Thursday, August 30, 2012

No Excuses.

There is a difference between “Not Having Time” and “Not Taking the Time.”
If you listen to most people talk about their day it starts with an hour morning routine, going to work for 8-10 hours, we’ll assume an hour roundtrip commute, making/cleaning-up dinner about an hour, and pre sleep preparations 20-30 minutes. Because pretty much no one I know gets enough sleep we’ll say there are 18 waking hours, and 6 conked. I counted 13.5 hours of activity, Monday through Friday, already dedicated to the rough outline that is your life. So what do you do with the other 4.5 hours?

Commmmmmuuuuuuute...Its part of life...
I can tell that you are trying to figure out where you whittle away that seemingly huge volume of time. What I’m getting at here is: if you feel as though all you do is work and sleep we need to figure out where you are wasting your time, and what things you should do instead.
List of things I’m guessing you are doing:
Watching TV
Sitting on the couch
Oversleeping
Reading whatever lame book they are about to turn into a movie
Snacking
Taking naps
Complaining
Thinking about all of the stuff you should be doing instead of actually doing them
List of activities I suggest you engage in:
Simple, Good.
Cooking dinner
Making lunch for the following day
Pre-cutting fruit and vegetables
Meal planning
Cleaning the kitchen
Doing laundry
Engaging in vigorous physical activity
Engaging in moderate physical activity
Not sitting
Reading a book that will teach you something and contribute to your development as a well rounded individual
Making contact with humans: Family, Friends, What have you…
Grocery Shopping
Cleaning other common areas of your home

Who doesn't like fresh cut fruit?
 
I do realize that I am unmarried, unattached, and childless…however, these are all things you can do with your family…If your kids have sports in the afternoons and evenings spend the time they are with their team jogging around the track or running errands that take an equal amount of time. Reduce the number of trips you take from your house by combining activities.  If it is cleaning, get your kids involved. Weirdly, as a kid I remember always wanting to help my mom when she was dusting and mopping…Maybe it is because it meant I got to build a sweet chair fort…maybe it is because I was the perfect child (Mmmm…yeahhhh…No) either way, like my older sister always says, “Time to lean, time to clean.”
CLEAN.
First and foremost I keep running to-do and grocery lists on my phone. (I try to keep as many reminders as possible on my phone b/c it is the one thing I ALWAYS have with me.) If I find myself with nothing to do and energy to perform a task I just pull up the note and get to work. Many times I intend to just tidy up the kitchen area, but then I reverse Tasmanian-Devil that shit into a sparkling display of domestic perfection.
I had a bout of this the other day…I bike commuted to work and back, went to look at a 1987 Suzuki Samurai (not that great), hit up Costco for cheap raw almonds, tofu and local watermelon, stopped in at Fred Meyer for bananas, cantaloupe, and almond milk, did 5 loads of laundry, cut the melons, made fajitas for dinner, gutted and cleaned the entire fridge, cleaned the entire kitchen top to bottom and since I was nasty sweaty from my rides and deep cleaning I took a shower during which I cleaned the tub and surround followed by the counter and mirror. Yeah, I didn’t clean the toilet, and I didn’t wash the bathroom floor…but it was closing in on 2am and I figured I better get at least 4 hours of sleep.
Much Better...I can see stuff!
You may look at that and think…her to-do list is probably pretty well clear…think again. I still have donations to take to good will, dusting and vacuuming the rest of the house, trimming the hedges in the front yard, wash the truck, return my sisters camping stuff…that list is making for a boring read…moving on…

The reality is that my to-do list is a lot shorter than the list of things I have completed. I have never tried this, but the logic of it seems solid. Make 2 lists, TO-Do and DONE. Post them next to each other in your house. Instead of crossing things off move them from TO-Do to DONE and see what you have accomplished. Some items will require repetition, (cleaning, groceries, etc…) but I think having a visual aid spotlighting the things that have been accomplished would be extremely helpful. If you have a family or live with multiple people this could be a great method for running a household. Instead of asking or assigning chores just list what needs to be done and your kids/spouse/roomies can complete a task and then move it to the DONE list. Again, I have no kids or spouse, but I feel like this is a sufficiently passive-aggressive, logically awesome way to “get shit did.” Thank me if it works. If it is a colossal failure, blame yourself for taking the advice of someone with no credentials. But again, if it works…you’re welcome.
The reasons you never do anything…
I’m tired
I’m too fat
I just worked all day
I don’t have time
But my kids have A, B, and C
I’m hungover
I _____ed yesterday
My husband/wife/boyfriend/kid/friend/other personality doesn’t like A, B, or C
My show is on at blank o’clock and I just can’t miss it
All of these are bullshit excuses for continuing to be the lack luster human being society has coaxed you into becoming. Rebel against this learned behavior and discipline yourself into becoming better.
Anyway, the point is: get off your ass. Stop watching fake characters do stupid shit on TV and go out and do it yourself. If you want something bad enough you will work your ass off to get it. Why do you think that cookie is in your hand? ‘Cause you wanted it muthuh fugguh! Spend the time you have away from work preparing and creating a good environment for yourself to live in. “They” say there are 2 types of people in the world: those who ask what can be done, and those who jump in and do it. DO IT. I doubt you spent childhood dreaming of your future as a fat-assed, lazy piece.* Quit being so American and just handle your ‘Bid-ness’. No one is going to wipe your ass for you (unless you pay them.) Take the time to become whatever it is you want to be.
NO EXCUSES
*Piece of Shit

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Become Vegan

3 Simple Steps to a healthy and compassionate life.
1.       Stop Eating Animal Foods:

The grocery store...? Where do you get yours?

a.       Stop thinking of any items made with animal ingredients as food; they’re not.

b.      If you subscribe to a healthy lifestyle (fresh whole foods) much of the change you face will be finding new and exciting protein sources; EASY.  If you don’t it is ok, there are "American-Sized" vegans too. Get good at reading labels…



Cartoons Count

2.       Educate Yourself:

a.       Watch movies

b.      Read some books/magazines/articles/blogs ßParticularly this one

c.       Google like a mad-man

d.      ASK your badass vegan acquaintances about stuff

3.        Change Habits
a.       Got it? Use it. Waste is lack-luster. Use what you have (shampoo, deodorant, ass wipe) until it is gone…then replace those items with vegan and cruelty free products. Let me help you find out what that means:
                                                               i.      BUY List
                                                             ii.      De-Test List


This fine establisment loves donations

b.      Donate or give away items that no longer fall in line with your values. You cannot change the past, and why would you want to? It is what made you the potential vegan you are today.

This cut and dry approach to a compassionate lifestyle is not free from struggles. It takes time and discipline to un-learn behaviors. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe to be right. You’ll figure it out.


Change your thinking; Change your life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Adult Summer Camp

I graduated college in June 2008. It was glorious. I spent that entire summer just goofing off until September when I started my first “real” job at a public accounting firm. I am extremely good at goofing off, and thoroughly enjoyed every day of that summer. In all the jobs I’ve had I have been given 2 weeks of vacation; 10 working days. Up until the 3rd week in July I had never taken more than 3 days off in a row; extending my weekends to 5 days instead of just 2 and slowly using my vacation time to maintain my sanity. (NOT SURE THAT TECHNIQUE WORKED.)

That being said, my week of vacation was FUCKING RAD!!! I took off Friday July 13th and was gone the entire week following. Not only did I not have to attend my boring ho-hum-doldrum work, I spent 90% of the time on/near and/or around a boat. This year my brother took his FLYING TIGER 10 up to Whidbey Island Race Week. It is fondly referred to as "Adult Summer Camp." It was sooooo badass. Most of our crew had been 1 or more times in previous years and always talk about how rad the entire experience is. When my brother finally committed to taking the boat up and assembled the crew I was out of my mind with excitement.

WIRW is a Sailing Extravaganza with over 100 boats competing in 11 different fleets; it is the place to be the third week in July. Hosted by the Oak Harbor Yacht Club; Skippers and their crew assemble in the adjacent parking lot on the nearby Naval facility for a week long regatta with tent camping and cold showers that people pay $.25 per 2 minutes to take. I could gloss over the entire week, but no, I will list every damned detail.


Ready to Rock

Friday the 13th I woke my ass up and showered and got the last of my junk together, helped my brother pack the truck and hook up the boat while we waited for the other 2 peeps that were riding along! I love love love doing boatwork with my brother, he is always teaching me something and I fucking love that. They arrived, we climbed in the truck and off we went. Stopped twice to check on the boat and evacuate our bladders, but otherwise a rather uneventful 5+ hour drive from SE Portland to Whidbey Island, WA.

Mast Raised with a "Custom" Gin Pole



It was not the nicest of days, warm-ish. It rained randomly, spilled some of that mist crap that makes me blink like a crazy person, and then it poured…While we used the Aluminum Gin Pole my brother built to hoist the mast lightning and thunder were flashing and crashing around us. I love lightning. I would add a photo if it wasn’t so elusive. We got the mast up and put the boat in the slip just in time for one of the coolest sunsets I have ever seen; bright purple/pink/orange with lightning in the clouds around it. It was SA-WEEEET.



This was Real. Plus Lightning
 


The start of our camp...

The 4 of us grabbed dinner and then went back to our camp and slept! Saturday we woke up and travelled to Coupeville, WA for breakfast. The Knead and Feed; a really cute bakery/restaurant with small tables around the perimeter and a large community table in the middle. There was a short wait, so they offered to call us when space opened. We milled around in the local famers’ market just up the street even though they didn’t officially open until 10am.

The Kneed and Feed had zero vegan options, everything contained eggs and milk. So I ordered the omelet with the most veggies (that I verified were cooked in olive oil) sans eggs. Sounds weird, I’m sure the staff was like, “Um What?” but they brought it, and it was reallllly good. Yeah, yeah, “How can you say a bunch of sautéed vegetables were good?” They just were. They were hot and hit the spot. It came with a side of fruit. I’m a slut for fruit salad, unless it full of honey dew…Maybe that makes me a fruit racist…I don’t care, honey dew is NOT good.


So Rad.
 Saturday shaped up to be beautiful! I slathered myself with sunblock and we headed down to the boat to hook the boom on, put on the lower stays, run lines, wash the deck, and just get organized for the next 6 days of sailing madness! We got everything run and ready, a few more people from our crew showed up and we were ready to rock while simultaneously rolling.


Sunday was the day for practice! The crew was ready and we went out in the foggy, rainy, not so cold weather to make sure everything was tuned and orient ourselves in our new surroundings. The wind blew. The boat moved. Our sets, jibes, douses, and overall performance was on point.

 

Skipper Gift and Super 30 Fleet Flag
I walked away from the boat energized and fumped (*Fucking Pumped*) for the following day. On the way back in from the Cove we hoisted a surprise battle flag that the crew had been scheming to give to my brother (the Skipper) as a thank you for all of his time and efforts and the opportunity to sail on one of the most bad ass boats around. He was stoked. We also got hoodies; same logo as the flag. (A.K.A. Unstoppably awesome.) Sunday made it seem like the rest of the week could go only one way: In our favor.
 
Monday was slow. Wind was light; nothing like the day before. We finished with a 4th and an 8th. People go on talking and making excuses (some valid, others complete bullshit) about our performance…The reality is we were all hyped and nervous. We did not do well in the light wind and our tactics were reactions to the moves of other boats. I’m of the mind that the actions of others should be taken into consideration, but similarly our skills and abilities are on par with the best of the fleet and therefore should be at the forefront of our strategy. We went back to camp disappointed, but not disheartened.

No matter what the results we had to eat. So the other vegan crew stirred up some rotini noodles with chicken style meat-less strips, marinara with peppers and mushrooms over a bit of lettuce for a tasty “bowl.” Just because we are living in a refugee style camp doesn’t mean we have to eat like it… One of the boats in the Super 30 Fleet hosted a party at their rental house across the harbor. We went and chatted it up with the other crews in our fleet, made fun of weird bros, and enjoyed the company of other sailors. There was a sweet sunset I was able to snap a few pictures of.



Monday Night's Sunset...
 
Tuesday was going to be better. Starting off with a great sunrise and a masterfully created breakfast of steel cut oats with banana, almonds, cinnamon, and a little vanilla almond milk topped with home baked apple pie protein bar crumbles.

I Burned My Mouth. It Was Scha-Mazing

I Make Really Good Sammiches
















 We shed the first day jitters, tuned the boat, were prepared for the light wind, and the crew settled into our positions. We waited…and waited…for the wind to grace us. While we waited I snapped some of the most beautiful photos. I wish a camera could do the view justice. Lunch for the boat, prepared in the morning, was a sandwich. Smashed avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and BBQ baked tofu on Dave’s Killer Bread.

Floating...Not a bad way to spend an afternoon...

When the wind finally showed we came together and competed well. Throughout the week consistency was the key to our success, while other boats went from bullets to 6ths and 7ths. The long wait for wind afforded time for only one race. We pulled a 2nd and were recognized at the nightly party. The prize was a fleece hat…I wish I had the photo of my brother wearing it like a dweeb.

 Dinner day 2 was pan roasted Brussels sprouts with pinto beans, and chicken style strips over rice. Ingested in minutes it was a great easy way to fill my belly. A trip to the store for some more provisions and another awesome sunset capped off a good day of sailing that left us hungry for the next.
Whidbey Island...Some Brand of Paradise



Wednesday got real. The wind was good enough early that all fleets were able to get in 2 races. On the first we managed to pull ahead and grab what would be our only bullet for the week followed by a conservative 4th. It was enough to kick us up in the standings and we won the day! I got to keep the prize. It is my honor to be kept warm with the feeling of victory.

Yep.


Food for Wednesday included the best cold cereal combination. Life, almonds, banana, blue berries and vanilla almond milk. I rarely eat cold cereal…it was incredible. Boatness food was several granola bars, some apples, and peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches. Significantly more tasty and healthful than jam/jelly, I highly recommend adding/smashing fresh fruit into the middle of your peanut butter sandwiches. Dinner included leftover marinara over noodles with broccoli and chicken style strips. After the nightly Rum Tent Festivus we were graced with another beautiful Northwest Sunset.


You may notice I sustained an injury to my thumb…and how it heals throughout the week. (I learned that if you are making food with a super sharp knife while overly exhausted and say aloud “I am going to cut myself,” you should probably put the knife down before you cut your fucking thumb off.) A few stitches the night before we left, some bandaids and tape to keep it protected and it was like nothing ever happened.

One had to be cut out...b/c it was ripping...
And the rest  cut out on the boat...





















Eagles...They put 2 birds on it...

Thursday morning I got a chance to walk out to the point of the harbor. I spent the walk chatting it up with one of my crewmates and spotting a pair of bald eagles that have been living out there for some time. It was an interesting chat, as I was informed (through ‘constructive’ criticism) that I never have anything nice to say about anyone. It struck a chord. I don’t like being viewed as overly negative, because I know I can be. Especially in competitive team situations where there is mutual dependency involved in completing tasks. This set the tone for the day. I focused hard and did my best to perform all of my functions errorless. I did well, but because I was in the zone I thought I should have done significantly better. I put the weight of our 3rd and 4th place finishes on my shoulders, and it put me in a shitty mood.



Thursday Night...Holy Crap...This Place is Beautiful

 As I have mentioned before, I am excessively competitive. I can’t help it. At the end of Thursday we were in second place. The only way we could win the week was to get a first and have the current first place boat finish 6th or worse. I have been competing in serious sports since elementary school. Some people may consider it to be silly, but if you put in as much time as I have working on specific skills, performing them correctly when needed becomes an insanely important part of your life. Sailing is my current competitive outlet. Needless to say…Thursday after the races was a somber time. I was in my head trying to figure out what needed to be done in the following races to ensure CharlieMike took home top prize.


This night on my way to my tent I was brushing my teeth and was approached by 2 fellows I had seen throughout the week, one (D-Bag) who has a major hard-on for my brother, and a helmsman from another boat who loves the "mara-juh-wanna." The following are the highlights of our exchange:



D-Bag: Where is Chuck?

Me: Asleep.

D-Bag: Why are you so uptight?

Me: I’m not uptight, I just don’t like you.

D-Bag: Why do you keep backing away?

Me: Because I don’t want you to burn me with your cigarette.

D-Bag: Yeah, because I am going to burn you

Me: Well, it is really close to his dick. (Pointing at Extremely High Dude’s penis area)

Extremely High Dude: Yeah man, that is really close to my dick. (No breath/pause) Do you like to be naked?

Me: Yeah, don’t you?

Extremely High Dude: Wanna get naked now?

Me: Fuck no. (And I went to sleep.)


Back to Foulies...What Month is It...July...?

Friday came with some fog, low winds, and that shitty mist. It was back to foulies and boots. Our start was middle of the road. We should have gone earlier and changed our upwind heading. After the initial excitement was over we seemed to be in 7th in a fleet of 9. Without fail our tactics and crew work were unmatched. In an attempt to hold our second place standing we covered boats and made decisions which helped us creep up on several boats. The wind lightened. The course was shortened. As the final upwind leg carried on we were neck and neck with several boats. Hiking hard and clenching our ass cheeks we squeaked by any threats and crossed the finish.

 
This is what a bad start looks like...

The horn sounded, we all took a beat, and then rejoiced. Too fucking soon. In our attempt to squeeze out other boats we came through the finish close to the mark. The Race Committee had shortened the course, in doing so they hooked the 2 windward marks together. After one and a half boat lengths we found that we had hooked the mark. First step is figuring out if it is on the rudder or the keel. Always start with the rudder on the Ft10. My brother lifted the rudder and we were not freed. Since we now knew it was hooked on the keel we had to take the mark and run it up and around the bow. Once we finished that we were forced to spin and go through the finish once again. This maneuver put us in 5th place, with the previously standing 1st place boat finishing behind in 6th. Not an easy thing to swallow. Had we not hooked the mark we would have secured first place for the race and the entire week; that however, was not our fate. And with that mistake race week was over.

Threre are no points for 2nd Place

Sofa King Good

On the way in we de-rigged as much as we could; removing the vang, boom, storing sails, and pulling up halyards. We got in line at the dock and waited to put the boat back on the trailer and lower the mast. This time all 8 of us were there to help. It came down with little trouble; the most interesting thing was the crowd of people around watching it happen. Got it done, tied it all up and headed over to the Rum Tent for the awards and final interactions with the crews. All the disappointment from having gotten a second place settled and we were able to have a good time. As a crew we went out for dinner and then back to camp for some miscellany; snacks, Frisbee, chatting, and a random dude with a guitar all tied the bow on what was a pretty badass week.


Then next morning we woke to overcast and the results of rain, packed up camp and headed out. I stopped in Seattle for breakfast at Wayward Vegan Café and enjoyed splitting some of the most delicious French Toast and a Veggie-ful Scramble.



On the way back to the real world: Strait of Juan de Fuca...Amazing
I struggled a bit with the results of the week, the last moments were the highest highs and the lowest low. It is a hard concept to swallow knowing that we were the ones that lost it. Prowler (the 1st place boat) didn’t win. We took everything we worked all week for and handed it over on a silver platter. (In actuality it was a Wooden Plaque and a 2x3 Super 30 fleet flag…but you get the picture.) In hindsight all you can do is move on. Take the mistake, flush it and enjoy the small battles won throughout the week.

There is nothing I would have rather spent my time doing. I learned a lot about racing, got closer with the crew, can now rig the Tiger in my sleep, and got a chance to meet some very interesting characters. I’m hungry for a first place. Whidbey Island Race Week 2013 is going to see a new champion in the Super 30 Fleet.


Best Crew Around


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SLACKER!


Soooo, originally this was supposed to be a blog about running and food and whatnot…after a few weeks it seems to be more about food and whatnot, than it is about running. Hmm, maybe that is because I haven’t run since my half marathon in June. I am signed up for one over labor day, but that shit just ain’t gonna happen…And I’ll tell you why…I’m fucking busy.

It is already the third week of August and I don’t even have my August training calendar up in my cube. I have not been to the gym since 1 week before my June half. It is kind of crazy. Recently I have something going on every night after work that goes until around 9pm, leaving me little time for anything else…This may sound like a buttload of complaining, but it is not. I am psyched!!

During the week the 8+ hours of work and hour of commuting really get in the way of the fun things I would actually like to do, so what ends up happening is I cram a bunch of stuff into the weekends. Sailing, hanging out with friends, laundry, cooking, cleaning, seeing my family, (who I barely recognize any more)…most weekdays I have to be packed and have thought ahead to 2-3 days in advance. To give you an idea of what seems to be a pattern of insanity here is what my week was last week:

Sunday: Sailing and swimming at Vancouver Lake, Sunday dinner with friends

Monday: Work, recruiter meeting, and prepare for the next 3 days.

Tuesday: Drop off car and bike to work, work, sail, and assist with food prep for event…sleep…?
I love my bike!!

Wednesday: Event prep, execution and clean-up…sleep…?

Thursday: Work and sail.

Friday: Work and sail, dinner with my brother, maybe lay down…?

Saturday: Make 175 sandwiches with the help of my lovely sister. Deliver them.
Mmm, Sangwiches...




Last week was insane. This week is similar:

Go on a 4+ mile hike, swim, Sunday dinner with friends, and prepare for the following week.
View West
View East


My sister and me at the top of Angel's Rest...It was bright.

Monday: Drop off car and bike to work, work, bike back to my car, attend Yacht Club Meeting

Tuesday: Work and sail

Wednesday: Bike to work, bike to lunch meeting, bike back to work, work, bike home, pick-up dad from airport
36 Miles on a 97 Degree Day...Fucking Rad.


Thursday: Work and sail

Friday: Bike to work, work, bike home…Relax? OR Take the day off work and go camping for one night.

Saturday: Return from camping, and attend Family beach weekend

Sunday: Beach, drive home, and prepare for the following week.

This shit never ends. I’m fucking tired. It is amazing! After living in Chicago for 2 years and doing virtually nothing but work, eat, watch TV, and hang out, having all of my time filled with tons of activities is incredible. I am making up for all of that time I wasted. I have experienced more of my hometown in the past 3 months than I did in pretty much my entire life up to this point. (This is mostly because in my younger life I was always playing softball/track/cross country/cheerleading on weekends and evenings.)

I am barely at my house. The majority of time I spend there is asleep, and that is typically for 5-6 hours. Somewhere in the mix of things I am supposed to eat and shower <-- I always make time for those things. MUY IMPORTANTE.

This [sort of] brings me back to my original point. I need to get back to pounding pavement and banging weights. I look ok, I am relatively strong, but I definitely should be farther along with my overall physical fitness, and I should be prepared to run a half in 2 weeks…What I will lack in goal accomplishment I have made up for 10 fold by doing everything else. Yeah, having a ton of red Xs and low percentages showing on my calendars makes me feel shitty, but whatever; I’m happy.

When summer series for sailing is over I’ll get back to it. I will run in Run Like Hell in October. I convinced some friends to do it too. So in the near future I will revise my training calendars so they are tailored to that event. I still need to run a half in 1:45 before the end of 2012.

I bought a Cyclocross bike in June and have used it less than I intended…but I’ve ridden to work, and around town a fair amount. I signed up for a clinic to learn how to race. I registered with the appropriate governing body and will try to knock some bitches out for a few weeks in the fall. I want to get into Crossfit too. I suffer from a condition where I want to be super badass all of the time, and I just feel like Crossfit would really contribute to my overall health and well being as well as satisfy my need for ever increasing badass-edness. It will make me stronger, faster and more explosive; all things that will help me with my Cross-ventures and in my half marathons.

I have this fantasy that as soon as weekday sailing is over I will have all of this time to just chill…the reality is I have already filled that space. I seem to not be able to sit still. If I tell myself to take a rest I get anxious that nothing is getting done. I already have goal ideas for next year…

The moral of the story here, I suppose, is even when you make goals things change. You commit to other ventures and your life will have to be slightly reorganized. I do feel shitty about missing out on the half over Labor Day, not running for the entire summer, and all of those damned red Xs…but I did so many things to offset it. I wasn’t sitting on the couch eating Oreos and Chips…I hiked, swam, rode my bike, sailed like a muthuh-fuggin fool, cooked food, became a legit catering assistant, started a blog, wrote a ton of recipes, coordinated 2 events of 120+ people, and probably a bunch of stuff I am forgetting…This has been the best summer since the one after I graduated college where I had no job and just goofed off for 3 months before I entered the “real” world.

So maybe I should have run. Maybe I should have gone to the gym…but I didn’t…what’s a girl to do…? (ANSWER: See extensive list above)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Single Serving Raw Berry Cheesecakes

I found the recipe for this on POST PUNK KITCHEN. I like it. People have said they are good…I will continue to improve the outcome and try new flavors…Chocolate Peanut butter comes to mind…
Please note I do not own a food processor. If you have one this will work much better and faster for you…I have a small food chopper and a Ninja brand blender…So yeah, my process is extra “special.”

Soaking Cashews...

Other equipment you will need is 2 muffin tins. Muffin papers are optional. It would probably work really well. I try to be fancy so I just grease the tins.

FIRST and FOREMOST : SOAK THE CASHEWS!!! At least 3 hours. I need to try for more than 3 to see if I can get a slightly better texture.

When your Cashews are 10-15 minutes away from total soaked-ness Prep the Crust
Crust
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 medjool dates, pitted and chopped (the original recipe called for 4…I found it didn’t come together quickly enough or sticky enough.



Pulse nuts and salt in the blender. I like to do medium chop…not fine, not coarse…Rustic…? Add the chopped dates. Pulse until the mixture sticks together when pressed.

Not too fine...RUSTIC. Chopped Dates Added.


Really dark photo of crumbly date/nut mixture...who took these shitty pictu...Damn, it was me.


Grease your muffin tins with coconut oil. Or put the papers in. Evenly spoon the mixture into the tins. I found it was 1-2 heaping teaspoons each.
Evenly distributed...


Squished Down...

Press the mixture down. Up the sides a bit if you can. I have not tried but would recommend increasing the crust recipe so each cake has a thicker base and sidewall.

Filling
3 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 3 hours (I read no more than 7)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup water
3 limes (small)
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free...unless that's what you have)
4-ish cups fresh or frozen berries
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted


Pulse 1 cup of cashews in food chopper until crumbly.

Crumbly


Add some agave (I just did one turn of my small processor), water: a tablespoon or so, juice of one lime (they were super small limes and not very juicy…a couple tsps) and .5 tsp vanilla.
PUREE. Scrape down the sides a few times to make sure everything is fully incorporated.

Smooth


When it was as smooth as I could get it (had the patience for) I added half the strawberries to my blender, glopped in the cashew mixture, and put the other half of the berries on top. I feel like layering makes things mix faster and better…in reality it probably makes no significant difference.



About a 1 1/3 Cups of Each Berry Type...For Three Types...DO MATH

Layered in the blender...

Blend. It should look extremely smooth like a delicious drink. (Don’t drink it…you are making cheesecakes, not a smoothie!)

Since my blender doesn’t have a feed hole I just added the melted coconut oil all at once…The original recipe says to stream it through the stream hole…I wasn’t trying to explode pink goop all over my kitchen.
Mix well...

Ka-Blow! Mid Blend...







Pour the filling into 8 of the muffin cups. They should come within millimeters of the top edge of the cup. Just make sure they are even. It may seem as though they will never set up but they do…
I like to put a berry (slice) in the middle of each cake so people know what is in them, plus it looks bad ass.
 Set aside. REPEAT with the other types of berries.


Ready to be covered and frozen...Looks Freaking SAWEEEEET!!!


Cover with plastic and let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Make sure they are flat…Otherwise they will look stupid. I put them in the freezer…b/c I was in a hurry. They turned out, but probably didn’t set as well as they could have, but they are kind of delicious as a frozen treat. Sometime in the near future I will do it correctly and report back…Maybe I’ll stop being such a loser and buy a food processor.
If you do put them in the freeeeezer, take them out 10-15 minutes before you are ready for dessert. Let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and use a super skinny knife to pop them out of the tray. Let them defrost a bit so they are easily edible.
Don't leave them out too long or they will get smooshy. Smooshiness does not decrease tastiness--but you may need a spoon.

Ready to be shared...

 Check back for updates as I improve this recipe and add new flavors. These are a hit with all people. Most often fielded question is,  "How can they be cheesecakes without cheese?" To which you get to reply, "Nut Cheese," which always makes me laugh. Nut Cheese...Try to say it with a straight face!