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Archive for April, 2011

Mountain time with the roommate was as enlightening as expected.

With a book full of study notes, a packed picnic and a side of inspiration provided by Baba Ram Dass and his book which holds teachings of mind-blowing capacity, we set out on an afternoon adventure to be completely isolated and away from the world.

Just for those mere few hours the humble jumble of Tucson life below us seemed but a mere memory and we were able to escape.

avocado. bluecornchips. kalamataolives. salsa. picklejar. cheesesticks. deliciousredstrawberries. peanutsintheirshells. apples

Was all very much glorious and very much filling

We ended the study woodland session with a quiet road trip down the mountain during sunset.

We stopped along the way to enjoy the views…

The rest of the weekend has been increasingly getting better. With the new addition of a kiddie pool in our backyard and a make-shift study table under our shady trees, I think I’ll be much readier awaiting the summertime with open arms and a mason jar of ice cold tea.

Have a lovely rest of your Saturdays.

xoxo

MM

Quote of the day: “The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.” -Ram Dass

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Going up to the mountains today for a little downtime.

It’s been needed for a little while now. Isn’t it funny how when life tries to slap you on the behind it slaps you hard? With finals coming up in a week, a GRE looming ahead of me and many other stresses added to the list I’ve been in a dreamy mood lately. I’ve had visions of meadows and fireflies in my sleep and have longed for the summer breeze of New England or Michigan weather.

My roommates and I have adorned our casita with mason jars filled with summer flowers and quirky feathers. We’ve spent hours having guitar and tambourine sing-alongs to the best of Cocorosie and Devendra Banhart with evenings spent under twinkling lights listening to the soothing sounds of Sufjan.

It’s been a hard week this one for me and my roommates alike but at least we have each other to get us through the storm.

A spread of fresh fruit and other nibblets are on the menu for today’s picnic along with a side of clinical nutrition notes and my Colombian straw hat.

Today is a new day and I am the bliss in the universe.

xoxo

MM

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It’s Monday and I am currently cramming for a Community Nutrition exam with the wonderful sounds of jackhammering right outside my bedroom window.

We’ve been having plumbing problems so the landlord has been bringing his work crew over at the delightful hours of 7:30 am to dig massive holes in our front yard, jackhammering away the wee hours of the morning and filling our neighborhood with the loveliest of sewage fumes you could imagine.

HAPPY MONDAY!

So, rather than give you a full recap of my weekend and the things to come this week, I’ll simply leave you with the three top things that are currently on this lady’s mind.

1. It has been decided. This upcoming Thursday the roommates and I will be acting as Easter goddesses, making Spring flower crowns, adorning ourselves in crystal and feather jewelry and tye-dying delicate little Easter eggs under our shady porch.

Forget the weekend. I am anxiously awaiting this magical Thursday.

2. Sunday Morning Breakfasts.

My boyfriend and his roommates have a bit of a Sunday morning household tradition where Michael cooks up this big breakfast and invites all his closest friends over for a gathering of delicious Sunday morning brunch. This weekend, the gathering happened at my place with a small group of friends and Michael doing his thang in the kitchen, as usual.

On the menu was french toast made with apple-cinnamon bread, served with homemade berry syrup and a side of sweet and savory sweet potaters.

and a little peak at the chef, himself…

sorry ladies, the cook is taken 😉


Not sure what’s on the agenda for next week’s breakfast but I’m already looking forward to it.

3. I am obsessed with this treehouse…

…and this website, in general.

Why oh why can’t I just escape into the forest trees for a bit or into a meadow of greens and dandelions with little flickering balls of fireflies surrounding me as the sun goes down?

*sigh* it’s almost summer…

That is all bumblebees.

xoxo

MM

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As part of my community nutrition class this semester, a few fellow nutrition students and myself were assigned a group in the Tucson community to go out and teach an educational nutrition lecture to.

Many groups in our class were assigned little league baseball teams or highschool girl’s volleyball teams or women’s gyms but we had a much more intimate and unique experience.

Pregnant teens and teenage parents.

This was my first time ever working with this age group, especially those who are parents and parents-to-be and never having been in this situation (aside from the occasional food baby induced from Thanksgiving dinners and Mexican food comas), it was a group I found harder to relate to but none the less more sympathetic to.

Our group from the university chose to focus on four main topics that we thought would be most-beneficial in the short amount of time we had to get our message across.

1. Balanced Diet

2. Important nutrients during pregnancy

3. Healthy weight gain and caloric intake during the three trimesters

4. Introducing solids to babies and possible allergens and choking hazards

The class consisted of about 4 pregnant teenage girls, 3 teenage girls who had already given birth to their babies and two teenage boys who were also already parents. It was a small, intimate group but also quite intimidating.

Sure, I used to be in high school back in my own cheerleading, straight-A student bubble of my ideal high school perfection where my biggest issue was deciding between cheese fries or nachos for lunch, I never dealt with any hard-knock reality issues.

These students were on a whole different playing field and, to be completely honest, they scared the hell out of me to begin with.

It was especially hard to grab the attention of the students for the first ten minutes. Many were text messaging, talking to one another and blatantly shutting us out among other things.

Then, we played a jeopardy game and all hell broke loose.

The once-tough teenage boys and hardening looks of the distrusting students slowly diminished and the lively, aura of teen spirit (not to sound like a Nirvana music video) surrounded us. The entire mood in the classroom changed and everyone felt a bit more relaxed and open.

Then the questions began…

“Why would I give my baby whole milk over skim milk when they stop drinking formula or breast milk? Won’t they get fat?”

“Is pizza healthy? I mean, it has cheese, bread and meat and sometimes vegetables so it can’t be that bad…right?”

“I really love hot dogs. Like they’re my favorite food ever. Can I still eat hot dogs?”

Oh and my favorite…

“Are hot cheetos really that bad? I ate them all the time when I was pregnant and my mom used to tell me I was going to give birth to a cheeto.”

Ah, yes the range of questions and concerns were endless but in the end, it was an excellent class.

I had never thought of working with this age group outside of possible eating disorder clinics and now, this has opened up an entirely new range of possibilities.

It was completely rewarding and I hope (and am pretty sure) that the students got to take something beneficial away from it as well, even if it was just the bag of fruit we handed out at the end.

I realize it might be cliché to point out, but in reality you end up getting so much more out of an experience like this when, originally, you thought you’d be the one reaching out and giving something to the community.

I’d say it was all very much worth it, whether I get the A or not.

xoxo

MM

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Halleluia

It is times like these that I feel there might just be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Having just completed my grueling GRE-prep course (AKA the class that eats my soul), I am slightly floating on clouds of studious bliss. I know the celebration is a bit too early since I have yet to take the actual exam and still have quite the many hours of independent study coming my way but, nevertheless, the end of three hour weekly classes is enough to put a grin on anybody’s face…

as well as the beauty of spring…

This is currently the view from my bedroom window. Something about tulips really make you feel like it’s spring, no?

I’ve held a smile on my face for quite a while now. I’ve been enjoying the simpler things and simply flowing with the tide. There are some things in life you take for granted but don’t realize, even if small, how much they may impact the happiness of your days.

Tulips on my windowsill, kitty cat cuddles, a spring drizzle on a saturday afternoon, morning bike rides to school with the boyfriend, coming home to freshly-baked vegan, raspberry bars from the roomie. Sometimes one must step back and break down the big picture into the little things, and then you find some peace of mind.

As for tonight, I am headed to a much-needed wanted yoga session with Seester. It’ll be my third one in three days and, as tight as these hamstrings are from overload on downward dogs, I am completely loving the sweaty sessions with my mat. It’s keeping me balanced and harmonious, even when my head may get a little dreamy during savasana.

Before I go, I believe I promised a recipe in my last post for a scrumptious Creamy Southwestern Vegan Polenta that I whipped up about a week ago. Word of advice: the picture doesn’t do this recipe justice.

Creamy Southwestern Vegan Polenta

Serves 1

Ingredients:

-1/3 roll of polenta

– 1/4 cup vegan cheese (I am partial to Daiya because it is soy-free and melts quite nicely)

-1 Tablespoon vegan butter

-1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened, plain almond milk for this version)

-2 Tablespoons diced green chilies (I used the canned version but fresh would be delightful)

-pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat up a small sauce pan to medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and let warm while dicing the polenta into large chunks. Place the polenta in the pan and while heating, use a potato masher to mash up the polenta into (for lack of a better vocabulary) a ball of mush. Pour the milk on top of the polenta and stir until thickened. Add the butter, cheese and green chilies until all is incorporated evenly. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes until hot, stirring consistently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

This recipe was something I created after an intense craving for grits induced by a late-night movie session with My Cousin Vinny. I made a larger batch and used the leftovers to mix with half a can of vegetarian chili. It was heavenly.

I hope everyone enjoys the end of the hardest day of the week!

Here’s a little song for the soul…

xoxo

MM

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Cyclovia 2011

Welcome back boys and girls.

This little post was something I snagged pictures of a week ago but I saved it for a rainy day like today (which literally is a very hot, sunny day here in the Old Pueblo but I don’t have class so here we are)!

Last weekend my boyfriend, Michael, invited me and some friends to ride around on the back of his friend’s rickshaw through downtown Tucson for a big biking event called Cyclovia.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “Why munching mamacita, I have no idea what a rickshaw is. Do tell!”

Exhibit A:

well, more or less...

Our rickshaw is not quite as, ahem, antiquated as this one and Michael rode a bike that was attached to the back passenger seats (or what I liked to refer to as the royalty seats while giving the queen wave while passing my minions). My friend Karlee and I were chauffeured around town amongst fellow bikers…

This kind of biker…

Nooooot this kind of biker:

Although, the latter would have been a very dandy experience as well, I’m sure.

Anyhow, we rode around for a few hours, making pit stops every-so-often for the essentials: homemade ice cream and bake sales. Obviously.

By the end of the route, we landed in Tucson’s lovely Armory Park where there was live music, grassy hills to squat on and sip a cool beer after that heavy bike ride (or cramping arm from waving queen-like) and a few local restaurants with food tents that sold tasty snacklings at the event.

We chose a local pizzeria’s booth and all got the vegan, hummus pizza.

I die.

I wish I had grabbed some photos of the pizza but, alas, I have failed again as the best food blogger in the world. Shucks.

I did manage to grab photos throughout the ride, though so feast your eyes on these…

 

My man and his rickshaw

Miss Karlee being cute as a button

 

Nothing like a little fun in the Tucson sun!

This weekend has lots of exciting things to come. It’s the street fair here in downtown Tucson with lots of vendors selling jewelry, art pieces, and all other things you could imagine! Also, the renaissance festival is in town and who can resist a jousting fight between two long-haired, grizzly knights while sipping on a gauntlet of beer while her boyfriends feasts on a turkey leg and curses medieval obscenities at the game? Clearly, not I. Michael and I will be joining my family for a day filled with medieval fun.

One last note: I’ve got a mean recipe for some Southwestern Creamy Vegan Polenta. Mmmm Mmmm MMMM.

Come back soon 🙂

xoxo

MM

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