Not a Mainstream Kinda Girl

FOOD

Yesterday began with a yummy green smoothie. Typical for me – coconut water, Vega vanilla powder, frozen mixed fruit, banana, and spinach.

As much as I totally dig grocery shopping, D has taken that over the past few weeks. I must admit, it's been nice (though he has a tendency to come home with junk food!). While he went and ran errands yesterday (dry cleaning, fancy olive oil and vinegar shop, taking a pit stop to go see a movie, and eventually hitting up the grocery stores!) I spent a big chunk of the day bulk cooking.

First up was a big batch of slow cooker bell peppers! A simple recipe of sauteed veggies mixed in with brown rice and topped with an orange flavored tomato sauce, cooked on low for 5 hours. That'll be lunches several days this week!

I also made a creamy cauliflower soup, a batch of rice, a batch of grains, some soymilk, and pumpkin spice cookies!

This morning I had blueberry pancakes topped with blackberry jam (I've always been more partial to jam vs syrup), and lunch was a pepper and dinner a soup!

FITNESS

Yesterday I did a Yogaglo class at home. I cannot get over how sore I still was from golf. I mean…golf. Seriously, 200 year old people golf. It's not supposed to hurt. My lower back didn't appear to get that message. And it's not even all of it, just half. So weird. My husband gave me helpful tips like “your swing sucks”. Thanks Captain Obvious. I figured that out.

I went for a run this week before work, and it was awesome. A little chilly, but not bad at all. I normally listen to audio books, but finished my last one and haven't picked out a new one yet, so I ended up listening to a podcast. Overall, it wasn't bad, and I do prefer something like that over music.

LIFE

I spent much of yesterday – when not cooking or finishing laundry – watching movies. Enemy of the State and Eagle Eye, actually. No way I was going to a scary movie with D! All told, it was a perfect day. I was no longer “recovering” from the over indulgence of wine from the day before, but I was still just chilling out at home. It was nice going into the week feeling relaxed and organized.

Today was also a really good and easy going day. Only one big meeting, and a lot of time spent getting a lot done. Oh, and I have a #morningpicture to share! D sends one every day, but I realize I haven't been sharing them. So here is D and R as she's being dropped off at school!

I had an article published in our local alternative news outlet today! It's about the Teal Pumpkin Project – an awareness campaign for kids with food allergies and how Halloween can be a challenging time for them. AltDaily is my go-to for finding out all the cool things happening in my area. From the emerging Arts District and beer breweries (believe it or not, it's only recenly legal to have brewery tasting rooms, so they're popping up everywhere!), to concerts and festivals – it's definitely a good resource. Certainly not the mainstream paper, but I've never been a mainstream kinda girl anyway 😉

Here's the article!

So that's it for my Monday. All told, not bad at all 🙂

 

Golf, Grub, a Recipe, & an Angry Liver

FOOD

Thanks to some weekend bulk cooking, I’ve had some pretty tasty eats this week!  My life is always significantly easier when I take the time to prep on the weekends, but it’s been so hectic lately, that I haven’t done much of it.  I really think I need to make a much better effort to do this.

one of my favorite fall stewps!  Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale.  Yumminess for days!!
one of my favorite fall stewps! Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale. Yumminess for days!!
my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.
my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.
just the stewp for lunch one day
just the stewp for lunch one day
co-worker made vegan crockpot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread
co-worker made vegan crock-pot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread
elbow noodles with an acorn squash alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!
elbow noodles with an acorn squash Alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!
Crissie’s Butternut Squash, Rice, and Lentil, and Greens Stewp
Ingredients

1 medium onion — chopped
2 cloves garlic — minced
2 medium carrots peeled and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
½ medium butternut squash chunks
⅓ cup lentils
½ cup brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 each bay leaf
1 tbsp seasoning blend of choice (I like Italian, but Curry would be awesome too!)
5 ounces kale leaves
1 tsp salt

Directions

*Sauté onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. (I use my pressure cooker on the sauté setting. If yours doesn’t have one, use a skillet on the stove.
*Add the potato, squash, lentils, rice, broth, bay leaves, seasoning, and stir to mix.
*Cook for 10 minutes on High Pressure. Let the pressure release naturally.
*Open the lid carefully away from your body (there will be a lot of steam), and add the kale. No need to mix it yet.
*Add the cover and bring back to High Pressure for 2 minutes. Release pressure manually.
*Add the salt, stir, and serve.

FITNESS

Yoga, running, and GOLF!

Yes, that’s right.  I went golfing!  D and I have talked about it for a long time, even took a few lessons, but we finally went and did it.  And you know what?  It was fun.  Know what else?  I’m really sore, so it’s not as easy as it looks!

LIFE

D and I participated in a charity golf event yesterday, and we had a blast!  AD and her husband JD were our golf partners, and we really did have a great time.  We played best ball, which was good for me!  I even had a few good moments, including a putt that gave us a much needed birdie on a hole!

golf selfie #1!!  Me and D :)
golf selfie #1!! Me and D 🙂
golf selfie #2!  Me and AD!
golf selfie #2! Me and AD!

The rest was hanging out, drinking wine, and laughing a lot.  My understanding is that’s how golf really goes, and if so, I should have started playing a very long time ago!

The rest of the week was pretty normal.  Work, school, swim team, and general chaos management!  I did get a billion comments about how I don’t look like me anymore because of the haircut.  I think it’s funny….just bangs!

still me!
still me!

This weekend will be spent recovering my liver from yesterday’s golf adventure, and then cooking, cleaning, and relaxing as much as possible!

Food, Fun, & Fundraising

FOOD

Eats for the past week have included leftover stuffed pumpkin, orange beets (in color and flavor!), green curry tofu, and vegan pizza!  It was nice to spend part of last Sunday in the kitchen preparing for the week.  Life feels so much more balanced when I do that!

pressure cooked orange beets!  I totally love these things.
pressure cooked orange beets! I totally love these things.
oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon
oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon
PHO
PHO
green curry tofu
green curry tofu
a Bolivian vegan burrito thingy
a Bolivian vegan burrito thingy
a vegan slice of pizza
a vegan slice of pizza
Taco Tuesday!  Very simple - refried beans with veggies
Taco Tuesday! Very simple – refried beans with veggies

FITNESS

Yoga and running!  Temps are dropping, so that’s been very nice.  When running, it’s certainly more comfortable when it’s not super hot outside.  Same with hot yoga – if it’s chilly, it feels that much more amazing to step into a heated room.  Going back out into a cooler evening also feels good after sweating it out for an hour or so!

Today my entire family did a 5K!  This is the second birthday in a row where I started my day with a race.  I guess that means my birthday won’t fall on a weekend again in many years 🙂

M, A, and me at the 5K this morning.  It was a bit windy, but an otherwise wonderful morning.
M, A, and me at the 5K this morning. It was a bit windy, but an otherwise wonderful morning.

Today’s 5K was a fundraiser for the Virginia Beach SPCA.  I wanted to do this to honor our recently lost Sammie and Tonks, and of course to raise money for the animals.  We raised a total of $220, so I’m quite proud of that!

LIFE

It’s been a really good week.  Work has been great, and everyone in the family is doing well.  A is recovering from mono quite well and the rest of us have managed to stay relatively healthy (allergies aside)!

D surprised me with two massages this week!  One was Tuesday evening and one couples massage late on Friday night.  Such a sweet guy.  It’s a shame the one of Friday was awful!  Both of the therapists we had were terrible, and I definitely will never go back there again.  It was still a sweet thought though!

Other than bad massages, the weekend has been great.  D and I went out to an Irish place for appetizers and a few drinks.  Saturday I got my haircut and then D and I went out with AC and JC for a bday celebration.  Drinks at their yacht club, pics by the water, then out for Bolivian food.

me taking a pic of D being the evening's photographer!
me taking a pic of D being the evening’s photographer!
sunset at the yacht club
sunset at the yacht club
Saturday morning as I was heading to get my hair cut
Saturday morning as I was heading to get my hair cut
me, D, JC, and AC
me, D, JC, and AC
selfie!
selfie!
me and AC.
me and AC.

Today was the 5K and then lunch and then relaxing!  My birthday dinner tonight is in the works, and I’m excited.  Tofurky, roasted acorn squash, portabello mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts!

Oh, and in honor of Chelsea winning YET AGAIN yesterday, I’ve decided I want this room….

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Peace & Strength

FOOD

I won’t fib.  My whole food veganism  has been put to the test lately.  Not the veganism part (not even a little bit!), but the fresh whole food part.  Developing food allergies as an adult sucks, and I have been particularly afraid of any raw food since my hospital visit nearly a month ago.  For me, that means cooked foods only – and some processed ones too.  I haven’t had a green smoothie in nearly a month, much less a salad!

Today I decided enough is enough.  I cannot be afraid of the food I’ve eaten for 40+ years anymore.  A new food allergy can pop up anytime, but OAS is rarely deadly – more of a mouth tingling annoying/scary thing.  I now have epi pens on me constantly, as well as a bottle of benedryl.

So today marked the re-entry of green smoothies.  I’m happy to announce that I didn’t stop breathing once during the drinking of said smoothie.  And while my ears itched a bit (which has likely nothing at all to do with my breakfast and everything to do with the crazy weather changes), I was nonetheless thrilled.

Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning!  Flax milk, mixed frozen fruit, 1/3 of a banana, and lots of spinach.
Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning! Flax milk, mixed frozen fruit, 1/3 of a banana, and lots of spinach.

And here are the remaining eats of the past week or so.

always a safe bet!  Tofu green curry.  This is courtesy of a place down the street from my office.  I like the ones with eggplant more, but the flavors here are amazing.
always a safe bet! Tofu green curry. This is courtesy of a place down the street from my office. I like the ones with eggplant more, but the flavors here are amazing.
baked potato with black beans and a small amount of shredded cabbage.  My first raw food attempt since mid-Sept.
baked potato with black beans and a small amount of shredded cabbage. My first raw food attempt since mid-Sept.
a beautiful salad I made at Whole Foods.  I ate the beets, but nothing else.  Still freaked a little at this point.
a beautiful salad I made at Whole Foods. I ate the beets, but nothing else. Still freaked a little at this point about eating any raw veggies.
Ruby Tuesday's!  Can't complain that they make eating vegan easy.  Roasted spaghetti squash, plain baked spud, and steamed broccoli.
Ruby Tuesday’s! Can’t complain that they make eating vegan easy. Roasted spaghetti squash, plain baked spud, and steamed broccoli.
in an attempt to reclaim smoothies, decided to check this out.  I have a package in my office now for those moments I'm hungry, but can't get to a normal meal.  Surprisingly tasty mixed with plain water, and held me over for hours.
in an attempt to reclaim smoothies, decided to check this out. I have a package in my office now for those moments I’m hungry, but can’t get to a normal meal. Surprisingly tasty mixed with plain water, and held me over for hours.
went to a lovely restaurant in Virginia Beach - that is NOT a veggie place.  They still made me a wonderful meal, and this was the salad course of roasted beets.
went to a lovely restaurant in Virginia Beach – that is NOT a veggie place. They still made me a wonderful meal, and this was the salad course of roasted beets.
my main dish at Terrapin's - a vegan mushroom and celery risotto.  YUM!
my main dish at Terrapin’s – a vegan mushroom and celery risotto. YUM!
post-yoga lunch at Whole Foods today.  Butternut squash posole.
post-yoga lunch at Whole Foods today. Butternut squash posole.
bulk cooking for the week included a Tamarind Chickpea dish!  I plan to serve over basmati with a small salad for weekday lunches.
bulk cooking for the week included a Tamarind Chickpea dish! I plan to serve over basmati with a small salad for weekday lunches.
a sugar pumpkin stuffed with a hominy/tomatillo stew!  This is currently in the oven as a main star of tonight's dinner.  I love cooling temps :)
a sugar pumpkin stuffed with a hominy/tomatillo stew! This is currently in the oven as a main star of tonight’s dinner. I love cooling temps 🙂
Irish oats with tons of cinnamon and a 6 oz container of So Delicious blueberry coconut milk yogurt.
Irish oats with tons of cinnamon and a 6 oz container of So Delicious blueberry coconut milk yogurt.

FITNESS

Most of the last week has seen me with a nasty head cold and upper respiratory cold – so I hadn’t been doing much of anything other than some gentle yoga.

Thankfully, by the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling mostly myself!  I went for a run yesterday – the first in nearly a week and a half – and while I overestimated my capability, it was still awesome.  The first mile and a half felt normal, but I definitely started noticing some wheezing right around mile 2.  I eased up my pace, took a few walk breaks, and managed back home around the 4 mile mark.  I wish it had felt stronger, but I think I went out too hard initially, and expected too much.

Today I went back to my hot yoga routine.  I seriously can’t articulate how amazing yoga is for me.  It’s been about 13 years since I first started doing yoga, and I still feel like the newby in class.  Today, as always, the instructor asks you to pick an intention for class.  How the instructor asks varies by teacher, but today I was asked to remind myself why I was there.  The intention was to focus on me – and not someone else (what I often do).  I had a few cycles of breath to think about it, and what draws me back time and time again is the ability to find peace during class.  Not because it’s not challenging – because it is – but because I find that hour to be the only time when I can shut the outside world out.  The only hour when I stop thinking about my to-do list, work, family, and life in general.  The only hour where I find the peace to be in the moment I’m in, without analyzing the past and planning the future.  Where I can be in the present moment and that’s enough.  I envy people who find that easily (like my husband), but I don’t.  I’ve never figured out how to shut off my brain, so that hour of yoga is a balm to me that I have a hard time articulating.

In addition, I do hot yoga predominately, so aside from the mental vacation that provides me, it’s also something I do (and why I was drawn to it in the first place), to make my body strong.  So it took me little time at all to set today’s intention.  For peace and strength.  That’s why I do this.

LIFE

My oldest A went back to university last Sunday – against my better judgement.  She was so worried about missing classes, and as much as her mom I wanted to keep her home until she felt 100%, I couldn’t deny her going back to keep up with her studies.

She had a setback the next day (long story of bad care, screwed up medication doses, and the need for antibiotics), but by Tuesday afternoon she was feeling well.

I also had a Dr appointment this past week.  The allergies, swelling throat freaking me out, and the fact that I have my physical this time per year was why I went.  Good news is my blood pressure is still awesome, as it mostly everything else.  However, having the diminished swallowing capacity and throat thing has now led for my doctor to order an upper GI scope.  She initially told me I needed a barium (and AC kindly contacted the vendors to make sure they’re vegan…they are), but apparently she’s changed her mind on what test to do.  I’m not looking forward to the test, but perhaps getting to understand why my throat keeps swelling – not enough to affect breathing -but enough to freak me out!

So my family was supposed to go camping this weekend.  Due to illnesses and sketchy weather, we decided to put it off.  I have hence found out that if I successfully manage to camp for more than one night in my backyard, AC is screwed.  Her husband JC will tell her that if I can do it, so can she (because I definitely don’t like nature, bugs, nor lack of running water and bar).  So for AC, if no other reason, I had to stay safely ensconced in my house all weekend long!

Friday night was out with AC and a friend of hers visiting from her hometown in TN.  We hung out a bit and then went to dinner, which was very nice.  Saturday was family time, and today was yoga, shopping, and prepping for the week.  I didn’t realize how much I needed a low-key weekend.

On the majorly positive side, I’m going home for Thanksgiving!  By home, I mean my hometown in Wisconsin.  I happen to be going to a conference in Chicago that starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so it worked out very well.  Thanksgiving with my sister and her family and my parents is something I haven’t experienced in 11 years (and is my sister’s fav holiday!).  And Saturday night, it’s party-time with my cousins!  A few drinks and catching up sounds like a perfect holiday weekend to me.

So with that, I leave you for a bit and hope you’ve all had a great weekend too!

Hitting the Gym & Turning My House Into a Petri Dish

FOOD

Food has predominately been simple the past week or so.  I’m still a little leery of raw foods, so I’ve been avoiding them.  Which actually pisses me off a great deal, because I love raw fruits and vegetables.  I’m assuming when allergy season is over, my dietary habits can get back to normal.

Until then, my meals have consisted of several soups (butternut squash is my fav!), lentils and rice, Venezuelan black beans and rice, and cooked veggies.

Mujadarrah.  A fancy way of saying simple lentils, rice, and crispy onions.  Truthfully though, it's one of my fav simple meals - especially doused with hot sauce.
Mujadarrah. A fancy way of saying simple lentils, rice, and crispy onions. Truthfully though, it’s one of my fav simple meals – especially doused with hot sauce.
black bean and rice night!  I love when the entire meal can be made in a rice cooker and pressure cooker!
black bean and rice night! I love when the entire meal can be made in a rice cooker and pressure cooker!
quinoa, frozen berries, and vanilla coconut milk yogurt
quinoa, frozen berries, and vanilla coconut milk yogurt
butternut squash bisque!  Had it a lot this past week.  Sometimes plain, sometimes with added quinoa or rice for more oomph.
butternut squash bisque! Had it a lot this past week. Sometimes plain, sometimes with added quinoa or rice for more oomph.
I did try a smoothie.  Tongue got tingly after 2 sips, so I stopped.  Ugh.
I did try a smoothie. Tongue got tingly after 2 sips, so I stopped. Ugh.
roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes
roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes
Thai edamame - with toasted coconut and lime
Thai edamame – with toasted coconut and lime
roasted asparagus
roasted asparagus

FITNESS

Lots of workouts the past week or so!  I’ve gone to the gym 2x per week to workout with a small group doing strength training.  5am workouts aren’t the most fun, but it’s nice to get it done and to do so with others.  I’m usually a solitary exerciser, but when it comes to strength training, groups are better for me.

Even more exciting than going to the gym is the formation of a No Meat Athlete running group here in Virginia Beach!  For those that don’t know, Matt from No Meat Athlete has been a great source of information and motivation for me and many other veggie based runners.  I was really excited that this sanctioned group started, and getting active with other veg head runners is fun.

LIFE

In a word.  Sick.  Hectic too, but that’s nothing new.  My oldest, A, is home from University with a nasty case of mono!  I fell so horrible – never seen her so incredibly sick.  D and I couldn’t let her stew in a dorm room, so she’s home.  Frankly, she doesn’t seem much better, and I know she’s worried about her classes.  I’m more worried about her health.  Mono can take 1-2 months to recover from, and that just sucks.  So right now my house is a bit of a petri dish!

I am also sick at the moment, though not like A.  This time of year I seem to always get allergies gone bad (sounds like a bad B movie, right?!).  What starts out as an itchy throat and sniffles turns into a full fledged sinus, ear, and respiratory infection.  For me, the itchy and swollen throat (which is a freaky feeling) has been going on for 2 weeks.   The past few days, it’s escalated into the nasty stuff.  I have a Dr appt on Tuesday in case it doesn’t run it’s course by then.

Other than illness, the past week has been quite busy and fun.  D went to Iowa for his High School reunion and had a blast.  While he was gone, I took my kids and one of R’s friends out of town for the weekend to hit up the Virginia State Fair and spend the weekend in a hotel.  I grew up living just a mile or two from the Wisconsin State Fair, and I have nothing but the best memories of that.  I had’t been to a fair in over 10 years, so really wanted to check it out.  Honestly, we didn’t stay very long.  Not for lack of wanting to, but A wasn’t feeling hot – which at the time we thought was just exhaustion because she worked the night before – but in retrospect was mono.  And her going on all the Midway rides with R and N probably didn’t help!

M, A, R, and N in front of a Virginia Grown veggie stand at the Fair!
M, A, R, and N in front of a Virginia Grown veggie stand at the Fair!

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So, we really only did rides and left.  A bit disappointing for me (I really wanted to see the animals), but there’s always next year.

D got home from his trip and immediately had to start working nights to support a go-live.  It always throws the rhythm of our life when one of us has to do that!

This weekend is also pretty booked.  The young one has her first swim meet of the season and I have a vegan drinks meet up tonight (that I hope I’m well enough to attend).  Tomorrow will be typical prep for the week ahead, and resting as much as possible before heading back to work on Monday!

silly girl at team practice this week
silly girl at team practice this week

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!