Archive of ‘books’ category

Juicy Resolutions

Since September kicks off the start of Fall, and is my birthday month, and is also my favorite month, I want to make it a good one. I was inspired by Lara’s new month resolutions and I made some of my own. Heather’s new plan post was also inspiring.

  1. Get creative. I want to bring style and flair back into my kitchen by making new recipes each week.
  2. I want to call my family and friends more often. Like Lara, the longer I go without calling someone, the more likely I am to put it off. Every time I chat with my long-distance friends I feel so happy – so I want to do it more often. The same goes for family, especially family besides my parents (who I do actually chat with often).
  3. Enjoy California. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, and I want to take advantage of every moment.
  4. Read more. There are days when I get through multiple books and other days when I don’t read at all. I have a big pile of library books that are just begging to be read, and I want to finish them before they’re due.
  5. Practice moderation in all things.
  6. Yoga with Bobby. We did yoga together yesterday and the day before (20 minutes each day; I hope to do it today too). It makes his back feel great and I need to do it with him to motivate him.

Here is a lovely juice I made for us the other day…

02 sweet juice veggies

  • goodies: Asian pear, 1/2 fuji apple, mint, 1/2 lemon
  • green: cucumber, celery

This was rather sweet, so I poured most of this into a glass for Bobby and juiced some more stuff into what was left… (Bobby doesn’t like ginger so I always pour out his glass before I finish anyway so that I can add it at the end.)

03 more juice veggies

  • goodies: small piece of granny smith apple, 1/2 lime, ginger, more mint
  • green: more celery, more cucumber

I have an absolutely crazy confession about something that I put on a salad. But that will have to wait for my next post :) What do you think I did? It’s a great ingredient, just… not your typical way of preparing it.

Want some Friday vocab? Click here.

What are you doing this weekend? We don’t have any set plans… maybe going up to San Francisco, or a day trip to Berkeley, or going alll the way down to Earthbound Farm‘s farm stand in Carmel Valley. They’re having a “Bug Walk” on Saturday.

P.S. I updated my About Me page. Eventually I’ll put up a new picture but I kinda like the one I have up there now :)

Raw Cheese? In a salad it’s all good…

When Bobby and I went over to our cousins’ new place on Saturday, I brought a raw salad:

41 cousin salad

  • base: red leaf lettuce
  • toppings: raw corn, red bell pepper, small pieces of grapefruit, yellow heirloom tomato, shredded carrot
  • dressing: liquid gold elixir (olive oil, bragg’s liquid aminos, lemon juice, rice vinegar, garlic, stevia)

There was some leftover dressing that I brought (I didn’t put the dressing on until it was time to eat so it wouldn’t get soggy) and I left it for them. I think they really liked it; Bobby said it was especially good. They also served delicious salmon with olive oil and dill which I had a lot of (must make this) and roasted asparagus. It was a great night. Their new place is beautiful.

I have to add red pepper to the list of veggies that go in my favorite salad.

I should also add this…

42 raw blue cheese

Raw blue cheese. Amazing. I thought I didn’t even like cheese (aside from parmesan). I crumbled this over a salad and mixed it up so the flavor dissolved throughout the whole salad. I will have to go back and get more soon; I ended up having more and it was a smallish piece that I bought to begin with. I made this nice big raw salad last night:

43 raw cheese salad

  • base: red leaf and iceberg lettuce
  • toppings: raw blue cheese, red pepper, heirloom tomato, raw corn, beets (another new favorite!), red cabbage
  • dressing: liquid gold elixir (see above)

Liquid Gold Elixir (LGE) is amazing and it’s my favorite dressing. I made Natalia Rose’s dijon dressing the other day… and it’s bad. I love her LGE (with a few changes), but nothing could salvage the dijon dressing. I tried a bunch of things to fix it and I think I should just throw it away; the only reason I haven’t pitched it is because I’m too cheap. The main problem with the dijon dressing was the apple cider vinegar. I think I have an aversion to it after taking shots of it daily a few months ago (an attempt to get rid of bloating… it did help somewhat but it was too gross to keep up).

Clare asked about the etymology (word history) of the word knob yesterday, since I keep on using knobs of ginger in my green juices. Here you go…

  • knob – originally recorded in 1373 as knobe. It probably came from a Germanic or Scandinavian language (either from knobbe = knob or from knyfill = short horn). It might be related to the word knot. Knob has had various meanings – a small rounded lump or mass; a knoll; a small lump of coal; a head; a bump, protuberance. It’s also been connected to a verb meaning “to thump, beat” (probably since a beating could produce a bump… or a knob).

Etymology is a rather imprecise science; it’s a lot of guessing! Any other word requests? I just wrote a post that has to do with word formation over at A Love of Words if you want more :)

Oh! I’m almost done with The Hot Zone. I really like this guy’s books.

And I’m still on my yoga kick (see workouts) – I did Sadie Nardini on Saturday and I did another Dave Farmar (6/24/09) yesterday. He’s getting way too chatty for me. I think I might do a Wade Zinter today. He’s nice and quiet but all of his sessions are 90 minutes and I prefer 60-75 minute sessions when I’m doing a podcast. I guess I could just skip the end since I don’t like the supine crap anyway (bad yogi Maggie).

Happy Monday!

I’m a juice addict

I made Bobby a treat for lunch today. It’s based on some Cuban sandwich that he used to have in Miami a lot.

38 bobby bagel

  • 1 sesame seed bagel, buttered
  • marinated beef (thin thin slices) from Han Kook
  • heirloom tomato slices
  • crunchy pita chips and a crumbled veggie cracker

I made myself a huge juice, which I think tasted just as good. Or better!

39 morning juice cuke

  • 1 large cucumber
  • celery (a little more than pictured)
  • 1/2 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • large knob of ginger

40 big juice

This was my biggest juice yet – it almost overflowed towards the end.

Tonight we’re going over to our cousins’ new place for dinner. They just bought a new place and they’re cooking (salmon). We’re bringing a big raw salad. I think I’ll make one of my favorite raw salads with liquid gold elixir.

This morning we went to the farmers’ market towards the end – and got 5 pounds of heirloom tomatoes for $1/pound. We also got some grapes ($1/pound). The farmers’ market is really beautiful, but in general it’s overpriced. In general, it’s more expensive than Whole Foods. I only buy things when I can get a deal towards the closing of the market. It’s frustrating; I want to support local farmers directly, but it’s easier and cheaper to just go to Whole Foods if I want to go oraganic/local.

I also did some yoga this morning – Sadie Nardini’s power half hour. I’m a little sore from all the yoga I’ve been doing this week. It’s a good kind of sore though; it’s almost refreshing.

Word time

  • salmon – first recorded around 1205. this word comes from Old French (salmun), which was from Latin (salmonem). it might have originally meant “leaper” – the word for “to leap” was salire in Latin. it replaced the Old English word læx – which actually kind of stayed around… as lox!

I’m off to read some more. I did just get The Hot Zone (a terrifying true story about ebola, by Richard Preston – I read his other book the other week) from the library and I kind of want to break into that… but I’m already in the middle of about 5 other books so I should probably finish them first. Or not :)

Rebounding Along

Instead of going to the mall yesterday, I spent an hour or so reading in Borders. I read Natalia Rose’s newer book called Detox For Women – it’s another raw food book, but it’s focused on detoxing and going raw specifically regarding women and women’s health. I will probably buy it; just a few pages in I was nodding in agreement as she began to elaborate on symptoms and conditions that some women experience.

One of the things I took away from reading yesterday was a new exercise – rebounding. Rebounding is jumping on one of those mini-trampolines. It has a slew of benefits, including (but not limited to):

  1. It’s good for your lymphatic system. The lymph system carries nutrients to cells and carts waste away… and, unlike the heart pumping blood throughout the body, the lymph system is completely dependent on movement and exercise.
  2. Great for detox and the immune system. Rebounding massages your internal organs and helps the intestines work better. Peristalsis (the way your intestines squeeze continually to move food through them) is even improved.
  3. It’s an anti-depressant!
  4. It lowers cholesterol and stimulates metabolism.
  5. Rebounding helps you relax and sleep better.
  6. It slows down aging.
  7. Helps with girly cramps :)

This morning I went over to the rec room and did 30 minutes of rebounding while I watched The View and an infomercial on Wen haircare products. The time flew by and I felt energized when I finished. I did about 15 minutes of yoga (on my own) afterwards, just to stretch and chill.

I have a bunch of raw salads to share, so here’s the first. It’s from a few days ago.

15 raw salad

  • base: weird lettuce from han kook (labeled as “kale”, but NOT kale! i was curious)
  • toppings: raw corn, cluster tomatoes, bean sprouts, cilantro, enoki mushrooms
  • dressings: raw peanut dressing, salsa!

It was pretty awesome. I’m actually going to try to stay away from peanuts and peanut butter for a while, because…

17 almond butter celery

This almond butter rocks!

Words of the day:

  • rebound: first recorded around 1300AD, it meant “to spring, leap,” OR “return to afflict” (1412). Break it down: re- = “back”; bound = “leap, bound” (from French).
  • stomach: this actually comes from a Greek word meaning “mouth” (stoma) – like the opening of an organ. It’s rather a misnomer, and some kooky 16th century anatomists actually tried to change the name to ventricle instead (to be more accurate; they wanted to call the esophagus the stomach instead), but it didn’t stick. So we call these pouches that hold our digesting food mouths.

P.S. Don’t go away… I’m back to my kabocha-loving ways and I have a lovely recipe to post tomorrow.

Salads, Raw, Fun, Words

Today I made this massaged kale salad

06 massaged kale celery

I added celery, which I sliced with my mandolin. It was a really good addition. I topped it with salsa and I actually added some stevia when I was massaging it.

07 massaged kale celery

I have a brand new dressing recipe that I’ll post either tomorrow or Monday. I made a fantastic wonderful dinner tonight (raw salad, raw dressing, teryaki tofu, kimchi, basmati rice for Bobby).

05 massaged kale celery

I find that when I shop at Whole Foods I start to limit the amount of produce that I buy. It’s so expensive that I try not to get a lot. Today I went to Han Kook (Korean grocery) instead.

What do you think? Do you scrimp to buy organic? Does it really matter? Would you rather have an abundance of fresh non-organic produce and variety OR pick a few choice items that are organic?

As for books… I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife on Thursday. Ah. So amazing. If you haven’t read it, you really must. I want to see the movie soon.

I read When the Emperor Was Divine yesterday (Friday). This book is about a Japanese American family who is interned during World War II. It was a quick read, but so raw and touching. I’d highly recommend it – especially if you don’t know much about this part of our history.

I’m currently reading 2 books now – King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett and The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine by Sherwin B. Nuland (he also wrote The Art of Aging and How We Die). These are going slower than the others. King Hereafter is long, and so far slightly tedious. I think it has potential so I’ll keep reading – I’ve been trying to get into it for about a week. I just cracked The Uncertain Art today, and so far the writing is pretentious and verbose. I doubt I’ll finish it.

Here are some words

  • pretentious – comes from French through Latin from a word meaning “to pretend”… which originally came from roots meaning “before” (pre) + “to stretch” (tendere).
  • verbose – comes from the Latin “full of words, wordy”… the Latin word for, um, word = verbum.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Chunky PB & Raw Salad

Do you like chunky peanut butter or smooth and creamy? Every time I get chunky, I end up with this…

01 chunky pb

I don’t know how it happens, but I unconsciously avoid the chunks and am left with a jar of peanut bits and a little bit of creamy peanut butter. Just one of my quirks, I suppose. I don’t know what to do with the bits besides eat them plain; I’m not complaining though. But I really should only buy creamy.

When I’m not desiccating (= removing moisture from) nut butters, I like to make raw salads.

02 raw salad

This is:

  • kale (1/2 bunch or so, maybe a little more) – massaged with 1/2 avocado and my own version of liquid gold elixir (olive oil, rice vinegar, bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 ear of raw corn
  • salsa (taco bell brand… not exactly raw! but you could use raw salsa)

I massaged the kale with the avocado and dressing, then topped it with the other goodies. As soon as I was done I made a repeat salad; do you ever do that? Sometimes after I have a salad I go back and make the exact same salad for seconds.

03 raw salad

In this case it was nice because I was able to use the rest of the kale head, the other 1/2 ear of corn, and the other 1/2 avocado. It works out. Maybe the reason I make the repeat is to use up the leftovers from the first one!

04 raw salad

Here are some word origins for y’all…

  • vegetable (Dori) – vegetables comes from a base in proto-indo-european (PIE = basically what preceded all of the european languages) that means “be strong, lively”. It’s also related to watch, vigor, velocity, and possibly witch. after PIE it went through Latin and French before it came to English.
  • shampoo (Heather) – this comes from Hindi (champo) where it meant, “to massage”, or “to press, knead the muscles”.
  • massage – this is from French, and before French it probably came from Arabic (massa = to touch, feel, handle). If it did come from Arabic it was probably picked up in Egypt when Napoleon was there. If it didn’t come from Arabic, it probably came from India (the French colonized it) from the word amassar (to knead), which came from Latin massa (mass, dough).

Gotta go grade… Have a great night/morning!

P.S. I’m in the middle of The Time Traveler’s Wife. So freakin’ good. Have you read it? I’m going to see the movie so I have to read it first.

Back to School

This summer and this year have flown by. It seems like yesterday I was starting a blog, graduating college, and moving out West. That was all over 1.5 years ago. I want to share some of my favorites from Cornell and Ithaca (my college years). Ithaca is a wonderful place to find vegetarian/vegan/healthy food… at any time of day or night. This is a hummus plate from Aladdin’s.

1 hummus

My favorite meal to order there was this Fruit & Nut Plate. It’s yogurt, granola, nuts, fruit, and honey. The fruit varies every time you go.

2 fruit nut salad

This falafel salad was always a winner as well. Bobby even ordered it several times.

3 falafel salad

And the desserts can’t be beat (chocolate mousse cake)…

4 chocolate mousse

Here are some word origins:

  • school. the oldest meaning I can find is “to hold, hold in one’s power, to have”. the word scheme shares this root. that root comes from Proto-Indo-European.
  • favorite. this comes from French, and it means “to favor”.
  • fruit. this is from Latin. it comes from the same root as frugal; the root meant “to use, enjoy”. up until ~1225AD it also meant vegetables!
  • dessert. this is also from French. it means “last course”, and literally means “removal of what has been served”. it’s from the verb desservir, which means “to un-serve”.

If you’re graduated, do you ever miss the “back to school” feeling? Or if you’re still in school, are you ready?

P.S. Want another book rec? I started Panic in Level 4 last night and am about to finish it now. It’s by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone. It’s several long essays on crazy science things – nonfiction. I liked it a lot. He’s an amazing writer.

Chipless Nachos

For dinner tonight I had…

04 chicken nacho salad

Chipless nachos. This was a bed of massaged kale, topped with:

  • 1 sauteed chicken thigh (sustainably raised – from whole foods)
  • tomatoes, onions, raw corn
  • salsa
  • parmesan & cheddar – Sophia, you’re right – more cheese is always better :)
  • massage dressing – olive oil, bragg’s liquid aminos, rice vinegar, brown rice syrup

I went back to make another bowl. Bobby had real nachos; he’s not a kale fan.

I, on the other hand, cannot get enough kale.

03 kale pb

Especially with peanut butter. I have made major progress in reducing my peanut butter stash in the last few days, with the help of my new friend, Kale. The word kale comes from the Middle English word cawul, a Scottish variant of cole (cabbage – like cole-slaw). Apparently it can be used in slang to mean “money” as well.

I loved hearing all of your favorite words on my last post. Now, I have some more geometry prep to do.  I did finish writing that test for Friday; they said it was easier than usual but they did worse, so… guess not. This is my last week teaching.

I started and finished this book: Against Medical Advice. It’s about one boy’s horrible struggle with Tourette’s syndrome – so fascinating. It was a quick read and I highly recommend it.

Have a great week :)

Eating my words (or just more raw food)

I went to the bookstore yesterday and started reading Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox Diet.  I have to thank a few people for intro-ing this to me – Cindi, Sarah, Kimberly, Lara, Erin, and Danielle (and I’m sure there are more). Natalia talks a lot about food combining, which has to do with combining foods in specific ways so that they are easier to digest.

When I got back home, I had to eat lunch.  I tried to follow Natalia’s advice and this is what I made:

26 raw salad

  • 6 stalks of chopped organic celery
  • 1 organic zucchini (small), chopped
  • an ear of local corn cut off the cob
  • the bigger 1/2 of a huge avocado, chopped (what. what?? and yes, dad, I know that if it’s bigger it’s not a half.)
  • raw dressing (recipe below)

I made a take on Natalia’s Liquid Gold Elixir dressing.  Sorry about the estimations – I didn’t measure everything; just tossed it in the food processor. It had… (I didn’t use all of it – maybe less than half):

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5+ cloves of garlic (mm. love garlic.)
  • bragg’s liquid aminos (1+ tablespoons?)
  • soy sauce (1-2 tablespoons?)
  • honey (1-2 tablespoons? I think this honey was actually raw, unintentionally.)
  • 3 tablespoons raw coconut butter (thanks Justine!! I’ll post more about this soon)

Okay, so the coconut butter might not be exactly right for food combining (it’s a nut/seed/dried fruit, I think? correct me if I’m wrong – is this a good combo? … actually, I think it is. nevermind.) but give me a break – it was my first try.  And it was farfegnugen delicious.

The thing that made this whole bowl so farfegnugen delicious was actually the raw corn.  It was like little bites of heaven.  And the mushy ripe avocado, which I never eat much of.  And… okay, it was all good. Even the celery (I thought I didn’t like celery).

And then for dinner… I just couldn’t stop.  I made an avocado-honey pizza on a pre-made pizza crust from Whole Foods.  This crust is by a company called Rustic Crust.  The ingredients rock.  The package says that it has 8 servings… what a crock!

27 avocado pizza

Bobby and I split it in half and we each finished our part (his was chicken, spaghetti sauce, and cheese though).  This was my first 2 pieces; I quickly followed it with the other two. It was pretty rockin.  And then I went for this, HEABS style…

28 100 cacoa

Heck yes for 100% dark chocolate.

I am teaching a math SAT prep class all day today (Saturday), and I hope to meet up with Jenna tomorrow at a wine-tasting. It’s a bit of a drive, but I think things will work out. Today I’m bringing an arsenal of fruit (watermelon and cantaloupe), a repeat salad, and a banana and raisins (thanks for the idea, Sarah!) for an afternoon snack.

Retiring old friends, and getting some new!

I think borrowing is one of the best concepts ever.  I love getting books from the library, borrowing movies from friends, and most recently – borrowing an awesome cookbook from our cousins:


It’s in English and Chinese (I don’t speak any Chinese at all, but I would love to learn.  I have the Rosetta Stone for it).


Speaking of new things, it was time to retire these Vera Bradley gems (they served me well).  You can’t see it in the picture, but one of the straps is being held on with a safety pin.  The straps are so worn that I don’t think I can even try to sell this.  Anyone want a free used Vera bag? If you live around here (Sunnyvale, CA) you can pick it up.  The wallet is in better condition, but it needs to retire too.


I replaced them with some new ones!


I buy Vera Bradley New With Tags (NWT) on Ebay for much cheaper than in the store.

Onto the real point of this post. MizFit is having a de-clutter challenge, and I’m going to join.  The gist of it is to give away 30 things in 30 days.  So one thing every day for the month of June.  I know where my local Goodwill is, so all I have to do is start picking items.

I’m going to be adding my own second part to the challenge though.  I have SO MUCH food in my kitchen and pantry.  There is no reason for me to have all of the random items that I have.  I’m going to try to use 30 pantry items in 30 days to declutter my kitchen.  Are you with me?  (Some pantry items might stretch out over a few days – I’m obviously not going to eat a whole package of pasta in one day.  The goal is to use something from the pantry every day.)

I’ll also be continuing my Whole Life Challenge through this Friday (and probably beyond), so June will be a challenging month.  Using up pantry items will probably help me stay on track with the *new meals* part of the Whole Life Challenge.

What will you challenge yourself to do in June?

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