Cabbage is Cool

FOOD

So I know I can’t possibly cover all of the food I’ve eaten in the nearly two weeks since my last post (which I am REALLY sorry, by the way….life has been sucking every last drop of energy from me, and I’ve barely had time to sleep, much less anything else!).

However, here are some of the highlights!

I made a chipotle tofu and roasted potato taco dish last weekend.  I ate one on a corn tortilla and one on a romaine lettuce shell.  Nicely spicy and tasty, with lots of cabbage on it!

D and I went out to a local restaurant, and I have a vegan fake chick’n panini with mango and spinach.  I was sad their only vegan bread was sourdough (I would have preferred the whole grain, but it had honey), but it was still very yummy.

I made pudding out of chia seeds!  Yes…remember the chia pet?  Who knew it did more than grow wool on a clay lamb?!  It was crazy, but REALLY good.  And chocolate, which was awesome.  I used chia seeds, chocolate powder, agave nectar, and vanilla soy milk.  20 minutes later after soaking it all up, creamy and yummy PUDDING!

I had to go to the DC area for work, and stopped at a really yummy place called Java Green.  It was a deli type place, but with all vegan, vegetarian, raw, and organic foods.  I had bimbimap (I think – I can’t find it on the menu!).  It was all veggies with a spicy siracha-type sauce on it over some green tea rice.  Very yummy!

I made some 4 bean vegan chili in the pressure cooker last week – something I’ve only made in the crock pot before.  Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans.  I’ve finally gotten D and the kids to eat the meat free dish by serving it with tortilla chips to dip into.  Whatever.  Works for me, and they eat it.  I’ve had that as leftovers a few times, including today for breakfast!

Lunch was popcorn.  Not great, I know, but I went to the office right after the gym (LOTS to catch up on), and that was all I had in my desk drawer.  Dinner is cooking now – a brown rice, tomato, and veggie dish in the rice cooker.  I plan to put some sliced avocado and cabbage on it.

So cabbage.  Probably the most underrated food ever.  I love all the cabbage family.  Brussel sprouts – awesome.  Cauliflower – heck yeah.  It’s crunchy, lettuce-ish (so it’s awesome on tacos and sandwiches and the like – not to mention cole slaw!), cheap as can be, and stays fresh for a really long time.  For the past two weeks, I swear I’ve been putting it on almost everything.  And that’s just when it’s raw!  I love it steamed, sauteed, or put into a crock dish. 

FITNESS

First real injury.  Yep.  I fell down the stairs like a doofus and hurt my ankle and back.  Ankle not too badly I think, but the back really sucks.  I finally started feeling better last Thursday, so today was my first workout since I fell.

What did I do?  SWIM!  Yeah, I’ve missed the pool.  I didn’t want to over do it, so I did a 30 minute constant swim.  I lost track of the number of laps I did (I usually do unless I’m making a point to remember).  I did a few drills in the middle with either the pull buoy or a kick board.  I took it easy, and after I was warmed up, I felt like I could go on forever.  I didn’t though.  Even though it’s a non-impact sport, I know that it can still aggravate an injury.  Besides, my training calendar had today being a 30 minute swim anyway, so it all worked out for the best!

LIFE

Wow, what can I say?  Busy busy busy.  Even worse than normal!  Let’s see…how to summarize without writing a novel that would bore you all to tears?

My son M had a school play.  He’s been in drama since the beginning of the school year, and it’s his first time in it.  When he auditioned, he told us that he had a pretty big role, but each day he’d get home (he had practice 4 days a week) and tell us how great everyone was, there’s singing and dancing and some really great people.  What he failed to mention (which is typical for my mild mannered little man) was that he had the lead role.  And he was amazing!  Not just a proud mama either – he had the loudest and most vibrant applause at the end (which you could tell shocked him when it happened), he was singing, dancing, and hilarious!

Basically, he played an older Italian immigrant who had come to the US with his young wife in search of the American Dream.  They bought a small piece of land in California and build a beach front restaurant.  His wife is gone, and he runs the place with his daughter and granddaughters.  A couple snaky investors are trying to buy his land to build a resort, he won’t sell, and all kinds of antics break loose.  It was a lot of fun, and now we’re looking into local theater groups because he wants to keep acting.  It didn’t help that I had people tell me that with the hat, his crazy thick curly hair, and the mustache (that was drawn on), he looked like Johnny Depp.  Joy.

me and D after the show

One of my great friend’s had a beach birthday celebration, and 8 of us had a great time!  I’m not posting those pictures though 🙂

I had to go up to the Washington DC area for work.  I did get to steal away at a great veggie place and to walk around a couple art museums while there.  It was nice, but cold!

All hell broke out at work.  Without going into any boring details of servers and bandwidth and latency problems….not to mentions budgets, and evals, and blah blah blah…..I’ve been working 15+ hour days.  I’m either in the office late, or working in the home office.  Today I went in to try and get some focused time.  I managed to get below 100 unread emails (I real feat!), so now I only have about 800 total to deal with.  I’m really hoping nothing overly important is in there that I’ve ignored since Dec!

D has been working really long hours.  He had 4 go-lives this past week (he’s in IT too) and involved a lot of travel.

R is coming down with something.  She started running a fever last night, and I have a feeling will have to stay home tomorrow.  D will have to do it this time, because I can’t.

Oh, and we have a gas line problem that’s affected my hot water (I have none – dishes, showers, can’t do them), my oven (I can’t use), heater, and my dryer (can’t use that either).  The soonest the repair person can come out is Tuesday afternoon!  Thank goodness for a Y membership for showers!  It’s been a pain in the butt.  Fortunately, we’re having unseasonably warm weather, so it’s not too freezing in the unheated house.

Okay, I’m going to go eat my rice cooker meal in my disposable bowl and plastic spoon (to which I feel guilty – but 4 days of no dishes in a family of 5 is NOT happening), take some Tylenol for my sore back, and read.

In the Raw, Baby!!

FOOD

Today was my raw experiment, and I’m happy to say it was a successful one!  I will be honest on the one thing I wasn’t prepared for – no coffee.  It’s good thing I don’t typically drink much caffeine, so it wasn’t too big a deal, but I missed having that hot cup in the morning.  I did start off with a room temp mug of lemon water.  Not the same by any means, but still tasty.

I found I wanted to eat or drink something pretty much every 2 hrs or so for the majority of the day.  I’m thinking that may be normal, but I’m not sure.  It eased up around 5pm or so.  And boy oh boy, and I HYDRATED.  I always drink plenty of water – typically a gallon or so a day – but with that plus all the juices and fruits and veggies – I think I’m peeing all the time!

I soaked a 1/2 cup of buckwheat overnight, and blended that with a little water, half a banana, a (skinned) apple, and a bit of agave nectar and tons of cinnamon.  It was really tasty, and even better than yesterday’s version.  Raw or not, it’s a keeper. 

A couple hours later, I made a sauce/dressing in my Vitamix that I can see as a salad dressing  or – in the case of what I did with it today – as a coleslaw dressing.  I will be honest – I found the basis for this recipe online, but I can’t recall where or I’d link it.  I’ve done so much reading on raw food this last week, it’s a blur.  I wrote this down on the back of an envelope a few days ago – along with a bunch of others (reuse garbage paper!) – so I can’t remember where I found it.  If I do – I’ll give the proper credit, because this was SO not born of my imagination. 

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup water
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acid (or Tamari – if you use regular soy sauce, it won’t be raw…but still good)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dill

good use of the mason jars my parents gave me!

I had a bag of coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots) and decided to save half of the dressing and pour the rest over the mix and see what happens.

While making that, I was getting a batch of kale chips ready for the dehydrator (to keep it a “raw” food, need to use the dehydrator vs. the oven due to the heat/cooking an oven would do).  I put a bunch of chopped kale into a bowl, and put in olive oil (cold pressed), sea salt, minced fresh garlic, and cumin.  After it marinated for 20 minutes or so, I layered it into the dehydrator.  I knew it had 7-8 hrs before they were crisp, which made them ready at 630pm, and my new “popcorn” for evening TV/movie watching!

my cheap-o dehydrator.  Does the job though!

Not long after, I munched on some cherry tomatoes and bell peppers as a snack.  A few hours after that, I made a fresh juice of apple, orange, carrot, celery, and spinach.  I was surprised at how tangy and yummy it was.  And it nicely took the edge off my hunger.

For lunch, I made “tacos”.  I took romaine lettuce leaves, stuffed them with the coleslaw, sliced onions, and cherry tomatoes.  If I had thought of it, I’d have added avocado too.  They were REALLY tasty and filling.  This is going to be a regular addition to my menu.  I can see playing with it (chopped peppers, cilantro, etc).

I had to go to one of our local malls today, and they have a store called Smoothie Mania.  They make not only smoothies, but fresh juices as well.  I was feeling a bit hungry, so I ordered an apple-carrot-lemon-ginger juice.  The girl seemed annoyed that she’d have to use the juicer rather than a blender, but oh well.  My $3.15 for a large juice (half price Sunday’s) was the same regardless.  It took her a bit, but was worth the wait.  It definitely hit the spot!

After getting home and starting dinner for the kids, A and I ate all the kale chips.  I’m sort of sad there are none left.  I’m going to start another batch to work on all night in the dehydrator.  A wants to take some to school tomorrow and force-feed her friends.  M is afraid of them.  Green crunchy things will do that to a 13 year old boy.

I haven’t made dinner yet, but am planning on a tomato blended sauce and some veggie “noodles” marinated in olive oil.  When I get hungry, that sounds awesome.

So the raw verdict?  I like it.  I’m pretty sure I can’t do it 100% of the time.  I like my coffee, my glass of wine, and a nice hot bowl of soup too much.  But I will say that I’m intrigued, and I definitely think raw meals have a good and solid place in my life.

FITNESS

I wasn’t feeling a full blown workout today, so I did a 20 minute yoga sequence in the early evening.  It felt good, and I felt more centered than I had in a long time.  To be frank, it was also the first yoga I’ve done in a long time that wasn’t for fitness.  I typically do hot yoga, which kicks butt as much as running 5 miles does.  This was meant to be gentle and relaxing and it was.

LIFE

R slept in my room last night.  She wanted to the entire time D was gone, but I only let her last night.  We watched one of the Redbox movies and then went to sleep.  

I woke up around 7am (thanks Sammie).  I had a quiet morning reading until the kids started waking up.

I honestly didn’t do too much today, which was nice.  The house was clean so I was able to relax, and aside from prepping my meals and cleaning up in the kitchen, I spent most of my day reading – either my new raw foods book, online blogs and recipe sites, or catching up on magazines.  It’s been a really, really nice Sunday.

M went to the movies with some friends, and I was the ride home.  I went a little early to walk around the mall a bit, and then took his friend home (not sure why I didn’t take the other friend home, but apparently he had other arrangements).

Now I’m watching a movie with the kids and getting ready to watch the Grammy’s.  D’s on his way home, which makes us all happy, and I’m looking forward to seeing him.  Until then, I hope to get to bed early and have a great night’s sleep.  I certainly think my day today has been conducive to that!

Sorry…Having Trouble Thinking of a Catchy Title :)

FOOD

I’m thinking I’m going to have a lot of fun with food this weekend!  Tomorrow I’m attempting to be 100% raw in my diet.  Just for the day to see how it goes and how I feel. To that end, I picked up a new book, which I’ve been reading since yesterday.  I’m really excited, but also nervous.  I’m going to have to plan well what I want to make, and hit the grocery this afternoon to make sure I have everything I need.

Friday was a good day.  No freakishly early or late meetings, so that was nice.  For breakfast, I made a fresh juice (apple, orange, carrot, ginger) and an Ezekiel bread toasty sandwich with sunflower seed butter and sliced banana.  I love that it’s so portable.  I made a soy milk latte too.  Drip coffee seemed like too much of a hassle.

Since I was out in VA Beach yesterday afternoon around lunch time, I stopped for some Thai food.  I had a steam spring roll with tofu and, of course, tofu green curry.  I read my book while eating, and it was nice.

I snacked on some Raw Food crackers I had picked up at Heritage a few months back and forgot I had in my cabinet.  Between that and the tons of water I was drinking, I ended up not getting hungry the rest of the day, so that was it on the food front.

Before bed, I decided I was going to make a raw foods breakfast for Saturday.  Sort of a trial run I guess, and inspired by the book.  Right before going to sleep, I started soaking 1/2 cup of buckwheat groats to make a porridge in the morning.

This morning I made drip coffee (gasp) because I wasn’t in the mood for espresso.  I was up at least an hour before everyone else, so I drank a cup while flipping through my raw book and watched Law and Order.

Then, I made my first pre-thought out raw foods breakfast!  Now don’t get me wrong – most of my smoothies are technically raw as are the fruit breakfasts, etc.  But this felt like my first foray into raw “cooking”.  Here’s what I made….

I drained and rinsed the buckwheat and put it into my Vitamix.  I added a small amount of water – maybe1/4 cup at most – and blended until it was the consistency of porridge.  Then I added a date and a chopped apple, blended some more, then added cinnamon to taste.  It was REALLY good.  I think the only thing I’ll do differently next time is to peel the apple first. 

My raw buckwheat porridge breakfast

Mid morning snack was a banana before my workout.  Lunch was a small salad and a butternut squash and apple soup I made in my vitamix.  It’s very similar to the recipe that comes with the blender, but I made some small variations….

3 cups chunked butternut squash – steamed
1 cored apple – steamed
1/4 large onion – chopped
1 garlic clove – chopped
1 cup coconut milk (lite, canned)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

stir fry the onion and garlic until soft.  Put the coconut milk, water, and flour into the Vitamix.  Blend on high for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. 

I couldn’t decide what seasonings I wanted, so I didn’t use any.  I ate it plain, and it was very good.  A tried it, and thought I needed to decide if it should be sweet (cinnamon and nutmeg), or savory (rosemary or Thai spices).  I was feeling fickle, so I had it as is.  I put the leftovers in the fridge, and if I decide later, I’ll have more and pick some seasoning!

Late afternoon/early evening, I made a fresh juice of apple, orange, lemon, carrot, and ginger.  It was really good an filling.  I haven’t eaten dinner yet (it’s only 715pm) because I’m not hungry.  I imagine I’ll make a salad or reheat the quinoa if I get hungry later.

FITNESS

I finally picked up a pair of women’s padded cycling shorts!!!!  Here’s hoping they really make a difference on Monday!

I missed the swim time trials last night.  They started at 630, and A’s bus had to make an extra stop on the way home, so she wasn’t back to her home high school until nearly 620.  There was no way I’d make it.  I was bummed because I was really looking forward to swimming with the team and hoping to see that I’d improved since January.

I went swimming today instead, and it was good.  R had swim lessons at 1030, so I hopped in the pool when she did, swam laps while she had lessons (which went about 10 minutes over), so I got in a 40 minute swim workout.  I forgot my watch though, so I didn’t time myself the way I intended (I was going to time my swim and send coach my times – mimic what the team did last night).

Today would have been a bike day, but I didn’t want to go on an hour long outdoor ride with D out of town.  That hour ride would have turned into 2 between driving to where the trail and getting home.  It was just too long.  We’ll see about tomorrow.  Either a run or another swim.  Or both!

LIFE

Friday was a nice day.  I had a lot of work to do and was running around like crazy to different hospitals, but I can’t complain.  It was sunny and beautiful out, and by lunch, I was just wearing my sweater with my scarf and left my coat in the car.  I also had time for a good meal and a quick stop at the mall for the book and shorts. 

I was bummed about missing the swim, but at the same time, it was nice to be home.  M had a school dance, R was playing, and A and I watched 3 episodes of CSI that were still on the DVR.  I went to bed pretty early – about 10pm (for a Friday, that’s early!), and all told, had a really good day.

I’m FINALLY doing the Fun Facts Friday.  I know it’s not Friday.  I just couldn’t finish my blog post last night.  Especially since I didn’t swim and didn’t want the Fitness section to be blank!  So here it is.  I was tagged by H’s Blog last month (I know..SORRY…I’m a slacker).

Fun Facts Friday – Four Things




Four TV Shows I Watch: (I have WAY more than four…be that’s a totally different post entirely)


*Castle
*White Collar
*Eureka
*Southland


Four Things I’m Passionate About:

*Eating and cooking healthy
*Spending time with my family
*My focus on my career and future
*Spending time doing things that make ME happy (exercise, yoga, reading, movies, etc)


Four Words/Phrases I Use Too Much:

*Fully (as in…was that pizza good, “Yeah, Fully!)
*Not Even Remotely (as in….was that pizza good, “Uh, not even remotely)  – see, they’re opposites!
*Stupid Cow!!!  (came from necessity when I need to cuss at other drivers, but my kids are in the car)
*Oh Hell

Today I woke up early (in no small part thanks to Sammie), and got out of bed around 630am.  I fed the pups, made some coffee, and got to sit around on the couch for a while before the youngest woke up flipping through my raw foods book.

After swimming at the Y, R and I played around, hung out in the hot tub, and then showered up.  We stopped at the market to pick up a bunch of veggies for my dishes tomorrow, rented two movies from Redbox, and came home.  After a light lunch, it was time to get cleaning.

I told R we could watch the movies after cleaning.  The kids each had to REALLY clean their rooms.  M took care of one of the bathrooms, his room, and some wash.  It took about 2 hrs max.  A cleaned out her closets and her room is the cleanest I’ve EVER seen it, and she did one of the other bathrooms.  She took about 2 1/2 hours.  I dusted all of downstairs, scrubbed the kitchen, swept all the floors, and steam cleaned them all too.  All told, about 2 hours.  Then I cleaned my bedroom and bathroom.  About another 45 minutes.  R had to clean her room.  It’s a small room.  It took her SIX AND A HALF HOURS!!!  Not to mention, several interventions from me (but I wouldn’t do anything for her – she really needs to clean her own space by now).  It was kind of funny. 

I don’t think we’ll end up watching the movies tonight now.  R has been in A’s room drawing for the last hour or so, and I’m relaxing, watching TV (can you say Vampire Diaries??), reading, and planning meals for tomorrow.  Woo hoo for real relaxation!

I

People Look Very Different When They Aren’t Sweaty

FOOD

Today was a snow day, so I got to take my time to prepare my food all day.  I even made a real pot of coffee (don’t tell my husband though.  If he figured out that I actually CAN make it, he may expect me to when he gets home).  I clean the floors.  He makes coffee.  It’s MORE than a fair trade.

While enjoying my coffee, I had a conference call, and then was able to eat.  Breakfast was the leftover chickpea, veggie, and kale dish I had for lunch yesterday.  It was really filling and very tasty.

Mid morning was a fresh juice.  Same as yesterday – 2 apples, 2 oranges, a handful of baby carrots, and about a tablespoon of fresh ginger.  I made one for A too, who really loved it.  I’ve decided (though he doesn’t know this yet), that I’m going to start making fresh juices for D every day.  Since he has Crohn’s disease, his body doesn’t absorb nutrients well.  He also has to stay away from too much fiber (I know – sounds to be the antithesis of a healthy diet, but can cause obstructions and surgery).  With all the reading I’ve been doing on raw veganism, juicing, etc, this may be a perfect way to get him some easily absorbable nutrients without the fiber worries.
Lunch was a gluten free vegan quinoa mac n cheeze dish I came across while reading a blog I like that was fully awesome.  The recipe itself was really simple.  I used my rice cooker to cook the quinoa, and the sauce was coconut milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, arrowroot powder (which I had on hand, but could probably sub corn starch), and salt.  Mix, eat, and be amazed. 

I did a small bit of grocery shopping after lunch.  I was out of oranges, kale, lentils, hot sauce, running low on apples and soy milk.  So M and I went to Walmart, picked up the essentials, and headed back home. 

I started a vegan crock pot of seitan pot roast for dinner.  The house smelled amazing!  I have to say that the flavors were right on, but it was too salty.  I normally have a very light hand with salt (too light for my husband’s tastes), so I added salt when I put the ingredients into the crock.  That was a mistake – I forget that crocks require far less seasoning than normal, and it would have been perfect if I hadn’t done that.  I also think that browning the seitan before putting it in would have been good.  Here’s what I did (next time I’ll do the same, just omit the salt)…

2 packages seitan cubes (they literally look like stew beef)
1 small package baby carrots
1 small package red potatoes, cut in half
1 cup water
1 package french onion soup mix (vegan)
1 package vegan gravy powder (just to make it thicker without having to do the corn starch thing at the end)
1/2 onion, cut into VERY large chunks
1 tsp salt

I ended up having some plain popcorn when I couldn’t handle the salt anymore!  I’m going to prep the kale, put it in the dehydrator overnight, and make some kale chips.  I’m thinking of doing garlic and cumin flavored ones. 

Other than the popcorn thing, my eating today was very spot on, and I feel great.  Every time I felt like whipping up some cookies or cupcakes, I thought of that bloody Tri suit!  I did have a big glass of Silk Light Chocolate Soy Milk to satisfy that sweet tooth though, and it did the trick.

FITNESS

NONE!!  Ha, ha….Thursday’s are rest days.  Thank goodness too, because my legs are sore!

However, today was the Tri Club social.  I figure that warrants an update under the “fitness” heading!

I mentioned to coach that I was going to bring name tags tonight, since I don’t really know anyone’s names.  When M and I went to Walmart, I picked some up and a couple green sharpies (R’s favorite color), and brought them with.  After dinner (we ate really early – like at 530.  Normally we eat between 7-8), I headed up to Fat Frogs.  There was some food (which I didn’t partake of due to the abundance of popcorn in my belly) and beer and wine (which I DID partake of – one glass…first one in a week). 

Fat Frogs actually has two Tri Club teams.  One is the “morning” team, and one is the “evening” team.  We don’t train together, so tonight was really the first time to meet the morning group.  I saw the two women I met at the pool a few weeks ago, and the woman whose bike I bought.  It was nice to talk to them, and I had to thank J again for the bike (because it’s fully awesome).  It was also neat to see everyone looking human instead of like sweat balls.  Women wore make up and everyone was wearing jeans instead of workout gear. 

It’s funny, because in a very small group of people, I’m very outgoing.  At work, I’m very confident and talkative.  In large groups – I’m really not.  I have a very hard time starting conversations with people and getting to know them.  I usually wait for someone to talk to me first – and then I’m OK.  I hung around the very back of the group (which I knew I would!), and as a result, got to talk to other wallflowers too!  Both happen to be the girls I sit near during out spin classes.  They’re also both swim coaches and seasoned triathletes.  It was nice talking to them, and getting some advice.  One even offered to take me out riding, which I’m definitely going to take her up on!

Tomorrow is swim time trials.  I’m in the same boat as yesterday.  If A gets home from school on time, I’ll make it.  If she doesn’t, I’m on my own.  I think if she doesn’t, I’m going to go anyway and just stay late.  The 25 of us share 3 swim lanes anyway, so a few minutes late for this one probably won’t make a big difference.  Besides – after shaving 4 minutes off my run time yesterday, I’m hoping I’ve improved in the swim too!

LIFE

Today was a snow day, and while I was annoyed last night that it was snowing when I went to bed, today I was grateful.  I needed the peace.  And the ability to work in jammies.

I went to be around 1030 last night finally, and I was nearly deliriously exhausted.  My alarm went off at 615am, I checked online to see if the kids’ school was canceled – it was – and went back to bed (after turning off my kids’ alarms).  My first meeting was at 9, so I knew I could sleep until 845 and still be okay. 

Of course, Sammie the wonder pups had other ideas.  She’s used to eating at 630am, and gets very nutty when she doesn’t.  She started prancing around downstairs, and doing her single-bark thing to get me up.  Finally at 8, she walked up the stairs to my room – stayed on the stairs but poked her head in – did a single bark, and then ran back downstairs.  I got the hint and reluctantly got up.  I bet I could have slept MUCH longer if given the chance.

I fed her, made coffee, and very shortly after R woke up.  I made her breakfast and then got to work.  The other two woke up eventually, and the three of them watched Dr. Who marathons while I worked and cooked.  All told, it was a nice and relaxing day, and I thank Mother Nature for making it snow in Virginia last night.  I think she may have done it just because I needed a break.

D is having a great time in San Fran, and did his first geocaching today!  He found some buried treasure, and is planting his registered Geo coins around the area too.  I guess when you have the coins, you register them online and set goals.  For one, he set the goal that he bury it in CA and it makes its way back to VA.  One he wants to see make it overseas, etc.  It’s actually really cool.

He woke up obscenely early out there (with us being East Coasters, his internal clock got the better of him), so while his brother slept, D went for coffee, called me 5 times (it was cute), explored, and found his first cache.  I’m happy to see him do something physical, and he’s having fun doing a grown up scavenger hunt!  I’m looking forward to warmer weather here so we can go together.

I’m glad tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is upon us.  I’m probably not going to do a long bike ride on Saturday because D isn’t here to be with the kids, but I’ll probably either swim or hit a spinning class.  It’s also the 22nd annual home and garden show on the peninsula, and I really want to go and check out gardening ideas, since that’s a big goal of mine this year (I’ve always had a black thumb, but it’s become more and more important to me to grow as much of my own food as possible).  My ENTIRE diet is plant based.  If I eat them, I sure as heck should be able to grow them!

Eye Contact In the Dark

FOOD

I can’t do anything half way.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  When I commit to something, I really commit to it.  On the other hand, it takes me quite a long time to commit to something also (even though I’m spontaneous and occasionally flaky.  It’s a strange dichotomy that I’m okay with).  Take becoming Vegan for example.  I thought about it for a really long time.  At one point I figured I’d just ease into it.  Of course once I decided it’s what I wanted to do, a flip was switched and it was done cold tofurkey- and I’ve never looked back nor regretted it.

I’ve been having the same inner turmoil about raw veganism for the past 5 months or so.  The idea fascinates me, but I fear I lack the fortitude for it.  There’s also the issue of nuts.  Raw veganism is pretty heavy on the nuts it seems, and because of R’s allergy, I don’t eat them either.  I think that’s probably more of an excuse than anything else though, I imagine raw veganism is possible without relying on nuts.

I’ve noticed an increase in my blog reading and the people I follow on Twitter who do raw though, and it’s totally exciting to read about.  The food is some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen.  I have an unbelievable respect for them because it takes such dedication and willingness to really prepare food.  I stumbled on a website and have been pretty intrigued by it.  I signed up for the email newsletter and recipes, and have even emailed with her about my nut banning.  In all this reading in the past few months, something finally clicked for me this afternoon.  It doesn’t HAVE to be an all or nothing kind of thing.  I don’t have to flip that switch to being 100% raw all the time, that I already have several raw meals a week (heck, what do you think a salad is???), and I can increase the amount of raw food I eat without making a decree that I have to eat that way only. 

So that leads me to a new idea.  I’m going to try and do Raw Sunday’s.  I imagine it takes a lot of work and food prep, so trying to do a weekday will be utter failure until I’m used to it.  Maybe it’ll stick.  Maybe I’ll want to do a percentage, or aim for 1-2 raw meals a day.  Or maybe I’ll decide it’s not for me.  But I finally realized that I can try it without having to make a life-long commitment!

So in other food news.  Today was another ridiculously early day.  I was thinking of cereal, but D took the last banana this morning when he left, and I really didn’t want cereal without a banana.  I didn’t have time to make oatmeal or soup, so I toasted two slices of Ezekiel bread, used a small amount of Earth Balance spread, and put a piece of vegan mozzarella cheese on it, and made a little toasty cheese sandwich.  It was portable, which was key.  I also made a soy milk latte, which was fabulous.  I normally drink black drip coffee, but I HATE making coffee, so that’s D’s job.  When he’s not here, I drink espresso because it’s fast and easy.

Mid morning, I drank a fresh juice of green apple, orange, carrot, and ginger.  Probably my current favorite.

Lunch was really good today.  I did an “empty the fridge” kind of thing and was glad I did.  It was: (you’ll see I didn’t really measure)

1/2 a large chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
about 1-2 cups broccoli slaw (broccoli, carrots, cabbage)
about 4 cups kale
about 1 cup chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2ish teaspoons of a Mediterranean spice blend from the kit from my Dad
1/2 cup or so veggie broth

I heated a non-stick pan on medium-high and added the onions and garlic.  I sauteed until the onions started getting soft, but not brown.  Then I added everything else, mixed it, covered, and cooked for 6-7 minutes.  Holy cow, it was really good.  It was very much inspired by this recipe on the Fat Free Vegan’s website. 

For dinner, I reheated the deconstructed taco filling (rice and black beans) and ate that with a salad (cheated on the salad, and made it from the salad bar at my grocery).

R building her salad!


FITNESS

If ever there was a day where I needed a workout to lighten my mood, today was it.  I was really worried I wasn’t going to make it to my Tri Club run at 630, that I even texted my coach to let him know.  Tonight was 5K time trial to benchmark where we are from our last timed run, which was 6 weeks ago (can’t believe it’s been that long).  My backup plan was to use my Garmin to run solo near home this evening and time myself and email W the stats.  He blessed off the the plan, which was good, but I really wanted a team workout today.  I needed the push and camaraderie. 

My oldest doesn’t get home from school until sometime between 6-630, so I knew I’d be cutting it close.  Sure enough, she pulled into her high school at 607.  I had R with me, got A, brought her home, and pretty much immediately left to get to the Y.  I got there with 3 minutes to spare.  Woo hoo!  M had drama until 6, so he wasn’t even home yet when I left.  I let them both know that dinner was made and on the stove, and to eat and get homework done.  One bonus of teenagers!  They could have watched R too, but they did so much this morning, and R loves to play at the Y, that it was better for everyone to bring her with me.

We took off for our run just after 630.  It’s a loop through the neighborhoods near the Y, and it was pitch black.  I had my reflective belt, but not my reflective jacket (it wasn’t warm enough).  Good thing several of my team mates wear tail lights, so I could follow. 

When I was a kid, I used to go on long bike rides with my Dad.  One thing that sticks out is him telling me to always make eye contact with car drivers to make sure you know they saw you and won’t run you over.  I still always do that when I run outside.  The location we run in near the Y has some heavy traffic in parts, which is one of the reasons iPods are banned I’m assuming.  When I’m coming up on an intersection, it’s easy to make eye contact.  You’re coming in perpendicular to the car, so you can clearly see their faces, and you can tell if they see you, so you know if you should wait or proceed.  It’s not so possible when the car is coming at you head on in the dark.  I had a few moments tonight where I was wondering if I was going to have to jump into someone’s yard to avoid a car because I couldn’t tell if they saw me.  My reflective belt is awesome, but maybe I need some neon blinking lights too.

The awesome news is that I shaved FOUR MINUTES off my time from 6 weeks ago.  Wow.  I’ve been trying to get faster for 2 years and have made very minimal progress.  Maybe the key was cross training in the other sports.  Maybe it was because I really wanted to run with the group.  Maybe it’s been because I’ve been stressed and not just a little pissed the past several days and needed an outlet.  Maybe it was my team mate who hung back to run that last 3/4 mile with me.  Whatever the reason, I’m stoked.

Tomorrow is my one rest day, and it’s also the Tri Club social.  I’ve decided I’m going.  S offered to take R to gymnastics, and I may take her up on it – or let her miss a week and come with me to Fat Frogs.  I told coach that I’m bringing name tags.  I’ve been working out for 6 weeks with 24 other people, I know all of their faces, and talk to them, and I know 3 names!  When I brought it up, my thoughts were echoed, so name tags for everyone! 

LIFE

Today was just as hectic as I predicted.  D left at 330am, and my alarm went of at 445.  I was on the road by 6am, and ran into horrific traffic.  Apparently there was a multi car accident on my little stretch of highway that involved a truck on fire.  The fire fighters used hoses to put it out (naturally), but caused the roads to ice.  It took me a half hour to go 2 miles.  I was worried I’d be late, but I wasn’t.

The presentation I wrote before bed last night went well, and I left the meeting just after 8am.  I got home, got A and R (and to give A a LOT of credit, she did a wonderful job of getting R ready for school.  She even put little braids in her hair, which is way more than I do), and took them in.  I had to walk both of them in and sign them in so they wouldn’t be marked tardy.  I finally was done around 930, and since my entire day was blocked for office time, I went home and got to work. 

I powered through several things, but not nearly enough to ease my sense of feeling overworked.  I had more drama to deal with, and to be honest, being freakishly overtired, overwhelmed, and annoyed with more than a few people, I was in a pretty crappy mood most of the day.

After my last conference call around 330, I picked R up, hit the grocery, and then came home.  I opened her backpack to get her at the table to do her homework, and there was a nasty note from her teacher admonishing me for bringing R to school late and because my daughter (who’s 7, by the way) put her math homework in the wrong bin and it took her 10 minutes to find it.  Without going into much detail, this teacher has done nothing but upset me (and R to be frank) since the beginning of school.  She’s a bully, and shouldn’t be teaching young children.  I’m not the only parent to think so, and I’ve bitten my tongue because I believe she’d take it out on my daughter.  Well, today was the last straw and the gloves are off.  She picked the wrong day to send something like that home.  I’ll update my blog if I end up needing bail money.

Needless to say, I was stewing like mad all evening, though my run really made me happy and wiped most of that away, so happy times are back!

It’s been a long day and it’s time to go to bed.  I’m exhausted, but I got through what I knew would be my toughest day this week.  Tomorrow starts at 9 (assuming we don’t get snowed on the way we may – it’s snowing now), so no need to get up at an obscene hour.  So good night, and thank you for listening to my complaining the past few days.  I promise to not be such a crab apple soon 🙂