The Chains That Bind Us


You know how it is – it's time for lunch and everyone is trying to figure out where to go. You're the only vegan of the bunch, and feel guilty if everyone is “forced” to choose based on your favorite hippie joints. So when they pick one of those national chain restaurants, you cringe a little on the inside (knowing that they don't even have salads that don't have chicken in it), and hope for the best. You can always sneak a granola bar back at your desk.

All I can say, is thank heavens for D. Even though he isn't a veg head like me, he's very conscious of what's available that I might enjoy. Not just the ability to deal with piecing together a few side dishes, but having a truly yummy dish. So when we walked into TGIFriday's, I didn't have high expectations.

I was, however, pleasantly surprised when the restaurant manager went out of her way to make me a pasta dish that, while not 5-Star vegan restaurant dish, it was tasty and special and made just for me! A simple pasta dish with roasted veggies, garlic, and spicy bruschetta sauce. It was nice to not just eat a side salad, hold everything! So while they're pretty much never my first choice, I don't think I'll balk so much at those restaurant chains that bind us all.

Another fun dining out experience came from a local restaurant called Chow. This time, while not a vegan place either, they did have vegan specific menu items. I opted for the Vegan BBQ plate, and had some bbq gardein strips, mashers (which were awesome), and fried pickles!

And other than that, the week consisted of typical me-food. Smoothies, blended salads (which is really just a smoothie of just veggies), Ezekiel toast with bananas, watermelon, and some Mexican take out!


The past week has been a very active one, including one very special evening.

I've had several runs – some better than others. I'm starting to get bored with my surroundings again, and that's never a good thing.

I had a great bike ride on Saturday with R. We did 8 miles at the Great Dismal Swamp canal trail. I rode my hybrid this time, and not my racing bike – and man, oh, man, did I have to work to keep up with her! It was a ton of fun though.

This last week has continued my yoga streak as well. I'm fully hooked on Ashtanga, and have been doing an online class pretty much every day. D mentioned that he'd like it if I did a studio class now and then – to be sure I have someone to correct my form, etc, should I need to. He's so thoughtful.

Anyway, I googled Ashtanga in my area and was surprised to find a few studios that do a class once in awhile. What was even cooler, is that there appeared to be a multi-day Ashtanga workshop in Virginia Beach over the weekend. You could do the entire thing for $350, or go class by class for $34-55 each. At D's urging, I signed up for a workshop on Friday night.

I arrived and there were 30 of us. Several new to that style of yoga, and when the person leading the workshop got going, I was in for an amazing experience. He spent an hour or so talking through the philosophy of Ashtanga yoga, cracking jokes, telling stories, and basically just having a great time. The last 45 minutes or so, he led the class through the primary series. At the end, he asked how many people were from out of town – turns out over half the class was. I was surprised. I was even more surprised to find about 1/3 of the class had flown in just for his classes! Turns out, this guy, David Swenson, is some rock star in the yoga world, and I happened to just “fall in” to one of his workshops. Talk about getting luck!


Well, what can I say. Another week gone, and it's been crazy. Even though it was only a 4 day week (as is this one for me), it was still crazy. For various reasons, I don't get home until very late three nights per week, and trying to keep up with all of my life's demands as sort of been sucking the life out of me.

There's not much to tell for the week itself, other than it wasn't bad at all, just busy. I've picked up a new project at work, so that will be pretty cool.(I hope – it's something I haven't done before).

Friday was vehicle hell. I left Friday morning for work, and my van stalled. Finally got it started and went home, transferred everything to my daughter's car (she's up at college, so her car is here), and not a block down the road, her check engine light came on. I gave up, went home, and let my boss know I was working there for the day!

My van is in the shop, and A's car is just fine (it's a diesel, and if you don't drive it regularly, it gets angry…after a while, the check engine light went back off and all is right with it).

Friday evening was the yoga workshop, Saturday was yoga, bike rides, then going out with AC for some dinner and drinks. Sunday was errands, bulk cooking, and cleaning. Not a jam packed weekend, but still a nice one!



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

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