You want a physicist to speak at your funeral…

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You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly

Senior pics for my beautiful daughter…

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turning in the grain again
the bells begin to chime

time, she says,
“there’s no turning back,
keep your eyes on the tracks”
through the fields, somewhere there’s blue
oh, time will tell, she’ll see us through

howling out,
the windy hills
and all the time we took
you should know just how it steals
keep your hand on the wheel
and through it all, somewhere we knew
time will tell, she’ll see us through

and all fire and flames took all we trust
we’re kicking up dust
stations fade just like they do
oh, time will tell, we always knew

oh, time will tell, we always knew

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The days are long but the decades are short

While pondering the many experiences of my life so far, there are many times that I am very hard on myself and wonder what does it all mean.  But after reading this wonderful blog post I had to repost this to my own blog-because it basically says it all.  I couldn’t even think to write this as eloquently as Sam Altman did.  Enjoy.IMG_2985

1) Never put your family, friends, or significant other low on your priority list.  Prefer a handful of truly close friends to a hundred acquaintances.  Don’t lose touch with old friends.  Occasionally stay up until the sun rises talking to people.  Have parties.

2) Life is not a dress rehearsal—this is probably it.  Make it count.  Time is extremely limited and goes by fast.  Do what makes you happy and fulfilled—few people get remembered hundreds of years after they die anyway.  Don’t do stuff that doesn’t make you happy (this happens most often when other people want you to do something).  Don’t spend time trying to maintain relationships with people you don’t like, and cut negative people out of your life.  Negativity is really bad.  Don’t let yourself make excuses for not doing the things you want to do.

3) How to succeed: pick the right thing to do (this is critical and usually ignored), focus, believe in yourself (especially when others tell you it’s not going to work), develop personal connections with people that will help you, learn to identify talented people, and work hard.  It’s hard to identify what to work on because original thought is hard.

4) On work: it’s difficult to do a great job on work you don’t care about.  And it’s hard to be totally happy/fulfilled in life if you don’t like what you do for your work.  Work very hard—a surprising number of people will be offended that you choose to work hard—but not so hard that the rest of your life passes you by.  Aim to be the best in the world at whatever you do professionally.  Even if you miss, you’ll probably end up in a pretty good place.  Figure out your own productivity system—don’t waste time being unorganized, working at suboptimal times, etc.  Don’t be afraid to take some career risks, especially early on.  Most people pick their career fairly randomly—really think hard about what you like, what fields are going to be successful, and try to talk to people in those fields.

5) On money: Whether or not money can buy happiness, it can buy freedom, and that’s a big deal.  Also, lack of money is very stressful.  In almost all ways, having enough money so that you don’t stress about paying rent does more to change your wellbeing than having enough money to buy your own jet.  Making money is often more fun than spending it, though I personally have never regretted money I’ve spent on friends, new experiences, saving time, travel, and causes I believe in.

6) Talk to people more.  Read more long content and less tweets.  Watch less TV.  Spend less time on the Internet.

7) Don’t waste time.  Most people waste most of their time, especially in business.

8) Don’t let yourself get pushed around.  As Paul Graham once said to me, “People can become formidable, but it’s hard to predict who”.  (There is a big difference between confident and arrogant.  Aim for the former, obviously.)

9) Have clear goals for yourself every day, every year, and every decade.

10) However, as valuable as planning is, if a great opportunity comes along you should take it.  Don’t be afraid to do something slightly reckless.  One of the benefits of working hard is that good opportunities will come along, but it’s still up to you to jump on them when they do.

11) Go out of your way to be around smart, interesting, ambitious people.  Work for them and hire them (in fact, one of the most satisfying parts of work is forging deep relationships with really good people).  Try to spend time with people who are either among the best in the world at what they do or extremely promising but totally unknown.  It really is true that you become an average of the people you spend the most time with.

12) Minimize your own cognitive load from distracting things that don’t really matter.  It’s hard to overstate how important this is, and how bad most people are at it.  Get rid of distractions in your life.  Develop very strong ways to avoid letting crap you don’t like doing pile up and take your mental cycles, especially in your work life.

13) Keep your personal burn rate low.  This alone will give you a lot of opportunities in life.

14) Summers are the best.

15) Don’t worry so much.  Things in life are rarely as risky as they seem.  Most people are too risk-averse, and so most advice is biased too much towards conservative paths.

16) Ask for what you want.

17) If you think you’re going to regret not doing something, you should probably do it.  Regret is the worst, and most people regret far more things they didn’t do than things they did do.  When in doubt, kiss the boy/girl.

18) Exercise.  Eat well.  Sleep.  Get out into nature with some regularity.

19) Go out of your way to help people.  Few things in life are as satisfying.  Be nice to strangers.  Be nice even when it doesn’t matter.

20) Youth is a really great thing.  Don’t waste it.  In fact, in your 20s, I think it’s ok to take a “Give me financial discipline, but not just yet” attitude.  All the money in the world will never get back time that passed you by.

21) Tell your parents you love them more often.  Go home and visit as often as you can.

22) This too shall pass.

23) Learn voraciously.

24) Do new things often.  This seems to be really important.  Not only does doing new things seem to slow down the perception of time, increase happiness, and keep life interesting, but it seems to prevent people from calcifying in the ways that they think.  Aim to do something big, new, and risky every year in your personal and professional life.

25) Remember how intensely you loved your boyfriend/girlfriend when you were a teenager?  Love him/her that intensely now.  Remember how excited and happy you got about stuff as a kid?  Get that excited and happy now.

26) Don’t screw people and don’t burn bridges.  Pick your battles carefully.

27) Forgive people.

28) Don’t chase status.  Status without substance doesn’t work for long and is unfulfilling.

29) Most things are ok in moderation.  Almost nothing is ok in extreme amounts.

30) Existential angst is part of life.  It is particularly noticeable around major life events or just after major career milestones.  It seems to particularly affect smart, ambitious people.  I think one of the reasons some people work so hard is so they don’t have to spend too much time thinking about this.  Nothing is wrong with you for feeling this way; you are not alone.

31) Be grateful and keep problems in perspective.  Don’t complain too much.  Don’t hate other people’s success (but remember that some people will hate your success, and you have to learn to ignore it).

32) Be a doer, not a talker.

33) Given enough time, it is possible to adjust to almost anything, good or bad.  Humans are remarkable at this.

34) Think for a few seconds before you act.  Think for a few minutes if you’re angry.

35) Don’t judge other people too quickly.  You never know their whole story and why they did or didn’t do something.  Be empathetic.

36) The days are long but the decades are short.

How about some Mozzarella STICKS??

Cheese and bread together are oh-so-yummy.  And who doesn’t love a good Mozzarella stick?  I mean, fried cheese? Yes please.  I was inspired by Taste of Home’s recipe, but wanted to make a version that didn’t actually involve butt-loads of oil.  For your health’s sake, try this healthy option and save yourself the artery blocks.  This recipe is super-easy and quick and tastes like the “real” thing.

I made them two different ways, one sauteed in a skillet with a little olive oil (closer to frying) and the other baked in the oven.  They look very different (above photo is of the “fried” sticks, but both are shown below in the post as well), but Aaron and I loved both of them equally in terms of taste.  So, choose whichever way you prefer.

Ingredients:
12 Wonton or Egg-Roll Wraps, at room temperature
12 Light or Fat-free Mozzarella String Cheese
Marinara Sauce (Low-Sodium) for Dipping
Small bowl with water, optional

Baked Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Take one of your room-temperature wraps (less likely to break and ooze cheese all over if room-temp and slightly wet) and lay on flat surface in front of you, like a diamond.  Put cheese stick in middle, corner to corner (or slightly below).
3. Take the bottom corner and fold it up over the cheese stick and stick to other side of wrap tightly.  You can add a few drops of the water here to make the wrap stick better.
4.  Carefully (here is the part where the wrap can break), fold over the right and left corners of the wrap onto the cheese stick to completely cover the cheese.
5.  Roll up the wrap.
6.  Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

“Fried” Directions:
Alternatively, you can make this on the stovetop.
1.  Wrap cheese as described above.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
3.  Working in batches, add in half of the cheese sticks.  Roll/stir sticks around for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, and remove from heat.

Serve with Marinara (seasoned with oregano/basil/garlic for more flavor) and Enjoy!

Happy Halloween….!

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So, as I typically like to do….I try to be creative with halloween costumes.  This year my son wanted to be a Minion.  There are ALOT of minion sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats…..and of course ready made costumes.  But I wanted to be somewhat creative!  So….this is what I came up with!  Enjoy!!!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust! All of the flavor without the guilt!!

Here it is! The best Dairy Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust! So easy to make as you steam the cauliflower and mash rather than grate and blend.

This dairy free cauliflower pizza base is a great low-carb way to have your pizza and eat it too. You can also use this pizza crust to sneak vegetables into your kid’s diet.

As you know this is not a “normal” pizza crust. You do end up eating this pizza with a fork and knife. But the ‘pop’ of the flavour that comes from this dish is so delicious that the entire pizza will be devoured guaranteed. The crust itself holds together, but it’s not something you can pick up with your hands either. Most people who have made variations of this pizza base swear they will ever eat regular pizza crust again.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 servings – or 1 pizza i.e. the size of a standard cookie sheet

  • 3 x medium heads cauliflower, steamed and cooked
  • 6 x egg whites
  • 1 x whole egg
  • 2 x tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 x tablespoon Italian herb spice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix the crust ingredients together in a large bowl or pot, using a potato masher. Smash until well blended and almost smooth consistency. A little lumpy is fine.
  3. On a well oiled cookie sheet* (use the one with sides, not the flat kind), spread the cauliflower out evenly and smoothly using a spatula. *I bought mine from Kitchenware Direct.
  4. Bake the crust for 30-minutes and remove from the oven.
  5. Top your pizza with one of the below toppings or choose your own.
  6. Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.
  7. Allow the pizza to cool.
  8. Drizzle pizza lightly with Waltanna Farms flaxseed oil.
  9. Be careful if you have kids eating this dish. The pizza base really holds on to the heat. So break the crust up for the kids to check on the temperature.

Nutritional Content:

For 1 slice i.e. 1/12 of the entire recipe

Calories: 93
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 24 mg
Sodium: 320 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Protein: 8 g

Topping Ideas:

For ‘inside the metabolic window’ of intense exercise:

Italian Goat’s Cheese and Veggie Supreme

  • baby spinach
  • basil pesto
  • green olives, halved
  • sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
  • soft goat’s cheese

Crispy Bacon, Artichoke and Ricotta

  • ricotta
  • artichoke hearts, drained
  • sweet potato, sliced and panfried
  • black olives, halved
  • bacon rashers

For ‘outside the metabolic window’ of intense exercise:

Beef, Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella

  • lean beef mince
  • red onion, sliced
  • garlic cloves, crushed
  • olive oil
  • passata 
  • cherry tomatos, halved
  • mozzarella, torn
  • basil leaves, to serve (optional)

Ham, Mushroom and Rocket

  • basil pesto
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ham, chopped
  • rocket

Always know your high energy carbs are inside the window of intense exercise, and low energy carbs are for all other times. With this knowledge you have the power to design the most delicious and nutritious pizza to feed your soul, training and health goalsphoto 1 (12)photo 2 (7)

New moves for your back!!

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Sitting at a desk all day, slouched in front of a computer, can wreak havoc on your body—especially your back and hips. It’s extremely common for that sitting habit of yours to cause you to suffer from lower back pain, neck problems, tight hips flexors, and poor posture. Taking a few minutes throughout the day to stretch and strengthen your back and hips can alleviate some of those issues, help you feel better, and improve your productivity at the office! Here are 5 moves to practice before work, after work, or even at your desk!

1. Swimming-Start by lying prone (on your stomach) with your arms and legs outstretched, legs hips width distance apart, and arms shoulder width apart. Lift your left arm and your right leg up, extending your spine and keeping your gaze down at the floor; then switch to the opposite arm and leg. Once you can maintain control, begin to increase your pace and continue to lift up, using your upper back muscles, back line of your arms, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each side.

2. Opposite Arm and Leg Reach-Begin on the floor on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees underneath your hips, making sure your elbows are not hyperextended. Hold strong through your core as you stretch your right arm forward and your left leg straight back. Keep your hips square by turning the leg that is lifted slightly inward. Think about maintaining a straight line from the fingertips to the toes. Switch sides slowly and with control, maintain a strong core throughout the exercise. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each side.

3. Plank-Holding a simple plank on your hands or forearms is a great core strengthening and back stabilizing exercise. Place your hands or elbows directly underneath your shoulders and extend your legs directly behind you. As you breath continue to engage your core to support your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Seated Chair Extensions-Sit in a chair with a back with your body towards the back edge of your chair, place your feet flat on the floor, and your hands behind your head. Take a big inhale, then on your exhale begin to extend your spine over the back of the chair. Take a breath in your extension and then return to an upright position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

5. Seated Hip (Piriformis)-Stretch Sit towards the edge of your chair with both feet flat on the floor. Pick up your right foot, and place your right ankle on your left thigh. Gently place your right hand on your right thigh and begin to hinge forward, allowing your right hip to open. Continue hinging at your hips to increase the stretch, being sure to maintain equal weight on both sides of your pelvis. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch legs, and repeat on the other side.