27 October 2009

Yummy Yammies!

I don't even call them yams. I prefer "sweet potato", but I do call them delicious. They're pretty versatile. You can do something simple like peel and slice up a few, french fry-style, then toss with olive oil and your favorite seasoning (simple like kosher salt or more adventurous use your imagination) until evenly coated. Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-40 minutes at 425. Voila. Sweet potato fries!

My latest favorite recipe:

Two sweet potatoes peeled and cubed. Boil with a little salt for about 10 minutes until almost tender. While potatoes are boiling slice up red onion and saute in olive oil. Drain your sweet potatoes and add them to the onions. Add about 2 Tsp cumin and 2 Tsp coriander and saute for a few more minutes. Looks like this and is delish:

I've been eating this with a big scoop of my black beans (canned black beans mostly drained, with salsa, chili powder and cumin to taste.) I made it into a burrito one night, but am really digging it just in a bowl with the black beans!

26 October 2009

Book/Food Review

The book is "Skinny Bitch", by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It's been around a while, but I picked up the book on CD last week and listened to it while I was working at home on Thursday. It goes by quickly and has an entertaining voice, so if you're into audio books and you're looking to re-evaluate the way you eat, you might be into it.

Basically the book perscribes a vegan diet, so no meat, dairy, eggs. They also bag on caffeine in the form of sodas and coffee. And they basically say white refined sugar and many sugar replacements inlcuding aspartame are the devil. They go into detail about why each item is no friend to the Skinny Bitch. There's more to it than that, of course, but those are the key elements I identified with.

For the last few weeks, even before listening to the book, I've been thinking about what I eat and why. The book reminded me of several things I already knew, but was not wanting to do anything about. Sugar. Duh. Butter and cheese? Um, yeah, if I say we're all "just friends", you'll know I mean it in the way I used to tell my parents that my too-old-for-me boyfriend and I were "just friends". I think we all know how that turned out.

Where I'm at: I've been a vegetarian for about 15 years. I basically feel like I eat rather healthfully, but am always looking for ways to improve. I'm also a runner who wants to fuel her body properly for maximum performance. I'm beginning to accept the whole idea that my body is my engine and that if I put crappy, processed food in as fuel, I'm not going to perform as well as if I were eating more healthfully.

The no meat part is done. Giving up meat was not an issue when I did it because it just made sense to me and I never really ENJOYED meat like some folks do.

Caffeine and aspartame? I've played around with my addiction to Diet Coke for a while. I'll be on it then off, then back on. I recently had a couple weeks back on the chemicals after almost nine months off it. I totally loved the taste, but felt guilty about enjoying it, knowing that it's ultimately not good for me. I knew that in no time at all I'd be buying it by the case and drinking at least two cans a day. My main issue is the aspartame. Skinny Bitch does a great job laying out why it's probably not the best substance in the world to be digesting on the regular, which served as a reminder for me, all reasons why I have given it up in the past. So, I put the kibosh on my re-emerging habit before it could get out of control.

I love cheese and butter and think everything tastes better with copious amounts of both. I also am a giant fan of the sweets. I don't have just one sweet tooth, I have an entire set that's rather fond of all kinds of sugar.

I've been thinking too about adding more healthy things into my regular cooking routine, so I don't have to fall back on less than good for me choices. It's also helpful for me to not think "I'll never be able to eat that again," like removing something from the go to menu is a form of punishment. We get to make choices about everything we eat. I want to be able to celebrate my choices.

While I'm not considering giving up on dairy and sugar entirely, the book did make me rethink what I am eating and why. I guess you could say everything's up for review.

25 October 2009

Kitten at Play

Since R's two cats have started staying with me, they have equally entertained and annoyed me. Fortunately, I've caught Junior being his entertaining self. This is my very first attempt at video editing in i-Movie. It's just a short clip, but it was fun to put together.


14 October 2009

thinking about...

...in the wake of ArtPrize I have an intense desire exercise my own creativity and/or be around more creative people on a daily basis.

...the big moves I'm making with my grill. Braces are not coming as soon as I thought. Turns out we have to make some room to move my chiclet teeth around first.

...wondering about Halloween. Will I be required to don a costume for any reason? There's always the Zombie Walk.

...then I'm wondering about Thanksgiving. Where will I eat non-turkey this year? I don't even remember what I did last Thanksgiving. I think I went to Marquette. Pretty sure.

...I'm somewhat obsessed with leggings lately. I bought two pairs this weekend. I wonder though do people realize you're wearing leggings or do they think you forgot your skirt and are trying to pass off a pair of tights as a pair of pants? I know wearing longer shirts/tunic-style tops is the way to go, but still...just wondering what folks think? Also, is this appropriate for work or more of a weekend-y type style?

...finally going to get out of Dodge for a bit in November. Can't wait! Have I mentioned that I have time off that I'll have to carry over to next year because I did not and will not be able to use it within the short time that remains in 2009! Going to have to start planning NOW on how to use up my days in 2010.

...spent an arm and a leg at the VW dealer again yesterday. It's the only place that I routinely spend what I deem to be an obscene amount of money. I did a mental list of the $ I've spent there just this year and it was enough to make me sick. When I think about what I could have purchased instead. UGH! How about this? Or this? Or about five pairs of really sick designer shoes. Hello Jimmy Choo, YSL and Louboutin we could have been friends! Ok, in reality it wouldn't have gone down like that, it's just a diversionary thought tactic so I don't stay focused on what really happened yesterday. I am grateful I have a safe car to drive. I'll just leave it at that.

...candy corn.

10 October 2009

Last Day...

...of ArtPrize! So the official winner was Ran Ortner with "Open Water no. 24". This piece was my number two pick. My number one pick was Imagine That by Tracy VanDuinen. All in all I was quite pleased with how everything shook out. I'm hoping to get to the Federal Building today to see Open Water one more time, but have heard there's a line with about a 30 minute wait. Maybe a bit later on. I also want to check out the gift shop. The ArtPrize merch was pretty cool!

08 October 2009


So it's been awhile since my last post. I've been wrapped up in all things ArtPrize here in Grand Rapids. Our city has been turned into a giant museum with over 1200 pieces of art scattered about in various venues including actual galleries, restaurants, churches, bridges over the Grand River and even in the Grand River. The founder of ArtPrize said he wanted to "reboot the coversation about art" with the creation of ArtPrize. I'd say he's been successful. I've talked to more people about art in the last few weeks than perhaps ever.

We had one week to view and vote thumbs up or thumbs down to all of the pieces we could take in. I went out every day/night during the initial week of voting. Went to the Top 10 Announcment and then went out a bit more before casting my vote. It's been interesting to hear/read all the chatter online and in print about which pieces are worthy for the top prize. There's been discussion about whether the public is sophisticated enough to pick a piece worthy of the top prize. I think art that endures has to resonate with the viewer. When I was voting for my top pick, I thought back to how I initially responded to my top three choices. Putting all other voices aside, I wanted to vote for the piece that I had the strongest emotional reaction to. It was one of the first pieces I saw. When I read the artist's statement. I felt good about the choice I was making. The piece is beautiful and I like how the community was somewhat involved in its creation, which is a common denominator for this particular artist's work.

I won't tell you which piece I picked. Yet! I'm going to go to the winners event tonight so I can hear firsthand who the winner is. I want to see how my choices stacked up with the actual winners. I'll let you know!