A wet and drizzly morning of the sort we’ve been having lately, the usually dry stream that crosses our property burbling happily, the canyon veiled in gray and exploding in every shade of green, brought me back to a memory:

A child, a younger me, dripping in the rain — no umbrella, no boots, socks and shoes wet — setting leaves into the gutter and chasing them down the street. Joy: unrestrained, unmannered, untethered.



In the kitchen, after a previous evening’s West/East mashup of spaghetti ai ricci di mare, Venetian carpaccio, spicy fried tofu and three different kinds of sushi, I craved simplicity on the plate, too. More

To Avoid Starvation, and to Procreate

Being of an inherently inquisitive nature and surrounded, as I am, by every imaginable philosophical position — an atheist father, a recovering Catholic mother with Taoist leanings, Evangelical in-laws, Jewish and agnostic and pagan friends, yogis and rednecks — I spend a fair amount of time trying to figure things out.

A neighbor

A neighbor

Being also surrounded, as I am, by beautiful nature, my musings are often influenced by the wild. One recent morning while running in the state park, I happened past some coyote scat. Coyote scat, for those unfamiliar with the stuff, is an amalgam of fruit stones, tiny seeds, light colors and dark colors, presumably some meatstuff. More

The Skinny Girls Diet

  1. Eat less.
  2. Talk a walk outside (include hills, if possible).
  3. Grow your own food.
  4. Don’t eat apples from New Zealand in July (unless you live in New Zealand).
  5. Give up “fast food” for “slow food”.
  6. Eat with family or friends whenever possible. Talk a lot. Laugh. Linger.
  7. Don’t text while you eat.
  8. Drink a cup of green tea every day.
  9. Get to know the farmers at your farmers market.
  10. Eat more dark green and orange things.
  11. Yoga is good, but it’s not the answer.
  12. “Satisfied” is better than “full”.
  13. Avoid diet beverages. Have a glass of water.
  14. Mayonnaise will not kill you.
  15. Chew slowly and mindfully.
  16. Olive oil, olive oil, olive oil.
  17. Choose heirloom vegetables over genetically modified crops.
  18. If you must eat at Claim Jumper, Cheesecake Factory or Buca di Beppo, one entree will suffice for four people.
  19. Calories are not your enemy. Bad habits are.
  20. Carrots make a great snack.
  21. Quinoa is good, but it’s not the answer.
  22. Drink wine.
  23. Remember that meat comes not from a styrofoam container in the market, but from an animal that was alive not that long ago. Honor that animal. And choose carefully.
  24. Don’t diet. Change.
  25. Try a new recipe at least once a week.
  26. Eat what’s in season.
  27. Take another walk. Stop frequently to smell flowers and look at birds.
  28. Have many dinner parties.
  29. Don’t trust Monsanto or ConAgra.
  30. Read cookbooks just for fun.
  31. You don’t want alcohol and caffeine in the same drink.
  32. Bacon is allowed.
  33. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
  34. Don’t eat in front of the TV. Unless it’s football and you’re eating buffalo wings.
  35. Salt is not your enemy. Processed foods are.
  36. Share.
  37. Get a sustainable seafood guide:
  38. Shop for food at least three times a week.
  39. Do not get your food at Costco once every two weeks.
  40. Learn to make your own jam. Or olives. Or sausages.
  41. Hug a chef.
  42. When you travel, eat what the locals eat.
  43. Anything — and everything! — in moderation.
  44. Dim sum will lift your spirits.
  45. The best things to put in your mouth come without shrink-wrapped plastic.
  46. Blueberries make a great snack.
  47. Use butter — not margarine, not Country Crock.
  48. Don’t sweat the love handles.
  49. You can’t love food too much. You can only eat too much.
  50. Be thankful every day for what you have. Remember, some people in the world have to eat bugs.