April 21, 2014

BITS & PIECES

Valentina D - Jittery's Valentina D - Northampton Valentina D - Aaron Valentina D - apple cider Valentina D - Iron Horse

Last time I posted a 'Bits & Pieces' post: october 2013. It's so interesting looking through those few pictures from october – a new love for drawing and watercolor, a Noodles menu, two boxes of clif bars, finally watching the ending of Breaking Bad... It take me back. I remember the feelings I had and the thoughts I hadn't had yet and the experiences that hadn't happened that would change me, even just a little. I was lonely, that comes to me like a big emotional wave of anti-nostalgia. But a little darkness is good for creativity and strength.

Valentina D - Dylan Valentina D - mike Valentina D - Joe's pizza Valentina D - coco Valentina D - music

These pictures reflect what has been going on this semester. A bigger focus on music: opening for Anais Mitchell, recording my first single with the guys, opening at the Iron Horse a second time in less than a year... then some random pictures: Northampton (I love this town), apple cider vinegar (I drink a tablespoon every day – thus, gag every day, and use it in my hair for shine), Joe's Pizza (Aaron finally took me there before recording one night. YUM!), coconut oil (I use it as moisturizer and lip balm. I'm slowly using up all other cosmetics and trying to go all natural). These pictures show you bits & pieces of my life lately... Enjoy your day! Vx

April 20, 2014

SUNDAY LINKS

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Photos 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

 Some new links this week! I'm not great at doing this every single week but I try to keep it fairly regular. Enjoy!

People & Thoughts

Recipes, Beauty & Health

The Arts & Humor

April 15, 2014

THE GREEN BEAN

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It is Tuesday and I woke at 6:45 this morning. I had a breakfast friend-date at The Green Bean. How I managed to find someone who would meet me at 7:15am to enjoy a slow, peaceful breakfast downtown, I do not know. But I am grateful. There is little more gratifying than waking up and starting the day early, and April is a damn good month for it. These days, I go to bed with the blinds up so the sun will wake me. On sunny mornings, I get the urge to go for 7am nature walks but I'm still recording "Billy" until 3am on the weekends and I just can't. I will get around to doing it. But today it rains. And it doesn't bother me – weather is such a funny thing to get down about. Some days a beautiful cerulean blue, some days a dull grey... I try to enjoy it all. It is this grey that seems to suck out all the fun and energy and life and makes us tired, querulous, even depressed... The best times are when the opposite happens. Today I felt like it kept all the energy inside the quiet breakfast joint. We talked and shared happily, energetically, while the rain hit the roads outside the open window. 7:30 in the morning is a damn good time to feel alive!

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I've gone to The Green Bean a handful of times, never alone, always in the best company. I don't think it's the cheapest place to go to for breakfast or brunch but it's always been worth it. Albeit I ordered a not-so-good buckwheat pancake one time instead of the regular buttermilk... No amount of maple syrup made it sweet enough to enjoy. Today, I ordered the "world famous" scrambled eggs. They came with vegan sausage, veggies and Vermont cheddar, with roasted red potatoes and a scone on the side. I wasn't expecting much from the side of potatoes and scone but everything was delicious and better than I could have imagined. The scone was small and fresh and sweet and I loved it with the almond gravy. Ever since Aaron introduced me to the almond gravy, I will never not get it when I go to The Green Bean. Kyle was my breakfast companion this morning. We've been in two classes together this semester and it is nothing less than tragic that we only started to hang out last night. I don't know if I've ever met someone with more passions – dance, sports, education, photography, fashion design, arts of all kinds... It is a pleasure to spend time with passionate people. Thinking back to this morning at The Green Bean and last night at Haymarket, I do realize that I talked a lot about food. I wonder if I do that a lot... As in, too much? Anyhow, if you find your way to Northampton, the Green Bean is a lovely little place to have a breakfast full of local ingredients. If it's on the weekend – no, it will definitely not be quiet and, yes, there probably will be a 20-40 minute wait. Rise early, go early, enjoy. Vx

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My recommendations
• World Famous scrambled eggs
• almond gravy (on anything and everything)
• the itty-bitty sandwich
• disco pots

The Green Bean, 241 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060 • Open daily 7am-3pm

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April 13, 2014

SUGAR DETOX: FIRST WEEK

[ due to some personal stuff, I forgot to post this last week! I am not doing the detox anymore, it wasn't long lasting but it's something I'd like to try again soon. Thus, here are last weeks thoughts! sorry for the delay ] 

Okay so here's the story. I go to college. I don't generally buy my own food because the dining halls feed me. Do I know what's in every dish they serve? I do not. Maybe there's sugar in this dressing, in this soup, in this [insert any other food here]... So I quickly had to make the sugar detox my own and slightly change the rules so that I could succeed. 

In the mornings, I'm still staying away from yogurt and pastries and, well, I've mainly had eggs every single day. Honestly, not a problem. I love scrambled eggs. I also stay away from breads and pastas so no bagels in the morning either. Let me think back... Yeah, I've had eggs pretty much every day, other than a couple days where I'd go for an apple when I wasn't too hungry and then some nuts. Oy, almonds are sweet. They're delicious. I hadn't really noticed that before. 

For lunch, I've been eating a lot of turkey with mustard, marinated tempeh (I discovered tempeh last week and I am wildly in love with it), tempeh burgers, salads. I've also been eating green apples like they're going out of style. I've had one or two every day since last Monday. Seriously, when it's the only sweet thing I get to eat... Well, green bananas, but those are harder to find. Those with peanut butter? YUM. 

For dinner, I'll make myself a big salad full of kale, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, edamame, chicken, or vegan cutlets, tempeh, and one of my favorite new things - butternut squash! Oh my lord, sweet sweet butternut squash. All that topped with fresh lemon juice, nutritional yeast and spirulina and a pinch of salt and pepper. Surprisingly, in only one week, the need for something sweet after dinner has decreased dramatically. I usually crave dessert after dinner and whether I'm full or not, I'll have something. Well, somehow I've been able to control these cravings incredibly well. Not just that, but I don't always even get such hard hitting sweet cravings. So it's not just about self control. 

I've decided to keep going with the sugar detox as I've been doing until April 4th. Then I'll do a week of occasional sugar-y things, at only one meal. Say I have pancakes Saturday morning, the rest of the day will be just like these past few days have been. One thing that has helped greatly is changing the way I think about the foods in front of me. Today I passed a huge chocolate cake, some brownies, some ice cream, the usual morning pancakes... It was all very tempting but I reminded myself that this is college food and it's not actually amazing. So I told myself to keep being healthy and then soon I'll go out and get a yummy pancake breakfast at Green Bean or Haymarket, where they are actually really good and there's real maple syrup. Not as a reward. I don't think it's great to think of food as a reward for anything - then you start to reward yourself for everything. Oh hey! You finished your paper, here's a chocolate. Good for you for getting up at 7am, here's a donut. Nope. This will be a great pancake with no guilt or reward attached to it. Just a "once in a while" thing. 

So those are some thoughts after one week of the sugar detox. If I can do it, so can you. If that's what you want. I think it's good and healthy, so I recommend it! Stay healthy, Vx

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