Tag Archives: Smoothies!

Knowing The Season Based on How Hot or Cold Your Workout Clothes Are

FOOD

I finally made a batch of homemade vanilla soy  milk.  It’s been on my to do list for a few months, but I’ve been lazy.  Seriously, I have no good excuses…I have a soy milk maker for crying out loud!

I have honestly gotten complacent about making my own dairy-free milks and was mainly subsisting on Silk Soy Milks (their Very Vanilla is amazing) for quite awhile.  Unfortunately, now that they’re making Almond Milk, I can’t buy their brand for risk of cross contamination (with R’s allergies, I just won’t take the risk – and if you read their food label, they can’t guarantee nut-allergy safety).  I haven’t found another soy milk brand I like, so have really just been using So Delicious Coconut Milk (which I like for most things).  But I really wanted a very vanilla-type milk, so decided it was time to make my own.

I used to buy my soybeans in bulk because of my milk making, but since it’s been so long, I didn’t want to use beans that are too old and sitting in my garage!  This last Sunday, I picked up some fresher beans, and went to town.  No real recipe to post because I followed ideas from others.  Soak the beans, peel them (easiest to as they’re submerged, and just rub the skins off – it reduces the beany-taste), put them in the Soy Milk maker with 2 tbsp of gluten-free oats (it makes it nice and creamy!), strain, then add a small amount of salt and any other ingredients you want.  I used some raw sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean (to make it VERY vanilla).

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch!   Ease of mind too, when you're dealing with food allergies.

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch! Ease of mind too, when you’re dealing with food allergies.

Most my other eats this week were typical.  Green smoothie breakfasts, leftover Sunday bulk cooking lunches (hello Cream of Broccoli Soup!), and a holiday party lunch at the Yardhouse where they have a Gardein menu!

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach.  I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach. I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

green smoothie to-go!

green smoothie to-go!

Gardein orange chick'n with brown jasmin rice.  Seriously...I can get this out and about now!  And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

Gardein orange chick’n with brown jasmin rice. Seriously…I can get this out and about now! And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

For dinner tonight, I really wanted something light.  I love cooking my rice with a tea bag thrown in.  It imparts a different flavor profile, and can really change a dish.  Tonight was green tea, but I’ve done chai or spicy teas for a more Indian feel.  Green tea for an Asian feel.  You get the idea…just play with the teas and make what sounds good!

Green Tea Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 green tea bag (and play with flavors for different meals…I’ve used Pumpkin Spice tea to flavor rice I was serving with maple and cinnamon roasted squash!)
  • pinch salt

Directions

  • I use my fuzzy logic rice cooker (everyone should have one…it does everything), but you can cook the rice based on the package directions – just throw the tea bag in at the beginning).
  • Add your choice of veggies and toppings.  Tonight I did steamed carrots, Mirin (a sweet Japanese vinegar) and Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).  If I wanted a heartier meal, I’d throw in Chickpeas and black sesame seeds too.

The bottom line is to play with it.  Earth balance + brown sugar = a sweeter dish.  In these dishes, I let the tea drive the flavors.  There’s no need for your food to be boring (it’s sort of my life’s motto….life is too short for boring food!)

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And lastly…my friends at the FoodDuo have posted one of my favorite recipes in their 12 Days and 8 Nights of holiday dishes for compassion!  It’s an easy Balsamic Brussel Sprout recipe that’s sure to sway the ardent brussel-sprout hater!  I made them for my family in WI at Thanksgiving, and am pleased to report they were a hit.  They’re doing an amazing series of vegan food bloggers, their favorite holiday recipes, their holiday wishes, and their charities of choice, so definitely check them out.  I’m so honored to be part of their blog series, and there are some incredible recipes to be had….like jello pie.  Really?!  I’m making that….

FITNESS

You want to know the difference between winter and summer in Virginia?  It’s the workout bag….

Seriously, if you keep a workout bag in your car, you can definitely tell the season.  In the summer, my clothes are hot when I show up at the gym (or yoga studio) in the winter…they’re freezing.  This is how I know that winter has begun…

I threw my yoga clothes into my car on the way to the office on Wednesday.  My hot yoga studio has four locations (two in the area), and knew I could hit one up at the end of the day.  I always keep my Manduka yoga mat in my vehicle, so it was just a matter of shorts, a tank, and some shoes/flip flops (that aren’t work heels) to wear home.

Yeah…I forgot this isn’t summer and it’s not that easy….

I got to the yoga studio…wearing my work skirt, tights, high heels, and sweater…but no jacket because it was a little warmer than the previous weeks.

So not only did I have to put on clothes that were chilly….I had to leave in shorts, a tank, and sweaty as hell after an hour in a 100+ degree room…with no coat.  I go back to that sweatsicle blog post….let’s just say the drive home was uncomfortable…

Oh well, it was nice going into the hotter-than-hell room after putting on freezing clothes.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate winter, right??  Ugh…hard to believe I’m from a cold weather state!

LIFE

The past few days have been busy, but not in an “I-wanna-pull-my-hair-out” way.  I’m used to early mornings and late nights, but in the end…I completely love what I do.  I realize that I’m in the lucky minority who gets to say they love what they do every single day.  And sometimes it’s more challenging than others, but I’d not change it for anything!

My eldest, A, is home from University, and that’s been a trip.  She has a tendency to spread out where the rest of us don’t (her pillow and blanket are on the couch, her food and cups are left lying around), and while I’m glad she’s home, it’s making me nuts.  I keep walking around the house and finding her crap everywhere.  She must be making her roommate crazy….

D is still doing his daily #morningpicture with R!  I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years of him taking a daily selfie with the young one!

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Other than that, not much to report.  D is feeling much better, and we’re still focus on healthy (no fiber) weight gain.  He has a few more procedures to make sure we’re on the right treatment path, but the fact that he’s feeling better and doesn’t need surgery is enough for me.  We can work the rest out!

So for now, I will leave you with a few pics…..

Halloween is my favorite holiday...the rest are sort of unimportant!  A had the brilliant idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work.  Brilliant....

Halloween is my favorite holiday…the rest are sort of unimportant! A had the great idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work. Brilliant….

totally my cats.....

totally my cats…..

Bumble, the Tree Killer....

Bumble, the Tree Killer….

 

Shopping, Shakespeare, and Food

FOOD

The past few days have been a combination of dining out and cooking up fun stuff.

A work lunch was Thai food (green curry, go figure), and then I took the kids out for dinner on Thursday.  My phone was actually completely full, so I didn’t get pics of those meals (crazy, I know!).

Saturday I had lunch out and about while Christmas shopping.  People are crazy, and I was happy to escape with a book for a quick and quiet meal.  Thai for me again – but not green curry this time!  I know it must seem like I eat Thai all the time…and I suppose it’s at least once a week.  Thing is, it’s never something I can enjoy with my family because it’s too nut heavy, so I do go solo (or with friends) often.

fresh veggie rolls

fresh veggie rolls

Tom Kha Tofu soup hot pot!

Tom Kha Tofu soup hot pot!

For dinner last night I made mac no cheese and salads!

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Breakfast this morning was a green smoothie in my Sammie cup, lunch was a salad from the grocery, and dinner was an awesome mushroom lasagna and fresh French bread.  By the way, the secret to awesome French bread is to have a pan of water in the oven while the bread is cooking – keeps it nice and moist!

water, 1/2 banana, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie protein powder (it was a post-workout drink), baby kale, and spinach.

water, 1/2 banana, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie protein powder (it was a post-workout drink), baby kale, and spinach.

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FITNESS

I cannot get over the places I have muscles that I never realized were there!  Needless to say, kickboxing is going well and I really do like it.  Repeated a DVD today and didn’t get annoyed (yet), so that’s got to be a good sign!

I woke up this morning just before 7, had a cup of coffee, and then did my kickboxing workout before anyone else was up and about!  It was quite cool, actually.

I also went to a hot yoga class today.  The only complaint I could have about my yoga studio is that they never seem to have fun.  The instructors are very serene and I have never ever been to a class that I would consider playful.  Truth be told, sometimes I like playful classes (like those that play modern music or even funky stuff like Mustang Sally!).  Today’s instructor is someone I’ve never had before, and I could tell that her energy levels were well about the standard “zen” most of them exude.  I made a point of mentioning to her after the class that I appreciated the energy she brought to the class.  It was a nice (and butt kicking) class.

LIFE

This has been a good week.  I know I’ve mentioned a few times that my husband has Crohn’s disease, and while the past few weeks have been rough (and nerve wracking wondering if this was the flare that would require surgery…it thankfully isn’t!), I’m happy that he appears to be on the upswing!  He has a few more procedures to be sure they have him on the right treatment plan, but otherwise it’s looking up.  Unfortunately, he has lost a ton of weight (about 20 lbs, and he’s a skinny and tall guy to begin with!), so now our focus is on healthy weight gain.  The caveat is that he can have no fiber, so I’ve been spending a lot of time planning meals for him to get his weight and energy levels back on track as he heals.  I just wish his doctor took more interest in eating habits and the impact they have on disease.

I went to Newport News and Williamsburg yesterday to do some Christmas shopping.  As much as I like (and do) shop online, I also want to support my local businesses, and do try to do that as well.  Other than people who get all dumb, rude, and incapable of parking, I did pick up a few things for friends and family.  I’m pretty much just down to finishing shopping for my kids, and we’ll be good to go!

One cool thing about Williamsburg and the Colonial Williamsburg area on the holidays is their Shakespeare performances they do in the streets.  I stopped and enjoyed a quick scene during my outing yesterday!

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Today was working out, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking.  A typically, but very nice Sunday.  Saturday’s used to be my favorite day of the week, but now I think I love Sunday’s more :)

Hope you’ve had a great weekend too!

 

As a side note, don’t forget to enter my cookbook giveaway from Dec 12th!!

 

I Like To Kick & Punch Stuff

FOOD

Sunday I went out for Thai food with NS!!  We both had the Tom Kha soup (mushroom-less for me, mushroom-full for her!), and I opted for my typical tofu green curry dish.  It was a yummy lunch.

I could eat this soup every day.  I suppose that means I should learn how to make it!

I could eat this soup every day. I suppose that means I should learn how to make it!

Dinner was mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, green beans, and baked tofu.

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I love being back home and in the kitchen.  Seriously…it’s awesome.  Green smoothies everyday?  Check.  Plenty of quick leftovers for tasty and healthy vegan meals.  Of course.  Some fun junk food?  Naturally.  So yeah…I do love to travel…but love being home more!

so you totally can't see it in my stylish pink mason jar, but I enjoyed an awesome green smoothie on the trip into work yesterday!

so you totally can’t see it in my stylish pink mason jar, but I enjoyed an awesome green smoothie on the trip into work yesterday!

coconut water, pineapple, vega vanilla smoothie powder (needed an extra oomph), banana, baby kale, and spinach.

coconut water, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie powder (needed an extra oomph), banana, baby kale, and spinach.

Lunch yesterday was leftover Indian food, and dinner was a quick Boca vegan chickn patty and leftover mashers and gravy.

Breakfast today was another green smoothie – blueberries, oatmeal, water, banana, cinnamon, kale, spinach.

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And lunch was roasted brussel sprouts and my current favorite spicy butternut squash soup!

big batch made Sunday eve.

big batch made Sunday eve.

lunch today!

lunch today!

Dinner was the last of the mushroom gravy served over rice with a Tofurky kielbasa.

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FITNESS

So I get bored easily.  Have I mentioned that?  And while I’m not exactly bored with running or yoga, I have been feeling the desire to do something else too.  To be honest, I don’t have a ton of free time to be a gym rat, so it had to be something fun at home.  So…kickboxing it is!

I have always loved kickboxing, but unfortunately my local Y doesn’t have a good schedule of classes I can attend.  It seems to be geared towards the stay-at-home mom, and the once a week kickboxing class is in the middle of a normal workday.  I’m not about to pay for a separate studio just to do kickboxing, so I’ve opted for the Les Mills home workouts.  So far, so good.  I’m always worried about my tendency to get bored easily impacting my ability to work out at home, but I’m hoping this is enough fun to get me past that!  The fact that I like to kick and punch stuff should help.

LIFE

It was nice on Sunday to get out and about with NS.  I was hoping to do some shopping after lunch, but between the cold and wind (and we ALL know how I feel about being out in the cold and wind!) and a typical Sunday where local shops are closed, it just didn’t work out.  Aside from that though, lunch was awesome and it was fun planning her upcoming birthday party!

The first day back in the office is usually pretty crazy, and yesterday wasn’t much of an exception.  Fortunately, I was able to be all caught up before I went out of town, and between the holiday weekend and staying on top of work emails after conference fun, I wasn’t all that behind.

Last night was a chill night at home for the most part, and today was more work and a lot of working from home on a report and presentation.  All good stuff, but lots of research.

D’s Crohn’s is still a pain, and I hate that I can’t just make it go away.  He has another procedure on Friday and we’re awaiting results from some tests from last week.  He did say he was feeling better today than he has in the past few weeks, but definitely not back to normal yet.

Until then…snugly cat and morning pictures!

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Oh Green Smoothies, How I Have Missed Thee!

FOOD

So happy to be eating at home.  First smoothie in over a week!  Only down side is I made it too frozen, and was then cold until I made tea to warm me up.  Damn winter.

First I had to core and slice up a pineapple!  I actually did this last night, but used a contraption my Aunt J got me last year.  $2 for a pineapple at Costco that I sliced up myself vs buying pre-cut pineapple for MUCH more at the grocery.

First I had to core and slice up a pineapple! I actually did this last night, but used a contraption my Aunt J got me last year. $2 for a pineapple at Costco that I sliced up myself vs buying pre-cut pineapple for MUCH more at the grocery.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, baby kale, and spinach.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, baby kale, and spinach.

yum!

yum!

Lunch was an attempt at a wrap, but the whole grain tortillas I bought yesterday kept tearing…so it was more like a salad on top of parts of a tortilla and mostly eaten with a fork.

romaine, black beans, corn, and BBQ sauce.  Recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore...it's amazing and a simple lunch.

romaine, black beans, corn, and BBQ sauce. Recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore…it’s amazing and a simple lunch.

I was feeling the need to bake some goodness for my family (mainly because my husband went out and bought…gasp…PACKAGED COOKIES).  Yikes.  Oatmeal-Raisin it is!

recipe from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

recipe from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

And dinner was Indian!

can't make Indian without some homemade garlic naan!

can’t make Indian without some homemade garlic naan!

the key to perfect saffron rice is to pinch and soak the threads in hot water (or non-dairy milk) for about an hour before making.  Use this time to soak your basmati, and you get plump and fluffy rice every time

the key to perfect saffron rice is to pinch and soak the threads in hot water (or non-dairy milk) for about an hour before making. Use this time to soak your basmati, and you get plump and fluffy rice every time

whipped up a base in the Vitamix of soy yogurt, green chilies, garam masala, salt, lime juice, Earth Balance, and a splash of coconut milk.  Simmer, and add veggies.

whipped up a base in the Vitamix of soy yogurt, green chilies, garam masala, salt, lime juice, Earth Balance, and a splash of coconut milk. Simmer, and add veggies.

after cooking completely, add about 1/2 cup of tomato.  Salt and pepper to taste!

after cooking completely, add about 1/2 cup of tomato. Salt and pepper to taste!

speaking of veggies (see what I did there?!?)...5 cups of assorted carrots, potato, and cauliflower

speaking of veggies (see what I did there?!?)…5 cups of assorted carrots, potato, and cauliflower

and enjoy a spicy, warm, and wonderfully filling dinner

and enjoy a spicy, warm, and wonderfully filling dinner

FITNESS

For today’s workout, I went to Hot Yoga down in Norfolk at my favorite studio, Hot House.  It was a 60 minute stability class, and was perfect for many reasons.  One, I’m a bit stiff from the traveling, and doing this class in the intense heat always loosens my muscles up well.  Also my brain has been a bit scattered the past few days – between traveling, catching up on work emails, and worrying about D – I needed the mental break that yoga always give me.  I’ve been lax on meditating the past few weeks, and it’s starting to show in my frayed nerves.

LIFE

Last night was M’s last performance for The Little Mermaid.  He was Sebastian, and it was an awesome show.  What cracked me up was the line of kids after the show that wanted his autograph or to pose for pics of him.

Sebastian (M) and Chef Louis posing before the show!

Sebastian (M) and Chef Louis posing before the show!

Then it was a night of trying, but failing, to go to bed early.  It was 930 when I tried…and 1230 am when I finally succeeded.  Then up early this morning (630 am) to get M off to his SAT’s!  Hard to believe that University is just around the corner for him.  And he wants to be an English teacher, which is pretty cool.

I had the house pretty much to myself all morning.  D slept in late – part of the Crohn’s is he gets no nutrients and lacks energy and is super tired – and R always sleeps in on the weekends.  I did dishes, some Christmas shopping on Amazon, finished laundry, and managed to watch an episode of Sleepy Hollow (I needed a new show, and Hulu has the entire series!).

After yoga, I came home, made lunch, showered, and have been mostly puttering around the kitchen.  I’m having lunch with NS tomorrow, so I’m doing some of my bulk cooking today.

Ginny "flops".  It's what we call it because she completely becomes boneless cat, lies upside down, and wants her belly scratched...

Ginny “flops”. It’s what we call it because she completely becomes boneless cat, lies upside down, and wants her belly scratched…

when I play in the kitchen, these two pester me for a coffee cup full of fresh water from the fridge.  So spoiled....

when I play in the kitchen, these two pester me for a coffee cup full of fresh water from the fridge. So spoiled….

me putting away dishes really just made a bed for Ginny

me putting away dishes really just made a bed for Ginny

she likes to hang out above the shower and freak me out

she likes to hang out above the shower and freak me out

Happy Saturday!!!

 

 

Cooking and Movie-Thon Weekend

FOOD

Most meals have been from the bulk cooking of last Sunday.  I can’t seem to get enough butternut squash soup lately, and I had that three different days this week.  The rice/beans/green chili dish also went very far, and I enjoyed it plain and in taco shells as well.

butternut squash soup at work!

butternut squash soup at work!

this version of rice and beans involved a LOT of hot sauce

this version of rice and beans involved a LOT of hot sauce

I am admittedly still shying away from most raw foods since all the allergy issues hit, but I’m back on morning smoothies as a way to ease back in.  Can you believe it’s been since September since I had a salad?!?  It’s kind of depressing, actually.

orange, cranberry, coconut water, kale, and spinach smoothie.  Quite tasty (if not too pretty!)

orange, cranberry, coconut water, kale, and spinach smoothie. Quite tasty (if not too pretty!)

Today was another bulk cooking day!  I made a huge batch of quinoa, several new cookbook recipes (details to follow in the coming weeks!), and one of my favorites – tofu pot pie!!

BIG vat of quinoa....

BIG vat of quinoa….

tofu pot pie!  I needed to make it again before I head to WI for Thanksgiving and make it for my parents and my sister and her family :)

tofu pot pie! I needed to make it again before I head to WI for Thanksgiving and make it for my parents and my sister and her family :)

tonight's dinner of socca, stuffing, and tofu pot pie

tonight’s dinner of socca, stuffing, and tofu pot pie

FITNESS

I had a difficult time feeling inspired to work out the past few days.  It was cold and my schedule was really crappy.

However, that was rectified today by one of the best runs I’ve had in awhile.  Not only was the weather perfect (in the 60’s), but I seemed to have everlasting energy.  I ran a different route than normal, and that helped too.  I have a tendency to get bored easily (character flaw most of the time), so it was fun running through a different neighborhood than usual.

LIFE

I had a day off this past week, but not for run things.  I had a procedure on Wednesday and took the day off for it.  No big deal – just checking my esophagus and surrounding areas for allergy issues.  I could only do part of the procedure because I was allergic to one of the things I was supposed to drink, but otherwise it went off fine.  Results are back, and all is looking good and healthy!

Otherwise, it’s been mostly quiet.  With D’s flare-up, we’re keeping things low key.  I went to a movie on Friday (Gone Girl – crazy flick), took R to a movie on Saturday (Guardians of the Galaxy, which was awesome), and then we watched two more movies last night (Underworld and Edge of Tomorrow).  I think my brain felt like it was melting by the time I went to bed, but it was still kind of fun to do as little as possible.

One fun thing this weekend was watching Ginny figure out that on hardwood floors, she should stop and slide to her destination rather than run full tilt into walls, etc.  She was a nut last night, and we were all laughing for hours.

Bumble figured out that lying across a heat vent was the best way to stay warm.  Smart girl….

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Today was some work and bulk cooking.  I’m totally excited because I’ll be reviewing three new cookbooks on the blog in the coming weeks.  I spent a TON of time cooking (and eating) some fantastic stuff.  Again, more to come, but stay tuned because all of them involve giveaways and recipes.

I’m heading out of town on Wednesday!  I have a conference in Chicago the first week of December, so it seemed like a good opportunity to go home and spend my first Thanksgiving in 11 years with my family (parents, sister, and her hubby and kids).  I’m looking forward to seeing them and doing some of the cooking, though I’m not looking forward to the weather!  (see last post about hating the cold).

AC will be meeting up with me in Chicago, so that should be a ton of fun too.  I am sad about missing Thanksgiving with D and our kids, but I know they’ll have a great weekend.

 

Not a Mainstream Kinda Girl

FOOD

Yesterday began with a yummy green smoothie. Typical for me – coconut water, Vega vanilla powder, frozen mixed fruit, banana, and spinach.

As much as I totally dig grocery shopping, D has taken that over the past few weeks. I must admit, it's been nice (though he has a tendency to come home with junk food!). While he went and ran errands yesterday (dry cleaning, fancy olive oil and vinegar shop, taking a pit stop to go see a movie, and eventually hitting up the grocery stores!) I spent a big chunk of the day bulk cooking.

First up was a big batch of slow cooker bell peppers! A simple recipe of sauteed veggies mixed in with brown rice and topped with an orange flavored tomato sauce, cooked on low for 5 hours. That'll be lunches several days this week!

I also made a creamy cauliflower soup, a batch of rice, a batch of grains, some soymilk, and pumpkin spice cookies!

This morning I had blueberry pancakes topped with blackberry jam (I've always been more partial to jam vs syrup), and lunch was a pepper and dinner a soup!

FITNESS

Yesterday I did a Yogaglo class at home. I cannot get over how sore I still was from golf. I mean…golf. Seriously, 200 year old people golf. It's not supposed to hurt. My lower back didn't appear to get that message. And it's not even all of it, just half. So weird. My husband gave me helpful tips like “your swing sucks”. Thanks Captain Obvious. I figured that out.

I went for a run this week before work, and it was awesome. A little chilly, but not bad at all. I normally listen to audio books, but finished my last one and haven't picked out a new one yet, so I ended up listening to a podcast. Overall, it wasn't bad, and I do prefer something like that over music.

LIFE

I spent much of yesterday – when not cooking or finishing laundry – watching movies. Enemy of the State and Eagle Eye, actually. No way I was going to a scary movie with D! All told, it was a perfect day. I was no longer “recovering” from the over indulgence of wine from the day before, but I was still just chilling out at home. It was nice going into the week feeling relaxed and organized.

Today was also a really good and easy going day. Only one big meeting, and a lot of time spent getting a lot done. Oh, and I have a #morningpicture to share! D sends one every day, but I realize I haven't been sharing them. So here is D and R as she's being dropped off at school!

I had an article published in our local alternative news outlet today! It's about the Teal Pumpkin Project – an awareness campaign for kids with food allergies and how Halloween can be a challenging time for them. AltDaily is my go-to for finding out all the cool things happening in my area. From the emerging Arts District and beer breweries (believe it or not, it's only recenly legal to have brewery tasting rooms, so they're popping up everywhere!), to concerts and festivals – it's definitely a good resource. Certainly not the mainstream paper, but I've never been a mainstream kinda girl anyway ;)

Here's the article!

So that's it for my Monday. All told, not bad at all :)

 

Golf, Grub, a Recipe, & an Angry Liver

FOOD

Thanks to some weekend bulk cooking, I’ve had some pretty tasty eats this week!  My life is always significantly easier when I take the time to prep on the weekends, but it’s been so hectic lately, that I haven’t done much of it.  I really think I need to make a much better effort to do this.

one of my favorite fall stewps!  Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale.  Yumminess for days!!

one of my favorite fall stewps! Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale. Yumminess for days!!

my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.

my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.

just the stewp for lunch one day

just the stewp for lunch one day

co-worker made vegan crockpot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread

co-worker made vegan crock-pot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread

elbow noodles with an acorn squash alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!

elbow noodles with an acorn squash Alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!

Crissie’s Butternut Squash, Rice, and Lentil, and Greens Stewp
Ingredients

1 medium onion — chopped
2 cloves garlic — minced
2 medium carrots peeled and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
½ medium butternut squash chunks
⅓ cup lentils
½ cup brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 each bay leaf
1 tbsp seasoning blend of choice (I like Italian, but Curry would be awesome too!)
5 ounces kale leaves
1 tsp salt

Directions

*Sauté onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. (I use my pressure cooker on the sauté setting. If yours doesn’t have one, use a skillet on the stove.
*Add the potato, squash, lentils, rice, broth, bay leaves, seasoning, and stir to mix.
*Cook for 10 minutes on High Pressure. Let the pressure release naturally.
*Open the lid carefully away from your body (there will be a lot of steam), and add the kale. No need to mix it yet.
*Add the cover and bring back to High Pressure for 2 minutes. Release pressure manually.
*Add the salt, stir, and serve.

FITNESS

Yoga, running, and GOLF!

Yes, that’s right.  I went golfing!  D and I have talked about it for a long time, even took a few lessons, but we finally went and did it.  And you know what?  It was fun.  Know what else?  I’m really sore, so it’s not as easy as it looks!

LIFE

D and I participated in a charity golf event yesterday, and we had a blast!  AD and her husband JD were our golf partners, and we really did have a great time.  We played best ball, which was good for me!  I even had a few good moments, including a putt that gave us a much needed birdie on a hole!

golf selfie #1!!  Me and D :)

golf selfie #1!! Me and D :)

golf selfie #2!  Me and AD!

golf selfie #2! Me and AD!

The rest was hanging out, drinking wine, and laughing a lot.  My understanding is that’s how golf really goes, and if so, I should have started playing a very long time ago!

The rest of the week was pretty normal.  Work, school, swim team, and general chaos management!  I did get a billion comments about how I don’t look like me anymore because of the haircut.  I think it’s funny….just bangs!

still me!

still me!

This weekend will be spent recovering my liver from yesterday’s golf adventure, and then cooking, cleaning, and relaxing as much as possible!

Peace & Strength

FOOD

I won’t fib.  My whole food veganism  has been put to the test lately.  Not the veganism part (not even a little bit!), but the fresh whole food part.  Developing food allergies as an adult sucks, and I have been particularly afraid of any raw food since my hospital visit nearly a month ago.  For me, that means cooked foods only – and some processed ones too.  I haven’t had a green smoothie in nearly a month, much less a salad!

Today I decided enough is enough.  I cannot be afraid of the food I’ve eaten for 40+ years anymore.  A new food allergy can pop up anytime, but OAS is rarely deadly – more of a mouth tingling annoying/scary thing.  I now have epi pens on me constantly, as well as a bottle of benedryl.

So today marked the re-entry of green smoothies.  I’m happy to announce that I didn’t stop breathing once during the drinking of said smoothie.  And while my ears itched a bit (which has likely nothing at all to do with my breakfast and everything to do with the crazy weather changes), I was nonetheless thrilled.

Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning!  Flax milk, mixed frozen fruit, 1/3 of a banana, and lots of spinach.

Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning! Flax milk, mixed frozen fruit, 1/3 of a banana, and lots of spinach.

And here are the remaining eats of the past week or so.

always a safe bet!  Tofu green curry.  This is courtesy of a place down the street from my office.  I like the ones with eggplant more, but the flavors here are amazing.

always a safe bet! Tofu green curry. This is courtesy of a place down the street from my office. I like the ones with eggplant more, but the flavors here are amazing.

baked potato with black beans and a small amount of shredded cabbage.  My first raw food attempt since mid-Sept.

baked potato with black beans and a small amount of shredded cabbage. My first raw food attempt since mid-Sept.

a beautiful salad I made at Whole Foods.  I ate the beets, but nothing else.  Still freaked a little at this point.

a beautiful salad I made at Whole Foods. I ate the beets, but nothing else. Still freaked a little at this point about eating any raw veggies.

Ruby Tuesday's!  Can't complain that they make eating vegan easy.  Roasted spaghetti squash, plain baked spud, and steamed broccoli.

Ruby Tuesday’s! Can’t complain that they make eating vegan easy. Roasted spaghetti squash, plain baked spud, and steamed broccoli.

in an attempt to reclaim smoothies, decided to check this out.  I have a package in my office now for those moments I'm hungry, but can't get to a normal meal.  Surprisingly tasty mixed with plain water, and held me over for hours.

in an attempt to reclaim smoothies, decided to check this out. I have a package in my office now for those moments I’m hungry, but can’t get to a normal meal. Surprisingly tasty mixed with plain water, and held me over for hours.

went to a lovely restaurant in Virginia Beach - that is NOT a veggie place.  They still made me a wonderful meal, and this was the salad course of roasted beets.

went to a lovely restaurant in Virginia Beach – that is NOT a veggie place. They still made me a wonderful meal, and this was the salad course of roasted beets.

my main dish at Terrapin's - a vegan mushroom and celery risotto.  YUM!

my main dish at Terrapin’s – a vegan mushroom and celery risotto. YUM!

post-yoga lunch at Whole Foods today.  Butternut squash posole.

post-yoga lunch at Whole Foods today. Butternut squash posole.

bulk cooking for the week included a Tamarind Chickpea dish!  I plan to serve over basmati with a small salad for weekday lunches.

bulk cooking for the week included a Tamarind Chickpea dish! I plan to serve over basmati with a small salad for weekday lunches.

a sugar pumpkin stuffed with a hominy/tomatillo stew!  This is currently in the oven as a main star of tonight's dinner.  I love cooling temps :)

a sugar pumpkin stuffed with a hominy/tomatillo stew! This is currently in the oven as a main star of tonight’s dinner. I love cooling temps :)

Irish oats with tons of cinnamon and a 6 oz container of So Delicious blueberry coconut milk yogurt.

Irish oats with tons of cinnamon and a 6 oz container of So Delicious blueberry coconut milk yogurt.

FITNESS

Most of the last week has seen me with a nasty head cold and upper respiratory cold – so I hadn’t been doing much of anything other than some gentle yoga.

Thankfully, by the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling mostly myself!  I went for a run yesterday – the first in nearly a week and a half – and while I overestimated my capability, it was still awesome.  The first mile and a half felt normal, but I definitely started noticing some wheezing right around mile 2.  I eased up my pace, took a few walk breaks, and managed back home around the 4 mile mark.  I wish it had felt stronger, but I think I went out too hard initially, and expected too much.

Today I went back to my hot yoga routine.  I seriously can’t articulate how amazing yoga is for me.  It’s been about 13 years since I first started doing yoga, and I still feel like the newby in class.  Today, as always, the instructor asks you to pick an intention for class.  How the instructor asks varies by teacher, but today I was asked to remind myself why I was there.  The intention was to focus on me – and not someone else (what I often do).  I had a few cycles of breath to think about it, and what draws me back time and time again is the ability to find peace during class.  Not because it’s not challenging – because it is – but because I find that hour to be the only time when I can shut the outside world out.  The only hour when I stop thinking about my to-do list, work, family, and life in general.  The only hour where I find the peace to be in the moment I’m in, without analyzing the past and planning the future.  Where I can be in the present moment and that’s enough.  I envy people who find that easily (like my husband), but I don’t.  I’ve never figured out how to shut off my brain, so that hour of yoga is a balm to me that I have a hard time articulating.

In addition, I do hot yoga predominately, so aside from the mental vacation that provides me, it’s also something I do (and why I was drawn to it in the first place), to make my body strong.  So it took me little time at all to set today’s intention.  For peace and strength.  That’s why I do this.

LIFE

My oldest A went back to university last Sunday – against my better judgement.  She was so worried about missing classes, and as much as her mom I wanted to keep her home until she felt 100%, I couldn’t deny her going back to keep up with her studies.

She had a setback the next day (long story of bad care, screwed up medication doses, and the need for antibiotics), but by Tuesday afternoon she was feeling well.

I also had a Dr appointment this past week.  The allergies, swelling throat freaking me out, and the fact that I have my physical this time per year was why I went.  Good news is my blood pressure is still awesome, as it mostly everything else.  However, having the diminished swallowing capacity and throat thing has now led for my doctor to order an upper GI scope.  She initially told me I needed a barium (and AC kindly contacted the vendors to make sure they’re vegan…they are), but apparently she’s changed her mind on what test to do.  I’m not looking forward to the test, but perhaps getting to understand why my throat keeps swelling – not enough to affect breathing -but enough to freak me out!

So my family was supposed to go camping this weekend.  Due to illnesses and sketchy weather, we decided to put it off.  I have hence found out that if I successfully manage to camp for more than one night in my backyard, AC is screwed.  Her husband JC will tell her that if I can do it, so can she (because I definitely don’t like nature, bugs, nor lack of running water and bar).  So for AC, if no other reason, I had to stay safely ensconced in my house all weekend long!

Friday night was out with AC and a friend of hers visiting from her hometown in TN.  We hung out a bit and then went to dinner, which was very nice.  Saturday was family time, and today was yoga, shopping, and prepping for the week.  I didn’t realize how much I needed a low-key weekend.

On the majorly positive side, I’m going home for Thanksgiving!  By home, I mean my hometown in Wisconsin.  I happen to be going to a conference in Chicago that starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so it worked out very well.  Thanksgiving with my sister and her family and my parents is something I haven’t experienced in 11 years (and is my sister’s fav holiday!).  And Saturday night, it’s party-time with my cousins!  A few drinks and catching up sounds like a perfect holiday weekend to me.

So with that, I leave you for a bit and hope you’ve all had a great weekend too!

It Turns Out I Take a Lot of Pictures….

FOOD

Okay, another two week blogging break, so it will be a ton of pics of some of the things I ate!

Clearly it’s no surprise to see smoothies and juices!

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And non smoothie things too!

the Berkeley Pizza at Z Pizza

the Berkeley Pizza at Z Pizza

Whole Foods salad bar (can never go wrong here)

Whole Foods salad bar (can never go wrong here)

our for Mexican food with D - sangria, big ass beer, and fun times!

our for Mexican food with D – sangria, big ass beer, and fun times!

lentil cake on tabbouleh with roasted veggies and tahini sauce

lentil cake on tabbouleh with roasted veggies and tahini sauce

Tofu PHO!!!  One of my fav things ever

Tofu PHO!!! One of my fav things ever

spring rolls - with A photoboming the shot

spring rolls – with A photoboming the shot

HALAWA!!  Currently my very fav dessert.  Happens to be vegan and gluten free too, but holy cow.  I want this all the time.

HALAWA!! Currently my very fav dessert. Happens to be vegan and gluten free too, but holy cow. I want this all the time.

grilled dinner fun with LC and family!  Tofurky beer brats, mac no cheese, spicy black bean and rice salad, and grilled veg!

grilled dinner fun with LC and family! Tofurky beer brats, mac no cheese, spicy black bean and rice salad, and grilled veg!

more grilled fun from earlier in the week.  Mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

more grilled fun from earlier in the week. Mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

had to share - available at Total Wine at least.  cheap $10 bottle of wine, but incredibly tasty!

had to share – available at Total Wine at least. cheap $10 bottle of wine, but incredibly tasty!

FITNESS

Well, I finally did it.  I went ahead and bought a new GPS watch.  After much research, I decided on the Garmin 220.  So far, I love it.  It connects to the HR monitor and the satellites super quick, it’s not bulky on my little wrists, and the data transfer process is quick.  I’m not the biggest fan of Garmin Connect’s website, but it’s not bad.  I’ve heard there are some 3rd party sites that are really good, and when I find the time, I may check those out.

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Aside from enjoying several runs in the past two weeks, I’ve also hit up several hot yoga classes.

LIFE

Well, it’s been, as always, busy in our family.  Between school starting up again, work, and swim team practice, we’re all running around like crazy.  None of us has much in the way of downtime, but that’s OK.

Last weekend, LC (and her husband LC, sons L and N) came over for an evening of games, movies, grilling, and hanging out.  It was a great night.

Yesterday I went to pick A up from college and spent the morning visiting with my friend HF and her little man D.  We only had a couple hours, but it was awesome.

Today is R’s birthday!!!  More about that later, but needless to say, this weekend is all about her :)

D & A at breakfast this morning

D & A at breakfast this morning

Bumble always holds D's hand at night before bed

Bumble always holds D’s hand at night before bed

she can jump over a wall and into the shower....but has no way out.

she can jump over a wall and into the shower….but has no way out.

Bumble's fav place to relax when I'm reading

Bumble’s fav place to relax when I’m reading

Laundry prison!

Laundry prison!

morningpicture!

morningpicture!

another morning picture

another morning picture

brat cat deciding I can't fold the laundry because she wants to sleep there

brat cat deciding I can’t fold the laundry because she wants to sleep there

(pay no mind to the laundry that needs to be put away) - but it's one of the rare moments where Ginny not only sits still, but actually snuggles too.

(pay no mind to the laundry that needs to be put away) – but it’s one of the rare moments where Ginny not only sits still, but actually snuggles too.

There’s No Place Like Home!

FOOD

I’m not even going to go into the rest of the travel foods.  Most were simple – oatmeal and fruit breakfasts at the hotels, salad lunch and dinners, and one disastrous Thai food meal where I got violently sick 10 minutes afterwards.

The fun part is coming home and being back in my very own kitchen!  Below are the highlights since I got home!

spinach, mint, banana, and raw cacao smoothie

spinach, mint, banana, and raw cacao smoothie

homemade granola bars that have been a huge hit with the family

homemade granola bars that have been a huge hit with the family

salad cup tacos!  Simple romaine leaves with refried beans, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and hot sauce

salad cup tacos! Simple romaine leaves with refried beans, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and hot sauce

my fave quick-pickled spicy cucs.  Sesame oil, crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, and a small amount of sugar.

my fave quick-pickled spicy cucs. Sesame oil, crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, and a small amount of sugar.

Happy Herbivore's cabbage soup.

Happy Herbivore’s cabbage soup.

oatmeal with a boat load of cinnamon!

oatmeal with a boat load of cinnamon!

Pan roasted cauliflower with Indian spices (mustard seed, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and turmeric) with some chickpeas over basmati rice.

Pan roasted cauliflower with Indian spices (mustard seed, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and turmeric) with some chickpeas over basmati rice.

FITNESS

Since getting home, I’ve gone to one hot vinyasa class (which was one of the most challenging classes I’ve had in a long time….) and also went for a very steamy run.  Crazy, but I found the long run in the hot and humid weather with sweat stinging my eyes easier than the 60 minute flow class.  I guess it’s not that crazy – yoga is not as easy as people often think!

LIFE

I am incredibly happy to be home.  The work travels were good, don’t get me wrong, but two weeks in hotels and away from my family is just too much.  I have no idea how traveling consultants do it – would completely drive me nuts.  The only up side was I went to bed ridiculously early most nights and read about 4-5 novels.  Oh, I also got my nails done and had a massage one night.  That was cool.

D and the kids did a great job of keeping down the fort while I was away.  Summer is winding to a close, A is back at university, and R and M are trying to do as little as possible while they still can before their school starts up!

For me, it’s been grocery shopping and laundry, reading and relaxing at home.  We were supposed to get together with friends tonight for some grilling and fun at our place, but LC isn’t feeling well, and early this afternoon I got socked with a nasty sudden-onset head cold.  It’s a bummer, but we’ve rescheduled and the fun will commence then!

A local yoga studio has been hosting an Ayurveda workshop and consultations this weekend.  Here’s a definition if you don’t know what it is! I went last night, and it was wonderful.  I’ve always been interested in ancient medicine (especially over conventional drugs when it can be effective), and this was not disappointing at all.  I’ve done a lot of reading about Ayurveda over the years, but meeting and talking with a practitioner surpassed all my ideas of what it would be like.  She gave me some recommendations that I plan to take very much to heart (especially in areas of insomnia, hives/stress, etc).

D went out to our local Pride Fest last night and today to support the LGBT community as well as take pictures, so I’ve barely seen him so far this weekend.  M is spending time with friends since being gone all summer as a counselor, and R and I have been lazing about.  Life gets back to normal next week (work, swim team, school stuff) and I really am looking forward to it!

while trying to read a magazine, Ginny jumped right on top of it.  She has absolutely no sense of when NOT to crawl in your lap...and especially loves sitting on any reading materials.  Just ask my Dad - when he was here and would read the morning paper, that's exactly when Ginny decided his lap was where she needed to be....

while trying to read a magazine, Ginny jumped right on top of it. She has absolutely no sense of when NOT to crawl in your lap…and especially loves sitting on any reading materials. Just ask my Dad – when he was here and would read the morning paper, that’s exactly when Ginny decided his lap was where she needed to be….