Eye Contact In the Dark


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!


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! 


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 🙂

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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