Sunday, September 30, 2012



One of eight islands in the California channel island chain, Catalina is about an hour southwest of Los Angeles. Barefoot and suntanned, I spent summers here as a child. This is where I first fell in love with the sea, and where I keep falling for it.  

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Sprouting at Home

Encouraging germination. Tasty, tasty germination #beansprouts


Humans eat seeds- it's our thing. Beans and grains are dietary staples globally because they are nutrient-rich and contain complex sugars for metabolism. However, these foods can also be difficult to digest. Why?

Before a seed begins to develop into a mature plant, it contains enzyme inhibitors to maintain dormancy and stores phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. These compounds are bad news in the human gut. Enzyme inhibitors inactivate human digestive enzymes. They prevent  us from fully processing our food, and limit our ability for nutrient uptake. Phytic acid inhibits uptake of calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. 

Now, given a few days in water beans and grains become much easier to digest. As they germinate, seeds turn off their enzyme inhibitors and make a whole new suite of nutritious proteins. Soaking also neutralizes phytic acid, making sprouts a healthy, tasty snack. Black-eyed pea sprouts are a great addition to garden salad, and chickpea sprouts are awesome with avocado and lemon...mmm.

To make sprouts at home: 

1. Soak beans or grains in a mason jar covered with cloth (secured with a rubber band). Seeds should be completely submerged. Set them on the counter overnight.

2. Pour the water off, and allow the seeds to drain completely. Leave the jar on the counter for a day.

3. Rinse and drain your seeds daily. After 3 to 4 days they're ready to eat! 

Friday, September 14, 2012


Creation space #myroom #corkboard #interior Watercolor #painting tonight. #nofilter My soul dances at the smell of autumn on the wind.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sea Change

 After August in transit, a little stability has been welcome. Returning home was an exhalation- a necessary opportunity to slow down, lay anchor, and focus.

   Back in Los Angeles, I've started several paintings, finished a new book (Novella Carpenter's Farm City), and am deep in the graduate application process. Between the NSF grant and application essays, I am writing, writing, writing. This should all be finished by early November. After that, I'll turn my attention to the next adventure, whatever it may be.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Good Questions

With roughly 24,000 species described, fish are the most diverse vertebrates on earth. Thirty to forty percent of these species are associated with tropical reefs, which cover less than 0.1% of the ocean’s surface. 

How did such incredible diversity arise in such a small geographic area? From an evolutionary perspective, it is fascinating to ask how species and populations are related, and what factors influence those relationships. How, how, how are there so many species on reefs? A plethora of new questions burst from that one, on and on. 


Saturday, September 1, 2012

In Transit

 I spent August in The Pacific Northwest, exploring Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. The trip was centered around an ichthyology meeting hosted at The University of British Columbia. It was a chance to meet faculty from potential graduate programs and to see a new part of the world. Here are some photos from along the way:

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