Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Presents and Book List, I love lists!!

Okay, I love lists....so my latest lists are great small food gifts to give people, I have to say I love giving presents and then I am a starting a book list.....

Food
1. Olive oil and vinegars from The Olive Tap
2. Spices from the Spice House
3. Cheese, olives, bread, wine from Pastoral Artisan
4. Bottle of wine from LUSH wine and spirits
5. Bottle of Maple syrup, who does not love pancakes and it is really hard to find good maple syrup, from Burton's Maplewood Farm, they can be found at the Green City Market
6. Going to a dinner party? Bring some artisan ice cream from Nicecream
7. Pate de fruits, which are soft sugar candies flavored from local fruits, I consider it healthy candy, handmade
8. On the run, need to pickup something, any of Nicole's Crackers will be favorites. I personally like "Oh, for the love of Herb" and for a dessert cracker, "Heaven is Lavender".
9. And of course, salsas, salsas can be used on eggs, to cook with vegetables, as a snack on their own and they are really low in calorie so a food bonus, Tomato Mountain Salsas are my favorite...
10. Want a unique spirit for a conversation starter and a tasty cocktail, try Adam Seger's Hum Spirits, Hibiscus, Cardomom and Ginger

Other ideas:
11. Seedling Fruit incredibly delectable, yummy fruit jams, I would buy every flavor, they are great as a healthy sugar pickmeup, available at my favorite Green City Market!
12. Just found out about Swedish Microfiber cloths that you can use for cleaning with just water, you can throw out all your chemicals...Not a food but something that will help save the earth, available at Colori Eco Boutique of paints and household products that are earth friendly
13. Koval Distillery, any one of their products, Ginger liqueur, Rose hips liqueur, Pear Brandy, the list goes on....

Books

My book list is shorter but will grow over time...

1. Paul Theroux "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" which I have been told is a nonfiction account of his travel by trains through Central Asia, the "Stans" which for me is an incredibly fascinating, picturesque part of the world

2. Greg Mortenson's new book, "Stones into Schools" about his efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

3. "Miracle in the Andes" by Nando Parredo. Nando was the Uruguayan, who after 3 months of being stranded in the Andes, after a plane crash and eating the dead to survive, walked out of the mountains and found help. I was fortunate to meet him, he was a customer at the store and I helped him and he told me about his book. I have always been fascinated by the book, "Alive", it is one of the most incredible survival stories I have ever read. The thing I get drawn to is the inner strength and belief in themselves and their pulling together as a team. Having played on teams for many years, I can tell people who just don't understand the meaning of a team. The thing I love about the mountains is that it is really all about team work, whether you are roped on a glacier or trekking with porters, it is all about working as a member of a group. This story is not a story it really happened and I guess the amazing thing about it is the human spirit and humaness which is what this story is about. Of all the people I have encountered at the store, I have to say, meeting Nando for me was probably the most memorable.

That is my book list so far and my trip list is to go on the Afghan trip with Wild Frontiers.....I really believe in promoting peace through tourism and grassroots dipolmacy. These challenged countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan have peaceful and incredibly historic, and beautiful areas, coincentally, some of the largest mountain ranges in the world run through them. And, the foods you come across are all organic and local because the people have no other choice the world ofpackaged goods hasn't really hit them. Here is my friend Ade's video on his trip to Afghanistan and here is my slide show of my trip to Pakistan, Just have to figure out how to fund it and how to get back on a sustainable financial footing to do this, want to go to Libya, Iran and Afghanistan to name a few.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting the New Year's List Ready

Okay, it is that time to get my To Do list for 2010, which I can't believe!!!

The trip I would love to go on, peace exists in this video abut my friend Ade's trip last summer to Afghanistan...The book that is a must read, Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson which I have not read but I am going out and buying today. I read Three Cups of Tea which takes place in and around the Baltoro Glacier but is all about the hospitality of the Pakistani people. But the video and the book is what adventure is really about but adventure in a grass roots diplomacy type of way, changing the world through peaceful means.
At the store we mostly sell coats so people will be warm living in Chicago but what I really love is encouraging people to travel and see the world. Traveling, trekking and climbing I think changes the way people think for the better. And it shows you what little some people have in parts of the world and what little it takes to make them happy and how much we have here in the United States to be thankful for!!!!


1) Finish 2 ultras at least, get my mileage up to at least 40 week

2)Ski again

3)Hike again

4)Make mysore part of my regular weekly schedule, I really feel a difference if I am not practicing yoga.

5)A job where I work with bright, friendly, energetic people and in an environment where I thrive and am stimulated and a company that encourages the best out of people.

6) I am avoiding or ignoring people who are surly, sullen, dramatic, controlling, negative, fault finding and insecure,bullies, drama queens, mean people...life is too short to get trapped in their view of things and it is not healthy, you know who you are!!!!

7) Put a plan in place to move to the mountains, enough already......

8)Continue to streamline my food, make an effort to juice ideally daily, spinach or arugula daily, I just realize I feel much better and don't get sick when I am eating green things and beets, carrots regularly...

9)Work on drinking more water...this is very hard for me to do

10)Tea before I go to bed...I really need to get in the tea habit

11)ideally become an age group runner again...do speed work once a week, really start training, run with the Chicago Ultrarunners

12)Complete short story on Jagged Edge..

13)Continue through the magazine and other venues to promote healthy foods, and local restaurants and businesses that have great products and use local produce...you don't have to be less active as you age...

14)Have a lot more fun(which means avoiding the negative people) and focus on the humane people