Tag Archives: Smoothies!

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….

Bomb Threats, Good Food, Sweating, and the Supreme Court. Been a Wild Few Days!

FOOD

D grilled dinner last night, and we had corn, broccoli, and Tofuky kielbasa with all the trimmings!  I skipped the broccoli (mainly because it’s one of R’s favorite things in the world and she ate mine!) but definitely enjoyed the rest.

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This morning was a creamy green smoothie of coconut water, mango, avocado, hemp seeds, spinach, and frozen pineapple.

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Lunch was one of my simple faves – carrot and ginger soup!

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And dinner was a toasty sammich on sprouted grain bread, Daiya chive and onion cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, avocados, cucumber, and red onion.

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FITNESS

Stop the presses, I actually went for a run today.  I was feeling well enough to go for a short run – so only two miles – but darn if it didn’t feel awesome!  I have a new audio book to enjoy, it was nice and warm, and felt great to be out in the late sunshine.  I didn’t have quite the energy I normally do, but I really needed to lace up and sweat!

LIFE

So I think I mentioned that D and I usually go to Busch Gardens every year on our anniversary – without kids – and spend the day.  This year we just couldn’t with our work schedules, so we planned for the weekend.  I still wasn’t feeling well enough for that yesterday, but that ended up being a good thing.  A bomb threat was called in, and they evacuated much of the park, and kept the England area closed for quite some time.  For once, I’m glad we didn’t go!

R started day camp today, and had a great time.  Therefore, the morning pics are back!!

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On the whiny news front, I’m going to complain about the Supreme Court today.  I know the religiously minded conservatives think this is a win, and I even understand why.  And I get it, not just from a religious perspective, but from from the standpoint of a business owner not wanting to do something they morally disagree with.  However, I disagree overall because I feel it’s yet another attack on women’s rights (a frighteningly growing trend) and equality of healthcare.  I don’t know many religious people who don’t believe in birth control anymore, so maybe I just don’t get it after all.  I personally think it’s a cop out to try and not have to spend any money on employees.  All that aside, everyone should be scared.  We mock other countries – like Islamic nations – who’s religious law is the only law.  Where girls are married off young, honor killings are OK, and people can be executed for choosing a different faith.  Part of the foundation of our country is the freedom from that, but the more we let some people’s religious values govern the laws of the land, the slipperier the slope we will be on.  I find it inherently wrong for anyone’s religious views (doesn’t matter the religion) to play a role legally.  And once we allow things like this, it has the potential of opening Pandora’s box.  And that’s scary to me.

On the exciting news front (and a much lighter subject!), I’ve been given three books by publishers to review for the blog!  Two are something I’ve never come across before, and the other will be more along the lines of the traditional giveaway.  I’m really excited, and have been spending as much free time in the kitchen as possible to get research done!  Stay tuned!  Made something totally unique this evening and loved it.  I have high hopes!

So with that, I’m going to go do dishes and then drag my nearly recovered butt to bed.  Hope you all had a great Monday, and will have a wonderful week ahead!

And just because it made me giggle…

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Barely Controlled Chaos

Okay, so this is clearly going to be a normal narrative instead of the breakout.  Once again, too much time has passed (sigh).  Three weeks, though I think about doing a “quick post” every day.  And then realize I have so much I want to say, that “quick” isn’t going to happen – so nothing happens.

The good news is that the project I keep talking about sucking up all my time is nearing it’s end.  The last big go-live was this past Saturday – and it was the biggest so far.  It’s crazy and busy and totally wonderful.  This is what I love most about my job.  I spend months – sometimes years – bringing something from an idea into reality.  Watching people use it, solving their problems, and making a positive impact on patient’s lives in the process is the most amazing experience.  It’s crazy, there are meltdowns and issues and successes, and it’s certainly impossible to please everyone – but it’s totally my element and I totally thrive on it.

So I worked Saturday night to Sunday morning (9pm – 8am) and then immediately went to NS’s house.  She was hosting our vegan meetup group for a Bunch Ado About Nothing party.  Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, and excellent grub.  My contribution was the spicy vodka!  I worked all night and wasn’t able to make any food, but someone has to supply the booze.  I was planning to nap for a bit, then party with the crew, but ended up just staying up, partying with the crew, then going home.  It was one of the more chaotic days in recent history, but totally awesome.  I managed to stay mostly coherent despite lack of sleep, so that was a bonus.

I’ve also been all over the state in the past 3 months doing one go-live or another, so that involved a lot of traveling.  This most recent trip to the DC area I did combine with some much-needed days of fun.  I took my girls with me and we spent a day in DC, a day in Philly, and a day in NYC.  Back to DC, work, then back home.  A whirlwind mini-vacation, but oh so worth it.

Aside from work stuff is trying to spend as much time doing things to balance my life.  Cooking, yoga, running, working on personal projects, reading, and spending time with my family.

My son is working as a junior counselor at an away camp this summer, and I took him last Thursday.  He’s doing great and totally loving it.  I’ve always seen M as someone who naturally shines in anything that involves helping people.  He’s passionate about social justice, helping people, and is just an overall amazing kid – he’s caring and sweet and funny as hell.  I think his latest is wanting to be an actor – which is totally cool because he rocks at it.  Personally, I’ve always pictured him as a teacher or social worker!  My parents want him to be an engineer, because as my mom once put it “building bridges helps people.”  I suppose she has a point there too.

My oldest seems a little lost this summer, and I feel for her.  She’s struggled to find a job (home from University), misses her friends, and is bored stiff.  She’s now planning on volunteering all summer, which I think will be good for her.

R has graduated to middle school!  That is crazy to me.  She’s totally nervous about 6th grade and going into the biggest middle school in our state, but I think she’s going to be great.  I wish she had as much confidence in her as D and I do!

For those that don’t already know, I’m a major soccer fan.  And as a bit of trivia for all the haters who think the “arrogant US” created our own word for their “football” – here’s a bit of trivia.  We didn’t.  It was a British term when they shortened what they called Association Football to soccer (to differentiate from other footballs, such as Rugby).  It was prevalent in British writing for a long time, and it’s where we got the word.  We kept using it, and as soon as we did – they stopped.  It slowly disappeared from their sports writing, and now the rest of the world thinks we just like doing things differently, when in fact it wasn’t us.  Just saying – bugs me.  For more deets, read here.

To that end, we’ve been glued to every game we can.  Watched England vs. Italy in New York, the USA vs. Ghana game in DC, and last night’s game in bed with my husband and girls (I had been awake for almost 40 hrs, and just couldn’t hit up a pub to watch it).  Talk about a nail biter.

So now I will just leave you with some pics.  Certainly not all of the last three weeks, but a few ;)

so the date was wrong - it was actually the 14th, but it was still SO cool.  The very first one, and I got to see some blogging peeps from NYC!

so the date was wrong – it was actually the 14th, but it was still SO cool. The very first one, and I got to see some blogging peeps from NYC!

it's like a food truck, but for cute clothes and accessories.  In Philly (apparently common in NYC too).  R got a cool Lego bracelet.

it’s like a food truck, but for cute clothes and accessories. In Philly (apparently common in NYC too). R got a cool Lego bracelet.

I never, ever get tired of seeing this, or anything in DC.  So far, my fav town ever.

I never, ever get tired of seeing this, or anything in DC. So far, my fav town ever.

Tonks' final resting place.  A beautiful urn that R picked out, engraved with her words of farewell.

Tonks’ final resting place. A beautiful urn that R picked out, engraved with her words of farewell.

THE LIBERTY BELL!!!  My youngest has been obsessed with it for a few years, so we just had to go when in Philly.  It was cool, though smaller than I was expecting.

THE LIBERTY BELL!!! My youngest has been obsessed with it for a few years, so we just had to go when in Philly. It was cool, though smaller than I was expecting.

spent the one day in NYC in at the Chelsea Market area.  My favorite so far in NYC (in my 3 trips...which isn't much and I've seen less than is actually there!)

spent the one day in NYC in at the Chelsea Market area. My favorite so far in NYC (in my 3 trips…which isn’t much and I’ve seen less than is actually there!)

019 (Small)

Highline park.  It's an old elevated railway that has been reclaimed by nature and is now a nurtured green space in the city.  It was totally amazing and glad friends recommended it.

Highline park. It’s an old elevated railway that has been reclaimed by nature and is now a nurtured green space in the city. It was totally amazing and glad friends recommended it.

Highline

Highline

Highline - old tracks with some plants breaking through.  Nature always finds a way!

Highline – old tracks with some plants breaking through. Nature always finds a way!

Highline

Highline

pizza monster in DC

pizza monster in DC

me and my girls!

me and my girls!

R on a hot day, trekking around DC

R on a hot day, trekking around DC

the view from the Jefferson Memorial.

the view from the Jefferson Memorial.

R getting really into the USA vs. Ghana game in Chinatown (DC).  When Clint Dempsey got his nose broken and blood was everywhere, she was hooked :)

R getting really into the USA vs. Ghana game in Chinatown (DC). When Clint Dempsey got his nose broken and blood was everywhere, she was hooked :)

never get tired of seeing signs in two languages

never get tired of seeing signs in two languages

BAS!!!!

BAS!!!!

a to-go green smoothie

a to-go green smoothie

Whole Foods!

Whole Foods!

veggie soup with some spiralized zucchini

veggie soup with some spiralized zucchini

Histology humor.  Took a pic of this in the gross room at 2 am the other day.  The gross room is where they put all the surgically removed body parts onto slides.  We've started calling it the disgusting room....

Histology humor. Took a pic of this in the gross room at 2 am the other day. The gross room is where they put all the surgically removed body parts onto slides. We’ve started calling it the disgusting room….

Bloody Mary partay!!!

Bloody Mary partay!!!

mine, NS's, and KP's Bloody Mary's at the vegan meet up yesterday

mine, NS’s, and KP’s Bloody Mary’s at the vegan meet up yesterday

So in a nutshell, my life, especially for the past seven months, has been barely controlled chaos.  I can’t complain, because I do love it in some ways, but I can honestly say, I’m looking forward to life evening out soon.

Roller Coaster Week of Goodbyes & Celebrations

FOOD

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.  As such, meals have been quick and easy; mostly wraps, salads, and smoothies.

I’m still totally excited that D has started a daily smoothie habit!!  His choice Friday was a green smoothie (with kale, no less) that just blew me away!

I didn’t have a chance to take many pics, unfortunately, but here’s what I did manage to snap!

Not all smoothies need to be green, and this was the perfect pre-workout smoothie of flax milk, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup.

Not all smoothies need to be green, and this was the perfect pre-workout smoothie of flax milk, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup.

This is from the ever trusty Whole Foods salad bar.  Tons of traditional stuff like lettuce, onion, pepper, tomato, etc, but then topped with dolmades, quinoa, and Brazilian rice.  No dressing needed with all those fun flavors

This is from the ever trusty Whole Foods salad bar. Tons of traditional stuff like lettuce, onion, pepper, tomato, etc, but then topped with dolmades, quinoa, and Brazilian rice. No dressing needed with all those fun flavors

 

FITNESS

Well, getting laced up and back on the road has been more challenging than I thought!  I suppose it takes a little longer to recover after surgery than I anticipated, but at least I can get started again.

This week was punctuated by short runs (and I mean short – like 2 miles) and hot yoga.  In fact, I took my eldest to her first ever hot yoga class!  She did great, and claims she really loved it and wants to do it again.  We’ll see though, because I saw the look on her face during class, and “love” isn’t the expression she was conveying :)

LIFE

This has been an incredibly long and somewhat sad week.  Having just gotten home from a work trip on Tuesday, I noticed that one of the kitties really wasn’t moving or eating.  I brought it up with D, and turns out Tonks had been acting like that for a couple of days.

Ginny and Tonks are rescue kitties we were lucky enough to bring into our lives last July. They had been discovered in a fast food garbage bin, and were destined to be part of our family.  R took responsibility for them, and they were very attached to her (and she to them).  We learned back in October that both were positive for the Feline Leukemia virus, likely gotten from their mother when born, so of course we had discussions about needing to cherish every day, because the virus, while it may stay dormant, can also make them very sick.

Well, that day had come for little Tonks Tuesday afternoon.  And just shy of what we guess is their first birthday, her little body just couldn’t stay healthy anymore.  We spent a few hours with her at the vet to say goodbye, including taking her outside in the sunshine.  R is devastated, and we’re all quite sad.  She was the quiet and gentle one, but if there was a bowl, box, or hat lying around, we’d find her in it.  Our motto for her has been “if she fits, she sits!”  Here are the last pictures I will be able to post of little Tonks.

R sitting with Tonks out in the sunshine.

R sitting with Tonks out in the sunshine.

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On a happier note, last night was M’s theater award show (think the Tony’s, but for high school drama).  My son was in several performances this year, and won an award for one of the categories he was nominated for!  Here’s a proud family pic.

Order from left to right: A, M, D, me, R

Order from left to right: A, M, D, me, R

Today happens to be M’s 17th birthday!  Wow, how times flies.  It’ll be a fun family day, and I know we’re all looking forward to it.

So it’s been quite the roller coaster week.  Losing Tonks, but then moving to a celebration of my son.  It reflects the ups and downs of life – just happening all in one week!

So I hope you all have a great week!

Vegan Family Challenge Week 2!

Okay, so it’s been 13 days.  What the heck?  It’s not like I haven’t been home, but where does the time go!?!?

FOOD

Family vegan week 2 was also very great.  Lots of Tofurky sammiches, hummus and veggie pita’s, green smoothies, tempeh breakfast sammiches, and LOTS AND LOTS of mac no cheese!  Also lots of permanent changes that I’m totally thrilled about.

I also had a great dinner from AE on last Saturday night.  It was nice to get out (she lives about 2 blocks away), so it was a perfect evening with her and her beautiful little girls!

AE made a wonderful spinach and roast squash salad and roasted broccoli, and I contributed the mac no cheese!

AE made a wonderful spinach and roast squash salad and roasted broccoli, and I contributed the mac no cheese!

I’ll be doing a recap later – in the words of my husband and kids – about what they thought of the 2 week vegan challenge!  So stay tuned for that!  Until then, pictures!

a monster green smoothie!  One new development is that D now has a daily smoothie habit - which thrill me to NO end!

a monster green smoothie! One new development is that D now has a daily smoothie habit – which thrill me to NO end!

Went to lunch with my oldest, and had Tofu Green Curry!  Always a fav.

Went to lunch with my oldest, and had Tofu Green Curry! Always a fav.

Sunday morning, jammies, green smoothie, and reading a yoga book.  Yep.  Perfect.

Sunday morning, jammies, green smoothie, and reading a yoga book. Yep. Perfect.

A yummy pita sammich stuffed with grilled tofu, dijon mustard, and tons of crisp veggies.

A yummy pita sammich stuffed with grilled tofu, dijon mustard, and tons of crisp veggies.

Moe's taco salad!  Proof that there are some yummy vegan options out there when there's no time to make anything yourself.

Moe’s taco salad! Proof that there are some yummy vegan options out there when there’s no time to make anything yourself.

Cajun tofu, fettuccine alfredo, and green beans

Cajun tofu, fettuccine alfredo, and green beans

nothin sexier than watching your man make tofu!

nothin sexier than watching your man make tofu!

M's fav - the tempeh "sausage" and hasbrown breakfast sammich

M’s fav – the tempeh “sausage” and hasbrown breakfast sammich

more green smoothies!

more green smoothies!

a green smoothie theif

a green smoothie theif

my fav use for the old egg slicer.  Makes the perfect silken tofu pieces for tofu eggless salad

my fav use for the old egg slicer. Makes the perfect silken tofu pieces for tofu eggless salad

FITNESS

I’ve been doing lots and lots of yoga – being careful not to push my body past what it can do, and to mostly avoided twists and inversions due to the nature of my surgery.

However, as of my Thursday post-op appointment, I am now fully cleared to run again!  And what better way to kick that fun back off than with a race event??  Tomorrow, HF and I are going to participate in the Run Like a Girl 4 miler event in Richmond.  This organization was formed, originally, to raise funds and awareness for ovarian cancer.  And while that is still the primary focus, it has expanded to include all female specific cancers.  This is a topic very close to both HF and I, so we’re both looking forward to it.

LIFE

Well, it’s been a wonky couple of weeks.  While I have been mostly home recovering, I’ve also been working a ton (which is good – I’d have gone stir crazy if I were home and bored!).

D spent last weekend on the mountains taking pictures (will have to post some soon, because they are wonderful).  He went to the second highest point in Virginia to take shots of the meteor shower, and then spent several hours under the mountains in the Luray Caverns taking pics of those!  I’m definitely a huge fan of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I absolutely love these.

I went to a Meditation Essentials class at my yoga studio.  I’ve wanted to learn to meditate for a very long time – I know how wonderful it is for the body and brain – but never really knew how to get started.  This was a perfect class, and I have since started my own #5adaymeditate challenge for the next month.  I know I need to start small, but also need to be consistent or I won’t ever progress.  I’m happy to say that taking just 5 minutes a day to do this has been great.  I’m shocked by how much good only 5 minutes does.  I’ll eventually up the time, but for now, it’s about establishing a regular practice and using the tools I’ve learned to silence the constant swirling thoughts in my head.

I am heading out of town this afternoon for a week of work in Williamsburg, VA.  I can’t say I’m not excited, but that’s where my fav theme park, Busch Gardens, is – and it also happens to be the Food and Wine festival!  So we all know where I’ll be hanging out when not working!

And of course I’m making the short trip up to Richmond in the morning to meet up with HF for our run and to hang out for a bit.  I’m looking forward to that too, I haven’t seen her in a few months.

So I’ll leave you with a few pics of the last two weeks, and will hopefully write again soon!

Tonks deciding that the top of my dehydrator is the perfect place to nap.

Tonks deciding that the top of my dehydrator is the perfect place to nap.

R loves to set up a "bed" on the floor and sleep there.

R loves to set up a “bed” on the floor and sleep there.

A making some fresh OJ

A making some fresh OJ

Bumble always lies on my back if I'm lying on my stomach.  Here I'm trying to read, but couldn't resist a little selfie with her on my shoulder.

Bumble always lies on my back if I’m lying on my stomach. Here I’m trying to read, but couldn’t resist a little selfie with her on my shoulder.

morning picture!

morning picture!

these two kill me.  Sammie and Ginny are best friends.

these two kill me. Sammie and Ginny are best friends.

Ginny totally in attack mode one morning.  No toes were safe....

Ginny totally in attack mode one morning. No toes were safe….