Looks like a Far Side organ…or maybe a Far Side Alien.  Either way, let’s go with Gary Larson on this one.









It has a faint taste of licorice and often is shaved on salads. Lately, I have seen it on salads containing beets.  The establishment has apparently decided this is a good combo.  I never knew I liked beets OR fennel.  Really, I assumed I didn’t like fennel, because I still have post-traumatic memories of doing Sambuca (licorice-flavored alcohol) shots in college that didn’t end well.

But fennel is easy and cheap (2 bulbs at Trader Joe’s for like $3).

Easy Recipe, Athena Jess style:
Cut it up whatever-which-way, toss it with some olive oil, sea salt & pepper.  Add turmeric* if you’re feeling particularly saucy and want some added health benefits.  Roast at 400 for 15 minutes or so.  Throw it on some quinoa and a protein and you’re all set.

I’m sure you could find fancier recipes, but that might take time and organizing a host of ingredients, and I’m not usually down for that.


Old Kale – see ya, sucker!

Yesterday I was told it might be the new kale.

I can’t speak to that, but here are some of the benefits of Fennel, in case it was a burning question for you, in an infographic I took from the interwebs (so I’m sure it’s all true).


Note the last entry, about Fennel being “carminative” (gas preventing).  Who can’t use a little more carmination, right?  (ahem, dad).  I’ll also inform my brother that he should probably start feeding fennel to his pug in large doses.

Go get some fennel!

I give you: Avocado Toast

Take as much of a perfectly ripe avocado as it takes to coat a piece of Ezekial (or other healthy bread of choice).  Squeeze on a little lemon.  Shake shake shake some red pepper flakes.  Lightly Himalayan Sea Salt that sucker.

Take a huge bite and then showcase your impossibly large mouthspan to the world.


I know, there are going to be you out there that say ridiculous things like “don’t eat carbs after 8pm”, but for the love of god, I’m legitimately hungry.  And healthy fats!

This will cost you $6 at Swingers Diner in Santa Monica, by the way.  Make it at home for a fraction of the price and (usually) a fraction of drunk assholes.

Imagine someone’s face, start hitting.

Speed bag is my bitch, but I love her so.

I’m really loving the boxing since I started 3 months ago. I go 3 days a week and long for it on the other 4. It’s like dancing, requiring both rhythm and a certain focused interaction. It’s a toss up whether I sweat more salsa dancing or boxing.

The first couple months I was trained by Angelo (an unfortunate carbon copy of my ex…distracting to say the least), but now his wife Cary teaches. She’s about 100 pounds of fury and female empowerment.

Honestly, I think I can credit this little place a block away from my apartment with saving my sanity in the last 3 months. And save for a few self-inflicted scrapes on my knuckles, my mother should be happy to know there isn’t any direct contact with any other human beings during this process (so far).

But when there is, will you come to my prize fight? 🙂

The Story

Newsflash: I haven’t posted in a while.  

I still don’t have a meaty post to offer tonight, but I do want to share something.  
I heard a contestant sing it on the Voice tonight and it moved me.  

Perhaps it will move you too.  We all have a story…best shared.  


Today I got an “annual” physical….my first in years.

I’ve had a pap or 2, but darn it if I was going to go back to the Kaiser “DMV of healthcare” more than necessary.  I’m managed care’s dream customer – healthy and horrified enough by the system that I just stay away.  Conversely, Kaiser is my personal nightmare (other than those pesky recurrent tidal wave/plane crash dreams).

Thankfully (I think), I recently switched back to a high deductible PPO, so the pap can wait.  Today’s checkup was really *just* a physical, and didn’t require getting into any paper gowns or stirrups sans horse.   I only really got it for the purpose of drawing blood, as I’ve decided to do the Ultimate Reset again and I wanted to track the results internally this time (i.e cholesterol, blood pressure, thyroid stuff, etc) as well as the aesthetics.

In typical fashion, I got weighed (face out – they apparently don’t like to share this info as much as most of us don’t want it to be shared) and measured (5’5″ – i either was slouching, my hair was flat, or I’ve lost 1/2″ in the last year), had my blood pressure taken (normal), and my breathing checked (chest tight, but no wheezing).

Being a very thorough physical, my doctor came at me with some very in depth questions  such as “do you exercise” (yes, ever heard of an ‘ironman?”) “do you smoke” (no), and “do you drink” (depends on the week).  And then the physical was over.

We had a little light sparring round about my weight, mostly because I’m always inclined to get defensive about it whether I need to or not.  I explained to him how goddamm healthy I *think* I am and all the fantastic feats of strength I have accomplished (well except for these last few weeks) while still remaining a good 20-30 lbs. overweight.  And I’m annoyed.

Then I pressed for a few extra blood tests, because I think at one time or another, every fat chick secretly hopes that her thyroid or a rogue hormone is the evil man behind the curtain.  He may have stifled a smirk, but checked the boxes anyway.

I informed him that I wanted to return in a month post-reset to retest.  He continued to checked off different blood work to run and said “I’m sure something will come back abnormal so we have an excuse to re-test all of this stuff after your detox.” Very possible, especially if he did an “emotional eater” or “getting over your ex” blood draw…ha!!

Just as he seemed to be done checking and started to bid me adieu, he wheeled around and said “wait…we better run an EKG while we’re at it – after all, you’re 35 now.”




3 weeks into this age and I still haven’t acclimated. Guess once your doctor says it, it’s official.  I am diagnosed 35.

But it got my competitive juices flowing again.  And while I think I’m pretty healthy now, after another 3-week round  of the Reset, I won’t appear to be a day over 34.

Will the blood test results prove my assertion – you can be a fit, fat-thlete (albeit, a defensive one)?

Stay tuned…..


Day 2 of Boxing is complete.

Despite only fighting a heavy bag, speed bag and plastic jump rope, I managed to bloody myself good.

I feel so lame tough.


Now when do I get to hit someone in the face?

p.s. Mom, I’m sorry if that attention-grabbing headline worried you.

There’s no major injury risk at this point other than the sinister friction from within my pink glove.

…Ocean swim, that is.

Psychotherapy, life coaching, holistic healing, seminars, self-help books, yoga, gurus….all viable and wonderful forms of nurturing and  healing.

And then there’s ocean swimming.

  • Free.
  • Good for your pores; better for your mind.
  • Dolphins (often) included.
  • Literally and figuratively cleansing.

There’s magic and a meditative space a few hundred yards offshore, removed from all the heavy meaning and pressures that arise when you have 2 feet on the ground.   I struggle to meditate on land.  In the ocean, it just washes over me.

We had our first team ocean swim yesterday, which also happened to be my first since my race in June.  As usual, my amnesic memory had me less than excited about the cold, the sand, the early call time.   And as usual, the apathy quickly shifted once I got out there playing in the waves with our participants, a few bodysurfing dolphins (which freaked out some of the new people), and one ornery sea lion (https://www.facebook.com/tower26leon).  Even as overcast and cold as it was, it was worth every minute, even the time spent doing battle with the neoprene.

To add to the experience, my role as a team captain had me chaperoning a newer and virgin ocean swimmer through the workout.  He was nervous, but cautiously enjoyed himself as we slowly ducked and bobbed in the big blue.  In a weird way, not being able to cling to lane lines seemed to spark his confidence and he came out of the water glowing and proud…and ready to do it again.  Every swim is a new baptism.  I need to remember this when I’m fighting to get out of bed in the morning.

No health insurance?

Need some perspective?

Want to get away?

Love krill?
Well then you’re probably a baleen whale and live there anyway.

A few pics of the day:

<—-Reluctantly back in the rubber