Whiny (not Wine-Y) and Never Ever Camping

FOOD

Smoothies for breakfast have been extra refreshing in this week’s heat.  I made a monster one yesterday – enough for a filling breakfast and second breakfast in the office!

3 cups of coconut water, 2 oranges, 2 cups of frozen mixed fruit (strawberry, mango, banana), 1 scoop vanilla Vega powder, 2 cups of spinach and 1 cup kale

Today I made tofu eggless salad & veggie sammiches for lunch.  So simple – firm silken tofu (Mori Nu), vegan mayo (I use Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo), a squirt of yellow mustard, and about 1 tsp of agave.  I like to put pepper on mine after it’s on the bread (R doesn’t like the pepper).

on whole wheat bread topped with cucumbers, red onion, lettuce, and tomato slices

I whipped up a batch of stuffed bell peppers this afternoon too!

Crissie’s Pressure Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked per package instructions
  • 1 pouch of Beyond Meat beefless crumbles.  Could sub 2 cups of cooked lentils too
  • 3 bell peppers, tops removed and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced fine or minced
  • 1 jar marinara of choice
  • 3 tsp of spice blend of choice.  Excellent option would be an Italian blend.  I used something called Lake Shore Drive Seasoning from my Milwaukee hometown shop The Spice House
the tofu, nutritional yeast, and fresh basil are for another dish I made as a post-cooking topping

Directions

  • line a sauté pan with water
  • cook the onion and garlic on medium heat until the onion is translucent – about 5 minutes
  • add the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.

  • Insert the rack in your pressure cooker.
  • Place the bell peppers in a oven safe dish
  • Stuff them!

  • Put about 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker, and place the dish inside.
  • Seal it up, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.  Let pressure come down naturally.
dinner for 3, coming up!

I have a ton of fresh basil growing in my herb garden and came across this pesto recipe from Forks over Knives I really wanted to try.  My thought was to drizzle it on top of the peppers before serving, or possibly mix it into the stuffing.  So, I whipped it up (sans Pine Nuts since we don’t do nuts here right now), and while incredibly tasty, came out more the consistency of mayo than a traditional pesto.

So – while it didn’t find a home with the bell peppers, I can totally see this as a sammich spread or tossed with pasta.

M ended up going to a friends house to swim and R asked for the mushroom dish again tonight (the one I made Monday), so I scrapped the original plan of bell peppers for 3 and made R’s request and salads for our eats.

At least the peppers are made and now so are tomorrow’s lunches!

FITNESS

Swimming!  Seriously, with no AC, it’s pretty much the only thing I can handle.

Okay, I did go for a run on Tuesday.  R had to talk me out of jumping in the pool in my clothes.  I did manage to peel them off and put on a suit first, so I think I deserve bonus points there.

LIFE

The 4th of July holiday started like pretty much any other Tuesday off.  Woke up R, did her OIT dose, went for a run, then a quick pool dip, shower, and off for Williamsburg with my girls!

We were gone for a few hours, having a blast, when the dumb weather report got it right for once and it started to rain.  We decided to head home and catch fireworks a different night this summer.

As expected, no one called about my AC until Wednesday.  The soonest they can come is now tomorrow morning – so assuming it’s something that can even be fixed right away, we’ll be at 4 days with no AC.  I know I sound whiny but it suuuuuuucks.

I went to the office yesterday (blessedly cool air) and then to happy hour with co workers after.  It’s a place I’d only been to via boat before, so I actually didn’t really know where it was!  And while it was odd being there without MM and RM, the Orange Crushes were still fantastic.

Today I stayed home – hoping for an AC technician cancelation so I could be fit in (something the company thought possible).  That, and I felt guilty having the kids sweat it out in a hot house all alone.  Knowing R, she’d play video games all day or read and not hydrate.  It also sucks trying to get ready for work when it’s hot.  (I know, I’m getting whiny again).

Tangent time (but it’ll make sense).  I’ve never been camping.  Not really – I mean I slept in a tent in my backyard a few years ago and once in Vegas, but I’ve never been out in nature roughing it.  I WANT to find the idea appealing and be all one with nature and stuff, but deep down I know that my idea of roughing it is a hotel with no bar.  And no AC in the summer.  So – this week is as close to camping as I ever wanna get.  Worst vegan ever right?  I love nature – just don’t want it on me.

Peace kids!

Kuma looking very dramatic at her lack of cooling options.

 

 

Life Moving Foward (kale and sweaty runs help!)

FOOD

Simple eats for the week.  Leftover soup and kale salads I made on Sunday (lovely thing about kale – so hearty and holds up to dressings for days!).

Also had tofu/pineapple stir fry, smoothies, and salads.  Nothing overly taxing – I’m in a “I don’t feel like cooking” rut this week.

My best meal though, was made for me by my friend SC!  He came over, brought yummy wine and made this incredible cauliflower and potato Afghani dish (and left me TONS of leftovers, yay!!!)

FITNESS

Runs every day!  Some boxing too, and R and I have our first tennis lesson tomorrow at 7pm!  We are both totally excited.  I picked up some cheap starter equipment, and we’ve been goofing off in the driveway bouncing the balls on our rackets.

one of those runs that was just epically awesome. Felt great, went long, and sweated my butt off.
this was after a 2pm run yesterday. Which was just stupid to go out that time of day in heat & humidity like we have here.
decided to skip the potential heat stroke today and run at the gym. Hate feeling like a hamster on the dreadmill, but it’s better than my outdoor options.

While I’m a total noobs, R took some tennis at camp the past few years and was “instructing” me on some of the drills they did to learn control.  Basically bouncing the ball on the racket without letting it fall or get too high.  It was actually cute.

LIFE

Been a good week.  Kuma had a vet appointment and, other than being a bit pudgy, received an excellent bill of health.

everyone at our vet loves Kuma. I walk in, and they take her for visits with all the staff. I pretty much don’t see her the whole time. It’s cute – she has a fan club.

R had a therapist appointment which also went well.  I got a new drivers license since the name change is done, and otherwise, it was a regular week of work and life.

Thursday was a hot one, so it was totally pool time after work.

happy and beautiful evening!

Friday I went out with an old friend to catch up and have a few drinks.  Great night.

waterfront happy hour!

Saturday was SC coming over, eating yummy food, catching up, and introducing him to Orphan Black (my favorite show thanks to my sister!).

Today was an easy day.  Laundry, cleaning, gym, and TV.  I watched What the Health documentary on Netflix (has been on my to do list for awhile now).  I enjoyed it.  I watch a lot of vegan documentaries so the science parts weren’t new, but I did like the detailed information on the corruption of the food industry and government and how they misinform the public on what’s “healthy”.

Will keep you posted on our tennis adventure tomorrow!!!

 

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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