Saturday, July 7, 2012

Did someone order the "23rd Birthday Special?"

Another year over! Today on July 7th, I celebrate my 23rd year of life on Nirn... I mean Gaia... I mean Tatooine... you know... the Third Rock from the Sun!

My mother flew in yesterday from Florida. It's her first time in California, so we've been giving her the Oakland treatment, which consists of lots of walking up and down hills. Sorry Mom.

I don't drink coffee very often and I don't keep it in the house, so we walked to Gaylord's Coffee on Piedmont Ave. so my mom could get her morning coffee. Her and my husband hung out in a nearby antique store while I got my hair cut. We then went to the Grand Lake Farmer's Market and ate Thai food, drank mango and strawberry lassi made with local yogurt, and bought lots of fresh produce for the week. We then took my mom to see my school, then went to Redwood Regional Park for a little hike through the redwood forest. After that, we came home and I did my "23rd Birthday Special" workout, which I will now share with you.

Joint mobility warm-up. I always start with this.

Now a workout based on the number 23*.

23 heavy swings
1 TGU each side

9 cleans and presses each side
5 double cleans and presses

Rows x 23 each side
Pushups x 23
Leg raises x 23
Pushups x 23
x 2

5 goblet squats
9 figure 8s in both directions

23 calf raises

Farmer's walk around my building
x 2

Joint mobility again, which how I always end my workout.

For dinner, we went out to Marica, where I ordered raw oysters, mussels, and a rare prime ribeye steak. Completely epic.

Then I came home to a Facebook that was chock-full of terrific birthday greetings!

Happy Birthday to me! What a great year! Moving to California, graduate school, becoming an HKC, and making music! I'm looking forward to what this coming year will bring!

*Ideas for this workout were adapted from "The 38 Special Birthday Workout" from

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Skyrim-Inspired Apple, Bacon, Cabbage Saute

I hope everyone had a terrific Fourth of July! I can't say I did much celebrating. My day consisted of working (time and a half!), 236 swings celebrating 236 years of independence, coconut chicken curry, a delicious local brew, and completing a couple of quests in Skyrim.

Get ready folks. I'm about to completely nerd out.

One of the recipes that you can make in Skyrim is Apple Cabbage Stew, which I happened to make last night while gaming at my "home" in Solitude. The ingredients are simply apple, cabbage, and a pile of salt. This magical combination, which must taste boring, restores 15 points of stamina and 10 points of magicka.

So I decided to cook up something at my home in Oakland, CA inspired by this magical recipe, and much less boring.

Servings: 2-4
1/2 lb of thick-sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into chunks (Trader Joe's Ends and Pieces will do)
2 small granny smith apples, cut into small chunks
1/2 medium head of cabbage, thinly sliced, heart removed
6 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional spicy kick, more if you're a badass)
Salt to taste

1. Saute bacon over medium high heat until somewhat crispy.
2. Add apples and saute until brown, then add cabbage and chicken broth. Side note: I make my own chicken broth and freeze it into ice cubes trays. I used four ice cubes for this recipe.
3. Once cabbage is soft, add spices.
4. Saute into Oblivion (haha, Elder Scrolls) until cabbage is quite soft and has melded with the spices, about 20 minutes. The apples should be caramelized and hard to distinguish from the bacon.

Serve with pork chops!

This recipes restores 30 points of health and 100 points of awesome.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Letting it get away/ Movement

Once again, I've let this blog get away from me. The reason I revisited it at all was because I had a good friend tell me how inspiring it was to see my fitness posts on Facebook. I've had others comment on my "food porn" posts as well.

With that being said, it seems this blog with take the position of a "training/food journal." I'm completely alright with this. It's good to be honest. Anyway, let's blog.

I recently performed with my Balinese gamelan troupe for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. It was my first time playing for a dance festival, as well as my first time actually attending a dance festival. It was very inspiring to see such different interpretations of movement, all of which were so fluid and seemingly effortless, and yet presented a subject that was beautiful and emotional. I thought back to the earliest days of music, when our paleolithic ancestors would hear the beat of the drum or a phrase of vocal chant and the most natural of reactions was to feel it in the body and accompany it with movement.

I've always wanted to learn about dance, but as a fat, inflexible child, my body didn't lend itself well to any sort of movement without embarrassment. Even in my college movement class, I didn't move very well. My body, like my child body, was just as fat and inflamed.

Having spent more than the last year focusing on strength training and eating well, I've unlocked potential for movement. My body moves freely over a wide range without pain. I'll even practice the dances that I learned from watching the Balinese dancers my troupe accompanies. With having this freedom, I feel like I'm satisfying a primal need and it's very gratifying.

Now I just wish I could go back to my college movement class and save myself some embarrassment.