Not Really a Waitress

Thursday evening ended up being a crazy cooking day.  It’s finally getting chilly outside (mid-60’s during the day, 40’s at night), and I got this urge to cook fall food.
I made an incredible sweet potato and butternut squash soup in my crock pot that just smelled like Thanksgiving all day.  I sauteed some onions and celery in olive oil and tossed them into the crockpot with 3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, a peeled and cubed butternut squash (I admit, I cheat…I buy the pre-cubed stuff in the produce section), 4 cups of veggie broth, and some sage, thyme, and salt.  Cook on low 6 hours, and blend into happiness. 
I also had an urge to cook with cranberries, so my sister-in-law sent me a recipe for a pumpkin-cranberry bread, and since I had all the ingredients on hand, I made it!  It was a hit, and made the house smell amazing. 
Then I started looking for something to do with some leftover rice from the night before, and found a recipe for a broccoli/cheesy rice thingy with mushroom soup and made that.  And of course some green bean casserole from one of my favorite vegan websites.  And since I was on a Thanksgiving kick, I made stuffing (which is a food group unto itself for my husband.  See below) and (since they’re omnivores), a turkey tenderloin.  It was a fabulous meal, if not pretty much a month early.
Friday was a day of early meetings and chauffeuring my eldest all afternoon.  I got home late (hadn’t had lunch), so I whipped up a totally wonderful meal.  I still had the acorn squash Alfredo sauce leftover from the other day, so I made some quinoa noodles, peas, and added the sauce.  The result was an almost macaroni and cheese-like dish of amazing food, but was very healthy at the same time.  I love it when a meal is completely whole-grain and veggies, and just feels like decadent comfort food. 
  my alfredo pasta awesomeness.  see prior post for recipe.
  D’s second plate of food that meal.  Only thing he went back for was a mound of stuffing.
Friday night A had a school Halloween dance, so she dressed up as a zombie doll, watched Psycho (yes…the school actually played this movie at the dance), and then danced for awhile with some friends.  While D took her to that, I took M to the mall for some much needed clothes shopping.  We ate at the food court, and I got one of my favorite all time meals…Vietnamese Vegetable Pho Noodle Soup.  Awesome. 
Today was just as hectic.  D slept in since his pager went off half the night last night, so I woke up, made coffee, and ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and toast.  I went to the gym, but before I could go, I needed an audio book.  I finished my final book (book 10) of the Sookie Stackhouse books (True Blood) yesterday, so I was at once happy and sad about it.  I decided that morning that I want to re-read (and catch up on) all the Anne Rice vampire books.  I asked D to get them for me and put them into iTunes.  He hadn’t yet done that, so I decided to buy an audio book on before going to the gym.  My friend S has been really wanting me to read a detective novel series by Michael Connelly called the Harry Bosch series.  She gave me an audio book called The Overlook a few months ago.  It was ok…not great, but not awful either.  I decided to give it another shot, and went to the first book in the series, called Black Echo.  I’m a couple hours into it now and not loving this one either.  I generally like detective books, but I think I’m going to give up after this one.  May just have to stick to vampires for a bit.
Anyway, after the gym, I ran a few errands.  I’ve been really wanting a Tofurky for a few weeks, and typically the Farm Fresh grocery stores carry them.  I’ve checked 2 in the area, and no luck.  So I went to another one, and no dice there either.  I think I’m going to have to go to an actual hippie store to get it.  Ugh.
I got home, took a shower, and took my time getting ready today.  It was actually nice to not be rushed!  I even painted my nails (well, I did half of them anyway….).  Since I’m feeling so festive, I went red…something I don’t do often.  The nail color is called Not Really a Waitress.  I think it’s funny, since I often FEEL like one at home!
I decided to take R to Busch Gardens for a final night of Howl-O-Scream.  M and A both have activities going on, and really thought it would be fun to take R to do something too, so we left around 230 pm.  For the first time ever, I’m pulling into the park and there is a big sign that says “Park May Reach Capacity”.  Holy cow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so busy!  But…we had a great time anyway.  We went on a ton of rides.  For awhile, we ran around the Land of Dragons, and I felt like I was doing a Survivor Challenge.  A pic is below of her climbing up a rope bridge.  Just so you realize….in order to GET this picture, I had to do it to.  Twice.  I’m glad I’m in shape.  She chanted “FUNNEL CAKE” for about 2 hours, so I finally broke down and got her one. 
  adventure girl!
After funnel cake fun was promptly followed by belly ache fun, we decided to wrap it up around 830 and head home.  It was a really nice time, and I’m glad we went.
So now I’m off to bed.  I’m hoping to guilt D into getting me my new book before I go to the gym tomorrow.  Here’s hoping…

It’s Not My Fault Your Tastebuds are Dead

I generally really like Thursday’s.  They’re busy (lots of standing meetings on Thursdays), and it’s a signal that the week is almost over!  I have some hope that today will be a good day, but we shall see.

First of all, I’m working from home today.  My littlest monkey isn’t feeling well.  She’s been snuffly the past few days, and has those big purple bags under her eyes that indicate allergy hell.  I whipped out her neti pot last night and we had some success getting the nasties out, so I’m hoping that’ll help.  For now, she’s sleeping peacefully, and I certainly don’t want to disturb that. 

Working from home days are double edged really.  It’s nice to be in my jammies still at 830 am, but I find that I actually work more hours in the day than if I were in the office.  Other than two meetings this afternoon (which I’ll do via webex), I have several hours of uninterrupted time to get a LOT done.  What I find I end up doing though, is to keep working through until pretty late in the day (like 8-9 pm), and even though working at home is nice, I end up putting in 12 hour days!  Oh well.  I think the whole jammie thing balances that out.

Breakfast today was a sandwich made from Ezekiel bread, mustard, soy cheese, soy bacon, and lettuce.  And coffee.  It was very fabulous.

Yesterday was a busy work day again, and while I ate great, I didn’t workout.  Breakfast was some oatmeal and a piece of Ezekiel bread with low sugar jelly and coffee.  I think that’s the most “breakfast-like” breakfast I’ve eaten in a long time!

Lunch was a totally awesome sandwich from Jason’s Deli called a Veggie Muffaletta.  They are HUGE, only 177 calories (without the cheese), and are just yummy.  It’s made with marinated and grilled portabello mushrooms, spinach, yellow and red bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and an olive mix.  I ate half of the sandwich for lunch, and the other half for an early dinner.  I didn’t have much of an appetite the rest of the day, so I had a few tortilla chips, but that’s about it.  I fell in way below my expected caloric intake, and only ate 857 calories.  That’s not good…eating too little is as bad as eating too much.

Tuesday was a pretty good day.  I didn’t have a ton of meetings, so I got a lot done.  I was really worried about getting the data for a budget I’m working on (new IT system purchase….it’s been a bit of a cluster before I got involved in August, but it’s finally coming together).  Breakfast was a Tofu Alfredo sauce with whole grain pasta.  Very tasty!   For lunch, I made a concoction in my rice cooker that is similar to a Mgedarrah Lentils and Rice recipe that I found on VegWeb.  So here it is….

1 cup brown rice (soaked for about an hour)
1 cup lentils (any will work, I used red)
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Allspice
2 tablespoons cumin
4 cups water

I put the oil and onion in the rice cooker, turned it on, and sauteed them for about 5 minutes.  I added everything else on, restarted the rice cooker (I have a fuzzy logic one, so I used the Brown rice setting), and that was it!  I dump tons of hot sauce on it, and it’s amazing.  A ate it for dinner on some whole grain and seed crackers.  High fiber, high protein, low fat, all fabulous.

I’m a big fan of full meals that can be cooked in a single pot.  It’s just neat.

I hit the gym on Tuesday afternoon for my Fitnlinxx routine.  As planned, I bumped up the weight by 5 lbs for every machine except the shoulder press.  Not quite ready for that one.

Monday was another pretty good day.  I had lots of meetings, but they were highly productive.  I made a Cream of Broccoli Dream soup from my V Cuisine cookbook that my parents got me for Xmas a few years ago.  Talk about uber simple…

2 chopped onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 peeled and diced potato

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil.  Add the flour to mix into a roux.  Add everything else, cover and cook until the stuff is tender.  Blend (I use a hand held immersion blender).  Yum!  I served it with french bread an an olive oil dip with mixed herbs.

So here’s my family dilemma.  Well, it’s not really a dilemma I guess.  I have noticed (and have done some reading to confirm), that the more you eat whole foods and a clean diet, the more you taste the flavor of the food.  Diets high in processed foods, are high in salt, and high salt diets kill your ability to actually TASTE food.  Since I try to keep processed foods in my life to an absolute minimum, I find that I rarely use any salt in my cooking.  This, of course, is the polar opposite of how my husband eats (though he was a very good sport about the soup for dinner on Monday).  He ends up having to dump mounds of salt onto his food, just to taste it.  It makes me sad really, that his diet is more on the unhealthy and processed side.  I’m working on him slowly 🙂

I learned about an event next fall that I really want to go to.  It’s a Vegan Blogger Conference!  It’s next August in Portland, Oregon.  I think it would be incredibly cool to actually meet people who have the same passion for a meat-free life as I do.  That, and I haven’t been to the west coast in SO long…I’d get to visit one of my very best friends in the world, who lives outside of Seattle.  D is all for me going, so I really hope we can swing it.

So that’s it for today.  I’m hoping to go to the gym after D gets home from work.  I need to strength train, and since it’s such a rainy day, I think I’d like to use the rowing machine or take a cycling class too.  Since the marathon is over, I do want to keep running of course, but also do some other forms of exercise as well. 

Good Friends = Good Times!

What a fun couple of days!  I’ve worked out, cooked, and went out of town with some good friends for some good times!
Wednesday night was Wine Night with the girls for a couple of hours.  The 6 of us drank some red wine and ate yummy Italian food while catching up.  D dropped me off (and stopped in for a beer), and S brought me home. 
Thursday started out with early meetings and ended with late ones.  According to my calendar, I had an 8am meeting at one of our hospitals.  I show up, but the person I’m supposed to meet with doesn’t.  Around 820 I page her to let her know I’m there, and to grab me when she gets in.  As it turns out…she’s off for the day and her secretary forgot to reschedule the meeting.  Ugh…I rushed to get out the door by 715am for nothing.  I hate that!
I had back to back meetings from 930 until nearly 530.  I was SO hungry by the time the day was over.  I was supposed to have a little time between a couple of them – which I thought would mean I’d have time to grab a salad or something – but all my meetings ran over, so it was a lot of scrambling and tummy rumbling.  I was supposed to go to a vendor-sponsored dinner and beer thing that evening, but I just didn’t have time.  By the time I got out of the hospital and fought traffic on the way home, D had to leave with R for gymnastics and I had to pick A up from school.  On the positive side…it was really nice to just get to spend time with the kids and do some packing.  While D was at gymnastics, the kids and I had sammiches and soup and finished an episode of Survivor from a couple of weeks ago.  The one where the crazy fisherman guy was voted off.  Yeah!
Friday was early morning meetings again, but it wasn’t so bad this time since my earliest was a conference call.  Gotta love going to a meeting in your jammies with a cup of coffee!  I worked at home most of the day, which is always a nice treat.
My new glasses came in, so I stopped at my eye Dr on my way home, and then hit the gym for my Fitnlinxx workout.  I’m starting to get excited because I can see the muscles in my arms that I really never noticed before.  It gets me very motivated to go back to the gym.  Next week, I’m planning on upping my weight on each machine.  I think it’s time.
R had her Fall Festival at her grade school.  They go all out – have raffles, inflatables, games, crafts, dancing, and food.  D took her, and I met up with them when I left the gym.  Then it was off to pick A up from school and head home.  We ate dinner and all watched the other 2 episodes of Survivor that we were behind on.  Now we’re all caught up and are still annoyed that Marty and Naonka haven’t been voted off yet.  They’re both so snaky.
Saturday was a very early morning.  I didn’t sleep well and woke up at 4am anyway, but M and I had an early morning workout.  We were out of the house just before 7am.  We brought Sammie (our yellow lab), and headed to the Great Dismal Swamp for a 55 minute speed-walk workout.  We both underestimated how cold it was, and froze a bit in the beginning.  This time of year is very pretty, and some of the dense greenery was changing to pretty fall colors.  We went 3.5 miles total, and other than when Sammie spotted something she felt like chasing or playing with, we moved at a pretty good clip the whole time.  In the last 1/4 mile, we saw a pretty sailboat going through the canal.  M took some pictures, and they’re below.
After our workout, we decided to be nice to the rest of our family (who were still sleeping, by the way), and stopped at Dunkin Donuts for them.  M and I had both eaten before the workout (a piece of Ezekiel toast with sunflower butter and half a sliced banana for me.  Two pieces of toast for him).  Of course, he’s 13 and seems constantly hungry, so he got a breakfast sandwich at Dunkin Donuts too.
After I got home, I jumped in the shower and finished packing my bag for the weekend.  A couple of us went to Williamsburg for the weekend.  S rented a beautiful condo up there, and after fighting some awful traffic, finally made it up around 130. S promptly pulled out the fixing for Mojito’s and her iPod, and we all had a drink!  We then caught the shuttle bus to Busch Garden’s and enjoyed a few hours of walking around, drinking beer, people watching, talking, and haunted fun.  We took the shuttle back to the resort, and then hit their pub for some bad pool playing and drinks.  At some point, most of the bar found out it was my birthday weekend celebration, so we didn’t really pay for much.  And as much as I appreciated the gifts of Jaeger bombs, lemon drops, and bottles of beer…I really didn’t want to drink much.  I despise being hung over much more than I like to drink, so despite several protests, I drank a lot of water.  We got back to our condo around 1230, hung out and talked for another hour and a half, and went to bed at 2am. 
At 9 this morning, we finally started moving again, and began packing up.  After a necessary stop at Starbucks around 1030, S and I went shopping at the Williamsburg outlet mall.  She got some shoes, and I bought new workout pants for M (his poor legs froze yesterday morning in shorts) and some socks for D (he has big feet, and the only place I can find socks that fit him are at the Nike outlet store).  We hit a few more stores, but the most amazing was the Yankee Candle Flagship store in Williamsburg.  It’s a mini mall unto itself.  Sure, they had candles…but they ALSO had a Holiday Park where it snows every 4 minutes, a food court, a guy playing guitar and singing, face painting and crafts for children, the Yankee Home Store, and all told, I think S and I spent at least an hour and a half there.  I ended up with a candle that smells like grape Skittles.  It’s pretty cool.
We then stopped for lunch at an Asian buffet I love (they have Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Thai, Vietnamese food….as well as this awesome “sushi train”).  Lunch was awesome.  Then we left and drove the 45 ish minutes back home.  Good times!
Oh, and while I was off having fun, D entertained not only our children, but some of their friends too.  They had a sleep over fest and watched movies, played video games, and ate pizza.  So I think that everyone in my family had a good weekend.
The rest of the evening is really just cleaning and getting ready for the week.  I’m going to go run a few errands, hit the grocery, and come home and try to relax before going to bed early!

A Week Later, and I Still Have All My Toenails!!!

I’m not sure what the typical window is for losing toenails post marathon, but thus far, mine are still all there.  I’ll keep monitoring though to be sure.

Yesterday was my birthday and all in all, it was a pretty good day.  I had a meeting in the morning and then a leadership conference.  Then I ate way too much Thai food and rented Iron Man 2!  It was fun, but Scarlett Johannson didn’t get enough screen time.  After lying on the couch and recovering from my steamed spring roll and tofu green curry indulgence (and doing a ton of laundry and watching my movie), I started cooking.  I made an awesome acorn squash alfredo and served it over veggie shell noodles.  It was so smooth and creamy, I was just shocked it’s made from pureed squash!  D made the pork tenderloin, and I stir fried up some mushrooms. 

While dinner was cooking (and D was busy baking me a homemade vegan birthday cake), M and I went for a run!  He and I are going to do a 5K training plan together.  I’m sure I’ll do some additional runs during the week to keep my base mileage up, but it was really fun.  It was an 18 minute run total, and while we both felt we could do much more, I don’t want to see him burn out by doing too much too soon, so we’re going to stick to the plan.

After the run and then dinner, I got to open presents and eat my cake!  D and the kids bought me a beautiful dress, belt, and necklace.  I was surprised since he already got me the iPod a couple weeks ago.  I also heard from a bunch of people on facebook, calls, texts, and emails.  It was really nice. 

We watched a little TV, and then went to bed.  Low key, but nice.

I’m not going to run in the OBX marathon weekend this year, but I’m thinking of going down to volunteer.  It’s beautiful down there this time of year (really, it’s beautiful down there any time of year), and after the Chicago marathon, I’d hate to not give back to the running community.  It’s Veteran’s day weekend, and the kids are off anyway.  M would probably love to do it too; we did one year at the Shamrock marathon and worked one of the water stations.  I would like to do the Flying Pirate Half-Marathon in the Outer Banks next spring though.  It’s a new race that just started last year, and I think it would be a lot of fun.  I still haven’t picked my next full marathon, but I sort of have my eye on the Philadelphia Marathon next year in November.  D was talking about wanting to take a vacation, so if not Philly, maybe Disney, which is in January every year.   

Today started with an early morning meeting and turned into a festival of hives!  After my morning meeting, I took A and two other kids in the neighborhood to the high school this morning after their bus was running 20+ minutes late.  Then it was time for a parent/teacher conference for my youngest.  She’s sweet, very smart (especially loves math), gets along with everyone, is helpful…and has a hard time shutting up!  She’s chatty and wants to fidget and play rather than pay attention and finish her work.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  A was the same way as a kid, and I think I was too.  She’s also the youngest, so used to being the center of attention. 

I was pretty much minding my own business when most of my body started breaking out in hives!  I have no clue what happened, but after panicking just a little bit, all ended fine after some benedryl.  I’m not sure what I was worried about more…the head to toe hives, not making it to the gym for a Fitlinxx session, or potentially missing Wine Night with the girls tonight!  I guess I shouldn’t worry now…the hives are gone, so the wine is on!  

Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies, OH MY!!!!

This weekend has been good, if not just as busy as most.  I really can’t wait to have a weekend where I don’t have to do anything…or get up early for any reason.  I guess I just really want a day to sleep in! 

Friday was work and boss’ day.  Fortunately for my boss, she was on her way to Hawaii, so I didn’t feel bad about not getting her a card 🙂  I did get a card and some balloons myself though, so that was sweet.

Friday night D and I went to a wine party for a couple hours.  It was nice to get out for a little while, and we had a nice time.  We both were tired though, and I slept great Friday night.

Saturday morning D had an appointment at the Apple store at the mall to have his iPhone looked at.  They fixed it, and while he and M were at the mall, R and I went to the gym to workout.  A stayed home and cleaned her room (though to be fair, I gave her the option…gym or clean.  I can’t believe she chose to clean instead!).  I did my Fitlinxx workout and it felt good; nothing sore anymore.  I was hoping to go for a run on Saturday, but I ran out of time.

After getting home, I took a shower, and the 5 of us took off for Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream Halloween fun again.  We made a pit stop at Starbucks and Trader Joe’s before making our way up to Williamsburg.  We all hung out, and the older kids met up with a few friends for a couple of hours.  We went through several haunted houses, and had a really good time getting the poo scared out of us.  At one point a werewolf flew out of the ceiling, I screamed, and D doubled over laughing hysterically at me.  A and M spent most of the evening screaming, and R (the 7 year old) declared repeatedly how unafraid she was of everything.  All in all, it was a very nice time.  My new iPod has a pedometer, and according to it, we walked 24,000 steps in our 4ish hours at the theme park. 

Sunday was spent cleaning, cooking, and I even went for a run!  The 5 of us cleaned the entire house from top to bottom all morning, and then went to do yard work, which also took an hour or two.  After that, D went to the grocery, and I went for a run.  A nice and simple run of just under 2 miles.  D was asking me what my plans were for it…distance or time, etc.  I told him that for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have a goal…nor did I want one.  I just wanted to enjoy myself and feel no pressure.  It was lovely.

After my shower, I turned into a cooking machine!  I made homemade samosas (think Indian egg rolls…only roundish.  And filled with potatoes, peas, and yummy Indian spices), Chicken Korma for the meat eaters, Tofu Korma for me, Garlic Naan (a completely fabulous flat bread), and a bit pot of saffron basmati rice.  After dinner, we all watched How To Train Your Dragon before heading off to bed (D took the kids out back and they looked at stars and some planets I think too).

I received an email from Brooks (the company that make my incredible running shoes) to join what they call Run Happy University.  It’s basically an informational website on training, nutrition, and of course a vehicle to hock their products.  I found a training plan for beginning 5K’s.  While I know I’m maybe just a bit beyond that, I was thinking it would be fun to do with my son.  We had tried about a year ago to have us all train (except R) for a half marathon.  I think that was too ambitious, so I’m the only one who kept running.  I was thinking that maybe a 5K would be a better starting point.  Heck, even R might like doing it!  So I asked M, and even though I could hear the major hesitation in his voice, he said yes.  I figured we could do the Hair of the Dog 5K in Virginia Beach on January 1st.  We start tomorrow with a run/walk of 3 minutes each x 3.  Simple, but the 12 weeks gets him to running 3 miles without stopping.  That’ll be pretty cool to watch.

Today is a gym day.  I got up early, but not to workout – just to get to the office early.  I got a lot done, had a couple morning meetings, and then met D for lunch at Olive Garden.  I ate too much, but it was really tasty and I was starving.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do for dinner tonight, since it’ll be just me.  I’m picking up R in a few minutes from school, going to do homework, and then take her to swim lessons.  D is going to meet me at the Y to collect R around 645, and then he’s taking all the kids to the mall to do some bday shopping.  I’m going to stay at the Y and do my Fitlinxx workout, and then come home.  I have plenty of the Tofu Korma and rice leftover, so I’ll likely do that.

The rest of the week will probably be a blur.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and after going to a conference at the oceanfront all day, I want to do that run and then something fun with D and the kids.  Wednesday is a Fitlinxx day…but it’s also Wine Wednesday at Carrabba’s, and a few of us are going out to celebrate.  Then Saturday is a girls weekend in Williamsburg to celebrate my birthday and take one last trip to Howl-O-Scream before the season ends!  I wish my camera hadn’t died during the trip to NYC in August.  Then again, most pictures from “girls weekends” shouldn’t be made public anyway 😉

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

…which also happens to be an incredibly cool song by Cage the Elephant…but that’s really nothing to do with my blog…
I have to start this post on a serious note. I neglected to mention the most important person in my last post. My husband was by far my biggest supporter and cheerleader throughout the past 6 months of me even training for this crazy adventure. He’s the one that took the kids to all their activities so I could either run or go to the gym.  He’s the one who made sure homework was done and showers were had.  He’s the one who left me little encouraging notes on the kitchen counter when I got up at ridiculous hours on Saturday mornings to go for insanely long runs.  He had to listen to me whine, and rub my shoulders when I ached.  He tried to have flowers delivered to my hotel room, but ran into issues with the hotel staff (the thought really is what mattered here…though if you’re reading…still feel free to send me flowers whenever a random urge strikes.  Or even if it doesn’t.  I love flowers.).  And on race day…he sent me as many texts of encouragement as everyone else, told everyone he knew (in life and on Facebook) what I was doing, and even recorded a 23 mile video to try and spur me for the last 3 miles.  He told me over and over again how proud he was of me, and whenever I started to criticize myself about how slow I am, he’d shoot me right down.  I love him so very much, and am a very lucky woman indeed.  Okay honey, no getting a big ego now 🙂

The past few days have been pretty good, if not exhausting. I know, I know…you’d think that just running the marathon would be tiring. Turns out, it’s the crash afterwards that has me dragging.

I’m glad I decided last week to take this Tuesday off. While I was home in plenty of time to go to work on Tuesday…I certainly wasn’t feeling up to it.

I slept great Monday night. I hadn’t on Sunday night, probably because my body was so sore, every time I moved in my sleep, I just woke right up. So after a day of travel and then being in my own bed, I slept pretty well. I woke up with D and the kids, made breakfasts and lunches, and then started doing wash.  8 loads actually.  Of just mine, R’s, and D’s clothes.  A and M do their own.  That’s a LOT of wash!  I did manage to catch up on 3 shows though while doing it.

Around 1130, I decided I should venture out, grab something to eat, and then go to the grocery.  I really didn’t feel like it, but I was hungry and didn’t have any on-hand easy vegan meals.  So my first stop was Moe’s!!!  Of course I had to have the Personal Trainer veggie salad.  With tofu (crazy cravings for tofu lately – probably since I really need protein).  I ordered it sans shell – see picture below.  Now that I’m not running 40 miles per week, I have to clean up my diet again.  I’ll admit…the last 6 weeks before the race I ate EVERYTHING I wanted because I knew I’d just burn it right off.  The time is again at hand to watch what I put in my mouth, and keep it to the fruits, veggies, vegan protein, and complex carbs that I usually do.  At this point I also have to mention that I haven’t had any alcohol since Friday.  Probably because I’m still hungover….6 days later.  It’s feasible.

  My shell-less salad.  They call it a “streaker”.  I call it sad…I miss the shell.
After Moe’s (where the guy behind the counter greeted me like a long lost friend, knew my order…though looked at me funny when I said no shell), I went to the grocery to pick up some things for the house.  They have a slightly expanded hippie section that my hubby told me about, so I checked that out and picked up a few things to play with.
By the time I got home, I felt awful.  I plopped in front of the TV, watched last week’s CSI:NY, and folded laundry.  I started getting hungry, and made a pot of Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable soup.  I put some oyster crackers in it, and instantly felt better.  I realized that after eating “clean” all day (smoothie for bfast and shell-less sadness salad for lunch), my body really just wanted bread, or crackers, or some other simple carb.  Of course after that, I had to make popcorn!  For most of the rest of the day, I felt pretty darned good.
Tuesday evening I made another recipe from my Candle Cafe cookbook; a Tofu Alfredo.  It uses just silken tofu, soy sauce, and an entire head of garlic.  It cooks for an hour, and voila…awesome animal-free Alfredo awesomeness.  At 40 calories per serving (which is 2/3 of a cup), I was totally excited.  I was also too tired to actually eat, so I went to bed and slept the best I’ve slept in longer than I can remember.
Wednesday was back to work day.  I had the Tofu Alfredo sauce over pasta with corn with lots of black pepper for breakfast.  After coffee.  It was fabulous, though I could taste garlic all day long.  Maybe an entire head was a little too much.  Lunch was a banana, an apple, and an orange.  More than enough considering how filling my breakfast was, but I was feeling that mid-day slump that only too little food gives.  Work was great though, and it was nice to catch up with everyone after a few days off. 
I took R to her swim lessons, and M came with.  We swam after..though I was mostly interested in the hot tub.  There were 9 kids in R’s class, and the head swim lesson lady said that was too many.  She started evaluating each kid, and some of them got busted down to lower level classes.  R was in the “top 3” of the strong swimmers, so she stayed in the class.  My little fishy.
While D did homework with her, I cleaned up the kitchen (dinner was grilled cheese and soup), made lunches for the next day, and whipped up a batch of Asian tofu from my Candle Cafe cookbook.  And some chocolate chip cookies.  I definitely got my groove back!
I slept awesome again last night, which was totally cool.  I was wiped by the time we finally went to bed, and barely remember finishing the Covert Affairs episode we were watching.  Despite being tired, I had a very good morning.  After making lunches and getting everyone off, I packed a gym bag, and then it was time to head to my office at the hospital.  M wasn’t feeling well, and he stayed home from school today.  My morning meeting was canceled, so I had some office time.  Unfortunately, it was spent with D trying to get my laptop working the way it should.  Anyway….it was a good day and I got to meet with my other team and get lots done.
Breakfast was a sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted bread with a slice of the Asian tofu, lettuce, and Dijon mustard.  After coffee.  I had an apple and a banana throughout the day as a snack.  Then I stopped at Azar’s for a falafel wrap and some vegetable orzo soup.  YUM.
I decided about a week ago that I want new glasses.  I’ve had the same pair for almost 5 years, and while they work, they aren’t “wear to work” glasses most of the time.  The lenses are a bit scratched, and I pretty much wear them as I’m falling asleep, so they’re perhaps a bit mangled too.  I had a eye Dr appt last April, so I knew I didn’t need to make an actual appt, and the deal was sealed when the mail came and I found out I had almost $400 in my flex spending account that I would lose at the end of the year if I didn’t spend it!  Since I use my yearly insurance benefit for my daily disposable glasses, I figured it was karma that I could get a new pair of glasses now.
So I called my eye Dr and asked if I needed to make an appt to pick out glasses.  As I thought, I didn’t since I have an active prescription.  After work, I stopped at the eye Dr’s office and the “specialist” started pulling frames.  After trying out 25 pairs, we found THE pair of glasses.  They were very nice looking….like a piece of jewelry for the face.  And when she told me the frames were FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS, I about choked.  Holy.  Crap.  She then tells me that they’re made out of some bone from an African animal.  I tell her that I’m a vegan and don’t eat or wear anything that comes from an animal, and that we’ll have to keep looking.  Thank God, because that was a better “out loud” excuse than “no way in hell are any glasses worth $1500” would have been.   
I left with a new pair of (MUCH cheaper) glasses on order and headed to the gym.  First workout since the big day.  I was nervous, but excited.  I also ordered a new pair of running shoes today, so it’s time to get back in the game!  I did my Fitlinxx workout, and while some of the leg exercises were harder than normal, it felt good to workout.  I think I’m ready to run again, and plan to do a short run (3-4 miles) on Saturday before heading to Busch Gardens for more forced family fun.  Tomorrow is work and then a wine party, which I am very much looking forward to.  I’m starting to seriously think about my next race, and am getting quite excited.  Not sure what it’ll be, but I’m thinking next fall.  I want to do the Dismal Swamp half in April, and maybe the Shamrock too in March.  I’d hate to miss a year, and I’m sure I’ll be ready for a half or 8K.  There’s a race being held at Busch Gardens this Christmas for the first time that sounds fun too.  As I had hoped a few weeks ago, I am hooked.  And I’m very happy indeed.