Thursday, March 9, 2017

How I got addicted to powder

Hi all!

Greetings from Chamonix! I haven't been writing any blog posts in a while. There's a reason: I've been busy skiing. And no, I haven't done much anything else. Pretty much mainly just skiing. But still I feel like I haven't done enough of it.

Today I'm feeling a bit sick. Again. My nose is running and head hurts. This is already third time after coming here. Not sure whether it's because of the pollution here in the valley, which is a serious problem btw (please all my Finnish friends, stop buying Spanish tomatoes etc. I heard that the trucks travel through here and the traffic is a big part of the pollution problem), or whether it's just because I'm not sleeping enough.

When I was doing my PhD, my working hours were around 10-18 (plus evenings at home). I just couldn't get up earlier. And went to bed too late. In here, however, I go to bed still way too late but somehow the hunger for good snow is enough to get me up much earlier than in Finland. Even if it wasn't a powder day, I feel like I have to go there and do enough of laps to get my legs in shape so that I will be able to push it on those powder days. Because of this, I'm sleeping much less and I can totally feel it...

So yes, I would call my passion for skiing now as an addiction. I get frustrated if I don't get there early enough or if I don't get enough skiing per day. If I stay home and try to do my work at the computer, I just think of skiing and become unhappy because I'm not there at the mountains. I mean like I get depressed even. I can't concentrate at all. I've also neglected my yoga practise, too much. My teachers in here have noticed it and are asking where I've been and I had to admit to one of them that in addition to being sick last time maybe I've been skiing a bit too much, him answering that "that's another kind of disease". I agree.

I have to admit that my mind goes already: next season I know already so much more and know the places etc...

I do also spend maybe like 80% more time in the bars than what I did in Finland. Although now it's just mainly going to after ski. I don't really go there because I would like a glass of wine (which I take anyways). I go there mainly to meet the people I already know from here and hear where they've been skiing that day. I go there for the stories and company, which I admit is nice.

For those of you that read my blog because of the Tinder stories etc. Yes, I've downloaded Tinder in here. But haven't had enough of time (or interest) to go on a single date! Seems that the strive for skiing is strong enough to even keep me away from Tinder, which is quite amazing. And well, to be honest, unlike in Finland where no-one approaches outside of Tinder or without being shitfaced drunk, I might not even need Tinder in here.

My dogs look like little mountain trolls because I haven't had enough time to trim them well. Obviously also because my trimmer is still back in Finland. They, as well, love the powder days!! We go behind the Aguille du Midi lift station and I throw snow balls. They go absolute nuts and just dive into the big piles of snow while trying to catch the balls.

Thus, today I'm taking a day off because I'm trying to be wise enough and not ski when feeling sick. Obviously my body is telling me to relax. And to eat smoothie bowls. I do try to have a couple of days off per week and to do work (or apply for it). Not sure how much good this ski bum life does to my career but I've been telling myself that since I haven't had the chance to build a family, one might enjoy life in other ways, right?! Therefore, it feels extremely difficult to concentrate on work right now.

When you would just want to go there, to the mountains, and feel free.

-Mari - recovering overachiever, currently enjoying life

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Less is more - January

Hi all!

One of my resolutions for this year was to buy less stuff and I promised to report everything I buy, in here. Well not everything, such as food and stuff, but like other items I buy, such as clothes etc. The aim was that then maybe I would consider if I really need the item, when I know that I have to report about it to you all. In addition, I would think about the ethical aspects of the item, a bit at least. Not that I haven't been doing that already but just to give it more thought. So here are the things I bought in January (sorry I didn't report earlier, left my charger for my camera in Finland and had to wait for my parents to send it to me... plus I've been a bit busy here... skiing mainly... you know :D):


Quite a lot of mountain stuff, huh? Hiking shoes i had to buy since my previous ones lost their bottom half in Norway last spring. Heheh. But they served me for almost 20 years. It was their time to go. Then there is some safety gear that I nowadays carry in my backpack every day. Must have stuff in here!! Safety first! Although, I know that the transceiver I got is not the best one... I chose the cheap one... But, my main aim is to avoid going to places that are too risky, get to know snow and how it acts, conditions, terrain and all, so that I would never have to actually use that one. Which is why I've done a snow safety course in Finland, Ylläs, already last year and have refreshed my skills in here. I also took a brief glacier course, so that I would know how to use all ropes and stuff that people carry with them when going to glacier and places where there's a risk of falling to holes and stuff. Trying to gather knowledge at first and be wise, you know.

Mountains of Chamonix

I had to add my ski boot insoles in this pile (even though I think that I actually bought them already in December) because (and this in not a paid add) they're just wonderful. And my boots are also so wonderful now after letting the guys at Sole bootlab fix em for me. I think that those insoles and all the other fixing increased the lifetime of my ski boots until almost forever. If you ever come to Chamonix and have any problems with your ski boots, I would recommend their services. Happy feet = happy skiing <3 (believe me, my boots were hurting like hell before this)

Then some things to keep me warm: silk gloves (LOVE em!!) and a light jacket that goes underneath the top coat (well maybe this was not completely necessary since I've got two already but both of em are a bit thicker!!). This is primaloft instead of real feathers. Because I started thinking about where they get the feathers. Does it hurt the birds? Plus I heard that synthetic would be better for active sports (usually I try to avoid synthetics, especially in the base layer, because I just start to stink in something made of polyester or similar. It's weird, I know...). I chose Patagonia simply because I've been affected by their environmental friendly marketing. Then yet another beanie... But this was a gift from an event I attented: MTN girls academy organised a little mountain safety course and gave out those Ledrapo beanies as a gift. It was a nice day, if you girls are interested in skiing and learning mountain safety with other women, check out their FB page.

Didn't buy too much unnecessary stuff in January, right??

I'm happy with my start but I'm afraid that February got out of control already. Stay tuned...


Friday, January 6, 2017

Molecular epiphanies... and smoothie bowls

Hey all!

It's Epiphany today! Back to the roots; did you know that this blog was called "Molecular epiphanies" at first? Not referring to the Christian feast day (Three Kings' day), which indeed is today, but to the word "epiphany", which means "a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization." I had to change the name because pronouncing it is too hard for me, haha. It gave me some awkward moments when people asked me what's the name of my blog and I was mumbling some gibberish. 

Anyways. Would you like to hear about smoothie bowls?

Talking about passion: I went to Bali, Indonesia, before coming here to France and there in Canggu, the hipster heaven, I fell in love with smoothie bowls (and my ridiculously good looking and cute surf teacher but somehow managed to keep myself from eating him alive, hahaha). Those bowls contained a piece of heaven, I tell you. Then, when I came back home, I was missing Bali so much that I started making those smoothie bowls myself.

Usually the "base" of my smoothie bowl contains

1 banana
1dl soy yogurt
1dl berries/some other fruit

These I mix with a blender. On top of the bowl you can put pretty much anything. In the morning I usually like to add granola, just because I love it. And cinnamon powder <3 Here in the following picture I had added also some mini energy balls. Those are just made of died dates and figs, which I soaked first in a bit of water and then mixed with a blender and added some chia seeds and almond flour (and grated in a bit of frozen lemon, from which you get a lot of flavour when you can use also the surface of the lemon, organic option recommended) to make a paste firm enough to roll into little energy-rich and raw balls. Planning on making dem ballz as snacks for ski tours as well! Nams mums!!

If sometimes you would like to avoid using soy products too much (because modesty in everything, sometimes vegetarian or vegan diet can contain a bit too much of it) and would like to give your bowel a nice and cleansing fibre treatment, I tried also making a smoothie bowl out of almond milk and ispaghula husk powder (aka psyllium) by mixing them together and adding in banana and fruits. These also made a nice base, a bit fluffier in a way. Although, I must admit that I somehow really like the taste of soy yogurt...

My tea says:
"Doing something out of compassion, will never be wrong."

Anyhow, these smoothie bowls are a pretty nice and healthy alternative that I would recommend to try. Add some nuts or chia seeds on top to give more energy and protein, if you wish. Or treat your sweet tooth with some dried fruits when having your smoothie bowl as a snack. I'm at least completely hooked! 

PS: back to the roots also in another way today - held a yoga class to some of my friends here in Chamonix. Oh I want to teach again!! I love it! Wish me luck on finding a space where to teach!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Resolutions for 2017 - the year of passion

Hello my dear readers and happy new year 2017!!

It has been long since I wrote the last time. Therefore, my first resolution for 2017 is:

1. Start writing. Again. More. 

New year, new things: I moved to Chamonix, France and I think that now it's more than appropriate to change the language and start writing in English. Why I moved here? Well... I like skiing and realised that now would be the perfect time to spend a season at the Alps (and finally actually lear to ski... or speak French). Since I don't have family or other obligations really, so why don't I take advantage of this freedom. So that's pretty much why I came here. I also thought that I need a timeout; a bit of time for myself so that I can figure out what I want to do with my life - especially what kind of a career I would like to have in the future. Do I continue in research and if so, what kind of research I would like to do? Or would I like to choose a different path? And what would THAT be?

I usually don't make any particular resolutions for the new year but this time I had something in mind. Because I feel that this year, as well, is something special.

First of all, I made this funny test in Facebook that was supposed to tell me what will I manifest in 2017. I got the word "PASSION". First I thought that "funny funny, the universe is making fun of me since I'm already starting to forget what passion even means, having been single for ages..." (yup, still single, what a surprise) but then a few days later I realised that "passion" is exactly my theme for 2017. Finding my passion. Finding the thing that excites me the most and preferably moving from passion to profession. I mean finding the thing that I'm really interested about and finding my future job in that field or area of interest (thus not going for adult entertainment, okay?).

So I'm asking myself now: what is my passion? Not only professional passion but maybe allowing myself to find some passion in private life as well? Who knows? Thus my next resolution is:

2. Finding my passion. 

I will write about the passion hunt a bit more later on but related to the subject is my passion about the Mother Nature. I know already that one of the things that I'm passionate about is taking care of the earth, on which we live on, and all the creatures sharing it with me. During 2016 I started moving towards a more plant-based diet and I nowadays I try to be vegan, although not being too strict about it, yet. I don't eat meat and I try to buy only vegan products from the grocery store but I still eat cheese and some dairy products when eating out, and very rarely also fish. First my idea was to become more ecological but the more I learned about intensive livestock farming, the more ethical my choices became. I'm kind of bouncing now between ecological and ethical choices, since I'm also concerned about the transportation of different kind of products and thinking which option is better for the earth: transportation of vegan products from all around the earth or consumption of local products, possibly including dairy or meat. Currently I've come to the decision on using as much local vegetarian products as I can and not stress too much bout it. But I will not lecture about this or try to make you do the same as I'm doing, because I read this:

3. "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Wise words by Mahatma Gandhi, I guess. My third resolution. I was thinking the options to do so that I could change the world and make it a better place for all of us to live on but I realised that I can't change it. I can but change my own actions, behave the best I can, and set example to others.

Talking about setting example, my fourth resolution is actually related to the third one:

4. Less is more.

Especially focusing on less consumption and less less less less PLASTIC. This is a continuum from 2016 since last year I started thinking about the usage of plastic products and the build up of plastic waste, by making choices that would decrease its usage, by setting for example a rule to myself that I would not buy clothes that would have for example polyester in them. Or as less as possible. Is cotton then more ecological since growing it consumes a lot of water (let's not even go into child labour and other ethical issues?) I don't know. But buying less would be. As much as I like fashion and buying new clothes and shoes etc. I'm trying to buy less this year. I really try. And to make buying harder to myself, I'm going to report to you, my dear readers, about every product I buy, with a picture of the product. Is it really necessary? Why did I buy it? Will not include food though but you know, clothes and that kind of stuff.

So there you go. Those are my aims for this year. What are yours?

Greetings from Mont Blanc <3