I Got to Be a Pigeon Today!


I was up earlier than everyone else (as usual), so I had a couple of cups of coffee while first reading some more blog posts, and then while watching the last recorded episode of Hell’s Kitchen.  It was perfect timing when R came downstairs as the show ended, she could watch cartoons, and I could start making breakfast.

First up today was a smoothie.  My latest favorite of watermelon, banana, and frozen strawberries.  My bananas are turning fast, and so right now they’re only good for smoothies or baking – and barely for smoothies.


A half hour later, I had a mini bagel with tofutti cream cheese.  I wanted something a little more substantial than just the smoothie, since I was going to be gone for a few hours.

For lunch I made a creamy butternut squash soup.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do, only knowing that I had some cubed up butternut squash I picked up on sale at the grocery yesterday, and wanted to do something with that.  I’ve made a few apple and butternut squash soups in the past, but I really wanted to go for something creamier.  I decided on a butternut squash/coconut milk concoction.  It came out very tasty and I was pleased with it.  I made up a batch of savory quinoa (using vegetable broth instead of water), and put about 1/3 cup in the bottom of my bowl to make the soup a hearty meal.

squash in my micro steamer heading for the microwave
onion, garlic, and the quinoa before I rinsed it
I rarely have straight broth on hand, so I use some Penzy's vegetable base mixed with water.
my whole wheat flour

my lunch, with a little extra cinnamon on top

I’ve started using Living Cookbook 2011 to build my personal recipes (and capture the ones I read online that I love!), so now I can include nutritional calculations too!

Crissie’s Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Eat plain, or serve over quinoa or rice for a heartier dish.  I like to use the So Delicious Vanilla flavored coconut milk if I have it on hand.  Regular coconut milk would work great too.

3 cups butternut squash chunks
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 small onion — chopped
3 cloves garlic — finely chopped
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Steam butternut squash in the microwave for 7 minutes to soften.  Could also be roasted at 450 for 20 minutes if coated lightly in olive oil first.

2. Sauté onion and garlic on medium heat in a non-stick pan or one slightly sprayed with oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.


1. Place broth and flour in vitamix and blend, starting on low, and then on high for about 4 minutes.  This will heat up the broth.

2. Add onion mixture and squash.  Blend until smooth, about 15-30 seconds.

3. Add spices and coconut milk, blend for another 15 seconds.


1. After the onion mixture is completed, add the flour to the pan and stir to combine.

2. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.

3. Add the coconut milk, and stir until thick, about one minute.  Turn the heat up if you need to.  My gas stove gets touchy, and I often have to put it to high when making a white gravy – which this essentially is.

4. Add butternut squash and either blend with a hand blender, or put in batches (carefully, as it will be very hot) into a normal blender.

5. Add spices, and stir.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 152.05
Total Fat 4.53g
Total Carbohydrates 26.44g
Fiber 3.72g
Sugar 3.08g
Protein 3.7g

I wasn’t very hungry for a while, and snaked on some pita chips with avocado hummus around 630pm.  I suppose that ended up being my dinner!


I went to the best yoga class today!  I wanted to go to a hot or warm class, as it tends to be more challenging, and I felt the heat would be great for my muscles and especially penetrate my back.

So I went to a 315pm class at my local hot yoga studio, Chesapeake Hot Yoga.  I went to their Light & Warm class – I didn’t want to push it TOO hard after all!

I spoke to the instructor just before hand and let her know about my back injury.  She asked several questions about where the pain is, what caused it, what treatments have I had, and wanted to be sure I saw a doctor.  The owner was there along with another instructor.  She gave me some tips before class started, mostly about listening to my body, not going into camel pose or anything with a deep back bend, going to child’s pose whenever I felt my back was being taxed too much, etc.  Common sense things.

Anyway, I went into the room at about 310.  I usually like to be 10-15 minutes early for a hot or warm class so I can lie down and get accustomed to the heat.

There was only one other girl in the class (hot yoga decreases in popularity around here when the temps get hot – I asked!), and she told us this was her first ever yoga class!  How cool.

Anyway, the instructor came in about 5 minutes late, but had a piece of paper with her.  As soon as class started, I knew that she had conferred with the owner and the other instructor about poses that would be good specifically for me.  The entire class was perfect.  The poses she had us doing were challenging, but none were stressful on my back.  They were mostly hip opening poses and back stretching.  Not once during that hour of class did I feel any pain whatsoever – at least not from my back.  I struggled though the balance poses – especially Warrior 3 – but I ALWAYS struggle with those!  I’ve always hated Warrior 3….

We did do my favorite ever pose though – pigeon.  It was towards the end of class when I was very warmed up and feeling limber, and I was able to get deep into it, so it felt great.

After class was over, Melanie (the instructor) went through a few poses she thought would be good for me to do at home once or twice a day.  Namely, Rabbit pose, which I’d never done before.  We also talked about injuries in general and her past history with them.  She also had injuries and found she couldn’t go back to running, though she’s currently in the best shape of her life.  She could see that I’m struggling with not running, and could relate, though I refuse to think my running days are over.  I can admit they are “suspended”, but I can’t imagine giving it up permanently.  I’m sort of in running Lent right now.  I’m giving it up for awhile in order to heal.  And to deepen my intense appreciation of having a body that CAN be physical.  It’s just acting cranky and self-absorbed right now.


I had a mixed bag with sleep again last night.  D wasn’t feeling so well (not Crohn’s pains…just regular malaise feelings), so he went to bed around 9.  I was in the middle of a blog post (which takes me nearly an hour!) plus reading all my new ones, so I wasn’t ready quite yet.

I went to bed around 1030 and read my latest book for a bit.  I was asleep by 11.  I was smart enough to put ear plugs in as soon as I started reading so at least snoring wouldn’t wake me.  Alas…I was up by 130 anyway and tossed and turned most of the rest of the night.  I didn’t lie awake for a long time like I did the other night.  Last night I would fall right back to sleep, but I woke every 20-30 minutes, even if only for a minute.  I’ve felt okay today though, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Not sleeping well seems much more catastrophic at the time!

D was clearly not feeling well today.  He’s been running a low-grade fever and feeling horrible.  Again – not Crohn’s related – but if he isn’t careful about eating and taking his meds, being sick can bring on a flare up.  Thank goodness he has me to nag the crap out of him to remind him to take his meds.

D and Bumble spent most of the day on the couch (though Bumble doesn't look like she could possibly be comfortable)
speaking of Bumble...she puts her toys in her food dish. And then roots around them to get to her food. Silly kitty. And pay no heed to the bad banana - its destined for some bread tomorrow.

After breakfast, I took R to gymnastics, and then we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond in search of a doughnut pan.  I didn’t find them.  My original intent was to make an upside down dinner tonight (when we have breakfast for dinner) replete with vegan doughnuts (Oh She Glows kept writing about them, and now I need some).  The biggest reason I didn’t is because D loves those big breakfast meals so much – and he’s too sick to enjoy them.  So it’s going to wait until tomorrow.

she's the one crouched down just getting on the beam. They practiced walking backwards and sideways and my normally silly girl was oh so serious

I brought my laptop to gymnastics so I could finally catch up on the blog reading.  It was D’s idea and absolutely brilliant.

The afternoon was spent making soup, and then getting some work done.  Then it was off to yoga and then to the Apple store!  I am now the proud owner of an iPad 2!!!  D and I were talking today about what a pain in the butt it would be to drag my laptop to the vegan bloggers conference next week, and discussed what a brilliant idea an iPad would be.  So…I got my birthday gift 2 months early.  And it’s cool.  I’m still playing with it, but it seems (as by evidenced by my last mini-post), that I can use it for all my blogging adventures while away next week.  It’s also fully integrated at work, so that’s a huge bonus for me.

After I got home it was really all about playing with the new toy…which is probably why I didn’t actually make myself any dinner 🙂

And now…I’m going to go play some more!

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

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