Superheros in a bag.

June 13, 2012

Ugh.  Some nights you have it and some nights you don’t.  Last night, was a don’t.  Rain ruined my plans for a run and we won’t even talk about the potatoes.  I know ya’ll must be sick of hearing negative negative negative from me – I’m sick of hearing it, reading it, writing it.  I am lookin for some smiles folks and if its not too much to ask some stability?

This morning I was determined to start turning this train wreck of a mood swing around by focusing on what I can and HAVE gotten done today, vs what I didn’t.  So I made up for last night’s missed run and went for a quick run OUTSIDE before work.  I have to say, the morning felt great, cool, breezy and it felt like everything was just starting to wake up – but enough activity that I felt pretty safe.  In the end, a longer run would’ve been nice too, but I waffled back and forth in my usual morning way about even going – so I’m glad and proud I made it out there to begin with.  Besides, with a 10 miler race coming up this weekend, I can afford to take it easy on the legs.    I topped off my morning with a green monster smoothie.  Kale, Almond Milk, chia seeds, wheat grass powder, Maca root powder, half a banana, Peanutbutter and some ice.  Yum!  I’m starting to enjoy my smoothies less sweet and more green!  And now I’ve moved onto coffee 😉

But I’ll tell ya what – I am EARNING the slowly approaching weekend.   So, while we’re on the subject of weekends, lets talk revisit.

This past weekend Brandon and I headed down to Richmond for the weekend.  You already know I snuck in a 5k race on Saturday morning, but the rest of the weekend was filled with healthy and happy activities.

Books:

I’ve been more and more interested lately in the right way to cook.  Not necessarily “this is healthy, this isn’t”, but techniques and flavor combinations, preparations etc.  Things like, learning how to chop an onion efficiently (yes, it took me THIS long to learn the trick…).  While I realize that a lot of this is best learned in a classroom setting, currently my best options are to partake in some (pricey) weekend classes with friends and doing some learning on my own.    Given our “save money” policy these days, not to mention a pretty busy summer schedule, I’ve opted for learning on my own, via books and practice!  I snuck a peek at my brother’s bookshelf and acquired borrowed a few of his not-in-use books to help the process.  My favorite find is this text book on the right, that he’s had from a cooking class he never got around to taking from his college days.

Its an actual text book from a culinary class, so I’m hoping to channel my inner college student and work my way through the text and hopefully learn a few things along the way.  Although cooking classes definitely remain on the bucket list, I’ll take this as a great place to start.

In addition to my brother’s bookshelf, I also found some time to snoop through one of my favorite used bookstores in Richmond, Chop Suey.  Which is where I scored a used copy of this gem:

Helloooooo gorgeous

I’ve read nothing but good things about this book and given my current dietary leanings, it was a pretty awesome find (you never know what you’ll come across at a used bookstore!).  I’ve been struggling with vegan cupcakes lately and I’m hoping this lil’ book will help alleviate some of those issues (along with patience and an oven thermometer).  I’m hoping to try out a ton of the recipes and I’m pretty lucky that the boy is willing to act as taste-tester.  First up?  Cookies n’ Cream cupcakes!   Truthfully, in the end I’d love to be able to whip up a batch of <insert your favorite baked goods here> from memory or my own recipe, but I am nowhere near that level of culinary expertise (see above, onion chopping people…).  Besides, I’m willing to bet everyone had to start somewhere!

Food:

While we were in Richmond, we made a pitstop at the local grocery store where I stocked up on some bulk items for our pantry.   While we were there, they had a display up for Hemp History Week.  I’ve read about it in on a few different blogs/books and decided to pick up a bag of hulled hemp seeds to check it all out.

Once I got to reading, I was pretty impressed, so I thought I’d share a little history about these lil’ nutty guys.

First and foremost, yes – it does come from the Cannabis plant, but contains no psychoactive properties.  However, it remains illegal to grow hemp in the United states.

Hemp seeds are a great source of the Omega EFAs (essential fatty acids) and Super Omegas, are considered to be a complete protein (like soy) and are super high in digestible protein.   These, plus a high vitamin and dietary fiber content, make hemp seeds a serious nutritional powerhouse.   You can find it in all sorts of forms, seeds, like mine, hemp milk and hemp oil.  If you want to talk straight up calorie lingo, a serving of these guys is 3 tablespoons, for a grand total of 170 calories.  That’s a lot of nutrition and a great way to top off a meal!

Beyond nutrition, hemp has a strong history in both world and American heritage.  Its considered one of the oldest industries, dating back to some of the first pottery.  In America, hemp is recorded as being grown in Jamestown during the 1600s and growers included major figures in American history like Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.   More recently, in the Second World War, hemp production was subsidized by the American government and a million acres of hemp production by US farmers alone was reported.

Even more impressive, hemp is grown organically and without pesticides since its not bothered by a majority of the known pests and is a natural weed suppressor.  In addition to hemp clothing, it can be used for fuel, plastics, building materials and even cars.

These guys pack one heck of a punch.  They’re like little superheroes in a bag.

For more information you can check out these two sites – http://hemphistoryweek.com  http://www.thehia.org

I’ll admit, when I grabbed a bag off the shelf, I felt a little silly and had to go through the requisite hippy jokes, but with all the positive press, I’m glad I did.  I’m sprinkling the seeds on my cereal and salads and am on the lookout for new ways to incorporate them into our meals.

Have you ever tried something new and a little “out there” for your health? 

xo

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