Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recent happenings

An update on some things that are going on in the life of Trent...
1) I am going to law school in one month. I will be attending Franklin Pierce Law in Concord, NH. That means that I will be leaving Boston very soon! I can't believe how many people take it as a surprise when I tell them this "news". I thought everybody knew.
2) I am really excited for law school. I feel similar to when I first started BYU as a freshman: ambitious, eager, charged, excited, motivated, and happy. These are very different feelings compared with my senior year of BYU...
3) I have not seen the Dark Knight yet, but I want to so bad that it hurts. Tomorrow may be the day. I've only run into two individuals who didn't give it amazing reviews, but these two individuals may not count. First off, they are both girls and let's be honest-some girls can't always fully appreciate the Batman. They're also roommates so maybe they infused each other with falsehoods.
4) I am training for a marathon... in New Hampshire... October 4th. It is USATF certified, meaning that if I run it in 3:10 I qualify for Boston. I'm shooting for a sub-3 hour performance. I just ask myself, 'Is there a better way to complement a rigorous school schedule than with some intense physical exertion?' The answer that keeps echoing in my mind is 'No.'
5) My apartment all of the sudden has a lot of ants, everywhere. For almost one year, we have been ant-free. But now they are here, and I'm just wondering where these little guys come from... I was on the bus the other day and there was an ant crawling on my backpack. I shook my head, realizing where he came from. This morning, I was reading my scriptures with my B-Sox hat on, and I looked up at the rim. Lo and behold there was an ant crawling on the rim. Well, good thing that Windex works wonders on them.
6) The idea of social justice is really starting to fascinate me. I'll write more about this later, but really briefly I believe that we all should have equal opportunities for success in life. The question is implementation. I wonder if people would voluntarily help others if it were not mandated. That would be the best case scenario ideally, but we all know that we don't live in an ideal world.
7) East of Eden is a very fascinating book. I read it almost daily and am now a third of the way done. If you haven't gotten over the bad high school memories of reading Grapes of Wrath, you probably wouldn't believe me when I say that Steinbeck is a great author. Well, trust me. Or better yet, go out and see for yourself. He really has a knack with using the English language to convey his message.
8) I want to start a new website that may potentially be a big deal. I don't want to publicly expose this idea though, as I may get scooped. If you're interested in hearing about it, write me an email and if I deem you trustworthy, I will fill you in.
9) Cooking = good times. I have really gotten into the dessert making thing lately. Yesterday it was caramel popcorn and I'm coming to the point where I don't need a candy thermometer. Watch out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A breakfast you must try before you die

I started this morning off on a really good note because I ate something I haven't eaten in a long time: buckwheat, also known as grechka. More than likely, you have never tried this classic Russian dish. If you like good food, you will most probably enjoy grechka. Let me tell you the secret to making it taste delicious.
Buckwheat is a grain that has an appearance similar to rice. If you are unable to find it at your local grocery store, go to a more natural/healthy store like Whole Foods. You also need some peach juice. I'm not talking about the juice that accompanies canned peaches, rather actual peach juice. Going to your local Russian store is a surefire way of finding everything I'm talking about. You'll also need a banana, milk, and sweetened condensed milk.

Cook the buckwheat just as you would rice--on the stove and uncovered. However much buckwheat you want to cook, add double the water. I made half a cup of buckwheat and it was plenty for me. Once all the water has boiled out, the smell will have filled up your kitchen with grechka goodness. Now you are ready to add the other materials. Get your banana and smash it to a pulp in a separate dish. Then add it, along with some milk, peach juice, and a dash of condensed milk to the mix. Delicious!

Now I'd like to talk about the health benefits of buckwheat. The nice thing about eating buckwheat is that you don't feel hungry shortly after breakfast. This is because the glycemic index is a whopping 65. Just to give you perspective, dry pasta is only 49. It has so much fiber which provides a cleansing feeling throughout the day. This isn't a sluggish feeling, rather a feeling of refinement. After eating a serving, my intestinal tract feels like a well-oiled machine. The iron makes you more alert during the day. It is low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. In fact, a protein in buckwheat has been shown to bind to cholesterol very tightly, not letting it go and congest your body. 2. Feel grateful that you have little friends that go around your body binding the bad guys. Buckwheat contains rutin, a medicinal chemical that strengthens capillary walls, reducing hemorrhaging in people with high blood pressure and increasing circulation. 1 Also, it contains D-chiro-inositol, a component related to Type II diabetes. Research to treat diabetes with buckwheat looks promising. Also, prepared my way, you get your Vitamin C, Potassium and healthy sugars.

My advice to all you blog readers: Get out of your mundane breakfast regimens and try grechka. Your body will thank you.


1. N. Ihme1, H. Kiesewetter, F. Jung, K. H. Hoffmann, A. Birk, A. Müller and K. I. Grützner (2003). "Leg oedema protection from a buckwheat herb tea in patients with chronic venous insufficiency: a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial". European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 51: 7287–7291.
2. H. Tomotake, I. Shimaoka, J. Kayashita, F. Yokoyama, M. Nakajoh and N. Kato. (2001). "Stronger suppression of plasma cholesterol and enhancement of the fecal excretion of steroids by a buckwheat protein product than by a soy protein isolate in rats fed on a cholesterol-free diet.". Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 65: 1412–1414. doi:10.1271/bbb.65.1412

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Being modest is not always the hottest

Apparently, I am good at a few things in life. The problem is that I don't know how to react when others give me praise. I end up downplaying others' compliments--not the proper way of responding. I'll give you some recent examples.

Example 1
Person A: You are a really fast runner!
Me: I'm not that fast.
Person A (unfazed): How do you get to be so fast?
Me: [Awkward pause] Well, testosterone goes a long ways in the sport of running.
Person A: Really?
Example 2
Person B: You are really good at swing dancing.
Me: There are a lot of dancers better than me.
Person B: No, you're really good, honestly.
Me: Well, I just make up moves out there...

Basically, I think I need to come up with better responses to compliments that are less modest. I thought of the solution while I was on my run this morning. Here are some one-liners that I will now use in response to praise of any kind:
"I know!" [in an enthusiastic and confident tone]
"Aren't I?" [with a genuine expression, pausing until they give an answer]
"I was thinking the same thing." [nodding slightly]
"I'm glad you brought that up. I'll have to concur." [non-sarcastically]