Gimmie Dat Bean

No, I’m not talking about the bean hidden in the King Cake. I’m decidedly not getting the baby either for that matter because (blasphemy) I don’t spend from Twelfth Night through Mardi Gras eating massive amounts of pastry. Why? Because I don’t eat that shit the rest of the year, with the exception of caving on occasion to the ever-present junk food of the Christmas holiday, so you better believe I’m not trying to fatten myself up for another month. I’d way rather eat Chinese food. (Exception being eating King Cake at a parade-watching party because you can eat whatever you want once the parades start and you walk everywhere.)

As a matter of fact, I’m doing a cleanse and I’m slowly trucking through the same ten-day moderate cleanse that I did right before 4th of July over the summer. I think I’m going to try to make it a biannual thing and (weather permitting) cleanse and then hit up the Swan River Yoga retreat again too.

I went with some friends to check out the WWII Museum over the weekend and it was incredibly informative and a heartbreaking mixture of awe at both the act of creation and devastation. Before heading to the final showing of Beyond All Boundaries , we headed over to the attached American Sector restaurant for a snack. No drinks for me and I had to look at the bartender straight in the face and ask if there was anything vegan on the menu. Then, realizing that I can’t eat most things that vegans eat (bread, nuts, salad dressing), I figured I might as well own up to my cleanse and ordered a $9 bowl of lettuce adorned with 2-4 halves of cherry tomatoes and a few shaved radishes. Yippee!! Oh yeah and I did put a little bit of black pepper and a splash of vinegar and a tiiiny bit of olive oil, because…lettuce. I also packed my own nuts… and on the streetcar I enjoyed my packed lunch of BEANS! And sliced cucumbers.

My excitement over beans is that on Day 5 (and for the remainder of the ten) I can add beans to my diet. Hallelujah! I might have been a tad irritable on days 1 & 2 that only allowed for fruits and vegetables but now I’m flying high and it is because of this amazing bean dish I’ve been making.

Here’s the gist: You can’t eat regular hummus so I modified a warm chickpea puree to fit my dietary restrictions.

Step one: Coarsely chop three cloves of garlic.

Step two: Cook garlic in a dollop of coconut oil.

Step three: Add a can of mostly strained chickpeas

Step four: Combine the garbanzo beans, with a little bit of the liquid from the can, with the sautéed garlic.

Step five: Cook, for kind of awhile. You really can’t overcook it? I walked away to get dressed the first time. The point is that it needs to be nice and hot.

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Step 5: Add a little bit of cayenne pepper, fresh black pepper, red pepper flakes and a shake of garlic powder.

Step 6: Puree! If it is too thick add a little bit of olive oil.

Serve with slices of bell pepper, carrots and cucumber. Or, just eat it with a spoon because that, my friends, is delicious.

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When You Fall Down

I stumble and I fall down both metaphorically and literally. Often. Life is hard, and these things happen. I’m also kind of clumsy and have a penchant for questionable decision-making. Seems to be the case right? But you fall down, get up because here we are, all of us, doing it. Yeah!

On Friday, I literally ate shit pretty hard on my run. I was deeply involved in an inner monologue in which I was high fiving myself for throwing on some long underwear for what I hoped would be one of the last winter runs of the season and going over the rest of my day and the next month because I have some important and stressful things on the horizon. Clearly I didn’t notice the branch that my left toe got caught on until I was flat out on my belly. I mean all the way down. I’ve been tripped up before but I can’t remember a time when I was all the way prone on my stomach just laid out on the ground like that. My regular 4.5 mile loop travels mostly on the neutral ground, the grassy space where the street car tracks traverse the city, so a lot of it is grass. And grass is WAY softer than pavement and I was happy to find myself laying on the grass and not pavement. I’m gonna go ahead and give a “Wohoo!” to that.

And, fortunately, when you are really distracted, it is kind of like the way you fall when you are drunk. Most injuries that result from a fall come from bracing against the impact. That is why drunken people seem to bounce – because they never saw it coming. I definitely didn’t see it coming. Except on Friday morning I was not drunk. I actually wasn’t even hungover…fancy that. Just so incredibly distracted that I was oblivious to any treacherous ground. (I do, however, pay attention to traffic.) I slammed a little harder on my left knee and my right wrist, but don’t worry, I wasn’t injured. To be sure that I was actually fine, I did the wrist test that Gordon Bombay made Adam Banks do in the first Mighty Ducks. Without the hokey stick, I just tried to turn my wrist holding my iPhone. I don’t own a hockey stick.

I’ve had a number of drunken spills in my day so I assure you, I am an expert on this topic. I am also an expert on The Mighty Ducks. Now, go get it with your bad self and try not to fall down too hard, that shit hurts.

Bad Science

Disclaimer: In case you are not aware, I am not a scientist, nor have I completed any research on the following subject aside from being a participant in life. For better or worse, I am alive and thus am in the midst of the biggest experiment of them all – my own.

Here is my point – I am annoyed by the amount of “studies” that keep popping up in my news feed about how one glass of wine has the health equivalent of an hour at the gym (or some variation thereof). Because, well, that is a big pile of steaming shit.

Yeah, I’m calling out the bullshit. The titles of these articles are misleading and are being jokingly (or seriously??) spread around the internet to all of us who love to get our drink on as a “high five!” and “you go, girl!” for getting down on a glass of wine every night.

But you know what, kids? Most of the people high fiving are not having a glass, they are having a bottle, so no high five to me. I literally will drink that whole bottle, it will more than likely be a nice bottle and enjoy the hell out of it. And then, do you know what? I will go work out the next day. Maybe twice.

I do not keep my svelte figure by drinking a glass of wine a day. I keep my figure tight by being a bad-ass at cooking healthy and delicious and hitting up Pure Barre many times per week and then tack on multiple miles of jogging and biking to that routine. Of course it is only fair to factor in genetics, because lets face it, I was set up for a pretty rockin’ bod if I put my mind to it so I’m not going to discount the luck of the draw.

If I cut out an hour of exercise because I decided to have just one glass of wine per night, I would not get nearly enough physical activity to sustain my mental or physical health. (Spoiler: I’m not currently getting laid.) I use my jogs to burn through calories and clear my head and Pure Barre to tone everything else. Mentally and physically, I require workouts and I’d probably go crazy without it. Literally bat shit cray.

I DO enjoy a glass of wine sometimes. And okay, while it usually ends in a bottle (two?), it does not always. And MAYBE that one glass of wine is good for my heart and possibly can be construed as a lovely relaxant to take away the stress of life (LEGALIZE POT ALREADY!!) and aid in better sleep habits but I don’t know if that is “equivalent” in health benefits to one hour at the gym. Sounds pretty fishy.

Since this is my experiment, I can’t weigh the two because I don’t drink one glass of wine every day, certainly don’t sleep 8 hours every day and I also don’t have a “control group” second version of myself to compare it to. And without that, it is BAD SCIENCE.