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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Scattered Thoughts and Random Musings.... Kinda par for the Course of my Mind!

Every once in a while I write a post that is simply a collection of random topics, opinions and observations.

This is gonna be one of those posts so just try to keep up.

First topic.... every place, town, city, geography, locale in the United States has its own mix of history, culture, community, perspective....

The Texas Gulf Coast had it... in my opinion, somewhat narrow minded, not open to non-linear thinking, philosophy or perspective and somewhat clique-ish from a social interaction standpoint.  Folks down there think their way is the only way and don't want to hear anything different from that.  They work too much, get stressed out, eat and drink too much and then rely on doctors and the drug industry to fix their lack of self-discipline.  Oh, there's exceptions, but I'm talking about the 90% rule here.  There's a lot of industry there, so there's a lot of work, lot of money and relatively low cost of living so people make a little bit of  money and think they got the world by the shorts.

Now let's look at the Santa Fe environment.... and realize this is coming from a guy who has been here less than 6 months so it's an opinion of first impression only.  I have to say the people here are much friendlier and open to different ways of doing things... like Alternative Medicine and obviously they are much more environmentally friendly.  All in all, a more forgiving environment..... up to a point.  Like the point after you tell them you are a Chemical Engineer.... It wasn't a respected profession in Texas and it damn sure ain't in Santa Fe NM.  Of course, this comes from people who have already made their fortune somewhere else or are retired and can look down their noses at a profession that provides them with literally everything they come in contact with.

Being an Equal Opportunity Offender, let me just say....

Hey Tree Hugger, try driving your Subaru around without about 90% of what it's made of..... Yeah.... without the Chemical Industry, you got no fucking seats, dashboard, carpet, tires, windshields, hoses, belts, non-metallic components..... blah blah blah.

Oh and while I'm on a  roll, let me fire another shot across the bow of the good ship Santa Fe.

It seems at least 1 out of 3 people I meet / talk to in Santa Fe are in the counseling, alternative medicine, Yoga, Zen, Positive Energy industry or a member of the Church of What's Happening Now in the Parallel Universe.

And to those people, I say More Power to Ya.  That's one of the reasons I came here, because I genuinely believe there's more than one way to skin a cat..... Oops Sorry You Feline Lovers out there.... it's a deep East Texas Redneck expression.  You wouldn't understand unless you lived there.

Anyway, these are the People that profess to "Live for the Moment", avoid "Negative Energy", "Go Green or Go Home" and squinch their noses up if you describe a meal and don't use the word "Organic" at least 15 times.

Yeah, Dorothy, we ain't in Texas anymore.

Let me let you in on a little secret.... all those people that profess all these great and wonderful Life Themes have one thing in common.....

They can afford to do it..... cause they have  money.....


Life has beaten them up so bad that they don't have a future to look forward to so they have no alternative but to Live for the Moment.

In Santa Fe, it's mostly the former.

This place is a Mixing Pot of People coming from somewhere looking for something.

For some, it's the Natural Beauty of the High Desert meeting the Mountains.

For others, it's the climate with 300 days of sunshine and 20% humidity.

History, Art, Culture, Alternative Thinking.....

It's a lot for this Analytical and Structured Texas White Boy to take in.

Moving on....

2nd Random Observation....

Most of the Women in Santa Fe got no Boobs.....

Now there's a change in direction for ya!

No, I'm serious, but let me clarify.... I don't mean they have no breasts whatsoever, they just have small Boobs.

Now, in their defense, part of the No Boob thing is that most of the women I see in Santa Fe are probably 20 - 30 lbs lighter than the average woman in Lake Jackson Tx.

Seriously, I would guess that 80% of the women in my old home town are at least 20 lbs overweight and I would say that less than 20% of the women in Santa Fe are that way.

And where there's fat, there's bigger boobs.

Low body fat, Smaller Boobs.

But there's also less fake boobs in Santa Fe.... and I haven't figured that out since a lot of these women are well off and could afford to go Dolly but choose not to.

I guess the whole environment of Santa Fe is a kind of self limiting mechanism. The kind of women that would choose Santa Fe as a place to live are the same women that wouldn't go for fake boobs.

I dunno..... it's a theory.... I'll do a little more research and get back with you.

Last subject and then I'll jump down..... I mean step down gingerly from my Soap Box.

Which is a good segue into the next subject.

Despite the fact that this is a big Self Healing / Natural Healing / Alternative Treatment / Thumb your nose at the Medical and Drug Industry kind of place, I am amazed at the number of people that are amazed at the fact that I keep working out and working out pretty intensely with the number and extent of injuries I have right now - namely a 40% torn left Achilles Tendon and a painful left knee and a tweeked right elbow.

Nearly everybody I talk to thinks and tells me that I should be basically doing nothing, staying off my feet and letting myself heal and definitely don't think I should be working out.

And they may be right..... HOWEVER....

The more experience I have with injuries - and I've had quite a few of my own over the last 10 years - and the more research I do, the more I am convinced that, barring a debilitating injury like a shattered joint, broken bone, open wound or completely torn / detached ligament or tendon, you should find a way or ways to stay active and work around a particular injury with the goal of forcing the body to circulate blood and nutrition to the injured area.

That is the whole premise behind the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy that I have started on my Achilles Tendon.  Taking your own blood and separating out the Supercharged Healing Properties of Blood Platelets and then injecting that directly at the site of soft tissue injury jump starts the Collagen / Soft Tissue Healing Cycle especially in the Repair and Remodeling Phases of a Soft Tissue Injury.

That's what happened when I tore my Pectinius Muscle (Groin tear) last August.  I just kept doing CrossFit and Boot Camp but modified the movements or used lighter weights so as not to aggravate or further injure the torn muscle.  If you experiment with different movements, you will find what triggers the pain and what doesn't.

Like my Physical Therapist said when I asked her what I shouldn't do with my torn Left Achilles Tendon....

"If it hurts, don't do it".

Pretty simple.... and that doesn't mean do nothing.

Some of the hardest, most strenuous workouts I have done have been in Physical Rehab for an injury.

As an example, right now, I am having sharp pain on the inside of my left knee when I raise the leg and then bring the foot back down, especially when coming down stairs.

But I can squat and do lunges till the cows come home.... and no pain.

So I can't skip around in Zumba for the time being..... I'll just knock out 5 sets of squats.

And guess what.... when I finish my squats, my knee feels better.... More range of motion, less swelling, less pain.

Maybe the Naysayers are right.... Maybe I'm doing the wrong thing.... testing the limits of activity while injured.

We'll see.

But in this Age and Environment of Self-Healing and Self-Awareness, I'm placing my bets on my Nutrition, Sleep Recovery, Mind-Muscle Connection and Smart Workouts to lead my recovery.

Will it work?

Hell - I don't know.

But, at some point, you have to trust yourself and hope that your Recovery leads to Personal....


Eat what tastes good to you AND what your body needs!

Every time I start to cook a meal I take a minute to ask myself.....

What is my body asking me for?

What is my mind asking me for?

What do I want to eat?

Hopefully, the answer is pretty much the same for all 3 of those questions.

And if it's not, I have to decide how to satisfy all 3 and not completely violate a nutritional regimen that is good for me.

For this  meal, it was a post workout meal which means I needed to get a good balance of things in my body that would allow me to recuperate and rebuild muscles and soft tissues that had been taxed.

So I began with a base of onions, bell peppers and bok choy (stalks and leaves - the leaves are the dark greens in the skillet).

I let that go for a bit and added a yellow squash and 5 oz of Italian spiced Chicken Sausage.

Everything was already seasoned with salt, pepper, turmeric and garam masala as it went in.


Plate and pair with a Pinot Noir.

Same dish but sub'd zucchini for the yellow squash, well seasoned diced chicken breast for the chicken sausage and added a whole diced mango in there for a sweet accent.  I wanted something sweet and decided to incorporate it into the savory mix.

Add a few red grapes for a little more sweetness and a fresh punch to the palette.

I don't care what you say.... that's a beautiful AND tasty plate of food and no bad carbs....  but with lots of color, flavor, texture and protein.

This morning after a workout of abs, calves, wide grip chins, heavy squats and lunges, my body wanted something sweet.... so I broke out the Nutribullet and filled it up with carrots, grapes, zucchini, banana, purple kale, juice from 1/2 a lime and the rest of my Creatine / NOS Blaster mix from the workout.

And what comes out?

A Beautiful and Nutritious Elixir that will make your taste buds jump and shout and your body say.....

Thank You!

I paired the Nutribullet Mix with a huge Spring Mix salad with everything but the kitchen sink....

Tomatoes, carrots, radishes, red bell pepper, 1/3 Fuji apple diced, fresh blueberries.

And a half a breast from a Smith's Colossal Garlic and Herb Seasoned Roasted Chicken.

Most people don't realize this is where the Body Battle is won.....

Right there on your plate and in your glass.

I think I won this Battle!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Grunge Thursday and there....

Definitely applies to me.... I say bring on the Punishment.... I probably deserve it.

Just can't seem to break that 170.0 barrier but still it's a lot better than 216 which I was 5 years ago.

Speaking of bulges.... take a look at that knot on the back of my left heel..... can you say torn Achilles tendon?

Yep..... the older I get the dumber I get.... at this rate, I will be devoid of any knowledge in about 10 years.

But I do know one thing.... and that's how to eat good and right....

Which usually doesn't go together!

But when you start with a properly dressed and seasoned Spring Mix salad....

and some Cinnamon dusted diced bananas.....

And a skillet of seasoned kale surrounding 8 oz of ground turkey breast mix.

And you saute the banana in with the turkey - kale mix...

And end up with a Paleo Platter like this....

You know it will taste GOOD and it will be RIGHT for your body.

Okay, I take it back....

The 80s wasn't my favorite music.....

It was the 90s Grunge!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mixing Home Cooking with a Taste of Santa Fe... And Texas meets Noah.... Living in the Pain Zone.

Here's a quick raw veggie and protein dish.

Yellow Squash, Green Bell Pepper, Fresh Basil, Kalamata olives

And a big pattie of my ground turkey breast mix with a dollop of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and a squirt of Honey Mustard.

One of the many "boutique" cinemas in Santa Fe with some of the non-main stream offerings.....

This "Slow West" looks  interesting being that I'm a sucker for Westerns.

Cast Iron Skillet Dish steaming hot with everything good for you in it.

I downloaded an app called "Santa Fe Hot List" which gives me all the latest goings on in SF!

Breakfast for Supper?   You betcha.....

Spring Mix with tomatoes, carrots, radishes dressed with Balsamic and EVOO and sprinkled with golden raisins....

With a side of diced sauted banana, 2 eggs over medium, 2 slices of TJ's Uncured Black Pepper Turkey Bacon and a link of Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage.

Think I'll be hitting Sprouts more often..... I checked out their Produce department and it looks better than Trader Joe's and they had some great prices.

Tried a new place right down the street from where I live called Chopstix....

Got a 2 entree platter with a side of rice for $6.99.

Let me show you how it's done at Outback Willie's!

Dice a half a green bell pepper, half a sweet onion and a half a Fuji apple and saute for 3 minutes in a hot cast iron skillet with no oil

Throw in the last piece of TJ's Turkey bacon, diced and the last link of Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage followed by the last of the basil, a double handful of kale and a diced baked sweet potato.

Give it another 3 minutes continuously turning...

Make a base of Spring Mix, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, avocado, dressed with Balsamic and EVOO and sprinkled liberally with S&P and Garam Masala

Mix and beat 2 eggs, and a few glug glugs of Balsamic, Kikkoman and Tabasco.

Turn the heat on the skillet down to low and pour over and mix in the wet mix until the eggs are done....

And serve a pile of that mix with the salad mix topped with a few mixed nuts, dried fruit and fresh blueberries.

That's how it's done!

God Bless those people in Texas.... My Hometown ain't looking too good on the weather front.

From the Santa Fe Baking Company..... Carde Adovado with a side of 2 pancakes.... Yeah.... I know it's not Paleo but I was hurting real bad this morning and one thing that always takes the edge off the pain is....

Good Food.....

And this was great food!

And at a great price....

All this for $10.75!!

Still believe the 80s was the best decade of music!

Been on a Crazy Train for a while that's taking a long stop in Painsville.

The Achilles Tendon is doing OK, but the left knee is trashed.....

Stabbing pain on the inside of the left knee.

Got an appointment for next Tuesday for an Orthopedic doctor down here.

We'll see what he says.

Meanwhile back at the Ranch.....

I keep doing what I'm doing....

Which is whatever I can do.

Life is Uncertain and Short.

I'd rather be in Pain and Moving than the Alternative.....

Which is in Pain and Not Moving.

One thing that Pain makes you appreciate.....

Is the times when you're not in Pain.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

So what's going on in Santa Fe today?

Well... let's see....

There's an Art Show...

And a Car Show....

I think they definitely like their Mustangs in New Mexico!

The most impressive car of the show.... an original Model T....

And the guy had it running when I took this picture.

And a Copper colored Shelby Cobra!

Indiana Jones needed this vehicle...

Oh.... and Live Music on the Plaza.

Now you see why they call them Cottonwoods!

All within a 1/2 mile walk of la casa.