Monthly Archives: November 2013

You Know You’re Loved When Someone Dumpster Dives For You


Naturally, this week was all about Thanksgiving. That's not to say I didn't eat the other five days (that would just be silly).

I had some of my typical dishes, like fresh juices, smoothies, and my BAS's. I also had pho (woo hoo!) and a spicy noodle soup when I went to pick A up from college on Wednesday.

Tofurkey day, of course, was the highlight. The main players was the Tofurkey, stuffing, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, squash/sweet potato/corn chowder, roasted onions, maple/dijon glazed brussel sprouts, carrot cake, & pumpkin pie! Whew, I'm full just writing all that! I didn't get a table shot, but did get a few pics of the feast.

Oh, and it turns out the kittens love rolls. Strange little beasts.


Well, Shamrock training is in full effect! This week was 4 runs. Monday, Thurs, Fri, and today.

I should have run on Wed and off yesterday, but my schedule was a bit of a mess with going out of town to get A, so just swapped days around.

I was planning on going to yoga Monday evening, but when I packed my bag, I sort of didn't put all the required undergarments in the bag! I went home and ran a little longer than planned, and then did about 20 minutes of asanas afterwards.

Yesterday was fun, because I ran with R! We went to the gym and ran in side-by-side treadmills. As much as I dislike to dreadmill, it's fun watching R enjoy running so much on them. We were planning to swim some laps after our run, but she seems to have misplaced her goggles and swim cap! My guess is they're in a lost and found at her swim team location.

This morning was group run time! It was ridiculously cold, but I warmed up after a half mile or so. I was up at 530am, and am feeling rather accomplished for running so early! Though my post run pick makes me look angry, I'm really just chilly 🙂


Well, it's been a heck of a week! Monday I was in the office late, and then met up with D, R, and M at the mall. They had tickets to see the season premier of Dr. Who (it was being played in theaters around the world). We had dinner at the mall (pho for me!), and then we went our separate ways.

Tuesday I scrambled to get to a run club meeting. It was raining and rush hour, and I was 40 minutes late, but I got there for a quick meet and greet. Tuesday was also wait-all-day-for-the-late-plumber day. Of course “no later than noon” means 230pm in normal people time. I swear, it's worse than going to a doctor's office! I, of course, had back to back meetings from 1-430, so I was annoyed to say the least. At least we're in the clear – no leaks in or under the house – so the new insulation can go in next Friday! I also managed to get most of the laundry done, so there was a bonus to working from home and waiting on the dumb plumber! I had a fluffy helper (or not-so-helper).

Wednesday was a couple conference calls, a stop at Walgreens, 7-11, then off to get A. Weather was nasty, and so the drive home was tons of holiday traffic and sleet. Good times.

Funny though, is about half-way to getting A, I realized that I did not have my prescription in the van that I picked up at Walgreens. And THEN I remember I went to 7-11 after Walgreens….and my habit is to throw away any garbage in my car when I fill up the gas tank. I had junk mail, and apparently had my prescription package lying right on top. INTO THE TRASH IT WENT. I freaked out – called D – who left work, went to 7-11, and yes…retrieved my meds! That's love, I tell ya.

Thursday was Thanksgiving of course, and we spent a great day at home. We had planned to go to the movies, but opted to stay home and hang out instead.

Friday was the gym, then off for a family day in Williamsburg. The plan was to walk through the downtown area (which is beautiful and near Colonial Williamsburg – all cobblestone and locals shops) and then go to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. We picked up teas/coffees to warm up, and started wandering through the shops. There was some holiday skits being acted out in the streets, musicians, and tons of people milling about. Unfortunately, about an hour after we got there, R got sick. Out of nowhere, she went from running next to me at the gym, to a headache, sore throat, ear ache, and stomach ache. We went home straight away.

While in WB though, I did see a couple funny hand towels! I seriously almost bought the first two for a friend of mine! (she knows who she is)….

Today was my running group, a trip to Whole Foods, and later today, shopping the local shops in Norfolk, then dinner with AC.

It's going to be hard to go back to work on Monday!


Rat + Patoutie Does NOT Sound Delicious


Well, food has been in magnificent abundance! I’m still obsessed with raw foods, and have kept to the raw until dinner format. I’m not saying I have ambitions of being a raw foodist, but I do have to say the food is amazing, and I feel incredible.

Friday night we went out to dinner. I had a big chopped salad (which was OK – not great) and a caramelized onion and portabella mushroom flatbread (which they screwed up the first time by putting cheese on it, but when it was right, it was tasty!).

Saturday I didn’t eat much during the day – a fresh juice for breakfast and some veggies to snack on during lunch. Why?? Because it was vegan meet-up night! The theme was French food (our host just got back from France), and I knew the food would be plentiful and wonderful. I wanted to be hungry.

When the theme was announced, I called dibs on ratatouille. Hence the title of the post – and if you haven’t seen Disney’s movie Ratatouille, then shame on you. Anyway, my version was a very simple slow cooker version of eggplant, onion, garlic, zucchini, tomato, Herbs de Provence, and stirred in just before serving, a basil pesto. There wasn’t much left, so I think it went over well.

Here are some pics of the beautiful spread!

my ratatouille!

my ratatouille!

N's brie en croute.  HOLY COW.  Yes, she made a homemade vegan brie...and I thought I was in heaven

N’s brie en croute. HOLY COW. Yes, she made a homemade vegan brie…and I thought I was in heaven

brown and wild rice medly

brown and wild rice medley

chili relleno.  Not French, but that's ok :)

chili relleno. Not French, but that’s ok 🙂

pate chinois

pate chinois

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

fresh baguette!

fresh baguette!

French lentils and veggies

French lentils and veggies

chia dessert

chia dessert

yummy salad parfait - which really was amazing.  Artichokes, olives, and lovely French dressing vinaigrette flavors

yummy salad parfait – which really was amazing. Artichokes, olives, and lovely French dressing vinaigrette flavors

this ridiculous organic raw carrot salad.  I took a pic of the recipe, just so I could make this all the time.

this ridiculous organic raw carrot salad. I took a pic of the recipe, just so I could make this all the time.



baguette slices with avocado and tomato

baguette slices with avocado and tomato

Today was another fresh juice (of course – with a new juicer, that’s going to be a daily occurrence!), a BAS for lunch, and some pumpkin curry soup at Whole Foods for dinner. YUM.

today's BAS lunch!  An entire head of Romaine lettuce, red onion, tomato, and pineapple in a simple dressing of raw cider vinegar, agave, fresh black pepper, and olive oil.

today’s BAS lunch! An entire head of Romaine lettuce, red onion, tomato, and pineapple in a simple dressing of raw cider vinegar, agave, fresh black pepper, and olive oil.

I spent the evening prepping eats for the week. I made a raw pineapple red Thai curry sauce that’s currently on sprouted wild rice and cauliflower for lunch tomorrow. I also prepped a container with all the prepped produce to make my morning juice faster. I have to leave by 7am, so no luxuries in the morning!


I did a great YogaGlo restorative class yesterday. I was feeling unmotivated to do anything, so opted for some gentle yoga vs. anything hard core. My back was a little sore (we’re badly in need of a new mattress), and figured that would be a good class. As usual, I loved it. I had actually don’t this one before and knew how much I liked it.

Today I had really planned to go run – but it was only 35 degrees out, and I just couldn’t face the cold. More yoga and a meditation session via YogaGlo.


I think I mentioned a few months ago that my office moved. Back in July, all of my division (save one team – my husband’s) moved to the same location. It’s triple the commute time for me (which I hate), but it’s also nice to be in the same building with almost all my co-workers. To decorate the new big building, my company decided to go with employee art! They did a photography “contest” (not really a contest, but an open call to the art committee to submit photos to be blown up and hung around the building). 4 of D’s were chosen, and they were all blown up and ready to hang this week. Since I work in the building and he doesn’t, he, R, M, and I went out there Friday night to walk through the offices and look at all the beautiful photos. I’m very proud of him. As a side note, he was eligible for the project because his VP works in the same building, and while he won’t see them regularly, I will! One of them is right outside my office!

Both Saturday and Sunday were extremely lazy mornings. After waking, I made my normal hot lemon/ginger/cayenne tea, and then crawled back into bed to read. Yesterday I spent nearly 3 hours before deciding to move! Today was 2. It actually felt really, really awesome to just wake up and relax.

Of course last night was the vegan meet-up dinner! AC was my date, and she brought French wine to the festivities! It was a really great time. She’s a social butterfly anyway, so I barely saw her the entire evening as we each chatted up different people at the party. All told, there were about 20 people. Afterwards, we did go out a bit so we could have a chance to actually hang out together! It was almost 2 am when I got home – though I slept until 11, so it didn’t really matter 🙂

L has a door in her kitchen that is also a chalk board!  As we all brought dishes, she wrote them out on the door.  So cool!  I also didn't get pics of everything, so there was much more than was portrayed here!

L has a door in her kitchen that is also a chalk board! As we all brought dishes, she wrote them out on the door. So cool! I also didn’t get pics of everything, so there was much more than was portrayed here!

me and K enjoying the meet-up

me and K enjoying the meet-up

AC is the blonde in the middle, closest to the windows.  Flanked in conversation by J, K, and C.

AC is the blonde in the middle, closest to the windows. Flanked in conversation by J, K, and C.

another shot N took (of course she took all the pics with people...I only remembered to take shots of the food!)

another shot N took (of course she took all the pics with people…I only remembered to take shots of the food!)

I had no intention of going anywhere today. I had some work I needed to do, plus a lot of kitchen prep I wanted to get done- which is my typical Sunday. While I was sitting at the computer in the Green Room (sorry – it’s the room where we have the office, book shelves, and pull out sofa and bathroom – called such because the walls are painted green…), D came up behind me, massaged my shoulders, and asked when I was going to Whole Foods. When I told him I had no intention of going anywhere (it’s stupid cold), he gave me one of those looks like ‘who you kidding’. Yeah…I got dressed and went there and the Asian Market.

I hate cold weather. I think I’d be better about it if it was eased into like a normal place (being from the Midwest, I guess that’s my normal). Virginia isn’t like that. 70 two days ago – 30 today. What the heck? Give a girl a chance to adapt! So of course when it does this, I get very annoyed. When I was at Whole Foods, I picked up a bath bomb, and when I got home, soaked in a hot tub filled with lavender/vanilla goodness, drank a glass of wine, and watched the second Lord of the Rings movie. Yep. Lazy day!

Oh yeah – at one point this evening (at the same time) M, R, and D each had a cat snuggling on them. Too cute to pass up a picture opportunity…

M with Ginny

M with Ginny

R (and her goofy expression) with Tonks

R (and her goofy expression) with Tonks

D with Bumble!

D with Bumble!

and my Sammie girl for good measure.

and my Sammie girl for good measure.

I’m looking forward to this week. Tomorrow will be painfully busy, I have a plumber coming one day, and a long drive to and from my daughter’s university on another – but then a four day weekend with my complete (nuclear) family! Yeah. Happy.

Some additional picture fun.  Tonks and Ginny playing on my bed.  Ginny and Bumble sleeping in close proximity to each other against D this morning (and since Bumb seems to dislike the little beasts, this is a big step), a morning pic, and R at her school’s Duct Tape Day.

Going to Juice ALL THE THINGS


Okay, I have a few days to catch up on! It's been mostly raw foods this week. My typical days are all raw foods until dinner, and then something light and cooked – like soup, grilled or roasted veggies, etc.

On the fun side, I have a new toy! I've been wanting a slow juicer for about a year or so, and after lots of YouTube videos and online reviews, I finally bit the bullet and got one! I went with the Tribest SlowStar. It's the slowest on the market (which means higher quality juice, higher yield from the fruits, veggies, and greens, and drier pulp). It came last night, and I've made three juices already! Last night I made a green juice of romaine, spinach, cucumber, lemon, and apple. This morning I made D a pear and orange drink, and for myself a spinach, red bell pepper, sweet potato, broccoli, and collard. They were all really, really good – and filling!

I've had several green smoothies this week, and today's was pineapple, frozen berries, spinach, and cilantro. I'm really digging cilantro in my smoothies lately!

I've also had a raw cucumber gazpacho soup and a huge BAS with my new favorite salad dressing – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and cinnamon.


The past few days have been as usual – yoga and runs. YogaGlo and not hot though, as I haven't had any free time away from the house.

Group runs start back up at the end of the month, so I'm really looking forward to those. It'll be the motivation I need to get out and about on a cold weekend morning.


It's been a ridiculously busy, but mostly good week. I will admit I've hit my wits end a few times and let my frustration get the better of me. I've struggled with people being held accountable for their actions (or in one particular case, INaction), and rather than owning it with a simple “I'm sorry”, them trying to turn the tables and deflect any responsibility for their failures. I shouldn't let it get to me, but sometimes I can't help it….

Otherwise, it's been a good week. Lot's of office time, taking R to swim most nights, and chill evenings at home.

A registered for her classes next semester – and is complaining about having to be up by 745! Poor baby…she clearly forgot how early she got up for school her entire life before college! She'll be home next weekend, and we'll have a nice long weekend together – and kids will be changing rooms! A doesn't get to have the biggest room anymore 🙂


I'm looking forward to the weekend, that's for sure. We have a long overdue vegan meet up on Saturday, and AC is going with me! The theme is French food, so I'm going to whip up some Ratatoulle. Should be awesome!



Pizza Partay!!


Well, dinner last night was drama to say the least! We went out to dinner at Dave and Buster's in Virginia Beach. As with most chain restaurants, all of their salads had meat on them. The Lawnmower looked good (except for the eggs, bacon, cheese, and chicken that is), but was otherwise loaded with the most veggies.

When I ordered, I asked if I could have the Lawnmower without the animal stuff and with a garden burger patty on it instead. You would have thought I was speaking a foreign language! After we ordered, the waiter came back and told me I would be charged for the veggie burger MEAL in order to make that substitution. D and I asked for the manager. I explained that paying $12.50 for the salad plus $8.00 for the veggie burger was a load of crap. I didn't want the burger meal – no fries, bun, etc – and since I wasn't eating all the meat that came with the salad, I shouldn't have to pay extra to essentially cost the restaurant less in ingredients! Again – I was speaking a foreign language. After 2 managers plus the district manager, they finally agreed.

Sadly, my meal came out with the salad full of egg, and a separate plate with a full veggie burger meal. Not at all what I ordered. It took them 20 minutes longer to get it right. Just so I don't feel too special, they screwed up D's order too. Ugh.

Today I ate all the berries in the fridge for breakfast. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries! Yum. Lunch was flax crackers with guacamole and cucumbers. Another winner.

Dinner though, was my favorite. I made raw pizza! The crust was from Practically Raw and consisted primarily of zucchini and spices. After it was mostly ready, I made homemade pesto and spread that on the pizza dough and topped with red onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms. I popped it back into the dehydrator to warm up and wilt the veggies a little. Totally amazing.

I made normal pizza for the family (old family recipe – I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you) and an apple pie.


We had a wonderfully warm November day today. It was in the 70's, so R and I took our bikes down to the Oceanfront and went on a long ride.

It was a wonderful ride, and the beach was hopping. Sand volleyball tournaments were going on, and at the same time – Christmas decorations were going up. Kind of a funny dichotomy.


I pretty much had the perfect weekend. Only thing better would be if A were home too!

So I already blogged yesterday about the ghost tour on Friday, which was awesome. Last night D, M, R and I went to Dave and Buster's to have dinner and play. Many hours later, we headed home. Today was the Oceanfront and then grocery trips followed by kitchen playtime.

D and M did yard work (probably the last of the season) and laundry while R and I were gone. It's going to be a busy week ahead, but I'm ready for it after a perfectly recharging weekend!


Program Review, Races, and Kitty Crack


I'm wrapping up week 2 on the Fresh Start Cleanse. Eating prescriptively is both a good and a bad thing for me I think. Having meals dictated in advance certainly takes the guess work out of what I'm going to have for each meal and snack, but it also takes out the creativity – which is one of my favorite parts of cooking. I love to “play”, and while I am experiencing some new recipes, it's just not the same.

Anyway, here' some pics of the week's eats.

cauliflower soup
baked oatmeal. I really enjoyed this one


This week was all runs and home yoga, but no hot yoga. I wanted to hit up some classes, but I just couldn't fit it in this week.

Tuesday's run was the first really cold one of the year. Temps dropped down to the 40's and maybe a little below, as there were snow flurries when I headed out! But out I went anyway. Bundled in a thermal shirt, T shirt, pull over, hat, gloves, pants, and blinky, I headed out into the cold. I warmed up after a quarter mile or so, and while it was a chilly run, it was still a good one. D was on his way home from work and the store when I went out, so he drove around until he saw me. He said he could see blinky from really far away, so that was awesome. He gave me a quick kiss – commented on how cold my face was and how maybe he should just take me home – but then went home to start dinner while I finished my run.

I did another neighborhood run, and one today at the park. Good times.

I've also signed up for my first big race in a long time. The Shamrock Half! I hope I'm not pushing it with my joints, but I'm feeling good and miss those longer races to train for. I'm also training with a group, so no excuses to lace up and hit the pavement!


This was a really good week in pretty much every aspect. I felt really productive at work, which is always better than that overwhelming “holy crap, my to do list is HOW long?!?” feeling like I typically have 🙂

Kids are doing great. R had a Dr's appt this week, and has the all clear to continue to kick butt as a competative athlete! M has auditions this week for a production of Tarzan and got a call back! His second round of auditions went well (he thinks), and is waiting for a call to see if he's got a part. Here's hoping!

R and I went on a Candlelight Ghost Tour in Williamsburg last night. Over two hours of walking the downtown area listening to stories and lore from the area. R was eating it up! She loved every second of it and now wants all the books about haunted Williamsburg.

So a bit about the cleanse I'm on. D and I have talked at length about it, and there are things I like and things I don't like. I like that it focuses on clean eating with whole foods and nothing processed or out of a box. I think that's the biggest thing people at large are missing in understanding. If you food came from a factory (boxed, bagged, chemicals, preservatives), it's not healthy. I don't care if it says “fat-free”, “no trans fats”, etc – it's not a health food. So in that sense, this program gives your body nurishing foods that, for the most part, taste great.

It also focuses on eliminating the things in your normal diet that may not be the best for you – and this is more of the detoxing part. No caffeine (which is acidic to the body), no gluten (I liked their analogy and explanation – gluten comes from a root word meaning glue – which is a great description of the sticky mess it creates in your digestive tract), no booze. Eliminating these things totally or mostly is not a bad thing.

What I don't like – I already eat this way a lot of the time, so what I got mostly out of is was a few new recipes. Though giving my body a break from gluten, wine, coffee, and processed foods (I won't lie – I love Tostitos and other foods that come from a bag/box too!) has been a good thing. Unintentionally, I've lost 9 lbs in just under 2 weeks. That's crazy!

One of the big pitches for this program was the support via the Facebook page. I'm not finding I relate to anyone on here, and the program creators are basically absent. So what I see are people making tons of changes to the program because they're afraid to try something (like the beet and fennel soup) or don't like a food, so I mainly see things posted like “is this cleanse friendly”. Perhaps I'm missing the intent of the cleanse – but if it has a mapped out meal plan, I don't believe there's an opt-out unless there's an allergy involved. So the “holding each other accountable” part of the FB page seems to not be very successful in my opinion. I also think most people on this cleanse don't come from a clean eating background, so I think it's great for them.

So here's my take. If you already eat mostly healthily, then I wouldn't spend the $60 on this program which is essentially a collection of healthy recipes in an ebook format only. If you don't currently eat healthy or eat a Standard American Diet (SAD), this could very well be worth it – a kick in the butt to clean up your plate and palate, detox with whole foods, break some food addictions, and clear up some lingering issues the SAD way of eating causes (weight gain, bloating, skin issues, body aches, joint pain, fatigue, etc). You can also get – for far less $$ – some great books that have prescriptive plans, such as the Crazy Sexy Diet (an amazing book about healing cancer with healthy foods), which also gives a 21 day program. So that's my 2 cents on the Fresh Start Cleanse. A decent program depending on what your goals are.

On a lighter note, non food related pictures 🙂

finally, a small fridge for my office! I pack some serious foods and snacks and never find room in the community fridge's in the break room.
canned Fancy Feast. Like crack for kitties


Goats Might Head Butt


Well, today marks day 7 of the cleanse! I'm feeling pretty good about that. Hitting the 1/3 mark feels pretty groovy too.

All of the meals, save one, was a repeat from earlier in the week. No complaints since I enjoyed them all, and honestly – I don't have the leftovers aversion the rest of my family does (makes me crazy, really).

The one that was new – is the first one I didn't care for. It was this morning's smoothie, and there was something a little off about it. I drank it anyway, but it's not one I'll keep in my post-cleanse recipe box. While I believe in trying to have the food I eat be clean, healthy, nurishing, and healing (most of the time anyway), I also believe life is too short to have bad food!

no issues busting out the beet/fennel soup at the swim meet! I'm sure I had some funny looks, but I looked funny at all the people at an athletic event buying hotdogs and chips from the consession stand, so we're even


I hit up one hot yoga class this week, which was awesome, and did two yoga classes at home with YogaGlo. I'm looking forward to some runs this coming week though!


Cleanse-wise, I was back to my overly-energetic self on day 5. I'm grateful I didn't have any prolonged symptoms. The food is good, filling, and for the most part, very quick to prepare.

My eldest came home from college this weekend, which was nice. She went to her friend's bday party Friday night, but otherwise it was all family time.

R had a swim meet yesterday. They're ridiculously long (5+ hrs), but very rewarding when it's your kid in the pool! R swam great, and I was incredibly proud when she reached over to a competitor to shake her hand at the end of the race (right after R beat her – but barely). This new team she's on really stresses sportsmanship, and not just winning (though they do that too!).

some father/daughter snuggling at the swim meet

After the meet it was dinner, and then off to the movies! The new Thor movie is out, and since we're all huge fans of the Marvel movies (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, etc), it was perfect to go when A was home. We all really loved it, and it was a fun day, all around.

This morning I took A to the train station so she could head back to school, then made my way through my typical Sunday grocery shopping rounds. Came home, baked cookies, prepped produce for the week, and did normal Sunday things. D and I have a massage this afternoon, so I'm thinking that'll be the perfect end to an awesome weekend.

Trying to get some work done, and they sort of were getting in the way of my productivity for a bit
After getting R from school Friday, we stopped at a local farm to pick up essentials. They have animals about to feed and visit too, and I totally loved this sign. Apparently they only head butt when you run out of corn to feed them! Anyway, this sign made my day.

Hope you've all had a great weekend too!


Beet Me!


Well guys, other than subbing sunflower and pumpkin seeds for nuts, I've been following the cleanse 100%. Honestly, the food is good and I haven't been hungry, so it's not like it's been hard!

Some meals are repeated twice, so I won't go through pics and summaries of repeat meals.

Tuesday was the same cilantro smoothie as Monday, and yesterday and today were the same smoothie, which was spinach, pear, and mango based. I've enjoyed both very much.

Lunch Tuesday was a raw soup (which I totally love those), so I was happy. Dinner was this INCREDIBLE baked sweet potato with kale and cabbage slaw. Holy cow – cleanse or not, I'm going to make this all the time.

Yesterday I had a lovely spinach, mango, cilantro, and lime salad for lunch, and the same carrot/ginger soup as Monday for dinner.

Today was a beet and fennel soup for lunch. I wasn't sure what I was going to think – especially since I'm newish to beets, but I loved it! Another recipe win.

There are snacks too, like guacamole, a coconut/seed trail mix, and my ever favorite kale chips.

All 4 days have been no caffeine, no alcohol, no processed foods. Seriously don't miss them. It has been lots of good food and herbal teas.


The advice for week one is to keep it simple, so walks and non-hot yoga have been my staples this week. Thank goodness for yoga glo! With so many classes to choose from, it was easy to find something gentler when I needed it, or a little more challenging – but only 20 minutes vs. the typical 60-90 min class. Good stuff, I'm telling ya.


It's been a busy few days. I had a 6 hr meeting yesterday where I did most of the talking/presenting. Always a good time (insert sarcasm here). In truth, it was a really good meeting, so I really can't complain. Everyone is used to me bringing my own foods to things, so when I popped out my salad when everyone else hit the buffet line, most people (all who knew me anyway) weren't even a little surprised.

Other than work, life has been good too. The kids are all doing well, and while we're all freakishly busy, it's all good.

Cleanse-wise, it's mostly been smooth sailing. Detox symptoms usually hit day 2 or so, but mine really didn't start until today. It hasn't been bad – not like some people on the private FaceBook page have been reporting – but I won't fib and say I haven't experienced some. Today a dull, but all-day headache hit, and my energy level isn't what it typically is. I'm a little stuffy too, but that could be the wild weather swings. Hard to tell. None of it is unexpected, and frankly, it's not unwelcomed either. I see it as signs of healing, and while it's not always comfortable, it's an indication that bad things are leaving my body. On the plus side, my joints feel good, the hives have only hit twice (and they were mild and went away within an hour each time), and I'm sleeping very well. I'm sure there will be bumps in the road over the full 3 weeks, but I'm up for the challenge 🙂

A quick update on Ginny (the new kitty who got sick in early October). My Dad asked about her last night, and I realize I hadn't posted anything about her. Happy to report she's doing great! We unfortunately have no way of knowing if she's likely to get sick again or not, but for now she's a silly and cuddly kitty, and we just enjoy every minute with her without worrying about what next week, next month, next year may look like. We just hope for the best for as long as we can.


Gonna Get Squeaky Clean!


For the past year and a half, I've done a “changing of the seasons” cleanse of some sort between each quarter. Two have been all juice, and one has been all smoothie. Well, I learned about a 21-day cleanse from one of my favorite green smoothie sites, and decided I was just going to go for it!

A pre-holiday reset sounds like a great idea to me. It not only provides all the meals and smoothie recipes, but also an online support forum, which is a unique twist that I appreciate, as cleanses aren't always easy – especially the first few days.

There will be a longer review (and guest post or two!) at the end, so for now, you'll just have to suffer through pictures, but no recipes.

Basic cleanse ground rules: no booze, no java/caffeine, no processed foods, no junk. That being said, this is by no means a cleanse that will leave me hungry. Lots of whole foods with some fun twists, if today is any indication.

Breakfast was a green smoothie (naturally), though one I've never had before. In fact, it had an ingredient I never would have thought to put in a smoothie – cilantro! But I loved it.

Lunch was a carrot and ginger soup that I really liked. I had my homemade roasted pumpkin seeds as one snack, and a homemade coconut trail mix as another. Dinner was cauliflower steaks with roasted cherry tomatoes and a cilantro sauce.

I had two water infusions too that I had made overnight, and they were both amazing as well.

So far, so good. Day 1 is in the bag!


Monday is my normal rest day, so no updates on workouts!


I've been planning to do this cleanse for about a week now. So, while R and I were out of town on Sunday, D went to Whole Foods and did my grocery shopping for me! I'm sure he felt way out of his comfort zone, but that's okay. I appreciate that he did it.

I prepped the water infusions, trail mix, and soup before bed so I'd be ready for today.

Up at normal time, got ready for work, made lunches for everyone, whipped up my smoothie, and headed out the door.

Work was good – a productive day thankfully. Not back to back meetings for 8 hours, but enough time to feel like I got something done and don't have to work this evening! That's the one thing that can get annoying – spending so many hours of your day in meetings, that you have to work at home just to get any work done!

Speaking of working from home – that's what I'll be doing tomorrow! Kids are off school, so other than a couple meetings I have to call in for, I can get a ton done.

Tomorrow is election day here in VA for Governor (few other posts as well). It's a hotly contested race, so I'm sure I'll be glued to the news all day waiting to find out who wins.

And because it's cute…a pic of a little beast who couldn't find anything softer to sleep on….

Hope you've all had a great Monday!


Confirming I’m a Mountain Girl (and a Lousy Newbie Hiker)


Don’t have a stroke or anything, but I honestly don’t think I have any food pics for the last day or so.  It’s been a crazy couple days, and with being on the road, it’s been fruit, salads, and today I did have a veggie wrap.  Not a lot to write home about.  Oh, I did have some awesome Mexican veggie fajitas in a small mountain town though.

I did make homemade pumpkin seeds tonight though!  D saved the seeds from the pumpkin he and R carved the other day, and today I roasted them.  It’s amazingly simple – rinse the pumpkin guts out, spread out on cookie sheet, sprinkle liberally with sea salt, and roast for 45 minutes at 300.  That’s it.  So yummy!

we did this when I was a kid - and haven't done it since.  So tasty and easy!

we did this when I was a kid – and haven’t done it since. So tasty and easy!


Well, if I thought of NASCAR as a real sport, perhaps I could say my crazy amount of driving this weekend qualified as a fitness activity.  Alas….I don’t, so I can’t.

I did a lot of walking, both below ground and in the mountains, so that may count a little.

I also did yoga last night in our little cottage/condo.  R was wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fireplace working on her book (yes, my 10 year old is writing a book – love it), and started to do yoga.  After about 10 minutes, she stopped me and said “wow…you’re really flexible and fit”.  So maybe I beamed a little on that one 🙂


After our trip to Northern VA, R and I took off for Luray, VA.  We had a hiking group meet-up planned to hike the Stony Man trail in Shenandoah National Park.

We made it to Luray just at just about 3pm.  It was a last minute trip, so I totally winged it when looking for lodging on Friday.  I booked the Queen Anne Cottage, which wasn’t so much a cottage, but a lower flat in downtown Luray (right on the river too!).  That said – it was awesome.  The owners were awesome – spoke many times on the phone, greeted me there, and provided a nice bottle of wine for me too!  They also provided some guidance on where to eat (and where to avoid), and were so incredibly sweet.  The flat was lovely – full kitchen, bath, fireplace, WiFi, big front porch with rockers, etc.  I would totally stay there again.  Extremely reasonable too!

As soon as we were settled, R and I took off for the Luray Caverns.  First stop though, was this crazy garden maze.  It was much trickier than it looked – the signs often fibbed about which way to go – but the objective was to find 4 goals, get a stamp on your Mission Card, and reveal not only the way out, but the secret message too.  It was a total blast, and R and I both loved it.

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we totally made a wrong turn!

we totally made a wrong turn!

After that, we went on the cavern’s tour.  Discovered in 1878, it’s this HUGE underground cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, and underground lakes, and all these amazing formations.  A bit to note – the normal stalactites grow 1 inch every 120 years.  The ones that look like waterfalls grow 1 inch every 300 years!  It was stunning.  To quote R all evening long…”I have absolutely no comment”, as we looked in awe at everything.

if you look closely - this is actually a lake!  Called Dream Lake because the water is so still, it shows a perfect mirror image that looks like a cavern below.

if you look closely – this is actually a lake! Called Dream Lake because the water is so still, it shows a perfect mirror image that looks like a cavern below.

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they have a wishing well, and they scoop out the money every Jan to donate to charity.  Here's the chart of donations since 1954!

they have a wishing well, and they scoop out the money every Jan to donate to charity. Here’s the chart of donations since 1954!

unlike any other formation down below.  These are called the "fried-egg" formation.  They're tiny too - about the size of a real egg.

unlike any other formation down below. These are called the “fried-egg” formation. They’re tiny too – about the size of a real egg.

I shouldn't make fun, but this sign totally cracked me up.  Maybe it was the huge jazz hands, I don't know...

I shouldn’t make fun, but this sign totally cracked me up. Maybe it was the huge jazz hands, I don’t know…

After the caverns we grabbed dinner at a Mexican place that came highly (and rightfully so) recommended by the owners of Queen Anne Cottage.  Then we parked at the flat and walked to a local haunted house.  It also came very highly recommended from the owners, and with my family all being big Halloween junkies, it was fun to get one more scare fest in.  I will say – they did an AMAZING job.  They apparently prepare for it all year long, and it was really well done.  We were ushered in small groups of 4-5, and led through each phase by different people who really acted their parts well.  It was scary, and fun, and a total blast.

We went back to the flat, showered, chilled out, played chess, and eventually went to bed.

This morning we took our time getting ready.  We weren’t meeting the group until noon, so we had plenty of time to get our act together.  We got to the Skyland Resort around 1030, hoping to grab breakfast and chill out.  What we did – was find the restaurant closed, and chilled out.  Literally.  I was prepared for hiking weather of about 60 degrees.  I wasn’t prepared for what that meant when on top of a windy mountain.  Neither R nor I were appropriately garbed, so we had to wave off the hike.  I was really bummed out, because I’ve enjoyed the hikes we’ve done.  I need to really work on that “how to be a prepared hiker” thing….

We did stop at scenic overlooks, then head back to Luray to have brunch, walk around, and hit up a local artisan market.  It still ended up being a great day, but was a total newbie hiker fail.

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We were home at a reasonable time though, and I have everything organized for the weekdays to begin.

I will say I did confirm something about myself this weekend that I’ve suspected for sometime.  I’m a mountain girl – more than a beach one.  I live near beautiful beaches, but are drawn much more to the mountains.

Pho Real, Halloween Rocked


Thursday started out with a banana. I had an early morning meeting, and was rushing to get out the door. Lunch was Pho (my favorite!), and dinner was a quick Progresso Lentil soup just before trick or treat! I did stop at a juice bar after my run for a green infusion of yumminess.

Friday was another banana for breakfast. I had to leave before everyone was up, and didn't want the Vitamix to wake everyone. I snagged a bagel at the office during my ridiculously early morning meeting.

Lunch was a less than stellar falafel from a Mediterranean place near my office, and dinner was veggie sushi (hibatchi for everyone else) and some edamame.


I went for a run down near the Oceanfront on Thursday afternoon. It was a spectacularly warm day, and I figure it'll be the last beach front run for awhile, and it's not THAT far from work, so why not?

I was watching the bulldozers on the beach moving sand about to set up for the Christmas lights display they always do. It was pretty neat.

Meet my running buddy – King Neptune.


Well, crazy busy as always. I probably wouldn't know what to do if life slowed down too much! Thursday was Halloween, so after work and runs, it was time to get ready to walk the streets in search of sweet treats!

Where we live, trick or treat is always Halloween night, so as we waited I showered and whipped up a batch of pumpkin cupcakes. M was in charge of handing out the candy while D and I took R around for fun.

Here's the funny thing. R doesn't eat candy. With her nut allergies, she just stays away from all of it, so her entire bounty has to be removed from the house – usually in the form of D taking to work. Doesn't matter, she has fun anyway.

Her costume was a character from the game Minecraft. It was funny how many people who saw her actually knew what she was. Yay for 8-bit game characters!

We got home, finished handing out candy, and played a game of Sorry! Where R won. As usual.

The rest of this weekend is a whirlwind. A quick trip to Northern Virginia, and then R and I are off to the Shenandoah mountains to do some hiking on Sunday, while the boys do their own thing. Hopefully the pics from hiking will be stunning when I write later!

Have a happy weekend!