Thursday, February 27, 2014

Intimidating Intrigue

I am easily intimidated. Though, at the same time, easily intrigued. It is the former than I have found much of my life to have fallen subject to and the latter that I hope to pursue with more vehemence as I age. In this practice, I hope that my strings to intimidation will be loosened.

The intimidation is a strong stakeholder in my need for distraction. To fuel this need I depend on books, music and screens. Like many, I disconnect from my surroundings by connecting to a network that stretches far beyond places I would naturally be able to see.

Far beyond places I would naturally be able to see.

What's left, then, of the places around me?

Luckily, for now, they are still there. But they might not be tomorrow. This possibility is a strong stakeholder in my need to be intrigued. This possibility forces me to put my iPhone into my back pocket, pull the headphones out of my ears, and walk. And when I walk without distraction, I see. I hear. I smell. I touch.

I am not intimidated by inanimate objects, inhuman objects. Such things are easy for me to observe and from that ease grows ready enjoyment. I look to detailed architecture, delicate pathways, budding flowers, crashing water. I take in the character of each, store it in my heart, and move on.

It is the character of others that I find intimidating. From the decrepit homeless man on the street to the beautiful woman on the bus; they, and everyone in between, have potential to render me intimidated. Strong laughter and hunched shoulders and high heels and scarred faces and long curls and...they make me want to shrink away into distraction, a distraction provided all too easily by books and music and laptops and iPhones. Only a hand reach away, I can be transported beyond where my eyes can see.

Which is what I have always tended to do.

Until now.

I am actively trying to face this intimidation with intrigue, force my eyes to search instead of back away from the character of others. What is their story?, I want to know. Because, although I might be intimidated, although I want to shrink, I do not. With my shoulders held back and my head held high, and with a look put together to readily meet public eye, I think, am I, too, intimidating?

I don't know the answer to this, and I don't care to. Instead, I try to see beyond what is in front of me. I am looking, yes. But am I seeing?

Always, I want to know more. I don't know how or if I'll ever get there, but I do know this: I must always be intrigued. I must always be awake. I must always look to see what the immediate eye can reach.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

San Francisco Adventures - Muni Marijuana

After yoga at Grace Cathedral last night, Garrett and I boarded Muni. The bus was full, so we ended up standing in front of an eclectically dressed elderly man sitting next to a classically dressed older woman. In addition to a pair of bright orange camouflage pants, the man donned a brown fedora with an abundance of dried marijuana tucked into its band. The man turned his head away from the woman next to him to look out of the front of the bus. The woman, giving a sideways glance, quickly plucked a stem from the man's hat. Holding the plant in both hands, she brought it to her nose multiple times to inhale its scent. By the third sniff, the man had returned to his normal position; he had to have seen the woman's prized possession, though he gave no hint to it. Guiltily meeting my eyes and darting her gaze toward others around her, she stashed the pot in her purse. At the next stop, she rose tall in her business suit and disembarked. He got off two stops after her. The remaining bus passengers erupted with laughter and disbelief, reaffirming to one another that scene indeed did just happen.

I love this city.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Whole30 Fajitas & Guacamole

I don't diet. Ever.

My husband, on the other hand, sings a different tune. He's got this thing called self-control, something that I lack. When he diets, we try to cook dinners for the both of us that fit within his restrictions. Most of the time. I'll admit that there have been two different dinners for two different people on the same night. Because, well, I don't diet.

But then Garrett came home with his most recent diet plan, the Whole30. After looking into it to find what he could and could not have, I liked the idea of it. You see, the Whole30 isn't really a diet. It's a move toward being more healthy by eating
"...meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients at all because they're totally natural and unprocessed." -
It was the latter part of that statement that struck me: "no ingredients at all because they're totally natural and unprocessed."

While I don't diet, I am working on toward filling my body with more healthy, natural and unprocessed foods. (You can read more about the Whole30 rules here and get the shopping list here.) And while I'm not totally diving into the Whole30 as Garrett is (hey, I told you I have no self-control), I am going to cook a month's worth of healthy, Whole30-compliant dinners.

Which brings me to tonight's meal: Whole30 Steak Fajitas & Guacamole

Goodness, were these good.

I started by making the guacamole mid-day and sticking it in the fridge to chill. You will need:

  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 small yellow (or red) onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and set in the refrigerator (tip: save one of the avocado pits and stick it into the guacamole while it chills. This helps it from turning brown if any air sneaks in.)

After you have the guacamole done, make the marinade for the steak (or chicken would be great, too). You will need:
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon southwest taco spice (you can substitute this with another teaspoon of cumin if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, add 1lb of flank steak strips (or chicken breast), and let marinate for a minimum of an hour in the refrigerator (the longer you let it marinate, the better).

When you're ready to have dinner, heat up a skillet, add marinated steak, and cook through (for about 8 minutes). While it's cooking, slice one red bell pepper and one green pepper. Add to the skillet, mix into the marinade, and cook for 2 more minutes.

Substitute tortillas with whole butter lettuce leaves (2 recommended for each fajita). Add meat, bell peppers, and onions from the marinade to the lettuce wraps. Top with guacamole. 

Eat and be amazed at how much you actually prefer eating your fajitas with lettuce wraps - the taste is SO much better!