In the winter, my life here in Boston revolves around our apartment. I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors because, let’s face it, what’s the point?! The temperature is too cold and I don’t know what winter activities there are in the city. Any suggestions are welcome! I usually end up wandering around the mall because it’s connected to my work and the tall glass ceilings simulate being outside, but I get to enjoy the heated indoors at the same time – it’s my own little win. Ice skating is on the map for the next coming weeks (per request of Kevin), but other than that all my winter outdoor activity ideas revolve around running, snowboarding, and nordic skiing – all of which (except running) can be difficult to navigate when you live in a city.
I did a little reorganizing in our apartment this week, potting some new plants and moving the old around to make space for the new – or just the unbelievably large aloe vera plant that is taking over our living room (p.s. delicious in smoothies!). I always tell people we live 5 minutes from the train, but it’s a lie that I’ve told myself so many times it feels true. Don’t know if anybody else has those floating around…small lies that you’ve told yourself so many times that they are true (at least according to you). My brother used to make up explanations for the way things were and my sister and I believed him. When we got older and started repeating some of his explanations, people usually laughed at us. I guess this is my idea of truth – the thing you know to hold weight in an ever-changing world. It makes me feel better in the morning when it’s cold + my eyes are barely open. Kevin reminds me, it’s an 8 minute walk, at least. Either way, it only takes me 5 minutes ;-).
You can see the Prudential Tower from our street + I do enjoy working my way down the cobblestone hill to make it to the train. Everything is Boston is urban + quaint all at the same time. I love to watch the smoke rising from Longwood Medical Center. I’ve always been mesmerized by smoke, clouds – anything that appears weightless + by the things that are hidden from sight.
I don’t think there is a stretch of road in Boston without a few oddball cobblestones popping up to trip you. BEWARE BOSTONIANS: ICE IS COMING! New England architecture is beautiful, but sometimes I miss the unorthodox buildings sprawling across California, from the tacky McMansions to the earthy adobe walls + ceramic tiles. Each part of the state has it’s only little twist on the western imagination – the iconic great exploration. There is something about living 3,000 miles away that also leaves you in a permanent state of nostalgia. I can’t describe my home town to anybody because there are only 1,000 people. It’s not notable for anything, except apples + wine. It’s beautiful though, every city-boyfriend I take is mesmerized by the forest – and let’s just say it’s way less then when I was younger.
In other news, over the last two weeks I’ve done two 18-mile runs, both outside! Way to go me! I’ve ended both my runs by throwing my arms in the air, like ‘VICTORY!’ Little do the neighbors know, I’m celebrating the small wins, including the ones where I’m brave enough to face the cold for over an hour (i.e. happy that I made it home + didn’t curl into a ball and cry down by the ocean when my fingers turned purple from the icy wind). For all my bravado, I’ve been given the victor’s award of a cold, so I’m trying to shake it off this week with running indoors – back to the safety + comfort of the heated gym.
The art of living one place for too long has always been difficult for me. I feel like my brain, body, and heart are typically moving in different directions all at once. The only thing helping me pull it together these days has been running + cooking (of course). I watched a video from Salomon, which was a short clip highlighting races from 2014, including my favorite ultramarathon runner, Kilian Jornet. I spent a few hours one night gleaning over interviews with him and his mother about running, mountains, and everything down to his diet as a kid.
Sometimes, I have a fascination with the most specific information, from childhood diets to personal diaries. My ultra binge left me with this quote, which is going up on the whiteboard tomorrow night:
“…in essence, isn’t this why we run? To find out whether we can overcome our fears, that the tape we smash when we cross the line isn’t the one the volunteers are holding, but the one set in that place inhabited by our dreams? Isn’t victory being able to test our bodies and minds to their limits and discover that they have led us to find ourselves anew and gradually to fulfill our dreams?”
This morning, on my way to work I was dreaming about endless summer, mountains + falling asleep at the edge of the world. I am starting to remember how to dream with my heart.
– Banana Cashew Muffins –
2 tbs milled flaxseeed
5 tbs water
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flower
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 tbs unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbs coconut oil
Preheat oven to 375°.
Use vegan butter to grease the muffin pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix water and milled flaxseed together, let stand for 5 minutes. Add banana, mash until relatively smooth. Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and mix thoroughly.
Mix in vanilla + coconut oil. Add flour + cashews, stir until completely combined.
In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and coconut oil. You can use a fork, or a pastry cutter, to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Fill the muffin tins 1/2-3/4 of the way full with muffin dough + sprinkle on crumb topping.
Place in the oven for 17 min., or until you can remove a fork without residue. Serve with cashew milk + enjoy!