Monday, March 26, 2012

Yikes - It is Knee Pain Time :(

I took a week off from driving my bike to work due to knee pain. I had this sort of pain back in 2009 and I had to go to Physical Therapy to get rid of it. And now, it is back again. However, this time, I can't quite tell if it is improper saddle height or age related deterioration of knees. To avoid taking any medicines that might give me the ulcers or other worse problems, I have been taking Boswellia and icing my knee after each ride. In addition, I have been extra careful not to strain too much and take it easy when I ride. I have been spinning more and grinding less, shall we say?

The Bluebonnets have sprung all over the place. I tried taking a snap two weeks back, but the the picture didn't turnout well, because of camera shake. So, during my morning commute, I tried again to take a photo of the Bluebonnets. I had some luck.
I need some R&R and I hope to get a few days off, hopefully soon.

Hope all is well with y'all!

Paz :)

Mung Bean Kosumalli

For dinner last Saturday, I made Tomato Rasam and Mung Bean Kosumalli, a spicy mung bean salad like dish. Kosumalli is a very traditional South Indian dish.

Interestingly enough, I knew what I wanted to make, but I didn't know the name of the dish. So, I had to ask my friend's mom (Thanks, Indira amma!) and find out the name of the dish. I knew how to make it, although I didn't know the name of the dish. Go figure :)

  1. Mung bean - 2 cups
  2. One Cucumber - diced
  3. Green chili, deveined, deseeded and diced - 2-4 chilis
  4. Diced Ginger root - 2 Tbsp
  5. Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
  6. Urad dal (white lentil) - 1 Tsp
  7. Asafoetida - a pinch
  8. Finely chopped curry leaves - 1 Tbsp
  9. Finely chopped cilanto - 2 Tbsp
  10. Sesame oil - 1 Tsp
  11. Lemons - 2 (freshly squeezed)
  1. Soak the mung beans in water overnight. The next day, rinse the mung beans in cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat up 1 Tsp of Sesame oil. When the oil is hot, drop the mustard seeds in and let them splutter. Let the oil cool a bit. Add the urad dal and asafoetida. Let the urad dal turn brown. Remove from the hot pan and add the contents of the sauce pan to a large bowl.
  3. Add the mung beans, cucumber, cilantro, ginger, lemon juice to the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
Here is the finished product.
Here is a close-up of the Kosumalli!
Bon appetit' :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dessert: Date Balls

We were longing for something sweet, yet it had to be homemade and made of known, wholesome ingredients. There was a time, during my student years, when I would have gladly settled for a pair of Snickers, but now that I know better...

There are several recipes for Date Balls/Bars on the internet. We settled on making it "our way", based on some adaptation of many of the recipes found online.
  1. Pitted dates - 2 cups
  2. Raw almonds - 1.5 cups
  3. Raw walnuts - 0.5 cups
  4. Flax meal - 2 Tbsp
  5. Chia seeds - 2 Tbsp
  6. Cardamom powder - 1 Tbsp
  1. In a food processor (or a blender with a wide mouth jar), chop-up the almonds, walnuts, until they are very finely chopped (almost to the consistency of almond meal). Save roughly 2-4 Tbsp of this mix for use in step 5 below.
  2. Next, add the dates, chia seeds and the flax meal and blend until a huge sticky ball of the ingredients is formed and it starts to push the lid of the blender/food processor's jar open :)
  3. Next, spread the cardamon powder on a large plate or a cookie sheet.
  4. Make small balls of the date mix with your clean, dry hands, and dust'em with the cardamom powder.
  5. Roll the date balls, next, in almond-walnut-meal.
Serve at room temperature or chilled!
Bon appetit' :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Less Green

I haven't posted in a while because I haven't had anything interesting to write about. I have not been riding to work much, as I have had some knee pain and also because the weather here is so wacky. I mean seriously nutty with 40 MPH winds and torrential rains. The winds blow usually from the South, which is the direction I am usually headed in the morning and I am not keen on fighting a 40 MPH wind, especially with the knee pain. So, as you can see from my calendar of cycle commute below, there is only little green on it so far, this year.
Hopefully, things will change for the better.

Hope all is well with y'all!

Paz :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

How often should one replace a helmet?

I have had my UVEX XP-100 helmet for about five years now. I bought it off EBay in 2007. It was a cheaper display model. But the seller told me that it was barely used and the only reason he sold it for cheaper was because it did not come in the original packaging. As I have posted before, I have retrofitted the XP-100 to meet my needs.
For the colder months, I do have the Nutcase helmet, which is great for skating, but it does not have enough vents in it, for regular use during the pretty warm days of North Texas, which is a lot of days in a year.
From time to time, I do see some article about replacing one's helmet every so often. I don't think I ever committed that statistic to my memory. I have also heard some say that one should replace a helmet, if they crashed in it. I have crashed once with this helmet on. I did not crash on my head, but I did hit my head on the asphalt a bit.

So, I have been thinking about getting a new helmet. I do not want to buy any other brand other than UVEX. And, in particular, I would like to get a UVEX XP CC (pictured below).
UVEX helmets fit very well and they are not heavy (at least before I retrofit them). In particular, the XP CC has some great features. I just have to find it at the optimal price point :)

So, my dear reader, tell me: How often do you replace your helmet?

Paz :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great Article - America's Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic: Junk Food Kills

I strongly believe in we are our own friends/enemies when it comes to our health eating habits. Wise food choices can lead to favorable outcomes and the not-so-wise choices can lead to detriments to one's health.

Today, I came across this really nice article on Obesity and Diabetes from the OCA.

Click here to read this article by Ronnie Cummins!

Paz :)