Eat Food. Including Born to Crunch. Get Outside.

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”   – Walter Bagehot

*This Leon Bridges clip has nothing to do with the below, but I can’t get enough of him.

I had the fortune of listening to Mark Bittman and Yvon Chouinard speak in IMG_3828Jackson last week as part of the Shift JH event. The aim of Shift was to spark the conversation around conservation and recreation. Recreating in nature instills a passion to preserve our public lands, and exposing the next generation to the outdoors will help to create the next land stewards. It’s clear that spending time in nature and experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand catalyze us to do good, join the movement, and strive to make change however possible. But the majority of the US population lives in cities; it’s a luxury to travel to National Parks and spend days away from work and school. Our conversation revolved around issues like that above. This thought-provoking experience was inspiring and eye-opening. While I don’t have a set plan, I’ve been thinking about the small things I can do to make a difference.

Mark Bittman is one of my favorite New York Times oped columnist (he’s no longer writing for them). The overarching theme to his pieces is that “food has the power to make or break not only our personal health but that of the planet.” Large scale agriculture is a leading cause of climate change. Both he and Yvon Chouinard discussed their frustrations with our food system. In his newest book, “A Bone to Pick,” Bittman outlines some of the problems:

Our fossil fuel- and chemical-dependent system of agriculture robs the land of resources in the name of feeding the world. At least a billion people globally- including many millions of Americans- still go hungry. Animals are mass-produced and effectively tortured, and food system workers don’t have it good, either. The standard American diet- too much meat, sugar, and hyperprocessed junk- is fueling an astronomically expensive epidemic of preventable lifestyle diseases for which we are all paying. And to top it all off, the politicians who hold the most power for positive change are all too often in the pockets of special interest that fight and spend to preserve the status quo.

While the above rant, you could call it, resounds pretty bleak and pessimistic, Bittman said he’s still hopeful. Not optimistic, but hopeful. Bittman made a very encouraging point. He challenged the audience to two tasks. 1. Eat food. 2. Eat mostly plants. Food consists of nourishment that leads to increased health; the definition of food does not include poisonous junk or soda. He challenged the audience to eat more plants next week than they did the previous week. We don’t have to drop everything and dramatically change our lifestyles, but make little changes. Incorporate things like buying produce from local vendors into your life. Buy less meat. Cook…with real food. Because the majority of Americans still don’t cook. Teach your children the importance of eating real food. If you’re a business owner, source products sustainably wherever possible.

But please don’t make your own granola…save the hassle and treat yourself to Born to Crunch.

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Forever Young

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

IMG_0005The past few months have been filled with an array of emotions, some of which I’ve been lucky enough to have yet felt, others I’ve been unknowingly waiting all my life.

I lost two beautiful friends to the mountains a few weeks ago. Catherine Nix and Tyler Strandberg, young lives ignited with an adventurous, determined spirit. At 26, I’ve never lost a friend. It shouldn’t happen so young. The waves of emotion are incomprehensible. Life begins to seem more real. More fragile. Less forgiving. We are not invincible.

Conceptualizing the fact that these two girls are no longer here is surreal. Thinking about it causes me to react in the same way as if thinking about death in general. I close my eyes, shake out the thought, and try to forget about it. While avoiding the thought of death is a temporary relief, it’s unsustainable. Death is undoubtedly my biggest fear. I revere those who can accept it.

Nix was different. There was always something about her I couldn’t quite put my finger on whether her calmness, composure, stoicism, or hilarious sarcasm. She was wise, but youthful. She defined real. Nix told you as it was. At 5ft tall on a good day, Nix had the personality and confidence of a LeBron. I met her early on in my move to Jackson, WY; we ran in the same crowd, but it wasn’t until a few months before her tragic death that we grew close. I was so excited for this newfound friendship. Nix guided me to the summit of a peak in the Tetons called St. John’s. A baby of a hike compared to those she spent all summer summiting. Every move, Nix was there for encouragement, every question she answered calmly, but confidently. She was that teacher you’ll always remember. In that moment I felt a proudness for Nix, one I don’t think I’ve ever felt for a friend. I remember I couldn’t stop smiling, and that smile returns now. It’s rare to find a friend who is both a goofy contemporary, and confident leader –not just by example. Small but mighty, Nix commanded unassumingly, which in itself sounds like an oxymoron. That day in the Tetons taught me what to look for in any outdoor adventuring partner. Nix would be my girl.

I’m so thankful for those recent experiences with the incredible Catherine Nix. Not only that climb, but the next day Nix helped me bake and package granola, and label bags. I joked with Nix that none of our friends had ever done that before, and that of course it was she who came to the granola rescue. The mountains command a certain respect. A respect that, like the inconceivable loss of friends, is hard to conceptualize until you’re standing face to face with it. Whenever I look out on the Tetons, I think of Nix. I think of what it means to be a loyal friend, even better person, and inspiring leader. Thank you, Catherine Nix, for teaching me what it means to be great.

May your hands always be busy            IMG_0027 (1)
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

 

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Good lovin…on Kickstarter!

Dearest Freshies,

Last week I published a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for my granola company, Born to Crunch. The most wholesome, crunchy granola there is. Period.

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23 days to go and I’m a little over halfway funded…yayyyy thank you everyone! And I had to share with all the freshfrieda’s out there!!

Celebrate to these jamz:

Jose Gonzales – Stay Alive (Sam Feldt & Chris Meid Remix) 

Ludacris – Good Lovin (Feat. Miguel) (Prod. Da Internz) 

Alt-J – Left Hand Free (Lido Remix) 

Nas – The Season (Prod. By J Dilla) 

 

Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/802554559/born-to-crunch-jackson-holesome-granola

xoxo,

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Crunchie Frieda and Saucy Scary Sus

The Story of Clara the Chick

Anywhere In-between

“…and at once I knew I was not magnificient.” Bon Iver

I daydream. A lot. Mostly while exercising. Often stemming from the song bumping in my headphones. Like when I hear 1,2 Step I imagine I’m with my friends in the middle of a honky-tonk bar when suddenly, we break out like saucy Ciara and Missy. And Work It...gets me every time. Same deal, but instead of fans blowing in our sultry faces, bees swarm the scene. Drama.

 

But then Ben Howard comes on and I imagine he’s serenading me – we write a song together and then he inspires me to achieve everything I’ve ever dreamed. He whispers softly into my ear…”Start a granola company, why don’t you?!.”

 

 

And then I wonder, with all this mental imagery I’ve done while trotting, is it possible that I’d be able to pull off any of my imaginary moves? Doubtful, but not impossible. With the change of the song, my daydream and mood shifts as suddenly as if I clicked the channel up button. One moment I’m the worlds best twerker, the next I’m an emotional, feeling poet, and then I’m a world champion extreme athlete winning races and skiing off cliffs, motivational jams to back me up.

The one common theme to these daydreams…they’re selfishly motivated. All of these false triumphs are further inflated by attention. I don’t think I’ve ever been biking and imagined myself in a remote African village curing Ebola. This is no doubt telling. It’s like I’m Mary Katherine Gallagher in Superstar, daydreaming about my moment of fame. This makes me feel selfish, uncaring, close-minded, and pathetic. And I contemplate this. But if I learned one thing from Kobe Bryant, it’s this:

“When my “obnoxious roommate” knocks on the door in my head, I’ve found it’s better just to let him in. If you try to tune him out, he just bangs louder. If you let him in, he sits down, watches TV and shuts up. Know what I mean?” – KB

In the meantime, I’ll just keep swimming.

Zella Day – Compas (Luis The Child Remix)

Odesza – Say My Name ft. Zyra (cln Remix) 

Cold War Kids – First 

Ben Howard – Hideaway (Kiesza cover) 

 

xoxo,

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Freshly Yours

 

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20 on 20

I’ve been slacking. Majorly.

So I’m easing back in. Heavy on the music, light on the words. Baby steps.

Happy Birthday to the best sister in the whole world!!!

Wafia – Let Me Love You 

Ben Howard – End of the Affair 

ODESZA – Say My Name (feat. Zyra) 

alt-J – Every Other Freckle 

Kwabs – Walk 

Charli XCX – Break The Rules 

Daniel Wilson – Killed Ya 

Shutter Island/Martin Scorsese – This Bitter Earth/On The Nature of Daylight 

Shannon Saunders – Sheets 

Disclosure – Latch (TEEMID X Daniela Andrade Edition) 

Freedom Fry – The Wilder Mile 

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America…Ya There?

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” – Winston Churchill

*Playlist below…enjoy after reading

Not until this year had I really thought about the Fourth of July. And by “thought about” I’m referring to its meaning and importance rather than what not-trying-too-hard/cute-with-a-little-sauce patriotic outfit I should wear. As I contemplated the esteemed American people dressing in red white and blue, inebriated and dancing around swaying mini flags while cheering “USA!,” this celebratory day seemed, today, somewhat hypocritical. Our government is more divided than ever; rather than work together to achieve an inkling of common ground, the political trend of who can appease the farthest right or farthest left spreads fervently. Of course we should celebrate America’s independence on July 4, 1776 (thank you, Founding Fathers), but what are we so proud of about our country today? I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think…oy vey.

Maureen Dowd puts it perfectly:

“Once we had Howard Baker, who went against self-interest for the common good. Now we have Ted Cruz. Once we had Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner whose fortitude in a Japanese P.O.W. camp was chronicled in Laura Hillenbrand’s book “Unbroken.” Now we’ve broken Iraq, liberating it to be a draconian state run on Sharia law, full of America-hating jihadists who were too brutal even for Al Qaeda.

We’re a little bit scared of our own shadow. And, sadly, we see ourselves as a people who can never understand one another. We’ve given up on the notion that we can cohere, even though the founders forged America by holding together people with deep differences.” – Maureen Dowd, Who Do We Think We Are

With that, I hope there’s cause for real-time celebration on July 4, 2015.

Click here for Jamz. For some reason I can’t embed this bad boi.

I can’t help it. If you’ve been listening to Clean Bandit – Rather Be (Feat. Jess Glynn) on repeat like I have and haven’t seen the music video yet…no words.

xoxox,

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Frieda and Friendz

The Power of Music

It wasn’t until high school that music began playing a powerful role in my life. Until then, I loved dancing and singing along to songs, but failed to listen. Slow R&B beats struck hopefulness that my crush would ask me to stiff-armed slow-dance; fast paced, bass heavy thumps were a form of pre-game pump up; Spice Girls jams were code for “let’s make up a dance!!!”; anything classic rock was already playing in my dad’s car long before anyone had hopped in.

But through the years, music has proven much more. As someone who’s always struggled with expressing her emotions, feeling shy or embarrassed to share certain things, music is not only an inspiration, but a refreshing surge of reassurance. Certain songs speak so powerfully to me…at times I feel like a closed emo high schooler. Songs have made me cry, smile, feel comforted, want to scream out – omg yess, and those I find terrible, gag. I wonder though, does music have this same effect on everyone. It’s an art form so powerfully moving – in just 4 minutes, a song can turn my day, mood, and hopelessness around.

Bob Dylan & Bruce Springsteen – Forever Young

xoxo,

Frieda

*running super late, but wanted to post this…follow-up later…

Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better (RAC Remix) 

Sam Smith – Stay With Me (Black Space Remix)