Food Thought: Granola (ditch the store-bought bag baby)


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Last night I did something I’ve been wanting to do for years (not exaggerating). I made my first batch of granola from scratch. I posted the above Instagram photo and had a few friends inquired about the recipe. As I was just about to list the ingredients, I thought … “there is a greater story here”. If you’re like, “just give me the facts man”, then I mostly followed this. Interested in more? … read on.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcast recently, especially health related. As many of you know I’ve gotten deep into cycling and as some might not know, I hurt my knee back in July of last year. In the process of working on healing my body and becoming a stronger rider I’ve been fascinated by the idea of health and mostly how food is medicine. My top three podcast right now are …

The Rich Roll Podcast (a few favorites … RRP 137, RRP 134, RRP 127, RRP 77)
Fat Burning Man (great episode about teeth … Denise Minger)
The Tim Ferriss Show (this one was a game changer … Joe De Sena)

On one such podcast was mentioned the book ‘Salt Sugar Fat’ by Michael Moss. I picked up a copy from my local library (I love libraries, love, love, love them) and as I was reading chapter four titled “Is It Cereal or Candy?” I was reminded of my dad’s recent breakfast routine of eating store bought granola, ‘Love Crunch’ it’s called (good job marketing), which is tasty and organic, but the second ingredient is ‘cane sugar’ and it also contains dark chocolate chunks. These are more of what I would expect in a dessert, not first thing in the morning. I wanted to create something with more nutritional value (and definitely no cane sugar) with bonuses like using local honey to help with seasonal allergies, a less processed steel-cut oat instead of only rolled oats, and not to mention no “natural flavors”. So the quest was set to make my own granola … from scratch.

My first step in wanting to know how to make something usually starts with surfing Pinterest. I’ll pin any potential recipe that stands out to me, compare ingredients and process. My final decision is usually based on the recipe that is most simple and primarily made of ingredients I have on hand. I’m including a link to my ‘FOOD’ Pinterest board here.

For the granola I settled on Honey Nut Steel-Cut Granola by The Healthy Maven. I did everything she outlined except I used ground flaxseed (1 tbsp flax to 3 tbsp water, let sit for few minutes) instead of the 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I also added 3 tbsp of chia seed and 1 tbsp of cacao powder (inspired by ‘Love Crunch’).

There is the story folks. Thanks for letting me process through this. I hope you are inspired to get curious in your kitchen and find some of these links helpful.

Race Report: Creature of Comfort


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March 1, 2015 – Cherry Pie Crit – Napa, CA – 23/30 place
Sunday morning, near perfect weather conditions, brisk, cold, sunny, full of potential. Grateful for my friend Brandy, who I picked up at the shop, kept my mind occupied on the drive over. Park and find the Velo Wrench tent set up with bikes, trainers, and bros. The races have already started. I have an hour before my catagory takes the coarse. Head over to the register table. They ask for my racing license number (good question). After bumbling around I track it down online. Newbie lesson #1 – Know your racing license number (or at least where to find it online, thank you smart phones). Back at the tent I get assistance pinning my number on my jersey. Pinning, a ritual that asks you to trust your helper not poke you, as let me remind you, your jersey is skin tight. Reminds me of pinning the corsage to my prom dates jacket, all the nervous excitement channeled through to the tip of a tiny metal pin. A quick round on the stationary trainer to raise the heart rate, warm up, and break a little sweat.

At the start of the coarse I greet some of the other racers. Best advice I’ve gotten from a veteran racer was to make friends with the girls I race with because most likely I will be riding with them all season (I’ve already found this to be true).

Christopher Stricklen (who has a beautifully curated Instagram feed @creedub), raced the Men’s Cat 5 at Cherry Pie and posted this video below. It’s a great preview of the coarse and gives you a sense of the energy and sounds that go on when your in a race. You’ll hear a lot of “Hold your line” which when riding in close quarters it’s important to be predictable and not sideswipe your fellow riders (same idea as when driving your car in lanes on the freeway). Not that you have to watch the whole video, but I would suggest at least checking out the last few minutes as Christopher’s sprint at the end was quite impressive.

Back to my race. This being my first official race I have so much to learn and not just strategy but also discovering my own strengths and weaknesses. Like one such weakness … I’m a creature of comfort. I found a wheel I was comfortable staying behind and stuck there. The pack road wide and I couldn’t see much opening for me to move forward, so towards the back I stayed. And let me just be clear … being in the back of the pack sucks. Not only is it actually the most unsafe spot, but you also end up using more energy surging then braking (what I like to call the yo-yo effect). As the laps started counting down I could hear my coach yell “MOVE UP”, but how, and where, and who, and when? So I stayed comfortably uncomfortable once again. Also, not helping the situation about halfway through the race there was a crash right behind me and although I could not see a thing, the pure sound of metal to cement shocked me right out of any focus ‘zone’ I might have been trying to perform in. It was like a tin can being crunched by Paul Bunyan’s boot. To say the least, unsettling (although I’m happy to report the girl was able to walk away from the crash ok). So the final sprint came and the race was over … and I felt … eeh. I felt clumsy, chaotic, and not that great. All the self defeating thoughts rushed to my brain. I’m not good enough. I’m a wimp. Scaredy-cat. Weak. BUT WAIT!!!!!!!! I had just finished my first race EVER. Give me a break. I mean really … Emily, give yourself a break. Freakin’ celebrate the face you finished a RACE. A race that one year ago you would have only dreamed in competing in. In fact, you did dream about racing in.

Fascinating right? The brain. The power of our thoughts. So, I decided to stop picking on myself and rather pat myself on the back. Gathering all the lessons learned (cause, oh my, there was many), I’ll come back again stronger. I’ll continue training. And for heavens sake … I will have fun in the process. So with that my friends, love yourself and please be patient in your process, cause there’s so much good work to be done.

Now time to go ride my bike!

Weekend Warrior: Palm Springs did not disappoint


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I’ve been drooling over images from friends’ vacations to Palm Springs for the past few years and finally this weekend I was invited out to the desert oasis for a dear friends birthday celebration. A house was rented and poolside with cocktail and many a wonderful conversations I did stay. With trips into town for tiki drinks and food and fresh faces at hipsters paradise (aka Ace Hotel) it was a memorable weekend that I can now surely say … Palm Springs, you did not disappoint. And now for your viewing pleasure … a few fine photos.

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Race Report: In the beginning


While on Instagram attempting to post a picture of my most recent bike race I noticed a difficulty keeping my caption short. As I try to keep my words few on Instagram it seemed like a more obvious blog post was necessary. So here we have it … Race Report . Art blog, now also bike blog.

My racing interest began June 1, 2014 with the completion of my first bike challenge, Americas Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR), a century (100 mile) ride around Lake Tahoe. I signed up with Team In Training, an awesome organization that trains participants for endurance sports in exchange for fundraising to support blood cancer research. Over the course of four months my team slowly increasing in endurance during weekend rides starting at 15 miles, then 25 miles, 35 miles, until we hit 75 miles. The day of AMBBR I woke with immeasurable anticipation. It was magic and hard work all in one. Breathtaking views of the lake, thousands of riders, and almost 7 hours of saddle time. It was in the truest sense … epic.


Yes, that is a wine glass (plastic don’t worry) on my helmet. As part of the North Bay chapter we had to represent Sonoma/Napa wine country. They called it our ‘GPS’ so my other teammate could spot me riding in the crowd. Oh, yeah!

So there I was, post 100 mile ride, back at my hotel floating in the pool, and I noticed something had awakened in me … a fire in my belly (to quote Joe De Sena). I had the realization that I could focus on a far off goal, commit, put in the hard work, and complete what I set my mind to. “I am capable”, a simple statement, however for me it was a huge mental hurdle over the more frequent thoughts of self-doubt. I have dreams, damn it! So there I was, my first bike challenge done and a hunger for more. But more what? I’ve experienced endurance, now I wanted speed. Speed? Like racing? No way, couldn’t be for me. I mean, it’s too dangerous, I’m not fit enough and I would have no idea what I’m doing. Sounds like a challenge … a challenge! Well, challenged excepted. Stay tuned friends cause the RACE … IS … ON!

I used to write poetry


Last night I saw a shooting star so bright and big it scared me.
I need to get out.
This is no longer my tribe.
Play your classical music louder, LOUDER.
I’m avoiding your text.
Instant Messaging are you ruining my communication?

I don’t blame you. You who were clear from the beginning.
Your friends vs my friends
Can we still be friends
after all this

Give it time and they’ll adjust the textbooks.
Or the kids won’t care.
You have to want to care.
It takes energy to care.

You don’t feel like it?
Perfect, do it anyways.

I used to write poetry.




HAPPY SEPTEMBER my long lost blog. Let’s fill you in on some new projects like EOW which stands for ‘Every Other Week’. EOW is a song challenge with friend Nick Riedell to encourage each other to write, record, and share more of our music. Here are two tracks I’ve posted so far. Happy listening and again … happy September!

When I see your face will I recognize your voice?
Will I know when you call my name?
Will it sound the same?
Darling, don’t fear.
My darling, don’t fear.
Oh darling, don’t fear.
My darling, don’t fear.




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