Life is like a mango. Juicy, messy, and delicious! With that in mind, I am going to catch you up on my life over the past couple of weeks with photos that show things I am grateful for in my life. A lot of them relate to food, don't they? I love food. I love variety. I love that we get to eat three (or more) times per day, to sample in the goodness of the fruits of this earth, the fruits of God's creation! Amazing! The closer to natural, the better, aye? So Gratitude #1 is that I was just saying to myself that I really was craving mangoes, when I walked into my grocery store and there was a heaping pile of Ataulfo mangoes on sale. These are not found year-round as the other mangoes are and I love them! Super sweet, juicy, delish. Just like life!
Gratitude #2 & 3- Query Challenge Team #1 and Crazy Sexy Diet book!
My team on the Freelance Success 6-week "Query Challenge" came in 1st place! That means we earned the most points for sending out queries to editors, getting assignments and/or sending "letters of introduction" to potential clients. This landed me some exciting new work! But as a result of being 1st place, each team member got $10 in Amazon bucks.
I used my prize to buy this book by the inspiring Kris Carr. It's apparently #1 on Amazon right now! Despite the title, it's most definitely NOT a "diet" book but one that includes a 21-day cleanse of turning one's diet into something truly healthy - no processed crap, no meat, no dairy (just during the cleanse if that's what you want) and lots o' veggies. At a very young age (late 20s?) she was diagnosed with an incurable form of liver cancer, so instead of accepting her fate, she took her health into her hands and started eating this way and has totally stopped her cancer. I've blogged about her before, but she runs the social networking site, My Crazy Sexy Life. She also did an awesome documentary (where I first heard about her) called Crazy Sexy Cancer, and she ended up marrying the film producer - how cool is that? I'll also share this, Top 15 Crazy Sexy Diet Tips.
Gratitude # 4 - Fresh veggies!
This is Kris's recipe from her book.
-2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
-Big fist full of kale or romaine
-Big fist full of sweet pea sprouts (if easy to find)
-4-5 stalks celery
-1-2 big broccoli stems
-1-2 pears or green apples (optional)
- 1" ginger root
*I modified it a little. I didn't have any broccoli or sprouts, so I used kale AND romaine. I also used 1 pear and 1 apple (not a green one though). I love my Jack LaLanne Juicer too!
I decided to turn the juice into a smoothie, so took some of the pulp from the juicer, added it to the juice, a little ice, a scoop of protein powder in the blender (not juicer this time) and wha-la! Yummy green smoothie! Here's to health!
Gratitude #6 - Raw Food Potluck Party!
My friend Eileen held a raw food potluck at her house last week and it was great! Only it turns out that the recipe I brought, the Collard Green Coleslaw, was not actually fully raw - oops. I've blogged that recipe before here and here (recipe), and since I boil the vinegar-sugar mix and pour it over the collards, it isn't raw. Plus raw foodies use agave instead of sugar (though it was organic, unprocessed cane sugar). One of my favorites was this Ani Phyo's Almond Veggie Pate Nori Rolls. Yummo! That link goes to a video of her preparing them, and here's a link to the recipe.
Kale Cashew Crispy Snacks
1 bunch fresh organic kale
½ c. raw organic cashews (not soaked)
¼ c. filtered water
¼ medium organic red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ripe red jalapeno pepper (remove seed and membrane) I OMITTED THIS.
Dash of cayenne pepper.
Rinse and drain the kale, remove from thick stem parts (can save stem parts for smoothie). Grind the cashews, add remaining ingredients, blend until creamy. Place kale in large bowl, pour the cashew sauce over the kale and massage with your hands. This will soften the kale and allow it to absorb some flavors. Spread on teflex sheets and dehydrate (115 degrees) until crisp. Usually 6-8 hours, more if weather is humid. Cool and store in airtight container.
My article Regal Return in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine just came out! (I blogged the adventures reporting the story here and here). I love the spread, and I truly am grateful for the wonderful editors there who appreciate me and my writing style, and give me steady work! Of course the Texas legislature may pull the rug out from under that... but the editors are fantabulous!! I just turned in an article today for the 10th Annual Water issue (July) on wetlands, and my editor quickly sent me back this reply, "Fabulous! Damn, you’re good." Wow! That made my day!
Gratitude #8 - Delicious Wild Alaskan Salmon and D.
I made this lemon pepper marinated salmon (MSC sustainable certified, no less - from Target) and salad with yummy fixins for dinner the other night when I hung out with D. We are taking things slowly, enjoying what may be his last days here. But maybe not. We just do not know what the future holds, and I'm ok with that. As mad as this man can make me sometimes, I love him dearly and we can have a heckuva lot of fun together when things are good.
Gratitude # 9 - My kiddos! And lovely days for bike rides!
One of my favorite things to do is take a bike ride from my home to a Starbuck's about 4 miles away, and then back. It goes across the San Jacinto River so it's just a lovely ride. Of course Sam hates bike riding but Savi loves it (isn't it always that way? One kid likes something and the other doesn't). The other weekend, we rode bikes across the bridge and then stopped and had some Tex Mex before heading back. Springtime is just the BEST in Houston - gorgeous weather! I love sunshine soooo much!
Tomorrow I am going kitesurfing with my friend Stef and her hub Ro and D. I have never been kitesurfing and I didn't go to the beach last year so this will be so much fun. I can't wait! This is a pic Stef took so I hope she doesn't mind I nabbed it from her FB page! :o) We are going to Galveston's East Beach manana. Woohoo!
Other than that, I have an exciting new project I'll be working on for the next few months (will announce soon) and I'm about to work on taxes (oh joy) and I'm planning a trip to Cali with my kiddos after they get out of school so Savi can look at a few colleges (UCSF, Pepperdine, Stanford, UCLA) and visit my bro and Maggie and baby Freja in Joshua Tree, CA (Maggie just moved there from Sisters), and do some fun outdoorsy stuff on the way -maybe Yosemite? Sam wants to fish in a clear water stream - any other suggestions, since we already did Yosemite a couple years back? blogged highlights here and here and here. Only a couple more summers with my beautiful children and I want to enjoy every minute of it!