Saturday, January 31, 2009

Aspen a photo essay

Michelle and I in the toasty warm Monster Energy Drink viewing suite. Catered, open bar and heated! So lovely.


The viewing suite overlooked the superpipe.


Early in the day, hardly any people.


Oops.


Escorted out.


Me standing at the base of Aspen mountain. Burr.


Michelle and I with the slope and style finish behind us.


View of our viewing suite from far away. Just below and to the left is the ESPN broadcast booth. The judges are above and to the left.


Smiling, happy camera man.






Gretchen is the local favorite. She fell 2 out of three times. Once really, really hard. She is super cute.




Pack them in!


Michelle and I getting ready to snowmobile! I'm terrified at this point.


Cold. Why didn't I bring a freaking scarf? I was cursing myself. It was fun to go snowmobiling. But I was nervous a lot of the time. It was hard to steer and the whole shear cliff drop off thing...


Michelle took a turn at driving along the flat mountain top.




Inside the warming booth drinking hot cocoa!


Up at the top!



Our breakfast, lunch and activity pals, Tom and Cheryl.


There was a group of Russians who also were snowmobiling. One of them was an Olympian who plays for the Detroit Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk‏. Michelle and I are about as far away from sports as you can get so we didn't know who he was. He was just the handsome Russian in the Olympic snowsuit.

Sleds! Can you imagine?








The crowd watching the Next Big Trick on snowmobiles.


Levi LaVallee team preparing the top of the mound of snow for a soft landing. Completely futile in hindsight.


Levi after the DOUBLE BACK FLIP!!! video to follow at the end


The crowd assumed he hit it, but sadly he fell off on the landing. He over shot the landing by the entire mound of snow.

One of the most fun activities was handing out Monster Energy Drink swag while waiting in line for the shuttles. You would have thought we gave people $100. So freaking excited. Here some of our favs.





Michelle and I at the top of Aspen Mountain for the fancy Monster Energy Drink private party. It has been a long, long time since Michelle and I have been to a party like this. The last time was Hustler's 25th! We had a BLAST. Seriously so much fun.


We rode up and down the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain a few times. It was gorgeous.








After every few runs on the superpipe a group of kid snowboarders or skiers take a run down the middle of the pipe. My new friend Chase, the next big snowboarder who is 14 and sponsored by Monster, told me that this clears away the slush created by the snowboard. We chatted for a long time and I learned a ton from him.

This boy is a local kid who lost his leg in an accident.




After each competitor this guy would follow filming from an on the ground angle in HD. They were able to get some amazing shots.


The crowd watching the pipe.


This is one of the guys who rides for Monster.


At the end of EVERY race the competitors take a few swigs off the signature monster drink container. Fantastic branding and marketing, so impressive.


Shaun White the winner of the superpipe.




Crappy video of Levi LaVallee doing a double back flip.
video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

teaser pics

I'll recap later after I recover a bit. The Monster Energy Drink people are the best hosts ever. The week was filled with food, fun, amazing athletes and crazy parties.

Me in front of the judges station for the snow cross competition.



Sleds (snowmobile to the non snow sport enthusiasts)


So snowy! Snowmobiling 11,200 feet up! On a clear day you can see the Continental Divide all the ski slopes around Aspen and the backside of Vail. On this day you could not see 10 feet in front of you most of the time.



Toasty warm by the fire in the lodge.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Food Update

The diet is going well! But I'm ready to stop being so restrictive. I'm going to be thoughtful in my choices while in Aspen, but I will eat dairy and wheat. I'm looking forward to it. Some fine cheese and a warm cookie? Yes, please. And probably a cocktail overlooking a snowy mountain, dreamy.

Matt and I plan to continue making everything we eat. I also hope to introduce some of the raw ideals after this month of restriction. We are loving the coconuts, fat, whole, young, milk, cream and even flour so many options from just one item.

I make a smoothie every morning with kefir or yogurt and loads of fresh fruit along with other good for you stuff.

I don't miss sugar, except at work and it is a birthday and they have pie... I miss bread every day and think about it all the time. Matt of course, does not miss it at all.

We got a Wii Fit and I been using that everyday. It isn't the best work out but it is better than nothing. And it is readily available at 5:15am. Once it is light later I'll go back to swimming in the evening.

So we're happily continuing along. But I am looking forward to going out to dinner with Matt in February. I miss that more than anything, the nice walk to and home from dinner, no distractions of home... just a different eating experience.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Birds

I think the mourning doves will nest again. On Sunday morning, one dove was on the wire outside our bedroom window cooing loudly. They live around here year round and they don't really every make noise like that. Then later in the day one dove was sitting in the bird feeder. They traditionally do nest in the same location, so chances are they're getting ready to set up shop.

I'm pretty excited. It was lots of fun to watch them grow and become grown up birds.

In other bird news, we have a hummingbird that rests in our front tree daily. Every afternoon he/she comes and hangs out for a few minutes, flies away, comes to rest.... Have you ever heard a hummingbird sing? It is this weird frequency pitch and rather than sound like a chirp it is more of a grind. He/she sticks out their tongue on each sound and it is easily the length of the entire bird and pin thin.

The wild parrots that live at the park a block away seem to be multiplying. It is pretty crazy to hear wild parrots squawking in this desert town. In fact they are flying over head as I type.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Diet Update

We're on day 9. No sugar, no processed foods, no wheat, no caffeine and no alcohol.

We were finally feeling normal and sane by about day 5/6. We are making everything we eat. Although I did use one can of beans and one can of tomato paste, both neither had anything other than beans and tomatoes so I figured it was ok. I still take advantage of the free lunch, I usually order salad or a baked potato and bring in some sort of protein from the night before.

Matt has been making coconut milk from fresh coconuts for smoothies. We've been using coconut oil in various items, in hot water with some agave nectar or to cook up some potato pancakes. Coconuts are supposedly really good in assisting weight loss and overall health.

I don't feel like I'm dieting, we're eating a bunch, it's just all healthy stuff. I still crave some sort of salty treat when I come home. I've been attempting to pacify the cravings with olives.

I'm sure I'll struggle in Aspen. But I'll try hard to mostly stick to eating healthfully.

Tomorrow I'm making beef stock. I'll use some of it to make some french onion soup. I can't wait.

I'm also going to do some baking this weekend. I'm trying spelt and coconut flours to see what I can make.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Aspen

My friend Michelle enters contests online. She wins tons of stuff, seriously. Pricey rugs, handcrafted lamps, Christmas ornaments for tv shows...

She just won the Party with Danny Kass at the X Games in Aspen. Unfortunately, her boyfriend can't go with her. But fortunately for me, I get to go with her.

The prize consist of
round trip airfare
shuttle from Denver to Aspen
hotel
VIP tickets to the Danny Kass party sponsored by Monster Energy drinks..

We leave on January 21 and return on the 26th. I'm thrilled she asked me to go along. We will for sure have a blast!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

movies

We joined Blockbuster's movies by mail (and in the store for the same price)

Today we watched Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It was really good. All about steroid use in America. Fascinating on so many levels. The director Chris Bell did a great job.

In a little bit we'll walk over to Blockbuster and turn it in and come home with either Momma Mia or the Dark Knight. Momma Mia is my choice, but I may concede to Dark Knight. I promised Matt that he's enjoy Momma Mia, I might have been lying.

Detox

We're on day 3. We both slept HORRIBLE last night. Finally at 3am we got up and watched a bad Lifetime movie, and went to sleep around 5.

Overall I'm feeling 90% great. The other 10% is filled with a mild headache. Aside from the sleeping thing of course.

We're treating ourselves to some organic grass fed Nebraska beef. YUM. I wish it wasn't a million dollars, but whatever, we're not eating out this month. It all evens out in the end.

I made a Jewish rye with oat flour. It is very tasty, but flat. Flat like the dilly bread I failed at twice. I don't know what I'm missing. I think something is flawed in my raising process. It still tastes good, but it is flat and dense.

I think I need to boost my exercise so that I am worn out in the night time and just can't stay awake.

Fortunately Matt is 100% on board and we can support each other through the struggle.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year

Matt and I are starting a 30 day elimination/detox diet.

No caffeine
No alcohol
No wheat
No sugar
No processed foods

It will be hard, but 100% worth it.