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No Pain, No ...

by kate 3. September 2013 14:53

Gain.

Right and left got it today.

 

 

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Fitness | Practice | Tenacity

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Action

by kate 22. May 2013 10:34

Who knows the origin of this parable?  Who the F cares?


Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows that
it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.


Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.  It knows that it
must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.


It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle; when
the sun comes up, you had better start running.

 

This pretty much explains why I get up at 3am every morning. I am serious about making life a meaningful journey. 

Life is finite. URGENCY.  URGENT.
You have no clue when your number will come up, when your time will run out.

Life is also competition.  No matter what the situation, you are competing with other human beings.
You are competing in races you didn't even know you were in -- for a prospective spouse (love is really just a foot race), for attention from others (eyes, ears, words), for money, for jobs, for space, etc.  Blunt? Yes. True? Yes.

 

Take action and make positive progress in your life every day.
Now. Find the courage to DO.  Dreaming is important.  But DOING matters most.

 

 

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Quick and dirty salad dressing -- under 5 minutes, yo

by kate 21. May 2013 00:09

WTF is a salad dressing recipe doing here.  I know.  I know.  Absurd.

But seriously, anyone who has spent any time with me knows that I eat A LOT of salads.  In fact, I think I am addicted to salads.  But that is another blog post. 

I make monstrously huge salads.  Why?  A calorically restricted gal's gotta fill up on clean, green foods.  Usually, I am doing calorie restriction or intermittent fasting as I talk about here.


Plain old oil and vinegar gets boring after awhile. Eat two salads a day every day of your life and you know what I mean.

Awhile back, I started combining ridiculous ingredients to create interesting and -- let's call a spade a spade -- weird salad dressings.  Since I mainly cook Indian and Asian foods, I have a lot of chutneys and spices and hot sauces and stuff like that banging about my fridge.  Not to mention a pretty awesome selection of vinegars. Nothing fancy, just a solid collection of vinegars for any occasion or persuasion.  (Vinegar is my favorite food.  True.) 

So this is installment #1 of my kitchen hustle.

I can imagine doing posts about how to make a few of my epic salads, a post about my vinegar shelf, a couple other posts about the other salad dressings I've perfected, etc.
Whatever.  I can imagine doing none of this as well and dumping all that time into my guitar … or my songs, or my voice, or my bass, or my pandeiro, or my piano, or, or, or.

Most of my friends don't cook. I often invite these friends over to eat at my place and, after a few insanely good meals cooked on my BOOTY stove and in my tiny, poorly-lit kitchen, they start to express a desire to learn to cook.  Best way to learn to cook is to cook with someone.  How do you think I learned?  Started cooking with my aunts -- Reeve and Ellen.  Watched my Mom cook great, basic food my whole life.

 #1 thing I notice about my friends who say they want to learn to cook: They're wimps. About cooking.  They think if they don't have the EXACT ingredients the recipe calls for, they can't make the dish.  WTF?!  This comes from people who are HUGELY successful in ALL other parts of their lives.  WTF?!  They would never let a minor detail like that stop them from doing their other kinds of work.  They'd figure it out.  WTF?!  So, why, when they try cooking do they get hung up on the details?  This is a whole other blog post -- the psychological barriers we see, we let stop us when we are out of our element.  But you can hire me as a life coach if you want me to go deeper into this question and into YOUR psychological barriers … that is, why you let obstacles stop you in your life.  Seriously. I study this shit.  Have been for years.  And now I coach people on how to blow those barriers away.  But I digress ...

The most important thing about kitchen hustle and cooking is: don't get fussy.  80% right is better than 0% cooked.  Do something.  Action in the kitchen matters.  Don't get so hung up on everything.  Simplify.  Substitute.  Improvise.  Think laterally.  Notice.  Pay attention.  Make changes.  Mess it up.  Start it over.  Just do something, for crying out loud.  Cooking for yourself is political.  It's good for your moral fiber.  It's sexy.  It can be cheaper or it can be expensive.  It can be whatever you want it to be.  That's the whole f*cking point.

Enough ranting …


Tang Shebang Yogurt Dressing


1 teaspoon Chunky Chaat -- i use MDH brand
1 cup Acidophilus yogurt -- i use Erivan kind
1/4 cup (or less) seasoned rice vinegar
Black pepper to taste
Adjust the whole thing to taste

Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake it around. If you're mason-less, whip it real good.
Go easy pouring it on your salad; a little goes quite a long way.


Thoughts:
You could substitute the seasoned rice vinegar for regular rice vinegar, thereby cutting down on the saltiness (overall) and cutting out all the sugar.
I like the sugar in the seasoned rice vinegar  -- it adds to the tang shebang of the whole thing.  If you wanted to be in control of the sugar, use the regular rice vinegar and add sugar to the dressing yourself. Don't be fussy -- just add whatever you have on hand: honey, agave, regular old white sugar. 

You can find Chunky Chaat at an Indian Grocery Store.  My favorite one in Manhattan is Dual Specialty Foods on 1st Ave at 6th Street.  It has everything those fancier ones have up in Curry Hill, at half the price, and the guys that run it are super helpful.  I got hip to Dual Specialty from the chef Hemant Mathur at Tulsi.  I took a cooking class from him and have eaten at Tulsi many times since.  He is the man; that place is legit.

This salad dressing is kind of reminiscent of a salty lassi. I just had it on a spinach salad with sprouted sunflower seeds, avacado, and raw chopped cabbage and it was delicious!
Seriously.

The best deal is to make this and then put it back in your fridge for a few hours to let the tastes marry.  It is definitely not as tangy if you let it rest for a bit. 
I make a double batch when I make it and use some right away and some later (for my second salad or the next day or whatever).

Troubleshooting -- before you start whining about not living in Manhattan and how you don't have access to special ingredients and whatnot:
Order Chunky Chaat online at Amazon
Learn how to make your own (but that is WAY harder than just buying some)
Use any yogurt you want … 80% right is better than 0% cooked, fool!

Taking it further:
Steam some broccoli and pour this on top.
Spread this on crusty, chunky bread and make a sandwich or an open faced sandwich with it. 
Make a dip out of this for raw veggies and such.
Make a kind of cold soup out of it.  Garnish it with cilantro and eat it out of a small bowl as an appetizer.
Make a popsicle out of it.  Not kidding.  Doing it right now.  It's already in my freezer in a popsicle mold.

This post is ridiculous.  I know it.

A lot of shit is going down in my life right now: Mom still on chemo, aunt Ellen getting back on chemo … Traveling back and forth from NYC to Chadds Ford, PA to be with them both, etc. 
Go easy on me.

I mean it.  And let me know how I can help -- with your kitchen hustle, with blowing away the barriers in your life, with your salad dressing, with whatever.

 

And a little visual for the folks at home.  I have no effing clue why these pics are SO large, and I don't feel like making 'em smaller at this point.

Cheers to my iPhone camera and zero food-styling knowledge and effort.  Enjoy!

Also, this first one is really a picture of my rugs.

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How Can I Help?

by kate 10. April 2013 18:08

That's what I want to know.

 

Seriously.

 

How can I help?

 

I really want to know.  Is there something I can write about or make a YouTube video about or something I can do for you?  Is there someplace you want me to play?  Some song you want me to cover?  Some piece of artwork you want me to draw?

 

I bet it sounds like I want to do anything and everything.  It is not that, really ... What I want to do is help.

 

Tell me how I can.  And be specific.  Tell me a story.  Tell me why.

 

Leave a comment below or email me at assistant dot kateschutt at gmail dot com.  I read all my email and I will respond.

Or you could always write me a letter.  All the details on how to do that are here.


For reals.

 

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Studies

by kate 3. April 2013 15:30

Someone asked me what I am working on -- besides the things I am always working on (guitar, voice, songwriting, music, how to art, meditation):

In no particular order, here are a few of the things I am currently studying (and btw I get no kickback from these sites or authors ... these are just places I've stopped along the way):

 

Minimalism / minimalist --> you might start here and here and here or any other place you want to start

 

Habit formation / replacement --> some ideas here and here and here

 

Bodyweight exercise --> i.e. no gear, no membership, no contract, no list.  lots of self-motivation

 

Fasting / intermittent Fasting --> do your own research.  think for yourself.  enter the slipstream here or here

 

Walking

 

Drawing / figure drawing / sketching

 

A few simple, pocket magic tricks

 

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The NOT TO DO list

by kate 23. January 2013 16:07

I am big believer in it.


The NOT TO DO list.

What are you NOT going to do?  The NOT TO DO list are all those things that you cross off your TO DO list -- things that haven't ever and will never get done.  Let them go.  Who the F cares!  If you did care, they would have already gotten done.  Make them disapear -- forever.  I am dead serious.

 

If you are really brave, you can ask your closest peeps what you should NOT being doing. 

What would they like you to stop doing?  What do they see you do that they think you could stop doing.

Thick skin and a little mental toughness is necessary here.  They might say something you don't like or don't want to hear.  Be ready for it.  Don't let it surprise you.  Obvi, in the end YOU get to chose if they are right or wrong or whether you want to try stopping doing whatever it was they suggested. You can try it out: stop doing it for a whie.  See what happens.  You can always start back up.  Experiment.  It's your life, afterall.


Where did these ideas come from?  Who knows!  I've been experimenting with this stuff for a couple of years.  But, here's a recent article about this stuff.

 

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A Reminder

by kate 20. January 2013 18:31

Something to remember posted here.

Yeah, you might already know this one.  If you do ... good for you.

Doesn't mean I shouldn't post it.

I need to remind myself of lots of things.  Every day.  Things large and small.  Pick up some AAA batteries.  How to be a good friend.  Draw a daily sketch.  Contemplate losing things.  Take my vitamins.

 

Here it is:

If you really, really, really want to do something, don’t worry about qualifications, credentials and certifications, JUST DO THE THING YOU REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT TO DO.

 

Bonus tip: the best way to become something special is also the fastest and the easiest way to become something special.

How do you become soemthing special?  Just start doing it.  Don’t wait for the proper time. Don’t begin after you've gotten your education. Don’t be tied to getting all the qualifications first. Don't take another class.  Don't buy another book.  Don't enroll in another course.


JUST START DOING IT.

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An Approach

by kate 10. December 2012 19:37

An approach to mental toughness can be found HERE.

My brother knows I study this stuff (I eat it for breakfast, actually) and he hit me with this link today.

 

I love it.  "Choose the wrench."

 

Kinda reminds me of my other favorite saying that goes soemthing like this:

"You have a choice: Your choice is vanilla and vanilla.  Choose."

 

Which reminds me of one of the mental toughness secrets I learned playing Harvard Women's Ice Hockey.  The secret is this: if you want to be a better hockey player, "act as if" you are an amazing player already.  Better yet, "act as if" you are one of your heroes .  Literally.  Pretend you are that player on your next shift on the ice or during the next drill.  That shiz works!  No joke.

My favorite player at the time?  Shelley Looney.  I used to act as if I was her on the ice when I needed to dig deep and make something happen.  Sports crush!  Big time.  Later, I became friends with Looney. But that's another story.

You can also employ the "act as if" mentality when you have to do something you don't want to do.  Just "act as if" you want to do it.  You will notice that whatever it was doesn't seem so bad when you act is if you l like doing it.  For example, your coach calls wall bangers as the sprints at the end of practice.  Pretty horrendous drill, no two ways about it.  Don't piss and moan.  Just act as if you LOVE doing them; act as if they are your absolute favorite conditioning drill.  Watch what happens.  It's absurd.  It also works.

So how do I use "act as if" in my life now?  I have the chance to use that particular phrase at Crossfit NYC nearly every weekday morning at 5:45a.m. 

When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and I had to live at home for 11 months, this phrase came in handy.  Here's a little story about one of the ways I used this phrase to keep me from committing hara kiri.  I was the primary caregiver, so I cooked 99% of all the meals. Cooking involves dishes. Obviously, I wasn't gonna make my Mom do the dishes.  Dishwashing and scullery work came with the territory.

Let me tell you: I did SO many dishes during those 11 months that I reached a state I lovingly refer to as "dish nirvana."  Believe me, I didn't start out liking to do dishes.  But, I didn't have a choice (remember: your choice is vanilla and vanilla. Choose!).  In the beginning, I would use the "act as if" method of dealing with my aversion toward / disdain for / all-around-bad-attitude about doing the dishes after every single meal.  The result?  Two words: dish nirvana.  Better than no nirvana.

 

You're welcome.

 

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Gregory Pepper Cover Contest

by kate 30. November 2012 03:05

Down to the wire ...

HERE is my entry to this prestigious and storied competition!

 

Click here to revel in all the other amazing covers of the Pep Pep tunes!

 

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Habits

by kate 10. August 2012 19:11

I've been studying how to change habits for awhile now.  

 

Computers, Excel, the Internet give us so many (almost too many) ways we can work on changing our habits.

 

Here is a totally biased and incomplete round-up of the ones I like and use:

Habit Forge

Tiny Habits

Oh Don't Forget

 

Illustration: Chris Haughton

 

Maybe one day I will get around to reading THIS new book on Habits.

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