Monday, January 20, 2014

Paleo Coconut Milk, Chia Seed, and Fruit "Pudding"

For the new year a few of my friends and family and I are focusing on nutrition.  I am doing a paleo challenge through my Crossfit box.  The general guidelines for me, at level 8 (in this challenge there are 10 levels- check out the crossfit page or contact them for more info) include eliminating all refined and added sugar , eliminating grains/gluten and soy, legumes, beans and lentils, dairy, rice, alcohol, starchy vegetables and vegetable oils.  I've done this before, so it's not too hard anymore.  I haven't quite gotten to the point where I don't, at times, get an urge for something sweet.  So this is my recipe taken from many different recipes I found online.  It is not totally original, it is just the simplest form of the recipe.  No honey, no agave, no maple syrup or stevia.


3-5 frozen (or fresh) strawberries (or any other fruit of choice, pineapple was also yummy)
1 can of full fat coconut milk.  Look for a can with no more than coconut milk and maybe guar gum.  If you can find with nothing but coconut milk, that is best.
1.5 tbs of chia seeds.  I found these at the bulk bin at Whole Foods out here.  They also have them at Down to Earth here in Kailua.
A jar with a lid (or tupperware or something you can shake)

My ingredients
Pour the coconut milk into the jar.  You might have some left over, you do not want to fill the jar all the way up to the top.  Leave some room for the fruit and chia seeds.

Take about 1-1.5 tbs of chia seeds and grind them up. I used my coffee grinder and it worked great. You can put them in whole, it also works, but it doesn't get as pudding-y as I like. I forgot to take a picture of this. 

Cut up strawberries or whatever fruit you're using into small pieces. I left mine kind of big, because I like to have a full fruit bite, but you might decide to make them smaller.

  Then add the fruit and chia seeds to the coconut milk.

Close the lid and shake it up!  Of course, you could also add chia seeds, fruit, and coconut milk to a blender and have a smoothie, but I like it chunky.  Leave it to sit for 2 hours, either on the counter or in the fridge.  If you put it in the fridge, it's best to let it warm up a bit before eating.  This is a very pared down, very basic version of this recipe, some people choose to add other ingredients.  You could add honey or stevia, you could add chocolate chips or other fruit.  It is a really great base for lots of things.  But if you love it like this, as I do, let it sit, warm up for a few and eat with spoon!

Have you made this before?  Do you have some good recipe ideas?  Other possible additions to this that you would recommend (or not)?  Comment below!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2 Guns- Movie Review

A DEA agent (Denzel Washington) and a naval intelligence officer (Mark Wahlberg) are both undercover, each investigating the same drug cartel.  Together they set up a fake bank robbery in order to gain money and evidence that could put the drug cartel away.  You soon learn, however, that neither of them realize the other is an undercover agent.  The robbery goes off, but things start to look suspicious when there is millions more money than there was supposed to be in the vaults.  They grab it and go, and soon they find out that they are both undercover for different agencies.  There, of course, is a set up, and they both end up on the run from both their agencies and the drug cartel.

What we dug:
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg made this movie watchable.  They have great banter and play off of each other well.  Marky Mark continues to surprise us with his good acting.  I always expect his characters to be emotionless and unbelievable, but he ends up pulling it off very well.
Lots of little funny moments.

What we did not like:
The Navy actors aren't great. The storyline itself was disappointing.

Life lessons we learned from this movie:
43 mill looks like a shit-ton of money.  It takes up a lot of space.  Plan ahead if you're going to move that much money.
If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Don't trust your girlfriend, she is probably secretly sleeping with the enemy, and giving you up to the authorities or to the drug cartel.
And never rob a bank across from a diner with the best donuts in three counties.

The Colony- *Some Spoilers* Movie Review with Mary and Nathan

The Colony, starring Laurence Fishburn, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Rogers, was an interesting film.  The basic premise is that in the future, weather changing technology was invented.  Things were going great until it started to snow and just never stopped.  The movie is set at a time when all people have had to move into underground systems in order to survive.  The featured colony that the movie focuses on has some food due to the animals and plants that they are able to keep alive.  However, in most locations, food has run out and people have starved to death or they get sick and die.  This colony is also losing members to sickness and things are getting dire.  They receive a SOS from a neighboring colony that they keep in touch with.  A few members go off to explore and find that it has been overtaken by a wild group of cannibalistic humans.  There is some fighting and they try to escape.

Some things we liked:
We liked the storyline of the the future apocalypse and how it was set up with the weather changing towers and never-ending snow.
Some of the fight scenes were entertaining.  It was graphic at times, Nathan enjoyed it, I actually covered my eyes a couple of times.
They thoroughly captured the desperate feeling of the colony.  They were cold, lonely, hungry, sick and some were starting to get a little crazy.
The scenes where the colonists were walking above ground were interesting because you could see that they were in a well-known city, they did a neat job of showing how all of the skyscrapers were snowed under and abandoned.  There was a cool helicopter that Nathan liked that they used as a waypoint on their journey.

The disappointing bits:
It appeared to me that the human race did a horrible job of dealing with the snow.  Although it took years for the snow to build up, nobody figured out how to grow food above ground, raise any animals, shovel or tunnel into the snow, melt it any way, and the characters in this movie were not good at fighting, defending, planning, preparing, or making any decisions in general.
We were also disappointed by the feral, people eating, human pack that was, for some reason, not really affected by the cold temperatures and could run hella fast and were hella strong.

Life lessons learned from this movie:
If it begins to snow and doesn't stop, start getting stuff, like a shovel, a warm jacket and some books on how to grow stuff without the use of the sun.
Keep seeds around you at all times.  You might need them later.
If it begins to snow and doesn't stop and all of sudden people start to die from sickness and hunger, you should learn and practice self-defense.  You will need to know how to fight off the cannibals.
Don't eat people. No matter how hungry you are.

The Colony

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cockneys Vs Zombies- Movie Review

The movie, Cockneys Vs Zombies [HD], is set in London.  The story begins and you soon learn that a retirement home is due to be demolished by property developers.  You then run into two bumbling young men who have decided that they will be robbing a bank in order to save the retirement home, the place that their grandfather has lived for many years.  We rented this movie due to the very funny previews, including a hilarious bit with the zombies chasing an old man in a walker.  The old man in the walker is going about the same speed as the zombies behind.  There were a few funny scenes like this scattered throughout the movie, unfortunately the preview itself was much more entertaining than the actual movie.  The dialogue was slow and the characters were a little too unbelievable.  There were some random, slowed down shoot-em-up scenes where they showed you how "bad ass" the characters were as they shot the fancy guns they picked up.  The best parts of the movie probably all involved the zombies.  They shuffled slowly, were pretty easy to kill, and sometimes showed personality- for instance, one zombie picked up and confusedly looked at the leg that just got blown off of him.  All in all, my husband and I give it 2 out of 5 stars, we wished it had been more entertaining.

Old Boy- Movie Review

So, the hubs and I saw a preview for this movie, and it's about a guy who's locked up for 15 years and in the preview he's watching TV, watching as life goes on and he has no idea why he's locked up, no one talks to him.  And then he's let out and wants to go find the people who put him in there.  Awesome!  Looked like a great B movie, so we put in on our Netflix queue.  The movie showed up in the mail and we put it in thinking how cool it was that it came so early!
We put the movie in, and it goes straight to the movie.  Never a good sign.  No previews, nothing.  And then we realized that it was Korean with subtitles.  Then we looked at the cover that the DVD came in.  Oh boy.  It turns out the new movie coming out is a remake of a 2003 Korean "thriller" of the same name, Oldboy, which is what we got in the mail.  (The newer one hasn't even been released on DVD yet, so I'm the idiot.) Well, we decided to give it a try and watch it anyway.  Let me tell you, this movie is strange.  I can't decide if I am encouraging you to watch it or not.  After the movie finished, I kind of wanted to magically scrub that time out of my life.  I felt a little dirty, and sad that I couldn't get those 2 and a half hours of my life back.  It was a well done movie, a well told story.  The lead actor was interesting- Oh Dae-su, played by Choi Min-sik.  In the beginning of the movie, poor old Oh Dae-su is wasted, and it is a pretty funny opening scene.  Unfortunately, it is his daughter's birthday, and right after he calls her to tell her Happy Birthday, and that he's coming home to give her her birthday gift, he is kidnapped and put into a cell.  He is released 15 years later with no information about why he was in captivity, except for the clothes on his body and the cell phone in his pocket.  He, of course, goes on a quest to find and kill the people who did this to him.  He happens upon a lady chef who begins to help him with his quest, since he is such an interesting character.  From there, the story gets wacky as you follow him on the journey.  I suppose I do recommend you watching it.  It certainly makes you think, if nothing else.
I will say, the movie was extraordinarily long for me.  I multi-tasked during boring parts of the movie, making dinner and futzing around on facebook.  So, you may want to watch it at home, where you can ignore the movie for a little while until it gets interesting again.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ender's Game- Book Review

I just recently finished reading the book, Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet), by Orson Scott Card.  I usually like to read the book before I see a movie version.  This time I wasn't all that interested from the previews, but my husband asked me to order the book from the library.  It showed up and he started reading it.  One day, while in the bathroom, let's say... brushing my teeth, I picked up the book that he had left there.  I immediately got hooked into the story.  It starts immediately with the adults talking to each other and just giving you a taste of what the overarching story is.  Then it goes into Ender's side of the story in much greater detail.  Ender is a lovable character, chosen for his abilities, and you right at the very beginning that his journey is going to be lonely and painful.  The adults in charge of his life are going to purposefully manipulate his environment so that it will be so.  The book follows his journey as he goes to Battle School to undergo extraordinarily rigorous battle training for such a young boy.  The children at the school are being trained to be able to fight the "Buggers" an alien race that has attacked Earth twice before.
I am glad that I read the book before seeing the movie.  I don't know how they could possibly pick up the moral struggles that Ender, as well as his sister and his brother go through.  The action in the book keeps you turning pages, but it also endears you to the characters.  The ending of the book itself was a little long, and it appears to be written to set you up for the next couple of books in the series, which I shall be reading and will review here as well.  While the very ending might have been slow, the third quarter of the book had me literally shaking my head, and saying, "Aah...." out loud.  Generally I have a good idea of what the "twist" in a book will be, and I am usually on to the author long before the big reveal.  But this book kept surprising me.  Last Sunday I meant to read only a couple more pages and ended up reading until the end, it kept me riveted for 6 straight hours.  I highly recommend picking up this rather quick read before hitting the theaters.