New Quarantine Obsessions?

FOOD

So I haven’t really taken many pics of eats this week. But it’s been typical – salads, stir fries, and I had a Beyond Burger one day and a Beyond Brat today! I made a huge batch of cole slaw (vinegar based, no sugar), and munched on that too.

Really love the tofu-eggless salad in lieu of a dressing

FITNESS

Well, it hasn’t been varied! I’ve used the rower every day.

I gave up on that intro series. I hate to say it, but it was just too easy, and I missed the feeling of being utterly spent at the end. So…I jumped to a different series called Shred and Burn.

Day 1 was still a bit easy. Day 2 a little harder. Day 3- today – was tough. I was bummed that my HR monitor stopped capturing it a minute in so I’m not sure my actual burn – but I tend to be almost double the “estimates” from my Apple Watch or other height/weight based guesstimates.

I admit, I’m pretty addicted to the data, and having inaccurate information really gets on my nerves. But for today, have to go based on how I felt – which was pretty dang drained. So – good stuff.

Day 1
Day 2
After day 2
Day 3. And I’m throwing the BS flag down on 295 calories burned. HA. More like 500 since I felt about as spent as I do on a good run

Also need to shout out the iFit coaches. I’ve had 2 so far – and I love them. This guy (name is Gideon Akande) is literally the best. Encouraging and funny and knows when to push. I’m hoping they’re all like this! I’m looking forward to paddling through Ireland one of these days (virtually – outdoor paddles is an option – and someday maybe for real!).

I did get some new kicks! I read that running shoes aren’t great for rowing – too much cushion. So I got a pair of Inov8’s – used to wear them back in the CrossFit days. Minimalist shoes (vegan of course), and I love them! Also – like I need a reason to buy new shoes.

LIFE

All in all, been a good week so far. On the school front, have made a TON of progress. Lots to go, but still really pleased with the pace and the progress.

Work has been good also. Working on some new prototypes for domestic manufacturing of PPE’s. Plus several other projects, but I’m definitely being kept busy. I really, really hope that we, as in industry (healthcare) take this as an opportunity to reimagine how we operate going forward. I will be honest – the darling of MBA supply chain logistics – just in time inventory – has literally killed us. As is being a net importer. Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT a populist by any stretch of the imagination. But we must be more thoughtful in what we do and not just be driven by finances. Do I need the next iPhone? No – keep that in China. Do I need isolation gowns, N95 masks, and gloves to keep our staff and patients safe? Hell yes. Make them here as well as anywhere we normally go. But in this crisis, we couldn’t source anything – so we’re re-using, sanitizing, and doing things we never would’ve conceived of before. Lecture over. But it’s important.

On the garden front, I am LOVING how it’s going. The cilantro is growing great – not something I’ve always done well. Used it to make a copycat cilantro rice for taco Tuesday yesterday. But honestly, the lettuce and spinach are growing nicely as are all the herbs. In the main garden, the cucs still suck and I think I’m going to dig it up so it stops sucking nutrients. Zucchini is sprouting like crazy, as is the cherry tomato plants, and kale. The rest are all doing great too.

Look at that cilantro!!!

I wish I had a picture from this evening’s Zoom meeting. It was at 5, and around 515, Luna started pacing in front of me. On camera. She does this when she feels I should stop what I’m doing and feed her – even though her dinner time is 630. She spent an hour walking back and forth and cracking everyone up.

Otherwise – random pics of the past couple days!

Coffee this morning while out with Kuma
Because they’re the cutest besties ever
Actually, I’ve only had wine twice in the past almost 2 months. But it’s still funny
Worked outside all afternoon today – was so beautiful out
Blue jay came for a visit!

Okay – so – gotta know if you have any new habits/obsessions/etc that have developed since quarantine?

For me – I’ve been not-so-low-key into makeup and skincare YouTube videos. It’s literally what I watch before I fall asleep (still struggling finding a series to keep my interest). As a result – I’m actually wearing makeup, and establishing a skin care routine! So I’m 46, and my entire lifelong philosophy can be summarized as this….”I wash my face in the shower, I use the same lotion on my face that I use everywhere else”. And honestly – I’ve never had issues. I’m fortunate to have always had clear skin, I am aging well and don’t have blemishes and tons of wrinkles, etc. So I’ve always taken it for granted. The skin cancer got me to change my lotion to one with SPF, but I’ve really otherwise ignored everything. I can report I’m actually washing my face 2x per day and using various lotions and serums. It’s wild and I don’t even recognize myself anymore 🤣.

As for new habits, they’re all healthy ones. I have become quite obsessed with my health. I’ve cut out sugar and feel amazing – it’s been almost 2 months. I’ve also been 100% gluten free – I had been “gluten-lite” for years for the RA, but decided it was time to go all in. Being home and making my meals, it’s easy. It’s traveling – being a gluten free vegan can be tough in some situations. I’m also working out and meditating daily. Basically just making myself a priority and I have never felt better – physically and mentally. I hate the reason for it (COVID), but am grateful to have found this focus.

So yes – my new quarantine obsession is apparently feeling healthy, pretty, and pampered. Okay, I can live with that!

Row, Row, Row (your imaginary boat)

FOOD

I made smoothies both yesterday and today. They look the same, but today’s was better. Coconut milk, chocolate Garden of Life protein powder, and fresh mint from the garden. Really yummy!

I made a simple tofu stir fry, ate the last of the tofu curry with cauliflower rice, made a salad, and then made a great dinner tonight with a Beyond Meat Brat, spiralized zucchini, cherry tomatoes, some spices, and finished off with red wine vinegar.

FITNESS

So totally exciting news! I GOT A ROWER. I’ve wanted one for quite some time and the person I mentioned that we swap our workout heart rates from our app – he works out on one.

I got the NordicTrack RW900. Think Peloton, but with a rower. It came on Friday while I was on my way out, but my youngest put it together for me so I could use it yesterday!

It comes with a year if iFit family, so me and all the kids have our own profiles. I’m doing the intro series to be sure I get my form down and not get injured, but I cannot express how excited I am!

I put it in my room. My study already has my spin bike, and I didn’t want to clutter that room up!

Yesterday’s class was really about form and drills to get the form down. I’m doing the 4 week intro series. I’ll admit, today I felt I could’ve gone much harder, but I also don’t want to do too much, too soon or sacrifice form and get injured. So – I did the class (which included getting off the rower halfway through to do some core work and squats). And then I went for a run!

This was actually my row. My HR monitor doesn’t have an “other” setting – and really only has runs and cycles. So every workout for the most part says running…only thing I dislike about the Wahoo HR monitor
This one really WAS a run!

My yoga studio did a 5 day yoga immersion last week that I did all of the classes for. It was less about the physical activity of yoga, and more on the mental. Really good and glad I did it.

LIFE

It’s really been a great weekend.

Friday I went to a socially distant happy hour with friends. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was playing with the rower and then doing school work mostly, and some cooking. Though at 2 I had a FaceTime date with my friend G in New York. She had spent the day in the garden and we spent just over an hour catching up.

Today was really busy. I mentioned in my last post about wanting to get back to my typical organization, so that’s how I started my day. That’s how I’m used to starting my Sundays, so it felt good to get back to it. I prepped my calendar for the week, made my goals, and did my bullet journal for today. Then it was time to meditate.

Then I spent a few hours reviewing the CARES and PREP acts as well as FDA guidance on PPE’s (personal protective equipment) to develop some guidelines for us. I ended up with more questions than answers, but that’s okay.

After that, I started laundry and then worked out. Shower, school, dinner, and then sat outside reading for about an hour.

I like going into this week feeling more organized with a set of goals each day. It certainly makes me make better use of my time!

I Promise It’s Not a Drug Deal

Here I go again – it’s quarantine and it still took me 11 days to post! Argh – sorry about that!

FOOD

Eats have been pretty standard on the quarantine front. Smoothies, salads, and stir fries!

Blurry pic, but yummy tofu and veggie red Thai coconut curry soup
Konjac noodles with Morningstar Farms fake chicken
Still love topping a BAS with my tofu-eggless salad
Cauliflower rice spiced with turmeric and cumin
An Indian tofu curry – using fresh cilantro from the herb garden!
A simple vinegar based (sugar free) slaw
Beyond Burger on slaw!

On Wednesday I had to drive up to Williamsburg for a quick work stop. On my way home, I stopped at Food For Thought – probably my favorite WB restaurant – to get a salad to go.

I ordered the Farmer’s Harvest Salad with no apples (allergic), no cheese (duh), and add the Gardein. And with balsamic.

I get there and am waiting in the parking lot and the owner comes out to tell me the pecans are coated in an egg wash (I said I was vegan when I made my order – they’re REALLY diligent about things like that and food allergies), and would I like plain ones. I say no thank you, just leave off the pecans.

He then comes back to tell me the balsamic actually has blue cheese and would I mind the raspberry. Nope, don’t mind at all!

THEN he comes back to tell me he feels badly that my salad will be boring, and would I mind if he tossed more veggie in it. NOPE. DON’T MIND AT ALL. And this is why I love this place!

FITNESS

Okay, not going to lie – I have been working out a TON. I think it helps stave off any quarantine boredom (and I’m fortunate to not have suffered any of that)

Lots of runs and a few spins too. TRX has a ton of classes, and I like the Super 20 spin that I’ve done a few times now. Yoga too.

Still swapping pics of our burn with someone who has a similar HR monitor. I won’t bore you with 11 days worth (really, 9 because I do take a day off now and then!). They average 450 calories burned per run. A little less for spin. I don’t bother for yoga.

Out for a ride with the wee one! It was HYPER windy, so we only got a couple miles in. I came home and did spin.
I went out for a run last night. And my running pants kept calling off. After almost a mile and a half of holding them up, I turned around and walked home. Then did a 20 min spin class!

LIFE

I’m fortunate to be really busy while sheltering in place, and as a result, I’m also lucky to not be suffering being home. I am pretty used to working remotely, and it’s just been me and my kids for a few years now and we all get along, so I definitely can’t complain. There are people I miss, but I’m also keeping on contact with friends regularly and really using this time to focus on me, my health, my happiness, and thinking about my future. I hate the reason, but am grateful for the opportunity.

School has started up again and I’m really focused on that. It’s crunch time and the fewer the distractions, the better.

I went to my local farm again for drive through produce pick up! Love having this resource – supporting local – and getting fresh produce!

On Saturday, I went to a different farmer’s market. It’s the Old Beach market in Virginia Beach – you have to order in advance and then just drive through to get your goods. This is less of a farmers market though, and more of an artisan’s market. I really wanted some teas from a local spa, and so ordered in advance and picked it up. It was SO awesome. I got 4 teas, they put it in a fun little tote, and I got a hand written card!

I’m excited that the garden is really coming along. Except the cucumbers. My eldest and I have decided we’re cursed when it comes to cucumbers. So we’ll see – but I’m not hopeful. Pretty sure the rest is going to be brilliant though!

The bottom row is spinach and leaf lettuce from seeds

I try to meditate daily. I don’t always succeed at that – but I do try. The other day I was really feeling the need to – but Luna was in my chair. Okay, so I went on the floor, where I was kissed a bunch by Kuma until I finished to find her sleeping before me. It was literally the best part I think – so I’m glad that Luna stole my chair for a bit!

Twice this week I had to travel a bit for work – in the state. On Monday, I went to Charlottesville to drop of a part an engineer up there is going to help me reverse engineer.

On the way home, stopped in Richmond to meet two people I was put in touch with through the governors office to work on bringing PPE manufacturing not only back to the US, but into VA. They had some prototypes for me to get and take to our side to evaluate. After trying them on, of course (won’t share pics because there are patents involved, but it was interesting). Then on Wednesday afternoon, had to meet them again, only this time in Williamsburg because it was between us, to give them a design we prefer.

The engineer and I met in a grocery store parking lot. The other two textile people and I met at a country club driveway entrance. And then again at a Starbucks parking lot. It used to be parking lot meetings were for drug deals, so I’m not sure how I feel about this being a regular meeting spot I’m finding myself in!

Though while in WB, I brought Kuma and we went on a bit of a walk in the downtown area.

Last year my backyard table broke – finally got around to buying a new one. Got it through Wayfair, which was really reasonable. R enjoys building things, so she put that together for me. It’s perfect.

Perfect for my sugar-free whisky sour while grilling dinner!

But honestly – been really busy. If I’m not working, hanging with my kids, working out, or doing school stuff, I’m cooking or reading. I haven’t been reading enough, but that’s on my to do list.

Speaking of to do lists – I’m a pretty meticulous planner. Though I don’t like to be over scheduled – so that’s a little weird. But I use the Boss Planner in GoodNotes on my iPad. It’s perfect because there’s an empty page for each day where I do my bullet journaling. I haven’t used it at all since the first week of march, but I’m going to start again so I can work in more time to read 🙂

So, I’ll leave you with pictures and the best wishes to stay safe, sane, and at HOME.

These two are never too far apart from each other
Me doing school revisions ALL last weekend
The next 2 books on my list
My neighbor cutting his lawn

I Still Have Two!!

FOOD

Saturday night I made enchilada bowls. Essentially, it’s all the yummy filling without the pain of rolling them up and baking them! Simple pinto bean, corn, chopped corn tortillas, a homemade enchilada sauce, and spiralized sweet potatoes. I didn’t take pics of the entire thing tho.

Sunday afternoon I had a protein bar.

Today I had some leftover coleslaw and some tofu stir fry. Dinner is cooking now, and its a sweet potato and chickpea red curry.

FITNESS

So excited about yesterday’s “workout”! I took my new hybrid bike on her maiden voyage! 10 miles at the Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. It was insanely windy on the first half, but overall, loved it.

Loving this bag being made out of fishnets! It also unfolds on the sides to add saddle bags

It’s strange – I wore my HR monitor and it captured the 512 calories over the hour, but it doesn’t give me the graph the way it does when I run. That irks me.

LIFE

Friday evening after dinner it was a walk out with Kuma and my goofy selfie

Sunday was my bike adventure, which was great. By the time I got home, I wasn’t feeling too well. Not sure why – but a bit nauseous and a bad headache, so I took a nap. Felt some better when I got up, but not fully.

I spent a little time sitting outside under our new cantilever umbrella and checking on the garden.

My Sunday night adventure was…..waxing my own eyebrows!

I am happy to report, it was actually pretty easy and I still have two of them!

Today was work and more work and waiting for Apple support to call me back (long story – they think I have 6 TB of data in my iCloud that I don’t, and they can’t figure out what’s wrong….).

My nap buddies!

Quarantined & Caffeinated

FOOD

A few pretty typical meals. I don’t know if I’m just using up what’s in the house on repeat, or have lost (temporarily, I assume) all creativity.

Several tofu-based meals this week. Stir fries, coconut soup, or just with my Konjac pasta. Also actually made a smoothie this morning! First in several weeks. Also made a big batch of cole slaw – which is one of my favorite things!

This actually became soup – but I was hungry so forgot the pic of the end product!
5.5 lb box of tofu – so you can see why we’re eating LOTS of tofu!

I had a bunch of bananas going bad (makes me wonder if R tosses them from her school lunch…. Anyway, decided to make muffins, and had enough batter leftover for donuts. The recipe called for a bunch of fancy icings and glazes…but we are not fancy people and eat the “plain”, which is just fine!

FITNESS

Still all about the runs! Can’t complain though – I’m really loving running again. Been a bit since I could say that!

It was really windy, so I wasn’t doing any sprints. It’s fun to see my HR and can tell I was going at a pretty steady pace the entire time
this morning I can tell that I was doing sprints between light poles

Tomorrow I’m going biking – with my new bike! I have a road/racing bike which I love, but it can’t go on trails and it’s really not safe to ride where I live as there are no shoulders nor bike lanes. So, after thinking on it for years, finally got a hybrid bike again. I used to have a Trek, but my eldest took it to university and didn’t have it when she came back home 🤦🏻‍♀️. I didn’t spend a ton – bought it on Amazon after doing research. It arrived Thursday and R went straight to work putting it together (love having a budding engineer in the house!). The back tire had a hole though, so took it to my neighborhood bike shop where they fixed it. So tomorrow – taking it to the state park on it’s maiden voyage!

LIFE

The past few days, work wise, have been the same. Busy. Everything from meeting with 3D printing companies to a long call with Ford Motor Co to discuss what their engineers are up to to help the frontline healthcare workers (and it’s a lot and it’s really really cool!). Easily working 12-15 hr days, but the time just flies.

School is ramping back up on two fronts. I got my MBA from Darden school of business at the University of Virginia. They have continuing education classes and certifications. In January, the dean announced that all alumni can take one free! I jumped on that and signed up for a class called Discovery Tools. It takes a design thinking approach to help foster creativity. Considering my job title is innovation, creativity in how I approach problems, etc is really important. Thing is – the class started last Monday. I the midst of the busiest I’ve been professionally in ages. OH, and my doctorate work starts again in 2 days. SO….check in on me from time to time as I may be overwhelmed and NOT okay. But alas, it’ll all get done.

On a fun note, I ordered some swag from my local coffee house – Pale Horse. And I love all of it.

At this very moment, this tumbler may not have coffee in it. I just may be a vodka soda…

The best part of the day though is the GEMBA happy hour party! GEMBA stands for Global Executive MBA, and is the program I went to at UVA. We all keep in touch and chat nearly daily via WhatsApp. Classmates are all around the world, and the decision was today – at 3pm EST, we’d have a Zoom happy hour!

I miss these faces so much. Amazing to catch up on each others’ lives and plan the next one!

Tomorrow – bike ride, weeding the garden, and working on school stuff!

It’s Like the Boring Company. But it’s the Boring Post!

FOOD

Monday I fasted for just shy of 20 hours. My OMAD was super simple. 2 Gardein Chickn Scallopini’s and a huge helping of green beans.

Tuesday I fasted for 22 hours and made a big helping of Konjac pasta with fake chicken strips and soy sauce.

Today my fast 20 hours. I picked up a Moe’s salad because I had to be out. Forgot a pic and snarfed it in the parking lot! Typical BAS though – lettuce, cucumbers, jalapeños, tofu, & salsa.

FITNESS

Didn’t end up working out on Monday and I was bummed. Ended up having to run out at 5pm, didn’t get back until 630, then had to make dinner. Oh well.

Yesterday I went for a run. It was one of those runs where everything felt perfect. Endless energy, and the feeling you could just keep on going. But, I was going between meetings and needed to be home before my 10am!

Today was a 2-fer. I didn’t get started until quite late – just too much going on. I started with a 20 min TRX core workout on the app. It HURT.

Then I went for a run. Not the same energy as yesterdays, but still good and glad I went.

LIFE

All work, all the time! I swear, starting at 7am, I’m either in meetings or on the phone ALL day. On Monday, I had to run out to pick up a fireman’s hood – a retired FDNY thinks it’ll help if needed with covid. A very nice older man – reminded me a bit of my dad. And he just wanted to chat away – I probably stood in front of his door (with Kuma) for nearly an hour before I finally told him I needed to leave to feed my kids. Which was true! So it was a late night.

It was cute when all the kids went outside. The girls on bikes and M on his longboard. They were gone for a bit, and its nice to see that even at their ages (24, 22, & 16), they still all get along.

Tuesday was much the same. A tad fewer meetings so I could catch up on emails and documentation.

Today I had far fewer meetings as half the day was dedicated to picking up and dropping off prototypes to be evaluated.

I will tell you, being this busy – the weeks fly right by. It’s crazy. Tomorrow and Friday are shaping up to be busy days, so I’m sure my posts will be kind of boring!

Though – I did order a new bike that should be here Friday! I have a really nice racing bike, but that’s no good on trails, etc. I’ve been eyeing a hybrid for a long time, finally did it. Nothing super fancy nor pricy, but I’m still really looking forward to it. Maybe take it to the trails this weekend!

To combat that – I give you the best Kuma there is.