Folding Sheets and Making Coffee

FOOD

Today started out with a totally awesome green smoothie.  Banana, mango, brown rice protein powder, spinach, stevia, cinnamon, and vanilla.  OH MY….MAKE ONE.  It was like dessert for breakfast!

my rebel smoothie. dessert for breakfast! (not to mention more nutrients than an average person gets in an entire day….)

Lunch was a quick cafeteria salad to go between meetings.  Absolutely nothing fun to even think of taking pics of.

Dinner was a spicy tofu stir fry over brown rice.  Lots of onion, tomato, garlic, cumin, and cayenne.  I think my mouth is still burning, but it was fabulous.

dinner!

This weekend is a 3 day juice fast.  This time I’m actually making all the juices (15 in all), so my fridge is stocked with piles and piles of fresh veggies.

I will say, that my husband clearly forgot which days I was doing it (it’s Sat-Mon).  I mentioned that “my” dinner was going to be ready before everyone elses (spaghetti), and he said…and I quote…”honey, I don’t care when you drink your dinner”.  I seriously thought he was referring to the glass of wine I’m currently enjoying, and making a slight that I was going to “drink my dinner” in the sense of alcohol.  What he thought was that my dinner was going to be a fresh juice, and was indicating that I should drink whenever I want it!  Oh boy.  Wine complex.

FITNESS

Yesterday was a run and strength workout.  Nothing really big (we’re talking push-ups, planks, and sit-ups mainly), but it was still really nice!

I worked out at a different gym than normal, and I almost felt like an invader.  I spent awhile walking around and figuring out what was there before running….on an indoor track (can’t remember the last time I did that!).

LIFE

So my parent’s headed home on Sunday morning.  This week involved washing sheets, re-organizing everyone, and getting life back to routine.  As I was standing there one day this week folding the laundry, I realized how much I hate folding sheets.  I will do almost anything to get out of folding sheets.  And as I was standing there, I started thinking about other household tasks I hate.  I hate making coffee too.  It’s tedious and seriously gets on my nerves.  I’m usually up first, and it upsets D to no end when I make an espresso ( fast and easy) rather than make his ghetto drip coffee.  I’ll drink normal coffee if someone else makes it….but I liken making coffee to a trip to the dentist.  No thanks….

And then I started thinking about how much of the heavy lifting I do around the house cleaning-wise, and I started getting all elitist that I shouldn’t have to fold sheets and make coffee.  I do enough….someone else can do that.  And change the cat box.  And take out the trash.  I can handle pretty much everything else (even though I don’t want to).

I think this week at work was the longest week ever.  Nothing bad, but jam-packed with meetings, which left little time to actually get things done.  I have a feeling that part of my long weekend will be spent catching up on things I didn’t get to do during the workday this last week.

The kids are hoping to enjoy their last weekend before school starts.  My house is filled with a gaggle of teenagers hoping to stay up late and play video games.  Fine with me as long as I can still go to bed early 😉

R and D chilling on the couch reading. So cute!

Visit Recap with My Parents

I was hoping I’d have time to blog during my parent’s visit, but I just didn’t get a chance to.  We were pretty busy, so here’s a quick recap!  Normal blogging will follow either later today or tomorrow.

I cooked several days they were here (TACO TUESDAY, scones, etc), and (hopefully) dazzled them with my culinary wonders.  At least I didn’t leave them hungry….

We were lucky to have gorgeous weather the entire time.  One of the concerns everyone had about visiting Virginia in late August is our usually hot and sticky weather.  My parents must have brought some cooler Wisconsin air with them, because the entire week was around 80-81 degrees and just perfect.

The first full day they were here, we went to Busch Gardens.  D couldn’t go since he was home running a fever and throwing up.  The rest of us went though (my parents, my kids, and me), and took our time going through the park.  My mom even went on a ride with the kids (a big deal, since she hates heights).

We did a visit to the beach one day, and a trip to the cinema cafe for a movie (my parents and M only).  I had to work, but did so mostly remotely via conference calls.  I also had a night out with girlfriends (long story – previously scheduled and couldn’t really be canceled).  The last night we they were here, we went out for dinner.

It was a nice and low-key trip (it’d been 5 years since my parents were both here together!).  I think they had a nice time, and the kids were definitely happy to see their grandparents.  They made it home safely by Sunday evening, and we re-organized the house to get things back to normal before the work week began.  All in all, it was a nice week.  Here are a few pictures from our adventures.

kids at the entrance to BG
R playing Sorry with my parents and M. She looks cute on the outside….but she’s a total shark when playing a game!
Dad and A at dinner the last night
M giving my Mom tips on using her iPhone
Dad with A and M
me with my folks just before leaving Sunday morning
my parents with the kids
with D too!

 

I Have Found Them!!!! OTHER VEGANS IN MY AREA woo hoo :)

FOOD

Crap, I did it again.  Let too much time pass, so I’m not listing a bunch of meals, but will hit the highlights.

The biggest highlight was the food at a vegan dinner party on Saturday night!

vegan tofu sushi
tempeh curried “chicken” bites. The hostess made this, and it was fantastic.  That’s a slab of homemade vegan buffalo mozz on the right.
amazing caprese salad with the buffalo vegan cheese, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic.

There was tons of other foods like stuffed figs, mushroom pierogies, stuffed mushrooms, tofu cabbage rolls, spicy black bean, rice, and corn salad (my contribution), chapatis, red pepper brushetta, lettuce wraps….and probably a few other things I can’t even remember.  And wine.  PLENTY of wine 🙂

Anything else I’ll write about will pale in comparison, so that’s enough food porn for you crazy readers.

FITNESS

I hit up 3 hot vinyasa classes in the last 5 days (Friday night and a ridiculously early 6am class with AC).  I absolutely love this class, and thankfully AC does too.  It’s always so much more motivating when working out with a friend.

Speaking of…it’s only because I agreed last night that I would meet her at her yoga studio at 545 am that I set my alarm for the unholy hour of 5am.  This morning.  A freaking work day!  Can’t let a friend down…especially when it’s a monster of my own making.  Even though I had less than 5 hrs of sleep, it was a perfect start to the day.  I left home at 520 this morning (crazy, I know), and felt absolutely fantastic.

This evening was a first ever family run!  Yep…all 5 of us went on a 2 miler.  Yesterday R said she really wanted to go run with me.  Of course I want to encourage all my kids to be active, so I told her we would start running together.  I mentioned to D last night that I was going to do the Couch-to-5K with her to ease her into running.  She’s a swimmer and very naturally athletic – and also has quite an excess of spastic energy, so this seemed brilliant.  Without skipping a beat, D said he’d do it too.

After the rains passed and it looked like we were going to stay dry, I suggested around 6pm that we run.  No arguments – and then the older two said they would go too!  So we loaded the C25K free app on my iPhone and loaded it up with everyone’s favorite energetic songs.  We took off, with the app cueing us to walk or run, all while jamming out.  It was so much fun!  Everyone wants to keep doing this, and I think we’re going to run a Turkey Trot 5K as a family.  So cool.

LIFE

Friday night, D took the older kids and some of their friends to overnight laser tag.  R and I snuggled, watched a movie, and got out of bed when the crew returned to our house around 730am Saturday morning.  We grabbed breakfast, R got her haircut, and then we went to the movies to see ParaNorman.

Saturday night involved me doing something that goes completely against my nature.

Yes…I finally broke out of my fear of meeting people, and went to a vegan social meet-up.  By myself.  And didn’t know a single soul.  I had intended to do this since VVC last year.  Hell – if I went to a vegan bloggers conference in another state completely alone, I should be able to handle attending a local vegan meet-up.  After much contemplation (and encouragement by D), I went on Saturday night.

It was a lot of fun, and I met a group of vegans or people who just love good food (not everyone at the party was a vegan, and that’s totally cool…no one there seemed to be the militant sort).  I’m actually planning on hosting one myself!  I know…hold me back…I’m totally breaking out of my comfort zone.

our hostess NS! This was the end of the evening, and we all had enjoyed some wine. This is her wine cork demon look….I love it.

Yesterday morning I had a manicure and pedicure appointment, then it was home to do some cleaning and preparing for my parents (who arrive tomorrow afternoon).  We had dinner, and relaxed, and even tried to go to bed early.  Alas…it was after midnight before D and I fell asleep!

Today was good, and I think an early morning yoga class helped with that.  I had several meetings, and then went grocery shopping.  The rest you know (running and cooking), and now it’s time to relax and hopefully get some sleep!  Tomorrow is a half work day, then picking up my parents around 1.

I will try to blog more this week, but no promises.  I imagine we’ll be pretty busy, but I’ll catch you all up later!

 

Celebrities Aren’t The Only Ones Who Fail Rehab

FOOD

I seriously need to do some grocery shopping.  Maybe tomorrow….

Today was supposed to be a grill night, but the weather had other plans for us (though truth be told, we didn’t get the intense storms the weather guys were predicting….voodoo science that is….).  Since we were worried about the weather, I decided to make up something from what I had lying around.

I laid out my snobby spices, and took some inventory.  I have canned beans, frozen and fresh veggies, rice, and potatoes.  Hmmm.  I felt some Indian food coming together.

Bumble’s rehab clearly failed….
…but she’s one happy kitty rolling around in the spices (and yes…celery seed still seems to be her spice of choice).

I did a quick rice and lentil curry dish in the rice cooker.  Sautéed some onion and garlic, added rice, curry powder, ginger, and turmeric.  After a few more minutes, I added lentils and veggie broth, turned on the cooker, and hoped for the best.  It turned out great, but I forgot to take a picture.

Then it was potato time.  I made a recipe I came across here, and it was just amazing.  Simple and spicy (I used hot chili powder), and everyone gobbled it up.  So yay, and unanticipated Indian curry dinner, which seemed to be ok with everyone here.

roasting in spices on the stove. I’m totally making this again.

FITNESS

Sunday’s golf lesson was fun (even though my instructor was running late and I was about to walk out…).

I wanted to do another workout on Sunday, but I was torn about what to do.  The weather was icky, so I didn’t want to run, and the gyms don’t really have classes on Sunday’s.  I ended up picking a 445 warm candlelight flow yoga class.  I love yoga, and I like the warm/hot yoga too, and doing it by candlelight seemed fun.  I think it’s one of the most amazing classes I’d ever taken.  I loved the “flow” aspect (it was a Vinyasa class), which meant pretty constant movement, and not holding any pose for more than 3 breaths or so.

Last night, AC and I went to a hot vinyasa class at a studio near her place.  We were both a bit nervous because it wasn’t just a full hot class (we’d been doing warm classes the past few months), but it was also the more intense vinyasa classes.  I think we were both pretty convinced we were going to suffer horribly.

Holy cow…it was awesome.  It was hard as hell (well, and HOT as hell too), but absolutely fantastic.  I wore a heart rate monitor just to see how much an hour of this yoga class burns….and I torched 415 calories.  That’s as much as I burn in a 3-4 mile run.

We have another one scheduled for Friday.  Yoga rocks.

LIFE

I know it’s been a few days, and I don’t have many great excuses other than life getting the better of me.

The past few days have been relatively low-key.  House and yard work, regular work, and normal life things.  I have a lot of work trips (and one fun trip) coming up in the next 3 months, so we’ve been doing some planning and organizing around that.

And most notably in the past few days was the series finale of one of my favorite shows – The Closer.  It ended well, so I’m happy.

And now…I need to clean the kitchen and start corralling everyone to bed!  Last night was a late night (of course after a yoga class that didn’t end until nearly 9, AC and I HAD to go grab a bite to eat and a beer!).  Bedtime was after midnight, so hopefully I’ll be asleep in an hour or so!

When The Urge to Throw Up Is a Sign Of a Great Workout

FOOD

This morning was some coffee and a leftover stuffed bell pepper for breakfast.  I was up early to hit up a workout, and since everyone else was asleep, I didn’t want to run the blender and wake them all up.  Besides, I love pepper.

Lunch was at Yorgo’s with M.  I had a vegan BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw wrap.  SO amazing.

Dinner was out with two other couples.  They chose a restaurant that is a wings and oyster bar place, so assuming I’ll be lucky to get a veggie side, I decided to eat dinner at home.  I was perusing my bookmarked recipes (the ones I know I want to make, so I import into my Living Cookbook software), and picked one I had always meant to make, but hadn’t.  The recipe comes from Heather, and I bookmarked it over 16 months ago!  It was really good….and I’m kicking myself for not making it sooner!  The only things I did different was to use regular quinoa and great northern beans, because that’s what I had.  Here’s the link to her Baked Italian-Style Quinoa, Kale, and Cannellini Beans.

ooey, gooey yummy dinner!

The six of us had a great time, and I ended up not ordering anything but a few beers, which was just fine because I wasn’t hungry anyway!

FITNESS

M and I got up early to do the Saturday am crossfit class.  It was a really big group, and the workout was amazing.  We both concurred that it was the toughest one we’ve had so far.

It was a partner WOD, which means our score is combined.  After a big warm up and some mobility work (aka, stretching), we got down to business.  the goal was to get as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.  Here’s what the workout was:

While Partner 1 ran 400 meters while carrying a big medicine ball…..(which was really hard and awkward – especially for a couple shorties like us).

Partner two did as many rounds as possible of:

*5 jerks

*10 toes to bars (yep – hang from a pull up bar and “try” to bring your toes up to meet your hands)

*15 up-downs (burpees minus the push-up)

When Partner 1 returned from their run, they picked up exactly where Partner 2 was.  So…if M had gotten to his 8th toe to bar, I had to do 2, then the up-downs to complete a round.

After 20 minutes, we did exactly 10 rounds.  I will say that since I’m a much slower runner than M, most of the hard work was what HE did.

It was a fantastic puke-worthy workout.

LIFE

Last night I slept like crap.  I don’t know if it’s because I napped during the day or because D’s allergies are acting up and that means he snores.  Either way, I woke up over a dozen times before I gave up and got up around 6.

M and I left at 830 to hit the gym.  After the workout, we went into Norfolk to grab an early lunch (late breakfast for him), and then to the farmer’s market to pick up this week’s CSA.  It wasn’t as large of a haul, but still cool.  We got grapes, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, eggplants, two huge bags of hot peppers, and a bag of green beans.

Then it was off to Dick’s Sporting Goods because M already outgrew the shoes I bought him in May.  We picked up a few other things and then headed home.  After showers, it was housework time (D fixed a shower and a toilet), laundry, dishes, and cooking.

This evening was spent with friends, which was very nice.  There were 3 couples, and we all had a very nice time over drinks and dinner.  Now it’s time to get ready for bed and my early morning golf lesson!

Death By Apple??

FOOD

It’s always so discouraging when choosing a healthy option causes a health problem.  Enter my food allergy hell.

I busted out my juicer this morning.  It’s been a bit dusty for a few month, truth be told.  I’ve been more about daily smoothies than juices, but after my cleanse, I was craving a good green juice.

I went with my typical favorite: a head of romaine lettuce, a celery stalk (with leaves), a lemon, and two green apples.  Now, I know I’m allergic to raw apples, but historically, when I juice them, I’ve been fine.  My allergist warned me that might not always be the case, but as usual, I rarely do what I’m told.

health in a glass….or the root of all evil?? I’m not sure yet….

My juice was yummy as always, and I swear I feel infused with goodness as I drink it.  Fifteen minutes later (since I was now in a rush to be on time for a meeting), I had a quick bowl of rice chex with 1/2 of a banana and some vanilla soymilk.

seriously…a bowl of cereal can’t possibly be trying to kill me. Can it?

A few minutes later, I felt the tell-tale signs of swelling in my mouth, itchiness, and a hive on my lower lip.  Ugh.  I’m assuming it was the apple, but I frankly just don’t know.  I eat raw celery all the time, but not with the leaves.  I eat romaine lettuce several times per week.  I use lemons and lemon juice all the time.  While I haven’t had rice chex in a bit, I’ve shown no food allergies to anything but raw fresh fruits and one veggie, so I doubt that, and since I practically live on bananas, I ruled that out.

I’m not giving up on juices, but I am going to give up on apples.  It’s not worth having increasingly anaphylactic reactions just to sweeten up a fresh juice.  Stupid apple.  I should’ve listened to Eve…(Adam and Eve reference, in case you didn’t know).

I slept through lunch because of the meds.  I had some crackers and hummus when I woke up.

Dinner was some crock pot stuffed bell peppers.  I used the bell peppers from my CSA last weekend, now that I’m back to solid grub.  Super simple recipe, but yummy and lots of flavor.

Crissie’s Easy Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

*4 bell peppers (I usually prefer red ones, but I had green on hand)

*3/4 cup brown rice

*3/4 cup brown or green lentils

*4 cups veggie broth

*4 whole garlic cloves

*1 small yellow onion

*15 oz can tomato sauce

*1 tbsp oregano

*1 tbsp basil

*zest of 1/2 orange

*1 tbsp crushed red pepper (or 1 fresh diced hot pepper)

Directions

*I used a rice cooker, but this step could also be done on the stove top.  I put the rice, lentils, broth, and garlic in my rice cooker on the brown rice setting.  Alternatively, you can place them in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the rice and lentils are tender, and the liquid is absorbed.

*stir in everything else, and stuff the pepper.

*place upright in a crock pot, and pour about 1/2 cup water in the bottom (it helps steam the peppers to be soft…but not overly mushy).  Any size would work…I used my casserole sized dish that I pretty much only use for this, ratatouille, or enchiladas.

*cook on low for 4-5 hrs.  I like a little bite left in my bell peppers.  If you want them totally mushy, cook for 6 hrs.

all ready to cook!
another angle because really, I’m having fun with my new camera and sometimes I can’t choose which pic I like better 🙂
amazing that this is only 165 calories. But jam-packed with whole grains, protein, and flavor! Filling for sure, and guilt free as far as I’m concerned (because it has no apples).

FITNESS

Alas….nothing.  Intended to run and hit up crossfit, but the meds knock me out for nearly 7 hrs.  I don’t sleep the whole time, but I can’t focus, much less coordinate my limbs.

getting a gold medal in the sleep-olympics. And I really don’t do naps. I couldn’t resist…and clearly neither could Bumble (my eldest snapped this when she found me).

LIFE

I was happy when I woke up to pleasantly sore muscles this morning.  I miss that feeling of knowing I worked hard and my body is sitting up and taking notice.

I got up and had my normal weekday morning.  I made it through 2 early morning conf calls, when I had my own personal little medical emergency that derailed the rest of my day.  I had to cancel an afternoon meeting, but it was a small one, and the project is on track, so I don’t think anyone minded.

After coming to in the late afternoon (only because D woke me by calling at 430 to say he was on his way home from work), I chilled out in bed for a bit, then decided to make up for lost work time.  I caught up on today’s emails, did some budget work, cleaned the kitchen, and then finished up dinner.

All in all, I feel like it was a waste of a Friday and I’m annoyed.  I planed to hit the driving range today, do some major raw food preps for the dehydrator, and organize my bathroom and closet.  I’m not good at being idle, and that’s exactly how today felt.  I was loopy most of the day (when I wasn’t asleep).  I was due for allergy shots, but had to skip them, lest run the risk of compounding the reaction earlier.  But I’m done whining.  The apples didn’t kill me, and I’m grateful to be able to recover and learn a lesson from it all.  No more apples for a long, long time.