Brussel Sprouts: Where have you been all my life? November 28, 2009

Filed under: Food Porn — bloodsweatntears @ 8:38 am

Being Chinese, brussel sprouts never had the chance to sneak onto my plate as a kid.  I discovered them a few years ago, and am obsessed with these little mini cabbages.  Here’s my favorite way to prepare them:

1 bushel (10-12)of brussel sprouts, halved or quartered

Drizzle olive oil and half the juice of lemon (or balsamic vinegar)

Salt and pepper

Roast in an oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes (depending on your oven, check them every now and then so they don’t burn).  Pull them out when they are nicely browned.  You can retoss them in more olive oil if you like.  I prefer mine on the simple side.


Dandayamana Dhanurasana April 29, 2009

Filed under: Health and Happiness — bloodsweatntears @ 4:59 pm
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posture6Danda-yam-ana Dha-nur-asana…. rings in my ears like an iambic pentameter of sorts.  I have been plateauing in this pose for some time now.  And yesterday I started moving out of it, because I hit a new spot.  Maybe it’s because I had an instructor who was completely new to me.  The class was very different from what I’m used to so I guess that’s a good thing.  I felt something new, pulling my foot back behind me.  Whatever it was gave me the strength to continue pulling my foot up above my head.  But it’s really hard to keep it up there for a full minute!  I’m working on my determination for that part.  It will happen soon.


Salabasana April 27, 2009

Filed under: Health and Happiness — bloodsweatntears @ 5:10 pm


If a pose is easy to do, chances are you aren’t doing it right.  I used to think Full Locust pose was a breeze, until I figured out I wasn’t engaging the correct muscles in my back.  It’s also due partly to the fact that I lack upper body strength.  While this builds strength in your upper spine, does it build strength in your upper body also?  Or am I going to have to build that elsewhere, maybe doing that crazy 100 pushups program stellargirl recommended to me light years ago.  Two words: why not??   I can do the single leg lifts, but when it comes to lifting both legs, I can barely get them off the floor.  I have been patiently shifting the weight around to my shoulders but once I start lifting my legs it all falls apart.  I guess I have to work through this more slowly then.


Hot summer night April 26, 2009

Filed under: The Daily Grind — bloodsweatntears @ 4:38 pm

hot in the city


Triangles and Tribulations March 22, 2009

Filed under: Health and Happiness — bloodsweatntears @ 2:54 pm

posture92I’ve suspected for a while now that I wasn’t doing Triangle Pose 100% correctly, but that could be true for a lot of poses I do in this series.  Triangle is one of the most challenging poses –  they don’t call it the “peak of the mountain” for nothing. So a teacher pointed out that my set up wasn’t right the other day.  She guided me into the right direction and it seemed to make more sense, at least for the moment.  Hips squared to the front?  Check.  Equal weight distribution between front leg and back leg, check. Bounce down so my leg is parallel to the floor?  Well…..I just can’t seem to get this leg down  to the floor.  And would definitely NOT be able to balance a tray on that leg!  For the last few weeks I’ve been called out by various teachers to sit down, sit down and SIT DOWN!  I thought I had been sitting down this whole time!!

What is the trick here?  It’s in the core, but I’m just  now sure how to activate it to keep me in this position.  Anyone out there with tips, please send along.


Getting Down To The Heart Of The Matter October 30, 2008

Filed under: Ruminations — bloodsweatntears @ 6:22 pm

I’ve thought about becoming an organ donor on more than one occasion, when a wave of selfless altruism passes through my stream of consciousness. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t do it. I went to get my license renewed last week and I stood there with my form and I just. couldn’t…sign it! I genuinely thought about all those people that could benefit from my heart, lungs, kidneys, liver…… and then I got all weirded out thinking about the possibility of my organs functioning in different bodies. To top it off I heard my mother’s voice chime in about it being bad luck and all. Chinese people are so superstitious! It worked, as my paranoia got the best of me as I left with just my temporary license and new sort of religious ethic. I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly – because I do believe the physical body is mere shell for the soul. The whole thing has caught me off guard as it has opened a big can of worms. It’s not everyday where one thinks about where their physical body goes after death. And as we near the Day of the Dead, it reminds me of the different ways people revere their dead.

A few years ago I took a trip to Hong Kong to pay my respect to my grandfather, who passed away when I was very young. Keeping our family tradition, we paid him a visit at his resting place on Macau, a short boat ride away from Hong Kong. Along with us we brought red envelopes, incense, oranges and wine. We stopped off at a nearby shop and bought all these paper goods. Like everything the dead could want, made out of paper. A paper cell phone for instance. Maybe some paper clothes, books and of course, paper money! We took all this paper to burn, so the smoke would reach up to the sky to whichever level my grandfather was hanging out in. I’m not sure which religion this is – seems to me to be a combination of Taosim and Buddhism. I’m not sure which one has the 13 levels of heaven, but he is somewhere up there. We left the wine and oranges for him to eat if he got hungry. All in all we were probably there for a couple of hours. First my mom swept his grave – so it was neat and tidy. Then she burned the incense and we took turns with our prayers. Then she set out the oranges and wine and before we left, we burned our paper gifts. I didn’t take any pictures of this, as I felt it was disrespectful but I’m glad I went and participated. Someday I will have to pay a visit to my other grandfather who is buried in Illinois.

Macau is apparently the Las Vegas of the far east, as most of the island’s economy is driven by gambling. And let me tell you, Chinese people love to gamble. In fact, after we visited my grandfather, we went to gamble in honor of him. Every time my mom put money into the slot, she’d say, this is for your grandfather! May we win the jackpot!


This Little Piggy Went To The Market, And Never Came Home September 22, 2008

Filed under: Food Porn — bloodsweatntears @ 5:01 pm

Change is good, but rarely is it easy. Autumn is here, signifying the end of the long and lazy days of summer. It typically coincides with periods of transformation for me too. I walked through the San Gennaro Feast in Little Italy the other night for the first time in a long time. I generally avoid that area altogether, especially during these kinds of events. Interesting crowd of people walking around eating zeppoles (they looked good) and mystery meat from the sausage truck. The streets smelled of sugar, fried food and smoked meat. This was the smokiest stall on the street, producing thick clouds of porky smoke that drifted onto the street and into my hair.


First Pastrami Sandwich Ever, No Going Back Now September 9, 2008

Filed under: Food Porn — bloodsweatntears @ 1:37 pm
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I had my first pastrami sandwich from Katz’s Deli, down the street from where I live. It’s funny, I’ve walked past this place a million times and never had the urge to stop in. My friend Parry was visiting from LA this weekend, and we randomly went in on a whim. The guy behind the counter gave us a sample of pastrami and we were hooked. How can anyone walk away from that! We got a hot pastrami sandwich, on Rye with a smattering of mustard. The meat was so tender, it melted right in my mouth. A plate of half soured pickles completed the indulgence. I’m no meat aficionado, but I know good stuff when I eat it. I now understand why there are so many pastrami lovers out there. Viva!


Summer Streets August 23, 2008

Filed under: Health and Happiness — bloodsweatntears @ 4:38 pm

The New York City Department of Transportation closed Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to vehicles this morning in honor of Summer Streets. Cyclists, walkers and runners to took to the streets without the fear of getting squashed. What an amazing feeling it was, to cruise up and down Park Avenue with the wind in my hair! There were a few times I wanted to make audible exclamations while riding… what is that about?? I think I had a big smile pasted on my face the entire ride – ode to the little things that bring so much joy!

On my way back I stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Union Square and thoroughly enjoyed myself by sampling seasonal fruits and looking at all the fresh produce. Strawberries are mighty fine specimens at the moment. I also discovered the beauty of Zinnias – I had never seen them before. The colors are so vibrant and pretty – a nice diversion from the popular Gerber Daisy.

All in all, a great day – I had forgotten how much I enjoy my bike rides. I haven’t gone in a while because I got burned out on my route. There are only so many times you can ride around Manhattan! But riding IN it, is a different story. Such a wonderful feeling of freedom without cars!! Unfortunately, this was the last day for Summer Streets. Back to the dangerous yet exhilerating game of Frogger…


Everybody Wants To Rule The World August 15, 2008

There’s a yoga competition coming up in October where yogis battle it out for the 6th Annual Bishni Charan Ghosh Cup. Yes that’s me in the picture – someday I might sign up and compete for this but for now I’m getting into that cab.

I plan to go and watch the competitors this year because during class it’s very difficult to focus on anything else except for what you are doing at that very moment. Not only are you battling the heat, sweat is coming out of every single pore while you are trying to get everything aligned and in position for your posture. I find when I check out other people’s postures during class it throws my practice way off. It’s a great exercise in concentration, for sure.

The yoga asana competition lasts for 3 minutes and consists of 5 standard Bikram postures in this order: Standing Head to Knee Pose, Standing Bow Pose, Floor Bow Pose, Rabbit Pose and finally Head to Knee with Stretching. After that the contestants do 2 advanced poses of their choice. I found a video from a recent competition to illustrate. I am absolutely captivated by her grace! Don’t try this at home, kids.