Thursday, April 25, 2013

My perfect paleo pancake!

So this recipe has taken me nearly a year to perfect. Lots of mistakes using coconut and almond flour. I'm not fond of the taste of almond flour, and coconut flour is good for baking, but just stays too soft too long to make a good pancake. Out they go!

3tbsp flax meal, 
2tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut, 
1tbsp chia seeds,
1 whole egg
cinnamon and sweetener to taste, 
1/4cup water (maybe less, maybe more)

Stir until it's a nice batter consistency- let the chia and flax absorb some of the water.

Heat pan with a half tbsp coconut oil, pour in batter, then cook like a pancake! About 3 mins each side. The edges will get golden and crispy.

Top with honey, grassed butter, fruit..... 
EAT and feel awesome and full forever.

No time to pan-fry? NO PROBLEM. Microwave that batter for 1:30 in the container you mixed it in and watch it puff up into a beautiful flax muffin. Put the coconut oil in your coffee like a badass.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My short Kombucha adventure.

I drank some kombucha and this is my story.

It tasted like apple cider vinegar. I like the taste of vinegar.
But it is POWERFUL with LIVING THINGIES in it. You need them in you for sure! Right?

I think I drank it too fast. Because then my insides when "Woah. Living Thingies."
And the stomach felt strange for about an hour.

I tested kombucha off and on for about two weeks.
This is the kind I drank:

I didn't feel any different or magical. I did not gain the ability to speak with plants. 
It ran about $4 a bottle, and has floaty snot-like living goodness dancing at the bottom of it.
I read up on homebrewing. You can make your own vinegary wonder-snot for just pennies!
And then I realized, I didn't want to make any. Or, really drink any more.
They say it's a good hangover cure. I'll get right on testing that out.

Lab-rattily yours,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why I'm at the Circus.

The Gym Sucks.
It sucks sucks sucks.
It smells. It's boring. No one at the gym is smiling.
Just sweating. Picking up heavy things. Putting them down. Picking them back up.
Do you get any superhero skills out of this?
What about zombie survival skills?
Assassin's Creed Skills?
No. You just get better at doing the Gym.
It's no fun and you know it. 

So I dropped my Gym membership- Hit the bar, and got High.

Wow, this is fun. Everyone is smiling. Now I know how to climb ropes and flip upside down. Now my arms can take me up trees and over walls.

I am F'in lucky to live withing driving distance to Cirque School LA. This is where I go twice a week to get muscles and learn superhero skills.

This place made me see my body differently. Not as just some fleshy parts that my brain lives in, but as an evolving, trainable tool I can use to access joy, thrills, and the good kind of challenge. 

As an artist, I know my mind pretty well. I spend a lot of time in the mental world. It's my space to create, my escape. But pulling, climbing, pushing, and sweating has re-connected me to my place in the physical world- and made me realize how fun it can be. Now I get to depend on my body- not just my brains- to make me feel good. 


 Not everyone will have a circus school near them- But you can check. Search Google locally for words like "aerial silk" and "Circus class/School." Most big cities also have a private trainer or two.

But the point isn't that you have to go to circus school. The point is, you have to find something fun to do with your body. If you're missing out on the rush that doing something physically challenging and thrilling regularly can give you, you're missing out on half of the goodness of being a human.

And if you're like me, you need something to do that's not repetitive, boring, smelly, or sad. Seems obvious, right? Start your search now for something amazing to do. Then go do it. Don't even tell anyone. Don't talk about it for a month. Just start doing.

I've been taking class at Cirque School for about a year now. The process isn't quick. But I'm working with my own tool, my own machine- not anyone else's. Week by week, I search and refine the secret combinations that unlock a new skills. The teachers are patient and respect your process. I respect my process too. It's like learning another language- the physical language. Right now I have a few vocabulary words, but it will take a long time to get fluent. And even then, I'll probably always move with the accent of a gawky, gangly animator.

It's fun. It feels good. That's all I ask for in a pursuit. The superhero moves and brand new arm muscles are just frosting.

Mmmm. Frosting.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review - Julian's Paleo Bread

I've messed around with paleo bread recipes  the past. They usually require almond and coconut flour, and I haven't ever gotten one perfect. Mushy in the middle, crumbly. This may just be due to my cooking skills. When I really need something to cover the innards of my steak, avocado, and bacon sandwich, I'll use a Flatout low-carb Wrap or a Low-Carb tortilla. I know both of these use gluten and other wheaty stuff to make the low-carb magic happen, but I let it slide. They don't bother my stomach or my blood sugar.  I'm no model of Paleo perfection, I do what is easy and fun and fast.

ENTER: Julian's Bakery Paleo Bread

Dayumn Girl! Is it possible? It's shaped like bread and I didn't have to make it myself! And look at thise sparse list of sexy ingredients:

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Coconut Flour, Egg Whites, Psyllium, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda.

Why, I could feel downright angelic chawing on this.  Let's give it a go.
ROUND 1: Sandwhich. The innards are my home-made chicken salad.

 I pick it up. It's. Firm... Good to hold on to. It's not crumbling of mushy.
I bite into it. It's still firm. Hmm. I have to chew a lot. The flavor is slightly of eggs. The texture is kind of like craft foam.

I get full quick, due to all the fiber. And I stay full for a long time. But it wasn't the softy, sandwich experience I was looking for. It held it's bread-shaped shape the whole time. So that was... practical. But not delicious.

ROUND 2: French Toast.

It's been a few days and I know, due to the lack of preservatives, this bread isn't gonna keep long, Even in my fridge. I'm the only one in the house eating it, and it feels like a daunting task to get through this firm, fibrous loaf in time.
So I soak it in eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla, and fry it up in bacon grease. It will surely become amazing when covered in the nectar of the Paleo gods, right?

Still chewy and dense. Now filled with tasty eggs and grease, but hard to get through. Like the sandwich, the best part is that it holds the things I put in/on it. Again, I ate it all because I gotta polish off this loaf before it spoils.

Top level angelic tier PALEO.
Holds a sandwhich.
Has a variety made with just coconut flour. (I don't like almonds.)
An exploratory step in the right direction for bakers.

$7 - 8 A loaf
Pretty tasteless
Texture of a non-food.
So much fiber it slowed my inner systems for a day. (Sorry. Eww.)

Maybe I'm just a bad cook. Maybe I did something wrong. But I can't make this bread taste amazing. Even my homemade attempts at paleo bread came out softer, cheaper and more flavorful. If I'm really craving a non-tortilla bread item to hold sandwich innards, I'd rather make some Microwave Cheddar Bread or a Flax Minuite Muffin. I won't be buying this again unless they find some amazing, natural way to make it soft and tasty.

Chewily yours,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review - Sensato Nut & Flax Granola

Two Granola reviews? AWWRIGHT!

At this point there is seriously no reason I can't enjoy some cereal-like deliciousness in my life. The secret to finding these products was not to look for Paleo products, but diabetic ones. Low-carb, low-sugar products have been being made for diabetics for a lot longer than us new Paleo folks.
Again, this is a product from my field trip to Vivla Low Carb Superstore.

Sensato's Granola has the same flax-nugget texture as Flax-Z-Snax Granola, but a slightly different flavor. I got the cinnamon variety, and really loved the bite it had. Slightly lemony... like a poppy seed muffin.  I didn't have to add any extra sweetener to it to make it delicious.
I missed the variety of the macadamias and fruity bits that the flax-z-snax had, so I tossed 1/4 cup of frozen berries into my cereal.

Nutrition wise, It looks good. 12 g yummy fat from pecans and flax, 6g protein, and one net carb, minus all the fiber.
I'm going to give it a slight edge over the flax-z-snax brand because the ingredient list is shorter and easier to understand. And just now, I'm reading an article that claims flax-z-snax fibbed about their nutrition facts oh noooo! Lies! Horror! Breakfast!
I'm still gonna eat all the stuff I bought, but will lean towards the Sensato brand when I need to re-stock.

Great flavor
Lots of Flax and fiber

Still contains Sucralose
Still $7-8 a bag.
Not perfect paleo (some oats, canola oil)
I need to eat bacon and eggs but I'm eating this instead.


Get this stuff from Amazon

Fiber and a little Healfy controversy,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obsessions - The Bike

Obsessions can be helpful. Obsessions can be fun. Obsessions... can be Healfy!
 It all started here:

Burning Man, circa 2008.
Bikes are the best way to get around a dry lake bed. So I hopped on one, and rode it all week long. (Burning man is another obsession entirely. One post at a time, Kelly.)

So then I came home, and didn't want to stop. It felt good. It made getting somewhere fun. It lit up my brain, demanding I be present, listening and seeing the world around me as a pedaled. That's not a feeling you get on a car drive. 

I pulled my little sister's old mountain bike out of the garage, studied some online maps (google maps shows bike routes), and started riding my bike to work with a friend. The bike was too small, the route inefficient. Four hot miles. But I didn't care. It felt good.

5 years later... I'm still obsessed. I call my bike my happiness machine. I've gone through 3 more models (two outgrown, one stolen) and have been riding this one, "Arrow" for about a year.


 Our twice weekly commute starts in the residential area of southeast LA. 4 miles, 20 minutes. I take big gulps of the morning air and pedal through the curves. I howl back at the dogs that bark at me, and delight in feeling the faster pumping of my heart, the twinge in my legs.

I roll into the subway station and catch my breath. Yes, LA has a subway. It's nice. I sit back in my seat and close my eyes for a bit, or enjoy the sunny scenery.

I've got a 20 minute subway ride, so I get to do some reading, too. My kindle holds hundreds of books with hardly any weight. I pick whatever I'm in the mood for.

This morning it was: The Primal Connection. 
But sometimes it's Cyberpunk. Or fantasy. Or memoirs. Or books about dogs and the brain. As my body rests my mind gets engaged.

Then I ride from the station to the building I work in. It takes about 10 more minutes. I get a sense of what's going on in LA today. The mood people are in. If there's a farmer's market or a film shoot. I see where I am.   

The ride home is darker, faster, and a little more uphill. By the time the day is done, I've been on a bike for about an hour, burning off 400 to 500 calories and flooding my brain will all sorts of endorphins and other delightful chemicals.

So here, I confess my first Healfy Obsession. I love my bike, and think about it all the time. Like a junkie, I'l always lookling for excuses to get my fix. (We must need something at the grocery store. I want to eat lunch at that new place in Pasadena. I can't find my car keys.)  
I challenge you to find your obsession too. It feels good and it's fun, and those are the main criteria.
Get crazy about something you love. 

Pedaling and grinning hard,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review - Flax Z Snax Granola

Since I've ditched grain and milk, I've been craving nice, cold, sweet bowl of breakfast. 
Eggs and some thick cut bacon topped with avocado and cheese is fun for the novelty factor and feeling like I'm eating like a Game of Thrones character. But even that can start to feel greasy and dull after a few months.
So I picked up a few grain-free granolas at the Viva Low Carb Superstore

Here's the first!
Flax Z Snax Granola!

Wow, I feel like a winner right of the bat. I tried to make paleo granola at home before, but just ended up with a bunch of sticky nuts. And I don't much like nuts. But I do love flax.
The Flax Z Snax bakers manage to get the flax meal into sweet crunchy bites, not mushy or grainy at all.  I tried the cherry macadamia and it was just what I wanted. Some granolas are super almond or walnut heavy. But this one is truly flax-centric. The dried cranberries were big and tart, and biting in to an occasional macadamia was a fun treat.

See, I ate it.

Nutrition wise, it's got good stats. We're looking at 1g net carb (19 non-net), 12g healthy flax and nut fats, and 7g protein, and 11g fiber. It is sweetened with splenda and malitol, so it's up to you if you're into fake sweeteners  I like them. The serving size is 1/2 cup for 182 calories. I put that in my bowl and it looked wimpy. So I added another 1/4 cup. Then it did not look as wimpy. But it was more than I needed. Now I'm super stuffed and know I will be for awhile. 

However, this new flavor of SO delicious coconut milk is not for me. I usually get the Sugar-Free Vanilla flavor. This unsweetened original flavor has little flavor at all. Very watery. I added some splenda so make it palatable. I'll review more coconut milks soon!

Good flavors
Low Carb
Very Filling

Not Perfect Paleo (has some bran and soy ingredients)
$7 to $8 a bag
Sweetened with Malitol and Sucralose

Verdict- This stuff is gonna become a staple in my cupboard. Glad I bought 2 bags. Get yourself some from

Full but feelin' healfy,