice.

Tonight I put my plethora of fresh garden herbs to good use and tried PPK's Basil Mint Pesto. Not too shabby folks. It was a nice change from standard pesto. The mint compliments the basil in a nice way and the lemon juice adds a nice kick. I chose not to add nutritional yeast flakes because I am weary of adding extra yeast to my body these days. (I'll elaborate in another post some time.) It turned out nicely. If you try it, add a bit more garlic than recommended. My pesto needed a place to go, so I decided to try Ancient Harvest Quinoa Elbows. I sauteed a little bit of red onion and a little leftover zucchini and mixed it into the pesto pasta. Delightful.

I had some asparagus that needed to be used, so I tossed it in olive oil and sea salt and roasted it up.

I wanted a nice cool salad as well, so I used one of the three GIANT cucumbers I scored for $1 at the grocery store, and chopped it up with some tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, salt, and cilantro.

I present: My Green Dinner:

Delicious and refreshing!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Libraries Are For Lending or An Open Letter To Selfish VonSelfishmeyer

Dear Anonymous Person Who Won't Return Veganomicon to the Chicago Public Library System,

You have had Veganomicon checked out for months and months........and months. There are some nice people who have it on hold who are trying to maintain their figures and feel great by eating healthy, clean, plant-based diets, who are silmutltaneously trying to be thrifty and not drop money on a cook book without a test drive. Some of us are so bored with the same vegetable dishes that we would rather just not eat sometimes or end up eating something nutritionally void just to cure hunger- which is definitely not good. The more I am kept from getting my hands on it, the more I want it. See? You are physchologically damaging me. If you love Veganomicon so much please go buy your own copy so others can take a peak. I think you owe me an Amazon.Com gift certificate.


Luckily, the Post Punk Kitchen website and blog have some exciting things to try in the meantime! I love that you can look up recipes by main ingredient. Potato Kale Enchiladas? Yes please.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Dinner Story

I am bored with my dinners. My palate is growing quite unenthusiastic at the same handful of nightly stir fries/sautees. One of the main reasons I get stuck in these ruts is because I can whip out my go-to dishes in 15 minutes.

Yesterday, I decided to step outside the box and try a recipe from the blogisphere-a tofu and veggie dish with South Carolina Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce from The Fat FreeVegan Kitchen. I chose this one because I had most of the ingredients already. This is another reason I stick to what I know-I am really trying to be conscious of my spending lately and I can't justify buying $30 of ingredients that I will never use again for one dish. The verdict? RECIPE FAIL. Either I did something wrong or I just don't like South Carolina barbecue sauce. Frankly, it's probably the former. I think I simmered the sauce too long and the vinegary flavors concentrated too much. More than anything I hate that I wasted so much food (it makes a lot). The most devastating casualties included a big beautiful zucchini and a whole package of tofu. I tried to tell myself I would like the dish as cold salad, but alas, as it sits in my lunch bag, I know I am not eating it at work today. Oh how I hate being that wasteful! On the other hand, as Ganeen Roth said in the Women Food and God Workshop, "Throw it out or throw it in-either way it turns to waste." No need to spend my calories on something I don't love.

So, as a quick alternative, I grilled up a Trader Joe's Vegetable Masala Burger patty, topped it with Daiya Mozzarella, and ate it with lettuce, tomatoes, avacado, and onions. I chopped up a third of a big sweet potato I had and cooked it up with garlic and salt as a side.

In the end, I had a delicious dinner afterall.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sticking My Toe Back in the Water...

....rather, my abs.  As I've mentioned I have been a bad exerciser lately. Even with the goal to wear my scandoulous bikini in November on vacation or even knowing that on Saturday I will be in a bathing suit jumping in the water for a scene of the indie film I am shooting, I just can't get fully motivated. In preperation for eventually going back to Bikram (the place was soo overrun with newbies due to Groupon, they are full to capacity and I need to wait to start-boo), I have been trying to work on stretching, and last week I did several days of Winsor Pilates Ab Scultping. Way back when, I came across this DVD in a give away bin in the building I lived in. I had totally forgotten about it until I went to pick a workout On Demand and my new cable was having issues with pulling it up. So I didn't use that as an excuse not to exercise, and I went to my DVD shelf and discovered the Winsor disc.

It seems like so long ago that Mari Winsor ignited the Pilates revolution, and it's really stuck. Here's why-Pilates is just really effective. Long ago someone let me borrow the Bun and Thigh disc from the same series, and it was wonderful. I just looked up these discs and sets and they are still retailing up there with newer stuff. What I like most about the Ab Sculpting workout is that it's challenging, but short enough that I can make it through. There is one set of movements that I have to do the modified version of (darn you teasers), so I have something to work toward.

I feel guilty and a little ashamed for falling off the exercise wagon, but the most important thing is that I picked myself up. I have been weighing myself daily and I am maintaining there, so that's great. I realized that I forgot to measure for maintenance on July 3rd, so we shall see how I am doing with that on August 3rd.

Has a busy summer schedule slowed you down exercise-wise?

Sunday, July 18, 2010


My little garden is moving along. Look at what I came home to a few days ago:
That, friends, is a squash baby, or as I like to call it: 3.5 inches of Vegetable Hope. Finally! Maybe just maybe I will have some decent squash this summer!

Little Bell is still trying hard too! Below you can see a some Bell Pepper Promise!

Second "harvest."

I am a huge fan of stay-at-home-mom and photographer Kelle Hampton's amazing blog. She inspires me to just enjoy the small things in life (and on some days makes me desperately need to have babies). It's not easy, but it makes a difference to try. Thus, I present to you the best way to stir your coffee in the mornings:
I got these dollar store kids party favor wands to use to stir cocktails at my bestie's bachelorette party over a year ago. I've been reusing one of them to stir my morning coffee. It adds magic whilst being green (and probably giving me lead poisoning-haha-hmmmm).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Playtime in the Kitchen

Of course some of the yummiest things spring from those I-have-nothing-what-the-heck-do-I-throw-together-for-dinner days.

Saturday was no exception. I was out and about in the world from 9:45am-7:30pm, running errands, attending my hippy women's seminar, and running more errands. I was tired, I was hungry, I was unmotivated to move and still had to prepare for the next's day film shoot. I wearily made it to the fridge and decided to experiment with some black bean/corn salad I had made the day before. You all know this easy side dish. If not-it couldn't easier and more delicious. It's also so simple to alter depending on your mood, or favorite beans and herbs.
(which is very similar to what mine was like)

Anywho, I scooped out 2/3 cup of the salad and added approximately a cup of  weak vegetable broth (because my salad was already seasoned and salty). I let it come to a nice boil, gave it about a minute of immersion blender time to thicken the broth but leave nice chunks of veggies and beans, and voila! A simple but fabulous soup was born. I paired it with a TLT (Tofu//Lettuce/Tomato sandwich-with onion of course) and I was a happy camper.

A culinary genius I am not, but oh how I love happy accidents. I made this again on Sunday night too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Garden Tale

Once upon a Mid May Mr. BB30 and I took over the plot in our building's backyard. Mr. BB30 cleared out the weeds and left some perennial flowers (the ones with purple flowers on the right are actually chives).
Mr.BB30 is rockin' some seriously awesome sideburns for his current role. I LOVE THEM.

Earlier that day we went to Home Depot and picked up some tomatoes, squash, zuchinni, basil, and sage which we planted and fed some healthy mushroom compost.

Some people have a garden gnome. We have a garden ninja.

Last week we had out first "harvest" (aka our first tomato with color fell off the vine, and I saved it before the bunny family that lives under a nearby bush stole it!)
This guy was small, but quite delicious. I can't wait for more, and thanks to lots of nourishing rain in June and warm humid weather this month, there are many on their way! (I think we've counted over twenty!)

Aw.....a tomato family.

The squash and zucchini are growing so tall and blossoming away, but no veggies yet. The biggest issue has been the lack of bees to pollinate the flowers. So, in the mornings when the blossoms are open I rub my finger in all of their bellies and do a little pollination. Sounds a little weird, but I have to help them along until they get a little insect action. I am very impatient, because I hear that when squash and zucchini hit, they hit big. Bring on our veggie goodness!!! Now! Now! Now!

Holy Squashola!

C'mon little buds, make me some dinner!!

The basil is flourishing, and Mr. BB30 and I have been enjoying fresh basil in our dinners for a couple of weeks now. Ain't nothin' like fresh herbs to liven up stir fries, sautees, and pastas! I pick it all the time, take it upstairs, give it a rinse, a chiffonade, and into the pot it goes!
Woah! Basil Jungle!

Speaking of fresh herbs, our sage has also been growing well along with its neighbor-mint. Fresh sage has brought my tempeh to new levels and the mint is such a delight with peas and limey cocktails!

A couple of weeks after out initial plant, Mr. BB30 went and bought us a bell pepper plant. It's doing its best to catch up!
The little plant that could.
(Behind it is a nasturtium, an edible flower. We got the seeds for free at Chicago's Bitannical Gardens. It's working hard to grow too!)

I've really enjoyed caring for this garden, finding new little buds daily, and watching everything go from bare to WOW!
That's my little doggie's hiney on the far right. Tee hee!

Have you had a summer harvest yet?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ramblings and Sweat

Here is what goes on inside my head:

"Get it together man, you need to update your blog, everyone is probably so annoyed by you. I know I need to update but I can't get the time to finish up some fact checks and write everything out and I want my posts to be meaningful and helpful and not just a post for the sake of posting. You are insane, you know how much you love reading other people blogs even if they aren't saying anything particularly meaningful. But I am so ashamed of my candy eating instances from last week and my lack of exercise, I am not being a good role model or practicing what I preach lately. You ate some Skittles on a few days when you were on your period, move on, THAT is practicing what you preach-you ate some candy last week and felt gross everytime and re-learned a lesson about how crack-like and addictive nasty sugar is. I guess so, but what's more furstrating is that I have some posts in my head but can't flesh them out because I don't make time/am lazy/am putting a lot of presure on myself. Just write something, that's what this place is for."

See, it's LOUD in there folks......and although I seemingly disappear I think about this blog everyday.

So, I have not been a good exerciser. I have been monitoring my weight for the past two months, and I am definitely holding steady (hooray for sure) but it's time to build up steam again and move forward.  I still have work to do (remember I am an actor and am trying to pick up the pace and book some more on-camera gigs), so I need to get on the work out horse again.

Enter Groupon. Sometimes I am weary of Groupon because I think it will make me buy things I wouldn't have bought anyway, but occasionally such a great deal comes along that I can't pass it up. Earlier this week Groupon featured a nearby Bikram Yoga Studio's package of 20 classes for $40. If you know the Bikram world, many places offer deals to people coming to their studio for the first time-usually something like $30 for 30 consecutive days or $20 for a week. This offer is good for three months beginning on the day of your first class. $2/class for three months, this is as good as it gets (because it's tough and making it six times a month is pretty darn I bought it. I had been looking for a good deal on a traditional yoga class with no luck (yoga classes ain't cheap if they aren't part of a gym membership-which I don't have-I never joined the gym in my office building-too pricey) and this deal came at the right time.

If you don't know about Bikram Yoga, you may hear people reference it as "hot yoga." The room is heated to about 104 degrees to help you do the postures (aka make your muscles warm and happy) and it feels amazing!

From the Bikram Website:

Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.
It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

My history with Bikram:
A few years ago I got very into the Bikram. You get so strong and lean and sweat out all kinds of gross impurities (cause man oh man do you sweat! It's so awesome!). As I mentioned though, it is expensive!!!! After getting the first-timer deal at a studio, it can cost you $120 or more per month for an unlimited pass, which I've done some, but I'm protective of my monies and that's a big expense-even if it's awesome. My biggest issue though is that 2.5 years ago I had a heat stroke (NOT from doing Bikram). Since then heat and I are not as great of friends. I tried going back once a new place, but unlike other places I'd practiced, the teacher was more harsh and into embarrassing those of us not doing as well. Thus, I have been on hiatus, but secretly longing to try again (at a new place sans jerk face teacher) since it can be so great. I feel like I am stronger and MUCH healthier now and would like to give it a go again in my new body. So, I want to give myself some prep days of super hydration and stretching and I will start up again. Hopefully it will be just the kick in arse I need to jump start my fitness journey again.