August 22, 2011

How was your weekend?  Mine was fantastic.  It was jam-packed.  It was fantastically jam-packed.  I saw three and a half movies, attended a kick-ass barbeque, had a great brunch, and saw a fun Cirque Du Soleil show.  Add in a workout in the little gym in my building, and a run with my cousin, because those happened, too.  And now it’s ending with me sitting at my dining room table, across from Kenlie, who’s hanging out at my house.  I can’t complain about my weekend at all.  I hope you can’t either.

Remember last week, when I wrote about the limes I plucked from my friend Emily’s lime tree?  I also mentioned in that post my friend Robyn, who has a variety of fruit trees in her backyard, including lemon trees that she thinks are about a month away from being overflowing with lemons.  It turns out her other trees, a meyer lemon tree and a tangelo tree, have plenty of ripe fruit, so the other day I headed over there and stocked up on some citrus.

Here’s Robyn and me:

We’re on her front porch, and her head is blocking out a few digits of her address, but she is totally a ten.  I’m sure her hubby Jake would agree.

I made two new friends at Robyn’s house:

Robyn’s dogs are adorable.  Here’s an action shot – they both loved licking me (what can I say?):

On to the backyard!  Robyn and Jake have 3 or 4 lemon trees, the meyer melon tree, and the tangelo tree.  Meyer lemons are a hybrid of lemons and oranges, and a tangelo is a hybrid between a tangerine and a grapefruit.  Whether or not the tangelo tree is actually a tangelo tree is not entirely certain, it’s Robyn’s best guess (they haven’t lived there too long yet).

The lemon trees:

They have lots of lemons, but they’re still green and growing:

Here’s something I did not know about lemon trees: they have thorns!  Check out this bad boy:

Those trees are covered in them.  Ouch.

There’s one more lemon tree on the other side of the yard that had a few lemons that were ready to go, so Robyn grabbed a few for me while I headed over to the meyer lemon tree:

I pulled a handful of these beauties, and then Robyn got out her picker pole thingie, and I picked some fruit from the possibly-a-tangelo tree.  An action shot:

Here’s my bounty, in one of Robyn’s baskets:

The basket would be perfect for Little Red to load up with sweets and take to Grandmother’s house, don’t you think?

OH! There’s one more tree in Robyn’s backyard that I forgot to mention, and it was completely ready to be harvested.  It’s a rare protein powder tree.  Check out what I plucked from its branches:

It’s been a good season for protein powder trees – that specimen is 4.6 pounds.  I should take it to the county fair and enter it in a contest.

OK, you got me, protein powder doesn’t grow on trees.  But Robyn did give it to me.   A while ago, she became vegetarian, and got that tub as a protein source, because she was concerned that she wouldn’t be getting enough protein.  She made a lot of protein shakes and protein smoothies, but then, more recently, she transitioned from vegetarian to vegan, and had to give up the protein powder, because it has egg- and whey-based ingredients in it.  She thought I might provide a good home for the remaining contents, and so it ended up in my car along with the citrus.

This is the first time I’ve ever had protein powder in my house.  I’ve been good, throughout this whole weight-loss process, of getting protein from food (egg whites, jerky products, fish, chicken, beans and dairy being my biggest sources), so this is all very new to me.  Having another protein option around seems like a good idea, especially if I need something quick before or after a work-out, so we’ll see how much I use it.  I’ve tried it once, and it was OK – it reminded me of the shakes I used to make 5 times a day when I was on a liquid diet in college, but that’s a whole different blog post.

In the meantime, I have a giant tub of protein powder sitting on my counter, because it’s too big to fit in my limited cupboard space, and a big bowl of citrus that I’m slowly making my way through.  I wonder if I juice one of the tangelos, and mix it with the vanilla protein powder, if the resulting drink would taste like an orange creamsicle?  It sounds like that would taste either really good, or terribly bad.

I wonder which it will be.

What do you all like to do with your protein powder?  Any kick-ass smoothie or drink recipes out there?  Share in the comments section!

Keep it up, David!


August 15, 2011

Yesterday was a wonderful and long day.  I went with a group of friends on a ocean kayaking trip, and had a blast.  Due to the presence of water everywhere, I bought a little one-time use waterproof camera, and as soon as I finish writing this post, I’m off to get the pictures developed.  So the post documenting the kayak trip, hopefully with LOTS of cool pictures (fingers crossed), is coming tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’d like to share another photo:

Whoop-do-doo, it’s two limes.

These are pretty special limes, though.  These limes are my most recent non-supermarket, non-farmers-market produce acquisition!  Two weekends ago I went over to see my friend Emily’s new place – she had recently moved in with a friend, and it turns out they’re right around the corner from me.  A five-minute walk.  It’s fantastic.  Guess what they have in their backyard?

If you guessed anything but limes, you get 10 demerit points.

If you guessed an apple tree, you get 1,000 bonus points, because in addition to the 2 lime trees, they also have an apple tree.  There were apples growing on it, too, but I didn’t think they weren’t ready yet.

The fruit salad I can make entirely from produce from friends’ backyards is getting to be quite complex and diverse:

And there’s more!

My friend Jen’s building has a pomegranate tree in the courtyard, which doesn’t excite me, as I’m not a big fan of pomegranates, but her neighbor also has a grapefruit tree and a fig tree, and Jen says that there are figs all over the tree right now, but she doesn’t know if they’re ripe.  I’ll have to go check it out.  Fresh figs are incredible, but they’re terribly tricky – they need to ripen on the tree or they won’t ripen at all.  And Jen’s neighbor sounds cool – he’s invited her to enjoy as much fruit as she can get reach.

Lastly, I went over to my friend Lisa’s house on Saturday for a fun game night.  Lisa and her hubby Matt don’t grow any produce whatsoever (sigh), but my friend Robyn was there, who I haven’t seen in a few years, and since the last time I saw her, she and her husband Jake moved into a house that has what sounds like an entire orchard out back: multiple lemon trees, a Meyer lemon tree (Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons; they’re a cross between lemons and oranges); and a tangelo tree (which are a tangerine/pummelo hybrid).

Robyn said during game night that the lemon trees are “fruiting,” which means that fruit is growing, and Robyn suspects they’ll be ready to pick in a month.  I’ve never heard the word “fruit” used as a verb before, except for in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, when Pierce Brosnan is the victim of a “drive-by fruiting,” so I learned something new that night.

I’ve had desserts and pastries made from Meyer lemons before, but I don’t think I’ve held an actual Meyer lemon in my hand, so I’m looking forward to that.  And I learned that Robyn and Jake’s house is about 10 minutes away from me, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them more often than once every 3 years, too!

OK. I’m gonna jet, and swing by the drug store to drop off the film, then off to the gym, and then I’ll pick up the pictures on my way back.  The goal for the gym is 30-40 minutes of weight-training, and then 15-20 minutes on the Arc Trainer.

Keep it up, David!

Fruit Trees, Hike, Goodbye Shoes

January 25, 2011

I hung out with my friend Tavi this morning.  I’m totally envious of Tavi, for a couple reasons.  First of all, he has a super cool job: he’s an aerialist.  Yep, an acrobatic, ultra-flexible, death-defying performer.  You can catch him right now in a show called Cirque Berserk, playing in downtown Los Angeles – go here for info and tickets (act fast – it closes this weekend).  I’m also envious because Tavi has fruit trees in his backyard.  Two grapefruit trees and a tangerine tree.  Check out his fruit!

I totally wish I had fruit trees.  How fantastic would it be to wake up and think, ‘I want some juice this morning’ and then walk 15 feet and pluck some grapefruit off a tree!  Since Tavi has more tangerines and grapefruit than he knows what to do with, he let me help myself, which I did:

Tomorrow morning, I’m making some juice!

Tavi and I also went on a great hike this morning.  The last time I went hiking with Tavi, which is documented here, it involved a burned-out bridge, leaping over creeks, and coming across a naked old man.  Needless to say, hiking with Tavi is fun!  This morning we went to Fryman Canyon, a nearby trail in the Hollywood Hills.  I’ve been to Fryman before, on an early morning hike with my friends Jen and Tiffany.  I told Tavi this, and he says, “you’ve probably been on the main trail.  I go on a steeper, tougher, narrower trail.”  Yep, it’s fun already!

He was right.  His trail was tough.  I was out of breath at times.  It wound up and down through the hills, through canyons, alongside ridges, and through countless different types of terrain: lush tropical rain forest-lookin’ parts, sloping fields of 6-foot shrubs, rocky chasms with streams at the bottom…  and there were some great views, too!  Like this one:

There was also a fallen tree than we walked across:

And a random trapeze tied to a tree (why I’m the one holding it, and not Tavi the aerialist, is a good question):

Oh and did I mention Tavi got a great parking spot?

Near the end of the hike, we had to come down a steep ridge.  Tavi ran down it, full speed, but I was a wuss and negotiated it foot by foot:

It was on that descent that I decided to was time to say goodbye to the pair of shoes I was wearing.  They’re Under Armour shoes, and I loved them, but I wore them out, and they don’t have any traction anymore.  No good.  I bought them probably over a year ago, and wore them as gym shoes for three or four (or six) months.  When I got new gym shoes, I kept these around to wear occasionally: like when it was rainy outside, or when I went on hikes and there was the potential for lots of dust, dirt, or mud.  But just a few minutes before starting to write this post, I tossed them down the trash chute, into the dumpster.

Goodbye shoes, you served me well.

Oh, and that hike?  It was nearly two hours long.

Keep it up, David!