Allergies, Dinner Fun, and a Birthday Wish to a Beautiful Girl


Breakfast was coffee and a smoothie as predicted.  Soy milk, frozen banana, blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate Vega powder, and I was set for the morning. 

I made lentils this morning for a marinated lentil salad from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen so they could marinate all day while I was at work.  It’s a super easy recipe, cooking lentils in veggie broth with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and then marinating them in olive oil, red wine vinegar, spices, and dijon mustard. 

Lunch was a mish mash of whatever I could get my hands on between meetings.  Not the best; bad lettuce salad, almost bad banana, crackers…things like that.  I should have packed a lunch, but I didn’t and was left to piece together something less than thrilling or healthy.  Bad planning on my part.

Dinner, however, totally made up for that.  A friend of mine came over (she brought the wine, I cooked the food!).  I put the marinated lentils into lettuce cups (butter lettuce, radicchio, and Belgian endive) as well as making a big regular salad.  I also made eggplant gratin in a tomato-orange sauce (also from the above named Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook), lasagna, and homemade Italian bread.  Dinner was very yummy, and we had a good time sitting around and chatting.  I now have plenty of leftovers, and that’s always a good thing!

onion, eggplant, carrot, orange, tomato, onion, garlic, and fresh basil

roasted eggplant slices

tomato orange sauce

eggplant gratin!  (before it was cooked)

bread dough rising

fresh Italian bread

the dinner spread

marinated lentil salad cups!

post-cooking eggplant gratin


my plate



Today was a really hectic and exhausting day.  It started at 125 am with a wicked allergy attack, where I wanted to claw my eyes out.  I tossed around for about an hour before I started checking my email.  Probably not the smartest thing, but I was going out of my mind.  It’s hard to think rationally at that time of day…

Around 330am, I started thinking I needed to do something.  I couldn’t take Benedryl, or I’d never wake up in the morning for work.  I didn’t want to take Sudafed, or I’d be wide awake (though I already was wide awake, and if I had been thinking clearly, would have figured no allergies and awake was better than allergy attack and awake.  Alas….). 

By 430, I finally fell asleep..only to have my alarm go off 10 minutes early at 550am!  I was annoyed.  I stayed in bed for 10 more minutes (even tho I was up), and then got into the shower, cussing pretty much the entire time.

I walked into my 9am this morning and the first thing my boss says is “you better not be sick”.  I assured her it was just allergy hell and other than being tired, I was fine.  I ran into one of my co-worker doctors, who proceeded to advise me on what to take (Claritin and to get a steroid nasal spray).  I haven’t used my Neti pot in a while, and I know that would help too. 

After work, I went to the grocery and picked up the rest I needed for dinner, went home, and starting cooking.  AT came over around 530, and we ate, drank, and chatted until almost 9.  It was a great night.

D stopped at the home improvement store on the way home and picked up some sweet basil, Greek oregano, and stevia for one of my containers (which had been empty), so I can have an herb garden.  I’m very excited about that!

So while today started off rough, it ended well.  Most of my day was in meetings or conference calls, but I also got to have an amazing evening with a friend, good food, good wine, and a very relaxing evening.

I do want to mention in closing that today is my gorgeous nieces 7th birthday!  I can’t believe how old she is or how big she’s gotten.  I moved to VA 3 months before she was born, and while I love living here, I think the biggest regret I have is that my niece (and now 3 1/2 yr old nephew) live so far away.  My kids and I are photographs and stories my sister tells them.  My 7 year old doesn’t get the chance to play with her cousin of virtually the same age.  My almost 16 year old doesn’t get roped into babysitting ALL the kids so mom and dad and aunt and uncle can go out to dinner.  While I miss my whole family, that makes me the saddest.  So happy birthday beautiful little M.  I love you.  And I miss you.

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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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