PBJs were out of the question; jelly was pricey, and so was ice to keep it cool. Bananas are swell, but the smushage risk was too high for my laundromat dependence. Apples are heavy, and dry cereal is sad. Enter: granolarritos.Read More
I found a gym that has me missing Active from across the Atlantic.
Arkose is a bouldering gym in the graffitied backstreets of Paris’s Montreuil suburb. Sista Fran and I have been traveling for a few weeks and hadn’t been able to climb. So when we got to Paris, we were psyched to hit up some polyurethane.
We googled something like “Paris climbing gym” and found a bunch, including behemoth Hardbloc (“LA PLUS GRANDE SALLE DE BLOC EN FRANCE”) and Arkose, a tinier establishment. We decided to try Arkose based on the fact that it was 12 minutes closer to our hostel than Hardbloc. We got lost anyway, but I’m glad we chose it.
I’ve decided that Arkose is like Active’s cool teenage cousin who lives in the city and gets to drink wine at dinner parties. Or something. It’s another little warehouse-y gym where space is scarce but creativity is not. There’s some slabby stuff, some steeper stuff, and a big fake top-out boulder. There’s a sweet play area by the traverse wall, and there are communal chalk buckets just sitting around.
Also, this: there’s a bar inside. Like, 10 feet from the climbing. You can fall off your project, turn around, and order a drink. Ha! Is this a thing? Europe.*
Oh, and you can get food too. Fancy-sounding food like “croques” and “tartines.” Ooh la la.**
I really dug the atmosphere at this place. It was quiet and cozy with friendly staff and chill vibes.
I wasn’t familiar with the grading system — I think it was based on the Fontainebleau bouldering grades, with seven levels of difficulty from “child” to something like “really freakin’ hard” (in French, of course). This was kind of freeing because we didn’t have any V-goals hanging over our heads. We just climbed until we burned out, and it was a good day.
Some things I noticed about the Arkose crew, which may not constitute any consistent differences between the American and French climbing cultures but, rather, are freestanding observations drawn from a single personal experience:
1. Nobody was “powering through.” Seriously. I didn’t get on a single climb that required me to blast off into space with the strength of a thousand flying oxen. Everything was tech-y.
Now, I didn’t try any of the hardest problems, and there’s a chance some hidden dynos got past me. But it really seemed like everybody at this gym had to use their beta-smarts.
2. Everybody used the changing room. Except for us. We were in cute tourist clothes for the morning, but we changed into quick-dry leggings and neon sports bras before getting on the metro because that’s what you wear to the gym. Well apparently, just 'cause you wear it at the wall doesn't mean you wear it to the wall.
Turns out these posh city dwellers wear real clothes in transit and save the gym attire for the gym. Oops. I had wondered about the conspicuous lack of Parisian norts…
3. People spoke French. Duh. I was a little bummed that the language barrier kept us from bonding with the Frenchfolk, but a little beta exchange did occur, and I got a couple of “Allez, allez”s. But also…
4. It was really quiet. Which was nice. Everybody was super calm. But it was kind of strange being surrounded by men and not hearing a single grunt. The closest I got were my own little struggle-squeaks.
I suppose some beta spraying may have occurred — in hushed voices, with minimal hand movements — but it was probably in French. Because, again, duh.
After leaving the gym, we put our tourist clothes back on and embarked on a quest for the perfect Eiffel Tower pic. During our journey, we discovered a little fitness area by the Seine River, complete with tiny rock walls. So cute! We played.
photo cred, as per yooj, to Mackenzie Taylor Photography So now we must be ready for Fontainebleau, right? I hope so, ‘cause we just got into Font proper, and we’re setting off at o’ dark thirty to beat some of the heat. We’ve got a guidebook, a new brush, and a rented crash pad — fingers chalked and crossed.
*Other unexpected alcohol sightings in Europe include shelves of liquor at like every gelatería ever, Parisian old ladies sipping beer at breakfast, and a kid drinking rosé from a bottle on the Paris metro.
**I actually heard a French lady say this yesterday. It was to me, about her little dog, whom she also called “très mignonne.” <3
Spring is making me sad. I mean, don't get me wrong. Flowers and breezes and sundresses are great. But bouldering season ended way too quickly.
You may have noticed, O Dedicated Reader, that I haven't posted in a while. Well, that's because I was too sad to write after the weather ruh-UINED my spring break. I mean, not really. But kind of. You know? You don't, but you will, 'cause I'm going to tell you now.
Months ago, Caroline and I both took off all of spring break and an extra weekend so that we could have Super Awesome Rocktown Fun Times fo dayyyz. And we did. For two days. Ish. We tried lots of new projects and didn't send anything and drank gas station sangria that was surprisingly good. And then it rained, and kept raining for the rest of the week at every crag in the Southeast.
It did not, however, rain in Athens. And everybody freaked out. It was like, 65 degrees outside, and girls all over town emerged bikini-clad from their winter nests to tan on the still-dead grass, smiling and shivering in the breeze. And my non-climbing acquaintances kept saying things like, "Oh em GEEE, it is SO. NICE OUT." And I was just like:
But it ended up being an okay week. Seester and I actually spent a day hanging out in Chattanooga proper, which I hadn't really done before. It was wet, but Chatty wears rain well. We found a vegan restaurant (with donuts!) and a bakery for dogs and Jane Austen-inspired toddler books for our future progeny and...
Well, anyway. We didn't climb.
But guess when I did climb? Last weekend! And guess where I climbed? Boone!
It was my first time there, and it. was. awesome. I was apprehensive about climbing on granite (#boatrockh8rsclub), but the rock was wonderfully grippy and not too sharp.
I went up with Evan, John (the one who went to the Obed with us last summer!), and another John. (There are actually quite a few Johns. This one was one of the professors on my Costa Rica study abroad last year! He is super cool and has a greenhouse and roasts his own coffee beans.) We were only there for two days, and after a brief detour to the M1 (?) Boulders, we split our time between Grandmother Mountain and Blowing Rock.
It was beautiful, so lush and uncorrupted. It was hard to believe it had been snowing there a few weeks prior.
It was refreshing not to see any graffiti on the rock or trash on the ground. The area doesn't get as much foot traffic as many climbing spots. There's not a guidebook or even a topo for these boulder fields, and there's not much information on the internet. We learned some stuff from the Boone Boulders website and the rest from other humans at the crag.
I sent three ~V4s at Grandmother: Dynobot (which I did not dyno), Car Door (a sloper-juggy-sidepully feature climb with one big move in the middle), and a slopey traverse I don't remember the name of. I didn't get to try any fives, but there is allegedly a moderates mecca within the Grandmother Boulders called Valley of the Kings. I really want to find it and work Potato Chip, a V5 feature climb that looks super goofy in the best way.
The slopey traverse.
Oh, hey, check out this climb. It is called Look Ma, No Hands and is supposedly a zero or a one or something. You are supposed to climb it with just your feet, but I think only Evan got up without using his knees or elbows. Super awkward to climb and fun to watch:
Super Strong Nick joined us Saturday evening, and our camp site was super sketch. We were actually camping on the side of the road. In this tiny clearing across from a death hill. Awaiting attack by bandits. In retrospect, I kind of doubt the legality of our setup... Caroline and I are planning a trip for April, and we will be opting for a more ~*legit*~ space.
Everyone complained the next day about how loud and windy and cold the night was, but I slept like a very sleepy rock in a fuzzy sleeping bag I borrowed from Evan's mom (Thanks a ton, Faye!). In the morning, we went to Blowing Rock so Evan could work a V10 called Squeeze Job and Nick could get on Flagyl, another 10. There weren't as many moderates here, at least not that we knew about. I got shut down quickly by The Finn, a V5 that Obed John sent at the start of the day.
John on The Finn.
I was also denied by a supposed V3 called Center 45. Apparently it is ultra-classic. Meh. I never got the first move.
I tried the five to its right, the name of which I have forgotten, and was quickly shut down uh-gain. Then Greenhouse John and I found a wall of jugs with Nick's guidance. We repeated a few zeros with increasingly harder/sillier beta, then got pumped on some contrived traverses before checking out another four called Harvester of Sorrows. I really liked the first part of this problem: slightly reachy moves on kind-of-terrible slopers, then a WHOOSH-y heel hook and some hand matching. But the topout is some awkward slapping around and then a giant mantle I just couldn't do yet. (Have I mentioned how mantle-weak I am?) I'll get it next time, though; I've been upping my pushup game.
Nick and Evan didn't send their problems, but they still climbed well. Nick got every move on Flagyl out of sequence before splitting his tip and heading home, and Evan was sooo close on Squeeze Job. But most importantly, at the end of the day, we got pizza.
SOMETHING'S COMING YOUR WAY.
They are vegan and full of protein. Here is the recipe, kind of. ("scoop" = ice cream scoop)
Recipe, Kind Of*
1 can of chickpeas 1.5ish scoops of almond butter 1.5ish scoops of shelled hemp seeds 1 tsp. baking powder a little salt
Put all of that in a food processor and mixed it all up 'til it's dough. Then ball it up into little cookie nuggets, press 'em down with a fork, and press the following tidbits into the top:
some craisins some chocolate chips some coconut flakes
Then bake 'em at 350 degrees. I think mine were in the oven for about 12 minutes. They should be soft and taste like health. You can obviously forego the chocolate chips to make them #sugarfree or whatever, but I would also opt for a sweeter nut butter because the chocolate is what made these taste not-legume-y.
*I can't take total credit for this concoction. It is based on a recipe I found on Instagram a while back, from @herbivorous_rex.
**Full disclosure: I edited the colors in three photos and cropped two of them. Not John's doing!
Oh, my gosh. It's been two weeks.
Life is getting hectic here in college land. Bouldering season is finally upon us, and so are midterms. And bills...always bills.
But I have gotten out a bit since my last post! Two weekends ago, we did indeed return to Horsepens, where we night bouldered, camped, and bouldered some more in a big happy group. After a long — long — battle with the Panty Shields (V3) topout, I finally sent it. It was one of those "I'll try it just one more time, but it probably won't happen, but I'll kick myself if I don't" kind of successes after three sessions and many frustration tears. And it finally went!
We also got on a really cool V3 called The Thespian. The beta is straightforward for some folks (watch this guy do it at 1:44 — just nope. NOPE.), but between Caroline, Lucy, Elaine and me, some heelhookey, toejammy, footmatchey madness occurred. I can't wait to get the last move on this one — by the time we returned to it at day's end, my skin was, well, not.
Some other fun/weird climbs attacked by our crew included Bum Boy (V3), Millipede (V5), Hammerhead (V5), and Lowdown (V4). I'm reluctant to attribute sends to specific people since it's been so long and my memory is not the greatest, but I'm ~*~pretty~*~ sure Elaine sent The Thespian, Lucy sent Bum Boy, and Evan and Nick sent Hammerhead. Caroline got her longstanding V2 proj, The Stranger, too (!), and I just remember Remi being tall.
I didn't get tons of photos like I said I would, but I did get a few pretty shots with my new Samsung Galaxy S5 Active (*which I love*):
Evan bein' burly on Hammerhead.
So that was fun. And then this past Sunday, folks wanted to go to LRC, but it rained there, so we (Evan, Nick, Thomas, Lucy, and I) went to Mount Yonah for a pre-pour halfday instead.
I didn't get any pictures.
Yonah is a granitey ouchfest located near Cleveland, Ga. It's better than Shaking Rock but bereft of Horsepen's boulder magic. It does have routes, though. And it's only about an hour from Athens, so it's the place to go when you don't have all day to climb.
But let's be honest. We hardly climbed. We took forEVer to leave Athens after a groggy Kroger meetup and an impromptu stop at Dunkin' Donuts (they didn't have peanut butter for their bagels! Is that not a staple among bagel condiments? But Thomas shared his almond butter <3 #magnanimous). It was a nice relaxed morning — one of those days when you warm up for 10 minutes, chat for 15, move to another boulder, chat for another 15... it was great. We spent a few hours bouldering, but I really didn't have it in me after an exhausting week of being a stressed-out, sleep-deprived, future-fearing college student. Lucy flashed a V4 (crusher!), which I don't know the name of, and that's the only thing I really worked. I got every move except the first one, which is a sit start (ugh) to a pretty-good hold that I just couldn't make myself grab onto because I hate pain and it was pebbly which means potentially hurt-y and why am I a climber again?
Other than that, I just goofed around on juggy things and kinda-sorta practiced mantling on tiny boulders. I don't even know what the others were working on outside of my little sleepy-eyed world. I believe the Yonah triumvirate was worked, maybe, I dunno, I was staring at a caterpillar. I took a nap kind of, and something stung my butt. I was just not feeling the whole climbing thing. Also, I didn't bring any food.
So imagine my euphoria when we left mid-afternoon (it never rained) and ate delicious Vietnamese food at a restaurant with a decidedly Vietnamese name! (Hint: it was great.) And then we were gonna go to Stone Summit to try on shoes, but Google was wrong and they close at 5 on Sundays, so we tried on shoes at REI instead. Which was almost as awesome because Athens doesn't have an REI and it is an amazing place, like an adventure Walmart but prettier. So like an adventure Target.
And we were all home by 9 o' clock.
Recipe: Slice bananas. Freeze them. Blend, with a little vegan milk if your blender is terrible or you're a soft-serve person. Sprinkle on buckwheat for crunch and class. Cocoa powder optional (as all things are).
And I still haven't explained the end of my no-poo adventure. Basically, I went at it for a few months with vinegar and baking soda, and my hair definitely luxed up as I freed it from the effects of chemical shampoos. It kind of "transitioned" to being not-disgusting, but I am just too active — and Georgia is just too humid — for me to maintain the twice-a-week routine. It never smelled bad or anything, but whenever I had a rinse-only day, it dried pretty flat and just didn't look good. And if I didn't scrub really hard in every spot with the baking soda, it was not gonna look clean either. I dunno, maybe that's health.
I will say, though, that the first wash after three months without shampoo left it looking the best it ever has. Seriously. It was full and shiny and beautiful until I put a cap on it and went to work for eight hours. But since then, it has never looked quite as awesome. I am back to whatever was sitting in my bathroom at home-home for now, and I'm hoping to make some sort of natural shampoo and conditioner once I get some time slash money. Then again, it's getting cool, so I might be able to pull it off now. There is a gallon of vinegar in my bathroom cabinet...
Additionally, I have casually taken up doing yoga with Adriene in the comfort of my sister's bedroom. I do it in there because mine is too messy. But I'm working on that, because I hope that organized surroundings will give me a sense of control over my mental chaos. That's part of why I'm doing yoga; although I know it will help me gain balance and flexibility for climbing, the real draw for me is its emphasis on internal wellbeing. I feel a bit conflicted about it because of the culturally appropriative aspects of Western interpretations of yoga, but after reading/listening to multiple qualified parties' thoughts on the issue, I think I can practice it while maintaining respect for the religion and culture from whence it came.
And I recently began reading 9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes by Dave MacLeod. Evan insists that it will make me a better climber, and the first 50 pages have already prompted me to change my mental game. I will elaborate, you know, eventually, but for now I leave you with these words, which I am trying to keep as my longwinded training sort-of mantra:
"The ideal attitude is that failure is an absolutely integral and central part of any worthwhile endeavor...Failure can and should be relished as a psychological tool to motivate, a practical source of essential feedback for those who don't have a coach and even the spice that makes eventual success taste so sweet when it finally comes."
Evan, Lucy, Beckett, Nathan, and I drove up there on Friday for a half day, and since it's only about 90 minutes from Athens, we didn't have to leave until 6 a.m.! #whoo
Since Evan has a sports car, Nathan has a bike, and Lucy is 13, the task of driving fell to me. Actually, I think one of the guys would have driven my car, but I am trying to improve at driving and stop hating it because it's a necessary skill if you want to be an adventurer. I just traded in (err, kind of) my white '89 Lincoln Town Car for a 2004 Ford Taurus a few weeks ago, and this was my second time driving folks to a climbing spot (the first was our Little River Canyon expedition a few Sundays ago). And maybe my fifth time driving outside of Athens, like, ever. #scary
The drive to the crag went preeetty well, except I learned quite suddenly that you always have to stop for school buses, even if they are across the yellow lines and three lanes away from you, which is good to know because I don't think I've had to stop for a school bus ever (did I mention I don't drive much?), and apparently it's a really big ticket if you don't. But I also think it's pretty not-okay for these bus drivers to let kids out on a four lane road with no crosswalk and expect them to cross it and... well, anyway. Once we reached the mountain, it took me about three years to get us up its potholey gravel road, but I think I did a pretty okay job considering.
It was a frustrating day for me at Brick Wall. I was sore from a few days of gym climbing, so everything felt harder than it "should" have. And although I thought I'd gotten past my fear of heights with my post-send-slack-pulling at the aforementioned Canyon trip and my 10-lead-flashing last weekend, I had a serious freakout leading this 5.10a called Pigs on the Wing. As in, a grab the last quickdraw, sob to the top, don't stop shaking for thirty minutes freakout. It was bad and embarrassing and I was really mad at myself, but the thought of falling filled me with more terror than ever. I think the fact that I was feeling weaker than usual combined with latent fear demons in my head to make the worst of a potentially okay situation. But I got over it, and it was still a great day. I toproped a 5.10b/c called Power Flyer, and I agreed with Lucy and Evan that is was way easier than the 10a, but since the fear aspect was (mostly) removed, I don't really know.
We also toproped a couple of 5.9 trad climbs, No Name Crack and Offwidth. Offwidth was my first experience with crack climbing, which is strange and hard and super fun. I definitely want to climb more cracks, although the idea of hand jamming still confounds me. Really jamming anything except a pant-covered knee confounds me. Like, ow. But I am definitely a fan of the knee jam.
Hey, look, gear on gear!
Evan practiced placing trad gear on this 5.11c called Dreams while on toprope, and of course he'll send it on actual trad (on trad? while tradding? as a trad daddy? what is the phrasing???) next time. Lucy was baller enough to toprope it too. You can read about her experience here!
Since we were even in number, I was usually belaying or climbing and didn't get a lot of photos. But here are some vultures:
Not a good omen in my 5.10 distress.
We left around 4, and I drove us back to Athens without event. Beckett rested her head on my arm from the backseat, which was heavy and made steering a little awkward, but it was so friggin' adorable and I just got used to it. It was nice pulling up to the apartment at 5:30 instead of midnight, and it was definitely a productive day.
I'm a little disappointed that my fear of heights is still hanging out in my brain. But climbing is a process in every aspect, I suppose. I can't go out this weekend because of work (sigh), but if I can get anyone to climb on Labor Day I'll make sure my mind and body are ready.
Okay, so that was the Currahee portion of this blog post. This is the cookie portion! Crag cookies, crag cookies
Friday was Nathan's first time coming out with us. He'd allllmost come a few times before, and I was really excited to climb with him, and I was determined he would make it this time. So Thursday night at the gym, trying to convince him that it was worth the hot temps and all, I was like, "I'LL MAKE COOKIES, MAYBE." I included the "maybe" because it's important to have an out, but once I'd said it, I had to do it. I don't know if Nathan even remembers that conversation, but...
After a 10:00 trip to Academy Sports to pick up some overpriced gymnastics chalk (I procrastinated), I commenced the baking process. And this time, I wrote down measurements!
This was my first time using carob powder in a recipe. I'm not sure how I feel about it. People like to use it instead of cocoa powder because it is also brown and starts with a "C," but it does not taste like chocolate. I really lack the culinary vocabulary to describe the taste of carob. But it's not bad, necessarily, depending on who you are. Just strange, and you feel kind of virtuous and trendy eating it. And it doesn't contain caffeine, so that's nice, or lame, or whatever, depending on what you seek from your cookies.
Anyway, here's the *~*recipe*~* :
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c coconut sugar
1/4 c carob powder
t tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
handful of coconut flakes
2 tbsp flax seed meal + 4 tbsp warm water
1/2 c coconut oil
1/4 c agave nectar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the flax seed meal and warm water and set aside.
3. Combine the dry stuff, except for the coconut flakes.
4. Add in the wet stuff and then the coconut flakes.
5. Make lil balls, and put 'em onto an ungreased cookie sheet. You should have about 16.
I didn't flatten them down, and after 8 minutes, they were still little nuggets:
So I flattened 'em out with a fork and baked 'em for two more minutes. So you should probably skip that part and just flatten them to start with and then bake them for 10 minutes.
And then they'll look kind of like this! Soft and chewy and full of nutrition.
Now. The important question: How do they taste? Well, not sweet. Like, they're brown, but they are not chocolate. And coconut sugar isn't actually all that sweet, as sugars go. And whole wheat flour, while less evil than white flour, tends to make things bitter-er. I honestly wasn't sure about them, but the guys liked them. In Nathan's words: "they taste like energy cookies." Which apparently are a real thing because I just googled them and found like a kajillion recipes so maybe I will just call them that. Like, coco-carob energy cookies. The coco is for coconut, NOT COCOA. Because THESE BEAUTIFUL COOKIES DO NOT TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE.
Well, you've been warned. I'mma go to the gym now and climb on some plastic.
Any other climbers out there struggle with The Fear? How do you manage it? And what in the world do you think of carob powder? Speak in the comments, or on the Contact page!
Whenever I walk through the bulk section at Kroger, I must fight to resist the pull of the Naughty But Nice "energy bites." I'm not sure about their stimulatory powers, but they are an amalgamation of chocolate, peanut butter, and oats that please my carb-loving body and heart.
Unfortunately, they cost $10.99/lb., a price I cannot pay when my chocolate needs (needs) are so great.
So, like last time with my lil cocoballs, I decided to make my own version. Basically, my qualifications were: chocolate. oatmeal. peanut butter. sweetness.
I know I promised a "recipe" in my last post, but the truth is that for me, food is less science than art and less art than magic. You mix some stuff together, you heat it up or freeze it or maybe just shake it around, and it turns into something you can eat! So although I can't tell you exactly what quantities of each ingredient I used, I encourage you to guesstimate too, letting the kitchen gods guide your hand. And remember: too dry is more remediable than too wet.
First, I threw some oats, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, and chia seeds into my roommate's blender in lieu of a food processor. (I don't have a photo for this step. Sorry.)
Then I heated up some peanut butter on the stove.
Unnecessary splash of cocoa powder
I threw the previously blended dry ingredients into the pan, stirred it all around with some agave nectar...
and stuck that into a little cake pan. I'd baked the mixture at 250 degrees for about seven minutes (I was aiming for 10), when I realized I'd FORGOTTEN THE DATES.
So I scraped it out, threw it into the blender with some dates and almond milk, blended it around, spread it back into the pan, and baked it for another 10 minutes.
I let the lil loaf cool for a bit, but as I began to cut out the "bites," I realized this creation would do much better in nugget form. So I made little balls!
And then I took them to the crag.
In case that was a little overwhelming, here is a list of all the ingredients I used: - oats (we'll say a little under 2 cups) - cocoa powder (maybe half a cup? a little more?) - coconut flakes (umm, half a handful?) - chia seeds (like a tablespoon) - Medjool dates (four or five) - agave nectar (just keep squeezin') - peanut butter (maybe a little less than half a cup) - almond milk (less than half a cup, but you shouldn't need this if you don't make my premature baking mistake.)
Oh! How did they turn out? I actually like these more than the energy bites. The texture is softer and chewier, and the dates add a nice natural sweetness. I think next time I'll forego the agave altogether and double the dates.
What about you? Do you treat cooking like a science or the mysterious workings of kitchen gods? What do you eat when you're in the woods?
I, like most people, love food. Specifically, healthy food that tastes good and doesn't cost oodles of money. Unfortunately, I am a beyond-broke college student, and what's affordable to some folks is oodles to me.
But fortunately, I work in a health food store. And last week, when I decided to wander the aisles during my break instead of reading/moping/napping in the café like usual, I came across Laughing Giraffe's "Snakaroons." I'd tried a vanilla one once on a climbing trip and been unable to find them since (even at Earth Fare). But there they were, smiling at me from the end of the chocolate shelf — and they were on SALE. Like, half off. Plus 20% off. So they were like…70% off? I don't think that's how that works. #math
SO I BOUGHT SOME AND I INSTAGRAMMED THEM
Anybody know how to get IG screenshots the way Buzzfeed does? They don't even look like that on my phone. But I wannaaa
Anyway, I've been snacking on these all week, and as I came closer and closer to emptying the precious bags, I thought I'd try to create my own.
(What was left of) the originals:
The version I came up with, after much trial and error and a last-ditch freeze job, is much less organic and even more fatty than the Laughing Giraffe 'roons. Basically, I started with the five basic ingredients listed on the packages:
Some of it's organic! And I got the coconut supacheap in Costa Rica. #culture #maxipali
But by the end of the thing, I had added another bag of coconut, crushed-up pecans, and cashew butter (organic! #saleshopper).
Which means they were nuttier than I was hoping for, but still delicious. Next time, I will probably try to get them to stick together without cashew butter, I'll do less agave, and I may leave out the salt altogether. Still, the pecans were a surprisingly good complement to the coconut in lieu of almonds (which we actually had, but they would have required me to walk ten feet instead of reaching into the cabinet behind me, so).
The finished candy:
The real thing on the left, my thing on the right.
Now, I won't attempt to convince you that these sweet 'n' fatty lil cocoballs are super healthy. BUT if it's these or a slice of Kroger cookie cake, your body will thank you for choosing the 'roons.
I’ve been making lots of smoothies.
for the curious: bananas, dates, coconut, flax meal, soymilk, and cashew butter.
They’re not like the smoothies I make at my Earth Fare juice bar job. They’re more like a lukewarm smoothie-milkshake hybrid, except iceless and dairyless. Perhaps I should call them smoothie shakes, but ugh. Maybe they are closer to pudding...
Anyway. Basically, I throw some [unfrozen] bananas into the decrepit blender I’ve been borrowing from my mom, then add some nut butter, water, some flax meal, and whatever other produce I think would taste good blended up and poured into a mason jar. This week’s staples have included dates, kale and strawberries, but we’ll see how sustainable this is, since fruit is expensive and I’m generally the brokest person I know.
I’ve become one of those girls on Instagram who post the same meal in different colors every day.
I’m trying not to overdo the fruit-mush jar shots, but I did decide to stop sharing all my Instagrams on Facebook; not everyone wants to see what I had for breakfast. Probably ‘cause they’re jealous.
Over the weekend, I wasn’t able to make smoothiepuddingshakes and had to actually chew my fruit because I was camping at the Obed. We stayed at Del and Marte’s Lilly Pad, which is their home-turned-campground. I could gush about it to you, but I’ll just post some photos:
We spent two nights there and three days climbing rocks — much better than a 'Muricuh Day cookout. I’m still learning the ropes (ha) of sport climbing and am pretty sketched out by leading, so I mostly top-roped, but it was a great chance to work on my endurance and finger strength, not to mention my belaying skills. And I learned to clean routes! yay? #terror.
And yesterday, I stopped washing my hair. After climbing at the gym, I rubbed a baking soda and water mixture into it, rinsed it out, then followed with apple cider vinegar and water. I did the same thing after my run this morning, and my hair feels quite clean and soft. It’s less shiny than usual, but I’m pretty sure that is because of my haphazard wet-brushing.
Anyway, the idea is that after a while your scalp’s pH will balance out, and your body will stop producing excess oil in overcompensation for the oil-stripping effects of regular shampoo (damage we usually amend with conditioner), and eventually you can just use water. So no more toxic and expensive shampoo!
Tomorrow's adventure: a foolish trip to Shaking Rock. Photos and possible regret to come.