I'm a dedicated coffee drinker. I always have been. I think I got the habit from my mom, after watching her down pot after pot. I wanted to be like her and coffee was the better habit to emulate. (better then taking up smoking) Coffee has become almost part of my personal definition. Boyfriends quickly learn that brining me a cup of coffee will be brought with delight. I beg for stops at local roasters and bring home pounds of beans and treasured coffee cups to remember the experience.
I always drank coffee.
Yet I'm going through this kick to figure out how to be the healthiest me I can be. It's not about weight loss, but it is about activity tracking, diet modification and simply seeing what works best for me. Part of the adventure on this track is questioning my habits. Can i figure out a way to get enough sleep? I rolled back my bed time to 8pm when I started getting up at 4am, it wasn't easy but I did it. Can we stop eating out so much, can I cook more? It was easier once we moved in together, but I'm still counting this as a success.
Then there are the things you "can't live without" For me, that was coffee. So I'm giving it up for the month of September. WEll most of the month of September. I started on Monday and will roll through the final weekend of the month. If I feel better without it, I'll try decaf or give it up except for as an occasional treat.
The things you find in a grocery store.
Cocoa Puffs Muffins? Really?
I enjoy grocery shopping. Much to Mike's dismay , I genuinely enjoy grocery stores , both as a regular chore and a sociological study. When on vacation, I delight going into local grocery I find the differences in local selection fun and interesting. I get a thrill picking up a local brand of pickles or seeing a new variety of yogurt or a bizarre flavor of potato chip.
But I also wonder at the real contents of a grocery store. Beyond the veg and produce, beyond the meat and basics. You know, the constructed foods we've invented in the past 20 years. A grocery store carries on average 38,718 items and the majority of those are things we have created. In fact we spend more money on processed food then we do on any other category.
I stumbled upon this article, linked from a friends Facebook, where the author marvals at the disconnect between the displays and the "desire" for healthfulness.The World Is Fucking Insane
I'm not a morning person. My morning work schedule has me up between 4am and 5am, and weekends I love sleeping in. So what is good enough to get me out of bed at 6:30 almost every Saturday? How about a plethora of affordable produce?
Well it turns out that 7am is my pick up time for Bountiful Baskets a Fruit and Veg Coop. It's a great addition to our regular shopping and keeps me on my toes to have healthy veg filled dinners. That assortment you see above cost $15, the regular contribution price. It's a mix of about 50/50 Fruit and Vegetables , the right kind of things to have for dinner and to snack on during the week.
Each week the basket changes based on whats fresh, and they offer additional "Add-ons" for an extra fee. For example, that week my produce actually looked like this:
After a friend posted invite codes to Graze.com on her Facebook I was intrigued. For $5 they would send me a box of 4 different snacks for noshing on while at the office. They have a wide selection of mixes. Dried fruits and nuts, oatcakes and spreads, granolas, pretzels and dips. I looked over all the options, selected the most paleo friendly options and signed up for my first box.
What I loved: I loved the selection process. They had me look through all of the items in their catalog and select the ones I'd "love", "like" , "try" or "trash". That way I got to select things I might like and avoid things that didn't sound good to me. In business sense this meant they could manage their inventory by knowing what people tended to like.
I loved the flavors. Fun flavors like "Jaffa Cake" "Chili and Lime Pistachios" "Cherry Frangipane" and "Apple Crumble". These are creative combinations looking to recreate flavors with fruits and nuts. Looking over the UK site, it appears they even do combinations of a snack plus tea or a flavored popcorn.
What I liked: I like that they select what i'm getting and just send it out. It's a subscription service and it goes like clockwork. I liked that the packaging was compact, recylable and cute. I'd stash it in my desk drawer easily. At $5 it's resonable for a snack. Assuming I got a snack at work every day, I'd be spending more then $5 a week.
Dear Sunnie and Kim,
I'm sorry for my recent disappearance, I decided it was time to move from North of North (Everett) to South and East of the Seattle Metro core. I've relocated to Renton, where there are plenty of opportunities for new food experiences. This includes new grocery stores, Farmer's Markets and restaurants to try.
I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and offering some comparisons of the different areas. For the moment here is a peek at my favorite Indian place in Renton, Spice King.
In love with Curry, Deb
Mike is in a business conference today, in Cle Elum. It's held at the swanky Suncadia Resort. I was able to shift my schedule around a little bit to attend with him. As a perk I get a spa gift certificate for $150, an amazing view of the Cascades, and time to relax. When he left for his seminar this morning he admonished me to just relax.
He was horrified to realize that my idea of relaxation included my laptop and a writing agenda. In part it is the scenery that inspires. The majestic pines and mountainous landscape of the cascades is awe inspiring The kind of landscape that invites music by Enya and meditative stares out the window.
But productivity is relaxing to me. Writing is a meditative act, allowing me to reflect and share what is on my mind. It's a chance to do a brain dump, pull out all the ideas i have floating around and get them on paper (either digital or real). It' allows me to draw them out and chew on them, finding bits to act upon, bits to reflect upon and bits to discards. it allows me to relax into a much more peaceful state. Relaxing is more then just zoning out at a spa, it is the freedom to be and do whatever you really wish to do. To rehome yourself and come back to your core.
What's more relaxing that letting it all out, and then bringing the right pieces together like a puzzle?
I work in an office, with a number of aging baby boomers. I'm watching a number of the struggle with the idea of graduating on to the next stage of their life. It's not necessarily that they aren't ready to be done working, they just aren't sure what else they could or should do. They see retirement as a sea of uncertainty, and their current employment as day to day structure.
I find it extremely frustrating. As we're talking about Plan B, I see a see of potential, I see all the things I want to accomplish in my life, the places I want to travel, the projects I want to complet, the people I want to spend time with. My work with my employer is key in this, but it is not the be all and end of of what I want to do. It's my responsibility to work with my employer and set appropriate professional goals.
Dear Kim and Sunnie,
I have a confession. I LOVE FOODTRUCKS. Growing up, I remember the canteen wagon pulling into the Com Edison building across from our house every day to serve lunch to the hungry workers. It wasn't anything i ever went to, but I was intrigued by the idea of this shiny wagon of mysterious lunch.
In Chicago, the closest I ever got was small food carts. This was both the food carts I worked at the local zoo (Brookfield) and the carts that would sell fresh mango or corn in our neighborhood of Rogers Park. Food Carts were full of mystery and tasty eats.
As I grew up so did food carts. They became full fledged trucks selling street foods with flair. Skillet was the first I'd ever heard of, or visited. (Visited here in 2008 ) It had burgers, poutine with cheese sauce and amazing fried chicken.
Hello My Darlings,
We're not quite done talking tea yet. I'm sure you're not surprised considering how much I love it,
Tea is more then just a simple cup of. Tea is also a ritual. Whether it is a special cup in a quiet moment, or a formal Afternoon Tea as a celebration or tourist activity. I love high tea. I've been to afternoon tea at half a dozen establishments both here and in Victoria and am inspired to try making a tea tradition of my own. Afternoon Tea is an English tradition of sweet and savories served in the mid afternoon, as you get home from work, a few hours before dinner. It's often a social hour, time to invite friends over and entertain without the cost of a dinner party. If you do enough research you will find that there is a lot of conflicting information on high tea vs low tea, afternoon tea vs meat tea. My experience has always been a formal event, something for tourists and Mother's Day, a bit pricey, but meant for special occasions.
Restaurants catering to a formal afternoon tea in Seattle include:The Queen Mary Tea Room The Sorrento Hotel & Hunt ClubThe Fairmount Hotel