Friday Round Up

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Is it Friday already?

ON THE WATER This week has been about efficiency on the water. I did spend some time in some different boats, but I’ve been really pushing myself on working the river so I’ve been in my comfortable river runner for the most part. Take away: try hard things in a comfortable environment– a river you know pretty well, a boat you like and understand.

I’ve been messing around a lot, realizing there usually isn’t just one right way to go or do something on the water (obviously barring hazards we know to avoid in certain places). I missed a ferry and went over a drop backwards which got me thinking about how to effectively paddle backwards if it happens, and committing even when things don’t go as planned.

Scare yourself. Do I want to be sitting in the boily, surgey eddy next to M Wave with five rafts barreling by me? Not particularly. But it’s helping me keep my head on straight in weird environments. I’ve flipped and rolled in those strange eddies a bunch of times now, and I went into Shutdown upside down after missing the ferry above, too (note: I’ve been painstakingly avoiding this since I started paddling at the Center. It should be made known that the Boogeyman does not live here. According to Chris, he actually lives here ) And after all that, I know there’s a chance I’ll probably swim one of these days from all that goofing around, too.

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This is all subjective, of course, but I think there is something to be said for being efficient on the water, for exploring what is unknown to you and figuring out how to paddle effectively. Sure, you can point your boat downstream and go, but when are you actually, realistically going to be doing that in real river situations? I’ve been testing myself to see what I need to do to get from one eddy to another, how my boat angle upstream affects how easily I can get into an eddy downstream. There’s a power to being able to move all around the river, a certain satisfaction from uncovering new pieces to the puzzle. Plus, the more moving around I do in current, the faster I can get away from the Boogeyman.

IN THE BELLY We eat a lot of kale. This is a superfood like no other, and it’s cheap and versatile. Mix it in with eggs, stews, pasta or steam it, bake it, sauté it, or eat it fresh. It’s good and good for you: kale has more protein than beef, tons of calcium, iron, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory goodness. Seriously, you need to be eating it. Kale yeah!

Like I said, we do just about anything with kale, but my favorite is a mix between sauté and steam which is delicious with some red pepper flakes and sea salt. YUM. Recipe below.

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ingredients

1 bushel of kale- stiffer is better!

¼ red or yellow onion

2-4 garlic cloves

¼ c chicken or vegetable broth

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinaigrette

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Sea salt to taste

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directions

–          Wash your kale. Seriously… do it. For some reason, these greens are always sandy when I buy them, and laziness has amounted to an undesirable crunch mid chew in cooking times past. WASH!

–          Tear the kale leaves from the stems. You can eat the stems or even just buy the pre-cut and bagged kale, but I tend to enjoy the flavor more when the stems aren’t around. Also, that pre-cut and bagged kale is great for adding to soups and stews when you’re in a rush, but I still like the whole leaf kale better. It’s worth it.

–          Dump all kale leaves into a big pot. It will cook down significantly, but you’re going to want a pretty big pot to start out with.

–          Chop onion and garlic (I am usually heavy on these ingredients because I like them, but you can use as much or as little as you like.) and toss on top of the kale. I like doing this because it keeps the onion, primarily, from cooking too fast and getting mushy.

–          Add desired spices. I love the little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes, but you can honestly add whatever you like. I save the salt for last because between the broth and the balsamic vinaigrette, you don’t need much.

–          Speaking of balsamic vinaigrette… go ahead and add that with a bit of EVOO, too. I usually go pretty light on the vinaigrette; you don’t need much.

–          Dump the broth over the top the kale and cover with a lid on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

  • Here’s a choose your own adventure moment: you can go light on the liquids and do a quick steam until the leaves get a nice, vibrant green (I usually flash them on high real quick when this happens) and then pull your kale. This will be more along the steamed lines with a twist.
  • OR you can crank up the heat with the suggested amount of liquid and let the kale sauté on high to get a little crunch and cook off the excess liquid. Definitely keep an eye on the kale if you go this route; it’s super easy to burn it and it is really, really bad burned.
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Either way, you need to keep an eye on your kale so that you don’t overcook it, which is really easy to do. Scoop out and serve! The kale is great by itself or with some goat cheese or an egg on top. This is one of those great foods that you can do just about anything to or add to just about anything and it turns out really well. Here’s a great recipe for kale chips, YUM and kale seasoned popcorn? If you try that one, let me know how it turns out.

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FOR THE BODY So… real talk: Chris and I have been super busy with business stuff this week and most of our physical activity has been paddling, which is great but not very well balanced. The past few weeks, though, we’ve been looking forward to what has become a bit of a weekly tradition which is SUPing with my folks in the evening. Not the heart pounding cardio workout you might be looking for but there are tons of opportunities for you to work on core strength, flexibility, and balance while you’re on the board. Plus, it makes us happy, which is just as much for our bodies as it is for our souls. One of the best parts about working for ourselves is that hitting a roadblock mentally or creatively can result in recreation which is how I started running again to begin with. That break from the computer or the desk can transform creative energy if you let it out while taking your mind off of task and obligation… so, this week we’ve been mostly paddling and SUPing, but we are, most importantly, taking time for ourselves and our health. Check out some of our fun photos from this week’s SUP sesh, and try a few of these exercises next time you’re out on a board! The nice part about stretching/yoga/pilates on the SUP? The added challenge of balance plus the reward of a splash if you fall in.

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The take away from craziness and lack of motivation? Recreate when you can, however you can! Toss a Frisbee, walk the dog, park far away next time you’re at the grocery store. You might have to get creative but the little added challenges add up to leave you feeling better and more motivated. Sidebar: I will not be posting the action photo of me falling off the SUP from a headstand into the water… sorry.

OF THE MIND You may have noticed me donning a fancy new apron in the cooking photos? That’s right: my first bounty from my sewing class! It was frustrating at times (who knew pockets could be such a challenge? I must have watched this video a million times while struggling my way through sewing them on to my apron) but so satisfying to put the final stitch on the seam and have something usable that I made myself. Next week’s task is a bit more challenging (a button down shirt… yeah, I’ll keep you posted on that one!)

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On another note, I got to help with some of the filming for these edits when I was up at Wilson Creek last week. You should check them out, but I also got to take some stills as well. I haven’t fooled with the camera for anything other than video in a while, so check out some shots from the Gorge.

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… always looking for ways to pursue passion and creative action. Happy Friday!

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