No Nut Touching

I apologize yet again for a long delay between blog posts.  My family and I had to travel for a funeral, and while I try to keep my posts mostly light hearted, I didn’t feel light of heart most of the time we were gone – and didn’t think a blog post would be fun to read or write.  Below are some highlights of the week.

FOOD

Eating on the road is tough.  The first day of the drive was fine; we had a cooler and bags of food packed for the five of us.  It was the REST of the trip that was pretty difficult.

We stopped at Timbucktoo in Fremont, IN on the way up.  It was a cute place, though a little interesting.  I had a small salad and a portabello mushroom sandwich.  We were all pretty exhausted by the time we reached this place, so ordering dinner was funny.  M noticed that on the menu was a dish or two that contained nuts, and pointed it out to D and I.  So when we were all ordering, D was trying to articulate that none of the food that came to our table could have nuts or be made near any nuts, since our youngest has such a severe allergy.  What came out of his mouth, however, was that there could be no nut touching.  I think the waitress turned red, and we all lost it in hysterical laughter.  He was finally able to explain that none of our food could have nuts touching it….but for the past week now, whenever one of us wants to laugh, we just just No Nut Touching and everyone giggles.

We spent the night in South Bend, IN, and since it was M’s bday the next morning (poor kid….having to travel on his bday), he picked breakfast.  We went to Perkin’s.

I did pack my Vitamix and chocolate Vega powder, so I knew at the very least, I could make smoothies – and I did!  That made me full enough where all I ordered at breakfast was a bowl of fruit, and I was fine.

Otherwise, most of my meals consisted of oatmeal, salads, or pasta.  A week of that gets to be not only very boring, but I also started feeling weighed down.  I knew by the last day or so we were gone, that I was going to have to do a cleanse of some sort when I got back home.  I can’t describe the leaden feeling my body has, and I just wanted to purge it all and do a “reset” back to my normal way of eating.  In that vein, I purchased this book for my Kindle and read it on the journey back home.  It’s a raw food detox book, and since I have been oh so slowly migrating towards more raw foods in my diet (or “higher raw”), I thought this would be a good road map for me as well.

I mostly enjoyed the book, and am always happy to learn more about nutrition and how different foods affects my body.  Most of it made a lot of sense, though some of it was a little too off the deep end, even for me.  I have decided to incorporate many of the suggestions, but not all of them (no colonic for me, please).

One of the things I liked about the book is that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.  Going to hard and fast (cold turkey) into a raw food lifestyle can be uncomfortable as your body detoxes too quickly.  She has a graduated approach, and what level you are is based on a quiz in the book to determine what your lifetime of eating habits have been.  I was surprised to find I’m only a Level 3 (I had though I’d be a 2 possibly), but am going to follow her advice for a while and see how it goes.

In a nut shell – fresh green juices for breakfast, and as much fruit as I want to eat until lunchtime.  Lunch will be a raw meal of my choosing (salads, wraps using raw breads/tortillas, spiralized veggies with a raw marinade, etc…), and a cooked meal for dinner.  She calls this “raw until dinner”, and I don’t think I’ll have any problems with doing that as long as I’m prepared.  I will update the blog on how I’m feeling (since today is really the first day).  Breakfast so far was 1/2 a cup of coffee (maybe I’ll get to NO coffee someday!) and a green juice (romaine lettuce, celery, lemon, apple, ginger).  I have some cut up melons, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries for when I get hungry until lunch.  I haven’t decided on what lunch will be yet though!

Last night, I soaked some flax and sunflower seeds, then this morning I ground those up with the veggie pulp from my juice and some spices to make a raw bread, which is going in the dehydrator now.  I also juiced a pound and a half of carrots (needed the pulp for other things), but of course can’t let that go to waste, so I added some celery, orange, and apple, and will have a lovely orange juice ready for me later.  I know I should drink the juice right after it’s made, but I’m full from the green juice, so I’m just going to have to wait.

FITNESS

There wasn’t much fitness this past week.  After the first day of driving, we arrived in IN at about 10pm.  I was antsy (you don’t exactly expend a ton of energy sitting in a mini van for 15 hrs), so I hopped on the treadmill at the hotel’s fitness center.  I really, really needed it, though it woke me up even more, so it was after midnight before I fell asleep.

I was shocked and upset to find out our hotel in WI did not have a fitness center.  It was surprising because they had an indoor pool.  And unfortunately, it was a bit out in the country, so the roads in the surrounding areas would not have been safe to run on….I’d have either gotten lost or ended up as road kill. 

There was also no way to workout in our room.  Although we had booked the 2 room suite, we barely fit.  They were the tiniest rooms I’d ever seen!  The kids were stacked on top of each other, and we had to crawl over their pull out bed and cot to get to the other room.  I’m sure this lack of workouts very much contributed to that leaden feeling I picked up while gone.

I’m looking forward to getting my workouts and training back on track!  I have a Tri in a month…and I need to get ready.

LIFE

Life this past week has been a mixture of things.  Sad at having to say goodbye to an important person in my family, happy at getting to see family we haven’t seen in years, busy because of the driving and organization needed, and grateful for having a great friend who took care of Sammie, Bumble, and Kiko while we were away.  I spent much of it feeling reflective, which can be hard also. 

The second day of the trip up to WI was my son’s 14th bday.  Of course it was a big bummer for him to not get to go to school and spend it with his friends.  Fortunately – my brother in law, Uncle M, picked out a great spot for his bday dinner/party.  We went to Dave & Busters to have dinner and let the kids play video games.  My sister’s family was there, as well as my parents, my Aunt, and my Grandma.  The kids had a blast, and M mentioned that he thought he had a great bday after all.  I’m so happy for my family being able to give him that under the circumstances of our trip.

We had dinner at my sister’s house, and also spent an afternoon where the kids and my parents came to our hotel to go swimming, and that was fun.  It was awesome to see all the cousins playing together and having such a great time.  I wish there was a way we could do that more often.

So here are some more pictures of the week…

So now life is about getting back on track, but not losing sight of all that went on this past week.  I have a great family that I need to do a better job at keeping in touch with (how much fun will it be to let the little cousins skype?!), and make a better effort to visit with (it’s been 3 1/2 years since my entire family went to visit).  It’s so easy to think that my individual life in VA is so busy and demanding, that I barely have time for anything else.  Out of sight, out of mind can be a dangerous thing.  I do not want another sad event to be what brings my family all back together.

Until then, it’s time to get my house and family back in order and on track, and then plan trips to see family, emails and letters with pictures, and making sure that the communications stay open and frequent.

The Sun Went Out (So We Bought a New One)

FOOD

I’ve had some good and not so stellar food moments in the past 4 days.  I am very glad I packed so much food to take down to NC with me, I really mostly ate that.

I had Panera’s one day for lunch, which was good, and otherwise lunches consisted of salads from the salad bar at the hospital.  I brought bananas with me in case I got hungry, but essentially, I felt pretty well prepared.

The last evening I was there we went out to dinner.  It was a cute place called Blue Moon Bistro, a trendy little tapas restaurant in Beaufort.  We figured it would be more likely to have food I can eat than most others (as you can imagine, the location is very heavy on the seafood – which is totally appropriate for that area – but really light on the vegetarian/vegan options).

I started with a salad that was really yummy.  It was mixed greens and quite a bit of fruit – which I forget I like in my salads and usually never remember to put in the ones I make.

For my other dish, I had asked the waitress what was vegan on the menu.  She indicated that she could talk to the chef, and he could make me a rice and veggies dish without the butter and cheese.  I thought that was great, and I was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, there was tons of ham in it, and I obviously wouldn’t eat it.  The waitress was really upset – and I told her not to be.  So they brought me a veggie side dish.  It was – essentially – canned corn with some snow peas, tomatoes, and crispy onions. 

not a vegan risotto….

tasted just like canned corn, so I didn’t eat much of it

Friday morning I had a few spelt cakes and a banana before I drove back to VA.  I didn’t stop anywhere on the way, but wasn’t too terribly hungry either.

Friday evening we went out to Cogan’s Pizza and it was awesome.  Aside from a nice Irish Pale Ale, I had one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever had.  They have vegan cheese, so I wasn’t relegated to my usual veggie pizza without cheese (which don’t get me wrong…I love).  So for the first time in a LONG time, I had a cheese and veggie pizza!  It was the vegan cheese, red onion, tomato, and artichoke hearts.  Absolutely delicious!

I also ate some for both breakfast and dinner on Saturday!  I think it’ll be breakfast today too….

For lunch Saturday, my girlfriends organized going out to one of my favorite Turkish restaurants, Pasha Mezze.  I had a couple glasses of wine (I was being chauffeured!), the maiden cake, and some red lentil soup.  We also had a hummus and olive appetizer.  Everyone loved their food, and it was a really nice couple of hours with friends before we leave for WI on Tuesday.

FITNESS

Working out at the hotel consisted mostly of using their treadmill and the 20 minute yoga podcasts on my iPod.  I did use my workout DVD one day though – but I forgot to bring my dumbbell’s.  The front desk looked at me funny when I asked if I could take the weights back to my room for an hour or so to workout, and then bring them back.  I said the alternative would be to bring my laptop and DVD down into the little workout room, and anyone else in there would have to watch and hear it.  They let me take them to my room!

Yesterday was swim and run.  R had her usual swim lesson at 9am, and I swam my laps while she did hers.  We were running a few minutes late, so my workout was down to 20 minutes.  She got into the pool on time, but then I had to go lock our stuff up in the locker room, so by the time I got into the pool, it was almost 910.  I decided to sprint as many laps as I could instead of the steady pace I usually have.  I ended up doing 650 yds at a faster pace. 

I normally take R to gymnastics too, but because of my girls luncheon, D was doing that.  R and I came home, D made a snack for her, and then I went to run.  My oldest A sort of came with me.  She is working on a photography project for school, and the theme is Becoming.  She decided I am the focal point, and it’s about my progression in becoming healthy.  So she hopped on her brother’s electric scooter, and arranged herself along the route (sometimes lying in people’s yards) to take shots of me along the way.  We’re also going to pick up a fast food meal for her to take pictures of, and then dinner tonight, which will be a healthy and typical meal of what I currently eat.

LIFE

This past week was mainly focused hard on work.  Aside from the work trip, most of my time when I wasn’t at the hospital, was spent in my room working on either the materials for them, or from my regular day to day job.  Since I’m going to be out of town, I want to be sure I’m caught up before I leave.

I did spend some time Wednesday evening wandering around by the water.  It was a beautiful evening for it.

view from my hotel

I couldn’t go into the water here…

so I went to the Atlantic Beaches area just down the road

fun little bird prints

lazy litterbugs ruining our beaches

I left in the later part of the morning on Friday, and was about 2 1/2 hrs down the road when I got a call from Travel Services at work.  They had been contacted by the hotel – I apparently left my laptop there.  Ugh.  I wasn’t about to turn around and drive to get it, just to drive another 4 hrs home.  I had to have the rental back by 5, so that wasn’t really an option.  D called, and they’re going to ship it to my friends house (the one who is puppy sitting for us while we’re away).

D had arranged haircuts for him and the kids for Friday evening at 6.  The salon we like has a men’s salad (Jake’s place), a regular salon (Changes hairstyling), and a day spa (Changes City Spa) in 3 different buildings.  D and M went to Jake’s, and A and R went to Changes.  I didn’t get my hair done.  They all enjoyed their experience and have great cuts too!

before…

…after

Afterwards, we went to eat.  While we were waiting, we perused a comic book shop that was next store, and R got 3 comic books she couldn’t stop reading during dinner.  It was cute. 

In the same little block, there is a small fitness center that had a really funny sign….

Saturday morning I was the first up, as usual.  I fed Sammie, and went to turn Kiko’s lamp on and feed him.  His sun was out, which made me feel terrible.  He’s a turtle, and he needs his sunlight!  So….he had to pretend he lived in Alaska while D went to the pet store and pick up a new bulb.

And now with that last picture….I’m off to hit the gym to work off the pizza I just ate for breakfast!