Thursday, August 30

Decision Time

Thank you, you survey monkeys, for willingly participating in my "What Should I Do Next?" survey. (And if you'd still like to participate, it's still available.)

I've decided on my first act of human experimentation.

My very clever, very knowledgeable neighbor Christina, the Spice Merchant's Daughter, has persuaded me that my first experiment needs to be "none of the above." It is, she admonishes, all about the spices. "Use more cinnamon," she says. "It burns fat. Lots and lots of cinnamon." (Next week we'll undertake experiment number two, based on your survey results.)

Wee one and I are spending the upcoming week at family camp, and we're prepping food now to haul out to the woods. So this will be a simple experiment to conduct. We're beginning this cinnamon loading by tossing a ton -- well, a large scoop -- of beautiful brown spice into our morning green smoothies, which has the unexpected benefit of completely disguising the slightly seaweedy taste of spirulina. That's a win-win.

A friend gave us an entire bag of apples, fresh off her tree, so we're also working on drying cinnamon apples in the dehydrator.  (And if we use enough cinnamon, maybe it'll fend off bears!)

The recipe -- like everything raw -- is stupidly simple. If you have the right equipment.

  • A dehydrator. Mine, with its collection of eight square shelves, is an earlier version of this, the Excaliber 9-Tray Dehydrator.
  • An apple corer/peeler/slicer. This nifty gadget tears through apples at industrial speed, making peeled apple slices ready for drying, snacking, or loading into raw apple pie.
  • Look at that baby rip through an apple.
  • A shaker, for sprinkling cinnamon. 

  1. Peel, core, and slice a dozen apples.
  2. Lay dehydrator shelves over kitchen sink, load each shelf with a single layer of apple slices, and sprinkle the slices with cinnamon.
  3. Dehydrate at high setting for two hours to prevent browning and to quickly evaporate surface liquid. 
  4. After two hours, turn dehydrator setting to 115 degrees, and continue dehydrating about eight hours, or until apple slices are leathery. Thickly sliced apples will take longer.
This tray: Half tomatoes, half cinnamon apples.
Note peeled, cored and sliced apple ready to
fill the next tray.
And the final product, dried apples and
dried 'matoes. Yum!

Wednesday, August 29

And The Winner Is...

Yay. I did it. I won a plaque. And five hundred bones. And a car wash. And more personal training sessions.

So that's good.

And now comes second crunch time. I'm determined to lose the remaining 27 pounds.

But first: A salad, a big salad, with dressing. Yeah, it was ranch. Forgot to tell the waitress to leave it off, and was too hungry to send it back. Now, my gall bladder is killing me. Ow, ow, ow. We won't be doing that again.

Wanna see pictures? Arggh. Highly embarrassing, but they're hanging up in my gym now, so I might as well stop playing coy.

Oh, the humanity.

Guess which one's the before. The dates might provide a clue.

So, okay then. We're 73 pounds down, 27 to go. (And what's the secret to losing four and a half pounds in a day? Easy. I removed my shoes, my watch, my sweatcoat, and my sunglasses before the final weigh in. That pretty much sorted it.)

- - - -
Journey has my theme song for the next phase of this undertaking: Don't Stop Believing.

Tuesday, August 28

Dum-dum Dum-dum...

Tomorrow night's the big weigh in. Pretty sure I'm the biggest loser at my gym. The whole enchilada? Fingers crossed.

- - - -
The music that plays in my head when I swim: The Jaws Theme Song.

Monday, August 27

Protein Primer: Part Pi*

Protein tallying is a persnickity pastime. Coffee, with its trace of protein and its utter absence of calories, looks superficially like the number-one way to get low-calorie nutrition. But the protein level in coffee is so minute you'd be better off gnawing on a wad of your own hair.

Ever-willing to provide me genuine low-calories sources of protein, my magical database yields up some other interesting finds.

Today we present the most useful list yet: Top-twenty raw-vegan sources of protein, in anti-Letterman order. The number following each listing is the number of calories per gram of protein. We've left out several items you'll probably never use (drumstick leaves, skunk cabbage, cottonseed meal), so when we eventually make public the entire list (all calculated by nutritional value in 100 grams of food**), you'll find 519 raw food options that have 50 calories or less per gram of protein***. But this list should keep you busy shopping for the remainder of the day:

  1. Seaweed, Spirulina (4.4)
  2. Watercress (4.8)
  3. Vital Wheat Gluten (4.9)
  4. Alfalfa Seeds, Sprouted (5.8)
  5. Seaweed, Laver (6.0)
  6. Pumpkin Leaves (6.0)
  7. Sesame Flour, Low-Fat (6.6)
  8. Sunflower Seed Flour, Part Defatted (6.8)
  9. Soy Meal, Defatted (6.8)
  10. Kidney Beans, Mature Seeds, Sprouted (6.9)
  11. Broccoli Raab (6.9)
  12. Soy Flour, Defatted (7.0)
  13. Winged Beans, Immature Seeds (7.1)
  14. Cowpeas, Leafy Tips (7.1)
  15. White Mushrooms (7.1)
  16. Chrysanthemum Leaves (7.1)
  17. Fresh Basil (7.3)
  18. Frozen Asparagus (7.4)
  19. Fiddlehead Ferns (7.5) -- tied with an item NOT on the government's database, Hemp Powder (7.5)
  20. Baby Zucchini (7.7)
- - - -
*Pi: The Khmer word for "Two". Anything for alliteration.

** Conversion: 100 grams is about 3.5 ounces, which equals a cup of powedered sugar; 2/3 cup of chopped fruit, veggies, or nuts; or 1/3 cup of salt. Ten grams equals a tablespoon of bread crumbs.

*** For comparison purposes, a piece of extra crispy KFC fried chicken weighs in at a tubby 42.3 calories per gram of protein. Just in case you wondered.

Friday, August 24

Pick My Experiment!

So the competition ends Wednesday ... and I haven't reached my goal.

The good news, for you, is that I'm still determined to lose my hundred pounds, and you get to help me decide how I'm going to do it.

So give me advice. Beginning Friday, I promise to spend one week implementing readers' top pick. You want me to eat more calories? Dance in the middle of the freeway? Wear a bra on my head? Help me decide, and you can help direct human medical experimentation! Heil!

(You may choose more than one response to each question. And if the survey below doesn't appear on your screen, click here to take the survey).

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Thursday, August 23

Doing the Best That I Can

...And then I said, "C'mon! We can do another lap."

And K. said, "Ugghhh."

And I said, "If we do another hill climb, we can feel morally superior to everyone else. And we can drop comments into our conversation like 'Well, when I was walking the hill the second time this morning...' But if we don't do it, we'll feel like losers. So let's roll!"

K.: "Fine. But then I'm going to California and I'm not coming back until school starts."

And she did. And I haven't been back up the hill since Monday.

Sigh. Now I don't feel morally superior to anyone.

On the plus side, there are blackberries everywhere, and I can step outside my door to forage for breakfast. Which is what I did this morning when I had to take hubby up north to a doctor's appointment.

OK, so maybe I'm feeling a little bit everyone who ate Froot Loops this morning.

- - - -
Note overuse of italics in this post, in honor of the late Helen Gurly Brown, the queen of crazy overused italics in every single thing she ever wrote! RIP.

- - - -
Mac Davis knows, it really is Hard to be Humble.

Wednesday, August 22

Flax Seed: The Love is Back

Unlike the New York Times, I admit my errors, and print retractions.

Oh, flax seed: I done you wrong. Couldn't find your numbers on the USDA database I was using, so I googled you, and found numbers that fit the database format.

Alas. The Internets were wrong. Or they don't correlate with the government's numbers, and we all know that everything the government says is true.

Now I've found the USDA's updated database, and it seems you're just a lowly seed, filled with protein, yes, but neither better nor worse than sesame, hemp, chia, or celery seeds. You're just a lonely little oilseed, forty percent protein, and 25 calories per gram.

I'll celebrate your rehabilitation by throwing you in a smoothy, and pulverizing you into itty bitty  little pieces before I send you swirling through my acidic digestive tract.

Big kisses!

Tuesday, August 21

Protein-Dense Foods: A Primer

That database of mine is a source of endless amusement. Today's excerpt: Top Ten Protein-Dense Foods.

You're guessing: Steak, Chicken, Bacon, Tuna, Liverwurst, Calf Brain, Cheese, and Eggs. Aren't you. I know you are.

Keep hoping. The top ten foods for protein density (grams of protein per gram of weight). Drum-roll, please:

  • Number 10: Bacon. Seriously. Bacon. But once you've cooked the living daylights out of it, and sopped up all the grease with paper towels, it's pretty lightweight. Ratio of protein grams to weight: .37
  • Number 9: Grated Parmesan Cheese. (Of course. The stuff is corpse dry, and tastes like powdered cardboard.) Weighs in at .38
  • Number 8: Flax Seed. (Hello, old friend. You're also on the list of calorie-dense foods.) .40
  • Number 7: Yeast. Straight out of the package. Yeah, don't eat that. .41
  • Number 6: Edamame. Lovely, tasty edamame. Definitely DO eat that. .49
  • Number 5: Nutritional Yeast. Tastes like cheese. Vegan favorite. .50
  • Number 4: Raw Hemp Powder. No pot, just protein. .53
  • Number 3: Hemp Seeds. Did I mention Hemp Fest just ended its Seattle run? Bunch of stoners. But they're good to go in the protein department. .55
  • Number 2: Spirulina. Beautiful blue-green algae, yummy in smoothies, and unusually pretty in a glass canister. Some of which I own. .57

And there you have it: Nine of the top-ten high-protein foods you can shove down your throat. What? I left off number one? Well, yes. I did. It was sort of deliberate. Because number one is a football.

Oh, ok. Here goes: The number one most-protein-rich food in the Yew-ni-ted States?

  • Pork rinds. That's right. Fluffy, greasy, protein rich, 154-calories-an-ounce fried pig skin! With a protein density of .61.

That is all.

- - - -

Can't mention football without playing my university fight song: Rise and Shout!

Monday, August 20

World's Worst Foods

Have I mentioned that I'm sort of a spreadsheet nerd? Yeah, actually, I wrote a book on the subject. Total dweeb.

Over the weekend I began wondering which foods were the most protein dense...And couldn't find an answer online. Or anywhere else.

So I crunched the numbers myself, using the USDA's nutrition database (which database, it turns out, contains some weird glitchy errors, but now they're all sorted. Are you listening, government?)

And now I am the proud owner of a database of 1150 food items, analyzed by weight and caloric content, cross referenced with protein loads.

You'll be delighted to know I have actual numbers to back up the following assertion: Milky Way bars will kill you.

It's true.

Here, by my reckoning, are the five worst foods sold in the United States of America. My standard? Calories per gram of weight. Let's do this Letterman style:

  • Number five: Lard. (9 cal/gram)
  • Number four: Flax Seed. (10 cal/gram)
  • Number three: Gumdrops  (13 cal/gram)
  • Number two: Donuts (14 cal/gram)
And the number one most terrible food you can buy?
  • A Milky Way bar, with a rip-roaring 15 calories for every tiny gram of chocolately goodness.
Wait. That didn't come out right.

- - - -
If Neil Diamond had eaten as many Milky Way bars as I have, he'd be too embarrassed to sing this song: He Ain't Heavy.

Friday, August 17

A Recipe, in Haiku

sunflower seeds, dates,
craisins, sesame, cacao,
coconut, pears. Blend.

Got dried pears in the mail. They rock. They also turn into energy bars. They're so good I wrote a haiku.

Thursday, August 16

Recipe File: Asian Lettuce Wraps

So you've get your raw hoisin sauce and and your yummy meat substitute just a sittin' there in the 'fridge. Who you gonna call?

Non-problem solved: It's time to serve up some Asian Lettuce Wraps. The fancy-shmancy kind. The appetizer everyone drools over.

The basic ingredient list makes it Asian. The optional ingredients make it less Asian, more Caribbean or Mexican.

Basic Ingredients
  • Big Green Leaves. (I like romaine. Other folks prefer chard, kale, or butter lettuce (bibb))
  • Walnut-based meat substitute
  • Enoki mushrooms (available in the produce section of Asian groceries)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Garlic cloves (available peeled and packaged in produce section)
  • Pickled ginger (fresh grated ginger tastes more Szechuanese, less Japanese)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Hoisin sauce

Optional Ingredients
  • Red onion
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Diced celery
  • Carrot
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Grated coconut
  • Lime peel

Layer ingredients in lettuce leaf. Roll like a burrito, or fold ends in and create a pouch. Hold together with bamboo skewers or toothpicks.

Drizzle with hoisin sauce before serving.

- - - -
And as the mother, mother-in-law, and future grandmother of Chinese girls, let me say: This song is totally offensive: I Like Chinese.

Wednesday, August 15

Recipe File: Meat Filling

So there you are, making a lovely raw vegan meal, and the mugwumps start their kvetching. (Kvetching -- a nice Yiddish euphemism for what they're really doing: The B word.)

"I want hamburger in my taco! I want meat in my spaghetti! I want beef in my dog food!" (Barking. What B. word did you think I meant?)

So I store a container of this yummy meat substitute in my fridge. It keeps a full week, and it's usable by the spoonful for filling anything that might otherwise require crumbled burger.

And it tastes good. And looks pretty.

  • 1 C. walnuts, coarsley chopped
  • 1/2 C. mushrooms, coarsley chopped (Criminis or Portobello look best, because they're darker)
  • 1/4 C. garlic (I like the dehydrated, sliced garlic for this recipe)
  • 1/4 C. onions (Again, dehydrated, sliced, available in bulk at Asian markets, works well)
  • 4 tsp. tamari*

  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. raw cacao powder**
  • 1 tsp. cumin, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. oregano, dried
  • sea salt to taste
Stir together chopped mushrooms, walnuts and dehydrated ingredients in a small bowl. Cover with water, stir in tamari. Allow to soak for two hours.

Drain walnut mixture. Pat dry. Stir in vinegar and oil until coated. Stir together remaining ingredients and sprinkle over walnut mixture while tossing. For Tex-Mex flavor, add:
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

* A raw soy sauce. Raw alternatives include Bragg's liquid aminos or Nama Shoyu. And if you're not fussed about tiny portions of cooked condiments, try the world's best soy sauce: Pearl River brand Mushroom Soy. It's inexpensive, and good enough to drink straight from the bottle.
** A good friend won a chili cookoff. It took me years to talk him out of his secret ingredient: Dark cocoa powder. What a gift to learn that cacao powder is the raw form of the same darned thing.

- - - -
And now, the Muppets would like to sing you a song about my refrigerator: I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.

Tuesday, August 14

Recipe File: Raw-ish Hoisin Sauce

If you read far enough today, you'll get two recipes for the price of one.

Mostly, I'm a faithful woman. But sometimes, with the raw things, I cheat a bit. I might snatch a roasted peanut out of the jar -- because if it's smaller than a fingernail, it doesn't count.

Love my balsamic vinegar -- which technically is aged, not raw ... but "aged" is raw-speak for "It's been in a barrel for ten years, and there's definitely something growing in there, so let's call it raw and dance around a maypole singing hippie songs."

I don't buy into the nazi vegan proposition that honey, having interacted with bees, isn't vegan. (After all, nearly every flowering plant on earth interacts with bees and other pollinators. That's the way they propagate! Without animals as seed dispersal agents, vegans, and everyone else, would starve to death.)

And to my mind, things rotting in a jar of vinegar -- um, I mean, marinating -- just seem healthy and fashion-forward -- even if they might once have crossed a flame.

So it is with hoisin sauce, which is a Chinese barbeque sauce dripped from the heavens. When I'm making vegan lettuce wraps, hoisin sauce is just a must-have.

They say only God can make hoisin. But in the spirit of the raw vegan thing, I've been testing raw ingredients, trying to make my own hoisin sauce that doesn't come from a bottle packaged on the north side of the Hong Kong border -- or worse, New Jersey.

I may have found some success. Coming up soon: Korean lettuce wraps. Today, the most important ingredient: Hoisin sauce.

As part of my research, I've been checking internet sources (uniformly bad), and copying ingredients lists from various makes of commercial hoisin. I've even consulted with the resident expert, my daughter-in-law, the amazing cook from Sichuan province.

Conducted a bit of recipe testing, and here's my best shot at raw vegan hoisin sauce. It's kind of fabulous. It does, however, require a trip to the local Asian market for ingredients.

  • 1/4 C raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilis (more if you like spicy food)
  • 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbls agave nectar or other liquid sweetner
  • 1 slice sun-dried tomato
  • 1-inch cube of tamarind (available in dried food section of Asian market. Substituting dates, prunes, or other gummy dried fruit changes the flavor only slightly.)

Pulse ingredients in blender. Gradually add water, or cooled herbal tea*, to bring mixture to thick syrup consistency.

* My neighbor persuaded me to make a healthful tea by steeping a cinnamon stick, two cloves of star anise, and a slice of dried licorice root (all available in the spice section of the aforementioned Asian market) for five minutes. Beyond amazing. I used the last cooled-off dregs, instead of plain water, in the final award-winning recipe. Yes!

- - - -
Cheesy song, and naked Frenchmen man to boot: La Grande Vadrouille, Tea for Two.

Monday, August 13

Recipe File: Tomatoes, Live!

It only looks as though I've been off line. In reality, I've been recipe testing. And hold on to your pants: (I say that, and I do. A lot. My pants are having a tough time staying up anymore.)

I've perfected a recipe for Seattle-dried tomatoes. No, not sun-dried tomatoes. I told you, I live in Seattle. And the Seattle Times declared last week that our summer is over. (Our summer lasted nearly a full week this year.)

So buh-bye, Mr. Sun. And hello, Ms. Dehydrator. Here we go with better-than-sun-dried tomatoes, which will appear tomorrow in a recipe for something even more yummy. (Bated breath, readers!) These tomatoes are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, with unforgetable flavor.

  • 6 ripe tomatoes (Get 'em on sale, because dehydrated, they all taste pretty much the same.)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Handful of sweet basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Sea salt to taste

Slice tomatoes rather thick (nearly 1/4 inch.)
In mixing bowl, stir together chopped garlic with basil and cumin.
Toss in tomato slices and coat with garlic/basil mixture.
Place tomato slices onto dehydrator shelves.
Over sink, sprinkle tomato slices with sea salt. Unground sea salt works well, if you're a fan, because the liquid in the tomatos causes the salt to dissolve slightly.

Dehydrate at about 150 degrees for two hours*, then reduce temperature to 117 degrees until tomatoes are thoroughly dehydrated, eight to ten hours, depending on conditions.

Store in air-tight container or bag.

- - - -
Today's theme song? You didn't have to ask, did you? Theme song from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

*Questions about dehydrating? This article from Excaliber addresses the science (and art) of temperature settings, enzymes, and living food.

Wednesday, August 8

Recipe File: Vegan Caprese Salad

The hubby is a man of Jersey -- South Jersey. And he likes his Italian food.

Vegan caprese salad nearly fits the bill, though he'd like his with a large bowl of spaghetti bolognese on the side, thank me very much.

But it's a beautiful thing...hard to distinguish visually from a platter we had in Rome. It's just considerably more healthy.

  • 2 large heritage tomatoes
  • 1 small jicama, peeled
  • handful of sweet basil, fresh
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Slice tomatoes and peeled jicama. On a large shallow platter, layer tomatoes and jicama slices with basil leaves. Drizzle salad with vinegar and a very small amount of olive oil. Garnish with capers, salt and pepper to taste.

- - - -
Feeding the hubby Italian gruel while I'm nibbling on lettuce? Now That's Amore!

Tuesday, August 7

Jail Bait

So today I was a criminal. And I saved someone's life. And I got my miracle.

After hiking the big hill, twice, I decided to walk to the gym. When I was a few miles down the road, boppin' to my tunes, I saw an old woman across the street lugging her shopping cart. She hit a rough patch and fell into oncoming traffic.

I was probably 50 feet away, but a large delivery van was flying down the road toward her. I ran out into traffic waving my arms like a maniac, and the truck stopped. At the same moment, another woman jumped out of her car and ran out into traffic with me. We both grabbed the old lady and her cart, and dragged her into the bushes ... and beat her up.

No we didn't.

We picked her up and got her out of the road, then tried to stanch the bleeding. No luck. And she was filthy and shaking. So the other woman ran back into traffic to get water from her car while I stood out in the road playing traffic cop. We started cleaning up the old lady, but she was still bleeding and dirty, so I took off running to the dollar store just down the block.

I ran in, grabbed bandaids and first-aid cream, and then shouted to the clerk that I'd come back and pay in two minutes. She yelled at me, but I just kept running.

I ran all the way back to the old lady, and the other woman -- who was much calmer than me -- got the ointment and bandaids into place. Then we both dragged the poor old lady to the woman's car, quite against her will, and made her accept a ride home. She protested, but we out-muscled her. I mean, we insisted. So she eventually got in the car with her groceries, and I walked -- not ran -- back to the dollar store, hoping I wouldn't get arrested.

The clerk was not pleased with me.

But after I left, I realized -- Hey! I can run! Yesterday, I could not run. I'd tried running, but nothing happened. My busted ankle and I couldn't work out the mechanics.

So once I realized I could run -- just like I did last Friday while I was sleeping -- I ran most of the way down the hill to the gym. I even stopped by my high school track, which is on the way down the hill, and ran a lap. My first lap ever. My gym teacher used to threaten me with detention and beatings because I couldn't -- or wouldn't -- run a full lap during gym class. So ha, mean gym teacher! I ran the track!

And that's what I did today.

- - - -
The Crystals got the words wrong: It's actually Do Run Run Run.

Monday, August 6

Recipe File: Hawaiian Platter

This is a short one. Today is hubby's birthday, and it's been a long, long day. But now it's bedtime, the house is clean, the daughter's off with her cousins, and the world is spinning in greased grooves.

As promised: the first of the appetizer trays for me papa's birthday party. Today, it's the Hawaiian platter.

  • 1 coconut (Need helping opening a coconut? Here's how.)
  • 2 pineapples
  • Large bunch of lychee fruit or rambutan
  • 1 large mango
  • 3 bananas
  1. Open coconut, reserving juice. Slice meat into strips.
  2. Slice one pineapple, keeping rind in place. Core second pineapple using aforementioned pineapple corer.
  3. Peel and seed the lychees/rambutan. Place seeded fruit in reserved coconut juice.
  4. Slice part of cored pineapple into tidbits.
  5. Stuff seeded fruit with pineapple tidbits. Return to coconut juice to retain moisture.
  6. Slice mango (Easy peasy. Here's how.)
  7. Slice bananas into 1-inch long pieces.
  8. Pour bananas and stuffed fruit into cored pineapple shell.
  9. Arrange remaining cut fruit on tray around pineapple bowl.
VoilĂ !

- - - -
Today's appetizer is prepared to the beautiful voice of Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole singing Over the Rainbow.

Friday, August 3

Run This Town

Was having a lovely dream this morning. When I woke up, I was quite disappointed to discover it wasn't real.

Dreamed I was out running a long trail past bodies of water and through trees. When I neared the 10-mile mark, the trail let out onto the track of a local high school, and several of my buddies were there high-fiving me and offering encouragement.

My knee popped and started hurting. I slowed down and asked another friend whether I should stop.

"Nope," he said. "You don't look like you're really in pain. Power through!"

So I kept running. And woke up. And was really, really sad to discover I hadn't run so much as a footstep. Let alone 10 miles.

I guess I have my work cut out for me today!

* * * *

So the work I had cut out for me was cooking -- well, not cooking, exactly. Assembling.

I have lovely, lovely friends who spent our post-workout morning and early afternoon helping me prep platters of appetizers for my dad's 80th birthday party.

The food was sort of a hit. The next few days will have lots of recipe file entries. We did the raw hummus (added turmeric because raw hummus is just too white), served with jicama sticks, snap peas, carrots, celery, cukes, radishes, and asparagas. And watch upcoming episodes for vegan caprese salad, Hawaiian platter, and best of all: Korean lettuce wraps! Thank you, thank you, K & G & A & A & C, and also M. We done good!

- - - -
Today's theme: The Friends theme song video. Natch.

Thursday, August 2

Oops. Sorry About That

The Blue Angels are here for SeaFair, so went up to a slightly more northern lake today to watch them practice. The Blue Angels are to the Navy what synchronized divers are to the Olympics: inexplicable, unnecessary, and totally awesome.

Sort of like eagles.

Then drove home to really sad and upsetting news.

I closed Arby’s.

Yup. I stopped eating at Arby’s, and they went out of business. Our local Arby’s roast-beefatorium stayed in business so long as I was gobbling their chow. I stop, they shut down.

This is God reminding me I really, truly need to stop eating animals.

Somebody oughta set this song to a Blue Angels video: Berlin, Take My Breath Away.

Wednesday, August 1

Let My Spirit Carry Me

Had life's most amazing experience today. No exaggeration.

K. and I were swimming across the lake.

"Look," she said, pointing. "An eagle."

I spun around and watched as a very large bald eagle glided across the lake, flew just a few feet over our heads, and then, just a couple of feet beyond us, dove and grabbed a fish right out of the lake.

The bird wheeled around, transferred the fish from his feet to his mouth, and soared back across the lake and into a high branch of a douglas fir at the edge of the lake.

And that's what happens when you're swimming, and not lying on the couch playing solitaire.

Here's the video I could have taken: Fly Like an Eagle.