Hey Honey, Squish My Back


I’ve had more fun with my dehydrator this week!  I was worrying about the bounty that AT gave me going to waste, so I dried a big batch of zucchini for use in future stews, soups, and breads.  It looked so cool…

I also made a yummy sweet and sour lentil dish that went over very well with the family.  It was really simple, and for once, all the leftovers were eaten (and not just by me!). 

Sweet and Sour Lentils (very inspired by and only slightly modified from ( VegWeb)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used have veggie base and half chili base)

1 cup lentils

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp basil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

*Add rinsed lentils to the broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to another boil, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Be sure the potato stays covered in broth, and add additional if needed.

Serve over rice or grain of choice (we used basmati)

I liked this recipe because it lends itself to many possibilities.  The addition of bell pepper chunks or pineapple would be really tasty, and I would have if I had any on hand.  Even some pan fried tofu would be tasty.  Next time I think I’ll double the amount of fluid used, then add some cornstarch at the end to make it saucier

I packed it up, and took it to work with some leftover pesto ratatouille on the side!

It’s amazing how easy it is to take some foods for granted.  I am fortunate that my dietary “restriction” are of my own making.  I choose what I will and won’t eat, and the only thing driving that is me and my beliefs about food and veganism.  My youngest daughter has severe nut allergies, so her restrictions are based on what is safe for her.  I know I’ve talked about it multiple times before, but my husband has Crohn’s disease.  There are several foods on the banned list, including seeds, nuts, popcorn, and corn, and then foods on the rare list (and never duing a flare up), which is anything with high fiber, salads, broccoli, etc.

Over the past 4 years, popcorn and corn have been the most challenging for D.  He’s behaved and not had any, but misses it terribly.  He had a dr’s appt last week where they talked about this, and his GI specialist cleared him to have cooked corn on occassion.  So for dinner last night, I made him corn!  I went to the farmer’s market and bought 6 ears of fresh picked white sweet corn.

It was such a monumental occasion, that I had to take pictures of course!  He was so cute as he ate it, and as he mentioned repeatedly after that it was the best thing he’d ever eaten. 

I made a batch of one of my favorite summer meals this afternoon.  Simple Italian Tomatoes and Onion.  I served it over a Greek-style rice, and had an awesome lunch.

Italian Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

4 tomatoes, halved and seeded

4 onions, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

5-6 cloves of garlic peeled and cut in quarters

About 2 tablespoons any blend of Italian spices you want!  I used  a blend of oregano, basil, and rosemary this time.

Sea salt to taste

*This dish is super simple.  Place the onions and tomatoes in a dish and coat well with the olive oil.  Sprinkle everything else on top.  Roast in a 450 oven (I used my toaster oven) for an hour and 15 minutes. 

Basmati rice is the favored rice in our house.  It’s tasty, and has little to no fiber, which is important for D.  Even the brown basmati rice is easier for him to digest.  After making rice with the lentils earlier in the week, I ran out.  Rather than going to the grocery and buying yet another tiny bag, I decided to order some from Amazon.com.  I have to say, I’m finding that some groceries are MUCH cheaper there than at the store (like Agave necter, coconut oil, rice…).  Anyway, I ended up with two huge bags of himalayan basmati rice delivered to my home the next day.

This morning, I wanted to have some rice with my tomatoes and onions, so I opened up one of these burlap bags.  I can tell you with absolutely sincerety – this rice is like no basmati I’ve ever made before.  The aroma while it was cooking was amazing, and the flavor even better.  I suppose that’s the difference between the small plastic tubs in the grocery store vs buying the authentic product.  And it was cheaper!  Woo hoo!

Since I was on a Meditteranean kick, I went with Greek flavors.  Here’s what I did:

Crissie’s Greek Style Rice

1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 chopped red onion

1/2 tsp dried mint

1 tsp dried dill

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

*I put the rice and the broth in the rice cooker, and turned it on regular/white cycle.

Meanwhile, sautee the onion in the olive oil until starting to brown.

When the rice cycle is completed, add the onion, mint, dill, and lemon juice.  Stir to fluff it.  Wait 10 minutes and serve!

So this has been my week of food.  A few fun dishes, a lot of leftovers, and my typical juices, smoothies, and fresh fruit.


Alas, I have nothing to report.  I woke up Sunday morning barely able to move.  I don’t know why, and I have no memory of doing anything to hurt myself.  I didn’t hurt myself working out in the days preceeding Sunday, I don’t recall lifting anything and wrenching my back, nothing.  I literally woke up and hurt like crazy.

I’ve spent the week moving as little as possible, and it’s absolutely killing me.  I want to run, and swim, and zumba, and bike, and go to a yoga class with more passion than ever; probably because I can’t. 

I’m miserable being a couch potato.  I spent YEARS of my life being inactive.  Now that I am an active person, being forced to the sidelines isn’t something I’m dealing well with.

I think part of the hardest thing is that I have never had anything wrong with me.  I was lazy because I was lazy – not because I have back, knee, shoulder, or ankle problems.  Nothing.  I’m a perfectly healthy person who’s natural instinct is to sit on the couch and eat onion rings.  So having a mysterious injury for no reason when I’m typically healthy as a horse really just angers me.

So after 6 days of it not getting any better, I finally went to the doctor.  He presribed a bunch of things and told me that 1 – if I’m not better in a week, I’ll need physical therapy, and 2 – no way in hell can I do my Triathlon next weekend.

I wanted to cry.  I sort of did and he looked at me funny.  

I know that in the scheme of things, it’s just one race.  I know that I’m going to eventually get better, and be able to start training again.  I’m still sort of feeling sorry for myself.  Hopefully this will all go away soon, and I can lace up and hit the road again in a couple of days.


A few weeks ago, D was massaging R’s foot.  When he stopped, she looked at him and said “please Daddy, squish my other foot too”.  So for the past few weeks whenever I want a shoulder rub (which D does for me often), I ask him to please squish my shoulders.  This past week??  It’s been a lot of “Honey, please squish my back”.

This has been a pretty normal week I suppose.  Monday was a holiday, so that was good.  I spent most of it lying down and watching movies with D.  Tuesday and Wednesday – while NOT holidays – were me working from home so I could continue to lie down (sitting hurts the most, followed by standing, and then lying down).  I was able to get quite a lot done, but it was frustrating anyway.

Thursday and Friday I went back to the office.  I couldn’t take it anymore, and I had too much to do.  By Friday, however, I could no longer sit.  I spent most of the day conducting a long team meeting in my office – with me lying on the floor and my feet on my chair.  I felt silly at first, but it was better than sitting at my desk and wanting to cry.

R’s gymnastics studio is closed this week for holiday vacations, so there was really no running around needed.  D took the kids’ out to dinner on Thursday, which was really sweet.  He even brought me back some vegan strawberries and cream soycream. 

Yesterday evening we had plans for a guided night time family hike at First Landing State Park.  I couldn’t go because of my back, but D took the kids, which was awesome.  They had a great time being guided for 2 hrs learning all about the nocturnal animals and sounds.  Apparently R chatted up the tour guide the entire time asking questions about the frogs, etc.  They all want to do more things like this, and I think it’s awesome that we’re finally starting to take advantage of living is such an amazing state with tons to offer.

D is currently out geocaching and hiking at the Newport News city park.  It’s amazing to me how much he’s getting into this.  He wants to start doing overnight hikes, with his one man tent and GPS unit.  We’ve started looking into that this past week.  We’re even talking about finally doing some family camping – though we’re doing to start small.  My birthday weekend (which is in October), we’re going to rent one of the rustic cabins at a local state park.  They have a Halloween festival that weekend with hay rides and pumpkin carving, and I think the kids will have fun.  I don’t want to camp for the first time in the VA heat nor in a tent.  I may get there eventually, but certainly not yet! 

I’ve picked up a few new books on how to use my dehydrator to make gourmet camping meals!  I’m pretty excited about that too.

So…as soon as my back gets better, D wants me to start going on hikes with him, and then eventually do big hiking/camping trips with the kids.  I think that has the potential to be quite fun, and I’m looking forward to it.  For now, I’m just happy that D has found an activity (other than the Xbox) that he’s becoming very passionate about.

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

4 thoughts on “Hey Honey, Squish My Back

  1. Hi Crissie! Where on Amazon did you order your rice. I’ve been looking for bags of brown jasmine, but I’ve only been able to find it in one store in a really small bag.

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