Tag Archives: Insomnia

Road Trippin with Custom Vegan Eats & Drinks!

FOOD

Well, I’m back on the road again!  I swear, it’s been a crazy year for this.  This trip is two weeks, so there won’t be any homemade meals being posted.

That’s not to say I won’t have good food though!  As much as possible, I hope to choose where I dine and keep my grub healthy and simple.

I arrived to the National Harbor on Saturday evening, and dinner was with some colleagues at a place called the Cadillac Ranch.  As you can imagine, not a vegan-friendly restaurant.  Even had a mechanical bull.  I was able to get a shredded cabbage salad that wasn’t too bad.  The Rock n Roll Kool Aid was fantastic though.

Yesterday though, was just amazing.  A company from California that I’m working with is here, and asked me to recommend a local DC restaurant.  The first that came to mind was Art and Soul!  If you recall from this post, I went there back in May to a custom vegan feast!  D had contacted them to make me a special early Mother’s Day meal, and they totally knocked it out of the park.  This time, it wasn’t just me.  It was one of my co-workers plus four people from this California company.  And while I’m the only vegan of the group (and they again, killed it!), absolutely everyone loved their meals.  From the appetizers to the main courses, desserts, and custom drinks, everyone was raving when we left.  So Chef Art….you have some new fans who will definitely be checking you out whenever in town!

a baby greens salad with watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, and a sherry vinaigrette

a baby greens salad with watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, and a sherry vinaigrette

an amazing vegan tomato risotto

an amazing vegan tomato risotto

three flavors of sorbet!  The pink one was my fav - strawberry lemon.  The darker purple was blackberry (also good), and the dark pink one was a super tart raspberry.

three flavors of sorbet! The pink one was my fav – strawberry lemon. The darker purple was blackberry (also good), and the dark pink one was a super tart raspberry.

a vegan version of a drink that JW had.  A few different vodka's and chambourd and it was just amazing.

a vegan version of a drink that JW had. A few different vodka’s and chambourd and it was just amazing.

Today I hit up a very early dinner (like 4 pm) because I intend to be asleep by 8.  It’s been a rough day, and I’m beat.  I stopped by a local Thai place, and while I loved the soup and the flavor of the green curry, I was annoyed that the tofu was fried.

Tom Ka soup is one of my favorites!

Tom Ka soup is one of my favorites!

again, loved the flavor, but the tofu was not only fried, but they were huge pieces and that took away from meal too.

again, loved the flavor, but the tofu was not only fried, but they were huge pieces and that took away from meal too.

FITNESS

Yoga in my hotel room and a day spent hiking around DC is about the extent of my workouts since Friday.  I was hoping to get a run in today, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  If it rains tomorrow (and its supposed to), I’ll just hit up the hotel gym, but I’d much rather run outside in the harbor area to soak in the beautiful surroundings.

The closest yoga studios are in Alexandria, which isn’t walking distance for me, so that’s a totally bummer.  As always though, I hit up Yogaglo when I can’t make it to a class.

LIFE

Last week was mostly quiet and easy going.  My parents were visiting and I took  the week off from work.  They left Friday afternoon and I spent most of the day cleaning, grocery shopping, and packing.

Saturday I drove M back up to camp!  He is working the final week of summer camp, and was really excited to be back.  I then had about 5 hours of driving in order to get to the DC area after dropping him off.

view from my hotel room.

view from my hotel room.

Yesterday I took one of my CA colleagues to the National Mall where we spent a few hours admiring the monuments (which never gets old…no matter how much time I spend here!), and then it was time to clean up, see a lecture being put on by another colleague, and then the dinner of dreams at Art and Soul.

Washington Monument!  The plan is to take a nighttime tour inside tomorrow night!

Washington Monument! The plan is to take a nighttime tour inside tomorrow night!

we stopped to listen to a group of men singing next to the WWII monument

we stopped to listen to a group of men singing next to the WWII monument

Korean War Memorial.  An absolute favorite of mine.

Korean War Memorial. An absolute favorite of mine.

Today was full blown conference fun and then a solo walk through the harbor and an early dinner.  And now….I’m lying in my hotel in my jammies, watching cable, and wondering how soon I can go to bed!

from my walk through the harbor.

from my walk through the harbor.

Realizing I Don’t HAVE To Do Everything Myself

I'm going to start outside of my normal format, just for a quick update. In an effort to not only stay on track with healthy eating and exercising, but also to remove all of the time of planning out of my hectic schedule, I have become a member of FitOrbit. I realized this past week when I finally verbalized how insane and overwhelming my schedule has become that it was time to take the guesswork out of healthy eating and exercising, and let someone ELSE plan for a change. It's tailored to me and my goals, and my personal trainer seems pretty cool thus far. Anyway, unless specified, the meals will be based off my meal plan (so I can't share the recipes). I will have my own meals in there as time permits, but will stay within the caloric and nutritional ranges of assigned meals. Anyway, since my go-lives will run through the end of July, I plan to stick with this until at least then – when I may have a bit more breathing room in my life. I'll write about my thoughts on them as an organization along the way…

FOOD

Breakfast yesterday was a quinoa and blueberry dish! It was really, really good, and the only change I made was to use frozen mixed berries instead of fresh blueberries. Not a big change, to be sure. This dish is a total keeper.

Lunch was also incredible. I had a southwestern pita, with pinto beans, daiya cheese, salsa, and romaine.

I did my own dinner, which was leftover tofu pineapple stir fry.

Breakfast this morning was some Irish oatmeal. It was tasty, but not as filling as the quinoa breakfast yesterday and I found myself hungry before lunch. That tends to happen with me when I eat oatmeal though.

I had black bean chili for lunch today – but I forgot to take a picture! Another yummy dish.

So far, and it's only been two days, here's what I like:

*the meals are created for me based on my dietary preferences and any fitness goals. That makes me very happy, so things I'm allergic to, like apples, or things I just won't eat, like meat, dairy, or nuts, are excluded.

*I can star meals that I really enjoy so my trainer knows it's ok to give me that meal again.

*I can comment on a meal also, so she can take my feedback into consideration when making my next set of meals.

*I can swap out what I'm assigned based on what I want, what I have on hand, or what's easiest for me. That's what I did today at lunch!

*I can indicate “restaurant meal” and enter a name and zip code, and it will pop up with known menu items that are healthy. That's a neat feature.

*I get a grocery list, which makes it easier for me when I'm shopping.

What I don't like:

*I don't find the nutritional content provided robust enough. I personally like to track calories, fat, carbs, fiber, sugar, and protein. FitOrbit does not display fiber and sugar – so I have to research and calculate that myself.

FITNESS

Okay, so no FitOrbit update here, other than I filled out a profile of my specific goals when it comes to fitness (strength training that won't bore me to death, etc), and the days I have free to work out. I'm then matched to a trainer – an actual real life person – and we email and work together to find workouts that I will do. So for example, I have a treadmill, a bike trainer, small dumbbells, a balance ball, and exercise bands. That's it for personal equipment. She's still able to create circuit training for me on weekdays when I very much need to work out at home – and then maybe something more complicated that requires a gym on the weekends when I have the freedom to go. I really like that personalized attention.

Aside from that, I'm sticking to my running training plan, so even though it wasn't a FitOrbit workout day yesterday, I still went running. And it was a good run too! I was really tired yesterday and not sure I had it in me, but sure enough, it was exactly what I needed.

Today is an off day. Mid week is my toughest time, so a resting humpday is a good thing!

LIFE

While busy, yesterday and today have been good ones. I got home around 8:30 last night, but had a hard time winding myself down to sleep. Same thing happened on Monday – I was up until 1 am just trying to fall asleep! I hate it when that happens (which for me, comes in waves, but I tend to not sleep that well).

Today I had early meetings, but then a big break between a presentation at an executive work group, and a dinner meeting on the other end of town. I know I could be doing something else, but doing a quick blog post seemed like a good idea!

So that's it for now – I leave you with pictures of casserole kitties, morning school drop off, and a “monkey” on my back!

 

Yes, Pot Pie Can Be Sexy!

FOOD

Friday was pretty cool on the food front. Avo and pickle toast for breakfast, leftover lemon-pepper tofu steaks and cuc salad for lunch, and for dinner…the best ever. Couples Tofu Pot Pie! It's only a couple's pie because D and I made it together, but still….it was incredible. Super simple too…so read on for a savory pie that will warm your belly and comfort you after a long day!

Couples Tofu Pot Pie (Can be Singles Tofu Pot Pie if no one will make it with you)

Ingredients

*2 pie crusts. Can be homemade – I wasn't feeling that adventurous. Most rolled up pie crusts in the freezer section are vegan.

*2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces

*1/2 block of pressed extra firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces (I like making them the same size as the potatoes)

*16 ounce bag of frozen veggies of choice. I went with the Americana corn/peas/green beans combo

*1 quart veggie broth (I used homemade – but do what you need to here)

*3 tsp poultry seasoning

*2 tsp sea salt

*1 tbsp corn starch

*3 tbsp water

Directions

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Put potato cubes into a stock pot and cover with the veggie broth. Bring to a boil and then cook on med until potatoes are softened, but still a little crisp (about 10 minutes)

*Add tofu, veggies, salt, and seasoning. Bring to a boil.

*Mix the cornstarch in water, and add to the boiling stock pot. Cook on high until it starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

*Roll out pie crust and place in a pie dish.

*Scoop filling until it hits the top. You will have extra filling – which is cool since it's yummy and that means leftovers.

*Top with other pie crust, crimp edges together, and cut some vents in the top.

*Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes, and then eat!

leftover pot pie filling with a biscuit top!

FITNESS

Yoga has been the exercise of choice the past few days. Party due to convenience, and partly because it's just what I wanted to do.

Friday I did not work out. It was a hectic day at work, and D and I had plans for Friday evening, so a rest day it became!

Saturday was spent moving my daughter, so hopefully climbing 5 flights of stairs with her worldly possessions counted, at least a little bit. I really wanted to bike, but the rain just wouldn't let up.

I did do a 90 minute yoga class around 9 pm last night though. It was called Ayurveda Vata Yoga, and it's focus was restorative, joint health, and calming the mind. It was a wonderful class, and I got to use my new bolster! I really like this class specifically for the focus on joint health. I know many people with arthritis fall into the trap of being sedentary – and nothing could be worse. If we don't keep the joints lubricated with regular movement (gentle movement!), then the arthritis gets worse. It's a viscous cycle, because I know personally how fearful it can be to exercise – for fear that the pain will get worse. Truth is, the right kind of exercise makes the pain better, or even go away. Anyway, in this particular class, gentle and circular motions on all joints were performed, and it was not only relaxing, but also very releasing. Loved it.

R and I had plans to hike the Windsor Castle trails today, but all evening and then overnight and morning rains derailed that plan. By mid day I was feeling very tired and drained (didn't sleep well), so I opted for an energizing yoga practice. 60 minutes of an anusara class (never had done that style before), that focused on bringing energy back into an overtired body. Sun salutations, back bends, hip openers, and deep breathing did the trick. I feel much better than I had earlier in the day.

Bumble the Zen Kitty joining me for practice today

LIFE

It's been a weekend filled with ups and downs. Friday evening the girls spent together. A took R back to school clothes shopping (nothing like the fashion student helping the 10 year old pick out clothes!) and then they went to dinner and a movie. M was at a birthday party, so D and I were on our own!

We had talked about going out to dinner, but he came up with a better plan. I pick the meal, and we cook together! He was open for anything but chickpeas (he's getting more open to my way of eating), and then we'd watch a movie. So, he picked up a couple bottles of wine on his way home, and we played music, danced, cooked, talked, and had an overall perfect evening. We watched a movie, then hung out with all the kids when they started getting home around 10 pm, then went off to bed. It was absolutely wonderful.

Saturday everyone was up early to take A up to college and move her to to start her own life adventures. Check in to her dorm was smooth and easy, and she's a pretty minimalist kid, so aside from a laptop, clothes, and toiletries, the only items she brought was her sewing machine and a small blender for morning smoothies! When we left, she had plans to meet up with some friends (she knows several people going to school there), and texted regularly as she was out playing pool, and then going rock climbing at the universities gym. This week is Freshman orientation week, so plenty of activities. We met her roommate, and so far the two girls are getting along great. She seems nice – and it should be interesting – she's a chemistry/nursing major with my art school daughter.

We all managed to say goodbye without too many tears, and the 4 of us headed home while A stayed at her new “home”. Sigh.

Today has been pretty relaxing. The weather has been horrible, so it's been cleaning, TV/movies, and getting ready to make a big Latin feast for dinner. Oh, and kitties. Lots and lots of kitties!

So all told, it's been a great weekend. Hope yours has too!

 

 

Zen Cat

FOOD

All my mornings have started with a green smoothie. In one I put my Vega supplement, but otherwise just straight up, just how I like it!

I also whipped up a batch of acorn squash alfredo! This has got to be one of my favorites of all time. I had a batch made when my parents were visiting last year, and I remember my dad liking it. Wish he could share in this batch too!

Last night I baked up some lemon-pepper tofu steaks. With a side of cucumber/red onion/bell pepper salad, it was a light and crisp meal.

FITNESS

I took one night off as a rest night, but otherwise have been loading up on yoga classes every day! I'm totally in heaven. It's been fun building up my home yoga practice too. I already have a mat, blankets, blocks, and a strap. I did splurge on a bolster that just arrived today! Can't wait to use it. My little studio is pretty much fully equipped!

I've signed up for a 5K on Memorial Day! And what's even cooler is doing it with my youngest. It's called Sparkle Me Wild, and you basically get dusted with paint and glitter all through the run. Too cool for her first race experience! I want her to find them fun rather than competitive (she gets enough of that with swim team).

Speaking of runs (nice segue, right??), I had a killer run last night. It was in the mid-70's, low humidity, and beautiful. Just shy of 4 miles, but it was blissful. I've missed this.

LIFE

It's been a pretty good week. Hectic, but good. Most nights I've stayed home making dinner while D took R to swim team practice. A is trying to see everyone before heading off to university on Saturday. M, I think, is just looking forward to school starting back up and having his boring summer end.

Sleep has been a bit more elusive, and none more so than last night. I managed a whopping 2 hrs of sleep. I was afraid I'd be a hot mess today, but have done much better than anticipated. My morning picture today helped :)

Last night I did what was supposed to be an uber relaxing yoga class at 10pm so I could be nice and chill before bed. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Something fairly major bubbled up at work yesterday, and I was working well into the late evening about it. As a result, my head was spinning – which is more or less my normal state anyway – and I couldn't shut it off. Also the beasties (all 3) were trying to get in the room to play – and they were distracting me. At one point I finally let Bumble in (she's MY cat afterall…), and while I was in my lying pose, she curled up in my hair and started to purr. My racing brain immediately calmed down and all I could do is smile, pet her gently, and finally find the zen I was looking for. She's my zen cat! Then, of course, she wanted to leave and all my zen went with her. Brat cat….

 

Hell Hath Frozen Over

FOOD

Breakfast was my favorite green smoothie. Water, banana, tons of mixed frozen fruits, and as much spinach as I can stuff in it. I know there are tons of websites and recipes for fancy green smoothies filled with exotic fruits and veggies and supplements – but I find myself going to this one most of the time.

For lunch D and I met up and went out for sushi! Since our new austerity program kicked in last month, going out to eat was the first sacrifice to the budget gods. It's actually been fun and it's been like a competition to see how far under the budget we can get. So it was pretty special to go out with just the two of us. We went to my favorite place, and I enjoyed the same thing I always get – the Vegetarian Set. Avocado rolls, broccoli rolls, and sweet potato rolls. YUM.

For dinner, I made sweet and sour tofu. I made the tofu separately (normally I'd just make it in the same pan as everything else), but D has this irrational fear of soy products (milk, tofu, etc….if he actually read ingredient labels, he'd realize it's in the majority of foods). I put the cooked tofu cubes aside, then prepped the rest of the meal, filled with pineapple, red bell peps, red onion, and broccoli in an awesome sauce. I layered the rice, the tofu, and the sauce and veggies for the kids and I, and omitted the tofu for D. He was so moved by the gesture, that he volunteered to try a bite of my little tofu cube. Then he added a handful of tofu to his dish – and ate it. Yes, I can confirm that hell hath frozen over. My husband ate tofu. This should be a national holiday.

FITNESS

When I signed up for YogaGlo the other day (it really has only been since Saturday, but I've used it daily – in some cases multiple times), I indicated that some of my initial goals with yoga is stress reduction and anything that can help with insomnia. The site recommended a few classes, and I did the first one of them tonight.

The class is simply called Deep Relaxation Practice. I can tell you that I got so relaxed, that I fell asleep just halfway through it! I know that I'm going to do this class several times, just to learn everything so I can put it into practice on those nights I have trouble sleeping.

LIFE

Last night was relatively peaceful. We watched a cartoon movie – Epic – and enjoyed it very much. D and the kids wound down for bed around 10ish, and after saying our good nights, I went back downstairs. Part of this insomnia thing is being sure I don't go to bed too early, and to be sure I get up at the same time every day. The thought process (this comes from my sleep doc), is that we don't need as much sleep as we think we do, and we should not be in bed unless we intend to sleep. If I plan to wake at 6am every day, and I know I only need about 7 hours of sleep to function well, I shouldn't be going to bed before 11pm. I think part of my insomnia issue is that I try to go to bed really early with the hopes that between 9-6ish, I can squeeze that 7 hours in. For me personally, I actually seem to function well around 6-6.5 hours of sleep, so I've been making myself stay up until 1130. It seems to be working!

That meant I had an hour and a half to myself last night. I read some, chatted online with AC who's on vacation, and watched 3 meditation videos on YogaGlo. I'm so serious about beating these sleep issues once and for all! I've always wanted to learn meditation, but didn't really know how. It's not like the local community college offers classes! I've googled over the years to look for places in my area that may teach it, but rarely have found anything. So, I'm glad for these videos and hope I learn something from them. The symptom of my insomnia is mainly in the inability to shut my brain off long enough to relax. I'm hoping that meditation and relaxation techniques in general will help with that.

Today was work and a vet appointment for the fuzz-buckets. They have a clean bill of health, their first round of shots and treatments, and a pet hospital that completely fell in love with them. Can't say as I blame them…they're pretty darn cute.

 

 

Long Days, Longer Nights, and Good Eats

FOOD

Well, once again I've let 4-5 days pass with no post. It's been a freakishly crazy week, and while I probably could have taken a quick 5 minutes to post, I do tend to get long winded and end up spending an hour or more writing.

Monday, I made some sweet black beans in the pressure cooker. Over saffron rice and with sliced avocados on top. One of our stand-by week night meals.

Every day but one started with a green smoothie. The one day that didn't, I picked on up for lunch. As it happens, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has started making green smoothies AND carrying vegan chick'n for wrap and flatbread options.

love my avo toast with pickles!

 

was happy to have prepped fruit for an early morning

I picked up a vegan Indian cook book at the library earlier this week, and have been playing around with that a little bit today. I made a spicy mint chutney with the fresh mint in my herb pot (truly, the only herb to grow well). It came out great! I had some leftover Egyptian lentil soup that I made over the weekend, and decided to top it with the chutney for my lunch today. Yum!

I also made a shredded veggie bake. It's a ton of shredded veggies (cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, onion, and potato), mixed with chickpea flour and a blend of silken tofu and spices. I had that for dinner (topped with the chutney) along with a nice salad.

 

FITNESS

This week has been a tough one to get good workouts in. I've had several really long days at work (a work dinner one night, and 7am meetings two other days) as well as some pretty awful insomnia. I find myself with so little energy, that it's a little worrying!

All I really managed was some yoga and walks. I'm not complaining, but I would have loved a run, spin class, or a swim! Alas…that's what's the weekend is for!

at least someone has the energy to run!

LIFE

Well, as I mentioned, it's been a long week. Most of my days started at 8am or earlier, most went until 6pm or later, and when I wasn't working late, I took R to swim team practice. My insomnia has been the worst it's been in a long time too, so that didn't help either! Thankfully, I pretty much slept well and through the night last night, so today has been MUCH better.

On Monday the plumber and sheet rock guys came to fix the upstairs tub. Bumble had a vet checkup, and all is well there.

Next Monday the electrician comes to try and fix the fan under the house (hope we don't need a new one!).

Last night was a quiet night. I really wanted to go to bed around 8, but D wanted to watch a movie, so we laid down and cuddled up on the couch while watching a movie with R and M (it was Happy Gilmore). It was probably a good thing I went to bed late – I was stupid-tired and slept until 7, which was nice.

This morning I was up several hours earlier than everyone else, so I watched the season finale of Hell's Kitchen (Mary got robbed), made breakfast, and just chilled out. I toyed with the idea of going to Busch Gardens, but D's on call and with our new austerity program, decided against it. A had to work, M had a friend over for a bit, and we've been having a Harry Potter movie marathon (on film 4 right now). And speaking of Harry Potter…a new book is coming! All told, a nice Saturday!

I'll leave you with Morning Pictures!

 

 

Not a Yoga Snob

FOOD

Well, this weekend was awesome on the food front. Friday night was a fun evening of making Indian food with my girl S. We decided on a girls night in at her house, cooked up a wicked storm, had wine, and hung out.

On the menu? Red lentil dahl, spicy mashed eggplant and potato, basmati rice with cumin and cardamom, and cauliflower and potatoes. And wine (S belongs to some wine club, so that was awesome).

Saturday was green smoothies and mac n peas. GF elbow pasta, peas, cheddar Teeze, and some fresh ground pepper. Comfort food without the gluten, fat, or calories!

I was supposed to host the vegan meet-up event, but with illness and house tradgedies, I had to cancel. Since I was perfectly healthy, I hung out at H's house. She was going to come to the party, so it was nice we still got to spend the evening together. She had a beautiful spread of fruits, hummus, crackers, tortilla chips, guacamole, and veggies. With a couple glass of chianti and her pups becoming my total snuggle muffin, it was another wonderful girl's night in.

Sunday was my normal day of grocery shopping and food prep. I ended up making Indian for dinner again, this time with tandoori veggies and garlic naan in addition to the red lentil dahl.

Today I had green smoothies twice (one as a normal breakfast and one for dinner because I was too tired to eat anything that required effort). Lunch was some kale with garlic-tahini.

 

FITNESS

I went to the best yoga class yesterday! And what's even more awesome, is that I went to the Y and took advantage of my membership there.

For the past several years, I've paid extra to go to my hot yoga studios in the area. At $17-20 per class, it certainly isn't cheap. I don't want to do a membership to any one studio, because my work takes me all over the area and some days I can be near one place, but other days closer to home. Anyway, with us paying more attention to budgets and spending, I thought I'd go to a class at the Y (we have 16 Y's in our area, and I can go to any Y in the world with my membership, my family goes to the Y almost every day for one reason or another, I may as well use what I have!).

I will admit, I went into thinking that it would be sub-standard somehow. It's not a hot class. It's at a regular fitness place and not somewhere “dedicated” to yoga. Blah blah blah. I was so happy to be wrong. S met me for the class, and while it was not a hot class, it was not easy either. The instructor was as quality and experienced as any yoga studio I've been to in the last 10 years, and I will definitely take her class again.

LIFE

Well, what can I say…it's been busy. Friday was a normal workday, and ended up being a really productive one. Even a late afternoon meeting ended up being totally awesome, so no complaints here.

M sent another post card from camp, and he's apparently having an amazing time. It's hard having him gone for so long, but he's happy, so I can't complain.

A has been going through all her check lists (mainly because D and I are making her) of everything she needs done before she heads off for University next month. I'm in denial and we'll talk about how my baby girl is leaving home later when I actually have to deal with it.

S's husband was out of town this past weekend, so she and I were thinking a girls night would be fun. We originally talked about the Outer Banks (if you're an East Coaster, otherwise known as the OBX) – Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Hatteras, NC. Not too far from us (a little over an hour), but we decided that the weather was too poopy and we weren't willing to spend the $$ for a night away, so we did a sleep over at her house. Indian food, wine, catching up….couldn't ask for a better evening.

Saturday I took a nap when I got home, made some lunch, and lazed about until going to H's house. D wasn't feeling hot (not as sick as A was, but definitely fighting it off), so he was mostly resting.

H's pup is the cutest little thing. He's very snuggly and small, so we became fast friends lying on the sofa. I seriously couldn't imagine Sammie lying in my lap on the couch!

Sunday was house work, laundry, grocery shopping (actually paying attention to sales!), prepping food for the week (dinners and lunches), and hanging out at home.

For some reason, I ended up with major insomnia last night, and it was past 2 when I fell asleep. Getting up this morning was rougher than normal, but once at work, I mostly wake up anyway. This evening has been chill, D took R to swim team practice, I did dishes, chatted with my Uncle in FL, and I am now heading to bed!

 

Insomniacs of the World Unite

FOOD

Dinner last night was really good.  I marinated some portabella mushroom caps in some homemade veggie broth, minced garlic, and balsamic vinegar for about a half hour.  The D threw them on the grill for me!

I served them up in a big collard leaf (instead of a burger bun) and topped with cabbage, red onion, sliced tomato, and sauerkraut.  I was going to make a quinoa salad for a side dish, but was too lazy and just ate two of my shroom burger wraps instead.

shroom burger wrap

shroom burger wrap

001 (Small)

I had absolutely no appetite today.  I had very little sleep, and I find that I’m either starving the next day or completely disinterested in food.  I was the latter.

I didn’t have anything for breakfast, but lunch was some reheated lentils and rice from dinner Friday night.  I don’t think I blogged about it, but it was my usual.  2 cups lentils, 1 cup brown rice, 2 tbsp. of spice (I usually go with something Middle Eastern, and this was no change – I used a Baharat spice blend).  Pop it in the rice cooker and that’s all she wrote.

005 (Small)

I heated up a bowl and topped it with some shredded cabbage and hot sauce.

Late afternoon I had a plain baked potato with pepper.  Boring, but I wasn’t in the mood for anything fancier.

For dinner, I ended up making a savory green smoothie.  4-5 Roma tomatoes, 1/4 yellow bell pepper, a chunk of red onion (I’d guess about 1-2 tbsp.), a celery stalk, a large carrot, and a few big handfuls of spinach.  Into the Vitamix and then into my belly.

before blending!  Can you imagine sitting down to a bowl of this?  Sometimes I can...but today, I blended that BAS and drank it instead!  Took much less effort...

before blending! Can you imagine sitting down to a bowl of this? Sometimes I can…but today, I blended that BAS and drank it instead! Took much less effort…

007 (Small)

FITNESS

I knew when I woke up this morning that it’d be a rough day.  I had about 2 hours of sleep and needed to focus.  So….I went to a spinning class at the Y.  I figured I needed to get my blood pumping to wake my #$% up, and it worked.  I can’t get over how many people workout that early in the morning.  Crazy.

good burn in that class this morning!

good burn in that class this morning!

Anyway, my bum is still sore from Saturday’s class with AZ, but I threw on some padded bike shorts and muscled through it.

LIFE

I was up late working last night (until 1 am or so), and since my brain was spinning, I had no hope of actually falling asleep.  As it happens, a very good friend of mine was also unable to sleep, so we chatted for a bit in the middle of the night, which was actually really nice.  I finally dozed off sometime around 330.  I’m surprisingly awake today, so that’s good at least!

It’s a typical Monday evening, though I’m home earlier than usual (as in 7pm instead of 8 pm!).  We’re all starting to wind down and for me personally – I’m really looking forward to going to bed as soon as possible!

A Study to See if Sarcasm Increases Due to Lack of Sleep (may take several posts to determine)

FOOD

Do you ever have those days where you get so little sleep that you either need to eat everything not nailed down in order to stay awake…or the thought of food is just unappetizing?  Today for me was the latter…

Breakfast was 2 cups of coffee, though there isn’t enough caffeine around to make me feel peppy today.  Thankfully I had a really busy day, so I was too busy being busy to notice I wanted to pass out and sleep.  Small favors I guess.

I did eat my leftover brown rice pasta/acorn squash alfredo dish at one point.  And a vanilla frosted cupcake because I’m proud of it and needed to eat one – not really because I was hungry.

I munched on a few wheat thins late in the afternoon and had a salad for dinner that I put together at the grocery when R and I went there after I picked her up.  I wasn’t hungry for that either, but figured I should eat it anyway!

I did roast my two eggplants so I could make some baba ganoush.  I’ve been wanting to make some homemade for sandwich spreads anyway, and these two were just on the edges of still being good to eat.

roasted eggplant!

FITNESS

Funny.  Breathing was fitness today.  I stayed awake.  I’m still awake.  Calorie burning machine, I’m telling ya.

LIFE

Before bed last night, I managed to make everyone’s lunches (yeah me for preparing!).  R was in bed by 830 (a total miracle), and D and I went to bed by 9.  It was awesome – we were so excited to get a really good night’s sleep.  Today was not only the kids’ first day back to school, but D’s first day back after a week off laid flat with a bad back.

Too bad that it doesn’t matter how good my intentions are.  If my brain doesn’t want to shut off – it won’t shut off.  I was still lying wide awake at 230 am – and my alarm went off at 510.  Ick.

I made breakfast, made sure everyone was up on time, and starting putting the lunch fixings into respective bags.

D and I have a silly thing where I always put a note in his lunch (and he leaves me little notes too – like in my luggage!).  They’re usually silly, always lovey, and he’s kept every single one of them since I started doing this about 3-4 years ago.  I think it’s neat that he pulls them out once in a while to read them.  Anyway, I was writing his note this morning when R walked into the kitchen.  She says in a very knowing tone “you’re writing my note aren’t you.  Just admit it!”.  I smiled.  Of course I wasn’t writing her a lunch note…but I sure as hell was going to!

R's lunch note (after it was in her lunchbox with all her food)

Work was intensely busy, but again that’s probably a good thing.  Pulling off this project go-live tomorrow is still in question as of this evening (two big issues to still surpass).  Send good and positive thoughts my way.  This is the most “down to the wire” anything I’ve ever worked on has gotten.  Ugh.

After picking up R, it was a quick trip to the grocery, then home for a late conf call (regarding above mentioned project).  R kicked back to read, and I got busy filling out (in triplicate) the emergency contact forms for the kids.  And lab permission slips.  And student conduct policy acknowledgements.  Really – I’m happy to design the school system a software package to allow parents to enter this information ONE TIME EVER – for all children.  For free.   If it means not having to do this in TRIPLICATE every stinking year.

R lying back on the couch in the green room reading a Magic Treehouse book

my fav shirt - especially since it's a new school year. Want to be sure all her new teachers know clearly and think to ask her about her allergies!

Anyhow…while D made dinner (yes, you read that correctly…my husband made dinner), I went to pick A up and take her and M to Target to pick up the last of their school supplies (funny thing about high school…they don’t know what they need until after the first day).

The rest of the evening has been catching up with everyone about their day, having a bloody mary, reading some blogs, and hoping to get some sleep (though until this project is done – and my big one next week – it’s not going to be too likely).  A sure bet that at least my blog posts will be fun to read as they get increasingly sarcastic and incoherent :)

I Got to Be a Pigeon Today!

FOOD

I was up earlier than everyone else (as usual), so I had a couple of cups of coffee while first reading some more blog posts, and then while watching the last recorded episode of Hell’s Kitchen.  It was perfect timing when R came downstairs as the show ended, she could watch cartoons, and I could start making breakfast.

First up today was a smoothie.  My latest favorite of watermelon, banana, and frozen strawberries.  My bananas are turning fast, and so right now they’re only good for smoothies or baking – and barely for smoothies.

smoothie!!!

A half hour later, I had a mini bagel with tofutti cream cheese.  I wanted something a little more substantial than just the smoothie, since I was going to be gone for a few hours.

For lunch I made a creamy butternut squash soup.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do, only knowing that I had some cubed up butternut squash I picked up on sale at the grocery yesterday, and wanted to do something with that.  I’ve made a few apple and butternut squash soups in the past, but I really wanted to go for something creamier.  I decided on a butternut squash/coconut milk concoction.  It came out very tasty and I was pleased with it.  I made up a batch of savory quinoa (using vegetable broth instead of water), and put about 1/3 cup in the bottom of my bowl to make the soup a hearty meal.

squash in my micro steamer heading for the microwave

onion, garlic, and the quinoa before I rinsed it

I rarely have straight broth on hand, so I use some Penzy's vegetable base mixed with water.

my whole wheat flour

spices!

my lunch, with a little extra cinnamon on top

I’ve started using Living Cookbook 2011 to build my personal recipes (and capture the ones I read online that I love!), so now I can include nutritional calculations too!

Crissie’s Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Eat plain, or serve over quinoa or rice for a heartier dish.  I like to use the So Delicious Vanilla flavored coconut milk if I have it on hand.  Regular coconut milk would work great too.

3 cups butternut squash chunks
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 small onion — chopped
3 cloves garlic — finely chopped
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Steam butternut squash in the microwave for 7 minutes to soften.  Could also be roasted at 450 for 20 minutes if coated lightly in olive oil first.

2. Sauté onion and garlic on medium heat in a non-stick pan or one slightly sprayed with oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

VITAMIX/HIGHPOWERED BLENDER DIRECTIONS

1. Place broth and flour in vitamix and blend, starting on low, and then on high for about 4 minutes.  This will heat up the broth.

2. Add onion mixture and squash.  Blend until smooth, about 15-30 seconds.

3. Add spices and coconut milk, blend for another 15 seconds.

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

1. After the onion mixture is completed, add the flour to the pan and stir to combine.

2. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.

3. Add the coconut milk, and stir until thick, about one minute.  Turn the heat up if you need to.  My gas stove gets touchy, and I often have to put it to high when making a white gravy – which this essentially is.

4. Add butternut squash and either blend with a hand blender, or put in batches (carefully, as it will be very hot) into a normal blender.

5. Add spices, and stir.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 152.05
Total Fat 4.53g
Total Carbohydrates 26.44g
Fiber 3.72g
Sugar 3.08g
Protein 3.7g

I wasn’t very hungry for a while, and snaked on some pita chips with avocado hummus around 630pm.  I suppose that ended up being my dinner!

FITNESS

I went to the best yoga class today!  I wanted to go to a hot or warm class, as it tends to be more challenging, and I felt the heat would be great for my muscles and especially penetrate my back.

So I went to a 315pm class at my local hot yoga studio, Chesapeake Hot Yoga.  I went to their Light & Warm class – I didn’t want to push it TOO hard after all!

I spoke to the instructor just before hand and let her know about my back injury.  She asked several questions about where the pain is, what caused it, what treatments have I had, and wanted to be sure I saw a doctor.  The owner was there along with another instructor.  She gave me some tips before class started, mostly about listening to my body, not going into camel pose or anything with a deep back bend, going to child’s pose whenever I felt my back was being taxed too much, etc.  Common sense things.

Anyway, I went into the room at about 310.  I usually like to be 10-15 minutes early for a hot or warm class so I can lie down and get accustomed to the heat.

There was only one other girl in the class (hot yoga decreases in popularity around here when the temps get hot – I asked!), and she told us this was her first ever yoga class!  How cool.

Anyway, the instructor came in about 5 minutes late, but had a piece of paper with her.  As soon as class started, I knew that she had conferred with the owner and the other instructor about poses that would be good specifically for me.  The entire class was perfect.  The poses she had us doing were challenging, but none were stressful on my back.  They were mostly hip opening poses and back stretching.  Not once during that hour of class did I feel any pain whatsoever – at least not from my back.  I struggled though the balance poses – especially Warrior 3 – but I ALWAYS struggle with those!  I’ve always hated Warrior 3….

We did do my favorite ever pose though – pigeon.  It was towards the end of class when I was very warmed up and feeling limber, and I was able to get deep into it, so it felt great.

After class was over, Melanie (the instructor) went through a few poses she thought would be good for me to do at home once or twice a day.  Namely, Rabbit pose, which I’d never done before.  We also talked about injuries in general and her past history with them.  She also had injuries and found she couldn’t go back to running, though she’s currently in the best shape of her life.  She could see that I’m struggling with not running, and could relate, though I refuse to think my running days are over.  I can admit they are “suspended”, but I can’t imagine giving it up permanently.  I’m sort of in running Lent right now.  I’m giving it up for awhile in order to heal.  And to deepen my intense appreciation of having a body that CAN be physical.  It’s just acting cranky and self-absorbed right now.

LIFE

I had a mixed bag with sleep again last night.  D wasn’t feeling so well (not Crohn’s pains…just regular malaise feelings), so he went to bed around 9.  I was in the middle of a blog post (which takes me nearly an hour!) plus reading all my new ones, so I wasn’t ready quite yet.

I went to bed around 1030 and read my latest book for a bit.  I was asleep by 11.  I was smart enough to put ear plugs in as soon as I started reading so at least snoring wouldn’t wake me.  Alas…I was up by 130 anyway and tossed and turned most of the rest of the night.  I didn’t lie awake for a long time like I did the other night.  Last night I would fall right back to sleep, but I woke every 20-30 minutes, even if only for a minute.  I’ve felt okay today though, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Not sleeping well seems much more catastrophic at the time!

D was clearly not feeling well today.  He’s been running a low-grade fever and feeling horrible.  Again – not Crohn’s related – but if he isn’t careful about eating and taking his meds, being sick can bring on a flare up.  Thank goodness he has me to nag the crap out of him to remind him to take his meds.

D and Bumble spent most of the day on the couch (though Bumble doesn't look like she could possibly be comfortable)

speaking of Bumble...she puts her toys in her food dish. And then roots around them to get to her food. Silly kitty. And pay no heed to the bad banana - its destined for some bread tomorrow.

After breakfast, I took R to gymnastics, and then we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond in search of a doughnut pan.  I didn’t find them.  My original intent was to make an upside down dinner tonight (when we have breakfast for dinner) replete with vegan doughnuts (Oh She Glows kept writing about them, and now I need some).  The biggest reason I didn’t is because D loves those big breakfast meals so much – and he’s too sick to enjoy them.  So it’s going to wait until tomorrow.

she's the one crouched down just getting on the beam. They practiced walking backwards and sideways and my normally silly girl was oh so serious

I brought my laptop to gymnastics so I could finally catch up on the blog reading.  It was D’s idea and absolutely brilliant.

The afternoon was spent making soup, and then getting some work done.  Then it was off to yoga and then to the Apple store!  I am now the proud owner of an iPad 2!!!  D and I were talking today about what a pain in the butt it would be to drag my laptop to the vegan bloggers conference next week, and discussed what a brilliant idea an iPad would be.  So…I got my birthday gift 2 months early.  And it’s cool.  I’m still playing with it, but it seems (as by evidenced by my last mini-post), that I can use it for all my blogging adventures while away next week.  It’s also fully integrated at work, so that’s a huge bonus for me.

After I got home it was really all about playing with the new toy…which is probably why I didn’t actually make myself any dinner :)

And now…I’m going to go play some more!