Cooking & rest days

Taking a rest day today so thought I’d write about cooking while I wait for the chicken noodle soup to finishing simmering. Nothing like soup with homemade stock! Charlie and I are getting pretty good at roasting chickens too, I have to say.

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The glop on top is the fresh rosemary & garlic rub.

I used the rest of the roasted veggies that we hadn’t eaten, as well as the juice (wine & stock), since we didn’t feel like going to the store today.

I just tasted the stock and it’s ah-MAZ-ing.

I sometimes regret going to the “dark side” and eating meat again. I go from month long vegan experiments to eating antipasto plates at brewpubs, but… I guess right now it’s just easiest to follow the path of least resistance.

Woke up with a start from my drug-induced nap

And half the day’s over. Excellent! And it only took 1 tablet

I guess I don’t have mono but that weird, nervous churning feeling in my upper abdomen, spleen area, reminds me of my bout, long ago. It was the first day of eighth grade. My sister and I both got ready in same bathroom, each perched on one side of the counter. I was applying my blue sparkly eye shadow (I’m that old), when I sort of crumpled, slid to the floor and passed out. You could call that sudden onset! My sister accused me of always being “so dramatic”. My dad had to come in and pick me up off the floor and deposit me on my bed. There was a moment I scared the fuck out of everyone by being unable to respond. Soon after I had the worst sore throat you could imagine, like strep at mach 10. I needed help getting from the car into the doctor’s office later as well, but by then I could speak.

It was a rager of a case & I missed a full month of school. My throat felt like that last night. It’s hard to get any liquids down when it’s that painful to swallow.

Maybe I’ll have to go back to vegetarian again and see if that helps my immune system as much as it did in my late 30s. I still think vegan is the only ethical way, but it’s just too damn hard when you’re this isolated and poor. I’m lucky to have a roof over my head and food to eat. When I’m buying my own groceries again then I can be pickier.

Woke up with another cold

Last one was early October. My immune system has gotten weak again! No surprise. Social isolation and sadness generally isn’t good for immunity. Also I’m eating animals again and not in a very healthy balance. There’s been a lot of bread and cheese…

When I first went merely vegetarian I ate way too much dairy but my immunity bumped itself up triple fold. I went from having a cold every 2-3 months to maybe 1 per year. I was constantly amazed at the difference. It was easy to get a constant mix of vegetables living and working in NYC though. There are all those delis around! Le sigh.

I also haven’t been good about taking vitamins. It’s my lack of schedule. In NYC I kept a set of all my supplements on my work desk, and since I had an actual professional job (the type which do not seem to exist in PDX) I was always looking for ways to use up my desk time. When you’re not at work, taking the time to open up five different jars or so and swallow all those different things seems like a pain in the ass. When you’re in your cubicle it’s a different story, lol.

Maybe the most important supplement I used to take was an organic turmeric blend. That shit is a wonder drug. I’d take 1 per day normally, but when coworkers were sick and/or I could feel my system working to protect itself, I’d take up to 4.

I’m still hoping to work out later but I’ll have to see. I was also thinking to go downtown to Blick maybe. I need some softer pencil leads.

Plank & core TORTURE, killer #slider workout

I was considering taking a full-on rest day. I’m sore from yesterday’s HIIT. Those 3 rounds were killer, and doing three sets of pull-ups and chin-ups… I left the weighted vest off for those because I’m working to the MAX of my strength, even with a crossfit strap assist.

I watched this round & thought, This is a burnout? It’s a lotta fucking plank! Since I’m going to be making a vegan Mexican feast for an early dinner, I decided to do the unheard of & just do a quick, under 45-minute workout, and I left my vest off again. I didn’t burn much at all but I worked my core!

This’d be great do do along with skipping. It’d make the amount of planking easier, with the upper body getting to rest a bit between them. That’d make a 60-min set though, putting skipping before moves 1-30.


Workout starts about 6min in


  1. Mountain climbers – on sliders
  2. Wide arm push-ups, arms sliding out wider and then back in. Feet stay wide.
  3. Slide one arm forward, then out to the side for a push-up, alt arms.
  4. On knees, slide both arms out to the front & then back.
  5. Circle arm out & to the side. Bring same side knee in to touch elbow. Alt sides.
  6. Knee in. Circle leg out to the side & push-up. Alt sides (feet on sliders now)
  7. 1 push-up, six fast mountain climbs
  8. Alt spider push-ups
  9. Reverse plank, heels on sliders. Do v-legs and then a tricep dip
  10. Tabletop. Slide one & then the other heel out, then back in.
  11. On shoulders, hips up. Slide both heels out & then do hip dip & press up.
  12. On one heel, the other leg up. Slide the one heel on & then do hip press. Or if that’s too hard just keep the supporting leg in place & do hip press w/out slide.
  13. other side
  14. Plank. Slide both legs in & out. Then slide right leg under & through & do a staggered leg side plank.
  15. other side
  16. Side plank. Top leg on slider. Slide it to the front & swing top arm forward to try to touch foot.
  17. other side
  18. Plank. Slow cross under, alt sides
  19. Plank. Fast cross unders
  20. Pike slides
  21. Plank walks. Slide knees in when down in forearm plank.
  22. Standing! Squat & slide one leg out to the side
  23. other side
  24. Lunge forward & back, one side
  25. other side
  26. Circle out, while squatting
  27. other side
  28. Curtsy lunge
  29. other side
  30. Squat jumps, sort of, both feet on sliders, touching the floor with fingertips when feet slide out.


  1. Tuck abs, on floor with 5lbs
  2. Swimmers, the on your stomach kind
  3. Obliques, on floor, 3lb weight bet feet
  4. other side
  5. 2min bear crawls


After the success of my 1st vegan pizza, C made 2 for jam night & they were a success!

A group of at least five conformed omnivores ate & enjoyed. It makes a great breakfast cold too, right out of the fridge, just like “normal” pizza, or as I like to call it, “the tortured cow variety.”

The secret really is making your own vegan mozzarella. We used a store bought dough both times, btw. And a rolling pin to flatten & shape it. C was skeptical of this method first, but I was following the instructions on the package. Contrary to dire warnings it didn’t stick much at all. You only need to use a little flour. And if you spray the baking pan with a small bit of coconut oil it slides right off when cooked.

Accomplishments for the day so far:

  1. Finally got back in touch with my factory owner friend. I decided not to even try to price by the project. Since my overhead is so low, thanks to the generosity of my BF, I can afford to offer a low hourly rate, less than half what I’d get in NYC. 
  2. Got the missing W2 for my accountant. Had to contact Aquent for the log on info.
  3. Deposited my last check for the goddess illustrations. I’ll be working on inking those later today. I hope there’s a budget for borders because I love that client. She’s not vague. She’s got her own design sense and is a good communicator. I sent her my delivery update… 

Laying out in the sun right now. It’s a hard life! I’d have come out earlier but I was all, “Let me just look at my resume…” Even if the layout’s not 100% done in either version I’m going to print it out later to proof for content. 

Amazing #vegan (mozzarella) #cheese recipe

OK… Any aspiring vegans out there know the problem of finding cheese substitutes in the market. There are some good ones but you either have to waste money trying things out or (better yet) read reviews before you try. Likes: Chao sliced cheese is excellent for sandwiches. Daiya is great shredded and inside stuff (burritos for example). It’s ok on pizza but if you use too much of it, you get a gummy, sticky mess.

I’ve been getting more adventurous lately, making the base level ingredients. I saw a video of vegan mozzarella making & it looked pretty easy. Last time Charlie & I were at the grocery store we picked up some pizza dough. We’d had the tapioca flour waiting.

First I made the cheese and then it sat for awhile, cooling in the pan, while I prepared the dough and some asparagus for roasting. It did get pretty thick & the glops I ladled onto the dough were robust. There was no way to tiny glop it. I was worried it’d be disgusting. No! It was fantastic, just a plain cheese pizza (rosemary dough & a simple, store bought, organic pasta sauce for the red).

It was better than the last pizza at the only decent, night-time kinda restaurant I’ve found in Portland thus far, Portobello. It was miles and miles and miles better than the sad, dried-out melba toasts they serve as vegan slices at Sizzle Pie.

This shit is going to make the best vegan mac & cheese ever…. We’ve got about a cup & a half of it left over from last night’s pizza. I think I’m going to do a pasta with it tonight, if we don’t go out.

Next project will be home made seitan, I think. I find the store bought varieties to be too dense, not like the seitan I used to order at Caravan of Dreams… I also wanna try making some vegan parmesan. I’ve found a decent one by Follow Your Heart, but the tiny jars are expensive.

Vegan Mozzarella

  • 1c raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 3/4c water
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 6 TBSP tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Soak the cashews for an hour or overnight. I soaked for 2 nights cause I put off the cooking a day. When ready, drain & toss into a blender w/ all the other ingredients.

Cook in a medium sized saucepan on medium high heat, stirring fairly constantly. It’s like making popcorn on the stovetop. You’ve gotta pay attention. Little lumps will start to form as it thickens. Cook about 7min, turning down the heat a bit toward the end. Voila!

On #vegan, plant based pleasure, #tanning & other things

  • The lemon rice & Sriracha fried tofu I made last night was a hit! It was a much better meal that I’d had at the seriously over-rated Pok Pok the day before. Seriously. I kept track of what I was doing for future reference. Like I said to Charlie I guess it’s good I have lapses occasionally, because they confirm to me that non vegan food isn’t generally any yummier or more satisfying. Quite often there’s a point where I’m a bit grossed out as well, like when I get a bit of fat or tendon or something. Ewww.


  • Even though I didn’t even crack 300 with my burn from yesterday’s workout, I feel it in my hamstrings today. I got up early to maybe-exercise, only I won’t cause I’m going to retail. Doesn’t matter if this’ll be a 4-day week.
  • 1-day per week of retail is just about perfect. I wouldn’t mind low-wage, menial work so much if it didn’t seem bound & destined to come with verbal abuse & shoddy treatment. For $10 an hour, they should be happy you show up in clean clothing & are polite to the customers, especially if a company isn’t invested enough in you to even provide a regular schedule. (New Jersey just passed the $15 minimum wage btw.) I really think I’d like grocery store work much better, because there isn’t this pressure to aggressively sell, sell, sell. Anyway, I have to leave 90-min before start time today, since it’s Friday and I can’t hitch a ride.
  • I will apparently never get into biking OR driving in PDX. I could still borrow a mountain bike, but it’s a really heavy bike which is NOT good for things like climbing the massive hill. Also it’s a little too big for me, and you kind of want to feel as secure as possible if you’re going to attempt riding along a sidewalk-less, shoulder free, windy road. I also never went to get my learner’s permit for driving. The vehicle is part of the problem here as well. My sense of space is distorted. I always think I’m larger than I am, and this includes when I’m in a vehicle. Fuzzy is too damned big. Never mind that, where am I gonna drive to? I don’t earn enough money for gas & insurance, never mind paying for parking.

    And not that I have any social circle or friends I see even semi-regularly here, a car would not help me with something like happy hour. There is no way I’d drive after even a single drink. I’ve been spoiled by spending adulthood in a city with real public transportation. (I don’t miss the F train after Sandy though… The subways were great, for my spot in the East Village anyway, up until maybe five years ago.)

  • I’m tan! I have accomplished my summer goal. My back & arms especially are nicely browned. Yes, yes… I burned my boobs just a bit yesterday though, especially the right one. Also my butt cheeks because I was trying (successfully) to expose more of ’em. I’ve taken to laying out topless during the week, when the kids are both at work. There’s a nook of grass to the left of the house, just south of the greenhouse, that’s completely secluded.

Diet • Today’s #workout, #HIIT, #jumprope, #ass & #thighs

[YESTERDAY’S FAKE VEGAN LAPSE] PDX is so funny. It even has “dive” sandwich places, aka Charlie’s Deli in the most ramshackle hood west of the river, (Old Town / Chinatown). I should’ve taken a picture or two to illustrate the dive-iness but did not. I had the “Alicia’s Cuban”. Right away I noticed the difference between that & what I normally eat these days, which is plant based. Flesh is so very gray! I ate it. It was tasty enough, but not as Super Decadent, Yum satisfying as I’d hoped it’d be. The potato salad not so much, strong with some kind of herb I wasn’t fond of & the chunks were too large…, not enough dressing.

A really good tempeh burger would’ve been much better! Not to mention 100% preferable on the ethical scale & much healthier to boot.

Around 50/50 on the fat burn to fitness zone always feels like a moderate workout to me

HIIT BootCamp

  • With skipping (10/50) for a 30min set
  1. Deep lunge to Dighasana A (right) I just yogi-fied this move a little bit, but Melissa incorporates a lot of lunges into a similar position as in the video. I chose to extend my arms because it’s really good for hip stabilization, I feel, to practice the 1st part of this 3rd series pose. It’s one of those poses most people brush off, as it’s close to the end in the finishing stretch. It’s also not that showy. It IS hard and a lot of work on the glutes to do it well though, with the hips level.
  2. Deep lunge to Dighasana A (left)
  3. Temple Tap Abs Love this ab exercise. Never did it before I found Melissa.
  4. Dive Bomber
  5. Pendulum Squat, 30lbs Deep squat w/ feet together. Lift alt leg straight out to the side.
  6. Mountain Climber 
  7. Speed Skater Lateral Hops 10lbs
  8. Elbow Tap Side Plank (right) Straight, extended arm here.
  9. Elbow Tap Side Plank (left)
  10. Handstand
  11. Walk the Plank
  12. Twisting Sumo Squat Deep, medium wide squat bringing alt knee to touch opp elbow.
  13. Crunch & Tap 3lb weight bet feet
  14. Spiderman Pushup
  15. Alternating Leg Drop Lie on back with legs straight @ 90deg angle, drop alt leg to heel just above floor, reaching out at an angle aka temple tap abs. I switched this move from #4 to last so I could pause the timer & put on some ankle weights. I wish I had some stretchy anklet-style weights I could slip on within a 10-second change interval! This’d be much better just done with an all ankle-weighted set. Next time I do this HIIT I’ll put a different ab/core exercise here.

Ass & Thighs

  • 20min. Since I was already wearing the ankle weights. My heart rate dropped below 100 though – as low as a bad yoga practice – so I felt compelled to do another HIIT
  1. L) Forearms & Knees: Straight leg lift & lower
  2. L) Bent leg lift flexed foot to ceiling
  3. L) Straight leg, cross at a diagonal & tap the floor
  4. L) Bent leg, pulse flexed foot to ceiling.
  5. Crunches, legs raised
  6. R) Straight leg lift & lower
  7. R) Bent leg lift flexed foot to ceiling
  8. R) Straight leg, cross at a diagonal & tap the floor
  9. R) Bent leg, pulse flexed foot to ceiling.
  10. Crunches, legs raised
  11. L) Lying on side bring leg to front of body, straight as possible
  12. L) bring knee to the front then kick out to a straight leg
  13. L) Make small circles backward
  14. Crunches, legs raised
  15. R) bring leg to front of body, straight as possible
  16. R) bring knee to the front then kick out to a straight leg
  17. R) Make small circles backward
  18. Crunches, legs raised
  19. First side: Side lift
  20. Inner thigh A (bottom leg)
  21. Perpendicular pulse
  22. Inner thigh B (C-sit)
  23. Side pulse
  24. Circle forward
  25. Second side: Side lift
  26. Inner thigh A (bottom leg)
  27. Perpendicular pulse
  28. Inner thigh B (C-sit)
  29. Side pulse
  30. Circle forward

Upper Body HIIT

  • (10/50) skipping
  • All exercises using my new 15-lb dumbbells, except where otherwise noted.
  • Handstand
  • Shoulder press
  • Clean & press
  • Alt lateral raise
  • Alt bicep curl
  • Reclining alt tricep, 30lbs 15lbs per hand was too heavy for the left arm!
  • Kick-backs, 20lbs
  • Pinca mayurasana
  • Around the world, 20lbs
  • Shoulder press
  • Alt lateral raise
  • Alt hammer curl w/ tricep squeeze
  • Reclining tricep, 20lbs
  • Pinca mayurasana – 1min
  • Alt front raises


  • 1min timed poses
  1. virasana
  2. supta virasana
  3. malasana
  4. paschimo
  5. hanuman strapped, R
  6. upavistha k
  7. samakonasana
  8. hanuman strapped, L
  9. block A
  10. block B
  11. savasan

Happy International Yoga Day!

Charlie & I are going to go down to Pioneer Square later & take the free Bollywood dance class. That oughta be funny.

Went on a road trip yesterday, which is on Flickr is here.

I’ve been busy celebrating lately, also falling off the vegan bandwagon. I ate fish two days in a row. This has to do with hanging out with omnivores & going to non veg friendly restaurants, meaning if I insisted on eating even just vegetarian I’d feel both deprived & under fed. I guess it’s ok. I had an excellent piece of halibut yesterday, along with the rest of the great meal & a coconut, lime bread pudding & rum sauce.

Got a looooot of exercise. First I did an excellent workout & then that hike… Now we know that Linda needs to be fed first if we’re doing a 4-mile hike. I’d had a Lara bar (small thing of peanuts, dates & sea salt & that’s it) plus 4 slices of melon. We stopped just a bit short of the last lookout cause I was getting dizzy and hangry. I’d been meandering slowly all the way in, looking around, but I practically ran all the way back, huffing and puffing like a solider on charge. All better once parked in front of the restaurant though, Roseanna’s Cafe. After that was a walk on the beach & the drive home.



#HIIT with skipping & legs, #asana #yoga

I wrote a great HIIT but the yoga was only so-so. I should’ve probably done suryas and standing somewhere in there. Meanwhile C has been working all day on the vegan chili. I’d found the recipe awhile back & said I was gonna make it, but the idea of cooking for a large group of people put me off, I guess. Plus because Wednesdays & Fridays are the most annoying days for me to get to my retail gig, that’s when I’m normally scheduled & this is a super labor intensive dish. I’m impressed with the amount of effort he’s willing to put into it! He went out for the ingredients in the morning & has been busy since.

Funny but after that super intense heat wave, PDX has remained steadfastly chilly. We have some days in the 80s coming up, which means the area I exercise should be at least 70. I’ll try doing more of a vinyasa practice again some time soon.


30min HIIT, Skipping & Squats, my routine

  • (10/50) with Skipping
  1. Squat narrow, 40lbs, A
  2. Squat narrow, 40lbs, B
  3. Squat wide, 40lbs, A
  4. Squat wide, 40lbs, B
  5. Elevated side plank, bottom leg lifting
  6. Other side
  7. Elevated side plank, bottom leg lifting
  8. Other side
  9. Floor side plank, top leg lifting
  10. Other side
  11. Floor side plank, top leg lifting
  12. Other side
  13. Single leg squat, 35lbs, right
  14. Single leg squat, 35lbs, left
  15. Wall sit

Asana (and exercise & stretching goals)

I read something recently where some teacher & blogger described “asana” as that which you do chiefly for the sport value, you know, the poses of social media and attainment. The author believed that people who advertise their classes as “asana” mean that they are workout oriented mainly. Even though my main goal in practicing any form of stretching is mainly to keep steady in the flexibility part of the trifecta / tristhana of fitness (with strength & endurance being the other two legs), the reason I call the yoga part “asana” interchangeably with “yoga” is that my ashtanga background means I’m very used to Sanskrit terms. Except for handstand, updog & downdog of course! No one’s gonna use a sentence when they can use a word. This is the age of communicating in emoticons after all.

  • Back bending intervals in (15/30) for a 22:30minute set. A lot of this is resting too!
  • Urdhva D to stand
  • Drop backs – 5
  • Ticks – 1
  • Finishing, sarvangasana to 5min sirsasana
  • Bhujangasana 1min
  • Marichyasana A 1min
  • Eka Pada Sirsasana 1min
  • Yoganidrasana, 1min each side
  • Parighasana (ballet lets) 1min each side