Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Life (mostly) in Pictures!

FOOD

It’s been a good few weeks on the food front.  D and I have pledged to go out to eat less, so that means more fun food at home!  And…since I do most of the cooking, they more or less eat what I eat!

Not that they’re complaining – heck, even D decided one evening to make dinner and whipped up an amazing tofu stir fry!  Other yumminess includes tacos, smoothies, salads, wraps, falafel burgers, squash, pasta, homemade breads and soymilk, and Indian food, just to name the highlights of the past weeks!

last night's multicultural dinner!  Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta.  Don't judge...

last night’s multicultural dinner! Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta. Don’t judge…

Taco Tuesday!

Taco Tuesday!

leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday

leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday

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kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup

kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup

D's delicious stir fry

D’s delicious stir fry

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roasted acorn...

roasted acorn…

to make a yummy sauce...

to make a yummy sauce…

for mac no cheese!

for mac no cheese!

salad dressing

salad dressing

Indian feast!  Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies

Indian feast! Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies

fresh bread and rolls for the week

fresh bread and rolls for the week

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rice pudding breakfast!  Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup

rice pudding breakfast! Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup

fresh soymilk

fresh soymilk

dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker).  Secrets of a busy household!

dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker). Secrets of a busy household!

FITNESS

Running and yoga – as usual!  Can’t complain though, they’re what’s most readily available to me.

D and I are talking about building a home gym over the course of the next few months.  We both want to workout, but finding the time (or the desire) to go to the gym just isn’t there.  All 3 kids really want this to, so for now we’re doing research and pricing and will go from there!

LIFE

Well 3 weeks of life is a LOT of life!  With that said, no major complaints or anything.  There have been a couple illnesses, but nothing tragic (thankfully).  Between work, school, and family, I’m pretty much never bored!

I got to see several classmates last week, which was just amazing.

(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC

(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC

My fluffy study buddy, always willing to “help” (aka…get in the way)…

VERY intent on that equation...

VERY intent on that equation…

at least it's R's homework this time

at least it’s R’s homework this time

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Random shots

LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car

LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car

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at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!

at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!

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she loves shoes....

she loves shoes….

one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow...

one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow…

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And finally, the morningpictures!

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Finally a Grown Up Because I Have Curtains

FOOD

When I went vegan a little over 9 years ago, I had no problem giving up some foods.  Desserts were a big one for awhile – at least until I found my vegan baking mojo (and to be honest – I hate to bake and have more of a salt-tooth vs sweet tooth, so it never really bugged me).  My mom’s egg salad sammiches and tuna noodle salad were two of my favorites growing up, and even though I’ve tried multiple recipes over the years, this one still stands as my fav egg-less salad.  I don’t make it as often as I probably should, but it’s so yummy as a sammich or with crackers.  It’s mostly adapted from my mom and other recipes collected through the years, and I think is one of those stand by recipes.

Crissie’s Tofu Eggless Salad

Ingredients

  • firm silken tofu – best is the cardboard box Mori-Nu brand found in the Asian food aisle vs where regular tofu is found.  Sliced small (I still use an egg slicer for it)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
  • 4 tbsp yellow mayo
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish (I like the sweet kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • mix and eat!

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I prefer toasted Ezekiel bread or whole wheat pitas and with added veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion.

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Other eats  were an Amy’s bean burrito (hey, even I eat food from a freezer now and then!), green smoothie, salad from Moe’s (Welcome to Moe’s!), veggie soup with toast, and a yummy dinner with roasted portabello mushrooms, butternut squash risotto, and a vegan chorizo sausage.

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

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FITNESS

Runs every day (but today – yucky rain and snowy weather), yoga, and meditation.  I had my 2nd meditation class yesterday and I very much enjoyed it.

So I started this meditation class for a few reasons.  The first is that I’ve gone down this road before – gung ho to figure out how to stop the constant chatter in my brain – but gave up.  I kept thinking of all the other stuff I could get done if I didn’t just sit still.  The second is because I suck at sleeping.  Seriously – if you look up “insomnia” in the dictionary, it’s quite possible you’ll see my face.  I honestly want to learn how to turn the noise down enough to sleep like a normal person.  And finally, on the advice of a speaker we heard in Brazil last month.  He talked about meditation being a huge key to his balance (he works for a very prestigious global consulting firm), and goodness knows I could use some balance.  So…it was pretty awesome to find that the yoga studio closest to my house actually was starting a 5-week meditation course.  Naturally, I signed up!

I know it’ll take me a long time to get it, but I was heartened when a girl in my class mentioned that she, too, has difficulty sleeping, and that even one week of meditating before bed has helped.  I don’t expect a miracle overnight, but sometime in the next month would be nice!

after a long run on Friday - apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell...

after a long run on Friday – apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell…

60's yesterday and a run around the lake!

60’s yesterday and a run around the lake!

LIFE

The past few days have been pretty great.  I get up so much earlier than my family, so I’ve had a lot of quiet study time.

And while we didn’t win the lotto, my son did play for the first time (he’s 18) and won $4!

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We also – after almost a year in our new house – got curtains.  Only for 2 of the windows, but I’m feeling very grown up all of the sudden!  I fretted over them for a long time.  What looks right?  What fabric?  Ugh.  I’ve stalked Pinterest and finally after a xmas gift card from my parents and a not so subtle “get some damned curtains” nudge, we finally did.  Holy crap, curtains are expensive!  Even on sale, these two windows were nearly $300.  Yikes!  Alas, now I have the “curtain bug” and will not rest until all my windows are appropriately dressed.

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Friday night we all hung out and watched Mission Impossible.  Last night, D and I had plans to check out the new cinema café that opened near us and watch 13 (the Benghazi movie).  We even got there an hour early thinking we’d get great seats and grab a beer or something.  Silly movie was sold out!  So…we went out for dinner/drinks and then went back today to watch the flick!

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

out on Saturday eve

out on Saturday eve

and finally at the movies today!

and finally at the movies today!

The rest of the evening is doing some studying, laundry, bulk cooking, and prepping for the busy week ahead!

 

 

Have You Seen My Zen? Me Neither…

FOOD

It’s crazy, but (wait for it), I haven’t snapped many food pics lately!  Meals have been pretty standard; green smoothies, salads, and simple eats.  I did make an stew with the leftover seitan that was super awesome and ate for several meals.  See recipe – I used an electric pressure cooker.  Specifically, and Instant Pot.  You can totally do this on the stove top too -just cook longer.

Crissie’s Irish-ish Beefless Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cubed seitan (it was my leftovers!)
  • 3 peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed carrots or bagged baby carrots if you’re lazy like me
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cubed onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil (you can use any oil you want – or none in a nonstick pot)
  • 6 cups veggie stock

Directions

  • Heat the pot on the sauté setting and melt the coconut oil
  • add the seitan and stir until browned
  • add everything else in
  • close lid, cook on Soup setting for 20 minutes (or low pressure for a regular pressure cooker)

Seriously, that easy!

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would've been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!

would’ve been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!

a quart of leftovers!

a quart of leftovers!

Other eats…

typical smoothie for me!  Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach

typical smoothie for me! Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach

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baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup.  Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready

baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup. Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready

and of course….Taco Tuesday!

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FITNESS

Running almost every day and yoga several days per week.  Weather has been crazy.  High’s in the 30’s yesterday and near 60 today.  I vacillate between gloves, hat, and many layers or just a long sleeve T.  Whatever – it’s all good.  Even wore my blinky light tonight.

I also started a meditation class at the yoga studio – its a 5 week class, and have been pretty good about meditating at home.  Though sometimes it’s tough when all I can here is Leaf Blower Man, noisy family, or am too tense to slip into a zen-like state.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t think I’ve ever been in a zen-like state!  I’m trying though!

before yesterday's run.  Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt!  Knew it was going to be cold...and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.

before yesterday’s run. Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt! Knew it was going to be cold…and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.

LIFE

So in my last post when I mentioned it was time to get back to the routine, I forget how insane that routine can be!

Work has been good, kids have been good, school has been good – so no complaints, just very little free time.  Which is totally fine, but I realize how much time slips by between posts.

I leave you with typical life pics!

Starting with cats – one in particular who hates it when I study (which is pretty much all of the time!)

eating my hoodie tie...

eating my hoodie tie…

and then snatching my pen...

and then snatching my pen…

the cat who never snuggles - crawls in my lap whenever I'm studying!

the cat who never snuggles – crawls in my lap whenever I’m studying!

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Other cat pics because this is the internet and it would be sad and boring without cat pictures.

water thief

water thief

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oh, is that yours?

oh, is that yours?

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get outta my house

get outta my house

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my cold-night study spot.  Where they surround me - not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire

my cold-night study spot. Where they surround me – not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire

Morning Pictures!  I promise, R does wear different clothes every day under her hoodie.  Rest assured that you can tell because D changes has different clothes on!

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I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!

I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!

 

 

It’s a Soul II Soul Kind of Day

Bonus points for you if you get the 1989 musical reference!  Here’s a link if you did not…

FOOD

It’s been nice to have enough time at home to spend some of it in the kitchen.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as hectic as my life gets, I often give that up.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep the trend up!  I tend to forget that yummy and healthy food can be simple and not every meal needs to be a complicated affair!

Take today’s lunch, for example.  Totally amazing and yummy.  I took a whole grain pita bread topped it with a little BBQ sauce, red onion, crushed pineapple, and leftover citrus seitan from last night, baked for 10 minutes at 350, and had a tropical pizza for lunch!

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Other eats from the past few days…

Smoothies, of course…

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Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice (which was really, really good – just followed the marinade on the bottle of Jerk Seasoning)

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for the rice

for the rice

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Made my very first batch of homemade seitan!  To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about something called “wheat meat” and actually ate it for the first time not too long ago.  Since I had time and the right ingredients on hand, I whipped up a batch.  It’s SOOOO good.

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

Last night for dinner I made brown rice, sweet black beans (also in the pressure cooker), and a citrus marinated seitan.  Totally, totally delicious.  With enough leftovers for wraps and salads for lunches this week.

before baking

before baking

after

after

dinner!  Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

dinner! Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

I also made a batch of homemade yogurt.  Super simple – just plain soymilk, probiotic powder, and a little raw sugar.  I incubate it for 15 hrs because I like mine super tart.

My favorite toast – Ezekiel sprouted bread with sunflower butter, sliced banana, and a little agave.

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I roasted a bunch of root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets) with coconut oil and maple syrup.  Topped a baked potato with them – also really good.

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It got cold finally, so this morning I went with Irish oats instead of a smoothie.  With banana, cinnamon, and a very little bit of maple syrup.

made these in the pressure cooker too.  45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker?  Yeah...I'm not overly patient...

made these in the pressure cooker too. 45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker? Yeah…I’m not overly patient…

I had one meal out and it was quite a disappointment.  My area has no decent Chinese food.  I grew up with a few really good restaurants, and when I lived in the Seattle area – forget it.  The grocery store’s Asian food was better than anything I’d ever had!  Here in Hampton Roads, all the Chinese restaurants are take-out places with maybe 1 or 2 sit down restaurants.  When I was in Richmond in November and had lunch with JG, we went to Peter Chang’s – a sit down real Chinese restaurant – and my meal was awesome.  I was so excited to find out that one opened in Virginia Beach!  I was out shopping (in vain) for curtains, and stopped for lunch.  I had a clay pot of tofu and veggies, and it wasn’t all that great….

looks cool though...

looks cool though…

FITNESS

I’ve been running every day the past week or so.  Not terribly far (rebuilding some base mileage), but it’s been nice to get out there.

It’s strange going from shorts and a t-shirt to gloves and headbands!  Chilly weather is upon us.

New Year’s day I was up WAY earlier than everyone else, and since there was a gaggle of teenagers sleeping on my living room floor, I immediately left the house to grab coffee, run errands, and take my first run of the year down at the Oceanfront.

King Neptune as a running buddy!

King Neptune as a running buddy!

And this was me today after getting back from a noon run – my face is about as pink as my headband!  I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to smile – I was in a hurry when I took it :)

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LIFE

It’s been a really nice week.  Quiet at work, fairly quiet at home, no classes, and lots of time to study and relax.  It’s going to be tough getting back to reality tomorrow!

New Year’s Eve is always a quiet affair for D and me.  We stay home, relax, and I tend to go to bed around 1215!  This year was no different.  M had a bunch of friends over, and effectively kicked everyone else out of the living room!  A went to a friends house, so me, D, and R watched movies in my bedroom until just before midnight.  And as usual, I was out cold by 1215!

I meet with my classmate partners in crime tonight, which will be nice.  They’re a great group and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Otherwise it’s meal planning for the week (which is done), cooking, more studying, laundry, and getting ready for everything tomorrow (back to life, back to reality! – it’s the song lyrics if you didn’t watch the video)

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures…as usual…

snuggles

snuggles

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

the New Years Eve drink!  Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

the New Years Eve drink! Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FOOD

I usually make up my morning smoothies as I go, but sometimes I like to follow a recipe to try something new.  And like yesterday, today I made another one from 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This one was called Super Blue Recharge and was loaded with several super nutrients like Acai and hemp seeds.  It was filling, and I only managed to drink half.

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Lunch was a BAS.  Romaine, beets, scallions, cucumber, herbed tofu, cauliflower, and tomatoes tossed with a tahini/maple dressing.

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing!  Also - nothing like a fresh dressing too!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing! Also – nothing like a fresh dressing too!

after adding dressing.  It was SO good.  Couldn't finish it, but that's okay...BAS for the win!

after adding dressing. It was SO good. Couldn’t finish it, but that’s okay…BAS for the win!

Dinner was the leftover Thai soup and the rest of the family had tacos (I wasn’t feeling tacos myself).  So our usual Taco Tuesday became Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FITNESS

Another run on a warm day.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when winter actually hits.

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face.  It was so strange...

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face. It was so strange…

On a separate (but fun) note, a classmate of mine has suggested running the Great Wall Marathon when we’re in China in May!  While there’s no way I’d be full marathon ready by then (not between school and work), they have a half and an 8.5k.  I’m actually excited about the idea – though since Virginia Beach has no hills, I’m thinking the 8.5 k (and my training isn’t half-marathon prep right now either).  We’ll see :)

LIFE

Today was a work from home day.  Ironically, it was largely spent doing research and writing a white paper on managing virtual teams and being a virtual leader :) Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

A had a great follow-up appointment, and she’s cleared to read and drive again on the 1st!  She has one more appt with the retinal specialist on the 6th, but so far, they’re pleased with her healing.

D also gave me my Christmas present!  It was a bit belated, but don’t care.  I can be really tough on headphones, and I broke my last pair.  I’ve been wearing these totally uncomfortable ones since, so these were perfect!  They also have a Dark Maul thing going on, which I love.

comfy headphones!  The SoundSport model.  Perfect.

comfy headphones! The SoundSport model. Perfect.

This evening it was a meeting with M and a driving instructor.  Yes, my now adult son if FINALLY getting his drivers license.  It’ll be good too since he’s going to be a commuter college student instead of an on-campus one.

And now – blogging, dishes, laundry, and studying!  And with any luck, going to bed fairly early.

Night!

 

Pizza Fun, Ticket Bonanza, & Practical (ish) Meal Planning

FOOD

Yesterday was all about the tofu pot pie.  Seriously, I had it for breakfast AND lunch.  You know.  Need to clear out the space in the fridge because I was going grocery shopping…

Dinner was nothing fancy – the leftover boozy beans from the other night over a bowl of romaine, onion, and quinoa.  No pics.  My bad.

This morning was a smoothie (though NOT a green one!).  This one is from one of my fav smoothie books ever – 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This is the Strawberry-Chia Synergy one.  By the way, great book if you’re new to smoothies.  I’ve bought it as a gift a few times now!

pre-blend before heading to the office

pre-blend before heading to the office

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Lunch was a to-go salad I brought to work.  Romaine with scallions in the big section, sliced beets and cubed herbed tofu in the smaller ones.  I brought and used up the rest of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne).

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Dinner was homemade pizza!  I’ve modified a dough recipe through the years, and here’s what I’m currently using.

Crissie’s Pizza Dough (makes 4 good sized pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar (we use the raw sugar, but any sweetener would do)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (I use an infused olive oil with Italian seasoning.  If using regular olive oil, add 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • any toppings that tickle your fancy

Directions for Dough

*I use a kitchen aid stand mixer so it’s ridiculously easy, but you can do this by hand too

  • put the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and let it proof for about 10 minutes (it should get a bit bubbly)
  • add the salt and olive oil
  • turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until you get a nice dough (or do this with a wooden spoon and call if your bicep workout for the day)
  • if doing by hand, you’ll likely have to hand knead in the last 1 – 1 1/2 cups
  • let sit until doubled.  At least an hour, but can let it go all day if you want

Directions for Cooking

  • preheat oven to 450
  • spray your pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal if you have it or flour if you don’t
  •  turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead in any dough you need to make it easy to work with
  • cut into 4 sections
  • roll each out and place on the pan
  • top with a bit of olive oil – I also sprinkle with garlic salt and extra Italian seasoning.  For those who like spice, crushed red pepper is a great add here.  Cooking it mellows the heat out a bit, but retains a good bite
  • top with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, prepared pizza, BBQ, white sauce, pesto…you get the idea)
  • add any other toppings you dig
  • cook!  Set timer for 15.  That usually does the trick – but if you’re extra loaded you may want another minute or two.

Dig in!

some of the veggies

some of the veggies

decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating...)

decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating…)

FITNESS

Holy soreness, batman.  I don’t know if it’s the daily running after NOT running as much, or the yoga class that stretched my hamstrings in the other direction, but it’s all sore.

I did a light walk/jog yesterday to work out some kinks and yoga today.

LIFE

Yesterday morning was meal planning, grocery shopping, and studying.  For meal planning I use One Note.  That way I can share the grocery list with D if he does the shopping (usually so I can study!).  Here’s the plan for this week.  Knowing it’s more of a guideline than a plan!

 

12/27 – 1/2

Day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Sunday

Green Smoothie – Sassy Green Kick-Start p. 81

Colin’s Blueberry Muffins (PPN)

BAS

Homemade Pizza (normal dough & PPN dough)

Monday

Green Smoothie – Strawberry Chia Synergy p 82

BAS

Mac No Cheese

Snobby Joes/Misc Sammich Fun

Tuesday

Green Smoothie Super Blue Recharge p. 85

BAS

Taco Tuesday!

Rice

Wednesday

Green Smoothie – Green Chia Monster p. 93

BAS

Baked Tofu

Sautéed mushrooms

Salad

Roasted potatoes or mashers

Thursday

Green Smoothie – whatever I have!

BAS

Leftovers & Snacks

Friday

Green Smoothie

BAS

NEW YEARS!

Saturday

Green Smoothie

BAS

Build-A-Bowl Asian Style

http://runcrissierun.com/2015/09/

 BAS Stuff:

  • Roasted Chickpeas (PPN p. 83)
  • Tofu Feta (PPN p. 113)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice

Misc Stuff for Lunches

  • Egg-less Tofu Salad
  • Hummus w/veggies
  • Wraps
  • Buffalo Tofu (PPN p. 154)
  • PPK red Thai soup
  • Marinated cucumber slices (Asian style -> Ani Phyo)
  • Caribbean Quinoa Bowl
  • Kale chips

To give you and idea of how it’s just a guideline – totally didn’t make pizza last night.  Ended up going to Busch Gardens with the young one and letting everyone else fend for themselves.  But…because pizza night is so much fun, moved it to today and am totally skipping the snobby Joe night (lentil based sloppy joes).  I typically put a bunch of extra recipes or items I want to prep so there’s always food on hand for lunches, snacks etc.  They don’t all get made, but it’s the basis for the grocery list.  The goal is no one starves when the week gets into full swing and we’re all so busy, we end up ordering take out.  Also, I try to have a BAS most days (Big A$$ Salad) since they’re fun, yummy, and good for me too.

Oh, and for reference, PPN is Plant Pure Nation – another book I love.

So, hello novel.  After meal planning and all the associated fun, I asked R if she wanted to go to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town.  Because nothing says Christmas like 80 degree weather…..

D was at the office, A was with a friend, and M had no interest.  So just R and I went and had a blast.  We spent much of the time in an arcade (rides weren’t going for the most part), and she hit some mega jackpot and was buried in tickets by the time we were done.  It was awesome.

as we got to the park

as we got to the park

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getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey

getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey

skee ball

skee ball

jackpot!!

jackpot!!

Today was back to the office where I sorted through 1200 emails!  It took me almost 7 hours to clear out my inbox and catch up, but it was great.

I got home at a good time, spent about 4 hours studying, made dinner, and am not getting ready for bed!

So good night all (oh, and Chelsea managed to not lose today.  Not exactly stellar, but it beats getting our butts kicked…).

I’m Petitioning for “Kaley” to be Added to the Dictionary

FOOD

It’s hard to believe, but there was almost no leftovers from last night!  A’s boyfriend went home with some, and that left one container with roasted maple sweet potatoes, mashers, and mushroom gravy.  I claimed it as breakfast because I was up first :)

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Lunch was my favorite soup.  Here’s the link to it since it’s definitely not an original creation.  It’s so creamy and yummy and kaley (it’s a word…trust me – even if I just made it up to reference something “full of kale”) with a hint of spice.  My eldest, A, was equally excited.

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Dinner was a BAS with some buffalo tofu bites.  Nothing fancy, just pressed and cubed tofu tossed with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce and baked for 20 minutes at 350.  I put it on a head of baby romaine lettuce, red onion, hearts of palm (thanks Brazil, I’m now addicted), and cherry tomatoes.  I put a splash of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne) and it was perfect!

pre-cooking!

pre-cooking!

dinner!

dinner!

FITNESS

I went to yoga today!  Not just in my bedroom, living room, or hotel room, but an actual class.  It’s been since August!  Which, if you’re a regular reader you know is sort of like cutting my arm off (before I got accepted to my grad school program, I was accepted to a yoga teacher training program).  It’s not for lack of wanting to go, but more about having the time (or really, taking the time) to do anything that took me away from either home or the office.

There’s a cute yoga studio near me that D and I had gone to a few times, but it was next to a dance studio, and it’s tough to get your zen on with hip hop blaring through the walls.  Fortunately, they just moved (just a few doors down in the same strip mall – but far enough away to blunt Beyonce)…

Anyway, they also happen to have a student special for the holiday’s, so I swiped that up and went, mat in hand.  It was great, and so excited to have a studio close to home finally.

After getting home (and having lunch and studying for a few hours), I went for a run.  Today was cooler than the past few (60’s), and it was just before sunset when I went out.

LIFE

You pretty much already know my day!  Leftovers, yoga, study, cook, run, cook, blog.

Accounting got me out of having to watch a less than stellar movie, so I never thought I’d be grateful for that:)  D got the dubious honor of watching it with R.  Way to take one for the team, babe.

I plan to spend the next hour or so meal planning for next week so I can get my grocery shopping and prep done early tomorrow.  That way I can focus on studies, laundry, and family before heading back to the office on Monday!

Merry Global Warming

FOOD

Christmas Eve dinner was some homemade baked beans, vegan sausage, and a butternut squash risotto.

baked bean ingredients!

baked bean ingredients!

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Of course with this being a holiday morning, it had to start with a Bloody Mary!  It’s more or less a smoothie, but really spicy and with vodka :)

super spicy - tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco...

super spicy – tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco…

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Mid morning I had some Ezekiel toast with Diaya cream cheese, sliced tomato, and fresh pepper.

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Lunch was a BAS with romaine, onion, tofu feta, and an agave-mustard dressing.

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Dinner – while not a pretty picture – was awesome.  Tofu pot pie, mashers, mushroom gravy, roasted maple sweet potatoes, corn bread, and a lemon bundt cake for dessert.

not a pretty pic...sorry.

not a pretty pic…sorry.

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FITNESS

It’s hard to not go for a run when it’s 80 degrees in December.  For all the climate change deniers out there – you’re idiots.  I mean – I get the cyclical long-term environmental changes the Earth goes through and the arguments about why we’re not actually causing this crazy weather – but seriously.  Idiots.  The human race has more (negative) impact on the Earth than it could have managed on it’s own.

LIFE

It’s been a nice and quiet couple of days.  Yesterday was spent cleaning and studying for me, and relaxing for everyone else.

During dinner we all watched Olympus Has Fallen and hung out downstairs.

We started wrapping gifts and Ginny decided this was the perfect time to hang out under the tree without trying to destroy it.

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This morning it was time to exchange gifts, play with them half the day, and then cook and relax some more.  I didn’t actually study today (shhh….don’t tell my professors ;) ).

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R alternated between Dr. Who Lego’s and her new drone she flew around the neighborhood while listening to her new stereo, M got VR goggles and was digging on those all day, and A’s boyfriend came over to hang out, watch movies, and spend time with our family.

After dinner, it was some wine and relaxing to a John Lee Hooker double album I got!

Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat hayhem

Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat mayhem

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, and an amazing day all around.

Discriminatory Airplane Manufacturers & The Joy of Being in My Own Kitchen

FOOD

My last meal in Rio!  Found a cafeteria with some friends and enjoyed a filling lunch.

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One of the best things about getting home after time away is getting into my kitchen!

Sunday night I didn’t cook (had been up for about 40 hrs, so D went to Whole Foods and picked up some essentials and a yummy soup for dinner).

Monday morning was a green smoothie to take to work!  A simple affair of vanilla coconut milk, banana, mango, and spinach.  For lunch, I met up with D for sushi (sweet potato rolls for me), and dinner was a monster BAS!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

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Components of the BAS (Big A$$ Salad for the newbie readers) were chopped romaine and spinach, roasted mustard red potatoes, Cajun tofu bites (simple sauté, sprinkle with Cajun season and finished with a bit of soy sauce), red onion, cucumber, and tomato.  The dressing was a simple whipping of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, and champagne.

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

Last night, D and I went out to dinner to a little place in Virginia Beach called Eurasia.  They made me a yummy dish of tri color quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, peas, kale, and a balsamic reduction.  With a side salad topped with beets, it was a great meal.

sorry for the bad lighting!

sorry for the bad lighting!

This morning started with another green smoothie.  Coconut water and chia seeds (left to soak about 10 minutes), banana, strawberry, grape, mango, and spinach.

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FITNESS

Today was the perfect day for a nice long run.  Mid 70’s, and while not exactly sunny, it was finally not raining!  I laced up around noon and ran off all the stress, frustration, and exhaustion of the past few weeks.  Best therapy ever.

LIFE

So after my last post, I spent much of the day wandering and shopping in Rio with DW, JG, and her husband K who flew out to spend a few fun post-residency days.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

I went back to the hotel and spent a bit of time on the roof with some classmates as we were all dispersing to either airports or other hotels for those staying on longer.

me an NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya - who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)

me and NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya – who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)

At 930pm Rio time, I started my very long journey back home.

a live band rocking out in the airport because...Rio.

a live band rocking out in the airport because…Rio.

for some reason, this made me smile.

for some reason, this made me smile.

My flight from Rio to Miami wasn’t too bad, though I didn’t get any sleep.  First of all, sleeping sitting up just sucks, secondly, the dumb plane has built in pillows (I think I was on an Airbus, but not sure) that stick out from the seat and cannot be removed – and because I’m short, they force me to keep my head at an unnatural angle.  Jerks.  Also, the woman sitting in the window seat (I had the aisle) kept getting up to brush her teeth.  As such, I ended up watching a little over 3 movies before landing in Miami.

There was a long wait in passport control and customs while entering the US, and I managed to at least delete all the junk email from work!  I will say, I was a bit annoyed when the customs guy informed me he liked my hair better in my passport picture than when he saw me at 4 am after being awake for 24 hrs.  Dude.  Not cool.

I had to kill 8 hrs in the Miami airport which was also annoying.  Nothing was open and plugs are hard to find.  I eventually camped out near a wall with a plug to charge my phone and Surface and then wandered back and forth to stay awake.

The flight home to Virginia was on an Embraer plane, which didn’t have those annoying head rests, and I managed to doze for half the flight!

D, M, and R picked me up at the airport (A couldn’t, and I’ll get to that in a bit), and whisked me home.  After some cleaning and a long shower, it was relaxing until going to bed around 8pm.  It was  a long time to be awake (about 40 hrs), but I fell asleep quickly and slept hard.  Next day was Monday morning, so it was back to work and life as it was before Brazil!

While I was away, D had to deal with a few issues, one of which was emergency eye surgery for our eldest.  She noticed something wrong with her peripheral vision, went to our eye doctor (THANK GOODNESS) and was immediately sent to a retinal specialist because apparently her retina had almost completely detached.  So, it was right into surgery for her last Thursday.  It’s been difficult for her and D is absolutely super-dad.  Good news is that A is healing well.  She had to have an additional procedure yesterday which hurt like hell (laser treatment to generate scar tissue to plug the tear), but the retina has reattached.  She has to spend a week bascially lying on her left side so gravity does the rest of the work, but she should be all healed in about a month.

Otherwise it’s been coffee on the back porch, reading, relaxing, and taking care of family!

back porch java!

back porch java!

the first Midori Sour I've had in nearly 20 yrs...

the first Midori Sour I’ve had in nearly 20 yrs…

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

One last note about a book I’m reading and the person who suggested it.  FF lives in Sao Paulo and was our guide and honorary classmate for the entire two weeks we were in Brazil.  During tours and discussions he spoke so passionately about the people and his hope for the future – and candid about the issues they’re facing as a nation.  He mentioned a particular book, which I picked up and will be reading throughout the holiday break.

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Bye From Brazil!!!

Last post coming to you from sunny Brazil!

FOOD

This week has been much harder than last week on the food front.  Sao Paulo had some great eats, and while many enjoyed Rio, even when I could finagle a vegan meal, it was mostly incredibly boring (side salad, steamed rice, flavorless steamed veggies).  It wasn’t all hopeless though.  The hotel breakfast provided good eats and there were always tons of fresh juices.  And I’ve become a huge fan of coconut water!

today's juice in class - beet, orange, and ginger

today’s juice in class – beet, orange, and ginger

typical morning breakfast this week

typical morning breakfast this week

ALL THE HEARTS OF PALM

ALL THE HEARTS OF PALM

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we went to a favela restaurant the first day for a traditional meal - which I don't eat. I got this. Boring, but good enough.

we went to a favela restaurant the first day for a traditional meal – which I don’t eat. I got this. Boring, but good enough.

frozen fruit bars

frozen fruit bars

That said, I did have two wonderful experiences.  I found I can likely eat my weight in hearts of palm!  I had them as often as I could and it was just cool.

Our last night we went to this amazing restaurant as a farewell dinner on the outskirts of Rio.  It’s essentially a collection of tree houses at a restaurant called Aprazivel.

LM once again ensured I had a special vegan meal, which consisted of grilled hearts of palm, a lovely tomato/rice dish, some bread with sweet and sour eggplant, and slices of pineapple and mango with mint and fresh lime.

But by far the best was the strawberry sorbet.  Here’s why…

I texted D from Aprazivel to tell him I was finally having an incredible meal in Rio!  Not only was it an amazing view and experience, but the food was stellar.  He asked where, and I texted him the place assuming he was just going to look it up.  Instead, he called them (from Virginia!), spoke to the manager and informed her that 1  – I was vegan and 2 – it was my last night in Brazil and he was hoping they could make me a special dessert.  I almost started crying when she climbed up our tree house to say she had just spoken to my husband, and that this was his gift of love.  Best sorbet I’ve ever had.  And D, once again, wins Best Husband Award!

My amazing meal last night!

My amazing meal last night!

and right after my special dessert delivery!

and right after my special dessert delivery!

FITNESS

Walks and runs on the beach!  Also – a killer samba class yesterday, which was tons of fun.  Taught by a very famous instructor here in Brazil and an often instructor on Dancing with the Stars

the studio

the studio

getting ready to spend 90 minutes shakin it!

getting ready to spend 90 minutes shakin it!

LIFE

Well, it’s hard to explain all I’ve seen in the past week since we came to Rio from Sao Paulo.  We had one day off from classes, and did some exploring.  In Rio, I’ve been staying at Copacabana beach, and am right next to Ipanema.  I went wandering and exploring all over both, and after the group trip to the favela (ghetto), it was street fair shopping.

copacabana

copacabana

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The favela.  Very sharp contrast from the ritzy beach area.

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The Hippie Fair

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We also visited Christ the Redeemer – one of the 7 Wonders of the World!

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Got to visit the Botafogo futebol club!

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And the rest of the pics of my trip!

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Rio Traffic!

Rio Traffic!

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rooftop of my hotel.  Perfect place to study!

rooftop of my hotel. Perfect place to study!

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