Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Road Update: Summer in the PNW

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

I’m back in the Seattle area for a few months over the summer, recovering and enjoying being able to stand upright in my house again.

Interestingly, the room I had rented from a friend for almost 3 years was available when I arrived, so I am back in my old house, with some of my old furniture, even.

I’d had reservations about spending a lot of time here, given the reminders and ghosts around, but it seems as though perhaps I have indeed adopted some emotional recovery skills over the years, and it’s been more soothing and reclaiming than painful overall.

I’m working outside a few days a week, with a training program called DIRTcorps, Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training. It’s a unique and vibrant program in which people from the underserviced and largely disadvantaged South end of Seattle learn contracting and landscaping skills while actively reclaiming the Duwamish waterways and wetlands via their learning projects.

Last Saturday we did a ton of great work on a project I took a small lead role in — drilling lots of holes into 1/4″ steel poles — which will eventually be part of the largest green screen in Seattle. That’s my grinning mug on the job site above, along with Fedora (who introduced me to the program), and our crew.

I spend time both in restoration and construction as well as on an educational farm, which I get to eat some of the food from! I’m weeding and mulching and weeding and aerating soil and weeding and harvesting and weeding and digging holes and weeding and weeding and weeding.

This, along with being generously offered my old stomping ground again, have been very restorative experiences for me. And, I am FINALLY moving my body, after two years away from aerial, which was tough at first but so relieving once I got going.

In Process Experiment: Walk a Day

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The challenge: Get up at the same time every day to walk around the block (.3 miles)
The duration: 8 weeks

Explanation: I have never been a creature of morning routine. However, for most of my life, when I’ve noticed that, I’ve felt sorry for myself. Like I am missing out, and failing myself somehow. Like I just don’t have it in me to take that 30 minutes a morning to care about myself, in that tough love parenting sort of way, but if I did, it would be sorta like magic.

I suspect deep down that a disciplined, automatic routine in the mornings would do awesome things for me, both physically and in my sense of myself as a productive, capable person.

As well, it would align me further with my integrity, as I teach my clients routines to do in the mornings and see them enjoy consistent progress when they follow my advice.

Yet, I’ve done very little to support myself in doing what I advise and know to work for others. It’s just felt too big. I’d much rather lay in bed until the last possible moment, most of the time.

So, this challenge is about starting small, and cultivating my discipline one baby step at a time. Every morning, at 8am, rain or shine, mostly asleep or already awake, I will get up and take my bedhead morning breath ass to the pavement for a walk around the block.

Perhaps I will come home, and fall right back into bed. Perhaps I will start my day at that time. What I do after this doesn’t matter. How body aware and zen about it I am while doing it doesn’t matter. What matters, is that when my alarm goes off, I get out of bed, put my shoes on, and walk.

The beach: Awesome.

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The humans: not so much.

Edgars and I finally got out of town again yesterday, after a couple months of being fairly stationary. After a brief overnight at a friends place in Portland, and an awesome breakfast with Norris the Voice, we were beachbound.

Aside from our destination, being able to get a snapshot of this sign is the only good thing about the fucking traffic we were frequently stuck in. Apparently a lot of people have the idea to go to the coast the first weekend in August.

It’s amazing how 4+ hours of driving and a sea of asshole humans and their even bigger asshole kids can be made worthwhile by an hour at the beach. After laying around in the soft warm sand, I was reminded how stubborn the sand is to get off of human skin. Even the (FUCKING FREEZING) ocean didn’t want anything to do with the stuff once it was stuck to me.

After Edgars snapped this picture of me in Seaside, OR, (Note: I am NOT sucking my stomach in. Yay for eating well and working out!!) I washed sand out of my vagina while sitting on the sink in the mens bathroom of the sushi place we had dinner at, cause I had gotten tired of waiting in line for the womens, and also tired of having sand in my vagina.

I like liking the sun, and the ocean. I sure as hell didn’t used to.

Back to basics: The glory of the Smoothie

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Some may be aware that I’ve gone on a health kick recently, as seems to be the case every summer when the weather around here allows for biking and all the good food goes in season.

What makes sticking with this all the time hard?

I am by no means a Standard American Diet type, but I do fall into pits of unhealth now and again, even if it’s eating organic bread and raw cheese for dinner every night (which, if you’re not sure, is still bad.).

When I am stressed out and/or busy, it can be very easy to fall into fuckit mode, and gravitate toward takeout and cheap food that is full of Bad Things. Depressive episodes often trigger and contribute to this, and having just gone through one that lasted a month or so my eating and activity routines had been pretty disrupted.

This last depressive bought, I returned to my Taco Bell roots a few times a week for a good month. Horrifying, really, now that I am where I am rather than being where I was. But thankfully, a couple days of real food knocks out the cravings for the junk almost completely and effortlessly, since I come from a good baseline now.

Some background information:

Aside from my statistical updates regarding this current smoothiefest, there isn’t a ton of new information I have to give in regards to the best ways I’ve found to restabilize food-wise, but I did want to point out a new tag — diet eliminations — which talks about my experiences eliminating food from my diet in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This year it’s dairy (oh dairy, you sticky bastard..), and processed food.

I’ve done a lot more than these things listed under the new tag over the years to have gone from a hard core fast food junkie who lived off plastic liters of vodka and a half pack of Marlboro Reds a day to the eater I am now. Most of the posts under the elimination tag have other tags going for them that will help you find more if you’re interested.

2012 Smoothiefest, Day 10:

As for now, I’ve been doing the smoothie thing as most of my food for about 10 days, and frankly I haven’t needed much food. Currently, I am 119 lbs, down from 125, and I look and feel great — not because I needed to lose any weight, but because those few pounds I have gotten rid of seem to have consisted of water, gas, bloat, and shit. I wouldn’t want to get any lower than this, though, and expect as my legs beef up from biking and I settle into more meals that I will hover around 123/125 again soon.

Because of what I’ve been eating, I’ve had great/sustained energy lately, but now I’m starting to get tired out, and it’s clear I will need to eat more of the same type of stuff. If I plan on biking 14 miles to and from work (which consists of massage and/or aerial classes/training) I will need more fuel than I am currently getting now that I’m all cleaned out.

Smoothies, the most awesome thing ever:

It’s so easy in this day and age to go days or even weeks barely eating anything that’s actually ALIVE (Hint: the slice of ancient tomato on a cheesy ham bagel really doesn’t count.). You can’t really beat a smoothie-rich food intake for making sure you get enough whole fruits and veggies in a day, which I have found makes a world of difference in my life. It’s been fucking awesome. I sleep WAY better now, too.


  1. All food is fresh. No frozen or prepackaged. Once winter hits, that will change.
  2. All food whose skins I eat are organic. I generally slack on things like avocado and banana.
  3. I use the pits and cores of the whole food as well unless otherwise noted.
  4. Smoothies are RAW – I cook other stuff.
  5. I try to equalize fruits vs. veggie content. A fruit-only smoothie is an occasional treat.
  6. I chew/swish mouthfuls of smoothie for a few seconds, so the amylase from my saliva has a chance to do its job and start breaking down my food, the process of which usually happens while chewing on whole pieces of it. NOTE: To effectively allow this breakdown process to happen, the pieces of solid food you’re eating should be chewed beyond recognition before swallowing. If you have digestive problems and aren’t chewing your food to this degree, try it. Cue “The more you know” song.


  • Filtered Water
  • Strawberries (with tops)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apple (with seeds and core. Cyanide concerns: this way please)
  • Celery
  • Avocado (Sans rind, but with the pit for soluble fiber)
  • Yellow Corn (raw, shaved off the core)
  • Carrot
  • Beet
  • Greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard, Beet — whatever I have handy, sometimes a mix.)
  • Citrus (Lime or Orange or Meyer Lemon, with rind peeled off with veggie peeler, keeping as much white as possible)
  • Mint
  • Cilantro

I swap different things in and out for diet variety, but this is a pretty good example of what I am sticking to lately. I often skip the herbs, and it’s been interesting to figure out how much of each thing I can fit in my blender.

I do not use milk or alternative milks for my smoothies. Water works just fine and is better for me.

Since I am cooking for two, often I will blend a full fruit smoothie and a full veggie smoothie and mix/store them for a day or two. Sometimes they thicken overnight, and in that case I just add a little water and shake. I won’t eat smoothie that has spent more than two full days in the fridge, cause by then, it’s pretty dead, IMO.

A word about the pits:

In addition to the avocado pit, I generally only use one pit or core per smoothie, which lasts two people a day, to avoid the possibility of overdoing them. A little goes a long way.

Meals, Snacks and Eating Out:

The days I’ve done two meals and added whole food snacks I think have been the sweet spot. Those meals consist of cooked greens, eggs, fish, chicken, and occasionally quinoa or brown rice for a grain, though I’m not eating many grains and I really like it. Grains can grog me down and puff me up and generally just kinda suck, especially processed grains like chips (even the healthy organic baked ones).

A good smoothie cleanse of real food and no dairy really brings what a difference food makes back into focus. I felt better within 2 days of doing this, and frankly, it was fucking easy as hell — and smoothies are convenient to my lifestyle, too. But that’s not all I’m eating, since I’m not doing this for weight loss or disease control.

I’m also snacking on things like carrots and hummus, olives, whole fruits and very occasionally some toasted rosemary bread with herbed butter. Bread is working a lot better for me now than it used to, but I still limit it to a slice couple times a week at most, and generally with a meal that has a bunch of other good stuff.

If I eat out, it’s either generally sushi or thai (tom kah and fresh rolls). Though, I’m getting about ready for a nice organic grass fed fuckin’ slab of redass bloody meat. Gnar.

The one-rule for better eating:

Essentially, the way I am looking at food, is if nature made it, I want it — and if nature didn’t, I don’t, unless I’m treating myself infrequently. If a human did much more than pick it/kill it, it’s suspect. Examples (in order of severity):

Whole orange = yes

  • Prepacked orange slices = no
  • Orange juice = no
  • Orange flavored anything = no

Raw corn = yes

  • Canned cooked corn = no
  • Tortillas = no
  • Corn syrup = BIG NO

Wild Salmon = yes

  • Farmed salmon = no
  • Canned Salmon = no
  • Salmon jerky/smoked salmon = no

So, that’s what I’m up to lately. You get the idea.

This is working well for me, my body, my attitude and my life. It’s a lot of work at first to get into the groove, especially if you’ve never eaten this way before, and there are still occasions in which I will have some OJ or a couple spoonfulls of yogurt, or even a spoon of cookie dough at midnight — but it’s so fucking worth it. And holy shit, is it exciting to open a frige full of fresh, fragrant, poison free LIVE food.

I may forget these things and fall off the wagon a few times a year, but I imagine I will always come back to this way of life and living, and I hope that as I age and get better at prioritizing my world around being healthy and happy that each cycle will be longer, and easier to revert back into.

Take care of you,

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

It’s really amazing me, since switching back to a ~60% whole food smoothie intake, how little else I need to eat. I look fucking rad, too.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Biking to the office in the mild sun with my “Ambient” Pandora station softly in my ear. <3

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

Jim Duvall: Hung

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Model/MUA: Courtnee Papastathis
Photography/Rope: Jim Duvall
Production Assistent: Sophia Sky