Oct 20, 2014

Portland parks in early fall.


Peninsula Park, North Portland. A thirty minute walk from our house, through one of my favorite neighborhoods in town, past houses built in the early years of the twentieth century, it's a smaller rose garden than the test garden in Southwest Portland, but it is equally charming (and less crowded). 


Laurelhurst Park, Southeast Portland. It's a sign that we're missing our old neighborhood when we visit this park twice in a week. I could spend all day walking through the park, reading by the pond and watching the ducks. 


All photos made with my Mamiya C220 on Portra 400.
Developed and scanned at Blue Moon Camera.

Oct 13, 2014

Paris in B&W -- Jardins


I don't shoot very much black and white. In fact, I don't shoot very much these days, and when I do, it's usually a roll of Portra 400 or a pack of Fuji FP-100C through my Polaroid back. But whenever I do shoot black and white, I tell myself that I really need to use it more often. So I brought a few rolls with me to France and here are some images from a couple of days in Paris. All but the last image were taken in the jardins du Luxembourg. The last one was made in the parvis Notre-Dame, if I'm not mistaken. 

Oct 2, 2014

Provence, Part 1



Some images from a week in Provence at the beginning of last month. We did what one should do when in Provence: explored small towns and villages, ate our weight in juicy tomatoes and olives, drank local wine, admired olive groves and vineyards and sat in the sun. It was a full week, and I realized how much I had missed that region and can't wait to go back. More photos to come. 

Top row: Avignon
Middle: Cucuron
Bottom: la Tour-d'Aigues. 
All made with a Mamiya 645 Pro on Portra 400

Jul 25, 2014

On food


Photos taken in San Francisco on a Mamiya 645 Pro with Fuji FP-100C (left) and FP-3000B (right)

The past few months have been full of small changes. Some of them have had a greater impact than others. All of them have kept me away from photography in a way, some for a good reason, others not. I'll only delve into one in this post, nutrition, because it has been a very important issue to me for years. 

I recently diagnosed myself with lactose intolerance. The signs had become too evident to miss. I had been baking a lot, and felt more weakened than ever before. I felt drained, had stomach pains more often than not, and when I stopped consuming dairy, the stomachaches disappeared. 

For someone born and raised in one of the biggest dairy producing regions of France, the fact that dairy was my enemy came as quite a shock. I could not comprehend why I had to have a food intolerance. After all, I am one of the healthiest eaters you will ever meet. I eat a ton of vegetables, don't eat things that come out of a fast food place or a box (especially if they list more than 5 ingredients), cook 90% of what my husband and I eat at home, cut the (brown only) sugar content in everything I bake by 75%, only eat baked goods I've made myself etc. I've also been a vegetarian since I was 15. And not the kind of vegetarian who will eat meat on pizza. The kind that hasn't touched any in close to 15 years. The kind that doesn't make any exceptions. 

I had a little more energy but not enough for someone my age. And I still had ankle pain. I got rid of that problem by getting on an exercise bike a couple of times a week or when I could feel my ankle becoming weak. I was finally able to walk without feeling overwhelmed by pain (and quite frankly, despair, after 5 or 6 sprains that never healed). 

Around the same time, I found that when I drank more than one caffeinated beverage a day, my sinuses would get more congested. Because I've been suffering from sinus problems for a year and a half, I limited myself to a cup of black tea in the morning, and switched to herbal tea the rest of the day. 

Then I decided to do more than quit dairy, walk and bike. I realized that I could not have energy if I kept consuming empty calories from all purpose flour. I'd been using spelt more, but I chose to change my whole approach to cooking. I cut out all purpose flour when baking, replaced it with whole grains and made sure to use more and more gluten free flours when I baked. I've also replaced eggs with flax seeds in baked goods, so that when I eat eggs, they have the flavor of, well, eggs. Not chocolate or banana bread. 

Because my main concern was still energy, I also started walking more, invested in a new pedometer (I had one a few years ago and got a little carried away with the number of steps I needed to take), and I've been doing cardio workouts a few times a week. Soon, I started feeling more alive and stronger, and I had energy to see friends. 

I've relearning how to bake and cook, and eating foods that have more flavor than I ever thought possible. My banana muffins have more complex flavors than their egg, butter and white flour counterparts, thanks to coconut oil, spelt, buckwheat, wholewheat pastry flour and flax seeds. My favorite snack is a chia raw cacao oat milk pudding. I make the oat milk myself twice a week. I also put homemade cashew cheese on tacos, and sprinkle ground almonds on almond crust vegetable tarts. Yes, all of those changes take more time, but I love cooking and want to open a cafĂ© at some point, so cooking is never a chore for me. It is an opportunity to connect with Brent, and be more present (something I struggle with). 

Luckily, this city also has an abundance of great healthy food and many people to turn to for culinary inspiration or advice. But those are subjects for another day. 


Notes: 

I consulted with my naturopathic doctor to make sure I wasn't going to screw with my body. 

I am taking supplements such as vitamins B12 and D (to facilitate calcium absorption) 

I'm not saying this lifestyle is for everyone. I do what works for me. When I notice an imbalance (and I am very quick to notice them these days), I reconsider the way I've been living in the few days prior.