Arguments and Attempts to be an Awarenivore

Arguments and Attempts to be an Awarenivore

September 26, 2010

Back from Kripalu - Garlic Season

Courtesy of
The first part of Foundations of Ayurveda was INCREDIBLE.

I have so much to say, and it will slowly come out is a series of millions of blog posts. In fact, I think it's really going to shape the direction of this blog.  Awarenivore meet Ayurveda.

Courtesy of
While I was away, Autumn came to Old Pump Road.

September 09, 2010

Okonomiyaki gone Local

We all have our cheap and fast go-to dinner.  Maybe it's mac n cheese, or breakfast for dinner in the form of some sort of omelette. Why is it that at the end of the day, there are always eggs in the fridge? (...and of course when we've decided to bake, eggs are the only thing we're out of?)

Okonomiyaki are Japanese pancakes - I've read that the word 'okonomiyaki' means, 'everything' or 'anything.'  I had found a recipe online, and started making these a while ago and whenever the cupboards start to look sparse.  Traditionally, okonomiyaki have some sort of meat, likely bacon, layered underneath, and are served with ketchup and mayonnaise.  I think they are like the beef tacos or kebabs of Japan - late night, greasy, regrettable snacks.

Courtesy of gawd's Flickr stream

Courtesy of gawd's Flickr stream

September 08, 2010

Italian in September

Working for tripwolf (for a few weeks longer), I look at maps all day, and it properly and evilly tickles my travel bug, and usually without much release...

Last week I wrote a blog post for tripwolf about Florence, and waves of nostalgia came rushing in. I've been lucky enough to spend over 6 months in the city. It was the place of my first ever apartment, living with 6 other girls while studying abroad, and I've also been lucky enough to revisit after my trip to India. I can taste the thin pizza, watery with cheese and sauce that I used to buy for 4 Euro (pizza and cafe being the only affordable eats in the major cities) at a cafe within walking distance from that apartment. Mmm. Italy has a special place in my heart, and I will get back soon.

This weekend I got a taste. A friend and co-worker of Jamie's, Justin, came over with his girlfriend and a batch of home-made pasta and sauce.

September 04, 2010

A free weekend

This summer has been a great one, a busy one! I think the last 8 weekend I have had some agenda, some driving plans or adventure. This weekend, I get to enjoy Vermont!

Jamie had thought of going down to New Jersey to visit friends and family, but the weather down there (Earl!) helped to make our decision to stay around here much easier.

Phew. It's been a long week. I don't think I have ever felt this relieved to have two full days off. :) I am becoming a believer in the weekend (as my days of having an easy two days off dwindle....)

I've been surfing the Vermont State Parks website for hours this morning, as Jamie sleeps off last night's car-bombs and the week's doubles at the Wind Jammer. What a different wilderness experience, planning it out online with a cup of warm coffee next to me before I even step outside. I bet the state parks have more visitors than ever before, though.

It could get down into the 40's tonight - kind of a bummer for the 'long weekend' (neither Jamie or I really get the long weekend) after a week of days in the 90's. But I am really looking forward to building a fire and even breaking out the winter hats. The leaves will certainly feel the weekend.

I have had to be very frugal because of the job shift, and the two weeks off (5 total) I am taking to go to Kripalu, but I can't help thinking of the food we should buy bring that does not include the words hot and dog.

I think Maybe I'll bring along my cast iron pan :) Maybe garlic, kale, white beans over the fire? Hahaha. Done.

One of the parks we may visit is in Hyde Park. Hyde Park, Vermont is about an hour from here along route 15 and 100, and it's also the location of Applecheek Farm, the farm from where Jamie and I were getting our meat share this Spring. I'd love to visit, or even just check out the small town.

The other park that's tempting me is called Brighton State Park, and it's smack in the middle of the Northeast Kingdom. I have to be truthful, and one reason I'd like to visit here as well is that the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury is nearby.

No matter where we go, I really hope to avoid any car-camping - I think we had enough of that two weekends ago haha. The Escape is not as cozy as we'd hoped.

September 02, 2010

Purification through Heat

Tapas - one of the Niyamas, which is one of the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga yoga, is very relevant to my life right now.

"Tapasya implies a self-discipline or austerity willingly expended both in restraining physical urges and in actively pursuing a higher purpose in life. Through tapas, a yogi or spiritual seeker can "burn off" or prevent accumulation of negative energies, clearing a path toward spiritual evolution."

Spiritual evolution...I guess. Some kind of evolution, revolution in the sense of moving round. It always happens at the end of August, and I'm just starting to embrace it, rather than fly away like I usually do. I always wondered why I was missing Thanksgivings (my favorite holiday) and having birthdays in far away places (makes for good stories, anyway.) When the nights first become cool, there's something that just switches inside my body, perhaps the fear of death of the summer, I desire to elongate the lightness of the season, fearing the darkness to come. Something is truly snuffed out inside all of us as the summer ends, I think we can all relate to that feeling.

A Tapasvin (thank you Wikipedia) is a person who is undertaking tapas, this practice and process which will purge one from sins or bad karma through practice. It can also mean that one is striving for perfection or mastery of a field of knowledge or work. Today, I quit my job.

I am scared, and it's a weird feeling because it's a decision I have made based on a desire I have had since January. My failure to act was creating a rift in conversation between Jamie and I. I have applied for quite a few jobs this summer, but really was not ready to receive any of them. I knew I'd have to give tripwolf a long time for transition. They wanted three months, and that really trapped me - so I acted maybe rashly and quickly, but it will be over on October 15th.

I'm feeling the burn. Questions arise, like, what am I doing, in this time where so many people are unvoluntarily unemployed? I was pretty content, thanking the universe daily for my luck, being safe and happy and healthy. But I was also bored I suppose, and feeling the three years I put into this job with low pay, and little desire to move up. I think I only saw it as a means to an end, and I guess this is the unglamorous end.

So what's next? (It's not quite over, but will be quickly.) I am turning 27 in November. Late 20's. I need to give my dream a chance before it becomes to late for me to do crazy things like this, like when I have a baby, or family, or...well I already have a lot of bills. But I guess it will only get harder to take a not-so-safe leap. I learn this from memoirs and every other book I read.

I am going to focus on my writing. This blog counts. But I am also going to focus on telling a story, a story I have been wanting to work on even before it began. India. Tapas. Purification through the heat of my keyboard. I'm feeling it in the base of my palms right now. Tapas is the act of practice. I have enough information, now it's time to manifest.

This will be the spiritual evolution I have been desiring. I have been practicing yoga regularly for a few years now, and I have learned a lot about what it means to practice. And I will continue to practice yoga as well. I put in hours almost everyday to that practice, so I need to learn to do the same with writing. I tend to be a thinker, a planner,but yoga has taught me the fruits of doing - and for well, at least I have taken action.

August 31, 2010

A change is gonna come...

I recently came to the conclusion that is it difficult for me to change. Change is hard for everyone, or at least the cliche says so, and though I feel as though I have always sought shift and movement (travel), there are a lot of deep set habits that are really hard to break ( or begin....)

Most relevant for this blog is to write about how I eat. I grew up in my parents' garden, and they even raised their own pigs and chickens for meat. I knew about good food, but I wasn't then taught about 'bad.' 'Bad' foods consisted of basically gushers or fruit snacks from the store, and even then I think I only thought they were bad because they were too expensive for my parents to purchase.

I drank milk by the gallon, impressing my mom's friends when I would order it with dinner. I still love the stuff, but noticing a different affect on my body now, I am not sure how much I believe in it anymore.

Gluten-free cooking blogs bore me. The way they're written can seem a bit defensive, even apocalyptic. I have been telling myself for a few years now that I probably have a gluten allergy. As of yet, the only successful cut I have made it to stop drinking beer. And since gluten and dairy go so well together, I am still consuming the two evils in one greasy 2am slice (though less often I'm sure.) At least in NEw York I had an excuse, pizza was cheap eats I could afford, now it's just weak will power. Though, at the same time as I showcase my failings, I do feel as though I have made some permanent moves this year.

A year ago I started the September localvore challenge. I have kept most of my grocery receipts since moving in, and September was a pretty high month at first. I did have my own garden, but I had planted a lot of tomatoes last year, and the blight effected all of them, sadly. I experimented with fried green tomatoes - delicious, but time consuming. So I was purchasing a lot from Paul Mazza's farm stand, and meat from Jericho Settler's Farm ($$!). I still have olive oil, so I stayed with that rather than buying sunflower oil, which would have been local, but I even cut out coffee and most teas....for about two weeks anyway.

That small experiment ignited a passion. I permanently try to purchase mostly locally made or grown things now. I preach it (hopefully it doesn't sound too preachy) to family and friends, because it's an easy argument! Most everyone can relate to some aspect of this economic crisis, and we can participate actively by buying products that benefit our communities. It's not necessarily the extremists who make the most change, it's the small, regular things we do that every day. Buying organic, fine. Buying free trade, perhaps locally roasted or ground coffee and chocolate (things tough to give up) thoughtful. Buying something from your neighbor, delicious (probably organic) and life saving.

I have had many conversations with friends who seem passionate about buying local foods and putting good things in their body, Then I see their grocery receipts and cupboards, and it's mostly pasta, cheap chicken, packaged sauce. Maybe it's just boys. Are there still home-ec classes in high school? Maybe we should change them to food-network themed cooking classes, and kids would like them more (and learn more).


Well back to myself :P I'm lucky to be in Vermont, I'll say it again. When I leave, I am lost, lost in the grocery store. I have no idea what is local, and no idea where to start. I suppose I start with organic, but it's not what I want. I want that farmstand on the side of the road. I want easily labeled local foods (like city market, yay!) and to know that even while traveling, I can go and participate in their economic system....more than just paying tolls on the highway and such. I also want to eat good food, since it's hard to do that while your on the road.

I like to eat, I like to talk about my food, I want my food to talk....ahem. Let us eat poems.

August 26, 2010

A quick appetizer

It's been a while, and I have a lot to write! Coming soon - today I just want to share a quick recipe that I am proud of...

It's that kale salad, then wrapped in zucchini shavings and pinned with a toothpick.

Wilt raw kale in lemon juice and salt (1 or 2 tsp)

Throw is some fresh herbs - parsley is ggrrreat.

Shave a zucchini with a veggie peeler

Roll a tiny bit of the kale up in each shavings - like kale sushi.

Pin with a toothpick - eat! Salty, tangy and satisfying (also healthy!)


We picked potatoes today. GOLD!