Monthly Archives: February 2012

1 Out of 3???

FOOD

So I’d like to say I’ve remained strong in my Lenten resolve.  But I’d be lying.  I had a glass of wine last night.  And coffee this morning.  The good news is I’m totally groovy (so far) on the junky/processed foods part.  So…hopefully I’m still okay with 1 out of 3.  Though I do feel pretty guilty….I’m assuming that’s the Catholic in me.

For breakfast today I had some coffee, and then some of the Red Thai Curry rice I made on Monday.  Lunch was some whole grain pasta and mixed veggies, tossed with some flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Yum.

Pre run snack was Ezekiel toast with sunflower butter.  I miss that.  I haven’t had dinner yet, but I have some tofu pressed, and may do a quick stir fry.  Haven’t decided yet.

FITNESS

I give up.  5am is inhuman, and I can’t be at the gym that early.  I tried – I even made it the majority of 7 weeks.  But ugh.  It never got easier.  Mornings are hectic enough!  So…it’s back to making plans to hit the gym in the evenings for weight training.  In an effort to assist, D is taking over dinner responsibilities a few days a week to make life easier for me.

I love how my new Nike+ GPS Sportwatch flashes little hints at me on the face of the watch like “Hey you, we running today or what?”.  I decided to respond with a Hell Yes, and took off around 645pm.

I was worried about the weather all day.  I had a bug in me to run, but it had stormed pretty badly.  By 3, it was just a barely there drizzle, so I thought I’d be able to run in that no problem.  Happily, at about 630, it was muggy, but not raining, and still had some light, which is one of my favorite parts of exiting winter months…the longer daylight hours!

The wait was worth it.  After a few downer runs the last two, it was nice to have one where I felt strong.  I did a 3 minute warm up, and then just ran for about 25 minutes out, then turned around and head home.  I was a bit faster on the way home

LIFE

I’m feeling decidedly feisty today.  I got a really good nights sleep last night (once I fell asleep anyway…which took 3 hrs…good thing I tried to go to bed really early), which was awesome, and it turned me into a highly productive machine today.  I bet coffee helped.  I also got some pretty hard and aggressive deadlines handed down to me from on-high on Monday and Tuesday, so it’s time to cut through the red tape and get things done.  I love that.  Cut the BS, make some hard decisions, and let the fun begin.

Yesterday, something pretty cool happened for my husband.  After waiting 21 years, he finally received the ashes and personal effects of his father.  It was a pretty emotional (but happy) evening for D as he went through the few things he received.

In honor of my slip back into wine drinking, my friend S sent me this song.  While I do not like country music AT ALL, the lyrics are totally hilarious (and nicely printed on the screen).  Have a listen and a giggle…

Benefits of Crappy Coffee

FOOD

I’ve been home for 3 days now, and all I can say is I’m totally happy to be able to eat like me again!  All weekend was raw, and I immediately felt better.  Lots of smoothies, juices, salads, and snacking on tomatoes and celery.

My hotel in Vegas had really crappy in-room coffee.  I think they do that so you’d order the $8 pot of coffee from room service.  They tout that their coffee (room service coffee) is Starbucks – of which I’m not a fan (too bitter).  So, it happens that I was slowly weaning myself off caffeine last week, so this week has been a breeze.    I haven’t had any coffee (or caffeine) since Friday morning, and haven’t had any of those annoying side effects.

The no caffeine/no alcohol/no processed foods/mostly raw has been incredibly easy this past few days.  I know I was craving it, but it’s just felt so good too.

Monday was a very hectic day, and found all I had time for was a cup of herbal tea and munching on dried fruit I had in my desk drawer at work (yes…the fruit was dried when I put it in there).  As a result, I was quite hungry when I got home.  On his way home, D stopped and got me some veggie sushi, which was sweet.  I ate half of it – the other half I didn’t like (sorry honey), but that’s okay.

I also made my rice cooker favorite of brown rice, coconut milk, mixed veggies, and Red Thai Curry, just in case I ended up getting hungry again, and to have as leftovers this week.

Chocolate/Banana/Strawberry smoothie using my vega powder.

green juice

Pineapple/Blueberry/Strawberry/Spinach/Banana/Vanilla/Pumpkin Pie Spice Smoothie

a very BAS

cookies for the rest of the family (not me)

homemade vegan ranch-ish dip to eat with celery sticks

sushi! Sweet potato sushi = yummy. Seaweed sushi = icky.

FITNESS

Oh the joy of running outside!  I should have biked or swam this weekend, but it was sunny and pretty out, and I had to take advantage of that.

This week the lifting gets back on course, so that should be fun (insert sarcasm here).

This weekend is a Treasure Hunt run at the state park, and I’m looking forward to that.  Followed by a Tri club clinic to kick off the spring training season.

LIFE

Just trying to get back into the groove of things has been a lot of work!  I ended up missing the girls weekend in the Outer Banks for S’s bday celebration.  I just couldn’t leave after seeing the kids, and thankfully, S was more than understanding.  I’ll be making it up to her on Saturday with some Tacos!

I spent Saturday doing laundry (9 loads), cleaning the house, and grocery shopping.  Sunday was much of the same – finishing up the wash, more cleaning and organizing, and trying to get my body back on East Coast time (funny how I want to stay up until 2 am and sleep until noon!).

Monday was back to work, and it was a busy day.  Not a bad one, just busy, and the rest of the week looks to be much of the same.

And on that note….it’s time for me to head to the office.  Have a great day!

Bumble curled up on my sweatshirt Sunday. Awww...she missed me!

A Belated Lent Post

FOOD

Vegan food does not necessarily equate to healthy food. Processed foods, most alcohols, are Vegan. And while I ate some yummy food this week, I also ate heavy food.

After my dinner last night (a vegan risotto and wild mushroom cake and a salad), I got back to my room feeling heavy and weighed down. With the exception of my morning juices, it seems that most of my meals were fairly heavy feeling.

As a result…I sort of feel like hell. Don’t get me wrong, my clothes fit and everything, but I have this feeling that my insides aren’t happy and optimal. So when I got back to my room last night, I was doing some reading and have made a decision. It’s cleanse time.

What better time to cleanse my body than during Lent? And while I know that Lent started two days ago, I think I’m still ok to start a few days late. I don’t think God will mind 🙂

I re watched part of the juicing movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (really…if you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s free on Netflix for crying out loud!). It dawned on me that this is what I need. I’m not saying I’m going to do 40 days of juice, but what I am going to do is all juice and fresh foods. That could mean smoothies, salads, seeds, etc. It will also mean no processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and junk. I’m sure it won’t be easy – especially at first. But nothing worth fighting for ever is, and feeling well and healthy is definitely worth fighting for.

FITNESS

Almost embarrassed to leave this section blank. But other than walking up and down the Vegas strip a million times, I’ve got nothin.

LIFE

Everyone who reads this knows I’ve been in Vegas since last Saturday. I’m on my way home now (woo hoo inflight Internet), and am very happy. It’ll be a short lived stay at home, as I’m missing the annual girls weekend in North Carolina (long story…was supposed to be next weekend), so I’ll land around midnight, go home, sleep for a few hours, then drive down to Nags Head to join the girls for the final night. It’s S’s bday celebration, and I can’t very well miss it.

Of the 6 nights in Vegas, I went out for 3. Saturday and Sunday and Wednesday (Wednesday was quite the doozy tho). Otherwise it was work, a lot of window shopping, very little gambling, and lots of walking around and checking stuff out.

I intended to hit up Fremont street and ‘old Vegas’ but never got around to it. Oh well, maybe next time!

For now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my trip home.

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Still So Much Vegas to See!!

FOOD

Vegas is a pretty cool place if you like to eat. And I love to eat! Fortunately, most of my experiences have been good. Here’s a rundown….

Mornings start with coffee and grass. I’m so glad I brought the Amazing Grass along. It certainly helps! I order either OJ or cranberry juice and mix them up.

I had a Szechuan tofu and spring rolls from the Monte Carlo one day. An incredible vegan ‘crab cake’ dish from Wynn (note….since he’s a vegan, all his restaurants have vegan menus….that rock), and a vegan breakfast of buckwheat pancakes and tofu scramble, also from Wynn.

Then there’s a local place called Red Velvet where I have had (twice) a vegan Chick’n and veggie dish.

The most disappointing was a meal at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Palazzo called Cut. It was a vendor sponsored dinner, so the vendor picked the place (I certainly wouldn’t have opted for a steakhouse), but as my friend S pointed out, Puck is a big advocate of catering to the dietary needs and preferences of his customers. Clearly, someone at Cut forgot that.

Monday evening, my husband called Cut for me while I was at my conference and asked them if they could accommodate my veganism. He was assured that it wouldn’t be a problem, and that the chef would come out to talk to me about what a like. The person on the phone even suggested I ask for them to do a wine pairing. When I got there, I asked the hostess who also said it wouldn’t be a problem. As it happens, the vendor even left a note for the staff about me when he was there the night before. So what happened? I was told I could pick from the side dishes (but not all), and they’d give me 4 of them as a meal. I started with a beet and orange salad (which was good), and my meal consisted of some brussel sprouts, roasted cauliflower, creamed spinach, and snow peas. While all were tasty enough, it didn’t feel like a meal. No grains, no beans, etc. I had a few bites of some veggies and that was it. So when a different vendor was springing for dinner there the next day, I declined.

FITNESS

I wish I had more to report than a couple treadmill runs, yoga, and some basic calisthenics. But I don’t.

LIFE

My spa experience after I landed and checked into my hotel was amazing. The most fantastic I’ve ever had, actually. It was decadent and relaxing and energizing all in one.

I anticipated a quick walk through parts of the strip and then an early night. Until….my boss texted me that she was in town. It’s amazing how long I can stay awake when having a good time…and we had a good time.

On Sunday I walked around, shopped, and then went to a show! I saw La Reve at the Wynn. While I did enjoy it, I didn’t like it as much as the Cirque du Soleil shows I’ve seen. The athleticism was amazing, but the production wasn’t quite as good. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it – I did. But O is better.

After my show, I met up with several of my collegues and we went out. Out late, playing blackjack, drinking too much, and basically having a lot of fun!

I took it pretty easy the last two nights (especially since I’ve been at the conference all day…which has been great) but I’m ready for some more fun tonight! I have my eye on a $1000 pair of shoes, and if I can’t win the money, I go home without!

And since I’m using my iPad, all my pics are below:

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Is It OK (Morally) for an Art Thief to be a Godmother?

FOOD

Yesterday, I had already packed my blender ball shaker and grass, so I actually had a normal breakfast. Fresh green juice, and then about an hour later, the leftover couscous with peas, mint, and lettuce I made earlier in the week.

I had a great lunch with AC and the baby at Kincaid’s. I had a large maple salad and a side of roasted cauliflower. Both very good. And some Malbec!

For dinner, we went out to Costa Azul for a quick Mexican meal. It was insanely crowded, but not bad. Not the best Mexican place in the area, but it’s very close, and that was the goal.

FITNESS

I went for a run around 9am. I knew I had to go…that it would be my last opportunity until Sunday…but I really didn’t want to.

I convinced myself that if I just headed out, I’d be fine. I’d find my mojo and enjoy it. Besides, I didn’t have to do the full 5 mi. I could do half, or go for time instead. Anything just to get out the door.

I wish I could say I enjoyed it, or that I found my groove. I didn’t. I had zero energy, and it pretty much sucked. I squeezed out a 40 minute jog (can’t even call it a run), and will honestly say that I was highly disappointed. With being in Vegas all week and being relegated to the treadmill, I really wanted an amazing outdoor adventure, ugh.

LIFE

As stressed out and negative as Thursday was, Friday was the opposite.

I picked up a couple new tops at the mall that I needed (okay….wanted).

During lunch with AC, she asked me to be baby E’s Godmother. I’m pretty sure I squealed and got teary. Of course I said yes! He’s going to be such a spoiled little boy! I’m pretty sure I get to steal him and his older brother and sister for Memorial Day weekend when AC and her hubby go to a wedding out of state.

I also became an art thief (which my husband thinks is pretty hot). My daughter’s big art show ended today, and all the students had to have their pieces out of the gallery this morning. In order to have her’s and her friend’s pieces up the entire time, I agreed to pick them up Friday in the late afternoon. Problem is, A forgot to give me their claim tickets, proving the work was theirs. I ended up going into the gallery, taking the two pieces off the wall, and then pretty much sprinting out the door before anyone can stop me. So if you see me on America’s Most Wanted, now you’ll know why.

My husband has surprised me by scheduling some spa time at my resort this afternoon. I’ll be getting an hour long massage at 2 in Vegas, just a few hours after I land. He actually asked the spa staff if the hottest guy there could do it! Silly man…he’d have to fly out with me to do it himself if he wanted that! He’s so absolutely amazing.

Well, there are 3 1/2 hrs left of this flight. I’m going to FaceTime with my family, watch a movie, and try to enjoy it as much as possible. My next post will be from Vegas baby!

I Finally Have a Circle On My Calendar!

FOOD

I wish I could say I made a ton of exciting dishes this week.  I’ve made a few (spontaneous BBQ Tofu was fun), but frankly….I’m trying to make my family eat the leftovers piling up.  I leave Saturday morning (at the obscene hour of 5am), and if the leftovers aren’t eaten or pitched…they’ll still be there when I get home a week later.  Eww.  So, I’ve been mostly making everyone eat what we already have.

I’ve been having my grass all week, mixed with fresh green juices.  Even though my plan was to only use the grass in Vegas, I’m pretty excited about it.  I definitely see this as a regular addition to my diet.

FITNESS

Everyone knows that Valentine’s day was Tuesday.  D and I usually get each other something simple, but no big deal.  In our world, pretty much every day is Valentine’s day anyway.

This year though, I think it’s funny that we got each other gifts that are designed to make sure we’re both around for a long time.  He bought me the Nike+ Sportwatch with GPS.  I’ve killed two Garmin’s over the past 6ish years, and I’ve been missing the intense data they provide (pace, distance, elevation, HR, etc).  So this was the perfect gift for me, and after playing with it all Tuesday night, I took it out for my Wednesday run.  Which was fantastic.  I did about 5 miles and when I uploaded the data, I just sat and smiled. It doesn’t just track my runs (indoors on a dreadmill if I need it too!), but it fuels a goofy game as well, where I earn medals and can run in famous cities, etc.  I still have to learn my way around all the fun stuff it can do, like update Facebook and Twitter, and things like that.

my new sport watch. It fits my tiny wrists very nicely, is easy to read, and easy to use.

For D, I got him his own groovy (and extra long) yoga mat and a gift certificate for 10 classes at the studio we went to last week.  So we got each other fun healthy things designed to make sure we’re both around for each other as long as possible.  Perfect Valentine’s day.

got D the orange one, his favorite color. And extra long - he can lay out flat on it and it fits! (he's tall)

As soon as D spread out his new yoga mat, R went and grabbed hers too.  She did some poses, and then grabbed a Yoga Jr video off the shelf, took her mat, and went up to her room for some private Zen time.  That’s my girl!

This morning I did a 45 minute biking session on my trainer while watching another episode of Bones.  I’m now about 3 shows into season 2 (skipped season 1 accidentally).  Yay for Netflix!

Oh, and I finally signed up for a Tri!  I was reluctant because the couple I really want to do are open water swims…and I’m NOT signing up for an open water swim until I’ve actually trained IN open water.  My Tri club doesn’t start our bay swims until May, so I won’t know until then if I can handle it.

That said…I hate not having an event to train for.  Training for the sake of training only gets me so far.  I need a goal.  A circle on my calendar with a countdown to readiness.  So I bit the bullet and signed up for a Tri in Richmond on May 20th.  A few hours after I signed up for it, I realized that it’s the weekend of our big local festival that my kids spend all their time at.  So instead of dragging my family to Richmond for a couple of days, it’s going to be a girls weekend.  Woo hoo!  I figure D and the kids will have ample opportunity to see me race this summer.

LIFE

This has been a very hectic and at moments tense and stressful week.  Our psychotic weather has been wreaking havoc on my sinuses, and I’ve spent most of the week not breathing all that well.  Which sucks, because breathing is one of those things I’m usually pretty good at.

I’ve been pushing a lot at work since I’ll be out next week, plus major housework and mid-week laundry so I can have everything I need to pack.

Speaking of packing….my luggage set is fairly beat up.  We bought one of the discount sets on Overstock.com about 8 yrs ago, and while the smaller two still work OK, the big one’s wheels don’t work anymore.  When I was in Seattle, I had to buy a second suitcase, so I have one nice one, but it’s fairly small…certainly not big enough for a week’s worth of clothes.  So I bought a new suitcase.  I did some research, ordered one, and it arrived today.  It’s crazy to be totally into a piece of luggage, but this is just too cool.  And my cat digs it too.  She has a strange obsession with luggage, and as soon as I opened it, she jumped in it, and then rubbed herself all over it.  And then slept on the top.  Strange kitty.  We’re going to start our own support group “Luggage Lovers Anonymous”.

I realize you probably don't want to see a picture of my new luggage bag...but it's really THAT cool

I’m mostly packed now, and will be by tomorrow when the rest of my air-dry clothes are dried.  I took the day off to be sure everything that needed doing was done, and am excited to see my friend AC and the new baby E for lunch.

The rest of the evening will be relaxing with my family, and not thinking too hard about how much I’m going to miss them for a week.

A Birthday Celebration Day

FOOD

I think Sunday’s are starting to become Indian food days.  I think it’s because it can take a while to make, and I have more time on Sunday’s than normal days.  Anyway, A’s boyfriend came over for dinner last night, so I went all out with the Indian food.  Everything was a hit, so yay!  Red lentil dahl, basmati rice with cardamom and cinnamon, a yogurt dish, and garlic naan.  Nothing says impressing the daughter’s boyfriend like stellar cooking (and that was sarcasm, by the way).

This morning was my new staple.  Grass + green juice.  It’s a good thing it’s not the 60’s or people would mis-interpret my “grass”.  Not that kind!  Just the amazing energy-inducing nutrient powerhouse.  Mixed with a fresh nutrient dense, energy-inducing powerhouse!  Superhero stuff, totally.

Lunch was a veggie burger with D.  Lunch was his choice because it IS his birthday!  My veggie burger was topped with pineapple, which was fun, so I’m certainly not complaining.

Dinner was an Italian festival of food.  My personal favorite was a light (Tuscan…) couscous with lemon, mint, and peas.  My husband is southern Italian though, so the yumminess was mainly lost on everyone except A and myself.  That’s okay.  More for us then!

And no birthday is complete without cake!  We always do homemade (because of R’s nut allergies, no bakery cakes are safe), and today’s was a specially requested Strawberry Cake.  Yum!

strawberry cake with vanilla frosting!

 

D giving A a kiss before cake

FITNESS

Today’s was another 5am weight session.  Alarm went off at 420 am (truth be told, I was awake anyway), and after a cup of java and catching up on Grammy news (hello…I was asleep at 9), I was off to the gym.

Today was the first day of the “new” 6 week session.  There were 2 of us from the last class, and 3 new people.  It was fun being the “seasoned” person.  It was also funny because she (my trainer Y) mostly took it easy on us.  Mostly.  L and I ended up with either heavier weights or more reps, but it was still a shock when one of the new girls would ask me to show her how to do a particular exercise.  This was all new to me 6 weeks ago…

But…I will say that I feel much stronger than I did just a few weeks ago.  I can do some serious (not wimpy) push-ups now, and while I still hate doing a strength training workout on my own, I don’t mind doing it in a small group like this.

Here was today’s session:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Abdominal Crunches 2 25 Ico_delete
Reverse Sit-Up 2 15 Ico_delete
Abdominal – Bicycle 2 15 Ico_delete
Lat Pulldown 3 15 60 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 1 10 15 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Seated Row, Floor, Machine 2 15 70 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Barbell 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Squat w Barbell 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Lying Leg Curl w/ dumbbell 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Flat Dumbbell Fly 2 15 8 Ico_delete
dumbbell Chest Press 2 15 13 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Dips 2 15 Ico_delete
Triceps Extension 3 15 10 Ico_delete
Triceps Push Down 2 15 45 Ico_delete
Barbell Row, Bent-over 2 15 12 Ico_delete

LIFE

Last night was mostly listening to my audio book while cooking, and occasionally peeking in on all the kids playing different dance games on the Xbox Kinect.

My favorite part of the mornings is the good morning pic D takes of R and himself.  I think I’ve mentioned it before…it started with my last trip to WI.  He’d take a pic of the two of them as he dropped her off from school as a way to say good morning.  He’s kept it up, and it’s totally cool (especially since her school starts the earliest, so I get to spend the least amount of time with her in the mornings).

it was really cold this morning, so she's all bundled up!

I have been having a hard time staying focused on my bike trainer.  It’s a mag trainer, so it gets a little loud when pedaling hard, and if I have to bike in a stationary position….I’m going to watch TV.  That means turning the sucker up REALLY loud so I can hear it.  Which I can only do when I’m home alone…which is rare.  So enter my totally groovy husband…who bought me a 20 ft earphone extension cord so I can pedal away to Netflix while biking my butt off.  So cool.

After my workout today, it was home, make breakfast and lunches, and then work.  Then lunch, then more work.  Blah, blah (not exciting).  D started meal planning for next week when I’m gone (leave for Vegas Saturday morning), so that was about it.

The evening has been about celebrating D’s birthday.  Weekday’s are always tough, but we all tried to make it special.  Some great food, yummy cake, small gifts, and lots of laughs.  Can’t really beat that!

Happy birthday honey.

 

 

I’m Going to Patent an Energy Bomb

FOOD

Thursday evening I met up with my friend L for a beer and to catch up. We haven’t had a chance since before the holidays, so it was far overdue.

I made a quick 10 minute tofu tandoori when I got home. D had ordered pizza for he and the kids (assuming L and I were eating out), so I just needed something quick for me. I had tofu already pressed and cubed, so I lightly sprayed a fry pan with olive oil, and stir fried the tofu for a few minutes. I then added some onion and yellow bell pepper, and stir fried until they were mostly cooked. I sprinkled 1 tbsp of tandoori seasoning blend from Penzy’s, mixed well, then added a can of coconut milk, salt, and a couple handfuls of frozen peas. I let it simmer for 10 minutes, and served over some leftover brown rice I had in the fridge. It was really tasty, and I’m excited that ‘throwing together’ and Indian inspired meal is getting easier.

I had an energy bomb for breakfast Saturday. After my typical coffee, I decided to make my normal green juice, but then decided to add a scoop of Amazing Grass just to see what it tasted like. I’m in love with my green juices anyway; they’re tasty, cleansing, and energizing. But with the grass…WOW. If you’ve ever seen Captain America…it kind of felt like that. Like I had been injected with some super serum. Perhaps my grass won’t be just for travel after all…

I had a banana after my run, and then for lunch I made JL’s Curried Lentils and Mushroom Soup. I used a different lentil (because it’s what I had), but I don’t think it mattered. After only FOUR minutes in the pressure cooker (how cool is that??), my lunch was ready. I had a small bowl, have plenty of leftovers, and am considering dehydrating the rest for camp meals in April!

I noshed on a Key Lime Lara Bar before yoga, and went out with D for a lovely dinner. I had the three course began meal. They were all small plates, so it didn’t end up being a ton of food. I had a small salad with lemon, a single slice of bruschetta with white beans, and then a Garden Chick’n Picatta that was absolutely amazing.

FITNESS

After my energy transfusion this morning, I was itching to go run. So I laced up and headed out for a 5 miler. It was a great run, and I pretty much smiled the entire time.

Yesterday was also the partner’s yoga class with D. We went to a 2 hr class (Valentine’s special) where we were guided through many poses, modified for two. Most were great, some were just flat-out funny because D is a little more than a foot taller than me. It was also very personal and amazing and ended with quite a bit of kissing 😉 And now my husband wants to start a regular yoga practice, and I think that’s fantastic!

LIFE

While I was out running, D took R to swim. He even swam and played with her after class. Then they went off to the hardware store to get lights and ballasts to fix the kitchen lights.

Saturday was a great day, and I definitely needed it. After a nice run and making lunch, D and I went to the art show (the one A is in) so he could see it. From there, we stopped at a local interior design/furniture store and walked around for a bit, and then it was off to yoga and dinner.

By the time we got home close to 9, it was really snowing out. R was extremely excited, and D took her out into the backyard so she could run around and make snowballs. I stayed inside where it was warm.

Today is shaping up to be a normal Sunday. Church, grocery shopping, and lots of cooking. A’s boyfriend is coming over, and D plans to clean the garage, so hopefully it will be a relaxing and productive day!

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The Great Grass Debate

FOOD

My morning meals all week have been the same; black coffee, a green juice, and all the fruit I want to eat.  So I have had lots of grapes, bananas, and pineapple.

Lunches have included a  BAS’s of some nature.  I had a vegetable smoothie yesterday, and an avocado and tomato sammich the day before.

a simple BAS with romaine, yellow bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes, tossed with about a tsp of olive oil and a tsp of very nice balsamic vinegar

veggie smoothie! Like a liquid salad. Tomato, romaine, bell pepper, onion, carrot, celery, and a dash of vegan worsteshire sauce

Dinner on Tuesday was another rendition of Taco Tuesday.  These tacos were bean tacos, made with some leftovers I had made the week before in the pressure cooker.  I essentially did a take on Moors & Christians, but used pinto beans and skipped the bacon.  The resulting beans were just fantastic!  We ate them over rice one day, with tortilla chips as a dip on another day, and in tacos.  Very versatile little things.

pinto beans and rice on corn tortillas, topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, hot sauce, and vegan sour cream

Crissie’s Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans

Ingredients

*1 bag soaked pinto beans

*2 tbsp olive oil

*1 onion, diced

*4 cloves garlic

*2 bay leaves

*1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used yellow)

*1 tsp cumin

*1 tsp oregano

*1 tbsp olive oil

*2 tbsp white wine

*1 tbsp red wine vinegar

*salt & pepper to taste

Directions

~heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker (I use a stovetop one…though I really want an electric one now!).  Sautee the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft.  Add beans, bay leaves, cumin, and oregano.  Add enough cold water to cover the beans by about an inch.

~put the lid on, and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 45 minutes.  I know this sounds like it’s WAY longer than needed, but cooking it this long makes the beans fall apart, and you get that refried bean-like consistency vs. the whole bean.

~let the pressure release naturally.  Remove the lid, and if there is a lot of liquid, pour it off.  Take an immersion blender or potato masher, and puree the beans.

~add the remaining ingredients and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Eat however you want!  My entire family was shocked by how much they liked it.  It’s so simple, but very, very yummy.

This recipe is actually the base recipe (minus the sofrito) of Moors and Christians, a common Spanish/Carribean dish of black beans and rice.

FITNESS

It’s been a busy, but good week.  Monday and Tuesday I ran.  Wednesday I did strength training and a bike workout, and yesterday I swam for an hour (included some speed drills).  The swim was my favorite – and I could have gone longer, but got a nasty cramp in three of my toes and in the arch on my right foot.

Here’s the strength training session we did:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Abdominal Crunch w/ 5lb dumbbell on ankles 2 25 5 Ico_delete
Oblique Crunch w 5lb dumbbell on ankles 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Sit Up – Roll Up w 5lb dumbbell 15 2 5 Ico_delete
Leg Raises in Captain’s Chair – Abs 2 15 Ico_delete
Side Lunge 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Jacknife on a balance ball 2 15 Ico_delete
21’s w/barbell 2 15 15 Ico_delete
Squat w Overhead Press 2 15 15 Ico_delete
TRX Hip Lift and Pull Up 2 15 Ico_delete
Incline Bicep Curl w/ barbell 2 15 10 Ico_delete
Step Up w Leg Lift and Overhead Press (each side) 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Overhead press with shoulder fly on a stability ball 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Triceps Push Down 2 15 50 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 50 Ico_delete
Squat w back row 2 15 50 Ico_delete
TRX – Feet in Strap, Bridge, Pull Legs In 2 15 Ico_delete
Lying Leg Curl w/ dumbbell 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Prisoner Lunges 2 15 Ico_delete

My trainer is helping me develop a routine I can do in my hotel in Vegas, so that’s pretty cool.

LIFE

It’s been a very busy week.  I’m trying to wrap up a few major things before my Vegas trip.  I leave next Saturday (the 18th).

I decided that I’m way too addicted to my morning green juice to go without while in Vegas.  Truth be told, breakfast is the hardest for me when I travel.  I’m not the biggest fan of oatmeal – and certainly not a big enough fan to have it every day.  And sadly, while I’m happy with soup and salad for breakfast – not many restaurants serve it.  Fortunately, where I’m staying is a suite with a kitchenette, so I can stock up on fruits, etc for my mornings.  But still…what to do about the juice?  I can’t exactly take my juicer with me across country.  So I asked for some ideas on Twitter!  I was on the hunt for a super green powder that doesn’t taste like crap and mixes easily, without the need of a blender.  The two that came up are the Trader Joe’s Super Green Drink Powder and anything by a company called Amazing Grass.  So, I bought both of them to give them a try!

The TJ’s one, I picked up Tuesday afternoon.  I packed it with me to the gym on Wednesday morning, and after my workout and shower, I mixed a scoop in some water and drank it on my way to my early morning meeting.  I had to order the Amazing Grass product (and will say it was VERY highly rated on Amazon), and that came last night, so I had that for breakfast today.

Here are my thoughts on them both….

Not the most palatable thing I’ve ever put in my mouth for sure, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to spit it out.  I drank the entire bottle with minimal whining.  Later in the morning – after my 7am meeting – I picked up a bottle of fresh OJ and mixed it with that.  Tasted just fine.  I can see drinking this on a regular basis – especially while traveling.

I mixed a scoop of this in water this morning.  It was nasty.  Smelled bad, tasted worse.  So I added a cup of OJ, remixed, and could drink it.  It still had a funnier-than-I’d-like taste to it, but I could finish it.  No way this can be drunk only mixed with water.

Looking at their respective ingredients, they’re pretty similar.  Both have a grass blend which is nearly identical (Amazing Grass has wheat grass, the TJ one does not), antioxidant blend (this was wildly different ingredients), fiber blend (similar), and vegan based digestive enzymes and probiotics.

I love that both are super healthy and provide multiple servings of fruits and veggies, are packed with a massive amount of nutrients.  I think that with juice or added to a smoothie, that both are pretty easy to drink, though the Trader joe’s one ranks higher for me right now.  AG has many flavors out there though, so I’ll be trying them.  I just want to find them in sample sizes first, and not have to buy the 30 serving jug. I’ll probably take both to Vegas with me, so in that respect, my goal to find a green juice replacement is a success.

Baby’s, Yoga, and Pea Soup

Okay, so it’s been almost a week since my last post.  I’m sorry, but I really do have a good reason.  Not an excuse – because it was a good thing – but it’s still a good reason.

My friend AC just had her third baby last Wednesday!  I was on nanny duty, staying at her house with her two little ones for two days while she and her husband focused on the delivery.  As such – I didn’t have any time to blog.

Friday evening, my entire family went to visit the new baby (who’s totally cute and squishy), and then went to dinner at Cogan’s where I ordered their vegan pizza with tomatoes and onions.  Yum!  I squeezed meals over 3 days out of that!  Then it was home and straight to bed – I was exhausted.

Saturday morning was an early day to take A and her friend I to the art gallery, where their pieces were being displayed along with 430 others.  We stayed in the Norfolk area until nearly 4pm.  It was a juried show, and the judging started at 3pm.  The artists brought their pieces in between 8-11am (and A wanted to be there RIGHT at 8 so she could decide where her piece was hung).  It’s amazing what an overachiever she’s becoming 🙂

We went to the mall nearby at one point and walked through the downtown shops.  It was nice, but a very long day.

The art show was open to all student artists in the region.  The work submitted was quite amazing, and all I could think about while walking around was “wow…these are high school students!”.  Just crazy…

Sunday was all about grocery shopping and cooking.  We’re going camping in April for 2 1/2 days.  My first time camping in a tent (unless that night in the backyard a few months ago counts).  I think the key to my enjoying myself is by still being able to do something I love; cook.  So I’ve spent weeks pouring over my camping cookbooks, and started the prep yesterday!  My dehydrator will be going for weeks.  But here’s my new motto on the subject….if I have to sleep in a tent, I’m going to eat like a queen.  D keeps picking on me, but he won’t when he realizes how good he’ll be eating while we’re gone!

 

every morning since getting home has started with green juice. Simple and cleansing.

 

The evolution of Camp Worthy Pea Soup…

step 1 - make the soup! Loaded up with veggies and nutritional yeast, plus some liquid smoke

spread 1 3/4 cups of soup on each tray of the dehydrator. Pop it in at 140 for about 18 hours.

and it dries to look like this!

pop the dried bits into the Vitamix, blend into a powder, and put into a plastic bag. Each tray equals one bag. Write instructions to mix into 2 cups of boiling water, and....theoretically...I'll have soup that looks like it did before I dried it to crumbly bits!

now I'm doing the same thing with fruit! This will be (by tomorrow afternoon) a strawberry/banana fruit jerky!

Because of the hectic week, I’ve mostly done only yoga.  It’s something I can do anywhere, and when the kids went to bed, I’d spend about 45 minutes on varying yoga sequences.

Speaking of yoga.  D wants to start doing it.  And he wants to start by doing a couple’s yoga class this coming weekend (for Valentine’s day).  So, we’ve signed up!  I’m excited…I’ve spent the better part of the past 10 yrs (when I started practicing) trying to get him to do it.  I gave up – and now he’s interested.  Typical man.  But I’m not complaining if it’ll get him into a regular practice.  With his back and knee issues, I think it will be a great thing.

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday!  We got to do a quick video chat while my parents were over there.  It was pretty cool.  Happy Birthday C!!!

On a more personal note.  Last week my daughter A (the artist) received an amazing gift from my Aunt.  You see, my Aunt and Grandma have always sewn.  Between them, they could literally make anything!  No one in the family has shown much affinity for it until my daughter.  When my Grandma passed away in late December, my Aunt learned about A’s fashion designing and that she plans to pursue her college education in fashion.  As a way to honor my Grandma and to encourage A, she bought my daughter a very nice sewing machine.  It was a very generous gift that was not lost on my daughter.  She cried, called my Aunt and I think they both cried for a bit.    She’s learning how to use her new fancy machine, and is starting a new dress line.