A Tech Stretch

April 19, 2020

“In a time of destruction, create something.”
~ Maxine Hong Kingston

I created a short, under 5 minute video to demonstrate my Tech Stretch, a little self-care for the wrists and shoulders that anyone can do. I developed this a few years ago, when the mobile game Pokémon Go launched and a client injured his shoulder one Sunday, chasing Pokémon around the Long Beach Aquarium for 12 hours.

I designed this simple, seated yoga flow to encourage a full range of motion for the wrist joints and offer some light stretching for the shoulders, in order to counter the effects of the repetitive motion of scrolling and clicking on devices.

Devices had, for many years, already been taking a toll on our wrists, thumbs, elbows, shoulders and neck. Now that so many of us are connecting with the world via phones, tablets and computers for several hours more each day, taking a break now and then to be kind to those joints is even more important.

You can do this right now, sitting at your computer. If you are on a hand-held device, sit up or stand briefly to try it out. Show your hard working wrists and shoulders a few minutes of gratitude for all of the work they do for you:

Thank you to my friends at Butterfly Effect Day Spa in Sierra Madre for posting the video on their YouTube channel 🦋

After you’ve given your wrists and shoulders a little love, show your taste buds and tummy some too, by stirring up some creamy, crunchy Avocado, Parmesan and Pepitas Pasta. Who says comfort food can’t be creative?

Avocado, Parmesan and Pepitas Pasta
This is one of the tastiest, creamiest, yummiest pasta dishes I’ve ever made. The salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds and crisp bacon crumbles (vegetarians can omit the bacon) combined with a cheesy and creamy avocado sauce provides an ecstatic experience of both taste and texture. Everyone I’ve shared the recipe with has loved it and it is one of the rare pasta dishes that is as good or better the next day. You’ll want a very ripe, creamy-style avocado (such as Haas) for this recipe.

This recipe doubles or halves easily

2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 large, ripe, creamy-style avocados (such as Haas)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
(plus a bit more course-ground or cracked black pepper to serve)
Salt to taste and for pasta water
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to top)

One or both of these toppings (I used both):
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled crispy-cooked bacon
1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted, salted shelled pumpkin seeds
(Pistachios are also delicious here, if you can’t find pumpkin seeds)

12 oz fusilli, penne or spaghetti pasta

Boil water for pasta.

Cut garlic cloves in half and rub cut ends all around bottom of a large serving bowl to flavor. You can also lightly smash the cloves with a fork and swirl them around to flavor that way. Discard used garlic cloves.

Halve the avocados, discard pits and scoop pulp into bowl. Discard peels. Add the lemon juice and zest, black pepper and oregano. Smash avocado with a fork or a potato masher until smooth, with no chunks remaining (alternatively, you can puree the avocado in a food processor before adding to the bowl, but I like to have less stuff to wash, so I just mash in the serving bowl). Stir in the 1/2 cup of cheese and mash some more until fully mixed and super creamy.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, according to package directions. Make sure not to overcook it. The pasta should be al dente (on the firm side).

When the pasta is near ready, slowly stir in about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into the avocado mixture and mix to create a creamy sauce. Taste and add salt, if needed (I added just a tiny pinch – remember that the toppings will be salty).

Once the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the bowl with the avocado sauce. Toss to coat completely.

Top with pumpkin seeds and/or bacon crumbles (I used both and it was spectacular), additional Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

Serve warm.

Note: This pasta is also delicious made ahead and served chilled, so leftovers will make a lovely next-day lunch or side dish.

Serves 2 to 4


2 Responses to “A Tech Stretch”

  1. Astrid Kastenberg

    Gina. Your video is awesome!!! I actually paused at my desk after reading the recipe and followed your video. So simple and it feels so good!!! Thank you so, so much for sharing these simple and powerful movements. I will share and re-apply to my students. Sending you my Love and Light!

  2. Marie

    Thank you for sharing Gina. This is great! We need you- the world needs you.

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