Bean Town, Take 1

FOOD

Some very typical eats – smoothies and salads namely. I did try out a new protein powder. I really love the nutritional makeup of it, but am not in love with the taste compared to Vega or Garden of Life. So we’ll see if I ever get it again or try another flavor.

Tuesday night was the full blended family dinner fun out for Mexican. Many sangrias were had 🙂

For the rest of the week, I was in Boston, getting home late last night/early this morning. All I can say is thank goodness for Clif Bars since there really wasn’t anything I could eat on the first day. Once the coordinator of the meetings I was in learned I was vegan, she really went out of her way to help ensure there was something to eat for me (even soy milk for my coffee the second day we were there!).

Really tasty mushroom soup

Very typical in a plated meal – when handing out desserts, they don’t know what to give me, so I
get a bowl of fruit. Not complaining though, I love fruit and can do without the sugar of a
typical dessert anyway
Salad was fine. Black bean cakes were not. Certainly an A for effort, but mixed with spaghetti

Wednesday evening I met up with A & L for drinks at the top of the Prudential Tower at a place called Top of the Hub. We didn’t eat, but the drinks were amazing.

Dinner was as Kashmir – and Indian place that A and I actually went to almost a year ago the last time I was there. We ordered a bottle of wine, two orders of samosas, and 3 dishes to split. All vegan because they’re wonderful.

Also some other fun eats.

Discovered a sparkling sake called Mio, and I don’t know that my life will ever be the same

FITNESS

I got to one Regymen class, and it kicked my a$$. Focus was core, and I was sore for days!

Several other days I did Peloton streaming cycle workouts in my home gym.

LIFE

Tuesday evening was dinner with the 7 of us. BS helped me with my first ever basketball bracket! I have 3 total. One that is all him, one that is mostly him with a few changes (just couldn’t make WI lose – though I should have because they did!), and one that was actually a Wall Street Journal analytics one. I’m currently in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Though my 3rd is tied with my girlfriend A up in DC. My 1st place is my WSJ bracket, 2nd is the slightly modified one, and 3rd is BS’. Still a bit to go, but it’s been fun and minorly obsessive to check rankings after each game.

Most of the week was in Boston for my first trip there this spring. Two more to go. I left early Wednesday morning. Had a few afternoon meetings while I was there (one hanging in a Starbucks in Harvard Square), and then met with A & L (A and I went to grad school together. L is a professor in Boston). I hadn’t seen A since last summer, and L since a ski trip a little over a year ago, so it was awesome to catch up. Both are coming for a visit this summer, so that’ll be awesome.

Our view
Pick the waitress took. My guy said it was too dark, so A took a selfie and fixed it

Thursday and Friday were meetings, which were really engaging and productive. We had a dinner that Thursday night, which was a lot of fun. It’s always nice getting to know people you really only know via phone calls! Lots of non-work related interesting conversations, especially about food and travel.

I flew home yesterday.

Today I went to Whole Foods and then met my boyfriend and his oldest for lunch. This evening is taking my youngest and her bestie to a hockey game. It’s nice being busy. Not having school work to do won’t get to me 🙂 I have read quite a lot though, which I really enjoy.

Has Anyone Seen My Lung?

Good grief, nearly 2 weeks! Surprise BS hasn’t admonished me lately….as an FYI, I was sick, so there wasn’t much to chat about!

FOOD

Lots of smoothies – pretty much every day. Including the one I’m drinking now 🙂

Salads, Thai, Ramen, wraps, and risottos. Also had my kids plus my guy and his over for dinner last weekend. Zoodles, beyond beef crumbles, and marinara was amazing! Also made a huge batch of Jambalaya from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. One note about it – recipes are scaled to feed crowds – so for the first time, I actually couldn’t get through all the leftovers!

Leftover Jambalaya over lettuce w/ homemade soy yogurt

Fun drink! Called the Just Beet it Gimlet! Beet juice, gin, and lime!

FITNESS

The first week I was home I had a cold. Literally the morning after landing from Orlando. Since it was upper respiratory and sinus related, it pretty much ruled out any workouts.

This week though, I feel fine and hit up Regymen again. Thought I was going to die at one point (still had a mild cough and I may have left a lung at the gym). Also my bike in the garage while watching my iPad!

And as always, worked in yoga several days.

LIFE

Well, the cold was a pain in the butt to be honest. I have no time to be sick! Fortunately with the neti pot and rest, it went away.

I had an IBM thing the first day I started feeling human again. I’d have worked from home if not for having to present. But it was a really great time and they hosted an event that evening with drinks and apps. Best thing about that day? As I was getting ready to start talking, I noticed a woman in the room that I knew. She was the first CIO I ever had back in Milwaukee! Literally the woman who plucked me out of working clinically in the hospital and gave me my first IT job. I mentioned it before I started my part of the discussion. My CMO (who I was there with), actually walked over to her to shake her hand and thank her for putting me on this career path. It was really humbling when she gave me a hug at the end, and we spent some time catching up at the evening festivities. Definitely a highlight of the past two weeks.

There was a weekend trip last weekend that was literally the best 24 hrs I can think of ever.

At the Portrait Gallery – sent this to my daughter the nursing student!

I took my son and his girlfriend to a wine tasting event this past Wednesday, which was nice, and my guy and I went out last night to one of our fav spots.

This weekend involves another whirlwind trip that I guess I should go get ready for!

So I was struggling warming up one evening and decided to take a bath. Of course I ended up with visitors….

Getting extra caffeine before speaking at the IBM thingy

Plus fluffs

Water Thievery & Other Fun

FOOD

Good eats this week! Of course, I had a TON of leftover soup. My eldest and I really enjoy that one, so it went far with just the two of us eating it.

I made some awesome sweet potato and black bean lasagna-ladas and arroz non pollo one night too. Those leftovers didn’t last long!

Crissie’s Sweet Potato & Black Bean Lasagna-Ladas

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes – steamed, baked, or otherwise cooked
  • 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 8oz container of vegan cream cheese (I used tofutti since I had it on hand)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 diced jalapeño
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Corn tortillas (I used 6)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (or make your own)

Directions

  • I steamed the sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker (Ninja Foodi) and let them cool
  • Slide the sweet potatoes out of the skin and into the base of a food processor
  • Add all the spices, jalapeño, and vegan cream cheese and blend
  • Fold in the beans to make your filling mixture
  • Spray the bottom of a casserole dish. Put a layer of tortillas and top with the enchilada filling. Repeat with another layer
  • Pour the enchilada sauce over everything
  • Bake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven

Now, if you’re not lazy, you can do this the traditional way and soften each corn tortilla, fill with filling, and roll up and put in the casserole dish. But I always make them lasagna-style. Hence the name of the dish.

The arroz non pollo is adapted from Viva Vegan – an amaaaaazing vegan Latin cookbook. And while I change mine up, it’s close enough that I won’t write that out.

I topped it with some tart homemade soy yogurt and a spicy green sauce. SO good.

Otherwise a lot of soups, salads, and other yummy stuff. Didn’t take a pic of last night’s salad (was meeting new people for the first time and didn’t feel like explaining why I was taking a picture!). But it was an arugula and crunchy potato salad with a maple vinaigrette – and was delicious.

Bakers, tamari mushrooms, and savory tofu cubes

Panera lunch date! Forgot how much I like Panera.

Sunflower seed butter and banana. Love this as a pre-workout meal in the mornings.

Tofu was pan fried and, when lightly browned, topped with sweet chili sauce, lime juice, and
tamari. Really loved how it came out.
Brunch with my boyfriend this morning on our way home. Tofu scramble w/vegan sausage!

Dinner tonight was yummy. Busted out Veganomicon and made lentil Snobby Joes and herbed potatoes. Served with salads. Hadn’t made the joes in a long time, but the kids were stoked they made an appearance. Always been a favorite.

FITNESS

Okay, lots of gym fun this week. I am absolutely loving Regymen – took 3 classes this week. 2 of them were the regular HIIT class, and one was a boxing version. I am sore everywhere, but in the best possible way.

You wear a MyZone heart rate monitor – which is accurate 99.4% to an EKG. There’s an associated app with it. The workout is geared towards keeping you in a specific heart rate zone – delineated by color. Typically, they want you to have a total of 15 minutes in the top two zones (yellow and red). Uh. I spend almost ALL my time in there. After class I actually asked the instructor if I should be worried. It indicated I was maxing out my HR at 98% or so for a ton of time, but felt I could go harder. She asked what other exercises I do – I said running and yoga. Apparently because I run I have a really strong heart, and my max HR is actually a lot higher than the typical calculation based on age. I was told to sleep in it one night so it learns my normal and resting heart rates to calibrate it. I like that it’s smart enough to do that.

But seriously ! 569 calories burned in a single 52 minute workout! That’s insane.

Me after a Thursday night Regymen Burn class.
This was Friday’s lunch time Regymen Box class.

LIFE

First – it was a crazy weather week. A couple days in the 20’s and 30’s. Followed by 50’s-70. And rain. Hence the gym and not running outside!

All told, a good and productive week. Got lots of school stuff done and work is really ramping up – and I’m SO glad. Reconnected with one of my start-up friends as we start to collaborate on professional and personal stuff. He owns a coffee shop in Norfolk, so we met there for our meeting (that’s the coffee and hummus picture above).

It was a crappy day, but still a pretty decent view and great location!

I worked from home on Monday, and was taunted by Kuma and Luna and their naps. And Luna constantly “sharing” my water…and each of those pictures is a separate incident of water “sharing”. Not just me taking a bunch at once.

Friday night my guy and I went out. Two different wine bars – not the one we normally go to – and to be honest, the wine was only mediocre. Company was fabulous, and his dinner was excellent, but I think we’ll stick to what we know we love.

We also decided an overnight trip to Richmond the next day would be a fantastic idea. And it was! I had a haircut appt at 1115, and after went to his house, left my car there, and we went to Richmond. Stopped first at his friends house for a couple beers and catching up. Then it was off to dinner where I actually met a couple people in his family 😳. It was actually really nice, and after we all went to Buskey’s to have cider and play board games. Then it was to the hotel and then home today. Honestly, was a fantastic weekend.

Today was writing a paper and some grocery shopping. Low key.

And – more fluff fun! I really can’t get over how much fun Luna and Kuma have together. Makes me really happy that they get along so well.

Took it too late, but Luna was grooming Kuma and it was so stinking sweet!

Hitting the Gym & Turning My House Into a Petri Dish

FOOD

Food has predominately been simple the past week or so.  I’m still a little leery of raw foods, so I’ve been avoiding them.  Which actually pisses me off a great deal, because I love raw fruits and vegetables.  I’m assuming when allergy season is over, my dietary habits can get back to normal.

Until then, my meals have consisted of several soups (butternut squash is my fav!), lentils and rice, Venezuelan black beans and rice, and cooked veggies.

Mujadarrah.  A fancy way of saying simple lentils, rice, and crispy onions.  Truthfully though, it's one of my fav simple meals - especially doused with hot sauce.
Mujadarrah. A fancy way of saying simple lentils, rice, and crispy onions. Truthfully though, it’s one of my fav simple meals – especially doused with hot sauce.
black bean and rice night!  I love when the entire meal can be made in a rice cooker and pressure cooker!
black bean and rice night! I love when the entire meal can be made in a rice cooker and pressure cooker!
quinoa, frozen berries, and vanilla coconut milk yogurt
quinoa, frozen berries, and vanilla coconut milk yogurt
butternut squash bisque!  Had it a lot this past week.  Sometimes plain, sometimes with added quinoa or rice for more oomph.
butternut squash bisque! Had it a lot this past week. Sometimes plain, sometimes with added quinoa or rice for more oomph.
I did try a smoothie.  Tongue got tingly after 2 sips, so I stopped.  Ugh.
I did try a smoothie. Tongue got tingly after 2 sips, so I stopped. Ugh.
roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes
roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes
Thai edamame - with toasted coconut and lime
Thai edamame – with toasted coconut and lime
roasted asparagus
roasted asparagus

FITNESS

Lots of workouts the past week or so!  I’ve gone to the gym 2x per week to workout with a small group doing strength training.  5am workouts aren’t the most fun, but it’s nice to get it done and to do so with others.  I’m usually a solitary exerciser, but when it comes to strength training, groups are better for me.

Even more exciting than going to the gym is the formation of a No Meat Athlete running group here in Virginia Beach!  For those that don’t know, Matt from No Meat Athlete has been a great source of information and motivation for me and many other veggie based runners.  I was really excited that this sanctioned group started, and getting active with other veg head runners is fun.

LIFE

In a word.  Sick.  Hectic too, but that’s nothing new.  My oldest, A, is home from University with a nasty case of mono!  I fell so horrible – never seen her so incredibly sick.  D and I couldn’t let her stew in a dorm room, so she’s home.  Frankly, she doesn’t seem much better, and I know she’s worried about her classes.  I’m more worried about her health.  Mono can take 1-2 months to recover from, and that just sucks.  So right now my house is a bit of a petri dish!

I am also sick at the moment, though not like A.  This time of year I seem to always get allergies gone bad (sounds like a bad B movie, right?!).  What starts out as an itchy throat and sniffles turns into a full fledged sinus, ear, and respiratory infection.  For me, the itchy and swollen throat (which is a freaky feeling) has been going on for 2 weeks.   The past few days, it’s escalated into the nasty stuff.  I have a Dr appt on Tuesday in case it doesn’t run it’s course by then.

Other than illness, the past week has been quite busy and fun.  D went to Iowa for his High School reunion and had a blast.  While he was gone, I took my kids and one of R’s friends out of town for the weekend to hit up the Virginia State Fair and spend the weekend in a hotel.  I grew up living just a mile or two from the Wisconsin State Fair, and I have nothing but the best memories of that.  I had’t been to a fair in over 10 years, so really wanted to check it out.  Honestly, we didn’t stay very long.  Not for lack of wanting to, but A wasn’t feeling hot – which at the time we thought was just exhaustion because she worked the night before – but in retrospect was mono.  And her going on all the Midway rides with R and N probably didn’t help!

M, A, R, and N in front of a Virginia Grown veggie stand at the Fair!
M, A, R, and N in front of a Virginia Grown veggie stand at the Fair!

WP_20140927_12_43_28_Pro WP_20140927_12_43_36_Pro

So, we really only did rides and left.  A bit disappointing for me (I really wanted to see the animals), but there’s always next year.

D got home from his trip and immediately had to start working nights to support a go-live.  It always throws the rhythm of our life when one of us has to do that!

This weekend is also pretty booked.  The young one has her first swim meet of the season and I have a vegan drinks meet up tonight (that I hope I’m well enough to attend).  Tomorrow will be typical prep for the week ahead, and resting as much as possible before heading back to work on Monday!

silly girl at team practice this week
silly girl at team practice this week

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!