Archives for March 2012
|We took my parent’s to the Hunger Games at midnight as a part of their Christmas present|
|San Diego Shine beach clean up at Mission Beach, CA|
|My old Mission Beach house in college// Funny they had to post this sign at the bay|
|Ben & Scott at the boat|
|Our newly engaged friends Brian and Jess|
|The Roxy Let the Sea Set You Free tour|
p.s. Thank you all for your thoughtful and encouraging comments on Friday’s post. You really made my day.
The first time I remember having certainty about something
about myself was in the 6th grade. My teacher was Mrs. Grimm, a
caring and respected woman in her mid thirties who I recall wearing glasses,
even though she didn’t, simply because she seemed so wise. One day Mrs. Grimm
went around our class asking us what our favorite colors were. Our classroom
was one of the few in our 50-year-old Catholic school that had white boards. I
distinctly remember her pointing at me quizzically with a dry ease marker and
asking me what my favorite color was. I didn’t immediately have an answer
because it was honestly something I hadn’t thought about in a while. She was a
patient woman, but I knew the rest of the class was waiting and I felt the
pressure to answer weighing down on me. My mind skimmed over the colors of the
rainbow, and then to the color pink, which I knew I had claimed as my favorite
as a five-year-old. No, not pink, I thought quickly. I remember thinking about what
color made me feel like me. “Red!” I finally blurted out, after what felt like a
whole school day. As Mrs. Grimm
wrote it on the white board next to my name, I realized that it was true. Red
was my favorite color! Excitement danced inside my heart and clarity in my head
as I gazed upon the board at an enduring detail I had uncovered about myself.
my old teaching job I didn’t feel as confident about my decision to be there as
I did the day I chose red as my favorite color. I loved teaching, but doing it
meant I wasn’t able to follow what was really in my heart. I wasn’t feeling
found there, I was feeling more and more lost. What encouraged this feeling was
the fact that the people I worked with acted like they liked me to my
face, but weren’t the same behind my back. Convinced that I would get them to
like me, I spent much of my time around them trying to prove to them that they
should. Towards the end of the school year I knew that I couldn’t stay in that situation
any longer. My heart was unsatisfied, but what was almost as unbearable was the
fact that I felt so off balance in life. My days were filled trying to work
towards a futile goal, the approval of others, and I never quite had the right
mindset to enjoy my other passions.
my job was hard, terrifying really, but I know in my heart that this is what is
right for me. Writing and surfing are like the color red to me; they make me
feel like myself, they make me feel found.
cilantro to taste
parents’ beach house around eight wearing slippers, my monkey pajamas and a red
fleece robe. I had basically decided that today I would take a day off from
surfing, sure that the howling wind and consistent rain from the day before
would have left the ocean with some serious re-organizing to do.
was wrong. Offshore winds from the east had helped the ocean put itself back
together. I watched from the cliff as big grey peaks came in all over the beach
and broke in a very rideable fashion with the white water gracefully chasing
the waves’ grey faces in both directions. It must have been at least six to
eight feet. No one was out for what seemed like miles. But why? I thought to
myself. The waves looked nice enough and even though the water was probably
slightly polluted from the rain, that never stopped die hard surfers from
getting their fix.
work done, avoiding a pain in the arms paddle and the frozen headache, but the other half of me wanted
to take on those daunting waves alone. I felt almost as though the ocean was
calling me to see what I was made out of and I knew I wasn’t going to walk away
from that. I made my way through my parents’ yard to my bike to get my wetsuit,
hood and board. I felt surprised by my strong feelings to confront these daunting waves as my
early days of surfing had been filled with fear of riding waves just like them, especially alone.
couldn’t stop my legs now, though. They listened to my heart. They knew this
was a rare moment where the perfect challenge had arrived right in front of
groups of men standing around, coffees in hand, discussing the surf. They
looked at me like I had my wetsuit on backwards, studying my body, face and
board like I was out of place. Their conversations slowed as I made my way
through them. Whether I was going to flail or shred, it was clear now that it
would be public knowledge.
made my way down the dirt beach path and ran right into the ocean. The recent
dredging of a nearby creek left the water looking like dishwater and smelling
like the bottom of a pond. It took me about seven minutes to paddle out to the
rideable wave came to me and I didn’t hesitate in taking it. I paddled two
strokes and dropped onto the steep wave face. It always seems as though time
slows down when you ride waves that scare you, but I couldn’t have been riding
for more than three seconds before the whole thing exploded and blocked the
path in front of me. I paddled back out again. This time it seemed to take me a
little longer. The freezing, grey, smelly water washed inside my hood and made
my face feel like it had been dipped in ice cream. I made it to the outside and
waited for another ten minutes before the next decent wave came to me. It was a
right. I dropped in realizing this wave was breaking rapidly and I would have
to make up my mind quickly about what I was going to do with the section ahead
of me. I could straighten out and allow the explosion of water to occur behind
me, or I could pump up the face and ride on top of the impending explosion. The
decision wasn’t hard. I didn’t come out here to play it safe, I came out today
for the challenge. Using the speed I had from the steep drop I did a quick
bottom turn and then made my way up the wave’s formidable face. I did a top
turn before the lip could catch me and then rode out in front of the white wash
with a content feeling jumping around in my heart. When my feet hit the sand I
felt like laughing.
near the path.
green hoody asked.
challenging” I finally replied with a smile.
When I returned home I hung up my wetsuit more carefully than usual.
This apparel carried more value now. It had been my suit on a day when I
accepted a challenge from the sea.
|“here we go”|
|Groomsmen [l to r] Mike, Jason, Scott, Mark, Dave. They are all Scott’s best friends.|
|My best friends who read and presented the gifts in the wedding. [l to r] Nicole, Stephanie, Me, Nell, Kate, Basia|
|This is the beach where we surf daily. I prayed for no surf, for the first time ever, so we wouldn’t be staring at perfect waves when we were all dressed for a wedding party. My prayers were answered!|
|And the last shot we could stand before we melted was this trippy looking shot. Sometimes I can’t decide if I like it. Kinda reminds me of a promo shot for a tv show or something, but I’m glad we have it.|
After writing about why I am a vegetarian on Monday, I figured today I would share this vegetarian recipe with you. I realize this isn’t the most exciting dish. I was going to post my recipe for tofu tacos, but then I thought about the number of times I’ve been asked how to cook tofu when talking to friends and family about some of the recipes I make (as if people ask me all the time how to cook; it was probably really only twice). Anyways…
whether you’re a vegetarian or not, it’s good to know how to cook tofu. If for no other reason, it is considerably less expensive than meat.
I have cooked it many ways, but I find baking it to be my favorite.
*Please see my notes at the bottom about tofu and meat substitutes
- Although I am a vegetarian, I don’t substitute tofu for meat on every occasion. I try to steer clear of meat substitutes like faken bacon, soy chicken and soy dogs because a lot of that stuff is very processed and high in soy (something you should eat, like everything, in moderation).
- If you are a vegetarian, tofu should not be your only substitute for protein.
- Good protein substitutes include beans, nuts and seeds
- My friend, Roberta, told me chick peas are great as they are very high in iron as are walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and figs.
- Like I said above, I recommend buying organic tofu only since an estimated 85 percent of the non-organic U.S. soy crop is genetically engineered (Natural Choice Directory). I really try to minimize the amount of processed products I eat.
Now that we are getting to know each other better, I thought this would be the appropriate time to mention that I am a vegetarian. You may or may not know this already. I haven’t eaten red meat since the summer of 2009, but I became a full vegetarian last October after seeing a movie with graphic images of a cow being killed for meat. Anyways, I try not to think about it, so I will spare you the details. I already think my stuffed animals have feelings so, really, this was coming…
Here are some other things about a plant based diet that I find convincing
- Vegetarians and vegans are far less likely to get cancer, heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis (The Vegetarian Guide).
- Mortality from heart disease is positively associated with estimated intakes of total animal fat, saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol (The Oxford Vegetarian Study, 1999).
- 1/3 of all cancer deaths in the United States can be attributed to nutritional factors (World Health Organization).
- One study compared cancer rates of vegetarians and meat-eaters in 34,000 Americans. The results showed that those who avoided meat, fish and poultry had dramatically lower rates of prostate, ovarian, and colon cancer compared to meat-eaters (PETA).
- A study comparing the dietary habits of men in 32 countries found that the highest risk factors for prostate cancer mortality were meat and dairy products. By contrast, another study of men diagnosed with prostate cancer showed that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains can slow or even halt the progression of the disease (PETA).
- A 2007 study of more than 35,000 women published in the British Journal of Cancer found that women who ate the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.
- Meat contains absolutely nothing that the human body cannot obtain from a vegetarian diet (Food for Thought)
- In the US alone 500,000 animals are killed for meat every hour (Food for Thought).
- Eating vegetarian saves more land, energy and water than any other choice you can make.
- It takes ten times as much land to produce food for an average American compared to a pure vegetarian (The Vegetarian Guide).
- U.S. Livestock produces 20 times the amount of waste as the American Human (250,000 pounds per second!) (The Vegetarian Guide).
- I like this quote by Eliot Coleman: “As a vegetarian I do the least possible harm to the least number of other living entities. Recognizing that all forms of life are worthy of respect, I disturb the life process as little as I can” ~Eliot Coleman (This Life is In Your Hands).
As you probably know, if you are going to become a vegetarian, you need to do your research. It’s important once you eliminate meat that you still get the appropriate amount of protein and vitamins such as B vitamins. That being said, after being a vegetarian for two years, I have received great health reports from my doctors and have only been sick once (and I work with kids). My nails and hair are strong and growing better than ever. I have increased energy and I feel really at peace because of my choice.
If you don’t agree, does it mean we can’t be friends? No, of course not. I know I don’t need to say it, but choosing to be a vegetarian is a personal decision for me that I have been very pleased with and if you don’t feel the same way I wouldn’t want you to feel like I was judging you (something that has never gotten me anywhere).
blog friends for your sweet comments, your input and your encouragement.
family and friends who came to see my film at San Diego Surf Ladies film festival this past weekend
my college friends literally supporting me