Jungle Janie's Blog

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back from FoodnSport Events now :) and more...

I had a great time creating and sharing and meeting up with everyone and all at the FoodnSport events this month. It's always such fun to spend time together... such terrific people and activities and food and fun and everything! :)

I got more involved with the kitchen and recipes and stuff this year. I had started to do a little bit with the recipes last year, but not much. I was mainly doing carvings and decoration rather than recipes. This time I worked with Simon a lot, especially at first, to do some cultural themes and translate iconic sorts of recipes and such. It was fun to share and use my culinary, artistic and creative skills in the kitchen to further create the ambiance experience as well. We had so many ideas and were crazy enough to try to do all the ones we had enough to do a whole theme with. LOL It worked out, we spent a lot of time at first (during the Culinary events mostly) experimenting and translating recipes, then deciding which dishes to do and planning the execution and timing of it all and such. We had a few special consultant connections too... I called upon my son's knowledge of Japan for pronunciation, ambiance and protocol and Simon called upon his girlfriend's knowledge of Poland for recipes, ambiance and tradition. And, yes, the Internet was a big help, and Darrel helped find information for me when our Internet connection was too slow to use.

Simon and I worked on things secretly and did top secret experiments of our ideas late at night when people weren't around, or when we thought people wouldn't notice or know just what the end-product was going to be. Even though we were sleepy, we had fun creating and joking around and such, enjoying the process. It was fun to surprise even the people who were helping us with things too. Once Health and Fitness Week was going full-steam we needed to let others "in" on it in order to get it accomplished and that was fun too, as they added their own touches to things as well. I ended up using a few of the recipes from some of my unfinished books, creating new ones, enjoying creating things with Simon, and getting to experience the ones Simon came up with as well. It was a terrific synergistic experience that I hope to continue.

Simon and I decided to write a book with the recipes and are working on that now. I'm hoping that working with someone else will help me actually finish a book, for once. LOL I have SO many unfinished ones... I'm hoping that the momentum will allow me to finish all the stuff I've wanted to share with all of y'all - or at least some of it too.

I've had strong votes that I should finish the book about how to translate recipes into 80-10-10 acceptable recipes first, so I'll be trying to get that one done at the same time as the one with Simon. It's become quiet apparent that the combination of cooking, painting, sculpture and other experiences I've had helps me to have the knowledge of tastes, textures, colors, etc. that helps one translate recipes that isn't as apparent to others. I definitely think it can be learned. So that book in particular has stood out as what's needed from me most in particular to share with the world. It was fun to share it at this past event and fun to experience the results. It will be great to experience what recipes other people translate and create as a result of that additional knowledge too.

But I also have another thing I might pop in before that 'cause it might get completed quicker... "101 Napkin Folds and Designs". If you're familiar with my blog or know me, you're probably saying to yourself, "but what about those other books?".. yeah, I haven't forgotten about them, or the video series... they're in the pile of unfinished things, heh. I'm more motivated than ever now to get at least some of it all done this year. Wish me luck! :)

I'll post some of my pics from this year's event on my Flickr and Facebook pages sometime within the next week. Some of them I'll be using for the book, so those won't be posted 'till the book is done. I'm also working on a few short video slide shows with music of the culturally inspired meals we did and will let y'all know when they're done, probably embedding them here as well.

It was great to see my dad and step-mom again this year, even if my dad wasn't feeling 100% and all at the time. I also finally was able to meet up with some of my friends from High School that still live in that area, which was fun too. We met up at the park in the center of town and met up with some other people who went to our High School. It was like a little class reunion... but from several different classes, heh. I noticed pine needles on the ground there and decided to try to make a pine needle basket with them.. had wanted to try that at some point. I took the opportunity and it came out pretty well. I gave it to my step-mom. Here's a pic from my Flickr site:

It started to get cold in the evening so we went to the "old pizza hangout" and had dinner - they have a really good salad bar there too, which is cool, so it was perfect. :) There was no problem finding food there or when visiting at my dad's, right in my dad's town, even though I was eating overt fat-free and banana-free at the time. There's a great gym in that town too, which I used when there before, but forgot that I'd need closed toe athletic shoes for a gym when packing. I figured I didn't need them since I was gonna' go barefoot or use the "Invisible Shoe" thingies I planned to make while there... Oh well, had my homemade exercise bands and a jump rope and lotsa' floor and ground to do stuff instead. Honestly though, a lot of the time I had for working out was spent simply catching up on my sleep. Well needed, well spent. My natural rhythms were a bit off too since my dad is a night owl of sorts and doesn't get together until after 2pm in general, more like 6 or 7pm when he's not 100%.. so I ended up staying up late to spend time with him. Well needed, well spent. ;)

I did get the sandals done, right before leaving my dad's and got to break 'em in when I visited Stef. After my visit at my dad's I did a quick visit with my friend Stef. She's got a blog too, if you're not familiar with it check it out: MangoGirl.net We met when she attended her first Health and Fitness Week a few years back and hit it off right away. It was so good to see her again and spend time together. She treated me so well.. the murphy bed was terrific, love what she's done with the place, the food was perfect, meeting some of her friends and the little dinner party was fun, and the walks were great! :) Her waking rhythms are more like mine so it gave me a bit of readjusting back to a more natural waking schedule for myself as well, which was a perfect transition into the FoodnSport events too. Just what I needed. Thanks Stef! :)

It's funny how most people say I'm a really easy house guest 'cause they don't have to cook or make meals for me and at the same time I think I'm in such luxury. LOL It's so nice to be able to travel and visit people and eat the way I like at the same time. My dad and step-mom don't eat like me, but give me space to do what I want and get the food I want. Stef eats like me so she knows what I like and already had it. Nice.

That reminds me of how nice it was to be picked up from the shuttle on the way to the FoodnSport events and be handed a bag of grapes once I sat in the FoodnSport rental van. Perfect! Just what I needed after a flight. Thanks Grant &/or whomever's idea it was to do that! :)

K, so since I seem to be onto the travel food topic... I had a great time enjoying all sorts of foods I don't have practical access to at home. Exotic foods for me such as: strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe & similar melons, stone fruits and other fruits of deciduous plants and/or those needing a cold season. :) At my dad's I was having melons for breakfast, stone fruits and/or apples/pears with dates for lunch, and a dinner salad of baby spinach, heirloom tomatoes, celery and occasionally other veggies (including Spring Mix, cabbage, red bell pepper) with chopped strawberries and lemon juice. I'd often eat a bunch of berries before the salad as well. Yum! :) I have a pic of one of those salads on the last blog entry.

It's been harder and harder to figure out what to take on the plane with me to/from Hawaii as there are restrictions on fresh produce. I used to be able to just make a gallon of smoothie or something and take that, but since the Sept. 11 attack and the ensuing security dance at the airports now I can't take that or any dressings or anything liquid, paste or jell-like either. The main things I've been able to figure out are dates, raisins (or other dried fruit) and celery, so I had dates and celery for the trip home and it worked out just right. I took bananas to the airport and ate 'em after checking in during that extra 2 hours you have to be there early for before the flight. I ate all the dates on the plane and almost all of the celery too. I also travel with a water bottle with an activated carbon filter built into a straw so that I can empty it before security and then refill at a water fountain after security and before boarding the flight. It works well for a lot of traveling situations, but not for camping as it only filters municipal water sorts of stuff. K, so back to my trip...

I had a few bananas at Stef's after not having any for quite some time (a few months? I'm not sure how long) just to see if I needed to let people at FNS know I was doing banana-free or not. They worked fine so I figured I'd not be banana-free there. I also figured that it there were overt fat dishes, the overt fats would be so minimal that I'd be fine in that way too, so didn't give any special instructions. It worked out fine for me, there were only two dishes I avoided: one student dish had a lot of avocado so I only had one taste 'cause I didn't want to do that much overts then (and ate the other dishes which worked well); and the other thing I avoided was durian, as it burns my mouth and I can't eat it. So I had other things that lunch, no biggie.

I usually don't do any dehydrated foods, and not very many herbs, but we did quite a few meals this time with partially dehydrated ingredients and fresh herbs creatively for the cultural meals. They were party food, special occasion gourmet stuff, but still low fat raw vegan, just not the most ideal (as the most ideal is mono-eating things freshly picked in the form that they grow in.. fruits and tender greens). That worked for me as well. Time well spent, well enjoyed. It was fun to experience the sense of traveling with food that is acceptably 80-10-10 as well. I'm glad we did it. We'll probably do more...

I've heard rumors that next year's Health and Fitness Week will be a Yoga related one. This year it was ultra endurance related. They always cover what's needed to succeed in the lifestyle for everyone, no matter how athletic (or unathletic) you are, or what your athletic focus is but there is sometimes an extra focus on a certain thing. That's what the Ultra was about this year and what the Yoga may be about next... It'll be fun either way. :) Hope to see you there next year. :)

I'll stop this post now as it's gotten rather large again. Time to go work on the pics and books and such, right? ;)

Have a great one & aloha!

-Janie :)

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