Tag Archives: Blogging

Managing A Few Days Without Total Chaos!

FOOD

It’s been all homemade eats the past few days since getting home from FL.

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie!  Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie! Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday's smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine's, water, and spinach.

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday’s smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine’s, water, and spinach.

I know the bottle says Shakeology, but I don’t use it.  Not that I don’t think it’s packed full of nutrients, but I had an allergic reaction to their vegan vanilla a few months ago.  So, I still to Vega most of the time and Sunwarrior on occasion too.  To be honest, I don’t use protein powders all the time, but when I’m making my smoothie as a meal replacement or I know it needs staying power (or when I know I’m a bit lacking in some vital nutrients), I’ll toss it in.  After a week of travel and mostly eating out, I tend to add them to my smoothies.

I also did a lot of batch prep on Sunday’s.  That included some of the Happy Herbivore meals and salads.  I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to the Fitpacker container system the past few weeks.  It makes storage a breeze and takes up less space.

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D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabello burger I blogged about last time!  With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried french fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn't have to cook!)

D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabella burger I blogged about last time! With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried French fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!)

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part of Sunday's dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sauteed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

part of Sunday’s dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sautéed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

I also dig my baked spuds!  This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

I also dig my baked spuds! This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

oh look, another baker!  This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

oh look, another baker! This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

Monday's lunch - a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinioa gluten free noodles

Monday’s lunch – a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinoa gluten free noodles

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

this is HH's Bayou Bowl!  Brown rice topped with a cajun style lentil and veg.  And cabbage for crunch because that's my thing

this is HH’s Bayou Bowl! Brown rice topped with a Cajun style lentil and veg. And cabbage for crunch because that’s my thing

and tonight's dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

and tonight’s dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

FITNESS

Still doing the Beach Body on Demand workouts.  I honestly do like them because there’s variety (my Achilles heel in DVD based workouts).  I’m in my final 7 days of the 21 Day Fix program workouts and I admit to feeling pretty darn good.  And much stronger.  And possibly constantly sore 🙂

I’ve also joined a really active challenge group with a coach who totally understands vegan nutritional needs, so I’m pretty stoked there.  Plan to start the kick boxing program on Monday, which aligns with completing the current program.

Of course I have my 3x per week runs too!

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday.  I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways.  She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday. I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways. She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

Last night was Cardio Fix.  I’m trying to work out more in the mornings, but it just wasn’t happening on Monday.  I had to be at the office before 7am, and that would involve getting up around 430, and that’s just silly.  So, evening working it was.  By the way, I’m not sure why I’m smiling.  There’s this exercise in this video called Surrender’s, and I’m pretty sure they’re evil.

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Today was a 3-fer workout.  Upper Body Fix first, and because that was challenging by didn’t wipe me, I followed it with a 4 mile run.  Then this evening, R and I went on a bike ride when she got home from school.   3 laps through the neighborhood for a total of about 30 minutes.

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LIFE

Well, it’s been a nice few days!  I’ve only been home for a few, but they’ve been pretty chill.  For the first time since grad school started, it felt like a normal weekend!  Saturday M had some friends over (that we’ve known since they were young) and D grilled.  It was hanging out and being silly mostly.  I also did the week’s meal planning and D did the grocery shopping while I studied.

Sunday was laundry, cleaning, batch cooking, a school team meeting, studying, and watching a movie!  We watched Moana, and I loved it.

M’s car is screwed up, so we’re currently sharing my ride.  So he’s been taking me to work so he can go to school and then picking me up in the evening.  While it’s a bit of a challenge, it’s not the end of the world.  Not sure his car is worth fixing yet, so we’ll see.

It’s been really nice out (80 over the weekend, chilly yesterday, but 70’s today and 80’s tomorrow before winter comes back and we’re in the 50’s).  We’re definitely taking advantage of THAT!  Kuma has been hard to keep inside, and Bumble has been joining her in the yard too.  Ginny sticks to her window watching and is just happy the house is opened up!

So, hope you’re having a good week so far!

D making a goofy grill face.  Since it's technically still winter, it's dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

D making a goofy grill face. Since it’s technically still winter, it’s dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

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Monday morning picture!

Monday morning picture!

 

Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger

congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)

yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!

LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India

my class in front of the Gateway to India

beautiful train station

beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....

yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

one of the Mumbai slums

one of the Mumbai slums

a gift from the co-op

a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(

view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!

in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.

lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning

on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day

she loves laundry day

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

me as I landed in Mumbai

me as I landed in Mumbai

me and two of my awesome classmates

me and two of my awesome classmates

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Making Eats for a Week at Once Increases Sanity

FOOD

Bulk cooking on Sunday’s really comes in handy!  I had salads and soups most days for lunch.  Lot’s of smoothies too.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers.  The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers. The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

at the office and ready to start my day!

at the office and ready to start my day!

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BAS!  Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

BAS! Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

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Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

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there's oatmeal buried under this dish.

there’s oatmeal buried under this dish.

I also made a home made black bean burger that was really good and has also been lasting me for days!  It was pretty simple – 1 can refried black beans, 1/2 cup cooked oats, 1/2 cup (ish) salsa, fresh chopped cilantro from my garden (about a cup), 1/4 chopped red onion, 1-2 tsp cumin, and enough coconut flour to bind it all without falling apart.  It certainly wasn’t an exact science, but I put the mixture in the fridge and have whipped up a yummy burger on demand!

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pre-cooked burger

pre-cooked burger

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion.  Side dish is whole grain pasta with a green sauce of tofu, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper.  Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion. Side dish is whole grain pasta with a tofu-based creamy sauce, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper. Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

FITNESS

This week was mostly DVD workouts because it’s been hectic.  I did get to the gym one day, just one run, and twice daily walks with Kuma.

post gym & run sweat bomb

post gym & run sweat bomb

LIFE

After my last post on Sunday, D went to the restaurant where both A and M work and hung out with them a bit.  So cool.

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and a quick one with R after he got home!

and a quick one with R after he got home!

Since it summer break right now, there’s no morning pics with D and R 😦

However, most days in the summer I’m up and gone before anyone else wakes up.  And D and I are total nerds so we send each other good morning selfie 🙂

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On Tuesday we went out to see the USA v Argentina game (we don’t have cable).  It wasn’t as painful as I feared it would be, but still sad we lost.  M and I got in our Chelsea gear to get in the soccer spirit!

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I got to see AC and E yesterday for a quick visit!  First time since AC moved to NOLA about 5 months ago.

The rest of the week was work and studies, cats and dog and general Clan mayhem!  It’s the end of the term for me at school and exams are starting through the next two weeks.  Wish me luck!

laying claim to the dog's toy

laying claim to the dog’s toy

puppy love!

puppy love!

enjoying my global economic research documents

enjoying my global economic research documents

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF - a classmate of mine who's a major pup lover...and wanted me to name her Donut.

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF – a classmate of mine who’s a major pup lover…and wanted me to name her Donut.

Mine and D’s anniversary is tomorrow, so we’ll be out of town most of the weekend having a good time – which I may or may not blog about 😉

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Compatibility

So I have to say that I’ve been increasingly concerned that blogging is incompatible with my life!  Which – frankly sucks because I’ve always loved it so.  So – I’m not willing to give up on it, but I do apologize it’s been so scarce!  Between a full-time demanding job, a full-time demanding grad school program, a busy family, and life in general – it get’s tough sometimes.  But…I’ll keep blogging when I can and hope it gets more frequent than it has been!

FOOD

To be honest, I have not spent nearly enough time in the kitchen of late.  Another things I feel has been sacrificed to the grad-school gods!  That doesn’t mean there aren’t good eats though 🙂  Life is too short for icky food!

Here’s a few things I’ve noshed on in the past couple weeks.

Smoothies…always!

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D and I occasionally do “smoothie selfies”!

his are always from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  He gets an Island Green almost every morning!

his are always from Tropical Smoothie Café. He gets an Island Green almost every morning!

once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine).  Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day...

once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine). Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day…

Other eats!

the BAS has made a huge re-entry.  Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.

the BAS has made a huge re-entry. Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.

BAS topped with a Boca Burger

BAS topped with a Boca Burger

baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce

baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce

baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce

baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce

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tofu scramble!

tofu scramble!

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FITNESS

Re-joining the Y has been a really good thing.  While I still prefer to run outside, it’s a nice alternative when I can’t.  I’ve started going 3 days per week to weight lift and either run there or at home.  It’s not as consistent as I’d like yet, but so far, so good!  I’ve taken a few classes too, but group exercise classes are rarely my favorites!

LIFE

Well you know.  Work.  School.  Family.  Puppy.  Those all take up most of my time 🙂

Can’t complain about any of them though.  My current term at school is wrapping up and we head into exams next weekend.  Lot’s of projects, papers, and cases to fill my evenings.

Work has been steady, but not overly crazy – which is nice.  Had one quick work trip since I’ve gotten back from China, but it was just an overnighter.

Family has been very great.  M and A are both moving up in responsibilities at work, which is great for them.  A is also doing great in her very own apartment and balancing that, work, and school.  R finished up 7th grade just yesterday!  D is always pretty awesome, and everyone has been healthy.

Kuma is a total sweetie.  She potty trained quickly to the bells on the back door, and she’s wicked smart.  Stubborn too, but that’s why she’s in puppy school!

Ending with pics!

Kuma!

floating in the pool!

floating in the pool!

my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out.  They have two Shiba's...brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!

my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out. They have two Shiba’s…brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!

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on her way to the first day of puppy school!

on her way to the first day of puppy school!

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pooped after puppy school!

pooped after puppy school!

smelling the catnip...

smelling the catnip…

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Bumble and Ginny!

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Morning pics!

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Other fun stuff!

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E from school bought me a scarf in China!  I couldn't figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.

E from school bought me a scarf in China! I couldn’t figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.

me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!

me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!

school influencing work!  The beginnings of my Kanban board (it's gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)

school influencing work! The beginnings of my Kanban board (it’s gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)

 

 

 

Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FOOD

I usually make up my morning smoothies as I go, but sometimes I like to follow a recipe to try something new.  And like yesterday, today I made another one from 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This one was called Super Blue Recharge and was loaded with several super nutrients like Acai and hemp seeds.  It was filling, and I only managed to drink half.

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Lunch was a BAS.  Romaine, beets, scallions, cucumber, herbed tofu, cauliflower, and tomatoes tossed with a tahini/maple dressing.

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing!  Also - nothing like a fresh dressing too!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing! Also – nothing like a fresh dressing too!

after adding dressing.  It was SO good.  Couldn't finish it, but that's okay...BAS for the win!

after adding dressing. It was SO good. Couldn’t finish it, but that’s okay…BAS for the win!

Dinner was the leftover Thai soup and the rest of the family had tacos (I wasn’t feeling tacos myself).  So our usual Taco Tuesday became Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FITNESS

Another run on a warm day.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when winter actually hits.

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face.  It was so strange...

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face. It was so strange…

On a separate (but fun) note, a classmate of mine has suggested running the Great Wall Marathon when we’re in China in May!  While there’s no way I’d be full marathon ready by then (not between school and work), they have a half and an 8.5k.  I’m actually excited about the idea – though since Virginia Beach has no hills, I’m thinking the 8.5 k (and my training isn’t half-marathon prep right now either).  We’ll see 🙂

LIFE

Today was a work from home day.  Ironically, it was largely spent doing research and writing a white paper on managing virtual teams and being a virtual leader 🙂 Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

A had a great follow-up appointment, and she’s cleared to read and drive again on the 1st!  She has one more appt with the retinal specialist on the 6th, but so far, they’re pleased with her healing.

D also gave me my Christmas present!  It was a bit belated, but don’t care.  I can be really tough on headphones, and I broke my last pair.  I’ve been wearing these totally uncomfortable ones since, so these were perfect!  They also have a Dark Maul thing going on, which I love.

comfy headphones!  The SoundSport model.  Perfect.

comfy headphones! The SoundSport model. Perfect.

This evening it was a meeting with M and a driving instructor.  Yes, my now adult son if FINALLY getting his drivers license.  It’ll be good too since he’s going to be a commuter college student instead of an on-campus one.

And now – blogging, dishes, laundry, and studying!  And with any luck, going to bed fairly early.

Night!

 

A Happy Kind of Madness

FOOD

Alrighty boys and girls…every time I think I’m finally on track with this whole blogging thing, next thing I know 2 weeks have flown by, I’m not sure what day it  actually is, and I wonder how so much time past since I last paid attention!

Since getting back home in early Sept after 3 weeks away, I’ve been on 3 additional work trips – only which one was planned.  So the grub to follow is a mix of fun in the kitchen and eats on the road.

made a batch of homemade soy yogurt!  Love this stuff...super tangy (cause I like it like that!).

made a batch of homemade soy yogurt! Love this stuff…super tangy (cause I like it like that!).

quick tofu bowl with mixed veggies and brown rice

quick tofu bowl with mixed veggies and brown rice

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Taco Thursday!  Okay, so I normally do Taco Tuesday, but that Thursday was a special occasion, so it called for tacos...

Taco Thursday! Okay, so I normally do Taco Tuesday, but that Thursday was a special occasion, so it called for tacos…

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quinoa veggie bowl

quinoa veggie bowl

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seitan gyro bowl...

seitan gyro bowl…

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veggie sushi with my agave bunny (okay, so honey bunny sounds cooler, but I don't do honey...bee vomit and all...)

veggie sushi with my agave bunny (okay, so honey bunny sounds cooler, but I don’t do honey…bee vomit and all…)

super tasty vegan enchilada's at Luna Maya in Norfolk!

super tasty vegan enchilada’s at Luna Maya in Norfolk!

If you can’t tell, I’m on a total bowl kick.  That’s because – bowls are cool because it all goes to the same place anyway – and because Zsu Dever has a new book that I had to have.  Here’s the link on Amazon.  This is NOT a book I’ve been gifted as part of my occasional review – so this is all me.  It’s awesome.  Get it.  And here’s why…

1- eating all your meal out of one bowl is fun

2 – I tweeted to her about how awesome her food was – and to know if she had any quick tips about subs for nuts.  She actually spent a week re-working her recipes that were nut based (like for fun sauces) and sent me updates!  THAT my friends, is an unpretentious author who cares that her food is accessible to everyone.  I’m a huge fan, and if you can help her even a little by buying her book, you won’t be sorry.  Promise.

3 – did I mention that having all elements of your meal in one bowl is pretty cool?

FITNESS

Runs, runs, oh, and a bike ride too!

It’s a good thing that running shoes don’t take up much space in a suitcase….

Though last weekend I was clearly stressed the heck out – though that’s pretty much a constant state for me.  I was getting changed for a run, apparently mumbling under my breath about how much I needed to do, when D suggested I go somewhere else to run – get a change of scenery.  My response was probably snippy and along the lines of “I don’t have time, glad you can enjoy a weekend, but between work, school, and cleaning, I HAVE NO TIME”.  So – wasting time to drive somewhere to go run seemed like a colossal waste of minutes better left for something more productive.  And I’m all about being productive.

Know what he did?  Kissed me, smiled, informed me that he was putting air in my bike tires and that I needed to get away for a bit.  Bless him – he knows what I need more than I do!

So, he loaded my bike and my helmet (though it was actually R’s helmet, which explains why it hurt a little bit when I was wearing it!) into my van, and off I went to the Dismal Swamp canal trail for the next couple hours.

So – best Sunday afternoon ever.  Went for a 5 mile run and a 15 mile bike ride, smiled the whole time, and came home feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work!

LIFE

So, welcome to my novel apparently!

Work, school, travel, family, repeat.  There ya go 😉

Highlights…

Seeing some classmates on one of my work travels for dinner last week!  They braved some horribly awful weather, but it was awesome.  Adorable how they all worried about me having something to eat.

AC and JC somehow convinced D and I to attend a sailing race at their yacht club.  Actually, I was told I’d be on the “booze boat” and that D didn’t actually have to know anything about sailing, but hang out with JC since he could maneuver his boat without help.  Yes, my boat had wine, but I actually had to work a bit (not much).  D did “help”….and looked totally adorable.

booze boat!  Aka, the "committee boat".  They actually ran the race.  I raised various flags to signal the race start.

booze boat! Aka, the “committee boat”. They actually ran the race. I raised various flags to signal the race start.  That’s me on the top – D took the pic from the boat he was one.

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Another classmate – who lives in Dallas – was in town and she, her husband, and her baby girl R came over!  Hence the taco Thursday.  She’s moving here in June, so I’m totally stoked.  I love her and all, but want to borrow her R.  My R spent quite a bit of time entertaining her and it was fun.

(in order), me, baby R, and J!

(in order), me, baby R, and J!  Pay no attention to D the photo-bomber in the background

R had a private flight around Southeastern Virginia!  So long time readers know she has a life threatening nut allergy.  That means she can’t fly…recycled air, airborne particles can trigger an anaphylactic reaction…and with all the traveling I do, she’s been particularly glum about her inability to fly.  So – the weekend after her birthday, she had a private flight (with D and her friend N too) and LOVED it.  I can see her being a pilot some day.  When the airlines can’t accommodate you – become a pilot and tell them you don’t need them anyway!

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And, since school is back in session, it’s been Morning Picture Madness!  But that’s a happy kind of madness because it means I get a hubby/daughter picture every day.  When I travel, it’s a lifeline.  When I don’t, it still makes me smile.

D wearing his Chelsea shirt!!!

D wearing his Chelsea shirt!!!

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And then there’s java pics.  I don’t always have time to take them, and pretty soon it’ll get too cold to have them outside (though D said he may get me a heater so I can stay on the porch all the time!), but for now, those mornings are my favorites.  After all, if I’m going to be up early, may as well enjoy my java in my bathrobe!

it was pouring, and even my screened in porch was too damp or me to go outside!

it was pouring, and even my screened in porch was too damp or me to go outside!

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Cats…

she didn't miss me....just my suitcase...

she didn’t miss me….just my suitcase…

she didn't miss R....just her sweatshirt!

she didn’t miss R….just her sweatshirt!

And other random pics…

D and R picking me up after 3 days of travel and taking me out to dinner!

D and R picking me up after 3 days of travel and taking me out to dinner!

R working hard - like she does every day - to clean the pool!  Going to be closing it soon, but next year...getting a heater to enjoy it all year long!

R working hard – like she does every day – to clean the pool! Going to be closing it soon, but next year…getting a heater to enjoy it all year long!

random guy AC and I saw in Richmond while shopping.  Clearly he was someone's +1 and decided he was having none of it

random guy AC and I saw in Richmond while shopping. Clearly he was someone’s +1 and decided he was having none of it

would have been all over this in my teenage years!

would have been all over this in my teenage years!

crazy conveyor belt Japanese restaurant at the mall in Tyson's Corner.

crazy conveyor belt Japanese restaurant at the mall in Tyson’s Corner.

and finally....this will be funny if Joaquin doesn't actually cause any problems....hope that's the case!

and finally….this will be funny if Joaquin doesn’t actually cause any problems….hope that’s the case!

Getting Back to “Normal”

FOOD

One more week of mostly dining out, since I was traveling.  I got home yesterday though, and have already made my meal plan for the week, went grocery shopping, and finally had a much-missed green smoothie!

this was probably one of the better quick meals I had at the hotel.  A big spinach salad with oranges, cranberries, and brown rice in a red wine vinaigrette

this was probably one of the better quick meals I had at the hotel. A big spinach salad with oranges, cranberries, and brown rice in a red wine vinaigrette

another hotel meal!  Hummus and veggies, wine, and a case to study...

another hotel meal! Hummus and veggies, wine, and work!

When I travel for work and go to events or dinners thrown by others (usually vendors), I certainly have no say in where we go.  Vendors, being who they are, aim to impress, so it’s always expensive steak or seafood restaurants.

At one such event this week (at a place called Rare Steakhouse no less – I shuddered at the name!), D had arranged for a meal for me.  Overall, it was pretty good, though a grain or starch would have been nice.

cold asparagus soup.  Other than being a bit salty, it was yummy.

cold asparagus soup. Other than being a bit salty, it was yummy.

bad picture of stir fried veggies - mushrooms, pearl onions (which were amazing), green beans, broccoli.

bad picture of stir fried veggies – mushrooms, pearl onions (which were amazing), green beans, broccoli, and bell peps.

I also spent some time with family (sister, her kids, and my parents), and had a couple meals out.

a surprisingly amazing grilled veggie pita.

a surprisingly amazing grilled veggie pita.

simple pasta and veggie dish in a garlic-olive oil base

simple pasta and veggie dish in a garlic-olive oil base

I did sneak out to The Green Owl – a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Madison!  It was pretty good – not blown away (the corn bread was dry and crunchy) – but it felt good to be in a veg place.

tempeh gumbo with cornbread.

tempeh gumbo with cornbread.

At the software venue itself, they take great pains to accommodate all dietary preferences and allergies – which I much appreciate.

quick box vegan lunch - spicy slaw and a mango wrap

quick box vegan lunch – spicy slaw and a mango wrap

The best though??  A green smoothie in my kitchen while wearing pajamas!

vanilla coconut milk, spinach, banana, and frozen pineapple.  Simple and perfect.

vanilla coconut milk, spinach, banana, and frozen pineapple. Simple and perfect.

FITNESS

Only real workout of note was a very hot run today.  It was in the low 90’s and I was a drippy mess, but it was just nice to run through my neighborhood and then collapse on the living room floor in the AC!

LIFE

The past few weeks have been a ridiculous amount of chaos.  Those who know me know that I thrive on that, but even I like some peace and quiet now and then!  So for me, it’s getting back to “normal”…(aka, controlled chaos).

After getting back from my residency, I was heading out a day later.  Honestly, I don’t know how my consultant friends do it!  Traveling is fun, don’t get me wrong, but it gets old living out of a suitcase!

While at the conference I not only did the normal conference stuff, but (mostly) caught up on work and spent every free minute studying.  Not complaining though, it was a good groove.  Even my flights were spent in intellectual pursuits versus my typically vampire trashy novel reads (though I’m missing those!).

I will say that Epic (the software vendor whose conference I was at) really does a great job.  Their work environment is one of the most creative I’ve ever seen, and they take corporate social responsibility very seriously – which I love.  The facilities are green and off-grid, they bolster the local economy (18,000 attendees at this conference and they insist we stay, travel, and dine locally to put our money into the local businesses), and they prove to me that a company can be wildly successful while maintaining ethics.  Love it.

They’re fun too….

healthcare electronic medical record jokes are everywhere.  As a James Bond junkie, this is one of my favorites...

healthcare electronic medical record jokes are everywhere. As a James Bond junkie, this is one of my favorites…this was from the 2007 conference (hence 007), and the entire theme was spy movies

This year’s theme was “the Classics” and everything was done as if it were an old TV show.  Think I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, etc.  The owner gave her address as Lucille Ball.  It was awesome.

The Executive Address - never boring as most of it is a bunch of skits put on by the employees - always in character - to show what new functionality is coming out.  Also a time to celebrate all the great achievements healthcare organizations have realized due to their software.

The Executive Address – never boring as most of it is a bunch of skits put on by the employees – always in character – to show what new functionality is coming out. Also a time to celebrate all the great achievements healthcare organizations have realized due to their software.

Spent some free time on the “back lawn” catching up on work while they set up for lunch.  Picnic blankets, live music (which are Epic employees showing off their non-software talent), tents, and tables.

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One of the cardiology-specific sessions I went to

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And finally for conference updates….nothing like taking a cornhole/bean bag toss break!

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Overall though, while it was enjoyable, all I really wanted to do was come home.  I worked from home today, picked M up from school for the weekend (yay!), and have worked on getting everything in order here at home.

D has been on nights all week, so he’s finally back to days, we’re ALL home, and I plan to enjoy every last second of it (while studying the entire time, of course).

I leave you with a few last shots…

my life now....

my life now….

java in my bathrobe on the back porch while reading the news and enjoying the peace

java in my bathrobe on the back porch while reading the news and enjoying the peace

and being incredibly annoyed at this display in WI...seriously people?  Summer isn't even over yet and I have two holidays BEFORE I need to worry about Christmas!

and being incredibly annoyed at this display in WI…seriously people? Summer isn’t even over yet and I have two holidays BEFORE I need to worry about Christmas!

Veganism, Activism, Food, and Having a Famous Daughter

FOOD

I believe I warned you all in my post yesterday.  I have food pics.  Lot’s of food pics.  Mainly because I’ve had lots of great food!

I admit that the food gluttony didn’t start until later in the day yesterday than planned.  After my run, I grabbed a banana at the hotel, and had intentions of grabbing a light lunch in the University of Texas – Austin area (which is where I’m staying).  Long story, but that didn’t happen.

BUT…that’s not to say I starved all day.  In fact….this happened…

I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite.  Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this...this was brilliant.

I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite. Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this…this was brilliant.

there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar.  I didn't get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!

there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar. I didn’t get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!

Arlo's - which I also didn't partake of, but heard was awesome.

Arlo’s – which I also didn’t partake of, but heard was awesome.

yet another food truck that I didn't get anything from....but it sounded great.

yet another food truck that I didn’t get anything from….but it sounded great.

I DID, however, eat here!  The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one.  This is the Jalisco.  I could eat it every day!

I DID, however, eat here! The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one. This is the Jalisco. I could eat it every day!

And then there was today!  Both breakfast and lunch were buffets as the conference – but make no mistake.  I hear “buffet”, and I picture Golden Corral or some cafeteria type place.  These buffets were ridiculous.  And I mean that in the best possible way.

this was my plate - though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread.  Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings.  And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

this was my plate – though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread. Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings. And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line - can't even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, and a creamy ranch sauce.  my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts.  Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger.  Freaking ridiculous.

lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line – can’t even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, coconut bacon, and a creamy ranch sauce. my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts. Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger. Freaking ridiculous.

I’m going to dedicate a separate post to dinner tonight since I’m going to a supper club hosted by Chef Chad Sarno and his brother.  Should be pretty freaking amazing.  Or freaking ridiculous, since that appears to be the word of the day.

FITNESS

After my run yesterday, I showered and cleaned up, and it was still too early for lunch.  So…I decided to go for a walk around the University and kill time.  Then I decided I wanted to walk to Whole Foods.

In the end, I walked 8 miles AFTER my morning run.  Yeah, no guilt in that last taco I ate 🙂

random sighting on my walk.

random sighting on my walk.

This morning when I woke up my hips and calf muscles were tight – I’m assuming from the hills!  I opted for a half hour of yoga in my hotel room before getting ready for the day.

LIFE

I learned that Whole Foods originated right here in Austin, TX, so I just HAD to go see the mother ship!  She was beautiful.

seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE.  I want one...

seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE. I want one…

Then it was off to the Marchesa Hall & Theater for the Vegan Bazaar.  It was open to the public, which was really awesome.  There were the food tucks, of course, but also vendors galore as well as tables for various animal activist groups.  It was awesome (aka, ridiculous).  I personally picked up a t-shirt from the Compassion Co, a tank from Herbivore Clothing, a mason jar smoothie thing from Meaningful Paws, some stickers and buttons (I LOVE buttons), and this gorgeous bag for my daughter A from Cykochik.

one of the vendor tables!

one of the vendor tables!

my new t's!

my new t’s and smoothie/juice jar!

bag for A!  It's called Love Bunnies.

bag for A! It’s called Love Bunnies.

There were also many great speakers and demos, including a great one from Fran Costigan that I really enjoyed.

As for today – today was the first full official day, and it was amazing (or ridiculous!).  Both yesterday and today, I got to connect with new and familiar faces alike.  I’m planning to do a recap post with links to all these great people, so I encourage you to check them out when I do.

the selfie I sent to D since I can't see him today.  Clearly excited, right?!

the selfie I sent to D since I can’t see him today. Clearly excited, right?!

the conference Swag Bag of Wonder!  Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.

the conference Swag Bag of Wonder! Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.

Breakfast was with Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats, and her wonderful mom!  Her mom and I had a long and delightful conversation about healthcare.  She’s been in women’s health her whole career, and is heavily involved in the Santa Cruz community.  She shared some amazing programs they have launched, and it was just an amazing time.

I had a similar conversation with Jessica from Sprouts & Chocolate.  Totally delightful.

These conversations were revolutionary to me.  In vegan circles there is certainly a LOT of conversations about health.  Typically those I’ve heard or been involved with are related to personal health.  My personal passion (other than veganism of course!) is in global health – and I loved finding and talking to so many people who were interested or engaged in the state of healthcare affairs in their communities – who are interested in making a difference on the policy side as much as within their own lives.

I took a break and sat outside to type out some of my session notes!

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In order to not write a total novel, I will recap the sessions in future posts after I’ve had a chance to distill some of the messages and what they mean to me – and not just ramble on and on.

So summarize this post, it’s been another remarkable, enlightening, and inspiring day at Vida Vegan Con Austin!

And of course on the home front…pictures!

All weekend long, I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how much they love the morning pictures – how it’s the first thing they see in the morning.  Amey told her mom how much R smiles now that she has braces and how adorable they are.  How the love they have just shines through each picture.  I told R today that she’s famous, and that everyone looks forward to her and her dad’s pics every day.  Then I told D that I needed a morning pic, even though it was a weekend.  I didn’t want to fend off a mob of people looking for one!

So, here’s today’s morningpic!  Right after R woke up.

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And a selfie of D in the pool!

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And my first harvest!  A radish – that grew this big from a seed 6 weeks ago!  Caterpillars have decimated the leaves, so D pulled one.  Said it was spicy and awesome!  Can’t wait to get home and eat these bad boys.

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Oh Spring, How I Love/Hate You

FOOD

So last week Wednesday was national empanada day!  I wasn’t able to celebrate properly, so we had a delayed feast this weekend.  I made empanadas, rice and beans, a cabbage salad, and a spicy green sauce.  Not a hungry belly left!

Crissie’s Attempt to Recreate the Epcot Mexican Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 roma tomato, diced small
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or sweetener of choice – I used raw sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  • mix everything together!
  • let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to meld flavors
rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

ready to bake

ready to bake

ingredients ready for the beans

ingredients ready for the beans

spicy green sauce ingredients before....

spicy green sauce ingredients before….

...and after!

…and after!

DINNER!  As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn't recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close...and was well received!

DINNER! As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn’t recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close…and was well received!

For breakfast yesterday, I may have gone a bit overboard on my smoothie, and ended up with two to-go cups!  Lasted me half the day, so that was totally awesome.

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Last night D and I went to run errands (IE – buying chaise lounges for the pool!) and we went out for Japanese food.  After miso, yakisoba, edamame, and a veggie roll, I was beyond stuffed.

D thinks miso looks like brains....

D thinks miso looks like brains….

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Perhaps because I had such a big dinner, I haven’t had much of an appetite today.  A simple stir fry of tofu, red onion, garlic, bell pepper, and coconut aminos has been enough so far.

FITNESS

I actually went to yoga on Sunday.  I haven’t gone to a physical class since LC and I went in January to her studio.  It’s not that I don’t love it and miss it – because both are true – but I think I’ve been a bit depressed about it.  Here’s what I mean…

I really want to be a yoga teacher.  Like, a lot.  I’ve had this goal for years, and had finally committed to doing it.  I spent the year socking money away, and was going to start my 9 month teacher training this past December.  I was all set and excited and ready to go!

And then life got in the way.  I had to take a serious look at if I could actually fit it into my life at this point, and the sad (but honest) answer was no.  I went into a soft of yoga funk after that, and couldn’t bring myself to hit the studio.  And then we bought a house, moved, and had all sorts of other things come up, so it started to be easy to not go.  I’d log into Yogaglo and do some classes at home (or in the hotel), or do some simple sequences on my own, but hadn’t actually hit the studio.

It was time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to my normal studio and went to one I used to go to.  I did that because 1 – they had a class at a time that suited my schedule better, and 2 – I think I have some trepidation of going to the studio where I failed to start yoga teacher training.

Bad move.  I really disliked the class.  A lot.  It didn’t feel balanced, and the instructor yelled out quite loudly.  And talked about herself a lot.  Basically, the class was not my speed, and I’m actually sorry I went.  I didn’t want my first day back on the mat in a studio to be a bad experience.  One the plus side, I think I’m ready to head back to my home studio.

Today was a muggy run between the storms.  Thankfully it felt better than my run on Saturday, though my pace was a bit slower.  Funny how that works 🙂

LIFE

Spring has sprung, the air is green, and I am sneezing at EVERYTHING.

I always get excited for Spring.  It marks the end of Winter (and I HATE winter….I hate being cold more than almost anything else) and is a signal that days are going to get longer and warmer.

And then I start to see the pollen, and everything gets a thick covering of green.  I throw open the windows to welcome in the warm air and light and revel in the day – and then spend the evening scrubbing the table tops and floors to make the green sheen go away.

And I sneeze.  All the time.

I can’t wear contacts because my eyes burn and occasionally swell shut.  Forget mascara!

And I am reminded that the only season I really need is summer.  Things bloom without trying to kill me, the days are really warm and sunny, and there are no coating of green hell powder over everything.

So come on Spring, you’ve outlived your welcome.  Bring on summer.

In the mean time, some random extra pics from the past week!

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this one followed M around

this one followed M around

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the #morningpictures are back!!

the #morningpictures are back!!

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

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yeeessss.....

yeeessss…..

 

Moving and Not Moving

FOOD

Despite going from living at one house and trying to empty it of all food, and moving to the new house and the realization that I have no staples anymore, it’s still been a great food week.

My breakfasts have been green smoothies and then Irish oatmeal in the latter part of the morning.

my standard smoothie - water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and greens.

my standard smoothie – water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and greens.

I had this every morning on my way to work

I had this every morning on my way to work

Once I get to work, it’s been heating up and eating the Irish oats with blueberries.

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This morning, I used my new Instant Pot (click here to learn more!) to make Irish oats with blueberries, banana, vanilla and cinnamon.  Ate some today, and have enough leftovers for half the work week!

I love the Instant Pot.  This took me 10 minutes total.

I love the Instant Pot. This took me 10 minutes total.

Lunches have been soups and salads mostly.  Quick and easy and can keep them in my fridge at work.

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

chickpeas, carrots, onions, garlic, and kale in a red Thai curry broth over quinoa

chickpeas, carrots, onions, garlic, and kale in a red Thai curry broth over quinoa

Dinners have been simple too.  Dishes with tofu, beans, rice, and various veggie and salad portions as well.

mostly BAS's like this one with veggies, quinoa, and cubed tofu

mostly BAS’s like this one with veggies, quinoa, and cubed tofu

Last night was our vegan drinks meet up and I did have a slice of vegan pizza and some garlic knots.  It was tasty, but I didn’t go overboard, which was nice.

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FITNESS

This has definitely been lacking.  I think I posted about the flu going around, well that turned into my youngest getting pneumonia too.  I did yoga at home, but that was pretty much it.  Well, unless you count packing and hauling boxes all over.  Otherwise I wasn’t really moving while I was moving!

Yesterday was my first outdoor run in a few weeks.  It was ridiculously cold, but still felt good.  My hope today is to finally go for a run in my new neighborhood!  D has been scouting out some routes for me, which is incredibly cute.

LIFE

Well, it’s been busy, but very rewarding too.  The contractors finished the walls last Friday, and the movers brought our stuff on Sunday.  So, it’s officially been one week since we started staying in the new house!  There are still things to do – like curtains, lamps, and the electronic hook ups (D has some monstrous project being installed on Wednesday with a new TV, speakers (which will include recesessed ones in the ceiling), which will more or less complete things.  We also want to pick up bar stools and collect and hang art work, but all the big things are done.

a couple new paintings!  Yes, we're cat people.

a couple new paintings! Yes, we’re cat people.

Many of our neighbors have stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood, which has been incredibly nice.  I’ve never experienced this before, so I’m definitely digging on it.

Last night was Vegan Drinks at the new Cogan’s location in Norfolk.  We had a big crowd and it was a ton of fun.  Of course, had to snap a pic with NS and KP!

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In other news, my son won first place in a theater competition this past weekend!  It was for a 30 minute 2-person show, where it was mostly M performing a monologue to the audience.  It’s the first time his school has ever placed, much less won!  He goes to a regional competition to perform again in two weeks.  So proud of him!

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

R was finally well enough to go back to school this past week.  What a crazy time for her to be so sick and moving (no, we didn’t let her actually move anything).  I do have a collection of morning pictures to share though!

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And one where she kicked my butt at Yahtzee.  Twice.  Brat child.

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GOAL CHECK-IN

  • my goals for eating habits are going well.  Less processed foods and eating out, and more of eating balanced whole foods.  I can definitely feel a difference, though I haven’t weighed myself yet.
  • gluten – I haven’t been gluten-free, but I have been gluten-lite.  It’s harder than I thought while moving, but I’ve been able to stick to having gluten containing foods only 2-3 per week total.
  • meal planning – even though I haven’t done much grocery shopping, this is still going very well.  I plan everything for the next day based on what I have at home, and it’s been quite the key to eating well for me.
  • workouts – fail.  I mean really fail.  I’ve only run twice in two weeks and no hot yoga at all.
  • blog consistently – fail.  I haven’t blogged in two weeks!  It’s easy for me to say I’ve just been too busy with move and life and work, but still.  I could’ve found some time at least.  Same with the workouts.
  • wine habit – going great.  I recognized a couple weeks ago that it was a habit, and I needed to replace it with a healthy one.  So instead of grabbing a glass or two of wine every night, I’m drinking herbal tea.  I have a groovy new tea kettle, stocked up on lots of different teas, and every time I think I want a glass of wine, I drink tea.  I thought about just not having anything, but after reading the Power of Habit, realized it would be easier to just swap the habit.  So I still have a glass with me in the evenings, but it’s filled with something good for me.
  • reaching out when I need help.  I have also been doing this.  I have two other friends who happen to be working on ditching their nightly alcohol habits, and I wouldn’t have even known that if I hadn’t started talking to them about mine.

GIVEAWAY WINNER

A big congratulations to Andrea!  She’s the winner of the Best Green Smoothies on the Planet!  giveaway!!!