Friday, October 29, 2010

Cinnamon Cherry Almond Smoothie

cinnamon cherry almond smoothie

I use the Bella Cucina Rocket Blender to make my smoothies.

I've been trying to make a chocolate cherry almond smoothie, and after a really disastrous first attempt, and a few more after that, I finally came up with something that's not bad. But since I've been on this cinnamon kick, I tried it with cinnamon instead of chocolate. And it is. So. Good. Y'all.

I have included the chocolate version as a variation.

about 3/4 cup frozen cherries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp almond butter
almond milk

Put the frozen cherries, cinnamon, and almond butter in the blender cup, then pour in enough almond milk to just about cover the cherries.

Screw on the cap, stick the cup on the motor base, and blend for 30 seconds. Then take it off the base and give it a little shake to get anything that's stuck on the top of the cup. Blend for another 20 seconds or until the smoothie is churning freely from top to bottom.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie
Substitute 1 Tbsp cocoa mixed with 1 Tbsp hot water for the cinnamon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


* drink water
* shower
* eat whole grain pancakes at Filter
* write winter celebrations article
* eat vedge head sandwich, still at Filter
* still writing
* eat roasted peanuts and drink green tea mango soda
* still writing, at home
* reprint boot camp plan
* lead boot camp
* watch Babylon 5

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Changing Your Bearings

So maybe you have to change your bearings, or eventually you will have to clean them. Now, you can get a bearing press to take out your bearings and put them back in. It's a lot easier and a bearing press isn't that expensive, like maybe forty bucks? But I know how to do it without, so I've never bothered. It's worth getting a bearing press, though, if you have wheels with metal hubs, which are practically impossible to change by hand. Which is partly why I gave up on metal hubs.

pop out the inside bearings

To take the inside bearing out, you pry it off with the axel. I'm not going to be able to describe exactly how in words, and the picture isn't exactly right either. You put the wheel on the axel straighter than in the picture, tilting it just slightly so the threads catch the bearing; then you yank the bearing straight out. Fiddle around, you'll get it.

put a penny behind the outside bearings

To take the outside bearing out, you use the axel again to pop it out. But you don't want to damage the shield—that rubber ring thingy— or the bearings behind the shield. Luckily, the government manufactures metal discs in various sizes that you can use to cover the bearing for protection, called "pennies" and "nickels." Put a penny behind the outside bearing...

pop out the outside bearings

...then flip the wheel on the axel. So the penny is in contact with the axel, right? Give it a short, sharp strike with the flat of your hand, that should pop the bearing right out.

pop in the inside bearing

To put the inside bearing in, just press it into place with your thumbs. If you have one-sided bearings, the shield side faces out and the open side faces in. If you have two-sided bearings, it doesn't matter.

put a nickel on top of the outside bearing

You will need a coin again to pop in the outside bearing. This time, put a nickel on top of the outside bearing.

pop in the outside bearing

Then I put my skate tool on top of the nickel and give it a short, sharp strike with the flat of my hand.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Changing Your Wheels

take off the wheels

Let's get started manhandling our skates, don't be scared! You can't be afraid to touch your skates, derby is about being empowered.

Changing your wheels is the easiest thing in the world to do. Maybe you want to replace those terrible Cayman wheels with swanky new wheels, or maybe you need to swap your indoor wheels for outdoor wheels, or maybe you're really a wheel princess like me and wear different wheels at the practice space, which is skate court, and at the skating rink, which is wood. Or maybe you're actually cleaning your wheels!

To take off your wheels, all you have to do is unscrew the axel nut that holds your wheel on the axel. Just remember righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. I have the cheapest possible skate tool, it works for me.

To put them back on, plop the wheel back on and screw on the axel nut. I don't have to tell you that the flat side of the wheel faces inward and the funnel side faces outward, right? To get it to the right tightness: tighten it until the wheel doesn't spin, then back it up a half turn until it spins freely.

If you're swapping indoor for outdoor wheels, you will probably just have separate bearings loaded into each set of wheels. If you're swapping between indoor sets, you may have to change the bearings. I also have an extra set of indoor bearings, just because changing bearings is a little bit of a pain. But you do sometimes have to change your bearings, instructions to follow—

Monday, October 25, 2010


* drink water
* do stretches
* wash up
* take pics of fall wear
* wash dishes
* drink choc pb banana smoothie
* process pics
* post league practice schedule
* go to Jewel for potatoes, seltzer water, and a sandwich
* eat sandwich and drink fruit soda
* put out league practice schedule fires
* research winterval recipes
* write guide to changing wheels and bearings
* league meeting
* AS-SW scrimmage

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oatmeal with Cherries and Sliced Almonds

oatmeal with cherries, almonds, and silk

Oatmeal and orange juice is supposed to be a superfood combination, so I have this with a small glass of orange juice. Cherries are supposed to help with muscle recovery, and cinnamon is supposed to help insulin work better.

Sadly, plain Silk soy milk has been renamed original Silk—because nobody can just be plain, everybody has to be original—but even more stupidly, it's been reformulated. So it's not the original silk. And it's too sweet. If I wanted sweet, vanilla-y soymilk, I would drink vanilla silk. I'm so grumpy about this, I might switch to almond or hemp milk.

1/2 cup quick-cook oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
about 1/2 cup, say, six or nine frozen cherries
about 1/4 cup sliced almonds
about 1/4 cup plain silk almond or hemp milk

Put the oatmeal, cinnamon, and frozen cherries into a small bowl. Pour over boiling water just to cover, and cover the bowl with a small pot lid. In a few minutes, take off the lid and stir it up. Top with a palmful of sliced almonds and a splash of almond or hemp milk.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


* drink water
* wash dishes
* shower
* drink chocolate cherry almond smoothie
* draft league practice schedule
* eat sandwich
* eat pie
* write up oatmeal with cherries
* make pasta with garlic, kale, and chickpeas
* eat pasta
* sports nutrition clinic
* Earwax and Davenport's with upholdskis

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Wrist Guard & Elbow and Knee Pad Care and Replacement

You know what I'm going to say, right? Your gear will wear out.

But before that, it will stink.

You can keep your gear smelling better by 1) wearing some kind of fabric underneath, and 2) hanging it up to dry between practices. With regard to the former, your mileage may vary. Leggings, tights, or gaskets work under knee pads, and try socks with the toes cut off under elbow pads and even wrist guards. But, you may prefer to wear your gear on bare skin for various reasons. I have tiny little T-Rex hands and don't wear anything under my wrist guards, which obstruct my grip too much as it is. Result: my wrist guards smell the worst and fall apart faster than any of my other gear.

Washing Your Gear
Yes, you. Your gear. For the love of god.

Some people say that gear should be handwashed; but if you ask me, that way lies unwashed gear. I just throw my gear in the washing machine set to cold and delicate. Just a small amount of detergent will do, you can put a bit of bleach to kill bacteria. Not too much or too often, which will eat up the neoprene and elastic. No fabric softener, which will soften them. And obviously don't dry your gear in the dryer, just hang it up. After a spin cycle, it's practically dry and should completely air-dry within 24 hours.

Since I wear stuff under my knee and elbow pads, they only have to be washed every month or so. Wristguards and booties are another story, because I wear them on bare skin. Believe me, they have to be washed often; but they're too small to make up a machine load, so I do handwash them. I soak them in a plastic container--one of those containers that rotisserie chicken comes in, but whatever--with a squirt of antibacterial soap, because it's handy and I figure it can't hurt. I let them sit for a few hours, shaking occasionally. Then I rinse them and roll them up in a towel to squeeze out most of the water, and hang them up. They're usually dry within 24 hours, too.

Replacing Your Gear
The reason I'm not too fussy about washing my gear with kid gloves is, first of all, it gets beaten the hell up on the track, I figure it can deal with the washing machine. And secondly, it's not going to survive the aforementioned beating forever anyway. Gear with cracked shells or ripped fastenings should be replaced immediately. Stretched fastenings can cause your pads to slip at the worst moment, so check periodically that your gear still fits snugly. For normal wear and tear, Roe—our athletic trainer extraordinaire—recommends replacing knee pads every six months and elbow pads and wrist guards every season.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Chart

As of today, I am on a leave of absence from work. Behold my work-free schedule. I figure what with averaging 1.5 Livestrong articles per week, my monthly income is about $150 right now. It makes me think about what they say in skydiving about not jumping out of a perfectly good plane, but into a perfectly good sky.

If you were wondering, my sister's condition has wobbled from not good to not half bad back to not good. So this schedule is pending how much I will be needed.

The fitness part is just through Uproar, also known as the WFTDA 2010 Championships, after which we start scrimmaging again.


Monday, October 18, 2010


* drink water
* do stretches
* wash up
* make chocolate cherry almond smoothie
* eat oatmeal with cherries, almonds, and silk
* write Uproar press release to finish
* follow up on trainer surveys
* write owner's guide to wrist guards & elbow and knee pads
* make curried pea and potato stew
* eat stew
* research cinnamon article
* nap
* struggle with cinnamon article
* eat pasta with red sauce
* blocking practice
* soak wrist guards and booties
* watch Deadwood

Friday, October 15, 2010

Creamed Vegetable Soup

creamed corn soup

1/4 cup butter
3 celery stalks
1 onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 can broth
16 oz frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower,
    corn, or peas

Melt the butter in a soup pot over low heat as you coarsely chop the celery and onions. Turn up the heat to medium-high and saute the chopped celery and onions until softened, about five minutes. Stir in the flour until the butter is absorbed, then stir in the broth; bring to a strong simmer, about five minutes. Stir in the vegetables, as much water as broth you used, and about a teaspoon of salt; bring back to a strong simmer until the vegetables are cooked, about ten minutes.

Puree the soup with whatever you have, like a food processor or a blender will work. What I have is the Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender, which is awesome and as easy to wash as a spoon.

Curry Creamed Vegetable Soup
Add 1 tablespoon curry powder with the flour. Good with carrot, cauliflower, or corn.

Chili Creamed Vegetable Soup
Add 1 tablespoon chili powder with the flour. Also good with carrot, cauliflower, or corn. You can also add 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped, with the celery and onions, very good with corn.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


* drink water
* morning pages
* shower
* drink choc pb banana smoothie
* change wheels and clean bearings
* process pics of aforementioned changing and cleaning
* report for imo duty
* spontaneous brewskis with upholdskis at Delilah's

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Mouthguard Care and Replacement

Here's the deal with mouthguards: they wear out. When used as directed, they are in direct contact with two things basically designed to break stuff down: your teeth and your saliva.

To ensure its normal lifespan, first of all, don't chew on your mouthguard and don't stick it in the holes of your helmet, say, during water breaks. One of the advantages of a custom mouthguard, actually, is that it stays in your mouth all practice since you can talk and drink with it in and it gets less manhandled.

After every practice, give your mouthguard a quick rinse under cool water. That's all it needs on a frequent basis, but you may wash it now and again with mild soap or effervescent denture cleaner. Your favorite toothbrush and toothpaste are probably too abrasive for your mouthguard, which is a lot softer than your teeth. Hot water can soften and distort your mouthguard, and leaving your mouthguard in the sun is also not a good idea for the same reason.

Store your mouthguard in a hard, ventilated case so that it doesn't get crushed and dries quickly after it's rinsed.

Even with proper care, the life of a mouthguard is fairly short. The dental coverage that you get with Shock Doctor mouthguards, for example, is good for one year. Dentists typically give a two-year lifespan to custom mouthguards, which should be inspected every year for fit and wear.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


* knock knock (:/
* lose will to make dinner
* send sweetie man to Taco Burrito Express
* eat tacos and watch Dexter and Mad Men
* while reading The Titan's Curse to finish
* talk not too morosely to sweetie man
* redesign better blocker and tiny hits t-shirts

Monday, October 11, 2010

Work/Play: PASTIME

Last but not least, play that is play is something that is done as an end in itself that is an end in itself.

We will call this PASTIME.

Anybody who thinks WORK or PASTIME should be entirely eliminated is a zealot. If there's anything sadder than a workaholic ant zealot, it's a grasshopper zealot who doth protest too much. Everybody get over yourselves. Ants: you do need pastime. You need to spend time doing something for no reason at all. For your sanity, I beg you. Grasshoppers: nobody cares. And grow up.

Ants and grasshoppers are basically puritans on two sides of the same coin, dealing with their guilt about not working enough either by working themselves to death or by playing themselves to death. It's so boring and tragic. Be okay with yourself, figure out what's okay and fix what's not okay. Any good system produces waste, be cool with that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October Diet Quality Card

daily diet quality dance card

As I write this, I am doing a terrible tango with Coke and a whole box of mac and cheese. What does that make me. More, or less credible?

This is as good as time as any to say that I post these fitness and food plans as standards and then often fall short. If you've been thinking that I'm doing twenty pushups every other day and healthily biking to work twice a week, um. I love plans, I love a steadfast plan like a woman with a theory that life would be truer if you state the exact stretch of warp over which you throw the woof that is not the plan, or how can you do justice to the pattern otherwise? That's Howards End, by the way, except that money is the warp in the actual quote. In any case the cloth is woven on the warp, but the warp isn't the whole cloth. If you think you don't like plans because you don't want to be bound to them, nobody says that you have to be bound to them.

But, diet. In addition to nutrient timing, I am trying to practice diet quality these days. It's terrible what motivates you, I've never been moved to get my 5 A Day to prevent, you know, cancer. But vegetables promote muscle recovery, I'm ready to give peas a chance. But I don't want to get into counting calories or grams of anything, I just want to eat a balanced diet of more whole foods. So I have this daily diet quality dance card that I adapted from Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, where each box is a "commonsense" serving of whatever and where the game is to fill up the white and light gray boxes and stay away from the dark gray and black boxes. [ETA 10/29/10: I tweaked this a bit based on a recent league nutrition seminar.]

Just for funsies, I filled this out for a typical day per my fall food plan. And you can see, 1) I got more fruit from banana fruit smoothies. CocoOJ2O doesn't count, by the way. 2) My vegetable intake is sad. Though it is better on days that I work at home. When I have vegetable soup, and not mac and cheese. 3) I don't even eat that much meat, and I get plenty of protein. 4) No problem with carbs, too. 5) I can add flaxseed to my pb apple to cover essential fat. That was in banana fruit smoothies, too. 6) Coke, why can't I quit you. 7) I did manage to stop eating potato chips, though. 8) Here it is in PDF format, if you want to fill it out for yourself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


* eat leftover pasta
* observe fitness assessments
* lead boot camp
* eat cereal

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Replacing Your Helmet

You may have heard that you must replace your helmet after a single crash, and wondered who could ever afford that. The good news is, that's for bike helmets; head impacts are a less common but more catastrophic occurrence for biking versus skateboarding. A bike helmet is made with a thin plastic shell and EPS foam that crushes on single impact. Skate helmets are made with thicker plastic shells and, in some cases, more resilient EPP foam to withstand multiple impacts of lesser force. (Pro-Tec's SPX foam is a modified EPP foam.) So actually unless your skate helmet specifically has a CPSC or ASTM F1447 rating, it does not provide adequate bike protection. Just saying.

Though skate helmets are designed to outlast a single crash, they should still be inspected after any hard crash and replaced if the shell is visibly cracked or the foam crushed. Besides that, keep in mind that they're only designed to withstand a limited number of low-force impacts and probably will have had enough after three years. Replacing the foam when it shows signs of wear is a good idea, but it will not extend the life of the shell.

Considering a Hockey Helmet
Something else to consider is that ASTM F1492 skate helmets are designed for skateboarding, and that skateboarding and playing roller derby are not exactly identical activities. Unlike skateboarding, roller derby is a team contact sport, and in this regard derby perhaps has more in common with hockey. ASTM F1045 hockey helmets are designed to withstand the prolonged, high-force impacts that typically occur in that sport. This means that hockey helmets provide better protection specific to the team contact aspects of derby, and also that hockey helmets last longer; the recommended period for replacing a hockey helmet is seven years.

In conclusion, helmets are designed for the activities that you wear them for. Like a ski helmet has to protect you from skiing sixty miles an hour into a tree, which isn't something that you have worry about in derby. There is no ASTM standard for roller derby helmets, so we basically can choose from skateboarding helmets or hockey helmets. In my opinion, skateboarding helmets are adequate for beginners learning skating skills and not participating in team contact. Hockey helmets start to seem like a better idea when you start scrimmaging.

I'm due for a new helmet, so I will be shopping for a hockey helmet soon. Pics TK!

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: Which Helmet for Which Activity?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


* make broccoli tomato almond pesto pasta
* eat pasta
* research iron and depression article
* eat apple pie
* draw screen

Monday, October 4, 2010

Work/Play: PLAY

So then "play that is work" is something that is done as an end in itself that is a means to an end.

This is called PLAY. It is my favorite.

Maybe there's no difference between HOBBY and PLAY, or maybe there is. They're both fun and productive, when all's said and done. But with HOBBY, you start with an expectation of getting something out of doing this and then you find out in the process that you like it for itself. Whereas PLAY is something that you plain love to do, you would do it for nothing and then, anyway, it gives you something back.

Skating is that thing for me. I just plain love to skate. I didn't try out for derby because I particularly wanted to play derby or be a derby girl, derby for me started as a vehicle for skating. It's more than that now, but that's how it started. In a way, derby is the first thing that I got back from skating. Which is to say, a life. Like with friends and activities and everything. A very active life, I might add, that has turned from a person who would run only if somebody was chasing me with a knife into a person who can run for the bus.

And as a side note, I also make a tiny bit of money from skating—as an instructor for Derby Lite—though not as much since I was drafted. Though the more I write about this, the more I want this not to be about making a living. I'm going to say that if the only reason you are doing something is to make a living, then you definitely need to find something else to do. Besides that, I think that making a living can certainly be attached to WORK or HOBBY or PLAY. Possibly PASTIME, though that's hard to imagine.

Next week I will talk about PASTIME, and then we will go back to the whole picture.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

choc pb banana smoothie

I use the Bella Cucina Rocket Blender to make my smoothies.

This is my fall smoothie, not as ice cold as a frozen fruit smoothie. For best results, definitely mix up the cocoa with a bit of hot water and have some frozen bananas on hand. I usually just steal a little bit of sweetie man's coffee for hot water, the bananas I cut up into chunks and put one banana per ziploc bag in the freezer.

Very chocolatey, sweet but not too sweet.

2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp hot water
frozen banana
2 Tbsp peanut butter
plain silk hemp milk

Mix the cocoa and hot water in a small bowl. Put the frozen banana in the blender cup, then the cocoa and peanut butter. I use pretty heaping tablespoons of peanut butter, so it's probably closer to three tablespoons. Pour in enough hemp milk to just about cover the banana.

Screw on the cap, stick the cup on the motor base, and blend for 30 seconds. Then take it off the base and give it a little shake to get anything that's stuck on the top of the cup. Blend for another 20 seconds or until the smoothie is churning freely from top to bottom.