Fruit is Trying to Kill Me


You’d think I’d learn, but I refuse.  First a peach sent me to the hospital in July.  Then pre-sliced apples from Pike’s Market in Seattle had me scrambling to pop Benadryl to make the hives and swelling of my mouth go away, and today, a plum tried to kill me.  This is getting freakishly ridiculous.

I have been eating fruit for my entire life and I’ve never had a problem until this summer.  Our theory at this point is that all three of these came from a farmer’s market (the peach and the plum from the same market here in Virginia Beach, and the pre-sliced apples from a deli at Pikes) and the farm or packaging workers were wearing latex gloves – to which I KNOW I’m allergic, and somehow I ate that and that’s what caused the fun hives (including some IN my mouth today), the itchy throat, and the swelling.  I did see the deli workers wearing latex gloves, so I should have put that together with the apple incident.  I have a Dr’s appt next Thursday, so until then, I’m sticking to bananas.

On a fun note, I made a recipe from my new Happy Herbivore’s cookbook today!  I made the yellow dal, which was a super simple recipe with yellow split peas that I happened to have on hand.  I served it over some brown rice, and topped with some broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and snow peas.  And a few dashes of hot sauce.  It was absolutely wonderful.

such a yummy and filling dish. Love the crunchy raw veggies on top for texture too.

Then much later (after the Benadryl wore off), I really wanted a bloody mary…so I made a juice in my Vitamix, then poured over ice with some vodka.  I’m telling you…those little Thai chilis are HOT.  So I’m a wee loopy with lips of fire.

tomato, kale, beet, bell pepper, onion, Thai chili, carrot, and lemon juice
clearly the healthiest addition

I also felt a deep need to bake.  That urge doesn’t happen very often, but I was so blown away by Kittee at Vida Vegan Con and her impassioned discussion of gluten-free baking – and coupled with my own need to provide nut free baked goods for R – that I went on a bit of a cookbook and ingredient shopping spree and got to work.  My first attempt – fudgy brownies!  I haven’t tried them yet – I have to wait until fully cooled.  But I’m SO excited!

batter you could TOTALLY eat because there nothing gross like raw eggs in it...but it's full of chocolate and chocolate chips!


I went to the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon Expo this evening.  I am registered to race, but obviously can’t until my back is normal again (which it’s SO close) and I build my mileage back up.

Virginia Beach Convention Center

I am going to go cheer on the bazillion other runners though, and just enjoy being a spectator.  And to live vicariously through others.


Meetings, Benadryl, you know…a typical Friday!

After my first meeting this morning, I was finally hungry and ate a plum.  Bad move clearly.  I didn’t panic too badly this time, but did pop a full dose of Benadryl at home and waited for the swelling and hives to go away.  And it took 2 hours before I could drive again.  Benadryl just knocks me out!  Then it was back to the office for more meetings (though I locked myself out of the office).

I’m not going to rant too much, but it was a rough afternoon.  Big project  + Benadryl + major issues (externally caused…not internally) = full-on bitchy Crissie.  It was messy and bloody and I’m not sure there were many survivors.  It’s going to be tense this next week.  I love my job and the people I work with will pull a miracle out of their ears like they always do.  I can certainly say my work life is also NEVER dull 🙂

On a fun note, I met my youngest’s new teacher for this year and I really like him.  She’s excited because it’ll be her first boy teacher.

R playing on my iPad at dinner after her school open house. Just she and was fun.
random picture of strange child using pirate patch as a third eye...I children are so NOT normal...but they ARE cute. Most of the time 🙂

And I got to play a grown up game of pin the tail on the donkey.  The entire IT shop of my company (about 580 people) are going to be moving into a newly renovated building in a year or so.  We met yesterday to put up the floor plans, each Director was given a color, and we went to town stickering the crap out of the floor plans to try to figure out where we’re all going to sit.  It was funny and I had to take pictures.

So I’m going to spend the rest of the evening staying up late and pretending I’m back on West Coast time, catching up on the day’s blog reading, and drink another bloody mary!

one of the floors. There are 5...

Hello From 30,000 Feet

I’m finally on my way home. It’s been a long week, but a great one. Waking at 430am was less than fun – especially since I slept so fitfully last night. But I had packed the night before and needed only to take a quick shower and head out the door.

Navigating the airport this morning was a complicated and time consuming mess. When I checked into my flight last night, I was asked if I would be willing to bump. Hell no. I miss my family and want to get home!

I had to stop at Target and buy another travel bag to get all my conference swag and gifts home. It’s carry on sized, so I figured I was all set to go!

Dropping the car off was easy. Then the fun started. I went to the Delta counter and then was told to get into the baggage line. That took about a half hour to get through. I checked my one bag, and then trudged off to security. What a mess! It took over 45 minutes to get through. I went…and got pulled aside for the full body scan. It went quickly thankfully. Unfortunately, my carry on did not fare so well.

The TSA agent was suspicious of a few items in my bag. The can of tomatoes, the jar of vegan queso, and the pepper mill from the conference swag bag, and a tube of henna paste I picked up for A. After some thinking, the TSA agent threw away my queso and tomatoes (jerk), put my henna back in the bag and re-scanned it.

I made it to my gate 20 minutes before boarding, bought a coffee and a bagel, and had just enough time to call my husband for a quick chat.

The plane asked for all volunteers with rolling carry ons to volunteer to have them checked through. Heck yeah! Less for me to drag around in Atlanta between flights.

So now I’m on the plane! Due to the length of the flight, they offer a wifi option, which I gladly took. So here I am, blogging at 30,000 ft!

I’ve caught up on blog reading, and have started brainstorming the layout and content for my new blog. It will NOT replace RunCrissieRun, but is something entirely new. I don’t want to spoil anything by giving away too much yet, but when it’s ready to go, I’ll talk about it first here!

Muffin and Beet Madness. Not Necessarily In That Order


Saturday morning breakfast was a quick and easy meal of Grapenuts and vanilla coconut milk.  And coffee of course.  I was up early enough before having to leave, but while drinking my coffee and catching up on blog reading, my morning really got away from me.  Before I knew it, I was making breakfast for R and I so we could head out the door.

I wasn’t really hungry for lunch, so I ended up eating popcorn.  While I realize on the outside that this isn’t a great meal…I’ve always considered popcorn more or less a food group unto itself, so while possibly not nutritionally well-rounded, it was still awesome.

I did end up making a BAS (big-ass-salad) mid-afternoon because my body was wildly craving something fresh.  It was just romaine, onion, and tomato with my homemade dressing of happiness.

Dinner was great though (if I do say so myself).  I made a 4-bean vegan chili with TVP and veggies.  Well…it’s normally 4-bean, but I wasn’t feeling like making black beans two days in a row, so it really ended up being 3 bean (navy, pinto, and lentil).  It’s one of those that the whole family loves.  Mainly because they can eat it with tortilla chips.  I serve it atop some spanish rice and put Daiya, Tofutti Better then Sour Cream, and hot sauce on top!  Then…open the big family sized back of tortilla chips and go to town.  I think D ate 3 bowls 🙂

SO not pretty, I know...but really very tasty

I was up really early this morning.  If you ask my Dad, it was likely due to Michelle Bachman nightmares.  Alas.  I made a coconut milk latte and read some blog posts.  Then made up a random juice of juicable things I had lying around.  I used a beet again (only one though, as it’s all I had left).  I’m finding I’m not the biggest fan of juiced grapefruits…but with enough apples, you don’t taste anything else anyway.

lettuce, grapefruit, apple, beet, celery
24 ounces of "leftover" juice!
and I drank it ALL in a pirate glass. Because I'm a rebel.

I also baked a batch of banana chocolate chip muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  They were done by the time everyone else woke up this morning, so great timing on my part today!

heading into the oven at 7am!
you should all want to live with me. I make yummy muffins for breakfast! Yes...and strange beet juices...but you learn to live with that because of MUFFINS

Lunch was leftover chili and again a mid-afternoon salad.  Dinner was the most fun though – we did homemade pizza night!  D was cute as he diced up the tons of veggies.  I ended up skipping the Daiya today.  I just wasn’t feeling like a cheezy-type pizza.  Mine was simply tomato sauce, spices, broccoli, trio of bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and onion.  I ate almost all of it, it was so yummy!

pizza dough, ready to go
R rolling out her her Tigger jammies!
A rolling out hers...

so yummy!


Saturday was a good hour+ of intense yard work.  I hacked the crap out of a wisteria bush (those things are insidious and nasty), and it took me forever.  Followed by some raking and hedge trimming.

From there, I did an hour-long yoga class from Yoga Today especially for low back pain.  It was a slow class that was all lying down (either back or belly), but it’s focus was on stretching and strengthening the low back.  There were high repetitions and while not a typically class, I found it still challenging and pushing to the outer edges of comfort with my back.

Today I hurt so much I wasn’t sure what I should do.  I just did some stretching poses and took it easy.


As predicted, it’s been a pretty low-key weekend.  While I was at gymnastics with R, the older kids cleaned out the attached garage yesterday (and did a great job).  Then we all did yard work.  D went a little crazy with the weed whacker and ax, but the front yard alone was in dire need of it.  It’s been either too hot or too wet to really get out there the past several weeks.  I really want to live somewhere with little to no yard…we all suck at yard work.  That, or I’ll have to hire someone to deal with it.

I spent most of the afternoon working, knowing I’m going to be in DC for a couple of days made me nervous about not getting much done while there.  I’m sure it’ll be okay, but there were a few things I really wanted to be sure were done.  Most of tomorrow morning is tied up in interviews (hiring a contract project manager for a new IT system project of mine), and then will be hitting the road for the 3 1/2-4 hr drive around 2.

I went to the grocery around 1 to get things for pizza night, and then came home to start prepping.  Between the kitchen, work, laundry, and packing, it’s been a long day.  But an enjoyable one since the house and yard are so nice looking!

I took a picture of the dumb people who can’t park in VA.  I’ve noticed this as a regular affliction here that I didn’t really see (or pay attention to) in other states that I’ve lived/worked (California, Washington, Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois specifically).  I know I’ve complained about this before, but people here often pull forward in their parking spaces.  IN ANGLE PARKING!  I get it if it’s straight pull in parking.  I do that all the time.  But angle parking?  What the heck is the point??  All you end up doing is facing the wrong way and screwing up everyone else.  I’ve thought about stopping one of the morons who do this and ask them why they think it’s a good idea, but I don’t want to get beat up.  Instead, I’ll go to THIS website and print out the notices that they “park like an a**hole to place on their windshields.  As long as their not looking….

and it's not like it's one's MOST of them! Ugh...

I also finished my latest book and started on my next one 🙂

D and I had planned on going to a 430 movie of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but we’re both just so sore.  I can’t sit for too long without needing to walk around.  Sitting for 2-3 hrs doesn’t sound like a fun idea.

At one point as I was finishing up making pizza, D went up to check on R and found this!  Sort of wrapped up the day, really!

little monkey in a basket

I’ve spent the rest of the evening commiserating with my Dad on the sad state of affairs of American politics and catching up on the billion posts on the Vida Vegan Con website!  I can’t believe that the first ever vegan bloggers conference is a little over a week away, and I’M GOING.  I can’t WAIT to meet everyone, learn a ton, and have a great vegan time!

Foods and Their Strange Side Effects


I have heard many stories about how eating different foods can alter your body chemistry (strange odors and the like).  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed anything personally though…until now.

Remember my post about my beautiful and tasty beet juice?  So excited to find a way to ingest (and enjoy) beets…something I’ve wanted to do for months!  Well, that was 2 days ago.  And for a day and a half my pee was pink.  I was freaking out by Thursday morning….I was worried I had a kidney stone or UTI or something, even though I felt fine.  It finally cleared up today (TMI, sorry), and I ended up going online to look up things that cause pee to turn pink.  Beets.  Top of the list!  Now that I’m normal again, I almost want to make another beet juice just to be sure that was really the cause!  So just an FYI if you decide to eat or drink several beets in one sitting…it really, really does cause some strange side effects!

The last couple of days have been heavy on the salads.  Not for every meal, but certainly for most.  When I’m feeling off (like working and sleeping strange hours will do), only whole foods make me feel good.

Thursday morning was a Napa cabbage and baby Bok choy salad with a soy sauce/ginger dressing.  It was okay…though nothing stellar.  It was a little too heavy on the ginger.  I like ginger in things like Indian food and even my juices, but I find it’s easy to over do – and this dressing was WAY overdone.  I ate a bit, and then gave up when I realized I didn’t love it.

cutting up the Napa cabbage
tons of baby bok choy from the Asian grocery in Virginia Beach

Lunch was some tortilla chips and a couple of beers at the Tide’s baseball game.  Still too tired to eat real food!

Dinner was at a totally last second family trip to Busch Gardens.  I love it when we do that 🙂  I had a salad and some fried zucchini (which has always been a favorite of mine).

fried zucchini with marinara sauce in Italy

Breakfast today was another salad, this one awesome.  Same (ish) cabbage and pineapple salad from the other day.  Changed it a bit by using romaine instead of red leaf lettuce, but basically the same.  I made a huge bowl, and even A ended up eating it for breakfast.  I also ate it for lunch.  What can I say…I was hungry, it was already made, and I was feeling lazy.

the big bowl with the side of homemade dressing
salad all "dressed" up! Breakfast AND lunch...

Dinner was some baked spring rolls.  Nothing fancy, but they were still good (and gone before I remembered to take any pictures.


My back is still hurting, so I’m sticking to yoga for now.  I wanted to run and lift today, but D actually got upset with me when I suggested I could.  Hiking around the park made me sore, and all the sitting has made it worse.  Ugh.


I slept for a few hours before the game yesterday.  I had a really nice time with the group, and while I didn’t watch much of the game (I’m sad to say I’m not a baseball fan), it was still a really, really nice treat.

D and I were both home by 4ish, and decided around 430 that an evening with the kids at Busch Garden’s would be fun.  We left, filled up the gas take, and took off for the park.  We were there by 6, and M and A took off for the roller coasters while D, R, and I wandered around going on rides and such.  We stayed until fireworks and then came home.  We would have been home by 11pm if not for tunnel traffic from hell, but that’s okay.  Midnight bedtime works too.

R doing a survivor-worthy challenge in Land of Dragons...while D chased her
R and I doing goofy Tree Pose yoga moves while waiting for a 3D ride to start

Today was work and then relaxing.  And getting pissed off at our politicians/legal system.  Not to rant TOO much…but the declaration by the federal appeals court that the healthcare reform is unconstitutional really pissed me off.  I’m not saying “Obamacare” is perfect (call it that ALL you want…it started under former Pres. Bush), but it’s at least worth trying as we tackle the issues of health care costs skyrocketing and the MILLIONS (43 mil in 2009) of American’s without insurance.  And does anyone really know WHAT the basis of the lawsuit was??  Not because it’s wrong…but because it may have violated the commerce clause!  Congress may or may not have overstepped it authority (depends on which judge you ask…one appointed by Bush or one by Clinton) when passing a law that impacts interstate commerce.  What’s funny?  The constitution doesn’t actually define “commerce”, so it’s all up to bloody interpretation…so instead of our stupid politicians working together to find a solution to the problem…they’re postering like a bunch of whiny babies about stupid crap.  I say vote them all out…replace them with a kindergarten class…and they’ll do a heck of a lot better job of trying to do the right thing.  And hug after.  Rant over.

I had an appt for a manicure and pedicure, which was really nice and relaxing.  I clearly needed to relax.  My toes are a pearlescent pale purple, and my fingers are a darker purple.  Woo hoo!

During dinner tonight the family played Yahtzee!  D and I used to play a lot when we were first married, but haven’t played in a long time.  I grew up playing it too.  During our July 15th weekend trip to Richmond, I picked up a travel game from REI (when D was oogling the camping/hiking stuff).  We played tonight, and I kicked ALL their butts!  Let’s just say my score was nearly 1500, and D’s was just over 500.  I had 3 Yahtzee’s.  They all accused me to cheating.  Poor losers.

Not much going on since this evening.  Talked to my Dad for a bit, and now it’s time to get ready for bed!  This weekend looks like it’ll be low-key.  Gymnastics tomorrow for R, and other than yard work and some more house organizing, not much on the plans (that we can remember anyway).  So here’s to a nice and chill weekend!