Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bananas and Undercover Kitty

FOOD

I want to start by sharing this month’s foodie pen pal goodies!  Being that it’s the last day of the month, all the participants blog about the care package they received.  This month, my box came from Katharine in MD.  She sent me a lovely box with a very tasty HOT raspberry jam (never had that before…and I’m having fun with it), a spiced tea, and hot mustard powder.  Clearly she knows I like some heat and spice in my meals!

my box!  getting boxes is so much fun...

my box! getting boxes is so much fun…

my goodies!

my goodies!

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If you’re interested in checking out the Foodie Pen Pal program (you do NOT have to be a blogger nor are most vegans…it’s just an inexpensive gift exchange with a random stranger…it’s pretty awesome, actually), just check out Lindsay’s blog here!

Otherwise, the past day or so has been some Big A$$ Salads and lots of fruits.  My favorite by far has to be mixing 1 sliced banana, 1 cup of blueberries, and a couple shakes of cinnamon and vanilla and microwaving for 2 minutes.  I didn’t take a pic, but that was my breakfast this morning.  So awesome!

my BAS chopped salad at lunch with D.  Full of awesome veggies and beans.  I think chopped salads are one of my favorites!

my BAS chopped salad at lunch with D. Full of awesome veggies and beans. I think chopped salads are one of my favorites!

FITNESS

Yesterday was an options rest or cross train day, and I had to take it as a rest day.  Between work and other commitments, I didn’t get home until nearly 11pm.  I didn’t workout in the morning because I was fasting for blood work, and knew I couldn’t eat after…and I’d have felt like poo.

So, making up for it today!  It’s technically a run day, but what I really felt like was a hot yoga class, so I did that instead.  I’m going to be gone for a week starting tomorrow, and while I know I can lace up and run anywhere (even the hotel gym), I don’t know if I can work hot yoga into my hectic conference schedule.

Oh, speaking of yoga, my husband texted me this last night.  It’s a conversation he had with our 9 yr. old daughter (the swimmer)….

“I want to get back into yoga.  I want to use my muscles better and stretch more.  Not stronger, swimming makes me stronger.  I want to use my muscles better which will make me better at swimming”.

Seriously.  I love this kid (she did kids animal yoga when she was 4/5 yrs. old and we still had non-hot yoga studios around here).

LIFE

So I’m mostly packed for my trip.  D brought out the suitcase before work yesterday, and while I managed to toss a couple of things in there, Bumble made a mad dash for it as soon as it came out.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but she has a very weird obsession with luggage.  She’ll sleep on it, rub all over it, and if you open it – watch out, because she’ll hop right in.  As soon as D got it from the garage, she started meowing and following him until he put it down.

bumble in a bag!

bumble in a bag!

busted this evening rolling around on the suitcase again.  It's like her catnip or something....

busted this evening rolling around on the suitcase again. It’s like her catnip or something….

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On my way home at 10 last night, I had to make a stop at the grocery down the street.  I was out of bananas.  I realized when I went into the store that I have at least one every day.  If it’s a smoothie day, I often have two.  And…this is the second time in about a month I’ve blogged about freaking out when I’m lacking bananas.  So yeah…my life sort of revolves around bananas.  At least my dietary plans do anyway.

Last night was a rough night, and I’m paying for it today.  For several reasons, I got very little sleep.  Today has been stressful as well, but am hanging in there just trying to get everything done before my flight in the morning.

This was a ridiculously cute picture I took of Bumble when I was still in bed.  She used to be an undercover kitty (liked to sleep under blankets), but she stopped doing that 10 years ago.  When D woke up this morning, he threw the covers back, and Bumble ended up undercover again, with only her little head peeking out.  Too cute for words.

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So goodnight, and I’ll be blogging from New Orleans next!

Better Late to the Party than Never Arriving

FOOD

Yesterday was a yummy food day.  Breakfast was some warm lemon water and then a fresh juice.

carrot, celery, lemon, and parsley

carrot, celery, lemon, and parsley

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I snacked on some pomegranate seeds mid-morning.  Holy cow!  I know I’m totally late to the party on this one – all you read is about the awesomeness of these things – but better late than never.  They were so yummy – sweet, sour, and crunchy.  I’m definitely buying these again.

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Lunch was a BAS with a side of roasted balsamic butternut squash.

cut up, drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar, cover, and roast for an hour.

cut up, drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar, cover, and roast for an hour.

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I snacked on some spicy flax crackers in the mid-afternoon.

Dinner was a tofu and cabbage stir fry.

tofu, cabbage blend, and then stir fried with some rice vinegar and tamari

tofu, cabbage blend, and then stir fried with some rice vinegar and tamari

FITNESS

It’s a good thing I went for a run in the morning, because it rained all stinking day!  I had a very early morning conference call, and as soon as I hung up, I was out the door.  I ran, showered up, and then back to work, so that ended up working out very well.

LIFE

It was a fairly typical work day yesterday.  Meetings, emails, project work.  The usual.  It was another late day, so I didn’t get home until after 830 pm.

M came home sick from school (probably from playing sword games out in the woods on Sunday with his friends in the wet cold) and will be staying home today.  I have to figure out when I’m going to pack before my trip Friday morning.  Oh, and my daughter started making her prom dress.  Here it is so far!

a work in progress, but so pretty!

a work in progress, but so pretty!

 

No, Raw Cookies Don’t Just Mean Cookie Dough

FOOD

I’ve briefly mentioned a few times about a physician and author named Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  I’ve read a few of his books now, and have found that his methods and writings really speak to me and make sense.  If you’re even a little interested, check out Eat to Live or Eat for Health.  I did one on my Kindle and one as an audiobook, and I’ve been slowly incorporating some of his philosophies in my life.

As it happens, Carrie over on carrieonvegan has organized a healthy vegan challenge, which is 8 weeks of eating by these particular philosophies.  I thought it was a great idea, so I signed up and it began yesterday!

I had some warm lemon water when I woke up (no java).  I made a green juice, but had to pack it up and take it with me.  I enjoyed it during my first morning meeting where again – I get snarky or questioning comments.

Romaine, lemon, celery, apple, ginger.

Romaine, lemon, celery, apple, ginger.

I also packed up a big green smoothie into two thermos.  I had one as a mid morning snack, and one around 840 pm.

Lunch was the rest of that kale salad I made on Sunday (which is just yummy), and I snacked throughout the day on blueberries, strawberries, banana, and raw chocolate cookies (yes, they’re amazing – dates, coconut, cocoa powder, and sesame seeds….).  They were a big topic of conversation in meetings, when they read they were raw cookies, assuming it was just chunks of cookie dough!  Everyone ate some though, and they all liked them.  Hippie Food Converts!

a kale BAS

a kale BAS

these cookies are brilliant.  all raw and natural ingredients, but a big taste of chocolate in a crunchy cracker/cookie thing.

these cookies are brilliant. all raw and natural ingredients, but a big taste of chocolate in a crunchy cracker/cookie thing.

I wasn’t home for dinner, so I had a banana and the rest of my green smoothie.  I honestly would have preferred a BAS or maybe a light soup, but it was way too late when I got home to make anything, so I had some herbal tea and hit the hay.

FITNESS

I’ve been working on being consistent in my yoga practice.  I’ve done well for the most part, often doing either an online video, DVD, or guided podcast at home.  But that said, there’s something totally different about going to a class and having someone else teach!  I also like hot yoga, and as much as I love doing yoga at home, if I cranked the heat to 105 degrees and pumped up the humidifiers, I think my family would kill me.

D has been encouraging me to make time to hit up the studio if that’s what I want, so (despite just really wanting to come home after an already 11 hour day) I went to a 730 hot yoga class.  I am SO glad I did.  It really was the best hour of my day, and I completely enjoyed the class.  It was challenging (as always – anyone who thinks yoga is easy has clearly never tried it), and I was a de-stressed and content ball of sweat when I was done.  Yay yoga!

LIFE

No complaints about yesterday really.  I was up early (my new early anyway, as I try to make way to becoming a more productive morning person).  After making breakfast and packed a lunch for R, I made all my stuff and packed a big back of food for the day.  Plus a workout bag.  And my briefcase.  So when I finally left at 715 yesterday morning, it looked like I was moving out!

Meetings all day and into the evening.  Nothing new there either – I’m leaving town on Friday morning, so I need to get about 2 weeks worth of work done in my 4 working days this week.  I can’t complain though, because I love what I do.

After the last of my evening was over at 7pm, I booked it over to yoga, came home, hung out with everyone for a bit, then went to bed around 11.  All in all, it was a really great Monday.  Not often I can say that!

Lazy Days That Still Manage To Be Busy

FOOD

Do you ever find it funny how blueberries always dominate the color palate of anything you eat them with?  I made an uber-green smoothie Friday morning on my way to work – I’m talking about 3 cups of spinach….and just a half cup of blueberries turned the entire thing purple.  They should be called purple berries anyway.

Also on deck this weekend was a spicy stir fry.  Red onion, bell peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and pineapple.  I dry stir fried them in a non stick pan and then added tamari, red chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes.  It was really, really good.

stir fry ingredients

stir fry ingredients

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A visit to Whole Foods is never, ever complete (nor possible) without a BAS.  Even though the one by me still isn’t stellar on the vegan options outside of veggies, they are getting a bit better.

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Finally a kale BAS with a (slightly overly) lemony dressing.  And baked sweet spud.  Yum!

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kale, bell pepper, onion, tomato

kale, bell pepper, onion, tomato

FITNESS

I hit up a hot yoga class yesterday that was just what I needed.  My back has been hurting for a couple of days (think I slept funny Thursday night), so I skipped my Saturday run and did yoga instead.  Between that and a heating pad for a couple of days, it’s mostly back to normal.

Today I did my first race of the year!  It was a 5K in Williamsburg, and according to my watch and the chip timing, it was 2 minutes faster than the one I ran in December in VA Beach.  So yay!  And they had hills in WB, so that made me feel pretty good.  My butt and legs may be killing me tomorrow, but for now, I’m a happy girl.

gotta love Colonial Williamsburg!  Fife and Drums lead the marathoners across the finish line at the College of William and Mary.

gotta love Colonial Williamsburg! Fife and Drums lead the marathoners across the finish line at the College of William and Mary.

post race band in the beer garden area.  Very Mumford and Sons-ish.  Guy on the right would go from playing the violin normally to playing it like a guitar.

post race band in the beer garden area. Very Mumford and Sons-ish. Guy on the right would go from playing the violin normally to playing it like a guitar.

LIFE

Friday was work and then a hair cut.  It’s funny – I go over 2 years without a haircut on a regular basis, but once I cut it off, I keep going!  I do wonder how long it’ll be before I give up on the required maintenance of haircuts and let it grow again.  I have curly hair, and I’ve had more bad cuts than I can articulate.  Every time I’ve had a cut I didn’t love, I refuse to get it cut for a long time.  I will say, that I finally found someone I really like (she has curly hair too – it’s the only way to go), so I’m sticking with the short locks for a bit.  Besides – it’s ridiculously easy to “do” my hair now.  Basically, I don’t do anything.

Friday night we watched Skyfall and read in bed.

hubby and R snuggled up Friday night.

hubby and R snuggled up Friday night.

Saturday was supposed to be at R’s swim meet, but she had to miss it (major head cold).  We took the day to mostly relax.  I went to Whole Foods after my yoga class, then showered and was in jammies by 130.  It was nice!

I was up early Saturday morning, and as soon as I got up, Bumble moved over to snuggle D.  It was too cute to not snap a quick pic (and put all over Facebook and Twitter of course)

I was up early Saturday morning, and as soon as I got up, Bumble moved over to snuggle D. It was too cute to not snap a quick pic (and put all over Facebook and Twitter of course)

Today I dropped M off at a friend’s house on my way to the race.  After some shopping, racing, and general fun, I made my way home.  I was intending to have a very simple dinner, but M brought his friends over and I ended up making a 4 course meal.  Can’t have his friend’s thinking we only eat soup and crackers!

This week will be pretty crazy since I leave town Friday for a week.  I’m very much looking forward to it though.

 

Call the Running Fashion Police

FOOD

Green juices or smoothies are the general order every day now.  My smoothie on Tuesday was especially green, so that garnered some interesting comments when I showed up in an early morning meeting with it.  From people turning into nutritionists “what do you mean, you don’t put protein powder in there, you should!”, to “I could never drink that”.  It’s always a talking point though…

Tuesday's green smoothie.  Pre-blending of course, but it was a beautiful and bright green

Tuesday’s green smoothie. Pre-blending of course, but it was a beautiful and bright green

green juice. romaine, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger.  Back to basics on this one.

green juice. romaine, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger. Back to basics on this one.

I made a split pea soup for weekday lunches, so that’s been good.  Celery, onion, carrot, garlic, kale, and my homemade broth (which is now gone!).

broth

broth

peas

peas

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lunch!

lunch!

FITNESS

I went for a run before work yesterday, and I swear someone should have called the running fashion police.  It was a cold morning (about 35) and I always screw up dressing for the cold.  I was like a flashback out of the Rocky movies!  Sweatpants, long sleeve turtleneck-type shirt, and a thick hoodie.  And a hat and gloves.  I didn’t feel like a runner…or at least like I was dressed like one.  But I stayed warm, and I guess that’s mostly the point!

LIFE

Not much to tell the past few days.  It’s certainly been busy and mostly late nights.  The early part of the week are like that.  Late meetings, work events, etc.  I have one tonight too, but it’s earlier than usual, so I think that I’ll still be home at a relatively reasonable hour!

For now, I’m going to run again this morning, probably look like a reject from an 80’s boxing movie, and then hustle off to work!

Massaged Out of Bruce Willis

FOOD

Breakfast on Friday was the last of the awesome soup. I really, really need to make it again. Lunch was a BAS with the balsamic/sunflower seed dressing and a baked potato.

simple BAS of romaine, arugula, avocado, and onion.

simple BAS of romaine, arugula, avocado, and onion.

I did have the most amazing snack on the planet though; 1 sliced banana, 1 cup frozen blueberries, a few dashes of cinnamon and vanilla – and microwave for 2 minutes.  OH MY GOSH.  Dessert without guilt.  Make it.  Eat it.  Thank me later.  Actually, thank Dr. Fuhrman…but trust me that I taste tested it and it rocks.

pre-microwaving because it's prettier...but post-microwaving is tastier

pre-microwaving because it’s prettier…but post-microwaving is tastier

Dinner was out with AC which consisted of salad, wine, and french fries (not proud of that last part, but there it is).

Saturday was a really big green smoothie for breakfast. For lunch, R and I went to a Latin restaurant in VB that was just awesome. We had an appetizer of plantains (I haven’t had them in YEARS) and lunch was a Latin veg fricassee. It was awesome. Dinner was a BAS and some red lentil dhal with brown rice.

it came with a garlic sauce...but the ONLY way to eat these bad boys is with a ton of hot sauce, which is exactly what I did.  Almost makes me miss living in Cali.  Almost....

it came with a garlic sauce…but the ONLY way to eat these bad boys is with a ton of hot sauce, which is exactly what I did. Almost makes me miss living in Cali. Almost….

a small and simple dish (which I also loaded with hot sauce).  Fresh veggies in a sauce with a small side of rice.

a small and simple dish (which I also loaded with hot sauce). Fresh veggies in a sauce with a small side of rice.

I also made a killer batch of homemade granola. It’s based off this recipe from Oh She Glows, but modified for my nut-free ness (aka…sub raw-sunflower seeds for the nuts).

after coming out of the oven.  It cooled into these Cinnabon-flavored amazing chunks of healthy energy.

after coming out of the oven. It cooled into these Cinnabon-flavored amazing chunks of healthy energy.

Breakfast today was a BAS from Whole Foods, and lunch was an avocado wrap. Haven’t decided about dinner yet!

From the Whole Foods bar at 10am.  Perfect brunch!

From the Whole Foods bar at 10am. Perfect brunch!

FITNESS

Friday afternoon I went for a run between meetings. It makes me very grateful I have shorter hair again 🙂

Saturday was a rest day, and today ended up being a gym day. I would have preferred an outdoor run…but it snowed last night, and today was cold and wet and I’m a wuss. Not to mention that R was begging me to run on the treadmill at the Y (and just got new running shoes….she is SO a triathlete in the making), so off to the gym we went. M went too, and all three of us spent an hour working out.

I ran for 45 minutes and R ran for 30. M did some weight lifting, then he and R went into the gym to play basketball. When I was done with my run, I joined them! It was a ridiculous amount of fun playing for about 15 minutes. I actually played in the Girls Club when I was a kid. I wasn’t any good, but it was fun! M and R had fun too, and isn’t that the point of being a parent? I want my kids to find fitness fun, and not a chore. It’s working with 2/3 of them….

LIFE

After work Friday, AC and I went out to a local place near my house. We had a few drinks and dinner, and then hung out at my house. Always a good time.

picture D took of me after AC and I made it back to our house around 11ish.

picture D took of me after AC and I made it back to our house around 11ish.

R had an appt with her allergist. They’re going to re-test her to see if her nut allergies have decreased in severity at all. Since I have a ton of blood work ordered by my doctor from my physical on Thursday, the two of us are going together tomorrow morning to get it done. Her allergist also things she’s a candidate to participate in the Duke program to try to develop peanut immunity. We’ll have to research and see – it means exposing her multiple times per week (in a clinical setting) to diluted peanut flour until she develops an immunity. If it works – she’d have to eat peanut-containing food many times a week for the rest of her life to keep that immunity up. I will tell you – she freaked out about the thought of purposely ingesting something that she’s known for years could severely harm her…or worse. D took her to the appointment which is good…because when he told me about the program, I freaked out too. I guess we’ll see what happens after her blood work comes back and go from there.

Saturday and Sunday D and A had some volunteer work they were doing (5 hrs. each day), so it was mainly me and the younger two all weekend. Yesterday, R and I ran some errands (farmer’s market, Asian market, running store) while M was at a friend’s house. Once it started snowing, we all came home and stayed inside (I’m not a fan or cold or snow…).

my sister called it a "dusting".  She lives in WI, so she doesn't comprehend how devastating a snow fall like this can be.  I know...my blood has thinned since I moved south, but seriously.  Snow doesn't belong here.  Ever.

my sister called it a “dusting”. She lives in WI, so she doesn’t comprehend how devastating a snow fall like this can be. I know…my blood has thinned since I moved south, but seriously. Snow doesn’t belong here. Ever.

my big girl, volunteering today!

my big girl, volunteering today!

Today was a trip to Whole Foods before the gym, and then (for me anyway) a massage. It was absolutely the best ever. I think I said that last month, but D and I have decided that this year, we’re going to get monthly massages. As a result, I’m now seeing the same person every month, and she is zeroing on in my specific issues – like me carrying all my stress in my neck, the fact that I clench my jaw and grind my teeth, etc. I’ve never had anyone that really focuses on my trouble spots, and I left feeling absolutely amazed, and can’t wait until next month!

D is at the movies with M (I was supposed to go since I’m a Die Hard junkie, but my massage was so relaxing I fell asleep – and didn’t want to go anywhere!), A is in her room sewing, R is chilling out next to me, and I’m actually about to watch the NBA All-Stars. I know…don’t freak out. I’m watching a sport on TV other than soccer…guess today’s reminded me how much I actually like basketball!

I leave you with more pictures of my youngest two sword fighting in the back yard (yes….M had gotten into the Renaissance thing).  Keep in mind this was Friday.  When it was 63 degrees.  Which explains all the more my bitterness of snow and cold that befell us on Saturday.

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Can’t Be a Spook :(

FOOD

Yesterday’s post showed my huge smoothie.  I’ll be honest – I couldn’t finish it.  I got through two big classes and had to give up.  So full….

Lunch was more of my awesomeness soup from the other day.  I was in the longest meeting ever, so soup was perfect!

Dinner was a BAS and pre-workout snack was a banana.

So…about my salad dressing (nice segue huh?).  I’ve read a lot peripherally about Dr. Fuhrman and his approach to eating, but not actively read until this past week or so.  It’s quite brilliant, and I’m finding myself motivated to eat like a “nutrarian”, which is a great way to say no junk.  I made a spin-off one of his salad dressings last night (going with his mantra of “make salad the main meal”), and I was really  yummy.  I had to modify since his uses nuts and I used a different vinegar, but what I ended up with was a creamy balsamic dressing that was just incredible.

peeled clementine's, raw sesame seeds, raw sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinegar.

peeled clementine’s, raw sesame seeds, raw sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinegar.

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FITNESS

Yesterday was a gym workout.  It was originally supposed to be a Cross fit class with M, but he forgot his workout shoes at school.  We’ve both missed CF, and a new studio opened literally around the corner, so we’re going to check it out and see what we think!

It ended up being for the best anyway, because D was held up at work and never would have been home in time to get R to her two-hour swim night (Thursday’s are the most intense for her).

So, I took her and did a treadmill run during the second half of her swim.  She has private 1:1 instruction for a half hour, then came out, put on her bathrobe, noshed on a banana, and drank a bottle of water.  She calls is “fueling up” for her workout.  She then swam with friends for about 15 minutes, and then it was time for the one hour swim team practice.  That’s when I hit the “mill.

Since I dislike running on them so much, I decided to use the time to do sprints.  I’m really bad at getting those done, and I know they’re important, so for 30 minutes I did alternating sprints.  I was a hot sweaty mess when I was done!

I signed up for a race in Williamsburg next weekend.  It’s co-sponsored by my company for Heart Month.  Aside from loving to run, I think preventing heart disease is one of the most important things we need to do as a society, so if my race entry fee will help raise money and bring awareness to heart disease, I’m happy.  I’d be happier if those funds when to educate the masses on how dietary lifestyle changes is what it takes to wipe out heart disease (and loads of other diseases too) rather than new pills or procedures.  But that’s just a personal mission and tangent…

LIFE

I’ve always wanted to be a spy.  Or a ninja.  Mostly a spy though.  I wrote letters requesting information to places like the Foreign Service and the CIA when I was in high school.

So it was totally fun when I found out yesterday that the CIA was at one of our local universities to do recruitment.  I told D that I had always wanted to be a spook and I should go!  Then I realized that giving a gun-control advocate/Vegan a gun was probably not a good plan.  I’d end up with some un-fun job, so I think I’ll just stay where I am.  So I guess I can’t be a spook.  Maybe ninja could still happen though…

When R and I finally left the gym, I found this on my dashboard!

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We got home, and D was watching The Breakfast Club with the older two kids.  They all loved it, and having discussions about “what’s the Brat Pack” was fun too.  My sister had the soundtrack to that movie when we were kids and I remember “borrowing” it from her for awhile…..good memories 🙂

Lastly is a picture of my pups sleeping unabashedly.  Love it!

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Puppy Kisses and Sword Fights

FOOD

As I sit here drinking my green smoothie, I’m reflecting on what I ate yesterday.  Or more to the point…what I didn’t eat yesterday.  I was so insanely busy and hadn’t prepared anything really in advance, that I mostly skipped eating all day.  Not something I’m proud of.  I did manage to munch a Clif bar around 7 though.

banana, blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, arugula, spinach, and a couple drops of stevia.  The arugula makes this very peppery.  I like it :)

banana, blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, arugula, spinach, and a couple drops of stevia. The arugula makes this very peppery. I like it 🙂

Today, I will not make that same mistake!  I have a big (and I mean BIG) green smoothie, and will round out lunch with a BAS and some of my leftover awesome soup.

FITNESS

Yesterday was a rest day, but I did sign up for a 40 mile bike ride in March.  When I was a kid, I went biking a lot with my Dad.  WI participated in the Rails to Trails conservancy, and a lot of old railway tracks were converted to really nice bike trails.  I hadn’t heard of anything like that in a long time, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out we have that here in VA too!  So, on March 6th, I’ll be biking the High Bridge Rails to Trails with a group of regional riders.  We’ll bike, eat, relax, bike some more, repeat.  I’ll be riding my hybrid vs. my road bike, and get to use my bags to carry snacks, camera, and fun things.  I have to say, I’m really looking forward to it.

LIFE

Ah, yesterday was a heck of a day.  Started at 6am and didn’t end until midnight.  I finally got home last night around 1030 where D finally opened his bday gifts.  It was too late to eat the pineapple upside down cake I made him, so I felt really horrible about that.  It was certainly a good day, but a long one.  I’m even happier having that free 30 minute me-time in the morning.  And as much as I wanted to sleep in a bit today since I went to bed so late…I didn’t.  Up at 6.  That’s 3 days in a row!

I briefly mentioned Lent yesterday.  I don’t always do something, but the past few years I’ve really tried to.  It was Lent a few years ago that I first embarked on giving up gluten, for example.  This year I’m focusing on food, yet again.  I am the first to admit that while I do eat a healthy diet “most” of the time, I still have far too many processed and convenience foods in my life.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading about anti-inflammatory eating (long story I’ll get into later), and I think this is the perfect time to move away from those easy foods.  So, for Lent….no more processed foods.  That means pastas, crackers, breads, pre-packaged hippie granola bars (aka, my Clif bars), and focus on eating whole foods.  Just….whole foods.  It shouldn’t be hard work – I mean, it’s just as easy to peel a banana than it is to pop open a box of wheat thins, right?

It’s going to be challenging because I’m leaving for New Orleans in 2 weeks, but I think I’ll be ok.  So there’s my Lent mission.  More active steps towards a healthier body.  I think it’s a worthy mission indeed.

I leave you with some random pics D took last night – some with his new bday camera lens!

Sammie!

Sammie!

Sammie tackling me with kisses

Sammie tackling me with kisses

my youngest children sword fighting in the green room

my youngest children sword fighting in the green room

 

If More US Senators Ate My Soup They May Not Be So Dumb

FOOD

Yesterday started with a green juice.  I’m starting to get to the bottom of my produce stash, so I’m guessing a run to Whole Foods is coming sometime in the next couple of days!

 

kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger.

kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger.

D even had a fresh juice (though he’s not ready to have veggies in it – just fruits).  I was very proud of him for drinking it.  Long story, but we’re working on a way to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into his diet.  I’d say an apple/strawberry/orange/pineapple fresh juice helped meet that goal yesterday!

Lunch was one of those once-in-a-lifetime soups.  It literally was a moment of “hey, lets throw everything from the fridge and pantry in it and see what happens”.  What happened?  Awesome happened.

I dug this out of my pantry and it served as half of my soup base.  4 cups of veggie broth was the other half.

I dug this out of my pantry and it served as half of my soup base. 4 cups of veggie broth was the other half.

a quart of asparagus, half a head of cauliflower, tons of carrots, green beans, onion all thrown in with a tablespoon of the seasoning Herbamare

a quart of asparagus, half a head of cauliflower, tons of carrots, green beans, onion all thrown in with a tablespoon of the seasoning Herbamare

take up the remaining space with tons and tons of chopped kale

take up the remaining space with tons and tons of chopped kale

simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

eat lots!  I almost threw in a can or two of beans, but couldn't decide which I wanted.  It was perfect how it came out, though, but beans would have made it more of a balanced meal.

eat lots! I almost threw in a can or two of beans, but couldn’t decide which I wanted. It was perfect how it came out, though, but beans would have made it more of a balanced meal.

Dinner was more soup because I loved it so much and I had so many leftovers!

I also made my first batch of slow cooker veggie broth.  I took a tip from another blogger and started saving in my freezer all my unused veggies.  Peels, that little bit of onion left over, the base of a head of cabbage, that 1/2 fennel I never got around to using.  You get the picture….Anyway, the bag was full, so I dumped it into the crock, filled it with water, and set it for 12 hours.  What I have now is an amazingly flavorful broth and a good sense that I wasn’t wasteful about all that produce that would have found it’s way into the trash (though if I do manage to garden this year, that’ll be compost!).

growing bag in my freezer of leftover veggie parts

growing bag in my freezer of leftover veggie parts

into the crock

into the crock

beautiful broth in the making

beautiful broth in the making

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FITNESS

It was a beautiful and sunny day yesterday.  Mid-50’s and no rain, and while I wasn’t feeling that great, decided to go for a run anyway.  My week-long lull is still playing very heavily on me, so I laced up and went.

Overall, it was better than I anticipated it would be.  I had to take a few walk breaks to catch my breath, but the 3 miles went by pretty quickly.

LIFE

Life started with a free 30 minutes.  I woke up a half hour early, and blogged.  In fact, I’m doing it right now too.  While that means an hour of lost sleep total so far, I think I can get used to this.  I like the quiet little me time.  Eventually I may wake up even earlier or use this time to run, but I’m in no rush.  I’m just going to enjoy the quiet time while I get used to the earlier hour.

I was both happy and appalled by the US Senate yesterday.  They passed, by a vote of 78-22 to extend the Violence Against Women Act.  In 1994, this act created the Office on Violence Against Women as part of the Dept. of Justice, and provided funds to aid in the investigation and persecution of violent crimes against women.  What appalls me is that 22 of my fellow American’s thought this was a bad idea.  Do they not know that 1 in 3 women globally will be impacted by physical and sexual violence, and they voted against the only protective measure we have in this country?  Shame.  Shame on them.

Oh yeah, Lent begins today.  I’ll go into more about what I want to do for Lent tomorrow, but it’s always an opportunity to restart something, work towards ending something, or just being more mindful and reflective.  Think about your Lent (if it’s important to you).  I’d love to hear about it.

Wow, off that topic now because today is D’s birthday!!  We’re going out to breakfast before work, so I have to go get dressed now.  Happy Wednesday!

Sammie

Sammie

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When 1440 Isn’t Enough

FOOD

Most of the past week has been juice and smoothie based, though I don’t have many pictures.

photo 4 photo 3

I’ve been watching a bunch of raw food YouTube videos, and made a raw alfredo.  I subbed avocado for the pine nuts, and was amazed at how yummy it was.  I can’t believe I’m so late to the YouTube game here.  All I thought YouTube had was cat videos.  Who knew?

pressed juice from a local-ish juice bar.  When I can't make my own, this rocks.

pressed juice from a local-ish juice bar. When I can’t make my own, this rocks.

this was just yummy.  spiralized zucchini noodles, avocado alfredo sauce, and pulsed cauliflower topping.

this was just yummy. spiralized zucchini noodles, avocado alfredo sauce, and pulsed cauliflower topping.

Friday evening we had a dinner party with some co-workers.  It was a nice evening.  Saturday I had dinner plans with a friend of mine, which was also really nice.  Sunday I had dinner plans with a group before going to see a play, so my weekend was light on any cooking at home!

FITNESS

I’ll be honest, I ran once in the past week – yesterday.  I’ve had a persistent sore throat, but can’t really blame that too much.

I’ve been struggling with work/life balance the past few weeks, and in order to get everything done that I HAVE to, I tend to let things go that appear optional.  Even though I intellectually know that exercise and taking care of my physical body shouldn’t be considered optional.

I will say my run yesterday was pretty good.  I wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, and the weather was pretty decent (warm in the mid-60’s, but misting and damp).  This was one of those runs that for my head more than my body.  I needed to lift the fog and clear out the cobwebs, and it did the trick.  And while life isn’t going to let up anytime soon, I need to focus more on using the time I have to get it all done.

LIFE

Busy, Busy, Busy.  Don’t get me wrong – I thrive on being busy, but sometimes a lull in activities would be nice.  It feels like all I have time for is work and required activities, and I let things I enjoy – like running, yoga, and blogging – fall to the wayside.  I need to take a very hard look at my daily 1440 minutes to be sure I’m using them to their fullest potential – AND – that I have time to relax in there somewhere.

I read on Happy Herbivores blog yesterday about being an early bird.  That’s something I’ve never been, though I’ve tried.  I’m going to take her advice for awhile and set an alarm to wake up a bit earlier than normal – but then not do anything.  I think that’s been an issue for me in the past.  I try to wake up early to jam more stuff in my day, and I resent the fact that I could still be in bed!  So today, I woke up early, had some coffee, read some of my favorite blogs, and decided to do one of my own.  Maybe slowly, but surely, I’ll get more organized and life humming to a normal routine again.