On the Road Again (to Beantown!)

FOOD

Well, been a combo of homemade eats and travel eats, which is becoming more and more normal it seems. It was a chilly week so there were more oatmeal mornings and less green smoothies, but above all, nourishing and healthy starts to my day. Also a burrito, homemade tofu/potato tacos, a quinoa salad, Vietnamese salad (one of my current favs), veg soups, and a really great dinner out, which included vegan chik’n! But the best had to be a strawberry/coconut milk drink my son made for me at Sbux!

FITNESS

No time for yoga this week, but plenty of runs, which are always awesome. I’m hoping to hit up a hot yoga studio in Boston if I can find the time. Otherwise, will stick to runs.

LIFE

Overall, been an excellent week. It started with Tuesday’s cribbage club, and me retaking the lead. I would’ve taken a pic (seriously, I kicked his ass!), but he took the pegs out before I could. Sore loser 😉

Thursday was time with friends. Went to M&R’s house and we had a taco bar! It included me making my tofu/potato tacos at their house. Started marinading them before work, and then just stir fried them up! Wine, fire pit, cupcakes, and good friends – excellent time, as always.

Friday was another lovely evening out. Went to a local spot in Virginia Beach – 5 star Yelp rating with over 300 reviews – and man, I know why! Not only was the food (and drinks) amazing, but it was just a lovely place. The chef/owner came out to every table to talk – I made a point of thanking him for having a hearty vegan dish (I’m often relegated to side dishes – we were at a seafood place), and he told us his wife and daughter are vegetarians, so he knows how important it is. Then we struck up a conversation with this older couple seated by us when I heard the gentleman say he was from Boston (and had HIGH expectations for good seafood). Well, I was heading there the next day, and asked for advice. 30 minutes later, the chef/owner came back, laughed, and said “I treat everyone like family – you guys are taking too long, time to get out!” All while laughing. It was funny.

Saturday was my flight to Boston in the morning, solo dinner, and then a trip to the theater (by myself – which I love to do). I saw The Irish and How They Got That Way at the Boston Stage Company. It was an interesting show/musical – 6 cast members who talked and sang about the history of the Irish, but mainly about the Irish in America, how they got here, and how they were treated. The singing was wonderful, and some of the songs were poignant and some were funny (like No Irish Need Apply – though it was about a rough time in Irish-American history). Overall, I really enjoyed it and learned something along the way.

Today was the Fine Arts Museum and a trip to Chinatown. The museum is great, and I spent most of the day there. They had a Chihuly installation – and he’s my very favorite glass artist. Ever. I’ve been all over the country and seen his work, so it was a pleasant surprise to find one there! Then it was back to the hotel to watch some March Madness and have a light dinner.

I’m really excited to see friends for dinner tomorrow night. Also excited for the reason why I’m here (the main one, anyway). The Economist – one of my fav magazines for ages – is having a Healthcare forum in Cambridge that I’ll be a part of. I’m sure I’ll be tweeting the heck out of that!

This weekend, R also had her regional robotics competition! M (older brother) and others went to go cheer her on. While they were not a finalist, they DID advance to the championships next weekend! She’s so excited and I’m so proud of her.

Finally, just some normal goofy misc pics

Too Much Time Off Leads to Excess Cooking & Working Out

FOOD

The past week and a half have been pretty yummy, I must say. I get so excited when I get a new cookbook, that I have a tendency to cook a ton from it. I’ve also been off work, so that means even more food to cook and recipes to create! I made some homemade hemp milk, spicy tofu and Brussel sprout soup, Christmas Pizzas, my typical daily salads, and cream of broccoli soup (it’s been COLD). Of course I also went out for Thai one day because…it’s what I do. The kids were all at something (2 at the movies and 1 at a party), so I had a lovely solo dinner at my fav Thai restaurant with my trashy book and some wine. Perfect!

I also decided to play with riced cauliflower. I know it’s quite popular and I’ve been meaning to, but I have a tendency to make other things with cauliflower when I buy it. Like Indian food! (Which is on deck for tomorrow!). But – I was shopping and came across frozen pre-riced cauliflower. I mean really – if they’re going to make it THAT easy for me, who am I to pass it up?

So this evening, in addition to the broccoli soup (which is really just broccoli, celery, garlic, onion powder, vegetable broth, and coconut milk), I decided I wanted a creamy and cheezy cauliflower rice dish. And oh man, it rocked. My eldest was dying over it. Comfort food at it’s best – but sneaky in it being a much healthier version.

Crissie’s Creamy Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 cups riced cauliflower. If you rice your own, be sure it’s the post-ricing measurements.
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti because it’s what I had, but I’ve had Daiya’s often too, and like it)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Directions

  • Put the rice, coconut milk, cream cheese, and garlic salt into a large sauté pan (if you don’t have one big enough, a wok or even stock pot will work)
  • Cook on medium heat until it’s all heated through, cauliflower has reached a firm tenderness (I realize that sounds weird. Look – you don’t want it mushy and you don’t want it crunchy. So whatever you want to call that in between state), and some of the liquid evaporates, leaving a creamy consistency. About 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Seriously – YUM.

I realize this picture sucks – the steam was hitting my camera and I was clearly too close. But it’s the only one I had before it got demolished.

FITNESS

Runs, yoga, and lifting in the home gym. Thank GOODNESS for the big space heater in the garage, because it’s been bloody freezing out. I turn it on before going out for my run so it’s fairly warm when I get back. By the time I grab some water, go to the bathroom, and head in there, it’s comfortable.

This is also my fav time of year to do hot yoga. I mean – all the time is great – but there’s something amazing about the hot and humid room when it’s cold out.

And – I’ve decided that 2018 will be a run streak with a goal of 1000 miles. Wasn’t quite feeling the 2018 mi in 2018 challenge just yet, but I plan to beat 1000 easily. That’s less than 3 mi per day, and since I’m doing 1/2 marathon training the first half of the year and marathon training the second, I’m pretty confident that 3 mi per day average will be easy.

And just for fun, I picked up the massive calendar from ilovetorun.org! If you’re feeling particularly motivated (or crazy), pick one up too!

LIFE

Well, it’s been fairly quiet. I’ve been off since Christmas, and other than family time and solo time, I’ve also had some friend time (of course – love going out and about!). I will admit though, I’m going bonkers. I have no work to catch up on since pretty much everyone is off. The house is clean (a girl can only shampoo carpets so many times). I work out every day. I read. Watch some TV. And I’m going out of my mind with boredom. A couple days of chill are fine. But a whole week of it, and I feel like my brain is melting from misuse.

Oh well, I should enjoy it. Not only is it back to work on the 2nd (though I’m really stoked about a few interesting things going on for me), but since I tend to be a regular glutton for punishment, I am going back to school starting Jan 8th. Found a great doctorate program in strategy and innovation – so why the hell not, right? I realize I have an addiction problem to school. Those who know me well won’t be surprised at all. But I swear, this is the last time. Okay maybe not – I still have yoga teacher training planned someday. Anyway – the run streak is also so I make time for myself – something I tend to suck at when I have so much on my plate.

The week leading up to the holidays was full of work-related parties and those are always a good time. It’s nice to catch up with people outside of the office now and then.

Christmas itself was quiet. Most of my family is in Wisconsin, so it was really just me and the kids. M had to work on Christmas day, so we actually did the Christmas gift stuff around 2! Then it was homemade pizzas. We’re not the most traditional family – never really have been.

Probably the most exciting news is that my eldest made her first big girl purchase – a car! She’s excited and I am too.

As usual, leaving you with my life in pictures 🙂

Have a great rest of the year! We’ll chat soon 😉

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.
Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my morning juice when traveling
my morning juice when traveling
breakfast BAS
breakfast BAS
and another
and another
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...
Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...
last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…
roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)
roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome
it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!
at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!
me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!
that’s my driveway and front yard!
dude kayaking through the street
dude kayaking through the street
view from my front yard
view from my front yard
blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.
blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase
Ginny jumped in my briefcase
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.
I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...
I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…
Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.
Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.
spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.
spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.
that tongue...
that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece
hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)
with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along
Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
me, JG and RM last night
me, JG and RM last night

 

 

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.

V__6D1C

 

 

 

Candles & Cats Don’t Mix

FOOD

I start every morning with a cup of black coffee. And despite many people's claims that to truly get healthy one must kick the habit…not going to happen. One cup of coffee isn't going to suck my body into acidic hell. So it stays. And that will make me and everyone around me (especially in the morning!) very happy!

That said….

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie, lunch was a quick spicy tofu soup, I had a post-run snack of a baked potato with refried pinto beans and hot sauce, and dinner was a soup and salad.

my standard recipe of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sriracha. This version was also cabbage and asparagus.

Breakfast today was a green juice (used up the last of my kale and cucumber!), morning snack was a green smoothie (and used the last of the pineapple), lunch was spicy hummus and gluten-free seed crackers (not pleased with this choice…truth be told…but found myself hungry after yoga, really sweaty, and no easy meal in site), a PM snack of Allegro hot chocolate in unsweetened coconut milk, and dinner was a butternut squash and black bean soup served over quinoa.

I've been loving making juices almost every day the past two weeks. I hope to get these in at least 3 days per week once I go back to work. It's also a great way to use up produce that's not going to last much longer!
threw in a scoop of Vega Vanilla Smoothie powder for some extra staying power
holy crap, this was good. Whole family loved it. D and M each had two servings.

FITNESS

Yesterday – shortly after writing my “come clean” post – I went for a run. I am on W2D2 (week 2, day 2) of the 10K app, and the run was just under 2.5 miles. I will be honest – it's a bit frustrating. The app includes walk breaks – and the goal is to build up the endurance – and I really just want to blow through them sometimes, especially when I'm feeling strong, but I also know that overduing it is dumb.

Today I went to a hot yoga class, and I have a new favorite instructor! I took his class earlier in the week, and he's just awesome. Great instruction, walks through the class to be sure everyone is in the right alignment, and has a great and playful energy. I have a feeling I'll be specifically seeking out his classes in the future.

LIFE

The past two days have been blissfully simple. Today was my last day off, and this time away from work has been quite lovely. We're gearing up for a busy year, so I'm glad to come into it after a week and a half off!

D is feeling great and is allowed to have fiber again. No raw broccoli or anything, but he's back to his green smoothies, is putting weight back on, and looks awesome. Kids have mostly been big lumps and enjoying their vacations too!

In this morning's meditation session, Ginny joined me…like she always does. This time, she decided to check out my candle a little too closely and ended up with a singed whisker! She was fine, but the room smelled awful, so I cut my meditation short (only 4 minutes in!).

I have a confession to make. I totally love the Biggest Loser. While I disagree with some of what they do (losing 15 lbs in a week…no matter how big you are…can't possibly be good for the long term), I do still find the show fun and inspiring. I can relate to people who want to change their lives, regain their health, and need help doing it. Thing is, I haven't watched it much the past few years and completely forgot about it. Until this week. And in between reading, cleaning, relaxing, and hanging out with my family….I've been binge watching the heck out of Season 16 on Hulu.

my Biggest Loser companion…though she clearly fails to see the value of the show!

 

GOAL CHECK IN

I know it's only been two days, but here's how I stand with it:

  • 100% gluten free
  • worked out both days
  • no wine
  • the crackers today – while GF, were still a processed food. I was really disappointed in that. I haven't bulk cooked, and when I got home from yoga, the kids were in the kitchen making lunches for themselves (tofurky sammiches!), and so I didn't have the room to make something. Truth is…I could have picked something better. Even a banana to get me through a half hour until I could reclaim the kitchen.
  • meditated yesterday for 8 minutes and today for 4. Yesterday's was bad…mind kept wandering…but that's part of the process. Today was great until the smell…
  • my goal is to be around 1200 calories per day. Nailed it today….was under yesterday (which is NOT good). I think it was partially because I slept in yesterday and also went to bed fairly early last night, so there really weren't enough hours in the day. And while I've been tracking my calories for years…there's a shift when I'm not drinking any!

 

 

No, Kim Kardashian’s Butt Isn’t the Topic of This Post

FOOD

The past couple of days have been very simple on the food front. I like that about FitOrbit – simple and clean meals. I didn't do 100% of their meals, but when I subbed something of my own, it was with similar nutritional breakdown.

Take for example my mornings. They are hectic and I certainly don't have time on a week day to make a tempeh scramble! My go to's are smoothies, and now (when I make a big batch in advance on Sunday), the quinoa/berry/coconut milk yogurt breakfast. I'll save the time-consuming dishes for the weekends (maybe).

So naturally I've had smoothies or quinoa the past two days! I did pick up a new raw vegan protein powder by Garden of Life called Raw Fit. It's high in protein and low in sugar, so exactly what I was looking for. I love my Vega too, but wanted to try something new. So far (and I've only made two smoothies with it!), I'm a fan.

My smoothie is 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 2-3 cups greens (spinach or kale or both!), and 1 scoop of powder. It's tasty and very filling.

Snacks have been veggies mostly (like cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper strips), popcorn, wasabi chickpeas, and…admittedly…a piece of much needed dark chocolate (it had cinnamon and pepper oil – CRAZY hot and strangely tasty).

I had a slow cooker veggie chili for two days in a row. I'm not complaining at all because it was good and I love leftovers!

FITNESS

Yesterday I hit up a hot yoga class after work. It was an awesome class. I love this instructor – she gives such great verbal cues that not only has me verifying my alignment in each pose, but she articulates it in a way that not only explains exactly what my body is doing, but what benefits it's getting too. Pretty much all of the instructors at this studio are like that, and I love it.

Today was cycling, an exercise band workout, and a quick (but killer) ab workout. Abs before work, cycling and strength after. I keep thinking it would be great to be a morning exerciser…but I hate mornings almost as much as I hate being cold (and those that know me, know that I hate that a LOT). Mornings are a necessary evil, but purposely getting up an hour or two before I absolutely have to seems insane.

LIFE

It's been a good two days. I don't have any late nights again for over a week, and I'm definitely taking advantage of that! I took R to her swim team practice on Wednesday (something I don't get to do often). I love watching her swim. It's hard for me to fathom that she's a competitive swimmer at 10 (and has been for nearly 2 years!). With my hectic schedule I don't get to take her often, but definitely love it when I do.

Last night I went to yoga before going home. Since dinner was in a crockpot, it worked out perfectly. Chili and Almost Human, and we were all quite happy!

On the happy news front (because news isn't usually a happy topic), a US Congresswoman from my very own state of Virginia has proposed legislation to ban animal testing for cosmetics! I know in a climate where everyone is worried about the economy, jobs, healthcare, unrest in the Ukraine and Venezuela, and Kim Kardashian's butt size, I think it's great that this is coming forward. I honestly think that if people understood the extreme torture that cosmetic animal testing causes – for NO REASON (non-animal testing has proven to be more reliable, less expensive, and obviously cruelty-free), that this bill should be a no-brainer. Then again, I've thought that about many other proposed laws before….please don't let us down (again) Congress!

I almost forgot, I got a special delivery at work yesterday! I get back to my office and found this on my desk! Inside were two bags full of specific fruit, veggie, and herb goodies with two recipe cards. I had no clue who it was from, but was quite excited anyway 🙂

With that said….THE WEEKEND IS HERE! On my agenda is a group hike with R at the botanical gardens tomorrow, my eldest coming home from university, a family movie, grocery shopping, running, yoga, and (heaven help me) lots of sleep.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!