Monthly Archives: January 2013

In a (New York) Minute

FOOD

Okay, so the biggest part of today’s post is going to be about a very cool foodie pen pal program!  Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean organizes a monthly swap of homemade and local goodies.  A description of the program can be found here – you don’t have to be vegan to participate, but everyone is cool about abiding by the recipients food preferences/allergies/etc.

Essentially – you sign up by emailing her by the 4th, she sends out a massive spreadsheet with the pen pal matches on the 5th, mail a box by the 15th with your no-more-than $15 box of foodie fun (concentrate on local, homemade, and a hand written note/recipe/etc.), get your own box, love it, eat it, blog about it on the 31st!  Super easy, right?  Oh, and then Lindsay hosts a blog link-up so everyone can share their box experience!

So here’s mine.  My gifter is in sunny FL (jealous).  Martine blogs over at Whey Beyond The Naked Truth, so check her out!

On to what I got!  It’s like Christmas in January!

okay, so who doesn't get excited when they get a package in the mail?!?

okay, so who doesn’t get excited when they get a package in the mail?!?

a close up shot of my goodies!

a close up shot of my goodies!

In my box was a lovely note from Martine, tangerines from her very own sunny backyard tree (jealous), homemade spicy roasted chickpeas (recipe on her site!), homemade salsa, tea, and an organic quinoa power protein mix (gluten-free YAY), and local fresh popcorn (which I had for snack today, by the way).  The tangerines have been prominent this week in my salads, smoothies, and juices, and I have the tea mid-morning every day (it’s really good).  Chickpeas are gone, and I used half the salsa on some awesome Happy Herbivore Portobello “steak” tacos today!

food love!

food love!

you can't tell, but there's a tangerine in there :)

you can’t tell, but there’s a tangerine in there 🙂

lunchtime taco fun with cabbage, salsa, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce!

lunchtime taco fun with cabbage, salsa, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce!

you can't tell, but there's a tangerine in there too!

you can’t tell, but there’s a tangerine in there too!

FITNESS

I was a bad traveler.  Other than walking around NYC and the campus we were visiting, I didn’t work out.  I packed workout clothes – and used them to travel in rather than workout.  Bad, bad me.

But that said – 20 minutes after I pulled in the driveway I was out the door!  It helped that it was 74 degrees out and I had just left snow, freezing cold, and sleet on the upper east coast.

Today was a treadmill run because it was windy as heck outside!  I can handle some wind, but these gale forces were insane.  I’d blow away – though my pace heading away from the wind would have been killer.

I met with another personal trainer today.  Other than the insane $800 a month to workout with them just 3 days per week, there’s nutritional stances were outdated.  The belief that you “need” animal proteins to be healthy, have muscle, or be athletic are bunk.  I can list a slew of stellar vegan athletes.  Besides, I’m not paying that kind of crazy dough.

LIFE

Okay, life has been insane.  Great, but insane!  As you probably read in my last post, A and I spent a whirlwind 6 days in 3 cities.  DC, NYC, and Baltimore.  It was freezing, we had a great time, and my child picked a university!  Can’t really beat that!

Oh, I went to my first Broadway show!  We saw Chicago, and it was amazing.  I’ve never seen the movie, and now I want to.  I seriously wasn’t expecting it to be funny…but it was.

So here are some pics from the week, including some for my niece’s project for Flat M!  Read about her project and see some of her adventures here.

And I will tell you – as much as I hate the cold, I love NYC.  I would move in a New York Minute!

Times Square.  Doesn't get much cooler.

Times Square at night. Doesn’t get much cooler.

nighttime view from our top floor hotel

nighttime view from our top floor hotel

Flat M and I sharing a bagel early Saturday morning.  I had two cops behind me, and I swear I felt like I was in an episode of Blue Bloods!

Flat M and I sharing a bagel early Saturday morning. I had two cops behind me, and I swear I felt like I was in an episode of Blue Bloods!

Flat M and I enjoying a ride on the subway to Battery Park.  A was there too :)

Flat M and I enjoying a ride on the subway to Battery Park. A was there too 🙂

this is what fabric store look like in the Garment District in NYC.

this is what fabric store look like in the Garment District in NYC.  my fashion designer daughter was in heaven.  We went to the famous Mood Fabrics, a store that was entirely spandex, a button shop, and a few other fabric store.  They were neat – but all seemed like fire hazards to me!  This ain’t no Joann Fabrics!

Flat M chilln at the hotel and enjoying the view

Flat M chilling at the hotel and enjoying the view

daytime hotel pic.

daytime hotel pic.

Bumble not 5 minutes after I emptied my suitcase.  She has a strange fascination with suitcases.

Bumble not 5 minutes after I emptied my suitcase. She has a strange fascination with suitcases.

flat M getting ready for a little breakfast in bed thanks to room service

flat M getting ready for a little breakfast in bed thanks to room service

rainbow out my back door this morning.  Love it!

rainbow out my back door this morning. Love it!

 

Feeling Like a Jet Setter!

Okay, the past few days have been crazy, so I’m straying from my normal format. This will be mostly pics (at the end since this is being written on my iPad, and I don’t know any other way to do them!).

Tuesday was a late work night, and I got home around 930. Wednesday was too, and I was home around 9. I stayed up late enough to pack so I could hit the road in the morning to the DC area for work. My oldest came with me, hung out in the hotel when I worked, and then we jetted off to NYC. We’re here until Sunday, then to Baltimore (college visit), then back home Tuesday. I feel like such a jet setter!

Tuesday I made a BAS with my typical toppings and the baked falafel from Monday night. I was in the middle of an exec meeting when I realized I really wanted a picture….below you will see my stealthy mid-meeting pic of my salad, water canteen, and bottle of kombucha. I imagine they think I was emailing or doing something important. I really was paying attention, but it was such a pretty salad!

Thursday morning was a smoothie (no pic) and then a BAS at Whole Foods in Richmond on my way to DC. Dinner was tofu green curry that wasn’t the best I’ve ever had for sure.

Friday was another breakfast BAS, this time from Wegmans. After working, it was time to head up to NYC!

We got to our hotel in Times Square, and charmed our way to a top floor (45th floor) room overlooking absolutely everything. It’s stunning. We wandered around Times Square, went shopping, picked up our Broadway tickets for tomorrow, and then escaped the cold at Hard Rock Cafe for a bit. I even walked past a pub flying a Chelsea flag!! So excited to find Blues supporters in the US….

Then it was off to Candle 79 for dinner! I’ve wanted to eat here for as long as I can remember – always being jealous that NYC has such a collection of gourmet vegan restaurants.

So – I was insanely disappointed. We got seated right away (had reservations), and was left to sit for 20 minutes before anyone came by. We ordered our drinks and then waited another 20 to place our order. We got an appetizer (seitan chimichurri) and our main dishes. I opted for the pumpkin seed crusted tofu medallions with roasted brussel sprout and quinoa pilaf.

The appetizer was really tasty, and I want to learn how to make it. My main dish, though, was bland and boring. The tofu medallions tasted like tofu chickn nuggets, and my pilaf lacked spice. A’s morrocan chickpea cake was also bland, and she ate very little of it. Our waiter only came to our table twice in an hour, and we flagged down bus boys and other servers just to get water refills. All told – I was highly disappointed. What I realized is that while I despair that where I live lacks vegan-only restaurants (I know of only one – Quenna’s), I know I can get great vegan meals at several places (like Pasha’s, a favorite!). I also know that as high end as Candle 79 is, the food coming out of my kitchen is better, even without a formal culinary background.

Maybe A and I was there on an off night, and maybe our little table of two was easy to ignore from a customer service standpoint – but I don’t think I’ll ever be back. With so many other options in NYC, even if I do get the chance to visit again, I have plenty of other places to give my time and money to.

Tomorrow we are planning to dedicate the day to the Fashion District here, so A can get fabrics, notions, and fun stuff. We also each have to buy a pretty outfit for our Broadway show (going to see Chicago! A’s choice). Other than that, trying to stay warm and enjoy our time here.

Have a great weekend – I’ll blog later!

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Carrying Things You Can’t Put Down

FOOD

This morning started with coffee in bed (so nice on a Monday!) and then a green (ish) smoothie.  I needed to blend and go, so used my Tribest instead of my Vitamix.  I totally love it, and recently bought the big 24 ounce blender cup (my smoothies tend to be really big).  I also picked up the special travel case since I have a ton of trips this year and can’t travel well without it!  I didn’t leave enough room for the greens, so there’s less spinach than I usually prefer, but it was still tasty!

banana, strawberry, spinach, cocoa

banana, strawberry, spinach, cocoa

Lunch was some fresh spring rolls and tofu curry.  It’s been a long time since I ate Thai!

And speaking of….I paid for it.  I haven’t had any appetite the rest of the day, so instead I did cooking to prepare for tomorrow.

I made some baked falafel and a soy yogurt sauce.  I plan to put this on a BAS for lunch at work tomorrow.

baked falafel looks like cookies, but one bite and you'll know they're not!

baked falafel looks like cookies, but one bite and you’ll know they’re not!

used my homemade soy yogurt and added mint, cucumber, red onion, and lime juice.  Great topper for the falafel, and will go nicely as a dressing on the greens.

used my homemade soy yogurt and added mint, cucumber, red onion, and lime juice. Great topper for the falafel, and will go nicely as a dressing on the greens.

I’ve also started keeping a bag in my freezer of leftover veggie remnants.  The onion ends and peels, the green parts of cauliflower heads, fennel bulb portions, beet greens – and anything that is nearing the end of it’s useful life that I know I’m not going to have time to eat.  The point?  To put them in a slow cooker or pressure cooker with water to start making homemade veggie broth.  I can’t believe I didn’t start doing this sooner.  Though, if it doesn’t actually work, I may start composting for the garden I swear I’m actually going to do this year 🙂

FITNESS

Today was just some gentle yoga at home and a walk with Sammie.  It was (per my training calendar) a rest day, but I needed some light movement.

We all have stress in our lives for one reason or another.  We all carry it in different ways.  Some have stomach issues, some get closed off emotionally, and some lash out.  For me, I physically store it in my very upper shoulders and neck, and I spent today with a constant and painful reminder of where I keep it.  It’s the biggest reason D and I have committed to monthly massages (and frankly, he massages my shoulders every day) and one of the reasons why I crave yoga.

So for now, I’m trying to figure out how to put down something I can’t carry in my arms.   It makes it annoyingly difficult.

LIFE

This morning was really nice and peaceful.  Due to the MLK holiday the kids had off school.  That mean D and I could still wake up early, but take our time.  For me personally, that meant enjoying coffee in bed while reading the news on my iPad while he took a shower.

My eldest got another college acceptance letter this weekend!  She’s applied to three (the last one, just finishing a week ago), and has so far heard from two.  I asked her today which she was leaning towards, and was surprised by her answer.  It’s those glimmers of adult thought that shine through your nutty teenagers that makes you feel you’re doing something right.

My daughter is an artist.  She goes to a very highly ranked specialty art school, and has known what she wants to do for a very long time.  Crazy to me (who still works on trying to figure out what I want to be when I “grow up” some days!), but she’s never wavered in her focus.  She’s been approached and has applied to very elite art universities – and has been accepted to one so far, and surprised me by having her highest choice be the #1 rated public art program in the country.  This isn’t an art-only university like the others, it’s a very nice full-offering university.  Her reasoning?  Art colleges are wonderful – but not diversified enough in academic offerings.  She’s smart too, not just an artist, and wants to take math and science classes and study business and marketing because it’s not enough that she makes great art – but she needs to sell it and herself too.

I was surprised to find this school’s art program rated even higher than one of her art universities – and it’s MUCH closer to home.  So while no final decision has been made (we gave her the target of April to decide), I think she’s leaning this way.  I’m proud of her not only because she’s making decisions that will impact her whole life – but she’s making them rationally.  She may be a pain in the ass 17 yr. old sometimes, but she’s growing up in many different ways.

So another happy day in my clan, and hope yours has been too!

Eggplant Bacon. Really…Doesn’t Get Cooler Than That

FOOD

It’s been a really great weekend of food.

Friday I didn’t eat very much.  I went to bed Thursday night feeling a bit off, and Friday had a headache most of the day.  Whatever I started coming down with though left.  I seriously think it’s from my hyper intake of juices and smoothies.  I’ve watched people around me (and in my family) drop like flies with winter colds/flu/nasty viruses.  I had a day and a half of feeling a less than great, and then was back to myself.

Saturday morning I started by a total “empty the fridge” juice.  I needed carrot pulp for a different recipe (called Save the Tuna Pate), so after juicing a pound of carrots, I put that pulp in a separate bowl, and then added a head of romaine lettuce, a peeled lemon, an inch or so of raw ginger root, and half of a long English cucumber.  It made a ton…and I drank it all.  Amazingly tasty and refreshing.  What I love about my juicer is the only food I need to peel is citrus (nothing can my pith taste good), and it has a really wide chute so it can take whole fruits/veggies too.

not too pretty...but really tasty!

not too pretty…but really tasty!

For lunch I met up with AC and my godson for some Pasha’s fun.  I had the kale and beet salad (surprise, surprise) and the organic quinoa tabbouleh.  Both fantastic!

photo 1

Dinner was a meetup with the Vegan group!  It’s amazing to me how much this group has grown in just the past 5 months since I started going.  The food was amazing and all the people of course.  I only took a few pictures.  The rest I think were taken by Greg who blogs over here!

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My contribution was a BAS and four homemade dressings (lemon hemp, raw carrot/ginger/miso, Italian, and Green Goddess made with my homemade soy yogurt).  Lettuce, cauliflower, cucumber, red onion, tomato, and beet.

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Today was a really, really big green smoothie.  Water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach.

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Lunch was from the Whole Foods salad bar.  Apparently they took to heart my Facebook plea that they add more vegan friendly items to their food bar!  I was happy to find (for the first time) grilled tofu, more vegan salad mixes, and the like.  Still very limited on the salad dressings (only 1 was vegan), but it’s a start.

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Dinner was a BAS of mixed baby greens, orange scented beets I made in my pressure cooker today (and used the cooking liquid as my dressing), red onions, tomatoes, and roasted balsamic portabella mushrooms.

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I also had a lot of fun with my dehydrator this weekend.  Yesterday I whipped up a batch of the best kale chips yet (hyper spicy…and A has already eaten most of them), and right now I have eggplant “bacon” going.  Yes…it’s going to be epic.

thinly sliced eggplant, waiting to be dehydrated into vegan bacon!

thinly sliced eggplant, waiting to be dehydrated into vegan bacon!

FITNESS

Today was one of those runs that makes you just love running.  It was high 50’s/low 60’s where a t-shirt and shorts are all you need.  After a slow warm up, I felt like I was flying.  I had a bit of running into the wind on the loop back home, but overall I was thrilled with it.  According to Nike+, I ran my fasted kilometer since I started using Nike almost a year ago.  Woo hoo!

CT has convinced me (not that it was hard, mind you…all she had to do was ask!), do run in another race in May.  It’s called the Miller Lite Filthy 5K.  Based on the pictures, I’ll be covered in mud after a obstacle-ish run IN (yes in) and around the James river in Richmond.  It should be absolutely hilarious.

clearly Bumble isn't the only one in the family who loves yoga...

clearly Bumble isn’t the only one in the family who loves yoga…

LIFE

Friday was quiet and meant me in bed early.  D didn’t really give me much choice on that!  On a side note, R is clearly feeling better.  She ate nearly an entire pizza that night.  While it’s not my meal of choice for her, I’m happy to see her appetite coming back.

Saturday was busy.  I was up early and working (lots to do in the next few months), and managed to get quite a bit done before the masses of the family started waking up.

Lunch with AC and E was really nice.  We got to catch up, and I got to spend time with E.  He’s such a silly and snuggly little man.  Love bread too!  It was fun watching him try to figure out how to hold his cup and food in both hands.  And play hide and seek with the table.  And put his socks on our heads.

E!

E!

Saturday night was the vegan meetup party.  I was gone about 4 hours and had a really nice time!

Today was dedicated to food fun and grocery shopping as usual.  Typical Sunday, and I love it.

D and Bumble on Friday night playing video games

D and Bumble on Friday night playing video games

Short and Sweet. Just Like Me (though it turns out I don’t melt when wet)

FOOD

Well I can definitely say it’s been a stellar food week!  Lots of smoothies, juices, daily BAS’s, taco-related things, and even a pizza thing!

made the tomato, carrot, radish, lemon juice again.  Totally loving it.

made the tomato, carrot, radish, lemon juice again. Totally loving it.

I agree completely.  Food SHOULD taste good!  And these light, gluten-free blue corn and flax tortilla chips certainly do.

I agree completely. Food SHOULD taste good! And these light, gluten-free blue corn and flax tortilla chips certainly do.

leftover sweet potato and black bean taco filling topped with cabbage and a side of tortilla chips.

leftover sweet potato and black bean taco filling topped with cabbage and a side of tortilla chips.

ready for the juicer

ready for the juicer

not the prettiest, but this tomato, cucumber, romaine, carrot, ginger, and lemon juice was KILLER.

not the prettiest, but this tomato, cucumber, romaine, carrot, ginger, and lemon juice was KILLER.

pizza things.  Corn tortillas baked with sliced tomatoes, onions, artichoke hearts, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and a little vegan Daiya mozz.

pizza things. Corn tortillas baked with sliced tomatoes, onions, artichoke hearts, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and a little vegan Daiya mozz.

roasted radishes.  So amazing...

roasted radishes. So amazing…

who says a salad can't be warming?!  This BAS is stuffed with fresh roasted radish, quinoa, romaine, red lettuce, and tomatoes.  The olive oil from roasting the radishes serving as the base of the dressing with a little lemon and hemp seeds thrown in for good measure.

who says a salad can’t be warming?! This BAS is stuffed with fresh roasted radish, quinoa, romaine, red onion, and tomatoes. The olive oil from roasting the radishes serving as the base of the dressing with a little lemon and hemp seeds thrown in for good measure.

TVP taco's from Happy Herbivore.  With onion, avocado, and vegan sour cream.

TVP taco’s from Happy Herbivore. With onion, avocado, and vegan sour cream.

Even cooler though, is a friend of mine has totally gotten into green smoothies!  They’re such powerful and awesome things, so it always makes me happy when people get turned on to them.

FITNESS

I’ve run the last two days – though today was on the dreadmill.  I braved a wet run on Wednesday, but couldn’t do it today.  Contrary to what I’ve always believed, I am not so sweet and sugary that I’ll melt when rained on.  Bummer.

CT and I are sort of “virtually” training together for a race in April.  It’s been fun sharing workout plans and keeping each other motivated and accountable….and sharing smoothie/juice recipes!

I did the Nike Kinect workout again twice this week.  I’m starting to get bored already, which isn’t good.  I think I require strength training in a group setting.  Or Navy boot camp.  I did well there 🙂  I wonder if they’ll let me back on base just to workout with them!

I’ll keep it up until I come up with a different plan.  For now, it fits with my crazy schedule and can do it at home.  And I earn Nike Fuel which is kind of fun to see.  I also use the Nike GPS watch, so I earn Nike Fuel that way too.

LIFE

Well, it’s been a hectic week.  R has been sick and is on the upswing, but I think I’m coming down with something.  I was fine until about an hour ago, and on came the headache and dull sore throat.  Wish me luck!

Other than that, it’s been working and really late nights.  Can’t complain though!

So as much as I’d like to go into more fun and detail…I’m wiped out.  Hopefully a long and good night’s sleep is all I need to kick this icky feeling.

Why Yoga Kick’s (my) Butt, Massages, and Sick Monkeys

FOOD

Yesterday morning I have a really interesting blueberry coconut smoothie for breakfast!  It’s Gena’s recipe from Choosing Raw, and I can’t get over how filling it was.  It took me easily twice as long to drink as the simple ones I typically make, and I had an amazing amount of energy from it as well.

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Lunch I picked up a to go order from Pasha’s – kale and beet salad and the maiden cake (red lentil cake thing that’s divine).

For dinner I made a sweet potato and black bean taco.  It was simple – roasted sweet potatoes mixed in with sautéed onion, bell pepper, chili pepper, salsa, cumin, chili powder, and a can of black beans.  Easy as can be, and super tasty.

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This morning I had a fresh juice and then about an hour later I made a green smoothie (though truth be told, it looked brown…clearly not enough spinach in it!).

carrot, orange, grapefruit, and mint!  All chosen for immunity properties (it's nasty flu season out there!)

carrot, orange, grapefruit, and mint! All chosen for immunity properties (its nasty flu season out there!)

Goblet O Juice

Goblet O Juice

strawberry, banana, and spinach

strawberry, banana, and spinach

Lunch was leftover curry cauliflower soup from the weekend, but added about a third of a cup of quinoa to it to round it out as a meal a little better.

Dinner is currently going in three of my appliances – all set on timers to be done right at 6.  Cajun red beans in the slow cooker, French bread in the bread machine, and rice in the rice cooker.

FITNESS

Yesterday I did go to a 75 minute hot yoga class at noon.  It was a really great class and this was the first time I had this particular instructor.  I really enjoyed her teaching style.

I put on FB that, even though people balk at it, a hot yoga class is considered the equivalent of a 5 mi run (and the run would be easier!).  A friend of mine asked a really good question – what makes it such a tough workout?  For people who haven’t ever practiced, it seems like elaborate stretching – but not the heart pounding, sweat fest it really is.

So here is a little bit of background on hot styles of yoga and what makes them such an amazing workout (some are my personal observations, some from articles I’ve read over the years).  This is my advice only – and not from a physician or yoga instructor (like the disclaimer??)

Typically it’s about 105 degrees and 40% humidity.  In a 75 minute class wearing a heart rate monitor, I burned 502 calories.  That’s very close to what I burn running.

The heat definitely makes me feel like the stretching is deeper – my muscles warm faster and my poses go deeper than I am able to in a not-heated room (this is NOT dissing non-hot yoga…I happen to love both for different reasons).

According to an article I’ve read, the heat and humidity force the body to utilize more oxygen than in normal conditions.  This requires the heart to pump more blood through your body, causing it to be an aerobic activity as much as a “stretching” one.

When you workout at any intensity, your body generates heat which is then dissipated by your skin.  When working out in less than 98 degrees (body temp), you don’t expend much energy to rid yourself of that extra heat.  When working out in a super heated/humid room, you expend more energy to regulate your body temp, which is another factor in the calorie burn.

Finally – as with any yoga – you’re doing body weight strength training.  You may not realize it, but you are.  Imagine going into a handstand or a plank – and then staying there for 20-30 seconds.  You’re working your muscles isometrically.  And then moving to another pose to strengthen a balancing set of muscles.  You’ll typically do cycles of 25-30 poses in a class.  Some, like Vinyasa, move very quickly, but not all do.  Some you hold and breathe for a few cycles, and you’ll find yourself shaking with the strain!

So – should this take the place of basic cardio (whatever your poison is…mine is running) or weight training?  Nope.  But I can tell you this – it definitely enhances your performance in those other things you do.  Without yoga undoing the strain on my hips and joints with running, I’d probably be a right mess!

Bottom line – yoga is for everyone.  Every body type, every weight, every person.  It’s always been a no-judgment zone, so don’t be afraid to check out a class!

As for today, it’s a nasty wet day out there, so I did an indoor workout.  The Nike+ Kinect video game finally came in the mail this weekend, so I used the dreary weather as an opportunity to plug it in.

Holy cow – it was intense!  After doing the fitness test and benchmarking workout, I dove right into the first routine.  Lots of squats, lunges, jumps, etc., all guided by an actual Nike professional trainer.  I wore my HR monitor, and between the 30 minutes of testing and 20 minute routine, I burned 475 calories.

What I liked most is that it creates a custom routine based on your fitness testing and progress between each workout.  You re-benchmark every 4 weeks as well.  So for me, that means my own personal trainer, a routine that varies, and in my living room.  Here’s hoping I’m as excited by it in a month as I am today!

LIFE

After yoga, lunch, and a shower, D and I had massage appointments!  We always talk about doing it, but rarely go more than twice a year.  There’s a chain called Massage Envy, and they have a center just a few blocks away from our house.  We figured what the heck, and made appointments.

For me, it was the best massage ever!  D too from what he said.  So now we’re hooked – they have packages that allow you to get a massage a month for $39.  Yeah, I’m sold.  We already booked our next one for Feb 17th.  My massage therapist really found all my trouble spots (head and neck mostly) and I felt amazing when it was done.  Fastest hour ever!

Then we went home, made dinner, and hung out with the kids.  Unfortunately later in the evening, it became apparent that the little monkey was sick.  Stuffy, spiked a pretty high fever, and sore throat.  She woke this morning without a fever, but by 3pm it was back and as high as last night.  I’m hoping it’s not the flu, but we’ll be heading into the ped’s tomorrow morning.  I worked from home today and will tomorrow as well, then tag team with D as needed later in the week.  Poor baby girl.

she loves to sleep on our floor when she's sick.  Here she is, passed out in a sleeping bag!

she loves to sleep on our floor when she’s sick. Here she is, passed out in a sleeping bag!

Avocados, Feminisim, and NYC!

FOOD

Alert the press.  I’m out of bananas!

This is how I felt yesterday morning when I went to make my morning green smoothie.  The banana adds creaminess, nutrients, and the ability to have a single smoothie hold me over for a good 3-4 hours.  I can’t believe I was out!

I ended up making an avocado based smoothie – thinking avocados are creamy and filling.  So into the Vitamix went an avocado, a cup of water, a cup of frozen strawberries, and a big handful of spinach.  I will say this – it was creamy!  I should have added some agave or dates since it was missing the banana’s sweetness.  It wasn’t my favorite smoothie, but it was ok.  It didn’t hold me over as long either, which surprised me considering the natural fat content of avocados.  Oh well….

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Lunch was some brown rice pasta, peas, and spicy marinara sauce.  Dinner was an awesome pressure cooker curried cauliflower soup.  With peas (can you tell what sole frozen veggie I have on hand??).

little vegan parm on top

little vegan parm on top

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Who knows what today holds, but know this.  I bought bananas the first chance I had yesterday.

FITNESS

Well, I slept through the scheduled group run on Saturday.  I tried feeling guilty about it – but didn’t.  Sometime around 2pm I went out to the park where the group ran at 8am and did the same run, and tacked on a mile for penance.  I am now absolved by the Running Gods for my discretion (or so I’d like to think).

Today is going to be really warm (70)…and really wet.  I’m thinking hot yoga is the perfect solution to that!  We’ll see….not too many exercise classes on Sunday’s.

LIFE

Well, it’s been a really good weekend.  Friday evening D and I rented Dredd on cable pay-per-view.  It was pretty good actually.  A friend of mine who does a movie review page on Facebook said it well – It had the darkness of Batman, the feel of Robocop and the noir of Blade Runner.

Saturday morning I took R to her swim team practice (hour and a half) and then was spent running errands (mailing the rest of my daughter’s college application portfolio to the university she visited in New England last November, Whole Foods, local grocery, Barnes and Noble, looking at paint for the bathroom, etc.).  I even took a long hot bath after I got home from running.  After dinner we watched about half of the Hunger Games before we all decided it was bed time.

One thing that became apparent early in the morning was a severe oversight in the parenting of our youngest child.  She, D, and I were lying in bed reading and R didn’t catch a Death Star reference D and I made.  Holy cow.  She’s 9 and has never seen the 3 good Star Wars movies.  Thankfully it’s not too late, and I don’t think she’ll be scared for life once we rectify the situation.

Okay, so it’s time to share a pet peeve of mine.  I hate it when women define themselves in terms of their significant other’s accomplishments.  I read a bunch of blogs, and it annoys me to know end when I see them say they’re the wife of (insert job title/accomplishment here), or mother of (enter kid name/age/etc.) here. In their blog description no less! Now don’t get me wrong – women wear many hats.  I am a wife, a mother, and employee, etc.  But first and foremost I am me.  I am smart, funny, athletic (ish), a good friend, cook, etc.  My husband and kids are many of those things too, but I don’t introduce myself as Crissie, the wife of an IT analyst who’s funny and sweet and romantic.  I am Crissie, married to D, who is all those things, but they aren’t adjectives that describe ME.  They describe him.  So let me tell you about myself first…and then we can talk about the people in our lives.  Okay that was rambling and I hope it made sense.  Essentially – be proud of yourself and don’t define yourselves in terms of the accomplishments of others.

D and I have a massage scheduled for late this afternoon, which is really the highlight of the weekend!  I’m also sitting here planning a whirlwind trip that A and I are taking at the end of the month to DC and Baltimore.  We’ve decided to throw in a weekend in NYC, to which I’m exceedingly excited.  I’ve only been there once, so I’m asking people for advice on what to see/do/eat.  Thinking of hitting up a Broadway show Saturday night.  I just have to wrap myself around the fact that it’s going to be cold….

I hope you have a lovely Sunday, and will post soon!

Yes, There Is Such a Thing as “Stupid Juice”

FOOD

So it’s been four days, and I’m sure you don’t want to know in detail absolutely everything I’ve eaten, so here are a few highlights….

Smoothies and/or juices every morning.  Tortilla soup, tofu stir fry, lots of BAS’s, and a raw collard wrap were the highlights.  Very clean, at least half raw, nothing processed, gluten-free.  I’ve had a really demanding week, and good and healthy fuel certainly powers me through it.

pineapple, kale, and ginger in my to-go blender cup (pre blending of course!)

pineapple, kale, and ginger in my to-go blender cup (pre blending of course!)

green smoothie to go!

green smoothie to go!

1 lb of carrots en route to the juicer.  I used the pulp for a different dish, and saved the carrot juice to use as a soup base tomorrow.

1 lb of carrots en route to the juicer. I used the pulp for a different dish, and saved the carrot juice to use as a soup base tomorrow.

sunflower seeds, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt in the food processor.

sunflower seeds, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt in the food processor.

carrot pulp, sunflower seed paste, parsley, and chopped onion.  Mix together to put in sammich wraps.

carrot pulp, sunflower seed paste, parsley, and chopped onion. Mix together to put in sammich wraps.

collard leaf, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes into the sammich wrap

collard leaf, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes into the sammich wrap

lunch!  Light, filling, and perfect.  Full recipe in Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.

lunch! Light, filling, and perfect. Full recipe in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.

tofu, garlic, onion, and asparagus getting an oil-free stir fry

tofu, garlic, onion, and asparagus getting an oil-free stir fry

add in some brown rice and gluten-free soy sauce (tamari)

add in some brown rice and gluten-free soy sauce (tamari)

baked taquitos (sounds fancy...just refried beans in a corn tortilla and baked in convection for 10 minutes!  Serve on a bed of lettuce, salsa, and guac.

baked taquitos (sounds fancy…just refried beans in a corn tortilla and baked in convection for 10 minutes! Serve on a bed of lettuce, salsa, and guac.

it's apparently National Hot Chocolate Day today.  Sounds good to me...used the rest of my homemade soymilk, frothed it up, mixed with vegan chocolate and a little agave.

it’s apparently National Hot Chocolate Day today. Sounds good to me…used the rest of my homemade soymilk, frothed it up, mixed with vegan chocolate and a little agave.

FITNESS

All of my workouts this week have been at home.  Every day has been at least 10 hr days – some more – so no fitting in gym time unfortunately.

Zumba on the Xbox and runs.  I have a Nike Kinect game coming (renting it via my husband and son’s video game rental ala Netflix – called GameFly – to see if I like it).  It’s gotten high ratings and is very “functional fitness” based – so body weight strength training exercises.  With the project work I have on my plate right now, these 10+ hr days seem to be in the cards for a long time, so any ability to shift workouts at home will be very helpful!

LIFE

Yeah, busy week.  Fantastic week – but busy.  It’s weird, I had one of those weeks where waking up every morning (even the two I had to be up at 5am to make ridiculously early morning meetings) was easy.  Here’s hoping I don’t jinx myself, but this past week has been hectic, productive, and really really rewarding.

There was only one blight on my week, and that was Tuesday evening.  I think all three of my children woke up and drank the stupid juice – because by the end of the day, all three were grounded.  Very long story, but in a nutshell – two lazy students and one who “accidentally” smacked a kid in the privates with her instrument at school and got lunchtime detention for a week.  And stuck her sisters tweezers in a light socket.

I’m used to one kid at a time completely losing their minds, but all three that come to a head on the same day?  Ugh.  Anyway, I know have 3 cells phones, 3 iPads, and 3 children managing to get along with each other because they have no other outlets.  Kind of fun, actually.

So other than kids being idiotic, it’s been a stellar week!  Thankfully D and I have massages scheduled for Sunday afternoon.  We need it!

My To Do List Doesn’t Make Me Special. I Do That ALL On my Own!

FOOD

Yesterday started out with another juice.  This one was tomato, cucumber, lemon, and parsley.  I was nervous because I hate parsley, but I know it has some amazing nutritional benefits (most things we think of garnish does), so I’m on a mission to find a way to stomach it.  Turns out, that works best for me by juicing I think.  It was surprisingly tasty.  I think the highly juicy tomatoes and cucumber masked the parsley taste, which is just fine with me.

photographic evidence of my intent to shove parsley in my juicer

photographic evidence of my intent to shove parsley in my juicer

more proof, since only that would have turned my juice green!  (cucumber by itself is mostly clear)

JUICE GOBLET

Lunch was a Mexican BAS before heading to the movies.

romaine, red onion, guacamole, and salsa.

romaine, red onion, guacamole, and salsa.

Of course one cannot go to the movies without popcorn.  At least not this one.  I had about half of a small bag of plain popped corn.

Dinner ended up being a green smoothie.  I wasn’t feeling a big meal, so that worked out well.  Then I got cold and crawled into bed with a heating pad wrapped around my feet.  Long story.

This morning I made a double batch of smoothie.  I drank half when I got to work and packed the other half in a thermos and stuck in the fridge at work, just in case.

2 cups water, 2 bananas, 1 cup of frozen mixed berries, and spinach until no more fit.

2 cups water, 2 bananas, 1 cup of frozen mixed berries, and spinach until no more fit.

Lunch was a 3-tiered bento of awesome.  Tier 1 – veggie snacks.  Tier 2 – tofu stir fry.  Tier 3 – cabbage and kale slaw salad thingy with the lemon/hemp dressing I made before.

tofu was a dry stir fry with red onion, orange bell pepper, asparagus, and broccoli.  Add some Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) and done!  Add 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, and you're full for hours.  Promise.

tofu was a dry stir fry with red onion, orange bell pepper, asparagus, and broccoli. Add some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) and done! Add 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, and you’re full for hours. Promise.

Side note.  S gave me hell on Facebook for having a plastic fork.  I AM SORRY.  I forgot to pack either my fork or chopsticks, so it was either use a plastic fork from work or eat with my hands.

Dinner ended up being wicked late at the office, so it’s a good thing I had a cold smoothie just waiting for me.  That was dinner.

Two points for me actually being prepared today!

FITNESS

I did a workout DVD yesterday.  I didn’t make it to the group run at the ocean front.  I just couldn’t make myself set an alarm on another weekend day – especially since I know I’m in for a heck of a rough week this week.  I decided that if I woke up on my own in plenty of time, I’d go.  If not – I’d do something else.  It was a something else kind of day.

LIFE

Yesterday D and I went to the movies!  If you know me, we’re a big movie loving family.  We quote them constantly, and I have a memory about actors that rivals IMDB.  So yesterday was a happy day.

We saw Django Unchained, which was just awesome.  People are either Quentin Tarantino fans or they’re not.  Thankfully, both D and I are.  I won’t go into any big movie review, but if you like Quentin Tarantino flicks (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, etc.), you’ll enjoy this.  If not…well….then skip it I suppose.

Today was back to work.  It’s funny though, I woke up this morning quite excited about it being Monday and going to the office.  Not that I ever don’t like what I do, but thought it was a weird feeling for an early Monday morning.  Oh well, I’m going to roll with it.

It was a 10 hour day and I have a billion things to do (though we all do, so it’s not like I’m special or anything…well…I am, but not because of my to do list).  I didn’t get everything on my list done by a long shot, but I did get everything on my “can’t go home until it’s done Monday” things done.  Which is probably why I was there until 630.

I swung by the pool to see D and to watch R swim for a bit, and then came home to make them dinner.

Now…I plan to be asleep in an hour, so Happy Monday!  Hope you had a good one 🙂

Who Needs Toes?

FOOD

I hate making coffee. Not sure I’ve ever mentioned that before, but there are very few things I dislike around the house more than making coffee. I have absolutely no rational basis for this – I have a coffee maker and it’s pretty brain-dead easy. For some reason, though, it gets on my nerves. So when I’m up way earlier than I know anyone else is going to be, I make one of my fancy espresso’s (I have a Nespresso that’s absolutely divine) with some frothed up vanilla coconut milk, and get my java fix that way.

Since I was up at 6am on a Saturday, that’s exactly what I did! Then it was a banana before running out the door.

When I got home, I had a green smoothie with a chocolate twist for my actual breakfast. I wasn’t hungry enough for a full lunch, so I made a snack of rice crackers, guacamole, and cucumber slices. It was surprisingly fun tasting – and I think the cool crisp cuc brought it all together.

1 cup homemade soymilk, 2 dates, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 large handful spinach, and 2 tbsp. raw cocoa nibs.

1 cup homemade soymilk, 2 dates, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 large handful spinach, and 2 tbsp. raw cocoa nibs.

snack time fun!

snack time fun!

For dinner, I packed a to go bag. I went to a party at AC’s house, and when I go out to parties, I always bring my own food so no one has to worry about “what the hell Crissie is going to eat”.

I started by making a raw carrot/miso/ginger dressing by Choosing Raw, and topped a BAS (new readers…that means Big Ass Salad) with it. I chose kale as my main green since it can stand soaking in dressing for hours, unlike most lettuces.

this was surprisingly tasty to me - I'm not a fan of raw carrots (unless juiced), but this has great flavor

this was surprisingly tasty to me – I’m not a fan of raw carrots (unless juiced), but this has great flavor

my to-go BAS

my to-go BAS

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I also made some brown rice and topped it with barely steamed asparagus, broccoli, chickpeas, black sesame seeds, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce or tamari is a great substitute – use the tamari if you want to keep to gluten-free).

have food, will survive any party

have food, will survive any party

At the party I did munch on some veggies and had a glass of red wine. All in all, another great food day (because life is too short to eat crap food).

FITNESS

My alarm went off at 6am. On a Saturday. It sucked a lot. BUT….I got up anyway (I had slept like crap most of the night, so there was no real reason to stay in bed).

After my awesome coffee drink, I got into my cold weather running gear, grabbed a banana, and headed out the door for a group run.

I met up with about 15 other runners at a local park and ran 4 miles. It was cold, but thankfully not windy. Once again, I botched the clothing and over dressed. After mile 1, I was a little too hot. Except for my toes – my toes stayed numb. But really…who needs toes?

After my run I went home and took a shower and sat in bed with my iPad and cat in my bathrobe
for a half hour feeling very accomplished for a Saturday morning.

LIFE

I went to bed fairly early last night, thinking it would make me well rested for my run today. It didn’t – it just meant more hours spent in bed lying awake. I hate the bouts of insomnia. I swear, I’m due for a solid night soon.

AC and her husband had their annual post-Christmas party today, and I went over early to help set up. D came out about 2 1/2 hrs later and joined the festivities, which were in full swing. We had a really nice time, stayed for a few hours, and were still home at a reasonable hour.

the rare picture of Crissie, as seen in the wild (or aka - on the other end of a camera)

the rare picture of Crissie, as seen in the wild (or aka – on the other end of a camera)

So now – I’m attempting to make homemade soy yogurt (again…) and hoping to head to bed soon! Wild and crazy, I know.