Monthly Archives: October 2013

Gonna Go All Exorcist Now….

FOOD

Nope, this exorcist post has nothing to do with pea soup – that was a couple months ago here 🙂

Breakfast was another green smoothie. Coconut milk, banana, spinach, frozen mixed fruit, and a cut up pear. Like yesterdays, it was really filling. I wonder if it's the loaded fiber of the pear that's doing that….anyway, it's a keeper.

I was at a work-sponsored leadership conference at work all day. 1700 people, and nothing I could eat for lunch. I usually assume that'll be the case (I mean really, probably not a lot of vegan's in the group), but I had thrown a banana and a clif bar in my purse before heading to the convention center, so I wasn't in danger of starving or anything.

Dinner was very simple. An oven-baked sweet potato with pepper, and a small salad with onion, avocado, and salsa.

FITNESS

I did end up going to a hot yoga class after the conference. I was seriously considering skipping it – I was exhausted – but D told me I'd feel so much better if I went, so I did.

And he was right! I was almost falling asleep lying on my mat before class started, but it ended up being amazing. I had killer focus and managed to get deeper into two postures than I ever had before. So yay!

I will say, that's one of the things I love about yoga. My brain swirls constantly – I have no idea how to “shut it off”, and I always envy people who can totally veg out and not “think” about anything. Not me….it's constant head chatter in my melon. Problem solving, list making, worrying about something, making plans for something, figuring out something I forgot to do, etc. All the time – except with yoga. For that 60-90 minutes, my brain doesn't focus on anything other than what I'm doing at that exact moment. I don't think about earlier or later, but right then.

However – according to the crack pot running for Lt. Governor of my wonderful Virginia – yoga will turn me into some demon/devil kind of thing. No shit. So many people I know are screwed….

An excerpt of his wildly ridiculous interview is below. Link to article also included in case you want to laugh and be horrified, all at the same time…

….”E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, suggested that yoga could open individuals to Satan, according to a report…

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. … The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. … [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ew-jackson-virginia-lieutenant-governor-yoga-satan-92321.html#ixzz2jFlPuUhA

So watch out…I may go all exorcist any day now….

LIFE

Today was our annual leadership conference for work. While all the State of the Unions, updates, and presentations are generally nice, my favorite part is seeing people I don't get to see very often – sometimes only at this meeting. That was certainly true today!

After work was yoga, then making dinner, pumpkin carving, and now it's time to pick up the house and head in the direction of bed. Happy Hump Day!!!

 

 

Call Me Blinky

FOOD

I will start with a Gordon Bierch update. They responded to my email very promptly and with as much service recovery as I would expect any company to do. So, despite my upsetting experience, hopefully some good will come of it. Here's the response:

Good morning Ms. ***,

Thank you for your email comments regarding your visit to our Virginia Beach location last week. I sincerely apologize that we did not deliver on your dietary preferences with your salad. We server be better prepared to ask the proper questions of the management team if they are not completely sure of what the guests needs are.

I have passed along your comments to the team in Virginia Beach and we will use them to better educate the team on this important issue.

Please pass along your mailing address so that I can send you out a gift card for the future, as a token of our apology and thanks for letting us know.

All the best,

Arthur

Arthur Forgette

Regional Manager

CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries

aforgette@cwrestaurants.com

(704) 840-6383

craftworks_email_signature

“Every Guest, Every Time!”

Today started off with a killer green smoothie. Coconut milk, pear, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach. I love the pear addition.

I had some tea during one of my morning meetings. I have a stash of agave in my drawer, and since I was having an apple cider tea, I went with a cinnamon flavored sweetner. Totally great addition. Though one of my managers asked if it was honey, and I made some bizzare face before saying “no, I don't eat honey”. He was confused. Two words. Bee vomit. No thanks.

I ran out of time to make lunch (early meetings), but did have just enough time to run over to Whole Foods and grab something. My intent was a box of fun from the bar and a Kombucha. I ended up with that – and a slice of vegan pizza! I ate the pizza at my desk and then the salad in a late meeting as dinner. Totally worked out well.

FITNESS

I was hoping to hit up a yoga class today, but was in meetings too late to get there. I laced up and went for a run instead when I got home!

We're having a total “Indian Summer” here (if you're from a cold weather state, you know what that is!). It was in the 70's today, and in the mid-60's for my run. Perfect. It was one of those amazing runs too with endless energy. So I guess I can't complain that my meetings ran late and I was “forced” to run instead of do yoga. It was all for the good.

OH, and I was lit up!!! Despite the warmer temps, it was full dark when I went to run. I finally had a chance to use my blinky lights!

I forgot my iPod at work on the docking station (I have an old Nano), so had to use my phone. I wore a running belt and D clipped blinky on my backside. I will say, I definitely felt safer.

I also answered my phone when it rang (had on headphones with a mic, so it was easy). Carried on a quick conversation with my Dad while chugging away!

LIFE

Back to normal about sums it up. Work, meetings, swim team practice for R, general normal/crazy/awesome life.

Tomorrow is an all day leadership meeting, but we end at 3, so it'll truly be a short day. I'm hoping to hit up a 4pm yoga class before calling it a day. It's also supposed to stay nice and warm for a few days, which means a warm trick or treat on Thursday! Woo hoo!!!!

 

The New Math: Little Black Dress + Jammies = Tater Tots and Beer

FOOD

The past few days have been a whirlwind, and since I can't quite remember everything, here are a couple highlights.

Thursday evening was out with AC. We shared a bucket of tater tots with siracha ketchup, and then I had a faux chicken sammich with pasta salad. The pasta salad didn't taste like anything, but the sammich was good. I ate about half because the tater tots were better. Not a healthy evening, I know.

Lunch on Friday left me scarred for life. After an all-staff meeting, one of my co-workers and I went to Gordon Biersch for lunch. I ordered the veggie tacos – no cheese/sour cream – and a side salad. I told the waitress I was vegan as I was ordering to (hopefully) ensure that my food was animal-product free. Two bites into my side salad, I realized it had bacon. I was SO pissed. The waitress looked at me like I was nuts (it killed my appetite, and no…I didn't want a new salad). Her response “oops”. Ugh. I understand that my being vegan is my choice and not driven by a medical necessity, etc, but still. The lack of understanding of why I was upset was disturbing. I don't eat meat for ethical reasons, and knowing I had some may may not be a big deal to others, but it was a very big deal to me.

I did write a letter on their Contact form from their website:

I dined for lunch in your Virginia Beach restaurant at approximately 1130 am on 10/25. I ordered the veggie tacos and a side salad, and explained to the waitress that I was vegan, so no cheese, etc.
The salad was delivered, and after two bites, I realized it had bacon in it. When she came back, she seemed baffled why this was upsetting to me and why I didn't want a replacement salad (I lost my appetite).
I will say the manager was wonderful – came to our table, apologized, and explained that he will speak with her.
I understand that my not eating meat is not an allergy and may not be taken as seriously by the restaurant, but as an ethical vegan, I was horrified.
Choosing a dietary lifestyle can be as important to a person as a medically necessary restriction. Please reinforce to all your leadership and staff how important it is to understand food differences and choices, and how to honor that appropriately.

Thank you.

Lesson learned.

The rest of the weekend was low key. Soups, salads, smoothies, and fruit.

FITNESS

I went to a hot vinyasa class on Thursday, which was awesome. I hadn't done a hot vin class in awhile, and the pace was perfect.

I had every intention of getting up Friday morning to run. I even put out my clothes so I'd be ready to go. It worked so well on Wednesday, I figured it was a sure thing!

Then at 5am my alarm went off, and it was only 37 degrees outside. I was not prepared for that! I had to be at work by 8, so I wouldn't have had enough time to dig out the super-cold running clothes, get my run in, and get ready for work (while getting kids ready for school). And then Friday night I got busy, and didn't do it either.

Today I went to a regular hot yoga class. It was also a really good class and was luckily taught by the same instructor as the class I took on Thursday. I will say, that I've never had a bad experience at this studio!

LIFE

Thursday was work, and then workout. AC texted early in the morning to see if I'd be free after yoga, and I said sure – as long as we go somewhere I can chill in my jammies. The yoga studio is near where we were going out (a few blocks away), and there was no way I was going to simmer in my own drenched sweat while we had beer. I also wasn't going to go home to clean up, nor put real clothes back on after showering. So – the deal was I yoga, shower at the studio, and throw my jammies on.

I walk into the place, and here AC is in this totally cute black dress with boots looking all pretty – and I'm in fleece with soaking wet hair and a beet red face. It was pretty amusing, actually. She had a bucket of tater tots waiting when I got there, so it was all good.

Friday evening D and I were both wiped out. We went to a fall fair at R's school, and by the time we got home around 6 (which isn't late), all I could think about was getting out of the house or going to sleep. So….we went out for a bit. Just to a sports bar down the street (not many other options close to home), but it was really nice. We had fun and were home by 9.

Saturday we went up to A's school for an event and to see her new dorm room and meet her new roomie. It was a relatively short visit, but nice to see her! She's loving school – though needs to work a little harder at math, and less on socializing.

D, M, R and I hit up Busch Gardens for one last Howl-O-Scream hurrah! It was chilly and we were bundled, but it was awesome. D used his new beer sock I picked up in Seattle, and we wandered around the park and had a great time.

Today – laundry, yoga, cleaning, cooking, Whole Foods…the usual. I love Sunday's!

A few random cute weekend pics…

 

Time to gear up for a busy week ahead!

 

Easing Out of Vacation Mode to Real Life

FOOD

I have very little fresh produce in the house, and desperately need to go grocery shopping! That always happens when I travel. I envision a Whole Foods trip after work today!

I made pumpkin chili from Happy Herbivore and a salad for dinner last Tuesday night. The family ate it over veggie rotini noodles, which made it even more hearty. It's one of my favorite simple chili recipes. It's very flavorful, and it uses pumpkin! And that's just cool.

Yesterday for breakfast was a banana and oatmeal (which I accidentally put frozen mixed veggies into instead of blueberries…and when I realized my mistake, added the blueberries too. That, my friends, was a strange yet not unpleasant flavor combination).

Lunch and dinner was Thai food (dinner was lunch leftovers). I wasn't home, so it worked well.

FITNESS

Tuesday afternoon I hit up a hot yoga class. It was a mid-afternoon class (2-3pm), so it wasn't overly crowded. That's the nice thing of a weekday off!

It was also a wonderful class. I don't think I've had an instructor at that studio that I haven't really liked. It also felt great after a day spent traveling.

Yesterday morning I set my alarm early and got up to run. It was way outside my comfort zone (to be up and physically active that early), but I'm glad I did. I ran, got home, showered, got R ready for school, got ready for work, and went about my day!

It did remind me of my paper route when I was a kid. My Dad would get me up at 330am on Sunday delivery days to go get and sub the papers, and then he'd take me around as I delivered it. Then it was off to breakfast, then back to bed. As a result, doing my paper route that early felt more like a dream than anything else. My run was sort of like that. I remember doing it, but it sort of felt like I dreamed it instead.

LIFE

Post vacation life has been pretty good. I took Tuesday off – I like to do that when I travel. I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning, went to yoga, and catching up on a few household and personal things. It also meant I got to take R to school 🙂

That means yesterday was my Monday at work! I got a lot of catching up done, but also had a lot of meetings. All told, it was a good day. It was a late one though, and I wasn't home until after 730 pm. Today will be another long day, but since it's really only a 3 day work week, that's fine with me!

 

Winner, Winner, VEGAN Dinner!!!! (and breakfast, lunch, snacks, & desserts too….)

It is time to declare the winner of the China Study Cookbook giveaway!

I had 7 entrants (listed below in order of their comments), and using http://www.randomnumbergenerator.com, a winner was selected.  Come on down number 2!!  (okay, okay, even I think that has a bad joke behind it somewhere)…..

1 Tracy
2 S.O.B
3 Andrea
4 Jarkie
5 BridgetAnnie
6 Jennie
7 Vegan Homemade

Random number generation / Random Numbers

Generate a random number between  and   = 2  Get number

So congrats to Miss. S.O.B, you will soon be the recipient – direct from the publisher – of The China Study Cookbook!

Going to Ghana (someday…I hope)

FOOD

Okay, so I got to meet up with some awesome Seattle vegans for brunch at Chaco's in the U District yesterday morning! AC and I met up with DQ and MC for some yummy grub and conversation.

I had tofu scramble with tempeh bacon and potato pancakes! Oh, and their fresh 'detox juice' with golden beets.

Lunch primarily consisted of bloody mary's at Finn MacCools, also in the U District. Dinner was snacks while watching a movie (edamame, hummus, guacamole, veggies, and kale chips! – yes, CT knows how to feed us well!).

FITNESS

None. I was planning on yoga yesterday, but was out too late tooling around town. LC and CT went though, so that was cool.

LIFE

Saturday night was the Water to Wine benefit at SkyLine winery in WA. It was for an amazing group called Water Access Now that raises money to drill wells in Ghana. They partner with Catholic Relief Services to build community based committees (always comprised of men and women) as the Water and Sanitation Committee, to ensure appropriate maintenance and use of their new resource. As a side note, 100% of the funds raised by this group goes to WAN, as all members are volunteers who pay their own way to West Africa.

I was extremely moved and inspired by the presentations. In the past year or so, this group has brought water to over 33,000 villagers. The speakers told amazing (and sometimes sad) stories of how life in Ghana can be, and how difficult it is to find water. Not to mention the percentages of death from drinking contaminated water, WAN and CRS have done amazing work to truly improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of people.

I hope I have the ability someday to become involved in a group like Water Access Now, and to make a difference in someone's life.

Sunday was a low-key day for everyone. We all pretty much did our own thing. That's one of the things I love about this group – no one is clingy. No one is offended if one or two people peel off and do their own thing.

HF met up with her Aunt and Uncle for breakfast and church, LC met up with her cousin and actually met her cousins children for the first time! CT took her kids out for some family time, while AC and I had brunch.

BT dropped AC and I off for brunch on his way to play rugby, so afterwards, he met up with us at Finn's for a beer and hung out a bit. Then it was back to the house, and AC was able to meet up with her maid of honor from her wedding! It was really awesome that everyone was able to have a special last day.

The evening ended with a movie and packing!

My flight home was drama free, though the same can't be said for everyone in our group! Even though LC, AC, and I booked our flights at the same time, LC and I had major flight changes – but AC didn't. We all sort of assumed we all had the changes to the schedule, so when we got to the airport, AC had actually missed her flight. Good news is she was booked on one later in the morning, and will be landing about an hour or so after the rest of us. HF had a different flight since she had a different destination, but all told, we managed to get home fine.

Last year we went to Vegas for a birthday celebration, and this year Seattle. Since none of us have a major milestone birthday coming up for several years yet, we all pretty much decided we need to do this yearly for no other reason than we're friends and it's cool. Top of the list for next year is Maine. Stay tuned 🙂

I had an absolutely perfect trip, and am so grateful for good friends who made it happen. I'm happy to be home, but looking forward to when we can do this again!

 

40 and Fabulous!!

FOOD

Okay, where to begin? First of all, I'm in the Seattle area for a long-weekend bday celebration. It's vegan hippie central (or at least one of them), and the food has been awesome.

Starting with Thursday when we arrived, I had a great grilled veggie plate at the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. Yesterday was fresh cherry tomatoes as snacks while walking around Pike Place market (where I got a fresh veggie juice), lunch at Pike's Pub (and Indochine veggie burger!), and then dinner in at CT and BT's house. AC and LC organized the pre-dinner app plates, CT made the salad, and I made a soup and an acorn squash alfredo dish.

Today, BT and the kids went and picked me up a vegan chocolate mousse birthday cake! It was SO yummy (and rich), and incredibly thoughtful. Just blown away by everyone.

Today was lunch at the Red Hook Brewery, and for me was a salad and a hummus plate. We hit up the Chateau St. Michelle winery afterwards, and that was wonderful.

FITNESS

Best way to kick off turning 40? Run a 5K with your friends! We ran a very small local race that was meant to raise awareness of some salmon species and raise money to restore Lake Sammamish. It was a small race – maybe 100 people – but just wonderful. When we checked in, the race organizer was totally stoked that 4 of use are from VA, and there were non-locals running. And when I crossed the finish line, they all sang happy birthday to me! It was cute, because they weren't sure of my name, so it was “happy birthday, number 62…..”. Loved it.

LC brought fun little purple fluffs to wear on my head, and so we had lots of comments, extra cheers, and in general, had a really awesome time.

And I'm officially the oldest of the group, but crossed first. Ego boost 🙂

LIFE

Life has been awesome. Flight out of VA early Thursday morning, and have had a whirlwind weekend since. Thursday we went to the Chihuly museum (for loyal readers, you know he's a favorite of mine!), then had dinner on top of the Space Needle. Then sat up until 130am enjoying some wine with CT and BT while the rest of the girls slept.

A neat thing about the Space Needle restaurant – it rotates. So you spin (slowly) around to get a full view of the city and surrounding areas. People put pieces of paper or notes on the glass, and leave and receive messages. CT made a card (in advance – talk about planning!), for my bday, and put it on the glass to spin around, asking people to leave me bday messages. I almost cried – the comments complete strangers left for me were so wonderful and touching.

Friday was Pike's Place (SO awesome, picked up lots of fun things, including the veggies used to make dinner), and we went on the Underground Tour! D and I did the undergound tour 14 years ago when we moved away from Seattle, and I was so excited to go with the girls. It was a ton of fun, and everyone really had a good time.

We also got to meet up with HF's cousin, who lives here. He hiked around Pike's with us and had lunch too.

Last night was a run to Whole Foods and then all of us hanging out in the kitchen and cooking. And that happens to be one of my very favorite things to do, so yay!

Today was the 5K first thing. Then back to CT's house to start getting cleaned up. As I came up the stairs after my shower, I saw some beautiful flowers on the table – sent by my wonderful husband from back in VA! I got to FaceTime with the kids (including A from her dorm room), and it was fantastic. Then after getting ready, BT and the kids got home, and they had decorated and gotten me cake!

After we were all ready, it was lunch at the Red Hook brewery, and then a wine tour at the Chateau St. Michelle winery. Now we're chilling at home (coffee, tea, rest) and then tonight we're off to a Wine into Water benefit! A fabulous 40 birthday, indeed.

 

 

A Heart-Y Meal

FOOD

Okay, so time to fess up. I totally didn't come up with that title on my own. I posted a pic online of the finished meal, and someone on Twitter busted that one out.

But that said, it was a yummy dinner. D and I made the Couple's Tofu Pot Pie we made up back in August. I made the filling, and he baked it while I was out. To make a long story short, he cut hearts into the pie crust before baking it. It was too adorable, so of course I had to take a picture!

Other than that, it's been lots of salads (M ate nearly 2 heads of Romaine lettuce in one night…kid loves his salads), smoothies, and some take out.

FITNESS

Yoga at home, thanks to the ever trusty YogaGlo. I have a race on Saturday, and am totally going to pay for it with lack of training.

LIFE

Last night M was inducted into the International Thespian Society. It was a very nice (and short) ceremony, and we hung out with the parents and other actors, then went out to dinner to celebrate.

I haven't slept well the past several nights. Part of it is D's fall allergies causing some snoring (I'm a light sleeper, so even a little noise wakes me), but it's mostly been the destructo-kittens. Last night they ruined our bedroom lamp, Bumble and Tonks got too close to each other, so an iPad went crashing, plus they love to play at the worst possible hours. They have this toy that's a stick with a mouse dangling on the end – the intent is to hold the stick and they jump and play with the mouse. Thing is, they will run around with the mouse in their mouth and drag the stick up and down the stairs. All. Night. Long. The toy is currently in my sweater drawer where it will likely stay most of the time!

My last meeting ended at 430pm today, and I am officially on vacation! Yes, I'm rubbing it in. Fall vacation. LC sent me a text thanking me for having an October bday to justify a much-needed trip. I told her I'd pass along her thanks to my parents since it was their doing (hey Dad…know you're reading…LC says thank you). But, I'm packed, checked into my flight, and ready to go!!!

 

 

It’s The Final Countdown!

FOOD

It's been a relatively simple few days on the food front. Smoothies of course, including one called Carrot Cake today from http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com (totally check it out for some fun ideas). It didn't really taste like carrot cake to me (though to be fair, carrot cake is my favorite, so anything less than the actual cake may be a bit of a let down), but it was really tasty none the less.

D and I went out to dinner Saturday night, and while the two of us could have fun in a paper bag, I was very disappointed in my food. I had the chickpea/tofu burger in a lettuce wrap, and other than the carmelized onions, it had no flavor. The brussel sprouts weren't cooked enough, and also totally bland. D liked his food though, so that has to count for something.

Yesterday I stopped for lunch at a place called Food for Thought. Another farm-to-table restaurant with a southern/comfort/but healthy food fusion. I had the Ancient Grain Salad – quinoa and oranges on mixed greens. Not bad. Not worth $12.50, but not bad.

Dinner was with AC at Pasha's. Red lentil soup and wine and coffee!

FITNESS

I hit up a hot yoga class today, and it was totally awesome. It was a challenging class, but normal paced (vs. vinyasa, which is what I have been doing), so the balance was good.

AC and I are going to try and hit a night or two per week for a class. I think it'll be a good way to balance my at-home practice to be sure I'm not picking up bad form habits!

LIFE

Friday night was very low key. We went to bed pretty early, and get this…I slept for ELEVEN hours! Yes….eleven hours. And it felt so wonderful. I know “experts” say you can't catch-up on sleep, but I think that's a bunch of bogus. No way I would have slept 11 hours otherwise.

Saturday was errand running and then an evening out with D. We went to the mall downtown, walked around, looked at stuff, then went out to dinner. While our service was awful and my food wasn't anything I'd ever order again, it was still nice to just hang out. We were home by 9, stayed up a couple more hours, and still was in bed by a reasonable hour. I'm getting so old 🙂 I remember when I wouldn't dream of going out before 10pm!

Sunday I did a day trip to Williamsburg to hit up the outlet malls and then walk around in the cute cobblestone downtown area. I got a great haul (and deals) on fall clothes, and stumbled upon a street arts festival. I had some spiced cider, picked up a small gift for a friend, and then headed back to town to meet up with AC for dinner.

Okay, THREE MORE DAYS!!!! The count down has begun to birthday girls trip! Seattle, here we come!!! We have an amazing agenda thanks to CT's epic planning skills, but also enough down time to chill, cook, and hang out. I can't wait.

So there ya have it. I clearly made up this weekend for being sick in bed last weekend. Now I just need to get through two more work days (today was a good day), and then I'm off until middle of next week! Hope you all had a great weekend too!

 

FREE! Giveaway! Bribery….Okay, and Yoga Too

 FOOD

Okay, it’s finally here.  GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for free stuff!  And what, pray tell, am I so generously giving away?!?!  Well it’s a cookbook, sillies.  You’re pretty much here for the food, yeah?  Thought so.

So read on, and enter to win a copy of The China Study Cookbook!

if you see all the sticky notes, I made all those!

if you see all the sticky notes, I made all those!

I’m pretty sure the veggie community has been waiting since 2006 for this book.  The reason?  It’s based of the book of similar name – T. Colin Campbell’s iconic work in The China Study.  If you haven’t read it – please do.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a veg head like me or not – I promise.  It’s truly just the findings of the longest and most comprehensive study ever done on the effects of diet and disease in a controlled environment.  It’s just the facts, ma’am, with no propaganda or anything of the sort.

But I digress.  When you read books like The China Study or Mad Cowboy or Skinny Bitch (which I hate the title of, by the way – but has great content), or for some other reason want to find a way to bring whole food/plant based meals into your life, it can be a little daunting.  If, like me, you were raised with a veggie being a simple side dish (French cut green beans and creamed corn were my favorite), transitioning to a meal based off of veggies, fruits, and whole grains is a bit daunting.  If you check out veggie books and websites, they’re often overwhelming – possibly with ingredients you don’t recognize or spices you don’t normally have on hand.

If this is you, then I would highly recommend The China Study Cookbook (and really, why not try to win one free right now?!).  It’s written by T. Colin Campbell’s daughter and how she’s incorporated her father’s work into easy meals for her family.  If you want simple – this works.  If you like to experiment and play in the kitchen like I do – these provide nice base recipes to do that.  For my personal dietary needs, I found it easy to adapt to gluten-free and nut-free meals or sides as well.  Recipes should serve as guidelines – and these do very nicely.

Some highlights of what I made:

Breakfast Home-Fry Hash with Tofu Scramble (yum)!  Ceviche beans – simple and refreshing.  Seasoned mushroom soup (my VERY favorite one, though I used my immersion blender to make it a creamed soup, which was not part of the recipe), Favorite Chili with Pasta (a quick work-night meal – ripe for adding to if feeling adventurous), and Curry Coconut Rice.

Favorite Chili with Pasta served on some GF veggie rotini and kicking cornbread

Favorite Chili with Pasta served on some GF veggie rotini and kicking cornbread

Coconut Curry Rice

Coconut Curry Rice

I personally appreciate the pretty large breakfast section.  Again, when your idea of breakfast growing up is scrambled eggs (with ketchup, thank you), toast, waffles, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, and blueberry muffins (all at the same time), going vegan can pose some challenges initially (especially if you don’t love to cook).  A girl gets tired of oatmeal REAL quick, if you know what I’m sayin.

So – leave a comment below (it’s really that simple) and let me know you’d like a copy!  If you’d like to elaborate why, that’s cool too – but I’m not picky.  Leave a note, and you will be entered!  I will be holding a drawing on 10/19 (my birthday…because if I can get a gift, so can you!).

FITNESS

Okay, on to my regularly scheduled programming.  Yoga.  That’s it right now – after being sick for several days, I just really wanted some balance.  I really want to lace up, but as soon as I started feeling better, it started raining.  Like Noah’s Ark raining….so yoga it is.

Ashtanga is still the reigning favorite, and the 45 minute YogaGlo class yesterday gave me a total run for my money.  Though at $18 a month, I didn’t have to run very far (I’m feeling very punny tonight, sorry).

If you still haven’t checked out YogaGlo (despite my urging), then you’re just goofy.  You get 2 weeks free, and at $18 a month, hundreds and hundreds of classes available, it solves many issues (at least those I personally experience).  1 – I have little free time and need to work out at home.  2 – I HATE workout DVD’s because I have some inability to do the same thing twice without getting ridiculously bored, despite my best intentions (just knowing what they’re going to say next pisses me off – funny how that doesn’t happen when I watch Law & Order reruns all the time), and 3 – it’s cheap as all get out compared to a yoga studio membership or regular drop-in class costs.

I’m not saying to skip a studio – I love a group class and guided instruction and form correction is really important – but that said, it’s an amazing investment –  coupled with the ability to be exposed to 6-7 different yoga styles – even as a beginner – plus meditation, it’s worth at least the free 2 weeks right?

Geez, you thought they were paying me for promotions, huh?  Sadly, they probably don’t know I exist.  But I don’t care.  I know they do, and that’s all that matters!

LIFE

Can’t.  Even.  Articulate.

Busy, stressful, fun, stressful, and nuts.  I’m pretty sure those are synonyms (or should be), so they require no elaboration.  Early days and late nights.  And it’s not like I’m hitting bar time or anything (alas, I miss those days), but it is what it is.  Truth be told, I wouldn’t change anything.  Except maybe winning the lottery and being independently wealthy so my early days and late nights could include bar time….

My eldest finally broke down and is changing dorms.  Her roommate turned out to be a nightmare, and she’s on the wrong side of campus.  We’ll know for sure tomorrow, but I have a feeling I’ll be making a trek this weekend to move her across town.

We’re in a bit of Wild Kingdom drama.  1 old dog, 1 old cat, 2 new kittens.  1 kitten (Ginny) gets sick, has the Feline Leukemia Virus, and while feeling better, must be isolated from other cats for a month.  That alone is an entire blog post.  Kitten #2 (Tonks) is positive for the virus, but asymptomatic.  Which is good for everyone.  Bumble (old cat) gets tested on Saturday.  Extra bonus points for you if you realized R named the new kittens after Harry Potter characters.  Fear not if you didn’t know that, just read the books.

So that’s it.  Novella complete.  Leave a comment, win a book, and eat healthy!

As a side note, the publisher of The China Study Cookbook provided me a free copy to review and a copy to give away.  That said, the comments are my own, and by no means influenced by this.  You should still enter, by the way.  Don’t just read and be a lurker….that’s creepy.