Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goals for the Week

After a week/end of partying, sleeping in, and making fruit smoothies every morning, the following goals have been established for this week: 

1. No booze.
2. Go to the gym/run outside 5 times.
3. Do yoga 2 times.
4. Spend 30 minutes "studying" every day.
5. Do 400 sit-ups every day.
6. Take a multi-vitamin every day.

Because I am going to a 2 hour yoga workshop this afternoon, the week will start today (instead of tomorrow).  

I've spent a lot of time talking about the things I can do to be happy/healthy.  They aren't that hard.  In fact, they are quite easy, and there is indeed time for them.  It's a choice.  I was out having drinks with a friend last night, and I said to her that I should just try for one week to be healthy/positive (see list above).  One week.  That's it.  I've been alive for 1451 weeks.  I can do one week of really living with intention and mindfulness.  I talk about it all the time, but have a tough time committing.  This time, I'm going to do it.  It's just one week.  

If I feel like shit at the end of the week, I will try something else.  Honestly though, I believe that if I stick to my list, I will be just fine.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Florence + The Machine

Last winter I found out about Florence and the Machine.  I then listened to her album "Between Two Lungs" more or less on repeat until the snow melted.  I loved it, and when I hear certain songs from it now, I am brought back to specific moments in time.

A few weeks ago, Florence released a new album called "Ceremonials."  This album is also quite good, but upon googling every song lyric on the disc, I realized it is quite depressing.  Since I went a little overboard last year with Flo, I don't doubt I'll do it again this year.  All this means is I need to find other music to balance out the intense sadness and emotion of this album.

This is my favorite song of hers on "Ceremonials."  I love this video too.  I love her energy, her voice, her passion.  If you haven't heard much of her, I suggest checking her out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Making a Smoothie Actually Looks Like

Yesterday I bought a hand held blender, so that I could make fruit and vegetable smoothies.  I'd seen photos of these amazing green drinks that looked so beautiful.  Surely I could make one!  

This afternoon, I looked on Food Gawker (one of my favorite websites) for a good recipe.  After a quick search for spinach smoothies, I found this:

And this:

And this too:

Yummo!  I could make that....sure thing!  

So...I piled up my ingredients on the counter.  1 frozen banana from last winter, some fresh kale, some fresh spinach, fresh ginger root, frozen strawberries, and a bag of frozen mangoes.

I put the banana and some of the spinach in the cup that came with my new hand held blender thingy.  I tried mashing it in there, and smelled only the aroma of an appliance engine working too hard.  This shit was not blending like I hoped it would.  I grabbed the vanilla soy milk from my fridge and reluctantly poured some in.  It started to work a bit better, so I added some strawberries.

Next I added some mango and a big piece of ginger root.  Mash Mash Mash the stupid hand held thing went.  I needed more milk.  As I was adding stuff to my smoothie, I of course kept wondering what the point of a smoothie was.  I like to eat spinach and kale and fruit.  Was it necessary to put it all together?  

I kept having to stir the damn thing, which for those who know about my sensory issues (i.e. I don't like water, or wet things in general touching me), this was quite uncomfortable.  "I'm gonna do this," I kept telling myself, "Even if I'm covered in green junk by the end."

I continued to jam and mash the blender thing into the cup, every once and a while pushing too hard and causing it to spill over the sides and onto me/the counter/the floor.  "This better taste good," I said out loud, wondering who really makes a smoothie without making a mess.

At last, I was done!  My counter, blender, and hands were covered in green goo.  I quickly cleaned up and took one last cell phone photo of my smoothie.  I should mention that my cell phone was also adorned with green splotches of goo.

I'm sitting on my couch now, drinking my smoothie, which all in all is not that bad.  I think the large quantity of ginger is what made it taste better than shit.  Will I make another smoothie?  Absolutely... I have a whole kitchen full of produce that needs to get eaten.  Besides, the lady at target said I could only return the blender if it was defective, not if I just didn't like it.  

Bon Appetite!  

An Average Morning's Thoughts

Woke up too early this morning, and wondered why I was awake.  Oh shoot, I have a dentist appointment at 7:30.  That's why!  

Went to the dentist, and along the way thought about the time my dentist called Adele "the fat chick."  He and I got into it that day, because I of course, had to prove the point that Adele is awesome the way she is...she doesn't need a rail thin body to show off her vocal talent.

Went to Kowalski's to look purchase kale and spinach.  Yesterday I got a new hand held blender.  I want to start making smoothies.  Got to Kowalski's and was surprised to see their produce prices higher than Mississippi Market.  I got some bananas, and 25 dollars worth of other random things (soy milk, a donut, some fresh cod, and the Chinook book.  I bought the Chinook book last year, and didn't use enough coupons to make my money back.  This year will be different.

I listened to the radio while driving this morning.  Lots of talk about "Black Friday," the biggest shopping day of the year.  Many places are opening at midnight (shortly after many Americans will finish watching football and eating their thanksgiving dinners).  It made me think about what the holidays are all about.  First of all, Thanksgiving is probably the dumbest holiday ever... aside from Columbus day.  I think it's important to be thankful for what we have... but I also think it's important to remember the genocide of an entire people/culture/nation.  Second of all...this whole Black Friday thing bugs me.  I got an email this morning from the "Gap" saying "Black Friday starts today."  Hmph... I'm sorry but I could have sworn today was Wednesday.  You can't start Black Friday two days early.  C'mon!  

After my disappointing trip to Kowalskis (which...don't get me wrong, I like it there, the people are nice, the food selection is good.. it just didn't do it for me today), I went to Mississippi Market.  There I spoke with the produce dude about what kind of kale I need for a smoothie.  We talked for a while, he gave me some good recipe ideas (I didn't mention anything about the donut I ate on my way there), and he inquired about my ethnic background.  When I told him my name was Asha, he said "Ah yes, hope."  Indeed, in Sanskrit my name means hope.  It was a good trip.  I came home with beets, kale, ginger, avocado, salt, pepper, and flax seed. 

Driving home from the co-op, I waited as this HUGE truck was getting situated along the side of the road.  I started to think, "what if I was in a hurry right now?"  Knowing I wasn't in a hurry, I was able to it really the trucks fault if I ran late?  Why wouldn't I just leave early?  It got me thinking about how cranky people can be when they drive.  If you are really in that big of a rush... leave earlier.  And when you think about it...what's more important... getting somewhere 30 seconds sooner?  Or driving respectfully and safely.  For some, I don't know there is a certain answer.  As I drove by the huge truck, I noticed it said "Mayflower" on it.  That seems appropriate, I thought, being Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I then began to think of what it must have been like to be Columbus on the ship coming to Indian...err... America.   

Last night I went to see "Still Black Still Proud" at the Ordway.  It was incredible.  The musicians (Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Vusi Mahlasela) were amazing.  There was so much talent on the stage.  Furthermore...and possibly my most favorite part of the show was that young and old people got up and danced.  It was beautiful.  Brown, black, white folks... a bunch of people were dancing.  And aside from weddings, it's a rare sight to see young kids and old folks dancing/sharing the same space.  It was heart warming.  (Side note: If you've never heard Vusi Mahlasela sing...check him out). 

My mind has been racing today (and I've left out several things).  Oh, one thing I should note is that last week I challenged myself to eat only non-processed foods.  That meant no butter, milk, yogurt, candy, ice cream, soda, etc.  I did drink (plenty of) beer, and "cheated" a few times (one egg roll at a staff meeting, one tiny piece of fudge while talking to my 88 year old friend who endorsed it, and on Sunday night-- the last night of the challenge I ate a string cheese and a morningstar veggie burger-- because I had a big interview the next morning and needed the duel).  It was certainly a challenge, and I did get sick of eating bananas and peanut butter all the time.  The first few days were cool, because I was actively cooking meat (in unprocessed coconut oil), and I made time to plan and prepare meals, but by the end, I was really just trying to make it through the week.  I'm glad I did the challenge though.  It was a good test of discipline.  

I am off to meet a friend for coffee.  Before I do, I feel as though I should share what I am thankful for.  In no order of importance, I am thankful for: my one skinny ankle, the positive people in my life, the lessons i have learned in the last year, my new job, my old job, music, and that i have enough food to eat everyday.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Help Asha Pay for Hockey by Drinking Beer Tomorrow (Sunday)!!

I've come out of an 8 year retirement from hockey, and am now playing for the Riveters.  Because hockey is so expensive, we are having a beer bust/fundraiser THIS SUNDAY from 1pm-4pm at Tom Reid's Hockey Pub in Saint Paul. 

If you like crappy beer, have 10 dollars for a wristband, want to win raffle prizes (i.e. wild tickets, gopher tickets, etc), and want to help me pay the 400-500 dollar hockey dues, please consider coming out.  The vikings game will be on, the energy will be high, and it's for a good cause.
Email or call me with questions.  Hope to see you tomorrow! 

P.s for those who are pregnant or in AA, please don't mind the title of this blog.  Come have a Coke!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Shoe Project (is over)

Apologies for not writing much lately.  Lots has been happening, and I've failed to keep up. 

Here are the final photos from the end of the shoe project.  I made it through the entire month (of October) never wearing the same shoes twice.  It was a fun project/challenge, and I am glad I did it! 

On November 1st when it was time to get dressed and go to work... I was stumped.   I stood in my closet (insert gay joke here) and was overwhelmed by outfit options.  I had at least 31 pairs of shoes I could wear (plus about 5-10 more), and since the shoe project was officially over, I could choose whatever I wanted. 

October 22, 2011.  Blue suede shoes from High School.

October 23, 2011.  Adidas Original Superstar.  Also from High School.

October 24, 2011.  Cribbage tournament in frogtown.

October 25, 2011.  Running out of photo ideas.

October 26, 2011.  Mili and Jen's dope floor, South Minneapolis. 

October 27, 2011.  My mom's "lawn mowing" shoes on Felix's motorcycle.

October 28, 2011.  Some random woman at the bar held up my leg so I could take this photo. 

October 29, 2011.

October 30, 2011.

October 31, 2011.  Last day of the shoe project.

 I seemed to write a lot more in October, while I was doing the shoe project.  It was fun to see how many people checked out my site and would leave comments along the way.  Last night I got to thinking about what I could write about now.... that would keep me posting regularly.  There's probably a way to update this blog with my phone, which would be sweet, because then I'd be more likely to post a photo of the day.  We'll see.  Suggestions are welcomed, as always.