Tag Archives: Eating

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!

 

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.

D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!

Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder

batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!

potato broccoli soup

potato broccoli soup

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite

from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise

looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise

lame attempt at a smile

lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does

before and during her does

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!

they legit had a DJ!

how well they know us!

how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...

she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees

I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees

Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow

Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow

pure genius

pure genius

after a wet night out in Orlando

after a wet night out in Orlando

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk

cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

It’s Okay to be Obsessed with Cabbage

FOOD

I do have to say, it’s been non-stop eats of the whole non-processed variety!  Mostly gluten-free too (I have RA, and gluten makes it worse, so I try to avoid whenever possible).  I’m trying to be better about that!

Many of the dishes come from The Happy Herbivore, so I can’t take credit for the creation – just the eating!  As much as I like to design a great dish, I’m finding the demands on my time just don’t allow that as much as I’d like – and then I end up either skipping meals, or diving into wine, hummus, and crackers as an excuse for a meal.  So, largely letting someone else plan the dish, and all I have to do is cook and eat!

this is "chorizo" soup!  I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week.  It's SO good.

this is “chorizo” soup! I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week. It’s SO good.

Korean BBQ Lentils

Korean BBQ Lentils

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla.  Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla. Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

more soup, but loaded with cabbage.  Bit obsessed with that this week - digging the crunch

more soup, but loaded with cabbage. Bit obsessed with that this week – digging the crunch

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this is kale-fredo!  Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

this is kale-fredo! Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

Of course, still dig my smoothies!

I can't even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

I can’t even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

banana split!  I don't use protein powders often, but did yesterday.  Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

banana split! I don’t use protein powders often, but did yesterday. Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

And some quick miscellaneous eats too!

I keep a big bag of Bob's Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I'm REALLY rushed.  Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

I keep a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I’m REALLY rushed. Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

 

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

 

I discovered the joy of the "Steam" button on my Instant pot!  I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row!  I'm a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots :)

I discovered the joy of the “Steam” button on my Instant pot! I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row! I’m a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots 🙂

FITNESS

I pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder, so I took it easy for a few days.  Once it felt mostly better, I added in some gentle yoga.  Eventually, it was back out for runs in the neighborhood!

LIFE

It’s been a pretty typical week, with an added level of stress due to exams.  I have one more that I hope to have mostly done today.  This one is a paper vs a sit-down timed exam.  But due Saturday, and I’d like to just get it over with!  That means Sunday marks the beginning of my last term before graduation in May!!!  And yes – I’m counting down the time.

Lot’s going on at work and on the professional front as well!

The weekend was really chill – mostly just me an R hanging out.  M worked and D was out having a spa evening on Friday, at a piano bar working on his book on Saturday, and doing all the grocery shopping and errand running on Sunday so I could focus on school stuff.

When R does her peanut flour dose, she has to be totally chill for 2 hours.  She can’t do anything that could elevate her heart rate because that can trigger a reaction.  Her chill of choice is to binge watch Hell’s Kitchen, so that’s what we do!  She totally loves Gordon Ramsey and her goal is to travel and eat at one of his restaurants.

I have the day off today because D has a colonoscopy this afternoon and I’m his designated driver.  Most readers know he has Crohn’s Disease, and this is just a check-up to see how he’s doing.  He has no symptoms of a flare or anything (which is fantastic), but it’s important to monitor every few years.

So, it’s time for me to get back to my paper before heading out to take D to his appointment!

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell's Kitchen episode

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell’s Kitchen episode

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the many naps of Kuma

the many naps of Kuma

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Gin curled up on R's chair!  This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

Gin curled up on R’s chair! This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

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I got to do the #morningpicture today!!!  Of course that meant brining Kuma too :)

I got to do the #morningpicture today!!! Of course that meant brining Kuma too 🙂

 

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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Still Here – Promise!

Okay, last post was about Halloween.  I swear, I’m still kicking.  Just been – uncontrolled chaos!  I normally refer to my life as barely controlled chaos, but even I can admit it’s gone overboard!

Not going to try and do a 2 month update.  Many trips have ensued, family, school, work, friends, fun, tears, frustration, and an appreciation for life.

FOOD

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in my kitchen, and not making nearly enough of my super healthy eats!  Too much eating out or no eating at all, and I’m certainly feeling it.

But there were a few highlights!  One of them, is I got a new appliance!  An Air Fryer.  I picked up the GoWise on sale on Amazon, and it’s been a lot of fun to play with.  Kids love it, and it’s fun to have that fried food without added fats – which just end up hurting my stomach.

red lentil soup

red lentil soup

green curry.  of course!

green curry. of course!

tuna-less chickpea salad

tuna-less chickpea salad

butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath - topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing

a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath – topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing

air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried french fries.

air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried French fries.

Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies

Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies

air fried falafel

air fried falafel

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cream of broccoli soup

cream of broccoli soup

tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

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air fried tofu stir fry

air fried tofu stir fry

ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

 

FITNESS

A few runs per week is about what I’ve been able to sustain.  One kickboxing session too.  Longest one was an 8 miler when I was staying with my sister on Thanksgiving weekend.

apparently this run was a little more difficult

post kickboxing – which kicked my butt

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a lovely Christmas morning run!  It was 50 and sunny and perfect

a lovely Christmas morning run! It was 50 and sunny and perfect

LIFE

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and her family and seeing my mom.  She’s now out of the hospital and hopefully on her way to a long, strong, and healthy life.

The week after Thanksgiving I was in Chicago for a week for a conference.  It was a great show, but the best part was staying with my best friend – who moved to New Orleans nearly a year ago!

I’ve been back home for about 3 weeks, and it’s been quite hectic between work, school, and prepping for the Christmas holiday.

Last weekend D took Kuma to the mountains for a long weekend, so it was mostly just R and me (M worked all weekend).  We watched movies, painted (pics of that later) and I studied.  All of us were sick for a few days this past week too, which sucked.  D had it the longest – pretty much a full week – and he’s still stuffy.

But last night for Christmas Eve A and her boyfriend came over and we had a blast.  Red beans and rice for dinner, movies, jammies, and board games!  I went to bed just after midnight, and left the rest of them playing card games!

And as she’s done since she was little – A woke us up stupid early for presents.  From there, it was our big breakfast tradition, cleaning, and lazing about.  I actually started packing for my India trip!  I NEVER pack early, so this is a major thing 🙂

Anyway, will leave you with a few fun pics!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful family if you celebrate, and if not – just an all around fantastic weekend.

~Crissie

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that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

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road trip Kuma!

road trip Kuma!

hide and seek Kuma!

hide and seek Kuma!

R out on M and R's boat in early November (it was a really nice day)

R out on M and R’s boat in early November (it was a really nice day)

at an artisan fair in Chicago

at an artisan fair in Chicago

saw this in a European lotion store.  Made me giggle.

saw this in a European lotion store. Made me giggle.

a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.

a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.

almost snuggling!

almost snuggling!

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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

 

 

Settling In Before Taking Off Again!

FOOD

I’ve been home a little over a week, and I’m (as usual), so happy to be back in my kitchen.

Smoothies are the breakfast of champions!  Well, maybe that was Wheaties.  But it should be smoothies 🙂

it's a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

it’s a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

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not the only green smoothie lover in the house!  R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an "Apple Jack" smoothie

not the only green smoothie lover in the house! R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an “Apple Jack” smoothie

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The weather is starting to get all fall-ish, so I’ve made some warmer meals, like soups, chili, and (gluten free) pasta dishes.

still hands down my fav soup.  Post Punk Kitchen's Red Curry Soup.  Sweet potato, kale, and rice...what's not to love?

still hands down my fav soup. Post Punk Kitchen’s Red Curry Soup. Sweet potato, kale, and rice…what’s not to love?

black bean and sweet potato chili!  Leftovers for days (and days and days)

black bean and sweet potato chili! Leftovers for days (and days and days)

with sweet maple cornbread

with sweet maple cornbread

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta!  Recipe from Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls.  Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta! Recipe from Zsu Dever’s Vegan Bowls. Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

Other miscellaneous eats.

beets cooked in orange juice

beets cooked in orange juice

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

taco salad!  Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

taco salad! Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

grilled lime and sriarcha tofu with BBQ sauce "dressing" and grilled corn!

grilled lime and Siracha tofu with BBQ sauce “dressing” and grilled corn!

leftover tofu as a wrap...

leftover tofu as a wrap…

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn't choke down.  Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn’t choke down. Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

FITNESS

Runs and rides!  More runs than rides though!

Two of my runs in the last week have found me in the middle of unexpected rain storms.  And when I mean unexpected, read it as “Crissie didn’t check the weather”.

Friday!

Friday!

Sunday...

Sunday…

Saturday (pre-ride).  It didn't rain :)

Saturday (pre-ride). It didn’t rain 🙂

LIFE

I’ve been home a little over a week now, and it’s been glorious!  Busy – but in a really good way.  Catching up at work, getting back in the groove of things, and then having a major project many years in the making go live!

The fluffy family members have been awesome, as usual.  Except for the afternoon Kuma decided to steal my highlighter and sticky notes while studying!

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

first grooming appt!  Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

first grooming appt! Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

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Bumble doing what cats do best...

Bumble doing what cats do best…

Ginny loves shoes.  Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

Ginny loves shoes. Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

guess who just walked in the door?  (hint, size 14's...)

guess who just walked in the door? (hint, size 14’s…)

I was cooking.  They both clearly thought I had something they wanted.  Until they realized it was kale...

I was cooking. They both clearly thought I had something they wanted. Until they realized it was kale…

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getting ready for the best holiday!

getting ready for the best holiday!

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Speaking of studying…

for anyone who wants to really understand merger and acquisitions!

for anyone who wants to really understand mergers and acquisitions!  Or for anyone hoping to pass an upcoming finance exam 🙂

Friday night my eldest and her boyfriend came over for dinner and Rock Band!

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And of course, morning pictures!

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And “others”

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

getting ready for Halloween!

getting ready for Halloween!

Friday D and I have a charity golf event, and then I’m traveling for 5 days to support that project I mentioned.  Of course there’s the whole hurricane Matthew thing brewing, which thankfully appears to be turning east of Virginia Beach, but we’ll still get rains and winds.  After last months flooding, that means our region is still in danger of falling trees and flooding – so here’s hoping everyone in Matthew’s path stays safe and dry.  Oh, and this Friday also begins our 2 week exam period.  It’s going to be a chaotic couple of weeks!  But what’s new, right??  🙂

Home and Hydrated!

FOOD

Let’s just say that I’m incredibly happy to be home.  Neither Germany nor Finland were my favorite places on the food front, but it’s really irrelevant now.  I apologize now for how whiny I’m going to sound – at least I HAD food, so that was good enough.

I imagine had I been left to my own devices in meals (or had a kitchen), it would’ve been an entirely different experience.  The administrators of my program try VERY hard to be sure all of us in class with special dietary needs are well cared for and eat well.  I just think I don’t like German food as a whole.  In pretty much each meal, I found the food heavy and bland.  I’m typically “gluten light”, but that was pretty impossible while I was away.  There were literally days when bread was the only option.

Oh – and the most prolific veggie I was given was celery.  Braised, roasted, etc.  Very weird.

Breakfast each day was grapefruit and orange segments, bran cereal, and soy milk.

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One day I did order a beet/orange/ginger juice from room service.  It was amazing!

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Lunch was only eaten on occasion.  It depended on if what was served contained a vegan dish.  A few times they did make me a special dish, which I appreciated greatly!

tofu with celery and shoestring spuds.  Pretty tasty.

tofu with celery and shoestring spuds. Pretty tasty.

cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes.  Eh.  Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).

cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes. Eh. Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).

miso soup.  Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu

miso soup. Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu

a German ratatouille (which was actually gross - had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.

a German ratatouille (which was actually gross – had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.

more tofu!  And celery...

more tofu! And celery..

Dinner was also only an occasional event.  Most vegan eats were bready and pasta, and that was a challenge.  Quite honestly, I’d usually grab a salad from room service.

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our final farewell meal.  Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickels, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)

our final farewell meal. Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickles, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)

One exceptional meal stood out though!  One evening a few of us went to a restaurant after an afternoon and evening spent at a start-up incubator (called Axel Springer – freakishly amazing place).  I had this AMAZING dish of whipped vanilla carrots topped with mushroom ragout and micro greens.

I could've licked this plate if we weren't in such a nice place!

I could’ve licked this plate if we weren’t in such a nice place!

The other thing I struggled with the entire time – surprisingly – was water.  I’ve never been one who didn’t get enough H2O!  I easily drink a gallon per day.  That was impossible in Europe.  Water is never served at meals unless you ask (and it’s always bottled), and I found the significantly reduced water intake to be the most difficult.  Coffee, orange juice, beer, and wine – yes.  Water – not so much.

Needless to say, I’m so excited to be back where I clearly take my ready access to water for granted.  As soon as my plane landed, I bee lined for a drinking fountain to fill up my water bottle.

Naturally my first at-home meal was a big ole green smoothie!  Never mind that it’s my usual breakfast!  It’s always what I want when I first get home after travels.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale

coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale

For lunch, I made a quick meal (I had a ton of meetings and work catch-up to do).  Rice noodles with cabbage, water chestnut, green beans and peas, and a creamy sauce of silken tofu, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and hoisin sauce.  No real measurements, but one container of the Mori-Nu tofu blended with about 2 tbsp. each of soy sauce and hoisin, about 1/2 tsp each of ginger and garlic.

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FITNESS

I went for two runs in Germany as well as yoga.  That was by far the most fun.  I don’t know German – no one at the studio spoke English – but it was perfect anyway.  Everyone was super nice and all I can say is thank goodness for Google Translate!  Class was easy to follow without knowing what my instructor was saying.  Yoga is universal!

where I hit up a vinyasa class.  It as perfect - not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much

where I hit up a vinyasa class. It as perfect – not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much

I went for a run today and got caught in a total downpour!

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LIFE

Oh jeeze, not even sure where to start!  Of course the purpose of my trip was school and that was most definitely the majority of what I did while away.  We had some amazing school-related events (Axel Spring Plug & Play incubator was by far the best and most inspiring thing EVER).

We met with representatives from Aston Martin, CNN, and The Economist.  Helped people with start-up ideas work through things on their pitches, and spent time learning how Europe views the world (like the refugee crisis).  My mind is still blown from the entire trip, and I’ve taken away some amazing lessons that go beyond my classes.

Berlin is a beautiful city, but felt strange in it’s newness.  About 80% of the city was destroyed in the war, so almost everything you see is built post-1950.  But there’s an intense history underneath that is told in different ways by different people.  My favorite was a cabbie who grew up in Hamburg but moved to West Berlin in 1984.  His retelling of the wall falling was one of fear that the East German and Russian army would take him away.

I went to two museums while I was there.  One was Neus Museum where the bust of Nefertiti is (no pics allowed in that display)  and one was their Natural History museum.  Pics below!

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called a Face Urn and I love it

called a Face Urn and I love it

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this was amazing - to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!

this was amazing – to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!

rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin

rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin

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they LOOK like rocks and minerals.  It's melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war

they LOOK like rocks and minerals. It’s melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war

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meet Tristan the T-Rex!

meet Tristan the T-Rex!

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I went to the expo for the 43rd BMW Berlin Marathon, which was fun, and then cheered on the runners the next morning.

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I had a brief stop in Helsinki (where I want to go back and spend real time), which was beautiful.

um.  no thanks.

um. no thanks.

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Random other pics

the last evening, after classes were done.  Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!

the last evening, after classes were done. Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!

finally found a grocery - which was in a mall.  My goal was dental floss...

finally found a grocery – which was in a mall. My goal was dental floss…

goal achieved!

goal achieved!

my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!

my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!

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loved these!  France had them too.  Electric Smart Cars for rent

loved these! France had them too. Electric Smart Cars for rent

how I'd get around - take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names

how I’d get around – take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names

But – there’s no place like home 🙂

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Au Revoir, Paris! Guten Tag, Berlin!

FOOD

All I can say is – I’m definitely not traveling for the eats.  Ugh.  Vegan options here are just too heavy for the way I’d like to eat.  Honestly, my best meals are makeshift eats from the local market, and I find myself eating very little otherwise.  And I’m getting kind of sick of bananas.  But alas – I can’t complain because the trip has been awesome.

One thing I love the French for is a yummy Dijon beet salad.   Germany has yet to impress me much, but it’s early yet 🙂

do love me some ginger ale!

do love me some ginger ale!

best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me

best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me

closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!

closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!

I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!

I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!

more beets!

more beets!

my entree at the Eiffel Tower!

my entrée at the Eiffel Tower!

my last morning, took off to a little cafe down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee

my last morning, took off to a little café down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee

Starbucks in Berlin!

Starbucks in Berlin!  Because it’s universal

today's lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

today’s lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

One of the grocery stores I went to (we actually did a case about them a year ago!)

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FITNESS

A couple short runs (1 outside, 2 on the hotel treadmill) and some in-room yoga.  And hiked up a ton of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s that…

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

I am excited that I found a hot yoga studio just down the block from my hotel here in Berlin.  It’ll be interesting because I don’t know diddly about the German language, but I figure I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I’ll be able to follow along just fine!

LIFE

Okay, busy few days!!  I may just tell it in pictures!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!

and after...another bit of fun in the park

and after…another bit of fun in the park

me and J after the parade!

me and J after the parade!

walking back to the hotel

walking back to the hotel

Thursday night was spent at the Eiffel Tower, including having dinner at one of the restaurants.  We then went to the very top (a combo of a TON of stairs and elevators that move in a diagonal), and had just an incredible view.

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goofy face, and my "photobomber" is actually one of my classmates, MS!

goofy face, and my “photo bomber” is actually one of my classmates, MS!

 

restaurant menu

restaurant menu

not photobombing this time...

not photobombing this time…

The Seine and the city!

The Seine and the city!

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After our last class in Paris Friday, and we celebrated with a lovely champagne lunch.

me and B and champagne!

me and B and champagne!

Then, me, NS (HUGE Liverpool fan), and WB left the group to hit up a local bar called Lush to watch the Chelsea v. Liverpool game.  Being the ONLY one in a Chelsea shirt (and only 1 of 2 supporters in the place), it was a bit unfriendly at first.  That vanished quickly when they realized I was a good sport.  The evening was a blast, and we hung out for a long time talking politics with the locals!  (They find our situation in the US both hilarious and troubling…pretty much like the rest of us to!).  Beyond that, I met some wonderful people, exchanged contact info, and hope to come back soon!  (and actually have Chelsea win…).

yum!

yum!

pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)

pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)

my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!

my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!

on the metro back!

on the metro back!

By the way, NS sang annoying Liverpool songs at me for 2 days.  I figure he ought to enjoy it now, because despite Liverpool’s win, Chelsea is still beating them in the EPL standings….

Did pick up a magazine for those rare non-school reading moments…

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Yesterday was traveling to Berlin (flight was delayed), but the hotel is freaking amazing!  Oh – did I mention that during my stay in Paris a Saudi royal Princess was at my hotel with her entourage?  Yeah – there’s that.  And the Berlin digs are even better!

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

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Of course D is at home holding down the fort.  I missed R’s 13th bday 😦  However, A and M went to her school and took her for lunch in a little picnic – and then Skyped me so we could sing and I could see them.  The 6 hr. time difference is probably the worst so far in being able to talk to my family regularly.

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

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me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

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2 days of morning pictures!

2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!

Bonjour Paris!

Well, I’m coming to you from Paris as my first stop in a 3-city trip! 

FOOD

I will forever believe that the best vegan food I can get is in my kitchen.  Traveling (especially global travels) really nails that home!  What I wouldn’t do for a flat with a kitchen instead of a hotel room!

It’s certainly not all bad though, and I’ve honestly had some lovely eats in the past several days.

First – things I ate before hopping my flight last Thursday…

smoothies, of course!

smoothies, of course!

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I was in a hurry.  Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

I was in a hurry. Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

And since arriving in Paris…

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

no green curry :(  so sad

no green curry 😦 so sad

I've been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

I’ve been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist.  My menu was custom made :)

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist. My menu was custom made 🙂

simple breakfast eats

simple breakfast eats

room service.  Only bleh, to be honest.  Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

room service. Only bleh, to be honest. Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today's bfast)

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today’s bfast)

Overall, being a vegan in Paris isn’t the easiest.  I try to keep bread to a minimum (causes inflammation and irritates the RA).  Veggies and fruits aren’t hard to find, but to not have everything swimming in cheese is….

FITNESS

Before heading to Paris late last week, it was runs and yoga.

Since getting here, it’s been walks, hikes, and one run so far.

LIFE

Last week was the start of the school year!  Seems so strange to have only one of my kids left in regular school (as in, not college where the other two are!).

And it was all about spending time together before my nearly 3-wk trip out of the country.  That and wrapping up all loose ends at work and trying as hard as I could to prep for my residency and all the cases I had to do!

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after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

and here I am.  36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as delieriously tired as I actually was!

and here I am. 36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as deliriously tired as I actually was!

Paris is beautiful (of course), though I will say that the city reminds me very much of Washington DC.

Day 1 was walking around with a friend until our hotel rooms were ready.

Le Ard de Triomphe

Le Ard de Triomphe

lunch with M

lunch with M

courtyard view from my hotel

courtyard view from my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame

through a cab window :)

through a cab window 🙂

Day 2 I went to Disneyland Paris by myself!  Being a theme-park junkie, it was awesome.

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And then classes started, so it’s all studying, all the time, with the exception of company visits, guest speakers, and some school-sponsored fun thrown in (like Le Foodist, a walking tour of Paris, and a visit to Champagne).

D and me on the walking tour

D and me on the walking tour

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

The rest of the pics are non-Europe shots 🙂  My standard morningpictures (now that school is back in!), cats, dog, and general mayhem.

first day of 8th grade!!!

first day of 8th grade!!!

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And now – going back to my studies!!  Au revoir (for now!)