Monthly Archives: May 2011

Speed Limits. Recognize Them. Obey Them, or PULL OVER

FOOD

Last night was too hot for a real meal, so I munched on some fruit, and that was pretty much it.  D and the kids ate though, so I guess that’s what matters.

First thing this morning I checked on my crackers.  They look so cool….D didn’t like them, but he doesn’t like bell peppers.  I’m looking forward to eating them with some hummus!

Breakfast this morning was coffee (which was better than the coffee I had all weekend because I didn’t have to make it!), cereal, vanilla soy milk, and a banana.

I marinated the tofu, whipped up a tofu eggless salad, and a batch of Moroccan lentils too.  I’m back in NC for the rest of the week for work, and finding vegan-friendly restaurants was tough the past few times I was here.  My hotel has a microwave and fridge, so there was really no excuses to not pack my own food.

tofu marinated in OJ, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger, and cayenne (from Vegan Lunch Box)
after baking…perfect snack sized!
1 cup red lentils simmering in 2 cups veggie broth with 2 tsp of Baharat Spice Mix
Baharat Spice from my Christmas spice kit!

added some onions stir fried with more of the spices and mixed in
tofu eggless salad
my bag of food (and yes…a bottle of wine) for my work trip to NC

I had a quick lunch of the eggless salad on raw bread with a chunk of avocado.  It’s small, but very filling.

FITNESS

I’m a bit sore today!  I imagine that my workout yesterday was bound to do that though.  It’s not an overdone sore – but a good one where I know I worked hard (and smart since I CAN move!).

I went for a run this morning and it was tough.  It was already 90 degrees (with the humidity), and while I left home intending to run 4-5, I only made it 3.  I had a water bottle with me, and I burned through that so quickly it was crazy. 

I packed plenty of workout clothes, workout DVDs, and of course my yoga podcasts on my iPod.  There’s a fitness center at the hotel, so if I can’t run outside here, I at least have a treadmill available to me.

LIFE

The weather has definitely been ridiculously hot.  It hit 100 today as I was driving to Morehead City!  There’s little fun about weather like this.

We decided to bring out the kiddie pool yesterday and fill it up and let the kids play.  It was after 6pm, and was still in the 90’s and hot.  It’s sort of funny watching my 16 and 14 yr olds playing in a kiddie pool…but it was still a lot of fun!

trying (and failing) to get Sammie into the pool

Aside from my workout, the rest of the day was spent catching up on the wash, and then hanging out outside with D and the kids.  D and I stayed up a little later than normal, and went to bed around 1130.

Today was work and meetings in the morning, and then picking up my rental car and driving down to Morehead City, NC.  My rental is probably the nicest I’ve had in a long time (it’s arranged through work), and I have a 2011 Ford Explorer.  It’s comfy and everything is touch screen.  Down side??  No way to plug in my ipod….so I had to listen to the radio.  Somewhere after Elizabeth City, my radio station faded out, and I was given the choice between 4000 country stations, a classical music station, religious radio, and one classic rock station.  Since I’m not a country fan….classic rock it was.  Some was good (like Def Leopard, CCR, and even an REO Speedwagon song I knew).  Some….not so much.  Note to self…pack CD’s next time.

One annoying thing about this 4 hr drive is the speed limit changes.  It’s 55 in VA, but jumps up to 70 as soon as you hit NC.  Then it goes between 45-75 the rest of the way.  I was getting very aggravated being boxed in behind cars going 52 mph in the 70 zone.  I tried calling my Dad to whine about it, but he wasn’t home.  I decided I needed a flashing neon sign to put on top of my car to flash messages at my fellow drivers, such as “speed limit is 70 you moron.  Speed up or get off the road!).  I wouldn’t mind if they just didn’t want to speed.  Heck..I don’t speed anymore than 2 mph over the speed limit (hello….speeding tickets!).  So I can understand.  But going UNDER???  No excuses for that.  Either too old to drive or too distracted to drive.  Either way – shouldn’t be driving.  So get off the road, and let the rest of us keep our sanity!

So I made it here around 6pm, and I have a ocean view room, which is nice.  The pool is open and I’m probably going to spend some time sitting poolside, reading, and munching on tofu!

White Girl Freaky and Ghetto Funky

FOOD

I hate to make coffee.  I think I’ve said that before, but I find it incredibly tedious.  I’m a little annoyed that I had to make coffee three times this weekend!  You’d think that D would set it up – just like he does during the week – to make my morning’s easier.  After all…I’m the one who gets up every weekend morning before everyone else does (usually it’s because of swimming or Sammie – who does a single bark every 30 seconds after 630 am until someone wakes up and feeds her).

I woke up yesterday around 730am.  I was enjoying some peaceful time (the rest of the family are NOT early risers – neither am I usually, but Sammie gives me no choice) drinking my coffee and catching up on blog reading.  I even added about a half dozen new blogs to my Reader list – mostly relating to being a vegan athlete.

I made Banana Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast, which was really good.  I used the last of my frozen bananas, but that’s okay.  That’s pretty easy to replenish. 

after all the ingredients were mixed together

thick, chocolaty, banana pudding, ready after just a half hour

Lunch was apparently unremarkable since I can’t remember.  I know I ate at home – but I have no idea what it was!  Knowing me, probably some fruit, crackers, and hummus.

I decided I wanted a summertime fruity drink, so I did some research and took off for ABC (for those that don’t live here – it’s the ONLY liquor store allowed – it’s government run).  I picked up some vodka, Bahama Mama mix, Bloody Mary mix (do you have any idea how hard it is to find a vegan one????), Creme de Banana, and then mixers from the grocery – OJ, pineapple juice, watermelons, ginger ale, seltzer, white wine, etc.  Yeah – I had a LOT of intentions….now I just have a really full liquor cabinet.  Anyway, I made a pitcher of peach sangria – white wine, seltzer, peach juice, and agave.  It was really boring and blah tasting, so D dumped in some pineapple juice and more wine.  It was still blah, but I had a couple glasses anyway, then ended up dumping the rest.

For dinner, I had a jar of split pea soup that I canned back in the winter with some Thai jasmine rice thrown it.  It was really good, and marks the first time I ate one of the soups I canned! 

Breakfast this morning was green smoothie from Vegan by Valerie.  I followed the recipe exactly except substituting my natural flavored Vega powder for the pea protein powder her recipe has.  It was really tasty, filling, and powered me through an intense 3 hr workout without feeling hungry or having a dip in energy.  Can’t beat that!  I did marvel as I was biking that I happen to have all the other ingredients on hand as a normal part of my pantry.  My, how my eating habits have changed over the years!

banana, flax, chocolate, spinach, chia seed smoothie

Right before breakfast, I whipped up half a batch of Savory Pepper Flax Chips that is currently going in the dehydrator.  I have a LOT of traveling coming up in the next few weeks, and I really need to get my take along food going.  I’m really excited to try these, as I love flax crackers, and I get an immense satisfaction out of making all my own food.  There’s nothing like really knowing what you’re eating.

I am spending the rest of this week (starting about 2pm tomorrow) in NC for work.  I’ve been there a few times now, and while I’m excited it’ll be hot and I can check out the beach – I know they don’t really have food I can eat.  My hotel does have a fridge and microwave though, so as long as I bring food I can eat, it’ll be fine.

I get back Friday eve, then I have the weekend to do wash, pack, and more cooking – and we hit the road for WI early Tuesday morning.  All the more reason to be prepared on the food front.

Lunch was a simple quinoa pasta dish.  I took the last of my quinoa pasta (about 2 ounces worth), and boiled it with some frozen artichoke hearts, white corn, and baby peas.  I melted a tablespoon of Earth Balance butter into it, and sprinkled with pepper.  Not glamorous, but it’s always a good standby when I’m hungry.  It made two servings, so I can either have some for breakfast, or take the rest with me to NC tomorrow.

I’ve also had a couple Bloody Mary’s.  I mean really – why buy out a liquor store and NOT make a drink (or 3)? 

I’m also pressing a brick of tofu to marinate and bake up for my trip this week.  Dinner is looking like it’ll be a raw cucumber noodle dish I came across this morning in my blog readings.

FITNESS

Yesterday I rested.  I wanted to run, but I felt really run down.  I actually took a nap – which is rare for me.  I hadn’t slept well the night before, and I think it just caught up with me.  I’ve noticed since early April that my allergies are terrible – worse than normal even.  I’ve always had really bad allergies (I used to get allergy shots every other day for several years), but since having R 7 years ago, they’ve gotten much better.  Anyway, I thought it was just that my honeymoon period of 7 years without regular allergy attacks was over, until I read this.  I feel a bit validated that it’s truly a terrible allergy season, but it’s still wreaking havoc on my life.  The Zyrtec I take – which works great – also knocks me out.  D has also been hit with allergies, so he tends to snore when he lands on his back, and it always wakes me up.  Anyway – I’m already a pretty lousy sleeper, so when he wakes me, it’s hard for me to fall back asleep.  I started using these foam earplugs – but my ears are shaped weird, and the left one keeps popping out.  Not fun.  So…to make a short story long, I was too wiped to do much yesterday except nap and read!

Today though, I’d like to think I made up for it!  I picked up some wax based ear plugs (that aren’t dependent on fitting into my oddly shaped ear canal), and those worked like a charm!  I slept a full 8 hrs straight!

After breakfast today, I planned my workout.  I biked to the gym (7 miles round trip), lifted weights for an hour (thanks to my ActivTrax printout at the Y), ran on the treadmill for 4 miles, and then swam before biking home!  All told – it took 3 hrs.  I wore my Tri suit so I wouldn’t have to do a ton of wardrobe changes.  And since I swam last, I didn’t mind being a bit damp during the 90 degree bike ride back home.

I’m not sure what workout options I’ll have in NC.  When I was there in March, the fitness room at my hotel was closed due to construction – so I’m going to pack some weights and videos, and if I can find a place to run outside that is safe and where I won’t get lost, I’m going to do that.  There’s no YMCA or Bally’s there (two gym’s where I have a membership), so I’ll have to get creative.  I did download several Yoga workouts to my iPod just in case too.

LIFE

I mentioned that Sunday was a pretty lazy day.  I woke up early, enjoyed my morning, and went to church.  Since we moved from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake, I’ve been trying to find a Catholic church that I really like.  I’m from WI (where pretty much everyone is Catholic), but moving to the South 7 years ago – not so much.  As a result, I don’t go frequently, and that’s been eating at me for quite a while.  My friend S pointed it out to me the other day, and encouraged me yesterday that I would feel better about the events in my family if I just went.  She was absolutely right.  I forget how going to church makes me feel.  I’ll be honest – I’m what you call a “cafeteria Catholic” – I pick and choose what I want.  But frankly – a good service makes me feel good.  I think my sister put it perfectly several years ago when we were talking about it – going makes me want to be a better person.  It’s so different from when I was a kid, when it felt (to a child) that it was all about the rules and the repercussions of not following them.  Now, it’s about Social Justice – paying back to the community and those less fortunate, being understanding and forgiving of others, the message being more important that the literal interpretation, and tolerance.  The sermon was great, and talked about the recently confirmed teenagers in the parish.  Getting them (or me…as a totally ‘wired’ adult) to put the cell phones, ipods, etc down for an hour and listen is tough.  But get them involved in community outreach (those affected by storms, homeless shelters, soup kitchens), and suddenly there’s meaning behind actions.  I prayed for/to my Grandma, said hi to her since I know she can hear me, and left Mass feeling whole.  Thanks S – even though you may not be reading this.  You gave me the kick in the butt I needed.

D wasn’t up to going anywhere yesterday (beach, pool, Busch Gardens, Watercountry), so we stayed home.  After my nap and ABC trip, we made dinner, and the 5 of us sat down to watch a couple things.  First on the agenda – the season finale of American Idol.  Now, we’re not regular watchers, and frequently lose interest.  D and I already knew who won, so we really didn’t care.  We watched it because this is the second reality TV show in a row where R’s favorite won.  She wanted Boston Rob to win Survivor – and he did – and she’s LOVED Scotty McReery from day 1 on AI, so since we knew he won…we all watched it.  It was actually a fun show with Jack Black, Judas Priest (did I mention that the drummer was at my friends wedding last month?!?!?  He and the groom grew up together), Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, etc.  Fun show.

while I was at ABC, R was apparently lying on my bed playing her Nintendo….

After that, we HAD to watch the first episode of So You Think You Can Dance.  This is probably one of our very favorite shows.  Really…anyone who watches Dancing with the Starts (which we don’t), would dump it after seeing this show and the athletes/professional dancers really dancing.  It’s amazing.  One girl was auditioning in San Francisco, and one of the judges referred to her as white girl freaky and ghetto funky.  I thought that was the best line I’d heard in awhile (and perfectly apt for this dancer). 

After that, we all pretty much went to bed.

This morning I woke up around 830 (talk about TOTALLY sleeping in!), and D woke up about 15 minutes later.  Too bad I had already started coffee 😦

We made a big breakfast (smoothie just for me), then I hit the workout.  After getting home, it was shower, lunch, bloody mary’s, and laundry.  I’m hoping tonight we watch one of our Netflix movies (King’s Speech or The Tourist), and then I have to pack for my week in NC.  If not…maybe some True Blood or Glee!

I’m leaving you with a picture of A that D took Saturday evening when they went to dinner and art shows. 

I Have a Tofu Superhero

FOOD
Yeah…I know…it’s been an entire week since I posted.  I haven’t been neglectful on purpose, I promise.  I really need to do smaller posts more frequently than the novels I end up writing…okay, so no guarantees any will be short….but still.  Sorry it’s been a week (again).
So what’s the easiest way to summarize a week’s worth of eating?  With pictures I suppose!  I didn’t take photos of everything (like last night’s Pho for example), but I did snap a few.
I made two dishes on Sunday, and couldn’t decide which to have – so I had both.  On the left is a favorite of mine from Love, Veggies, and Yoga (I used Red Thai Curry spice) and a split pea soup recipe from the Candle Cafe.
not pretty, but tasty. 

My smoothie one morning came out much thicker than I usually do – more the consistency of ice cream than a smoothie.  Rather than let it sit in my glass for 5 minutes to melt, I decided to put it in a bowl and sprinkle the homemade buckwheat granola I made in my dehydrator on it.  Sort of like having ice cream for breakfast.  I felt a little naughty doing that!

blueberry, banana, strawberry, and chocolate “smoothie” with granola

One night my daughter A and my friend AC went out for Thai food after an art show.  I had my typical fresh spring rolls and green curry – though I was annoyed they put mushrooms in it.  They don’t do that on the lunch menu, and I’m not a fan of mushrooms except portabella’s.

lots of veggies!  All good – except the mushrooms which I probably removed prior to the taking the picture!

steamed tofu spring rolls

Friday afternoon I met D out for lunch at one of our favorite Japanese places.  He had hibachi like he pretty much always does, and I had veggie and cucumber rolls.

After I took A to an eye doctor appointment (contact lens check), we hit Skinny Dippers!  It’s a local frozen yogurt buffet place where you just pay by the ounce.  They often make vegan soy ice cream, and they list every morning on their Facebook page what their flavors are at each location.  It just so happens that the one by me had Mint Chocolate Soy Ice Cream.  So of course I HAD to go! 

mint chocolate ice cream with fresh pineapple and strawberries
FITNESS
I pretty much only ran this week (with the exception of today).  It’s been a busy week, and it’s the only activity I had time for.  To be honest – swimming involves a trip to the gym, and biking involves driving to the trails so I can ride safely – and when time is limited, there’s nothing like a run from out the front door.  No travel required other than what my feet can handle. 
I will admit that two of my runs were on the treadmill though.  For both, it was over 90 degrees, and I’m just not acclimated to quite that intense heat just yet.  It’s like VA didn’t gradually warm up this year.  It was 50 one day, and 85 the next!  When that happens, I typically run after dark (after 9-930 pm), but I didn’t have that option two days this week.  I had evening plans, and had to do a run right after getting home – which was still full sun, full hot, and not comfortable to run in.
This morning I went swimming as I do every Saturday with R.  She does her lesson, and I do laps.  I only got in 950 yds, but it was due to a wonderful surprise.  I was up at 730 this morning (slept in!) and R and I were out the door by 845.  D was still sleeping, and I didn’t want to wake him, so when we left, we did so quietly (the teenagers were also still asleep).  Anyhow, I was coming to the wall to turn around, and I saw an outline of a person sitting right by the lane.  I stopped, and noticed it was D!  He woke up, realized we didn’t say goodbye, so he came to the pool to say hello and give us each a quick kiss.  It was really cute, and very much made me smile.  We chatted for a few, and then he left.
After the lesson/laps were over, R and I went into the other pool and played catch with the football, hung out in the hot tub, and then hit the showers.  Then it was on to her gymnastics class and then home.
I’m going for a run tonight after D and A get home.  For once, I wanted to write my blog BEFORE 11pm!
LIFE
What can I say, life has been anything but dull this week.  It was definitely a hectic work week, and D and I were both really busy at the office.  For me it was the usual – tons of meetings and trying to get things done.  On the work front, it was a good week, and I can’t complain at all.
Wednesday D and I had a work outing.  Typically, we can’t both go – A doesn’t get home from school until 6ish, so one of us has to be around to pick her up.  It’s usually D who does.  It just so happens that Wednesday was A’s eye dr appt at 2, so when it was done, I didn’t take her back to school.  All 3 kids were home by 430.  So we totally had a Haley’s comet evening – once in a blue moon, the planets align, and D and I can BOTH attend these.  It was a nice and very needed evening.
Thursday was a juried art show at my daughter’s art school.  I took A, and my friend AC met us there.  I was blown away by some of the pieces on display.  It’s hard to remember sometimes that I’m looking at the work of high school students.  One in particular got my attention, and I actually took a picture of it and her description of the work.  First of all – I was impressed by her narrative.  It made me look that much more closely at the work itself.  Essentially – she has grown up in a family where everyone smokes except her (mom, dad, sister).  She’s struggled with it and seeing their addiction to something they know can and will kill them someday.  Over a 3 week period, she collected their cigarette butts and made a very moving piece – completely out of those butts.  I just thought it was pretty awesome.
After the show, we walked across the street for some awesome Thai food.  As I was looking at the menu and trying to find a dish I wanted to try more than my usual green curry (I obviously failed), I noticed a menu item called Tofu Tod.  It sounded good, except the peanut sauce, but I thought the name was fun.  So….my daughter brought out her sketch book and drew me a Tofu Tod…the Superhero.  I thought that was pretty groovy too.
Friday was a difficult day as we received word of a family event back home in WI – that while we knew was imminent – was sad just the same.  We are making arrangements here to be traveling back home in a little over a week to spend time with family and honoring the memory of a loved one.
In typical fashion, my very good friend S came to my house to “rescue” me for a bit and be exactly what a good friend is – just there to listen, comfort, and try to make you giggle.  We went for a couple glasses of wine and telling stories of fond memories of family.  It was exactly what I needed.
D and I decided that we were going to take the kids shopping.  They all needed some new clothes, and certainly needed clothing that was more appropriate for our trip.  So after everyone was home, we went to the mall, shopped for a bit, walked around, had dinner, kept each other’s spirits up, and just spent time as a family.  It was very nice. 
Today was a typical whirl wind Saturday.  Swimming, gymnastics, lunch, house work, and yard work.  All of that was done by 1pm.  I left around 2 to take R and M to see Kung Fu Panda 2 (I liked it more than the first one!), and D took A driving downtown (eek…freeway driving) and then to dinner, and right now they’re at a senior art show.  I imagine this evening will be quiet, with maybe a movie from Netflix after my run and shower and I’m snugly in my jammies. 

Holy Rampage Batman…It’s Another Novel!

So this is my 200th post!  I can’t believe I’ve been keeping this blog for about a year and a half, and the evolution it’s taken in that time.  It was initially a way to keep me honest about my training, and has turned into being so much more for me.  It’s a way to get my thoughts out, keep people I both know and have “met” through blogging updated on what’s going on in my head and kitchen, and to connect with people around the world.  It’s cathartic, it’s fun, and I find myself thinking about what I’m going to write about during the day and getting excited to sit and get it from my melon into written word.  So thanks to you all for reading….and hope you never get bored with what I have to say!

FOOD

Friday wasn’t a very inspired food day.  It was too busy to be creative!  I did, though, have a certain revelation (if you could call it that).

I wanted to get into the office early (around 730), so I only had java at home, and I packed up the leftover potato/cauliflower Indian curry and brown jasmine rice to have once I was there and settled.  It was a fairly large serving since I knew it would need to tide me over until close to 1pm due to my meeting schedule.

Holy cow, am I glad I did that.  I ate it around 830 as I was prepping for a 9am team meeting, which then turned into the audit meeting, which then turned into me having to drive from where my office is to another one of our corporate buildings because the silly vendor I work with often sent the software discs to the wrong place and I had to go get them.  I got there, and ended up having an impromptu meeting with my boss, which meant I had no time to grab my planned wrap on my way to the tour of our new-but-not-yet-opened hospital.  By the time I was headed back to my end of town, it was 3pm and I was more than a little hungry.

I was supposed to have a 3pm finance/happy hour meeting, but it ended up being canceled.  I was bummed – I wanted both the information I needed and a beer (not to mention the meeting was with a friend that would give us a chance to catch up).  D was going to stop out and meet up with us when he got done with his afternoon meetings, so I decided to go anyway.  What the heck – I had my Kindle, I was hungry, and it WAS happy hour after all – so I went and spent about 45min-1hr by myself reading, eating, and having a drink.  D got there, he had a beer, we chatted about our respective day, and then it was time for us to go and divide and conquer picking up our girls (R was at daycare, A got home early – 5pm – because their school had an event, and M was already home via the school bus).  It was a nice mini-break.

We went to a place that has a very large selection of burgers – with a vegan veggie burger option.  I wasn’t in the mood for anything fancy, so I had their homemade burger on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and ketchup.  I cut it in half, ate while reading, and was just feeling happy and peaceful.  I got full after half the burger, put the plate to the side, and concentrated on my book (and beer). 

D and I went over to our friends’ house around 9 for a couple drinks, and on the way we had a talk about an NPR segment he had been listening to.  It was about Mississippi and the recent declaration that they are the most obese state in the country – which is the most obese country in the world – which makes MS the most obese place on earth.  The segment had to do with the correlation between obesity and poverty and the lack of understanding of basic nutrition.  I thought it could go a step further than that – I’m working on a research article that takes the data that made experts draw that conclusion – and extends it to education levels and the access to healthcare and healthcare insurance (that’s a BIG passion of mine – healthcare coverage).

It was during this conversation that I had a realization about my own journey to being healthy.  It was something very small and insignificant to most people, but quite an ah-ha moment for me.  I ate half of my veggie burger.  I stopped eating when I was full.  I’m not sure how I got to this point (FINALLY) in my life, but I can honestly say that there were plenty of times in my past (recent past even) when I would have eaten it all just because it was there – or because it was tasty – not paying any attention at all to the signals in my body that it didn’t need nor want anything more.  Over the many years it took to revamp my health, my habits, and in turn, my body (losing 70 lbs will do that for ya I guess!), I reached what I felt yesterday was a pretty monumental moment of awareness.  It’s also been fun the past few days really talking about health and nutrition with D.  With him really trying to be healthier, it’s been mostly one-sided discussions before, but not anymore.  He’s always been a great listener and very supportive, but now there’s a whole different level to it. 

Okay, back to my eating.  Since I had such a late lunch (about 4ish), I wasn’t hungry for dinner.  We went to AC and JC’s house, and she had a nice tray of olives, hummus, spicy salsa (because I LOVE spice!), pretzels, and tortilla chips, so I had great light snack – and some white wine.

This morning I woke up much earlier than I wanted (by about an hour), so I made a pot of the flavored chocolate covered cherry coffee I picked up at Fresh Market (which I thought was awesome!  D didn’t – he’s not a flavored coffee kind of guy).  Oh well – that’s what he gets for leaving it to me to make coffee (I HATE setting up the coffee pot.  I love coffee – but I really, really hate brewing it).  He usually preps it on a timer the night before.  And he irons all my clothes for work.  I know…so spoiled 🙂

Saturday’s are always busy, so after my coffee I had half a toasted bagel with Earth Balance, and then I was out the door.

For lunch, R and I went to Moe’s for my very favorite taco salad!  I got (as always) the Personal Trainer with black beans.  I also go the marinated tofu with it this time as well.  No shell.  I usually get the shell because I feel I’ve earned it – but I looked it up and the calorie difference with the shell is 650 more!  I thought that was more obscene than I was willing to deal with.  An 850 calorie salad is insane.

I wasn’t overly hungry, so I ate half of it while R raved about her quesadilla.  It was a nice girls lunch with my littlest one.

lettuce, black beans, jalapenos, tofu, cucumbers, onions, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, and guac.  YUM.

After we were back home for an hour or so, I had a mild munchies/sweet tooth thing going on, so I made a little dessert plate for myself.  I sliced a banana, sprinkled some cinnamon on it, and then put a side of a raw granola I made the other day out of soaked buckwheat groats, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, vanilla, and agave.  It was a recipe I found for a vegan energy bar, and while I couldn’t get it to set in bar form, it makes a great granola to sprinkle on things.  It was awesome, filling, and just what my sweet tooth needed.

For dinner I made a brown rice pasta with corn and peas, a little Earth Balance, and pepper.  Since it was just R and I, I didn’t feel like making something elaborate.

FITNESS

My first workout today was a swim.  Saturday’s are R’s swim lesson days, so my swim workout duration is dictated by how long her lesson goes.  It’s scheduled for a half hour, but typically goes about 35 minutes.  Today though, she had a sub who went under, and the class was about 25 minutes.  I swam 36 lengths of the pool, so 900 yds.  It was mostly just freestyle swimming, but I did a couple drills with the pull buoy.  I was annoyed at having to stop at such an unrounded number.  Had the instructor gone the entire time, I’d have been able to hit an even 40.  Ugh.

I also had a scheduled run today.  Since it’s been just R and I today, I couldn’t run outside, so I had to use the treadmill.  It was nearly 7pm before I worked up the energy to do it.  I just dread using the treadmill, and 3 miles is about all I can handle before the Hamster Syndrome kicks in.  So while R was cleaning (ish) her room, I hopped on the ‘mill and got my run in.  I do have to say – running on a treadmill is SO much easier than running outside (HELLO…the sidewalk moves FOR you…) so it was probably the easiest run I’ve had in a long time….but I’d much rather be outside (bug spray and all!).

I have to mention that while I was on Twitter catching up, I learned a girl I follow is in Madison, WI and did a dualthalon near my hometown of Milwaukee in Oconomowoc!  I thought that was pretty darned cool.  I’ve heard about the schizophrenic weather up there this year from my family, and I don’t envy it.  Heck…we’ve had the air conditioner on for a week now in VA!

LIFE

I mentioned earlier that yesterday was a really busy day.  It wasn’t a bad one – just busy.  My meetings started at 9am, and I thought I was going to have a break between 1130-1 to grab a bite to eat and haul it clear across town to get to my 1pm.  The impromptu meeting with my boss (remember…BBE – Best Boss Ever) was both good and bad.  Good because we’re finally going to get a solid answer on if a particular project is going to get funding and go forward.  Bad because I admit – I was getting whiny about something that’s been on my nerves for a bit – and I wish I hadn’t.  I tend to get impatient (okay…I’m almost ALWAYS impatient) and I need to just get over that.

My team meeting was really good.  They’re a totally awesome group, and for the amount of work they have to do, I’m amazed they stick with me most days.  Even the audit meeting was pretty good, and the things they’re doing to monitor my systems will just make us better.  It’s just going to be difficult to schedule the work it’s adding into already stretched resources. 

Our entire team went on a tour of our new – soon to be opened (August) hospital.  It’s very pretty!  We got to see the areas where our customers will be so we can visualize how the PC set ups will look, and get a general visual of patient flow so we can be sure our applications are optimized to meet their specific needs.  This is part of the fun stuff we do.

The early evening was nice, and it was lovely getting to spend some quality time – no matter how brief – with D.  He took a quick nap while I made dinner, and then we went to our friends’ house for some wine (for AC and I), and beers (for D and JC) and just relaxing and catching up.

This morning I was up early, had some coffee, then got R up to get her ready for swim and then gymnastics.  I made her pancakes (really…they should be considered a super food….some of my best workouts are a direct result of pancake consumption), packed up our bag, and we headed out around 845am.

After lessons/swim workout was over, we played for a bit (they have 3 pools at our Y and a hot tub), and then hit the showers.  We left around 1015, stopped at the grocery to get a pre-gymnastic snack (banana and crackers and water), and then went to gymnastics.  She did her class for an hour while I read (Kindles are awesome), and then we went to lunch and then home.

D took the older two to a local big festival with some of their friends.  They left around 1230 (before R and I got home – hence it being just her and I today), and still aren’t home yet (it’s 1030 pm EST).  The festival is at the big city park grounds, and D did some geocaching in the early part of the afternoon.  They stayed through fireworks and some rides, and one of A’s friends is going to spend the night.

I’ve spend most of the evening cleaning, doing wash, reading, and working.  I caught up on my blog reading, and I really want to highlight one of them.  I don’t typically do this unless I’m linking to a recipe I’ve made, but I was so moved by this post that I have to bring it up.  It’s from H at Where’s The Beach and it talks about her motivations to keep working out and eating well.  It’s such a different perspective than I have, that it really made me think.  If you have the time – please – click on it and read her story.

My main motivations for finally taking control of my health were initially family.  I watched D be sick off and on for several years with no diagnosis and no idea if he was going to live or die.  When he was an inpatient after a particularly ugly episode, I watched him struggle for nearly 2 weeks.  The first 4-5 days were hell – he wasn’t lucid and was in so much pain it was terrible.  It was then that I  realized that I cannot possibly continue to be how I was – obese and unmotivated to really change.  (have to really give major recognition to my employer here – their mentality is always family first – and I got to spend every second at D’s bedside without having to worry about work.  BBE and my colleagues handled every detail for me – even brought us dinner – so I could just be there…). 

I started to feel selfish – here I am….a perfectly able bodied person who was choosing every day by my actions and inaction’s to flush my health and eventually my life down the drain.  Who the heck am I to have the right to do that to my children, my family, and my friends??  I was looking at a future of diabetes (type 2 runs in my family), heart disease (yep, we’ve got that too), strokes (oh yeah…those too), cancer (don’t get me started), and many, many things that can be prevented by living healthy.  Earlier generations didn’t always know what we know now – and I couldn’t live with myself if I ended up shortening my life span because I was too lazy to get my life and health under control.  There are too many reasons to want to stick around in the best health possible for me to do that to the people I love.  Slowly committing suicide via diet and laziness were just NOT going to be my future.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned to appreciate my body and my improved health and sense of well being.  I’m glad I hit that bottom so I could bring myself out of it.  It’s taken a LONG time and I’m not done yet – but I’m proud that I’ve come to where I am.  I did it the honest way (in my opinion of course), and didn’t try for any quick fixes, diet pills, etc.  That is right for some people – but it’s not for me.  I don’t think I could have changed my habits and learned the life lessons I needed – the shame I used to associate with food because of how I couldn’t stop from overeating – if I had gone about this any other way. 

So wow.  Again – didn’t mean to go off on such a rampage about things so seriously.  Sometimes I can’t help myself because of how passionate I feel…sorry for the brief (okay, not so brief) tangent.

On a different note, how funny about all the “rapture” stuff today?  I can’t believe anyone is surprised that it didn’t happen!  Some 90 year old guy – who incorrectly “predicted” the end of the world in 1994, still manages to make news for something like this?  And oh, only the “chosen” will be raptured (is that a word?) today….the world is really going to end in October!  Good grief.

Tomorrow should be nice.  D and I were talking the other day, and I mentioned how it’s awesome how he does individual things with our son (like bball games), but I tend to do all the big things – like taking them to theme parks…things like that.  So D is taking R on the first ever Daddy and Me day to a big water park tomorrow.  And planning a Kings Dominion day with A (both roller coaster junkies).  So that means tomorrow is all about doing my brick workout, and getting a manicure and pedicure!

So it’s 1120, and hopefully D and the kids will be home soon.  R is passed out on my side of the bed….so I’ll have to wait so D and move her (I always wake her up) to her room.  Think I’ll bust out the Kindle and read until they get back!

I Will Not Be a Buffet!

FOOD

I finally bought good coffee!  D is starting to tire of our Foldger’s lifestyle and wanted some good stuff.  A couple of weeks ago we had a coupon for buy one get one for coffee grounds from Dunkin Donuts.  We thought we liked Dunkin.  We were wrong.  I think my dislike of it was stronger – probably because I drink coffee black and D loads his up with sugar and creamer so it masks the taste a bit.  We tried mixing the grounds with coffee we did like – no luck.  Still nasty.  My favorite coffee is Illy, but that’s REALLY expensive, so I only get it about once a year.

I was at The Fresh Market the other day, and they have two rows with barrels of different roasted coffee beans.  I mixed two different coffees together, ground the beans there (I don’t have a coffee grinder anymore), and we made it this week.  Yummy!  Unfortunately – I don’t exactly remember which coffees I blended, so I have no idea if I can recreate this week’s success.

So aside from a great cup of java this morning, I also made my current favorite smoothie.  It’s super simple – 1 cup water, 1 scoop Chocolate Vega, 1 banana, and a whole bunch of frozen blueberries.  It makes a big 24 oz smoothie, and fills me up for hours thanks to the Vega.

I packed my lunch, but didn’t end up eating it.  D called to see if I was free to meet him for lunch, and I was, so we met up at a place close to both of our offices.  There’s a local place called The Cutting Edge that we like to go to.  It’s the only place in my town I know of that has any vegan menu items (ya know – other than pasta, salads, or things like that).  D is a big fan of their turkey and avocado club sandwich, and I love the Vegan Blackened Chick’n Panini.  They have several vegan sides, and I typically get the pita and hummus (what can I say…I’m a hummus junkie).  I’ve had the tortilla soup before which is also really good.

okay, so I ate half of the sandwhich and a bite of hummus before I remembered to get my camera!  Oops….

After work, I had half of a banana (split it with R), which was just enough for a pre-run snack.

Dinner was what I had intended for lunch; a sandwhich with my latest batch of raw vegan bread from JLGoesVegan – always a master of awesome recipes!  The bread came out well, and it definitely has a different flavor than the one I made on Tuesday, so I’m excited about the variety.  I layered a red pepper, eggplant, and garlic spread on it and topped with avocado slices, red onion, and cucumber.  It was so tasty and filling.  Love it!

Don’t mind my duplicate pictures.  I’m playing with and without flash….nothing fancy mind you – it’s my little point and shoot Samsung – but I’m trying to see which takes better photos.  Feel free to weigh in 🙂

with flash…much brighter, but you can’t tell those are cucumbers on top

without flash

without flash…

with flash

Just before taking R to her gymnastics class, I made a fresh juice of orange, apple, spinach, carrot, and pineapple.  And as I type this…enjoying a nice glass of red wine!

On a totally different tangent….a couple of days ago my husband told me that he wanted to eat more like me.  NOT that he’s going vegan or anything (he made that clear), but he realizes his diet – left to it’s natural devices – is not a good one.  With his Crohn’s, he doesn’t absorb nutrients the way a healthy body does anyway, so to eat mostly nutritionally devoid food is pretty bad for him (worse than it is for the rest of us even).  I’m never pushy about the way I eat.  I am a very firm believer that everyone has a choice – from religion to politics to dietary habits – life in general.  I CHOOSE to be vegan – no one made that choice for me or forced me into it, so I would never do that to another.  Because of that, I have spent a long time cooking multiple meals every day.  I try to not cook junky meals – I attempt keep them as balanced as I feel I eat, but I do know that when D goes out to lunch or grabs a take out, it’s always crap.  So I was thrilled when he had this little revelation.  I’ve been waiting a LONG time 🙂  He happily ate the cauliflower/potato Indian curry I made yesterday with brown jasmine rice – and really liked it.  He didn’t dump a ton of salt on it (which he normally does – but excess salt – common in the American Diet – kills your taste buds and the ability to really taste food – so he’s trying there too).  So I’m excited to inspire someone I love more than anything to choose to be a healthier person.  And lets be honest – I have quite a vested interest in him being healthy and living a very long time…
FITNESS

Today was just a run.  It should have been a lifting day too, but I had no time.  D had plans this evening, I was on gymnastics duty, and there wasn’t time between work and that for both.  And you all know – I HATE lifting…which means when forced to choose between that and something else….I choose the “something else”.

On my way home from work I stopped off at Target to get some insect repellent.  I will NOT be a buffet for the various insectoid life forms buzzing their way around Virginia.  I am a vegan.  I do not digest the life of a sentient creature – and I expect to be treated in kind.  Even if that means I have to stink myself up with nasty bug spray to do it! So be it.

It probably doesn’t help that one friend sent me an article on Lyme’s Disease today, and another girl mentioned she was assaulted by THREE ticks yesterday – one bit her knee while she was running.  Her KNEE!  And she doesn’t live too far from me, so they’re out in force.  Deep Woods Off is the closest thing I could find to Front Line for people.  I really wanted a nice organic non-smelly option – but all of those only repelled mosquitos.  Screw West Nile.  I don’t want some critter burrowing it’s way into my skin and going all vampire on me.  No thanks.  So stink I will.  And refuse to be their smorgasbord.

I will take this moment to reiterate my thoughts on nature.  I am a city girl.  Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE nature.  I just don’t want it on me.  My idea of “roughing it” is a hotel without a bar.  So bugs be warned…stay…away….from…me.

LIFE

My day started out early.  I bumped my alarm up 10 minutes in my effort to wake early and exercise.  So far…that’s failing.  I’m waking up early and just taking that much longer to get ready in the morning.  I’m taking a shower, drinking coffee, making elaborate breakfasts, baking cookies, making elaborate lunches, checking all my emails, reading blogs, reading the headlines…anything but actually do what I intend by getting up that early.  Baby steps I guess.  At least my butt it out of bed.

I was in the office by 730 this morning which was really nice.  My first meeting was a conference call at 8, then another at 9, then an in person meeting at 10.  If I don’t start work early – I can’t actually get anything done because I’m in meetings all day!

I did have a nice chunk of time between 1045 and 1245, so I got a few things done, had lunch with D, and then headed way out to one of our sites a good 30+ minutes away for an afternoon meeting.  It ended up being a great meeting – and while I could have dialed in with a conference option, I’m glad that I went in person instead. 

After my meetings were all done, I hit the road home, stopped at PetSmart (my almost 9 yr old Lab is taking a joint supplement 2x per day and she needed more.  And some toys to destroy), then Target (and they have a food section now!  How cool…I bought fresh pineapple at Target!), then to get R from daycare, then home.

R did her homework, M got home from school, and I went for a run while he watched over his little sister.  D got home while I was out, and then the evening activities started.  I took a shower, D picked A up from school around 6 (she goes to a special art high school in the afternoons from 2-5, and doesn’t get back home until quite late), then it was time for R to get ready for gymnastics.  I left with her, then D left to meet up with a group of people downtown for beer and pizza, the older two had their typical “fend for yourself Thursday dinner” (aka – leftovers), and now our evening is finally winding down.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day I think.  I have a team meeting in the morning, a meeting with audit (okay, so that probably won’t be ‘fun’), then a tour of our new hospital we’re building (have to make sure all my computers are being put in the right places), and then a meeting with a friend of mine that will combine finance discussions with happy hour.  Really can’t complain about that!

For now, it’s time to get the kids off to bed, settle in myself, read for a bit, and then hit the hay!

Ketchup! Oh, I mean Catch Up

FOOD

I really hate going so long between blog posts.  Aside from missing the process of writing, I am now forced to try and remember too many things to write about…AND….you all end up with a novel instead of a post!

So…highlights on the food front since Friday….

Saturday I took the older kids out for sushi.  We were doing other things downtown, and stopped in between.

miso soup!  I love it – A thinks it’s ok – M made a horrible face when he tried it

edamame

my veggie sushi plate

M very excited about his bento box lunch

I made another batch of avocado soup Saturday evening, so I had a bowl of that with chopped tomatoes, broccoli, and some of my crunchy bean sprouts.

with flash…

…without flash 🙂

my sprout tray

Sunday morning was coffee and then salad wraps with the rest of the spicy quinoa.

Sunday lunch was with S out for Bloody Mary’s!  I had (aside from Bloody Mary’s), a half of a bean and veggie spicy wrap.

Sunday evening I had a baked potato with tofutti “better than sour cream” and Earth Balance, avocado soup, and a salad.  Very filling and tasty!

Monday I can’t seem to remember at all.  I can’t remember because I obviously didn’t take any pictures, so I have nothing to jog my memory!

Yesterday was A’s 16th birthday!!!  Dinner was her choice, and she picked chicken cordon bleu, roasted asparagus, and Daddy’s Magic Noodles (my husband’s only dish – pasta with butter, parm cheese, garlic, and Italian seasoning).  And cake of course! For me – I had a shaved fennel and orange salad tossed in olive oil with some black pepper.

I used my new Excalibur dehydrator to make a raw bread recipe from Ani’s raw book.  I can’t get over how much easier to use this dehydrator is.  Brilliant kudo’s to the person who decided to make it square instead of having that obnoxious hole in the middle like my old cheapo one!

the dough before it went into the dehydrator

dehydrating away!

final product

Breakfast today was a fresh juice with carrot, orange, apple, lemon, and ginger.  I also had a couple slices of watermelon.  Mid morning, I had some Mary’s Gone Crackers and some spicy hummus.

For lunch, I made a sandwich on my raw seeded bread with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and red onion.  Wow – it was good!  I’m so excited!!!  I also had leftover fennel and orange salad from dinner last night.

Dinner was a slow cooker meal with potato and cauliflower in Indian spices, rice, and garlic naan.  It was a big hit all around, and I’m glad for that.

FITNESS

The last few days have been certainly busy on the workout front, with daily runs (except yesterday).  The highlights….

My swim on Saturday was totally awesome.  It felt effortless – and like I could have kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny.  I was pretty excited by that.

Sunday morning I did a brick at the canal trail.  10 mile ride at a 4 mile run.  Both felt pretty good, though I again didn’t wear something with pockets, and ended up having to run with my car key in my bra.  One of these days I will fully prepare.  Oh – and I have to stop eating spicy food right before a hard workout.  That’s really not fun.

I did see a guy running barefoot.  And not at the park – he was running down Cedar Rd (in a very busy part) and I saw him while I was driving.  Totally crazy in my opinion.  I know there’s a big group of people that feel barefoot running is the way to go – but that will never be me.

Today’s run was awesome.  I felt great, and I missed getting rained on.  The only bad part – and I swear things like this only happen to me – I got done and found a TICK…on my BOOB.  I managed to catch it right as it “bit” me, so it was easy to brush off.  But still.  eww eww eww eww eww!

LIFE

Saturday was a busy day, but a nice one.  I took R to swim lessons and gymnastics in the morning.  Then D took her to a bowling birthday party.  It was a little bit of a pain in the butt, but she had a great time.  The party was held at the Naval Air Station that is really no where near where we live (the birthday boy’s dad is military).  And because the threat level has been raised, civilian cars are not allowed on base unescorted – so D had to meet the bday boy’s family at the base gates in order to get on.  He stayed at the bowling alley since it would be pretty impossible for him to pick R up. 

On the way out after the party, D stopped so R could see some of the fighter jets on the base.  He used his phone to snap some pretty cool pictures of her…

While D was with R at the party, I took A and M to a couple art shows downtown.  A’s art school requires each senior student to put on a Senior Art Show.  It’s an individual effort, and they are responsible for securing space, writing and publishing the press releases, organizing a reception with food, creating and managing the budget for the show (all pieces are also for sale), PLUS create all the art work to be displayed.  It’s a very big deal, required for graduation, and really an art class and business class rolled into one.  Everyone else in the Visual Arts program must attend at least 3 shows and do a write up on them.  We hit two on Saturday and M tagged along.  It was a really nice afternoon and it was very cool to see all the hard work these kids put into their shows.

D and I had originally planned to go to the movies Saturday night, but there was some nasty storm warnings, so we decided to stay home and watch a movie there!

After my workout and shower Sunday morning, I met up with S for Bloody Mary Sunday.  Then it was running errands and then spending the rest of the day at home.  After dinner, D and I ended up going to the movies, and had a really nice time.  We saw Bridesmaids, and here is my 2 cent review….

It was set in my hometown, which was totally fun for me to see.  It was certainly funny, but some of the jokes were drawn out WAY too long, and some of it got on my nerves a bit.  It was bascially a 2 hr Saturday Night Live skit.  If you’re going to see it – don’t pay full price.  See it as a matinee or rent it when it comes out. 

Monday I still don’t really remember….

Yesterday was A’s 16th birthday!!!  Holy cow.  Most of her gifts were art related of course, as well as some jewlery and some jewelry making supplies.  Her big gift was a dress form.  Since she’s been making so many outfits, we thought it would be nice for her, and she’s very excited about it.  Here are a few pictures…

all of her gifts were wrapped in newspaper.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!  (she loved that, btw)

reading the funnies before she’d open it

eating cake and ice cream.  Sorry no photos of the cake – it has her name on it, and as you all know, I don’t publish names!

no, the wine isn’t hers!

D and I went to the service station after dinner and dropped off one of the cars that’s due for an oil change.  Late last week, the check engine light came on.  It went off a day or two later, but we wanted to have it checked out anyway, so we had them run diagnostics today when it was in.  Unfortunately, there’s about $1200 of work that needs to be done on it – especially before it goes back for yearly inspection next month.  Joy.  We’re going for a “second opinion” at the dealership.

I took D into work after dropping R off at school.  Most of my day was spent in meetings, so nothing out of the ordinary there!

Dinner, working out, and relaxing for the rest of the night.  And catching up, of course!

Trying to Convince My Eye Dr I Don’t Age

sorry this post is delayed.  The blogger site was down for the past day….
FOOD




Wednesday morning was coffee and a banana at 5am before one of those insane early meetings. I just can’t manage to eat much more than that at such a ridiculous hour. I also didn’t want to risk getting sick during that meeting if I had any lingering stomach issues.


Before I went to work I started soaking some mixed beans to put into my sprout trays (chickpeas, adzuki beans, lentils, and peas mostly). In a few days I’ll have several cups of the crunchy sprouts, which I tend to favor over the seed sprouts like alfalfa.


I had a mid-morning snack of yet another banana, and then my leftover raw zucchini pasta with marinara for lunch. It was just as good the second day, which made me really happy. I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up. I’ve noticed with all the raw recipes, Ani does a great job of explaining that something is good for 1 day, or 2 days, etc, and the servings for each recipe are typically 4 or less since you really can’t do leftovers much beyond 2 days.


For dinner, I met up with a friend of mine for some wine and food. I had a hummus/avocado bruchetta and their “wine country” salad (sans cheese), which was greens, apples, and strawberries in a raspberry vinaigrette. We had a nice time and the food was great.


This morning’s breakfast was the rest of the “untuna” salad in lettuce cups and topped with some sweet pickle relish and some of the marinated onions I made the other day. I also made a 24 ounce juice to take with me in the morning of apple, carrot, pineapple, and orange.



After my eye dr appt today, I was only a little hungry, and munched on some Mary’s Gone Crackers while working and had a banana and a cup of tea. It wasn’t a real meal, but I wasn’t sure where I’d be for lunch (office, on the road, hospital, etc), so I didn’t really pack anything.


Dinner was another lettuce cup wrap/taco thing. I’m really digging those the past few months. They’re such a convenient way to make pretty much every meal portable, and by using lettuce instead of bread, pita’s, or tortillas, it’s keeping the calorie count down and the nutrient count up. Can’t really beat that!



So tonight’s wrap was with a quinoa salad. This is another one of those flexible dishes that is quite forgiving with ingredients. Here’s tonight’s version…






Spicy Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa (or brown rice or couscous)
¼ cup lime juice (I juiced 3 small limes)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
¼ cup (about 1/3 bunch) cilantro leaves, minced or chopped fine
¼ cup diced red onion
¾ tsp chili powder (I used a Hot chili powder from my WI spice kit)
1 hot pepper (optional. I usually go for it because I love spice)
½ diced bell pepper (I use red, yellow, or orange. I’m not a big fan of the green ones)


*Rinse the quinoa very well before cooking to remove the dust that causes it to otherwise taste bitter. It makes a HUGE difference in how it tastes if you rinse it.
*bring the quinoa to boil with 2 cups of water, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. OR – throw it into a rice cooker and cook on the white rice setting.
*add everything else.


THAT’S IT! I used to add corn, but with D’s Crohn’s, that’s on his banned foods list.


I’ve made variations with no chili powder, or swapping out chickpeas for the black beans and adding mandarin orange slices. The possible combinations are limitless.

 
FITNESS


It seems that D is coming down with what I just had, so my workout plans for today were slightly abbreviated. I was planning to hit the gym to lift and then run 4 miles. Unfortunately, that would have meant D had to take R to gymnastics, and with him feeling icky, that just wasn’t going to happen. So…no time for the gym after work. I did make it out for my run though.


The run was a mixed bag today. I haven’t run since Sunday, and it was getting on my nerves (and I’m sure that I was getting on the nerves of everyone around me!). I was pressed for time and went running not long after eating, and running on a full stomach sucks. I felt pretty good for most of the run, but slightly uncomfortable with my fuller belly.  I’m just glad my dinner was light – had it been a big pasta meal or Thai, there’s no way I’d have even tried.


I had just enough time to take a quick shower, throw my PJ’s on, and get R to gymnastics (yes….I wore my PJ’s to her class).


I do have to do a quick product plug. I use something called a Road ID. It’s a simple $15 bracelet that has emergency contact information so if you’re out running, biking, etc (and we typically don’t have room to carry our ID in our running bras) and get hurt, EMS can identify you and contact your family. It’s the world’s cheapest insurance policy and a must for anyone who works out alone outside. My new one arrived on Monday, and I am really excited. I bought the slim one that is similar to a blend between a Livestrong bracelet and an allergy bracelet (and I do have a latex allergy – which is reflected on my Road ID – critical for an ambulance worker who finds me and needs to treat me should I get hit by a car or pass out or something else crazy). I can wear it running, biking, OR swimming – which is pretty cool. As I get more involved with Tri’s and start doing open water swimming, it’ll be even more critical that I have some type of identification on me. Again – not like my bathing suit or wetsuit will have pockets for my driver’s license! I can’t stress it enough – if you don’t have one – GET ONE. It could save your life someday.


LIFE


Yesterday was busy. And any day that begins with a 0445 alarm is NOT a happy start to the morning. I had meetings that started at 7am and went until 12. Then I had to pick each of the kids up (3 of them…from 3 different schools) and cart them off to the eye doctor. All three are great. M just started wearing glasses a year ago, and his prescription didn’t change. A’s been wearing glasses since she was 6, and for years her prescription got stronger and stronger. This year though, her prescription didn’t change, so that was a relief to everyone. R’s vision is great and she doesn’t need glasses. A is going to have to start wearing contacts again though – or get prescription sunglasses. With her now driving and being short like her mother (read….sun visors don’t work for us!), I’m not comfortable with her driving without sunglasses.


We got home around 5, made their dinner really quickly, and then was off to meet AC for our evening out.


Today was the normal alarm time of 0545. A much more respectable hour, though I didn’t sleep well last night (had a nice 130am resurgence of my belly issues), but was back asleep by 230. I had two meetings early this morning, and then it was off to my eye dr appt.


So I’m sitting in the chair talking to my doctor (who – with his wife who is the pediatric eye dr my kids see – is the most amazing eye dr ever), and he starts telling me that, since I’m getting close to being 40, I’m going to start noticing changes in my vision with reading things up-close. Blah blah blah…he’s telling me to buckle up – in the next few years, I’ll need bifocals. My response… “I don’t age”. He laughs and tells me that of course I age, and he’s not wrong – and I’ll need to let him know when I have to stretch my arm out all the way and hold my reading materials and still can’t see – that that will be the key that it’s time to get bifocals. I repeated myself. I don’t age.


To digress a bit…I’m from a pretty fortunate gene pool. The women in my family simply don’t look their age. There were certainly times when it got on my nerves (especially if I was trying to get into a bar and there was NO WAY I looked even 16, much less 21….), but looking younger than my years is kinda cool now. More often than not, I get carded, and the look people give me when they find out how old I am makes me giggle. There’s the occasional idiot who calls me “ma’am”, but I forgive them as apparently needing glasses.

So Dr. G and I go through our little argument about my eyes, and he proceeds to do my exam. At the end he tells me “good news – your prescription is exactly the same still ”. My response? Told ya…I Don’t Age.



After that triumphant moment, it was time to head back to work. D and I were going to try and get lunch together, but he started to not feel well, and ended up heading home and to bed sometime around 1. I didn’t have any afternoon meetings, so I plowed through a ton of emails, set up some appointments, and basically got some great productive office time that I usually don’t get during normal work hours.


Tomorrow is a busy day, but hopefully will be just as pleasant as today was. G’Night!


Maybe I Just Don’t Like Blonde Men with Long Hair….

FOOD

I didn’t do much cooking for a few days, but boy did I make up for it today!  Buckle up that most of it was courtesy of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.  I have a feeling that – aside from the recipes that contain nuts (which isn’t as many as I worried about) – I’m going to work my way through this entire book.  I’ve long been fascinated with Raw Veganism (which I’ve blogged about in the past), but it’s not always seemed so accessible to me.  Well – this book changes everything.  Not only are her recipes really easy – they’re REALLY good (and don’t leave you feeling unsatisfied at all).  So here I am – practically doing a bloody book review.  But in all seriousness – if you have any interest in raw food, this is a phenomenal book.  She also discusses ideas for being more environmentally friendly and her journey to being a raw foodist.  Good tips and interesting to read to boot!

Saturday night I started soaking some buckwheat for one of her recipes.  Basically, you soak the buckwheat and then put in in the dehydrator to make a “rice krispie” sort of thing.  I haven’t used it yet – but the intent I think is to sprinkle it in puddings, parfaits, etc.

I made a sunflower seed based pate from Ani’s book for dinner.  I put it into salad cups, added some spicy sunflower seeds, and made wraps.

For dessert Saturday night, I decided to chop up some bananas, apples, and pineapples, and then sprinkle some agave nectar and cinnamon on it.  I don’t get a sweet tooth often, but that worked!

Sunday I woke up early and had a smoothie and the last of the watermelon (I’m so excited it’s watermelon season again!).  Then we all headed to the mall for a movie, but had lunch first.  I got to have my veggie Pho noodle bowl, which always makes me happy!

I started to feel off Sunday evening, so I didn’t end up having dinner.  Monday was sort of a blur, and while I did try to eat, nothing stayed put for long.  I had some tea and water, and that’s pretty much it.  Ugh.  Every time I ate or drank anything, I got stomach cramps and then sick.  I must have picked up some stomach bug over the weekend.

Tuesday morning I decided to brave a smoothie.  Even though my stomach objected, it stayed put, and for that I was grateful.  I also really craved the nutrients in it.  Later in the morning I made a big batch of carrot/apple juice, and that not only stayed put, but filled me up as well as started to give me some energy back.

vanilla soy milk, spinach, blueberries, and flax seed

funny that it’s called a green smoothie….it was a purple/black!

simple…day glow apple/carrot juice

Then the kitchen bug set in.  After a few days of feeling lousy and totally not hungry, I decided to get some food prepped for the rest of the week and get organized.  That’s when my Vitamix started getting one heck of a workout.

First – I made the “Save The Tuna Pate” from the raw book – which is basically an “untuna” salad.  The recipe called for the pulp left over after juicing one pound of carrots.  So….I juiced a pound of carrots, put the pulp into a bowl, and then juiced 6 green apples into the carrot juice to get the vat I made earlier.  Hence why it filled me up most of the day….a POUND of carrots and six apples.  Even juiced, that’s a lot!

yes….I bought a 10 lb bag of carrots….

one pound! Measured and ready to juice…

the pulp left over from the juiced carrots

I used the vitamix to make the sunflower-seed based “cream” for the pate, added the rest of the ingredients, and again made salad wraps with romaine lettuce leaves, some cilantro from my container garden, and diced avocado.  Oh.  My.  Very good.  I have to say, that this is the first time I’ve used the leftover pulp when juicing.  I don’t have a big garden, so I don’t compost (though it’s been on my mind), and I found it very satisfying to use the remaining parts I normally would have discarded.

got to use my smaller dry-container today!  Made flour out of 2 cups of sunflower seeds, then a creamy paste to mix into the untuna salad

Then I made a mustard-seed based salad dressing for a spinach salad, and THEN a raw marinara (yes…also from Ani’s book as well as the fresh basil and oregano from my container gardens).  I spiralized two zucchini, and let the marinade sit on it for a while to soften the noodles.  While that happened, I marinated some onion in apple cider vinegar, pepper, and Bragg’s Amino’s (which is basically soy sauce) to throw on my salad.  All told, a very yummy dinner.  I loved that I was pretty much all raw today, and the fact that everything stayed in my stomach where it belonged.  I also love that there were no preservatives or processed foods.  I think that made a big difference in how I felt too.

my spiralized zucchini “pasta”

with the highly flavorful marinara (letting it sit softens the zucc so it’s more like pasta than raw veggies)

dinner!  Come on…if I didn’t tell you it was raw…could you tell??  Nope.  I think not!

I also made a few other things for the family – including a batch of Mocha Cappuccino chocolate chip cookies from the vegan cookie book my parents got me for Christmas.  I ate one (didn’t want to push my luck), and they really do taste like a cafe mocha in a cookie!

Fortunately, I have plenty of leftovers to fuel my raw obsession for tomorrow.

FITNESS

I went for a 5 mile run Sunday morning (before everyone else got up), but otherwise.  Nada.  It’s been killing me to walk past my training calendar and miss a workout.  I’m going stir crazy.  But I will listen to my Aunt M who told me to keep walking past that calendar until I felt normal again.  So yes ma’am….I didn’t run, or swim, or bike, or lift weights.  But I will tomorrow 😉

LIFE

Saturday my husband took our son to a baseball game.  The girls were playing, so I got to do some wash, organize the kitchen, and watch part of one of my favorite movies, The Fifth Element.  My perfect movie???  Bruce Willis.  With a gun.  Can’t go wrong (Die Hard anyone???).

Sunday, of course, was Mother’s Day!  I got some beautiful homemade cards (no pics because it shows their names, and I don’t publish those), lovely flowers, and D ordered me the dehydrator I’ve been wanting!  (Raw breads and cookies, here I come!  Not to mention preserving my container harvest – and any leftover harvest my friends have from their real gardens).

The day’s activities were my choice, and we went to the movies!  We’re big movie junkies, and I picked Thor.  So maybe it’s me…and trust me…I LOVE movies where things are blowing up constantly….but I didn’t love it.  In fact, for the first third of the movie, I thought it was ridiculous.  Bad plot, bad acting….sure, fun effects, but otherwise nada.  And perhaps it’s as my blog title suggests…but I think the very best parts of this movie were 1) Natalie Portman – she’s adorable.  And 2) it set things up nicely for the forthcoming Avenger movies.  Otherwise – it was only so-so for me. 

There were some awesome previews though (for both movies and TV), and I’m looking forward to Franklin and Bash (which looks hilarious), Captain America, Falling Skies, and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (which I worry is going to suck because #3 did).  There had to be more, but those were the ones that stuck out.

Unfortunately, Sunday night the ickiness hit, and I was pretty flattened for two days.  Monday I spent lying in bed (close to a bathroom) and reading.  Tuesday was pretty much more of the same, but I started feeling better around 3.  I talked to my friend in Seattle for a bit (which was nice).  I also went to the grocery store, which I really needed to do.  Not that you can tell by the picture since the bags are several deep…but we were out of EVERYTHING.

So as I look at the clock, it’s 9pm and I have a 7am meeting.  So…time to go to bed.  Good night 🙂

Excessive Fun Friday Nights Leads to Lazy Saturdays!

FOOD

Breakfast on Friday was coffee, watermelon, and banana.  I wasn’t starving, and didn’t want to fill up too much before working out.  For my mid-morning snack I had pasta.  I finally got to use the cilantro pesto I made a few days ago.  It was a simple dish – just some whole grain rotini pasta with the pesto tossed in.  There’s some cayenne pepper in the pesto, so it has a light bit of heat to it, and didn’t need any other seasonings.

I was really excited about lunch, though.  I made a raw lunch from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen that was just amazing.  I made the Thai Spicy Cucumber Salad and the Avocado Kream Soup.  Both were incredible, and I can’t wait to make more from her book.  The food was hearty and filling (tons of fresh broccoli and tomatoes as a garnish for the soup certainly helped with that!).  I ate lunch really late since I had plans for the evening that didn’t necessarily involve food.

The evening was a girls night, and we munched on some snacks; my favorite Dr. Kracker crackers, hummus, kale chips, broccoli, fruit, and then once we were out, I had half of a vegan veggie spicy wrap.  I feel sort of like an idiot for bringing healthy foods to a girls night of debauchery, but just can’t seem to help myself. 

Today breakfast was a toasted plain bagel and coffee at the hotel.  I was craving something greasy, but didn’t give in!  Really…the only reason I didn’t give in is because I didn’t know where to find onion rings at 8 in the morning.

For lunch, I had more of the avocado soup to finish it off.  I again loaded it was broccoli and tomatoes, and this time, also topped it with some spicy seeds.  SO yummy and filling!  Since I ate that lunch so late (about 4pm!), I’ve mostly just snacked this afternoon.  I had some seed crackers, and then made a plate of apple, banana, and pineapple, all sprinkled with some agave and cinnamon.  I was craving something sweet.

FITNESS

As planned, I hit the gym to do the strength training routine from the new ActiveTrax system, and then I went running.  It’s going to take some getting used to the new system.  I like that it’s dynamic (it generates workouts based on your preferences, and when you’re done, you enter how you did, and it builds off of it over time).  I don’t like it involves having to carry around a piece of paper (Fitlinxx was much simpler), and it has me using pieces of equipment with which I’m not familiar nor comfortable.  I got through it though, and will keep at it.

The run was nice – it was a pleasant morning, though a bit windy.  I ran through an area I never have been before (on the lookout for safe passage via back streets to the gym), and that always makes me happy.

Today was supposed to be a swim and a run.  Sorry – skipped it.  I stayed up WAY too late last night, got up too early this morning, and napped away a good 3 hrs from 1130-230.  I feel guilty about it, and am thinking of upping the workouts tomorrow to make up for it.  We’ll see.

LIFE

Yesterday/last night was an absolute blast.  It’s my friend K’s bday on Saturday, and the girls wanted to show her a good time.  To this end, I booked two hotel rooms at a new and trendy hotel in the area.  My husband had a lot to do with making it a great time too though.  He called the hotel several times to make sure we’d have a shuttle to take us to our outing, that our rooms were nice, and he even stopped by (unbeknownst to me) and left two bottles of wine in each room with a happy birthday note for K!  He wanted to help make sure everything was perfect (and we were carted around safely), and I love him to death for that.

S brought pretzels, and alcohol (to make mojitos), and K even brought some Captain Morgan’s and soda.  We were definitely set.

We were all there by 530, sat around, talked, goofed off, and had several drinks.  The shuttle picked us up at 815 to take us to the restaurant/bar where we were grabbing dinner and seeing a local band play.  We ate, danced, drank (why exactly is it traditional to do shots on birthdays???  ugh…), mingled, and did whatever we could to be sure K had a great time. 

That’s the birthday girl in the middle!

We took a cab back to the hotel around 1230am, stopped at the bar in the hotel for one more drink, and then went to our rooms to lie around, chat some more, and eventually go to sleep.  Not sure when that was, but I’m guessing it was somewhere around 230 or so.

I was home by 1030 this morning, and asleep again by 1130!  I suppose I could have been more productive, but that’s okay.  I’m not exactly 21 anymore, and in order to feel solidly human again, I really needed that nap.  And water 🙂

This evening has been mostly meal planning, grocery shopping, and catching up on the Vampire Diaries.  I can’t help it – I absolutely LOVE that show.  Season finale is next week, and it’s making me sad to think about.

D and M are at a baseball game tonight, so it’s just me and my daughters.  I did send D to Sears on their way though to look a lawn mowers.  Ours has been dead since last fall, and I’m starting to get really annoyed.  We’ve talked for weeks, and I’m finally to the point where if he doesn’t pick one out, I will, and he’ll just have to live with it.  It did that a year ago with the weed whacker, and he complained I didn’t get the one he would have.  Oh well…..don’t really care at this point!

I have an update about D’s Crohn’s.  We were both pretty upset by the letter that came on Wednesday from the NP (he usually sees the MD, but this last appt the office booked him with the Nurse Practitioner).  Thursday during his lunch hour, D went to the Dr’s office asking for someone to talk to him and explain the letter he got indicating his Crohn’s is getting worse and he may need to start taking a very invasive medication – as well as the new dietary restrictions.  After being ignored for MUCH too long, the practice manager finally came to see him.  Turns out – this NP sends this letter to ALL of her patients.  It’s a form letter, and means nothing.  After pulling up D’s old results and the new ones – he’s actually doing better.  There is no need to further restrict his diet or change his meds.  He made sure to express his displeasure and disappointment while there…which is good because I’d have been showing up there if he hadn’t!

The rest of the evening will be very laid back!  I’m going to hang out with the girls, maybe watch a movie, and try to get them to agree to go to bed fairly early 🙂

No, I Don’t Have a Strange Vegan Form of Tourrette’s

FOOD

This morning was an all-staff meeting from 8-11 held at one of the local hotel/conference centers.  They’re really nice and a chance to see people I otherwise don’t get to (we have a really big department).  8-9 is a catered breakfast, and 9-11 is presentations and Q&A about things.  Unfortunately, I know that there is really never going to be anything to eat for me.  I’m certainly not complaining – I choose to eat the way I do, and I don’t get all indignant when large events don’t cater to me – but I’m not silly enough to be unprepared either.

I really wish I had taken a picture of my smoothie this morning.  It was probably my favorite in a long time…and so unbelievably simple!  Alas, I was in a hurry this morning to get out of the house (my husband spent a really long time dilly dallying around, and wasn’t overly helpful with the morning routine).  So I literally blended, poured into my large 24 oz pirate tervis, and ran out the door.

It was a simple smoothie.  A cup of water, an 8oz container of fresh blueberries, 1 frozen banana, a handful of frozen strawberries, and a scoop of Chocolate Vega Powder.  While I’m not the biggest chocolate eater, this is rapidly becoming my very favorite flavor of this stuff.  I don’t use supplements often, but when I know I’m going to be in a situation where I am in a rush or won’t have the ability to eat for awhile, this is always great.

Lunch ended up being Thai.  I know…shocker, right?  It wasn’t planned – I had to go out to one of our hospitals that happens to have some great Thai food nearby, and right next to a Border’s book store.  I picked up a raw foods “uncook” book that I’m absolutely loving, and then got some fresh tofu spring rolls and my every favorite – Tofu Green Curry. 

Early evening I made a fresh juice of mango, strawberry, carrot, orange, and pineapple.  It was amazing – D and A both really liked it too.  Funny story – I posted the picture on Facebook, and just titled it, Mango, pineapple, carrot, strawberry, orange juice!  My friends husband replied with probably the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time….”It sounds like you have Tourrette’s, but based on shouting out fruit rather than swear words”. 

Dinner was a bit hectic, and I ended up having my favorite cracker and some hummus.  Yes, one cracker.  They’re huge and a single one is very filling.  Later in the evening I had some edamame and then some freshly made kale chips (simple – just olive oil, minced garlic, and sea salt).  I was too hungry to take pictures!

marinating before baking…

FITNESS

I swear, I tried.  I really, really did.  Before I went to bed last night, I packed up a bag with everything I needed to bike and then run.  And then Mother Nature derailed my plans by doing this….

this was noon….

So I spent the entire day waiting for a break in the weather that would co-inside for when I wasn’t actually working so I could do my brick workout.  It didn’t happen.  Eventually – in the early evening – the sky cleared mostly, and I did go for a run.  I didn’t have time for a brick (I had a 715 appt at the gym).  So I ran, came home, started dinner for D and the kids, and then decided that I was going to bike to the gym.  It wasn’t a brick for sure, but it at least got a ride in.

I packed up a bag with gym shoes (since I was clipped in on the ride), money, ID, towel, lock – all the things I needed.  D put the lights on the bike (front and tail), I had my reflector belt L bought me a few years ago too.  Even had a grocery bag because I was planning on stopping on the way home to pick up some produce.

Yeah.  SUCH A BAD IDEA.  I could not find a “safe” route to the gym, and thought I was going to die riding down one particular uber-busy street (with no side walks or even a shoulder).  I ended up getting off the bike and walking a good 1/2 mile just to stay in peoples yards, but not in the ditch.  It sucked.  D had to come to the gym when I was done and bring me home.  But…I am bound and determined to find whatever side streets and neighborhoods I can ride through to get me there safely some day.  Today just wasn’t that day.

The strength training session was good.  The trainer was awesome, and we had some really good chats.  He set me up on the new ActiveTrax system, and now I’m good to go.

LIFE

Life was pretty status-quo today at work.  No major drama or fires to put out, so that was good.  I did have to go to multiple locations today, and that stinks.  With gas prices what they are, I may just have to start documenting and submitting my mileage for reimbursement!

On a different note – D’s test results from last week came back.  Good news is that the bone density and Prometheus tests came back well.  The bad news is that the small bowel series (where he had to drink the barium) did not.  It showed evidence of strong Crohn’s activity in his lower intestine, and a possible recommendation for a stronger medication (the strongest actually before they do surgery).  He’s back on a totally low residual diet (absolutely no fruits or veggies or fiber – and as always, no nuts or seeds or popcorn or corn).  He’s really bummed about it.  The good news is he’s not experiencing any pain or flare up issues, but he has to be really careful.  And I need to do some research on what can be done from a dietary perspective (he sucks at things like that – or taking the time to care or do much about it).

During lunch I stopped at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and picked D up a new day pack for his geocaching/hikes.  He loved it (yeah), and is looking forward to using it this weekend if it doesn’t storm.  I’m just glad he’s finding a physical activity that he enjoys and looks forward to and actually plans.  It’s nice 🙂

So today has certainly been a busy, busy day.  Tomorrow I have a few meetings, but if all goes well, I’ll do a brick tomorrow (I’m not scheduled to ride, but I’d like to), and then I have the boot camp class at 6pm!  It’s going to be hard…but I’m looking forward to it.  Sort of….