Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Positive Energy Yoga


My yoga instructor is Olivia Sheldon who teaches Positive Energy Yoga. I have been practicing yoga with her for about 7 years and she is fantastic! She mirrors the movements of the class, comes around to do adjustments, and has a wonderful sense of humor. Don't believe me? Check out the reviews on Yelp.  :)

Positive Energy Yoga

5.0 star rating
3223 Duke Street, 2nd Floor
AlexandriaVA 22314
(703) 582-3699


This is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about some of the benefits of yoga:

The potential health benefits of yoga are numerous and may include:
  • Stress reduction. With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
  • Increased fitness. As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you're less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
  • Management of chronic health conditions. Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Weight loss. If you're overweight or have binge-eating disorder, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.
While you shouldn't expect yoga to cure you or offer 100 percent relief, it can help some health conditions when combined with standard treatment. And if you already enjoy good health, yoga can be an enjoyable supplement to your regular fitness routine.

Monday, December 03, 2012

A good day

Yesterday was a really good day for so many reasons:

1) We picked out, purchased and put up our Christmas tree! The living room smells like pine and I love it.



2) We crossed a major milestone in one of our home improvement projects - a brand new closet has been built!

3) French toast from Cafe Pizzaiolo!


4) Booked the plane tickets for our next vacation!

5) Got to Skype with my family in Canada

6) And the New England Patriots made it into the playoffs!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Baked Parmesan Cottage Potatoes


Serves: 4

3 tablespoons margarine
3 medium potatoes; thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese; grated
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan arrange potatoes in a thin layer. Melt margarine and drizzle over potatoes. Combine garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and pepper. Sprinkle over potatoes.

Bake in a 450°F oven about 25 minutes or until brown.

Stir in pan before serving so everything is juicy and flavorful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Donated my hair!

On Friday, I cut off 8.5 inches of hair. Here's the before and after:


Many thanks to Carmen at Lorraine Aprile Salon in Alexandria, Virginia for such a great haircut! I've had many compliments on it, which has really helped ease the transition to short hair.

Yesterday, I mailed my ponytail to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country.

It's a great cause and with several friends and family affected by cancer (too many!), it was something that I could do to help.

If you'd like to consider donating your hair to be made into a wig, here are the requirements:

  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Anniversary dinner at Restaurant Eve

A five star meal in the tasting room, from the service to the ambiance, to the knowledge of the menu to the flavors of each bite, the meal was a wonderful experience.

Knerq
A little something to get us started... a quail egg with caviar, salmon mousse, and a vinegar meringue filled with aioli 

Knerq
The amuse bouche... seared ono with turnip puree - very good.

Knerq
A palate cleanser... apple cider sorbet - delicious!

The First Course
Knerq
Dates filled with chevre with carrots, red-veined sorrel - sweet and goaty, soft and crunchy... yum!
La Belle Farm's Foie Gras mousse with ham hock croquette, almond butter, and pickled beans
The Second Course
Butternut squash agnolotti with pesto - delicious, wish the "taste" had been twice as big!
Knerq
Poached lobster
Wine pairings, 2 oz with each course is a lot to drink!

The Third Course
Mushroom served in several ways with a soft boiled egg yolk... the textures and flavors were amazing.

Lamb

The Fourth Course
Deconstructed Waldorf salad and cheese
A bold plating!
Another palate cleanser... green tea foam

The Fifth Course
Pears and buckwheat crepe with ice cream and brittle
24 hour apples with chiffon biscuit, honey, and ice cream

Knerq
A final selection of sweets... peanut butter macarons, apple gels, chocolate truffles, and apple caramel tartlets.
It was an amazing meal.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Goat Milk

When I was 5 years old, my god parents had a small farm. I faintly remember milking the goat and drinking the milk - and that it did not taste good! Warm and unpasteurized, it's no wonder.

Fast forward to Saturday, I bought a quart of goat milk at Whole Foods to see what it was like and hoping that it would taste alright. I was worried it would be too goaty but I figured I could always make ice cream from it if it was. Thankfully it was not!  :)  The goat flavor was really quite slight and only because I was really tasting for it. Woohoo!

The reason for my experimentation? After watching Forks Over Knives, I feel like I ought to be eating more vegetables and beans (which I have been trying to do since I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead), less bread, rice, and pasta carbs, less meat and less dairy for a better chance at good health. And be less likely to "turn on" cancer cells. According to many online articles, Goat's milk it supposed to be lower in casein protein and easier to digest than cow's milk.

I'm not saying it's a cure all but I think flavor-wise, although not like cow's milk, it's something worth trying.

Variety is the spice of life and all that!  :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shamba Farms

Lucia from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by KnerqOne of my favorite vendors at the West End Farmers Market is Lucia from Shamba Farms. She is funny and sweet and I get most of my fruit from her throughout the summer... plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, ground cherries, cherries, blueberries, grapes, canary melons.

Shamba Farms is in Culpepper, Virginia.
Plums from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq

Garlic from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq

Onions from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq


Dragon Tongue Beans from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq


Peppers from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq

Shallots and Peppers from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq


Peppers from Shamba Farms at the West End Farmers Market taken by Knerq



Friday, September 21, 2012

Car scratches removed with Magic Eraser and Bar Keeper's Friend

After a collision with a parking garage pillar:


After using a Magic Eraser, Bar Keeper's Friend and water to rub away the scratches:


'If I hadn't scratched the paint down to the steel (where it's still white), I would totally leave it this way. Alas.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marianna & Todd's baby blanket


Took me about a month to complete this blanket. Started on August 16 and finished yesterday an hour or two before the baby shower!

I bought the yarn at Fibre Space in Alexandria. It's a mixture of Berroco Weekend and Filatura Di Crosa Zara 8.


The finished blanket is about 45" diameter. The pattern is based on Lion Brand's Artful Afghan. I chose pink, white, tan and green to go with the cherry blossom theme of the nursery. It looked nice coming off the needles but what made it really beautiful was steaming it with the iron!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stationery card

Elegant New Home Moving Announcement
Invitations, announcements and Valentine's Day cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recreational softball

Totally out of character, I signed up for my company's softball team. I haven't played since I was 11 and I was terrible then. The first game is on Tuesday and I'm really nervous. Will I be able to hit the ball? Will I be able to catch the ball? Is the ball going to hit me? Ugh.  So last night I went to Target and bought a glove, a softball, a pair of youth's large batting gloves (because I don't want calluses) and a pair of sports sunglasses. I'm going to the nearby batting cages with a friend today and plan to play catch with Max this weekend.

Why am I doing this? Well, I know I need to get more exercise and this will ensure that I do. Also, it's a good way to get to know some people at work that I don't know very well or hardly at all. Admirably goals but I still feel like I'm crazy for signing up. Ugh.  Wish me luck. Please.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grace's Mandarin

188 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745
www.gracesrestaurants.com

Pros:
We ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wrap to start. The chicken filling was delicious but we ran out of lettuce so we ended up eating the rest with our spoons. I ordered the Peking Duck Buns and liked them. The steamed buns were fairly authentic and the filling was tasty (though I could have done without the pickle just because it's not my favorite). Definitely enough food, portions were not a problem. I felt satisfied at the end of my meal - especially after the fortune cookie. Service was good.

Cons: 
Overpriced by at least 1/3, if not 1/2. We had a 10% off special and it STILL cost over $75 for one appetizer, two entrees, one soda and tip. The dining experience was not THAT good. The noise level was more like a casual dining restaurant. Hot towels on a hot day? Um... yeah, no thanks. The shabby menu almost falling apart, the wall next to our booth was dirty, and the ladies room needed to be cleaned up. And the qipao our waitress was wearing had a loop at her waist to hold the tongs for the towels, which Max thought was practical but it looked tacky.

Verdict:
Probably will not be going back unless there is a half off special. Especially since parking at National Harbor is not free! (My number one pet peeve about National Harbor)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Vote for your FAVORITE farmers market!

Shopping at your Farmers Market helps keep farmers on the land. Vote now to give your market the recognition it deserves.

Visit your local farmers market to vote with your dollar.

Or VOTE ONLINE

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Birds

Took a short walk at lunch and witness two things that made me smile enough that I thought I'd share.

1) A sparrow furiously flying about 4" back and forth to grab a (rather large, ick) spider from its web at the top of a street light.

2) Two sparrows sitting on a porch banister, the one on the left that was slightly fatter hopped on top of the one on the right to get to the other side of the second bird.

Also, an older couple was walking along and I saw the husband move to walk on the other side of his wife, next to the street. And as my friend Rue taught me, "A gentleman always walks on the outside next to the street." Very sweet.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Sony NEX-5N

I received an extravagant birthday present from my in-laws... a new camera! The detail it picks up is amazing - some things that I can't see with my eye.





Saturday, June 30, 2012

Micronutrients

After watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, I started looking into a more nutrient rich diet. I even bought a juicer! 


For my own future reference, here's a list of food high in micronutrients I found online:



1000
Collard greens
1000
Kale (boiled)
1000
Turnip Greens
1000
Watercress
1000
Mustard Greens
905
Kale (uncooked)
824
Bok choy
739
Spinach
672
Brussels Sprouts
559
Arugula
554
Radishes
518
Cocoa (dry powder, unsweetened)
481
Cabbage
475
Basil, fresh
474
Parsley, fresh (1 tablespoon)
457
Spearmint, fresh (1 tablespoon)
444
Bean sprouts
420
Red pepper
420
Cabbage (raw)
393
Kohlrabi
389
Romaine Lettuce
376
Broccoli (raw)
365
V-8 juice, low sodium
359
Radicchio
352
Red Cabbage (raw)
344
Carrot Juice 
342
Tomato juice
336
Carrots (boiled)
322
Escarole
295
Cauliflower (boiled)
280
Lemon (raw)
258
Green Pepper
244
Artichoke
240
Carrots (raw)
236
Cranberries
234
Asparagus
223
Guava
222
Zucchini
212
Strawberries
193
Pomegranate Juice
178
Blackberries
173
Scallions
166
Pomegranate
164
Tomatoes
159
Butternut Squash
157
Plums (fresh)
135
Mushrooms (raw)
135
Celery
130
Blueberries
127
Snow peas
124
Brazil nuts (0.25 cup)
119
Mushrooms (boiled)
109
Orange
106
Rhubarb
104
Lentils, boiled (1 cup)
102
Grapefruit
100
Red Kidney Beans, boiled (1 cup)
100
Fava Bean, boiled (1 cup)
100
Cantaloupe 
100
Lime
100
Kiwi
97
Ketchup (low sodium)
94
Great Northern Beans, boiled (1 cup)
94
Cannellini Beans (1 cup)
83
Sweet Potato
78
Sunflower Seeds
74
Green beans
72
Apples
70
Green Peas
68
Cherries
65
Flaxseeds
65
Sesame Seeds
64
Pineapple
58
Edamame
57
Chick Peas (Garbanzo), boiled (1 cup)
53
Oats, old-fashioned
51
Mango
50
Onions
50
Cucumbers
48
Pistachio Nuts, unsalted (0.25 cup)
47
Soy Beans, boiled (1 cup)
46
Tuna, yellow fin, cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
46
Lima Beans, boiled (1 cup)
44
Corn
43
Potatoes
43
Barley, whole grain
43
Wild brown rice
41
Brown rice
41
Flounder, cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
41
Sole, cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
41
Pecans (0.25 cup)
39
Salmon, pink, cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
39
Mahi-Mahi, cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
39
Bison, top sirloin
38
Almonds, unsalted (0.25 cup)
38
Shrimp
37
Peanuts, all types, unsalted (0.25 cup)
37
Tofu
37
Avocado
36
Nonfat milk
35
Haddock
34
Pork tenderloin
32
Barley, pearled
31
Grapes
31
Cod, Cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
30
Banana
30
Nonfat plain yogurt
29
Ground beef, 95% lean
28
Low-fat milk
27
Kamut, whole grain
27
Chicken breast
27
Flank steak
27
Eggs
27
Grouper, Cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
26
Peanut butter
26
Pine Nuts or Pignolia (1 tablespoon)
24
Low-fat plain yogurt
21
Feta cheese
18
Tilapia, Cooked, dry heat (4 ounces)
17
Macadamia Nut, unsalted (0.25 cup)
17
Chestnuts (1 ounce)
16
Raisins
10
Coconut



Sources: 

  • http://archive.mensjournal.com/andiscores/2
  • http://experiencelife.com/article/eating-by-the-numbers/
  • http://www.loops4health.com/_1_Food_Nutrient_Density_Values_ANDI.pdf