Monday, December 27, 2010

tis the season...

...for mustaches.

Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the breakfast post.

I should be studying MNT, but here's a post about oatmeal instead!

I've concocted an oatmeal creation so wonderful, you'll ditch your $2/pouch of so called 'healthy' oatmeal.  What you'll need:

Old Fashioned Oats
Sesame Seeds
Ground Flax Seeds
Brown Sugar
A cup-o-coffee (for good measure)
  1. Cook your oatmeal as instructed on the big tube o' oats.  With old fashioned oats, which I chose because I like the texture better and it seems less processed (my own theory), I use less water.  I've had to experiment a bit with this, to each their own.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil or oats to cook, get your bowl of choice ready.  I prefer my Chacocat bowl that my best friend growing up got me - nice and big porcelain bowl, perfect for miso soup, too!  In the bottom of the bowl, add the brown sugar to taste.
  3. Remove the cooked oatmeal from heat and add about a teaspoon (or more!) of cinnamon, two teaspoons sesame seeds, and the ground flax.  All these measurements are variable but I caution - flax and sesame are some powerful GI (gastrointestinal) movers, to be polite.  I usually try to get 3T ground flax but I worked up to that, and I replace one tablespoon with some sesame seeds for added flavor.  Don't over do it.  Trust me.
  4. Mix it all up and pour over your brown sugar.  While you're pouring your coffee, the warm oatmeal is melting all that sugar... mmm...
  5. Enjoy!
Now, why am I doing this?  It's delicious! Oh, and it's really good for you.  I have no reference list at the bottom, so don't go preaching my every word, but rather investigate for yourself.  There are a lot of health benefits associated with whole grains and fiber - reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced cholesterol, etc.  Now the flax, oats, and sesame seeds are packed with fiber but the flax and sesame also has something special going for it - omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3's are polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA's) which are associated with decreasing inflammation, depression, cardiovascular disease risk, and so much more (a lot of which we don't even understand yet!).  A lot of products out there are including flax seeds in their recipe, but I have some bad news for you.  To start, it must be ground to get the benefits - our body doesn't have the ability to break the seed down.  In other words, it will go right through you untouched (think corn...).

Second, the omega-3 f are FA's with multiple double bonds within it's structure.  These double bonds are susceptible to free radical damage.  Free wha??  Free radical damage is a process of oxidizing compounds which is associated with cancer risk, atherosclerosis... it's not good.  The reason you consume antioxidants?  To fight these guys, the free radicals.

I call dibs on that band name, The Free Radicals ("We're here to do some damage!" - oh I could go on all day...).  You should hear about my zinc fingers/DNA Halloween costume idea...

Anyway, the likelihood of these double bonds being attacked by free radicals is increased with heat.  This means that those crackers with flax baked in, the yummy baked goods, could actually be doing more harm than good to your body.  I add my ground flax seeds to my oatmeal after it has cooled a bit and I consume vitamin E once a week via supplement to help prevent the FR damage.  Vitamin E because it is a fat soluble vitamin and the omega-3's are a fat.  That's the basic version and if you want more info, I would LOVE to explain further.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a professional, these words are my own and these supplements/foods work for me.  Everyone is different and reacts differently.  Some medications could negatively interact with certain supplements or foods.  Supplements ARE considered a medication and you should ALWAYS have a list of prescriptions/OTC medications/supplements for doctors/pharma's.  That tea with St. John's Wort or milk thistle?  Could potentially do some crazy things.  St. John's especially... but that's another post.  Just be careful; there are some OTC "herbs" that act like prescriptions: research, and consult with someone who has studied nutrition, Pharmacists are amazing too.

I'm stepping off my soap box now (temporarily).

Eat oatmeal, it's good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Phew.  I am a woman on a mission.  I just got back from Boston, MA and dove right into two quizzes, a midterm, case study... well you get the idea, only after a mere five hours after returning.

It was so worth it.  Not to mention I aced both the quizzes and the midterm while only studying the morning prior.  Oh, I'm sorry, am I bragging?

I'm not sure when there will be words to accompany them, but here are some photos to drool over:


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, all!

This weekend was amazing.  I finally had a much needed break from school and was able to act my age.  Here's a little summary of my fall events:
Mount Unpleasant can be pleasant sometimes.
Pumpkins were carved, seeds were roasted.

Zombie run: post-apocalypse photo-op.
Nick's family and I were able to sneak a nice walk in after the run before we spent some much needed time with his grandparents.  These are all from their backyard out on the p.  I missed the fall colors back home this year, or so I thought.  I finally had time to relax, breathe, and appreciate the little details; the colors of fall are hidden all around us, not just in the trees.

This little guy somehow made it through our mitten hurricane!

I love my home.

Finally, a night out with friends and the boy
Also this weekend, I made some serious progress on my bag!  To my dismay, however, I bought some necessary supplies from JoAnn's and the very next day my coupons came in the mail.  But anyway, I hand-sewed the liner, blocked, and then stitched the liner in this weekend.  I am beyond happy with the results!  I love what blocking can do!  My advisor/professor is a wonderwoman (makes everything from scratch: yogurt and cheese from her goats, lotion/tinctures from the herbs in her garden, spins yarn sheered from her own sheep...) and she is going to help me attach the strap.

All I need is a sweet button!

I hate to admit it, but I'm hibernating from the trick-or-treat-ers.  I've got hotel, flight, and conference confirmations to print/label/organize into my little travel folder; packing lists to make; professional outfits to arrange...  Ahh!! I don't feel ready!  I may be a big girl, but traveling alone has given me more anxiety than classes.  I just need to make some lists, organize, and I'll be fine.

Hopefully I can update soon after the conference!  Until then!

Monday, October 25, 2010

monday madness.

I'm coming up for air!

Mondays I am on campus for, ready for this, 11 hours.  8am advanced nutrition, 12pm nutrition education, 2pm quantity purchasing (lame), SDA meetings at 5:30, with some study time in-between.  Did I mention that four of those hours are spent in the same room, two classes back-to-back?

The past 6 days I have been a gestational diabetic.  Before you freak out, I'm not actually pregnant.  For our 570 class we have to role play for a project to teach us empathy.  If you are diabetic, I applaud you for your (hopefully) great glucose control on top of your daily routines!  We are required to check out a glucometer, follow a strict diet typical of a gestational diabetic, and monitor our blood glucose 5 times a day.  This entails pricking my finger when I wake up, before I eat lunch, after, before I eat dinner, and after, all while eating three sensible, low-sugar, moderately low-carb meals and a snack every 2-3 hours.  Don't even think about that cider you just bought. This sounds all wonderful, eating a lot, but wow, I have to eat a lot.  I HAVE gained weight, along with irritability.  I am being graded on my adherence to the diet which means those donuts we bought at Papa's Pumpkin Patch, off limits.  Boo diabetes.  Did I mention NO WINE?!?

But, alas, my last day is tomorrow and I can go back to eating my way.  I learned that I have amazing internal regulation.  I have forced myself to eat when I'm not hungry, a big no-no in most situations, just to avoid losing points on this project.  My body so does not want three bid meals with snacks.  I like my prolonged breakfast in the morning, small lunch, snacks mid-afternoon... you get the idea.  I'm proud of my body!  I may tend to binge a little at night if we buy too many tempting snack foods, but I'm otherwise great at listening to what my body needs.  Thank you, FNS 577!

I decided to sneak home before my meeting tonight; I'm in charge of fund-raising for FNCE and I need to go approve the artwork for the t-shirts I created.  I have a lot of work to get done this and next week, but after that it should be smooth sailing!  10 days until Boston!  193 days until graduation!  AND I'm officially registered as a zombie for the race this weekend, which I convinced my favorite professor and his wife to participate in!  Nothing like meeting the proff at your favorite bar, right?

Here is a cool link, just to stir some envy.

Other note-worthy things: visited a pumpkin patch with a good friend, carved, and baked pumpkin seeds, devoured pumpkin donuts and cider (finally!)... not much else, unless you want the gory details of my studies.

I think I see some sunshine peaking out... I'm off for a quick bike ride to clear my head then back to the grind!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

sundays are for...


"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this." 
- Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This is how I feel (sorry, but this week calls for profanity):

It seems I need a pick-me-up this week so here is a compilation of what is keeping me going.

 Two good ways to use the t-shirt yarn I made: One, Two

Boston:  FNCE is right around the corner

And this dog: come on, he's hilarious.

Here's to a better week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

thinking of better times...

It's been madness here.  I am at a loss for words to describe the stress, anxiety, exhaustion... you get the idea.  This week is hell (which had a hellish week build-up just to prepare).

So.  Here are some photos of happier, free-er times.  I went home end of september-ish and I got a new bike!  Woo!!  Holy-moly, about time.  Killer deal too.  Yesterday I got my police registration in the mail. :)

My dad also got a new set of wheels.  He updated his Wrangler with an additional  3" lift and snazzy new black rims.  I need a boost to get it, it's hilarious and awesome at the same time.

That's all for now - lame post, I know, but MAN, have I stressed enough how busy I am?  I'm pretty sure I can only talk about metabolic pathyways until Friday.

I'll post if I survive.

Friday, October 8, 2010

'tis the season for...

Good music.

Music has seasons.  The summer was nice, love you chill wave, but now it's time to revert back to something a bit more solid.

These past few weeks Grizzly Bear has come out, Modest Mouse, and when I think fall soundtrack I think Nick Drake.

I started knitting a hat with more yarn from my stash.  A fun tri-colored cord and then a simple gray wool from Clayton, NY.   Here come the memories!

An impromptu family reunion of the fella's was held a couple summer's ago in Clayton, NY.  First time meeting his brother and grandparents!  His mom and I went to a fiber arts museum and their shop had some great local yearn.  I picked up two skeins, one of which - the gray wool - was a first sheering from an alpaca down the road!

The Thousand Island region is absolutely gorgeous - we plan to buy one of the islands someday.  I've been eyeing this place.   The geological history is amazing; I was fascinated by the landscape!

Along the St. Lawrence Seaway, there is the Boldt Castle.  A wealthy man (proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria New York, among many other hotels) and his family spent summers here in the late 1800's.  The large, prominent structure in the front of the photo below was built for the children - completely wooden interior, built like a big tree house with a bowling alley in the basement.  After his wife's death, the place sat for 73 years.  In 1977, the state of New York bought the island for ONE DOLLAR.  All tourism proceeds go towards restoration of this massive castle.  The place was beautiful, but touristy. 

Boldt Castle
The "power house"
Most rooms were under renovation
Best Coffee in Clayton!

That was a fun trip down memory lane!  I love buying yarn when I travel, stow it away for a while and when it's time to use it, memories flood back.

Happy knitting/cooking/etc.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

rainy saturday morning

Happy October!  Before you start reading, head over to Gorilla vs Bear and begin the playlist, starting with Diplo's remix of Deerhunter's new track, Helicopter.  Perfect and hypnotic for that cup-o-joe and catching up on this week's happenings around the blog world.

I stumbled upon a cookbook Ikea helped publish, “Hembakat är Bäst,” (Homemade is Best), found on NOTCOT.  Oh. My. Goodness.  They had some fun with this one.  Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

I need this book.  Please, and thank you.

My stumblings brought me to this gem as well.  Yay, bananas and art work!  I love seeing creativity and food mingling, get voting!

 I'm torn between 5 (K and muscle/nerve regulation... clever), 7 (banana phone, anyone?), and 8 (just plain awesome.

 I couldn't help but notice a striking resemblance between this shirt and #2:

Between school and work, and more school, I've forgotten about my FNCE countdown!  In 34 days and 2 hours, I will be on a plane headed non-stop to Boston MA for the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo!  Not only is this my first trip to Boston, but my first (hopefully not the last) opportunity to attend the American Dietetic Association's largest get-together.  I'm extremely excited to be surrounded by professionals of the nutrition trade and pick the brains of company's, like sponsor's Coke and the Corn Refiner's Association of America.  Not to mention all the free swag!!!  As I said, I've never been to Boston.  Any suggestions?

As I type, my family is on their way down for the football game, so I better do that shower thing and try to get some studying done.

You better be checkin' the changing leaves, it only comes once a year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mid-week madness!

I need to come up for air!

This week has been insane.  As will be the next, and next, and next... and so on until Thanksgiving.  Had a quiz in Quantity Purchasing (foodservice, warehouses, lame, lame, contracts, supply, demand, lame...) and I totally kicked it's butt.  First Medical Nutritional Therapy exam tomorrow (awesome class x100).  Case study for Advanced nutrition due Wednesday (100 pts, yikes!), followed by quizzes, a massive group project, exam... and so on.  It will not end until... well, the end of the semester.

So!  Here is a mid-week breath of fresh air, perfect for this mini-heat wave we had, via Color Collective.  I need some color this week to put a little energy into my step.

I finally get to come home this weekend!  Headed back after advanced and studying with a friend on Friday.  Hopefully pictures to come, my dad's jeep is in the shop getting new tires and a bigger lift.  Yes, I said bigger.  For those who understand:  35" tires, new black rims, and a 3" lift.  Holy-moly, I can't wait to inherit this baby!  Wishful thinking :)

I can't wait to see friends and family, hit up my fav spots, eat some amazing food!

Speaking of favorites, my favorite bar is hosting the 2nd annual Zombie Run on Halloween weekend!  My light, well, in the middle of the tunnel.

Back to some med. terminology... woohoo!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

sleepy sunday morning

Being productive before noon on a Sunday... not something I plan on doing today.  My time was better spent sleeping in with the boyfriend before he starts work, consuming larger quantities of fabulous coffee, and being inspired by beautiful things on this internet thing.  This is The Post of Random Things.  Enjoy.

First of all, check out Twin Shadow's "Savannah Howl" via Grorilla vs. Bear.  Love it.

More love, makes my eyes happy on this dreary day, via Color Collective:

The second reminds me of some newer Glenn Wolff projects.  

I definitely need some inspiration after last week.  

The semester is beginning to get brutal.  Classes are amazing but it is going to be a monumental task to keep my head above water.  With at least one assignment due each week per class (more often two per class), it's pretty easy to fall behind.

My main goal this semester (one of many, on a more personal, non-academic note) is to be a bit more outgoing, meet more fascinating people, and make the most of my college student career.  I'm not a typical college student but I know I'll regret it later on if I don't have a little fun.  I've found a great group of people to work with; we're meeting, studying, comparing case studies and notes, it's wonderful.  I know my grades are going be better because of it but these are also people I see myself hanging out with and missing after graduation.  

It's important to form these bonds; we're in this (pardon) shit together, learning about ourselves, constantly questioning everything around us, and each one of us understands that horrified look we have in our eyes.  It's a bond, relationship, understanding you can't get anywhere else.   I'm very glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to make some changes.

On the crafting front (enough of that serious life stuff!), I knit a headband with some yarn from my secret stash.  Quick, fun, and goes wonderfully with my new semester haircut. :)  I finished my first one after an all-nighter of studying for advanced nutrition.  I discovered you can't go to bed after studying the nutrient absorption of the digestive system (among MANY MANY other functions) for five hours.  So many color combo's, patterns, oh my!  I see many more of these in my future (all-nighters AND headbands!).

New movie (for me): the boy and I watched The Count of Monte Cristo last night.  So romantic.  I hope he knows how much I adore him.

After being inspired by on of my favorite artist's sketchbooks, Stella Im Hultberg, I've decided to keep one of my own.  I love doodling and like knitting, I've found it to be very theraputic.  While I'm not an artist, I think being able to sketch the little things around me (on campus, in class, studying at Kaya - my new home) will be a great way to document this stage in my life.  Too much inspiration, energy, enthusiasm, hope, excitement to contain!

Some of my favorites to end, I love the tea-stained parchment:

How are you going to make the most of your Sunday?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

smells like fall: mom's chili

I peaked in the freezer... guess who has a stock pile of goodies from home?!?

Whenever Nick and I head back home, we bring a cooler knowing it will be packed full of tasty goods from Mary's Kitchen Port, Oryana, and most importantly, home!  We now have a collection of 5 or so varying-sized coolers because we often forget...

Well, I pulled some homemade chili from my mom's crock-pot along with a loaf of Zingerman's Sicilian Sesame Semolina Bread

Oh!  And I finished knitting my bag!  Just a few more details and it's done.

I love fall...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

smells like fall: spiced walnuts

My home smells like cinnamon!

Nick and I made manicotti (from a favorite place back home), cucumber salad, and asiago bread (store bought, hehe).  In the fourty minutes it took to bake, I frantically came up with a dessert idea.

After assessing my pantry situation (yikes!), I found

brown sugar
(soy) milk

among other seemingly impossible ingredients.  What came out was warm, buttery, cinnamon-y goodness. Spiced walnuts.

This is really dangerous - ice cream, yogurt, salads, ALONE!  So I was a good girl and individually bagged appropriate portions, but they magically disappeared very quickly... but think of all those omega-3's!

I'm pretty sure fall is here. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

time for sweaters.

School's in with a chill.
This time of transition feels different. Waking up in the morning, getting ready for class, it all seems a little easier.  Graduation is tangible, somewhat, but there's something in the air.

Everyone seems so studious already - I began studying within the first week.  My friends and I have our routine at our favorite coffee shop, Kaya, and we've been pretty good at keeping to the ever-growing list of things to accomplish (pretty good).  Student Dietetic Association meetings have started, unifying and motivating all us dietetics majors.  And my classmates have been surprisingly warm about my decision to not apply to internships in the spring - apparently I'm not the only one!  The pressure is off and I feel focused and motivated.

Maybe it's the fact that this is Nick and I's last summer, fall, winter here.  I began to think about it right before classes resumed.  This is the last time we watch the trees across the road change into three diverse colors, all circling their trunks.  The last time we watch our retired neighbor bag them all up, every day (literally).  This is the last time we sleep with the windows open.  Carve pumpkins from the farmer's market.  We're not sad, but starting to realize we finally can think beyond mount unpleasant.

In the back of my mind, I felt this relief all summer

Summer carried a nostalgic tone.  Dreamy beach days, chill melodic beats, and shades.  Color!  Summer was fun and energetic with a color scheme to match:

(thanks to Color Collective)

The fun, flirty colorful wardrobe of course made its way into the classroom, but seemed out of place.  There was no hot weather to prolong shorts season and out came the cardigans, dark wash jeans, and flats.  We're muting our colors and polishing the leather shoes.  I expect to take full advantage of the cooler weather tones...

The transition into sweater weather has been strange!  The beginning of fall happened sooner than I think we all were ready for.  I feel disconnected from the changes that surround me, oblivious.  Prior to this long weekend, I was still expecting a September heat wave.  With overcast dominating, followed by continuous rain, the sense of fall is setting in.  A new knitting project doesn't hurt...

I woke up this morning, brushed my teeth, put in my contacts, grabbed a cup of coffee, and hopped back in with a book.  It was marvelous.  I'm not sure if this will ever happen again, but it happened today.

This seems to be the last bit of relaxing I'll be doing before mayhem takes over.  I'll finally be making my way home at the end of September for a 5k and from there on out my social calendar is full!  October will bring my family down for a football game, two weeks later, the homecoming game, and the zombie run back home for Halloween...  Boston at the beginning of November (I can hardly contain myself!!!), and once we make it to Thanksgiving break, the semester's end is a week away!  I'll leave out the gory academic details. :)

I'm all packed for my bike to Kaya tomorrow to study before class, dinner is in the works, and the wine is breathing.  This rainy Labor day weekend was heaven sent.  Time to knit and take it all in.