Garden Therapy + Pollen Hell

FOOD

Well, I unintentionally fasted for 23 hours Sunday! I do find the longer I’m doing IF, the longer I can go without meals. This isn’t intentional – definitely not today – I just got busy and wasn’t hungry.

So – I only had one meal. It was really yummy though. Tofu, green beans, and Konjac noodles sautéed in coconut oil and topped with soy sauce in the last minute of cooking. Good stuff!

Other simple eats for the rest of the week. Mostly the same trend of OMAD (one meal a day). That’s a common IF thing, though again – it was unintentional. I made a big batch of Red curry tofu and veggie soup that I ate over a couple of days. I also made this awesome pressure cooker meal that had black beans and spices in the lower part, and then the rice cooked in a bowl inside at the same time. Came out great – kids loved it!

https://detoxinista.com/chipotle-burrito-bowls/

Quick break of tea and olives between planting and pressure cooking.

Morning coffee on a really nice day!

FITNESS

Well, I’ll be honest. I intended to run Sunday, I really did. But I ended up doing about 4 hours of yard/garden work – burned almost 900 calories doing it too!

Still thought about running, but it was almost 90, I was already a hot sweaty and mildly dehydrated mess, so decided no run. Not sorry, because it all looks amazing!

Monday and Tuesday I went running. Honestly, Wednesday and Thursday I did nothing. My new role has me working from 7am until at least 8pm, and I had no open blocks in the day to work one in. I need to find a new rhythm with my new hectic schedule!

LIFE

It’s been a good week. Sleep started out being really horrible in the week, but the last two nights haven’t been too bad.

On Sunday I got up, made coffee, sat down to read the news…and my new boss called. Not used to a Sunday morning work call, but that’s okay. Lot’s going on and lots to do, so I worked for a couple hours.

Then it was garden time! I got some soil/compost mix, and my newly (mostly) recovered son spread it all in the 2 gardens. One is a smaller herb garden and one a big enclosed one. I planted basil, Thai basil, lavender, and mint in the top row of the herb garden. On the bottom row, I planted seeds for microgreens, leaf lettuce, and spinach. My sister assures me that I can’t screw up spinach….I’m holding her to that!

 

In the big garden, I planted 2 each of kale, red bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, and Japanese eggplant, and one cherry tomato, cucumber, and zucchini.

I also briefly saw my girlfriend A – at a safe distance of course. She has friends sewing face masks, and brought me samples to take to my boss to see if they’re something we can use in our hospitals. And honestly, it was just really nice to see her for a few and chat.

After the garden stuff was done, I got out the pressure washer and got the entire back deck, enclosed porch and furniture, and siding done. Took me about an hour, but I’m SO happy. Not only is all the disgusting pollen gone – BUT ALL THE POLLEN IS GONE. And the winter dirt and leaves, etc.

Speaking of disgusting pollen – it’s finally undone me. It happens every spring, where I can’t wear contacts and glasses suck because they sit on my nose and make my sinuses hurt. Had a full blown allergy attack Sunday and Monday and all I wanted to do was pop out my eyeballs and scratch behind them. Ugh. But, it is temporary, and working from home, it’s not like I have to look cute! So me and my red itchy eyes will persevere in quarantine and not one will know (except you – you all know. But you won’t see!!!!)

The rest of the week has been a blur. My role is to run down unique ways to source supplies – like 3D printing, leveraging the community, etc. This week has been a crash course in supply chain logistics for sure – but I’m loving it. My faith in humanity is definitely being restored. Businesses who have to temporarily close are donating everything they can, sewing and quilting circles are making approved masks and isolation gowns. I’m proud of my company – we’re hiring people who are out of work to help specifically with the isolation gowns (made of unique materials – like big black trash bags). Seeing all the creativity to keep our staff and patient safe is making these 18+ hr days all worthwhile.

I actually left the house two days in a row (and will today too!). I drove an hour to pick up some 3D printed prototypes for face shields, N95 masks, nasopharyngeal swabs (critical shortage on that!). Yesterday I had to drop these things off, as well as the sewn masks A gave me, at the incident command center for approval or denial. Then late last night I got the isolation gowns – that I will take today.

Last night there was a Twitter thread to show your work from home office, so here’s mine!

Is There a Nurse in the House?!?

FOOD

I wish I had more exciting stuff to report. I’m dabbling with intermittent fasting – not fully committed, but have read some interesting research. To be honest, I used to be very anti IF and thought it was just a way people starved themselves. But, after doing research and the impact on insulin, insulin resistance (which I have), cortisol (which I have too much of), decided to give it a go. Overall not too terrible, but it means no fun breakfasts and smoothies to share!

I do find myself not being overly hungry. Don’t know if it’s IF (though apparently that’s common) or stress (also present!), but I’ve had a lot of salads with tofu and soups.

Actually a take on vegan butter chicken, but with tofu instead of my usual soy curls, and cauliflower rice. Came out SO yummy.

After A’s graduation (more on that below!), we all stopped at our normal Mexican spot – mainly because they have a vegan menu and really good margaritas! I didn’t eat much, and as usual, I forgot my leftovers.

There was Thai food too. Two good ones (one lunch with a co-worker who is also vegan!), and one by myself. One was really horrific – a place in VB I’d never been before and will never go again.

Blurry, but you know what it is! What it always is!
Seriously the worst. Ordered the veggie spring roll – they gave me chicken. Ordered steamed tofu (not a fan of fried), they brought fried and said that’s just how they do it. And the flavor was gross anyway.
From my fav place near my house

Had two pizzas too! The first was on Friday night when my guy and I went to our wine bar. Got the beet-za (beet juice in the crust and beets on the pizza) with a cashew cheese. Really tasty. Saturday we all met for brunch at the spot my guy’s son works as they just started carrying vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust. Good stuff and was also my dinner that night.

Peppercini, tomatoes, and pineapple

FITNESS

Well, I’ve mainly been getting my running game back on! I love the HIIT classes and need to figure out how to do both, but I’ve missed running and hadn’t done it regularly since late summer/early fall.

I am certainly motivated to run as my guy has started to! Even though he’s more than a foot taller than me and his long legs will trounce me, it’s still fun talking about training together. So, I’ve been running 3 mi per day, 6 days per week for the past week and a half. I am thinking of doing 2x per day workouts. HIIT and runs – just need to figure out which in the morning and which after work. While running at home in the morning would be easier, going to HIIT gives me time to drink and digest my coffee before working out! The downside it having to get ready for work at the gym.

LIFE

Well, life has been busy! Last week work was steady but not crazy. This week is crazy.

BUT – the highlight of the week was my baby girl graduating from nursing school!! I’m so incredibly proud of her – she busted her butt working and in school and it’s amazing to see her achieve her dreams.

For those not familiar, the ritual with nursing graduations is called a pinning ceremony.
A and her hubby J

After the pinning ceremony, we went for tacos and margaritas – at A’s request for months leading up to it!

Friday was busy at work, and then date night with my boyfriend. Wine night and then back to his place. Saturday I went home, worked out, then got cleaned up and the kids and I and J met up with my guy and his youngest, and one of A’s best friends for brunch.

Sunday was research and writing all day. Like 14 hours straight! BUT – all my edits are done and turned in. Hopefully there won’t be many more rounds of edits needed and I can head to IRB.

Today is Super Tuesday and we in Virginia vote our primaries. I got up, did that, went for a run, and then cleaned up. It was a work from home day with the exception of a networking meeting at Starbucks. I really wanted to try their new Golden Drink – which is a pineapple, ginger, turmeric, coconut milk concoction. So I did a mobile order because I needed to set up for a webex meeting just before my networking meeting and didn’t have a ton of time. I got there and the barista asked what I ordered – said it was mobile. She said it didn’t come through, asked me what it was and made me on. 10 seconds later another barista shouted my name and put my drink in the mobile order spot. So – ended up with 2 for the price of 1. And you know what – yummy! Also, my networking meeting was awesome. It was with a venture capital/emerging tech scout. Great conversation for sure, and who knows where that will lead!

Well this is a new one, but much appreciated! I’m getting tired of the texts from candidates, so a call is even worse

Otherwise, so far been a good week. Had a coffee meeting yesterday with a grad student interested in identifying pain points in healthcare that could potentially use a technology solution. Smart guy and I’m hooking him up with a couple coworkers.

Today was really nice, and the floofs were loving the open door and sunshine!

I’m supposed to be going to Orlando next week for a conference and some fun, but at this point not sure it’ll happen. With the COVID-19 outbreak and fears, many organizations are canceling travel for their people, and many events are being canceled. While this event hasn’t been canceled yet, it still is possible. And while my firm hasn’t canceled travel yet, that’s possible too. I’ll be bummed because I love Florida and that week is pretty special for a couple reasons, but also wouldn’t blame anyone if it did get canceled. I’ll just be out the $ already spent on Disney tix!

Whiskey Squares

FOOD

I certainly had a few good eats this past week. I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup and had that spread out over a few days.

And while I forgot to take a picture, a Thai lunch date with my boyfriend.

I was in DC for a few days, which included one where my girlfriend LS and I went to Equinox. They have a lot of vegan options, and we split the caramelized cauliflower with pistachios, capers, and golden raisins, and for my main dish, I had the pan roasted Japanese eggplant. Everything was amazing!

Last night I stayed at my guys house and he made his homemade spaghetti. Smelling it cooking all day was really awesome, and tasted amazing. Mine with Gardein crumbles. I also had that for breakfast today.

FITNESS

Went to the gym Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before work for the HIIT program. Hate to call it a class since you can come in anytime – it’s a daily curated workout (sort of like a WOD) in a special area of the gym. It’s 15 stations, with 3 1/2 minutes spent at each station in a combo of working and resting.

I get this each Sunday to show what the week will look like. I like how every day varies
So I wear a heart rate monitor, and while I try to hit at least 500, I really prefer to get closer to 700. I often do when I workout in the evening, so I’m going to have to see if it’s just me adjusting to morning workouts or something else. But still, 578 isn’t bad!

LIFE

Been a busy and excellent week. Since our kids didn’t have school on Monday, I ended up spending Sunday night at my guys house. Dinner, a couple movies (Instant Family – which was really cute, and I can’t for the life of me remember the other one!). In the morning we went to our respective gyms and then to work!

About that gym fun. I WAY over packed, and the little locker could barely take it. I had my work clothes plus the ones I wore on Sunday to his house. Obviously I wore my workout clothes to the gym. I had towels, toiletries, my Dyson hair wrap, and my flat iron. Makeup. Etc. In the end, I decided to just put my hair up in a bun and head to the office.

Tuesday was the gym and then a jam packed meeting day. I packed better though and left my purse in the trunk of my car. Before I went to bed on Monday, I straightened my hair, so just needed some dry shampoo after my Tuesday morning workout and could then wear my hair down.

Wednesday was also the gym and then to the office. Not such a busy day, which meant a quick happy hour with my guy. We went to a wine spot (not our typical one) because it was closer to where he needed to be. Wine was not great, but the time was. Then I was off to a happy hour at a new co-working space downtown. Which meant a cooler full of beer (I went with Stella Artois). And then a decision to hit a local bar for some whiskey drinks. The bartender had fun making up stuff for us, and it was all yummy.

Thursday was NOT a gym morning. I went to work, realized I accidentally stole a credit card from my drinking buddy, had lunch with my guy, returned the card, and headed home to pick up my car rental.

My original plan was to drive to DC early Friday morning to get to my 10 am coffee meeting. However – it started snowing, and so I decided to go up to DC Thursday evening instead. In the end, I probably didn’t need to. I couldn’t navigated the roads, but around here you never know. Virginia Beach didn’t get much, but Suffolk got quite a bit. I didn’t want to risk it. So, I hit the road just after 3 and met up with my old doctoral cohort for a few cocktails (they have their residency this weekend – same one I had in Atlanta back in October).

Me and SJ

My coffee meeting got moved up to 9 in Herndon, and that was a great time as always. Another Darden alum I met last year, and we’ve been keeping in touch as careers, etc, develop.

I had lunch with my girlfriend LS. We’ve known each other for ages – met through my best friend AC. I hadn’t seen her in the past few trips I’ve made to DC, so definitely wanted to rectify that. She picked Equinox for lunch (fairly close to the White House), and then we walked over to a liquor store around the corner. I’ve been on the hunt for this Japanese Whisky called Nikka from the Barrel. Can’t buy it in VA anymore, but thought DC may have it. The place was amazing, and while they didn’t have what I wanted, he did give us a tasting and I picked one that was really close. I also got a bottle of Mezcal for my guy, and a nice tequila (NOT mezcal) for my house.

LS has also been wanting to be a whiskey fan, so we spent some time at lunch reading about bourbon, whiskey, whisky, and all the differences. What we finally came to the conclusion of is all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Sort of like every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

Then it was off to a happy hour to finally meet in person a woman I was helping with her start-up. She used to work for my company, but in the DC area. She worked for a hospital president I know well and is in a new role, and asked me to help her out. We’ve had calls and emails and LinkedIn messages, but finally got to meet in person. She’s lovely and I really liked meeting her. Unfortunately, her little one was sick, and not 15 minutes into our wine, her parents called and asked her to come get the baby. Oh well. It was still nice

That did give me time to get my hair done though! In my haste to pack to avoid snowmageddon, I forgot my hair dryer and any hair product. Hence my hair in a bun, once again. But I had a fairly important dinner coming up, and across from the wine spot in Clarendon was a blow out bar – so in I went and had my hair blown out. Overall excellent experience and well worth it.

Then it was off to Jaleo in Crystal City to meet my new academic advisor. She’s the one who is really getting me close to the finish line, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to meet her in person. I felt it important to have at least a little bit of a relationship, and her being in DC for the residency was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I am SO glad I did too! She’s lovely. We spent 3 hours eating tapas, drinking sangria, and talking – almost none of it about school. We had similar up bringing, and after talking through other things, feel we may have divorced the same man 🤣. She’s also a world traveler (more so than me) and speaks French! We talked about start-up ideas we each have and how we can help each other with those endeavors after I graduate, and overall just had a wonderful time and connection. I’m grateful she’s in my corner as I head towards the end of this doctoral journey.

Since I saw the crew the night before, I didn’t feel like meeting them all at the bar again, so I headed to my hotel and to bed.

The next morning though, I went back to where the residency was in order to meet my mentee. I signed up through my university to be a mentor, and was partnered with a lovely woman who immigrated to the US from Africa a few years ago, and currently is in banking in Arizona. Similar to me, she’s been doubling and sometimes tripling up on classes to get done as quickly as possible. We speak, text, and email regularly, and it was wonderful to meet her for coffee before her classes started at 8. It also gave me time to say goodbye to my other friends and professors before hitting the road home!

I got to my boyfriend’s house around 1 (had to stop at the grocery for some dinner items!). We watched a couple episodes of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – eh. And then started on Hunters – which I really liked. Just before dinner, his brother came over, and we all ate and watched Guess Who, which I had never actually finished watching before – and it’s cute. Then it was time to watch basketball and go to bed.

This morning was coffee then going home to do wash, clean, grocery shop, and organize for the week ahead!

One of my fav mugs from my guy. Drinking tea while working on my research.
Kuma being very toasty and lazy on A’s electric blanket Thursday
My best friend’s husband sent us this. It’s true – I’m a bit hyper organized and LOVE project management.
The British crack me up. This headline would not fly in the US…
This is me.

Oreogate

FOOD

Oddly, not many food pics.

Before my flight on Monday, my guy and I went out to lunch at a new to us place. Burger and bourbon joint, but has the Beyond Burger. Was a little hole in the wall near the oceanfront area. Nice to try, but not a place we’re likely to go again. Food was okay, but not awesome. Didn’t even get a pic.

While in Chicago, the catering company did their best, and breakfast was yummy. Lunch was never vegan, but I had two great dinners – one Italian with the work crew and one Italian with my sister and her fam!

Last Friday was a ramen lunch date with my guy.

Saturday afternoon was Pho and dinner was Chinese. My guys fav Chinese restaurant now has a dedicated vegan menu, and I had the pineapple tofu teriyaki and it was amazing! That was also my dinner on Sunday.

Sunday was a family brunch, and I had my sorbet mimosas (with coconut rum of course!) and the hummus lettuce wraps.

Monday I stopped for Thai and got fresh rolls and Tom Kha Tofu soup before a meeting. No dinner.

Lunch today was edamame and veg sushi (broccoli and sweet potato).

FITNESS

Mostly runs, but also the gym yesterday and today for my HIIT class. Yesterday was very intense and I loved it. HR monitor says just over 700 calories burned in an hour. Yes please! Today I was pretty exhausted (only 2 hrs of sleep last night), so I was NOT feeling it. Did it anyway though, so there’s that.

LIFE

Another good and busy week. Chicago meetings were great. They really are my fav group of people. Old Fashions and Manhattans were had!

Wednesday the meetings ended at 1pm, and I went up to Milwaukee to first visit my mom and then see my sister on her 50th birthday! It was great to see them all. It was snowing by the time I got back to my hotel in Chicago, which caused some flight delays on Thursday morning, but nothing major. Still home in plenty of time.

Thursday afternoon I dropped off a library book and picked up R. We were supposed to have a private tour of a new robotics facility in our area – but there were wicked storms and we had to reschedule. So we stopped at Moe’s. Main power was out, but they still had emergency power, so it was kinda fun. She was still hungry after eating, so she went back through the line. Apparently got chatting with people and was offered a job. So – my 16 y/o now has a job and starts next Sunday!

On Friday, I’m back in the office, and this thread happens with my children. See – Monday before my afternoon flight, I went to the grocery store to ensure plenty of food and lunch snacks….Oreogate ensued.

Saturday morning R had a hair appt. I sat in the Starbucks next door with a soy latte and a book!

Saturday evening was at my guys house. We normally stay in on Saturday’s, but the boys had plans, so we went out for Chinese. And then watched the single most intense basketball game I have ever seen (Duke vs UNC). Sunday was fam brunch where, among other things, my eldest daughter and my boyfriend did a breakfast shot. Then I bought many, many Oreos.

Yesterday morning R had a Dr’s appt and then I had meetings at a coffee shop in Norfolk that an acquaintance of mine owns. It was 1pm, so tea for me. But it was a great time. Then gym, then home.

Today I was in the office really early because I had to leave early for a derm appt to make sure the skin cancer scar is healing well – and it is. Did provide an opportunity for coffee with the guy though, so that was nice.

Or any clinical job. I was crazy (ED) and then dead people…

Boston Adventures!

FOOD

Well, it was all restaurant and travel eats over the long weekend as R and I were in Boston.

Friday night was a salad I forgot to snap a pic of. Very yummy though – reminiscent of a wedge salad, but a vegan version.

Saturday brunch I had an arugula salad and mint tea before our adventures began.

Dinner was around 315 and was a veggie burger and spring rolls at the museum.

Sunday we went to brunch in Salem at a place called Flying Saucer Pizza. They have a huge vegan menu. I got baked cauliflower and vegan Mac. They were only ok so only had a few bites of each.

For dinner, we went to Lee’s Burgers on the recommendation of my son M. When he as 15 he went to boston with my now ex-husband to go to PAX East. They stopped and he has amazing memories and really wanted us to go. So we did. I had a Beyond burger patty on a salad.

Monday it was time to head home. Only eats was a veggie sub from Subway. Ate half for lunch and the other half for dinner.

Not overly exciting, but wasn’t bad either. Glad to be home to my kitchen though!

FITNESS

None other than the walking R and I did over the weekend. Hitting up the gym today after work though.

LIFE

Well, R and I spent the long weekend in Boston! Our plans (as we thought of anyway) were as follows:

  • Freedom Trail hike – about 2 miles and covers 16 historical sites
  • Deadmou5 concert on Saturday
  • Tim Burton trivia and wandering in Salem on Sunday

We got into town late on Friday, so it was just eating and in the hotel.

Saturday was a ton of fun, though only 1 of the 3 planned things ended up happening!

After brunch in the hotel we went to the Museum of Science, where we stayed for 5 hours. We went into the butterfly exhibit, which was neat. Lots of pretty butterflies roaming around. We hit up all the exhibits in the “blue” wing, including a really cool show on lightening. Towards the end, we did the Explore the Universe presentation in the planetarium, which was really cool. That ended and the place was closing, so we missed all the “green” wing exhibits, but still had a blast.

So. Deadmou5. That show was at the House of Blues on Saturday. I bought tickets several days before we went. Here’s the thing. I didn’t read the fine print – it’s an 18+ show. So, I figure I’ll take my 16 yr old to Sephora and ask them to make her look 18! However – while she was getting ready for the day, I called and there’s a 100% ID check to get in. I said we traveled from VA and she forgot hers – was told too bad. Dang.

So we shifted our plans and went to the Celtics game! It was her first NBA game (honestly, only my 4th – the other 3 were provided by vendors). We had a really good time.

It snowed Saturday night, which was kind of fun.

Sunday we drove up to Salem for the Tim Burton Trivia event – which was a total blast. We came in 6th out of 13th. Not awesome, but pretty respectable. Our final score was 100. The lowest team was 22, and the top was 118. But most important, we had such a fun time. Then we wandered around Salem for a bit, and went back to the hotel where we watched both Alice in Wonderland movies and then largely packed up.

Sunday we had a private tour of the Amazon Robotics facility! Our very dear friend MM (who retired from the Navy last summer), started working for Amazon in November, and he’s in charge of automation of their supply chain. Being hyper supportive of R’s robotics activities and her desire to study engineering, he hooked this up for her. He also happened to be flying in for 2 days of meetings, and got there not long after our tour ended, so we waited so we could see him before hitting the road. She was flying so high after that, it was great.

So the drive up was totally uneventful, and other than one minor 20 minute backup in Connecticut due to an accident, it was smooth sailing. Not so on the way home. Beginning in Connecticut and through NY, traffic was shite. A combo of major sun glare and craptastic traffic, we were delayed nearly 3 hours and didn’t get home until midnight. We chatted a lot about robotics, mythology, space, and a few other topics though, so the drive still flew by. All told, we had an amazing weekend!

She missed me 😊

Sneaky Pneumonia Sucks

FOOD

Not a whole lot to report here. Yesterday I had a piece of toast with sunbutter before going to the gym.

Lunch was some leftover spicy tofu soup (this one with lots of riced cauliflower).

Dinner was at my guys house – I brought a big ass salad from Whole Foods. I took a picture, but it was blurry. Bummer too, because it was awesome. Lettuce, tabbouleh, tofu eggless salad, tons of veggies, and dolmades. Couldn’t finish it, but damn, it was good!

Haven’t eaten much today. Too sleepy. Think I had some crackers and a smoothie that I didn’t snap a pic of.

FITNESS

Went to the gym yesterday for another HIIT workout. This is me in my car after.

Nothing today – I’m pretty much a walking zombie. I did meditate though.

LIFE

Been quite the weekend. Went to the gym yesterday and then to run some errands. Had a quiet night planned with my boyfriend, and went over there in the latter part of the afternoon. We watched two movies – Just Cause – and older flick with Sean Connery, and Takers – about 9-10 years old with Idris Elba. Both decent movies. Had dinner, and just a lazy evening. He’s feeling a bit under the weather, so we went to bed early.

A couple hours later my phone lights up – it’s the young one. She was not feeling well, so I went home. She had been sick earlier in the week – but so was her brother and he was fine after 2 days. I think we were masking her symptoms by rotating Motrin and Tylenol to keep her fever down (which was working very well). Ended up in the Emergency the rest of the night/morning where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Honestly – I feel absolutely guilty for not realizing she was that sick. She was eating and reading, and clearly not feeling awesome, but no way I’d have guessed she had freaking pneumonia! But still, guilty mom time. Sneaky pneumonia…

Sweatshirt over her head to block the light so she could try to sleep. Never quite worked…

Good news is her older sister was working, so of course we went to her hospital and were well cared for. SO many people would come into our room, see the three of us (A, R, and I) interacting, and shake their heads about how we all act and look alike. The mops of curly hair certainly gave it away. It was funny, and apparently quite the topic of conversation after R and I left around 5am.

I was supposed to head to NY in the morning, but no way I’m doing that. So I’ll be working from home while she gets better.

Hanging out trying to stay awake today with Luna and some books. Brain was toast and couldn’t really focus on reading.

Got caught in some sudden rain while out on a walk