Sunday, September 23, 2012

Living the Dream

A girl tackles Seattle's latest traffic obstacles.

The stereotypical American lives away from work and spends their week commuting alone in a car, stuck in traffic twice a day, as they make the slow grind to work. For most of my life, I have lived 3-5 miles from work and ridden my bike. Occasionally, particularly when it's pouring rain, I wish I could just give in, hop in the car and make life easy. Sometimes I consider apply for jobs at a particularly large corporate in the eastern suburbs, but I usually talk myself out of it, primarily because driving there on a daily basis sounds like hell.

Well, this week I got to see how the other half lives.  I had a training in Bellevue and I wanted to go to the gym before hand. So, it was hop in the car drive to the gym and drive out to the suburbs. In addition, (no, the excitement doesn't stop there!) Seattle has revamped some of their primary traffic routes, giving 520 a toll and making Mercer street two ways. I got to test BOTH those new adventures.

Mercer has been one way for about forever (more than my life time) and two ways for about two weeks now. I ride my bike through the intersection of Dexter and Mercer every morning on my way to and from the gym. And it looks like a mess - particularly with the new two way pattern. At 8 am when I leave the gym, traffic is stacked up Dexter with cars waiting to turn onto Mercer and get onto I5. On Wednesday, with much trepidation, I jumped into the mess in my car. And guess what...... not so bad. It looked bad. But once you were actually in it, things moved pretty quickly!  Win Seattle. The next test was 520.  520 has a toll now. So for me, without a 'good to go' pass, it cost OVER $5 for my little one way trip to Bellevue (that's about $1 per mile). That seems excessive. But, I have to say, it was pretty much smooth sailing the whole way. So far win win (especially since my work will pay the 5 snaps).

While in Bellevue, I realized that unlike the good Seattlelite that I am I forgot my coffee mug. Swallowing my Seattle liberal guilt, I headed to Starbucks for tea in a paper cup - two cups, of course, because tea is so hot.  When in Rome......

Fast forward 8 hours of a REALLY boring training later and it's time to go home. First of all it seems to drive to work and park in Bellevue for the day one must pay $18!  Yeesh. For the trip home I chose I90, home to the masses now the 520 has a $5 toll. The 5 miles that took about 15 minutes on the way to Bellevue grew to 45-60 minutes on the way home. I got excited when my speed soared above 10 mph! Oops. It seems perhaps the 520 toll didn't reduce traffic, but merely moved it. 

Conclusion. The American dream sucks!  I'll take my 30 minute bike commute any day - well, most days.

In other new traffic news, when I was driving over the pass on I90 last weekend i saw signs for a new speeding camera.  How does this work?  Everyone who speeds gets a ticket????        

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Best Ever

Okay, this picture does not do it justice, but my pink tomato finally ripened. I think I'm only going to get the one. But it was SO GOOD.  It looked like a peach. Eating it was like eating a delicious piece of fruit. It was well worth the effort, even if I only got one.

Now if I can only remember it's name.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My new favorite food!

I should just stop reading about food and health and vitamins and nutrients. I swear, every time I learn something new I wonder how I am even standing and/or functioning.

Take this for example:

"Tip of the Day: If you're concerned with micronutrient deficiencies, understand that it's not just about how much you take in. Other factors, such as what the rest of your diet includes or does not include, can impact how much of a given micronutrient you actually need."

They go onto say that if you only eat meat and not joints, skin and bones, your need for certain vitamins - including lots of B vitamins - go up. Bottom line, if you're not getting proper amounts of glycine you're screwed (Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good).  Anyhoo, you know what food is the very highest in glycine?  Gelatin!!! Yes, that's right, the food thing that I spent 20 years as a vegetarian avoiding like the plague, probably would have helped my vitamin B vitamin levels immensely.

So, in honor of this news, I am going on a broth kick. As my regular readers will know, I have made chicken broth. But, I always make it and stick it in the freezer where it spends the next 6 months getting in the way of everything. Now, I'm going to make broth and EAT IT. Last week was my first week. I whipped up a batch of beef broth - cook time 24 HOURS (to make sure I got the good stuff out of the bones) and for the next three nights I had beef broth for dinner. And it's SO GOOD. One night I actually had to run out to an appointment. So I warmed up some broth and took it in a to go cup. And my little belly was happy and satisfied until I actually had time to eat at 8 pm.

Here's a very short snippet of other things broth does for you.     
  • Bone broth is rich in minerals to strengthen the immune system and support healthy digestion. Bone broth also contains collagen to strengthen tendons, joints, ligaments, bone, and skin. (Healthier, whoop)
  • The collagen in bone broth will help heal the lining of the gut to relieve heartburn, GERD, and other types of intestinal inflammation. (Happy Belly!)
  • Collagen will support healthy skin to make it supple and strong to reduce the appearance of cellulite.  (HELLO, yes that says get rid of  cellulite and make me look younger, can you say, miracle food!!! Forget botox!)
  • The glycine in bone broth will detoxify the body of harmful chemicals, improve sleep, and boost memory and performance. (Uhm ,yes, better sleep, smarter and faster!!!)
And, if all the above weren't enough. It's delicious and extra easy to make.

Dem bones!

A few hangin' around veggies, I threw in some brussel sprout ends and garlic too. 
Don't forget the damn bay leaf. (It seems all these recipes call for one bay leaf - hard to imagine it has much effect.)
The magic sauce (pulls the minerals out of the bones).

Voila!  Throw it all in a crock pot and leave it for 24-72 hours.  (Note the all important bay leaf)