Boot camp and beyond

Risk assessment
18 November 2006 (Saturday), 11:27 pm
Filed under: Food, Health, NaBloPoMo

The whole boil water advisory thing has got me thinking about risk. In the last year or so I’ve read things in the New York Times and Ideal Bite (which, if you’ve never heard of it, is an excellent newsletter and website about small, non-hippy changes you can make in the interests of sustainability and the environment) about the dangers of non-stick/Teflon pans. Apparently if overheated, the non-stick coating releases toxic gasses.

I like our stainless steel pots and pans. Cast iron cookware is great too. But I’ve been trying to cook with less oil and non-stick pans make that easier. Also, I have yet to get a cast iron pan seasoned enough that I’m able to cook eggs in it and not spend hours scraping the eggy residue off afterwards.

So I turned to the internet for answers to the question “are all non-stick pans dangerous?” So far, the internet hasn’t achieved consensus: Continue reading


Falling off wagons
17 November 2006 (Friday), 10:31 pm
Filed under: Dancing, Flossing, Food, NaBloPoMo

1. I didn’t floss last night, because I slept in the den to avoid contaminating Mounir with my disgusting cold (my idea, not his) and therefore didn’t have to go past the floss on my way to bed. I’m sleeping in the den again tonight but will get back on that daily flossing horse.

2. My exercise today consisted of pumping water through a filter Mounir got when he was in Africa nearly a decade ago, because boiling the really gross water that is coming out of our taps doesn’t make it any less cloudy. I thought about doing crunches, and decided that the return to boot camp on Monday is close enough for jazz. Establishing a habit where I exercise even when sick enough that I stayed home from work and slept all day = not on.

3. I really miss cheese, and there’s some asiago in our fridge that is calling my name. I’m resisting its siren call and not falling off the detox diet, but it’s only today I started missing verboten foods. Oh, I’m also craving Jaffa Cakes, which I haven’t eaten in about two years. This evening I didn’t take the Laxaherb portion of the detox pills, because either that or the water is causing issues.

To offset all that whininess and failure, the following YouTube videos from the 2006 Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown make me happy and make me want to be a better dancer:

By popular demand: lazy-ass detox recipes
15 November 2006 (Wednesday), 10:36 pm
Filed under: Food, NaBloPoMo

Okay, so “lazy-ass detox recipes” wasn’t exactly the search term that brought several people here from search engines, but it’s what I’ve got. This week has been too busy for extensive cooking. Two recipies justifies a plural, no?

Lemon Tahini Dill Dressing (a variation on the Lemon Tahini Dressing on this page):

I blended the following together in our mini food processor:

2/3 c plain soy milk (So Nice Unsweeetened is fortified, made from organic soybeans and 100% free of animal products)
7 (or more) tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahini
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill

It took less than 5 minutes, including adding more lemon juice and dill to make it tangier and dillier. So far I’ve enjoyed it on steamed vegetables, brown rice and, best of all, mixed together with a bit of brown rice and a can of tuna to make a detox-friendly version of tuna salad. Some celery for crunch would have been good in that too. Next time.

Mixed bean salad (Mounir’s invention this evening, and I modified it for myself when I got home from my massage and chiropractor session):

In a microwaveable mixing bowl, zap a cup or so of frozen vegetables until not frozen any longer. (Mounir chose corn at 30 seconds, I finished off the bag of broccoli and carrots from Costco which took 2.5 minutes.) I suppose you could also steam them if you’re less impatient than we are. Once you’re no longer likely to give yourself tooth sensitivity biting into the veg, add to the bowl:

1 (14 ounce?) can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
a good squirt of lemon juice (probably one lemon’s worth)
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons Udo’s oil or olive oil
one handful fresh chopped cilantro (optional but I love it.)

Mix everything together and eat straight out of the bowl.

If you’re willing to do a bit more prepwork, Leek-Tomato Quinoa sounds yummy and would also fit the Wild Rose D-Tox meal plan (if you make your own chicken stock), as would Kasha With Browned Onions and Walnuts.

I’ve found some more links about detox diets in general and Wild Rose specifically. In case they’re of interest to others: Continue reading

12 November 2006 (Sunday), 11:59 pm
Filed under: Food, NaBloPoMo

Now that I’ve learned to love the burn (exercise-wise), I’m learning to love the churn.  The churning of my digestive tract, that is.  Mounir and I started the Wild Rose Detox cleanse today.  I’m skeptical about the whole thing; I wonder how many toxins in our bodies come from food, as opposed to from the air we breathe or the water we drink and all the strange particles that end up in them.

Also, it doesn’t seem to be very evidence-based.  As RS commented on this blog post, it seems like pseudoscience and herbs can have dangerous side effects.  Skimming this thread on detox diets just confirms my general opinion that detox diets/cleanses are something people do to make up for their otherwise unhealthy nutritional choices.

Mounir has done the cleanse several times and it does make us cook more often and more healthily, so for 12 days I’m willing to give it a shot.  Today we didn’t actually cook much — soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, ful at his parents’ for a second late breakfast, and then grilled salmon and salad for dinner.  I googled recipes for more variety later in the week.  Apparently there’s a cookbook that works with the cleanse, and several of the recipes have been typed up and posted here.  The lentil dahl, warm sesame cucumber rice salad and Moroccan chickpea soup sound particularly good.

Excuses, excuses
10 November 2006 (Friday), 11:06 pm
Filed under: Food, Habits, NaBloPoMo, Outside boot camp log

Reasons this whole self-imposed no-wheat-no-dairy-no-sugar regime wasn’t very realistic for more than four days:

1. Seven years ago today Mounir and I went out for our first dinner alone, so really, we had to do the same tonight. My stomach was being temperamental so we opted not to go to the Thai restaurant that was the site of our first date, and instead walked to our local chophouse. We didn’t have dessert but the bread that came while we were waiting for our starters was fresh and hot and good. So was the mushroom velouté on my polenta, and the red wine. I was super phlegm-y this morning despite 4 days of abstemiousness, so I think maybe there’s some other allergy at play.

2. Tomorrow afternoon we’re test tasting wedding cake. I’m looking forward to the wheat, sugar dairy trifecta.

Things that make me not want to exercise, a short and incomplete list:

1. fatigue
2. sore feet
3. phlegm and other ailments
4. rain

Despite the presence of all four demotivators, I walked to work this morning. It took until 2 or 3 pm for my trousers to dry out from the knee down; my socks only stopped feeling soggy an hour or so ago. Heavy showers laugh in the face of my compact folding umbrella.

Tomorrow the forecast calls for more rain. I’m planning to swim in the morning and hoping the hot tub and sauna afterwards will make me willing to face the rest of the day.

Dietary changes
6 November 2006 (Monday), 10:37 pm
Filed under: Food, NaBloPoMo, Outside boot camp log

Instead of doing the Wild Rose Detox, I’m just cutting out wheat, dairy and sugar until I no longer feel like doing so. How’s that for commitment? I just really don’t feel like dealing with the “laxaherb” portion of the detox pills. But this morning marks the beginning of my abstention from wheat, dairy and all forms of sugar, assuming you (like me) don’t count whey protein as dairy. Or the fake sweetening they put in the chocolate protein powder as sugar. Hmm, there more than likely was wheat in the leftover pumpkin kibbeh the in-laws packed up for me after dinner last night. But the leftover delicious green bean and tomato stew and mujadara (lentils & rice) that made up my the remainder of my lunch and dinner were totally kosher, so to speak.

In an attempt to make myself feel better about this less than complete elimination of the components of my diet that may or may not be increasing my congestion and phlegminess, I decided to read more extreme, hippy-diet type blog entries, like this one on superfoods (to make a grocery list for tomorrow) and this one on green drinks that are not so good. The one I’ve been drinking doesn’t contain wheat or fermented soy, which is good. It still tastes like crap, which is less good. If I made my own I could add basil, but I don’t have that kind of time. Or a juicer.

The protein shake kept me going through my last personal training session in the near future. We did yet another move that felt much harder than you’d think it ought to: lying on a mat with arms by my side and my forehead and upper body flat on the mat (to protect the lower back), I lifted my legs a reasonable but not huge distance off the floor and moved them back and forth, as though making a narrow and wing-less snow angel while faceplanted. That was one of the longest minutes (or possibly two) of my life.

Infomercially, except not
4 November 2006 (Saturday), 10:39 am
Filed under: Food, Music, NaBloPoMo, Outside boot camp log

By 10 a.m. this morning I not only tried out my new Get Ripped! to the Core DVD, but had some delicious left-over sushi for breakfast, had a nice soak in an Epsom salty bath, drank my repulsive-textured Greens plus Multi plus vitamin concoction and wrote a submitted a review of the DVD to   It’s not clear if I’m allowed to post it here, too, so you’ll just have to read it on the product page if/when it shows up.  The brief synopsis is that it’s good but Jari Love’s bangs are distracting so I only gave it 4 stars.

While getting ripped to the core I noticed that I now love the burn to the point that I might be a burn junkie: when I wasn’t feeling it, I’d switch to the harder version of the exercise.  Masochists R Us.

Related to my delicious but unconventional tuna sashimi breakfast, my brother sent me a link to a band he claims are better than Lily Allen: the Duloks.  I still prefer Lily, but their Bad Vegetarian song is super fantastic.  A snippet of the lyrics:

“I saw you eat da phish!  You are a bad vegetarian!”

I am indeed a bad vegetarian, because da phish is an easy, delicious source of protein.  Also superfantastic: this video of Ethan Winer playing 37 separate cello tracks (including percussion on a cello), layered over each other to create a Cello Rondo.