Music City Fun!

FOOD

Smoothies when I was home, of course. Also ate that cucumber salad from the shredded cucs from the weekend before. It had some serious kick to it with the red pepper flakes marinating in the salad overnight.

My guy and his oldest came over for lasagna night! Tofu ricotta, fresh garden basil and oregano, and fresh garden tomatoes. I wanted to make a bechamel sauce (rather than use fake cheese), but my Nutritional Yeast shipment hadn’t arrived and I used the last of it for the ricotta. So I did use a little Daiya mozz shreds in the end. Totally yummy. Served with a build-your-own salad bar (we all like different toppings) and a loaf of fresh bread (I love making homemade bread – house always smells so yummy!).

Then it was off to Nashville! Thursday A and I went to a veg place called Wild Cow. It was SO good. We had the vegan spinach/artichoke dip, and I had a tempeh Ruben with mashed sweet potatoes.

Friday afternoon was Thai! According to A, New Orleans is lacking in the Thai food department, so that was definitely on the agenda.

Friday we stopped for a drink before meeting up with A’s high school friends for dinner, where I had a really yummy veggie fajita.

Saturday we went for drinks and dinner with her brother before heading to the concert. I had a raw squash salad that was amazing. Watermelon sorbet too – which was only ok.

This morning we went to First Watch for breakfast where I had their Powerbowl – coconut milk chia seed pudding topped with fresh berries, blackberry preserves, and granola with a side of artisan toast.

FITNESS

Early in the week was runs and spins. None since I got to Nashville – except a ton of dancing at the show!

LIFE

Quite a busy week! My guy and his son, me and R and Kuma hit up Home Depot Tuesday evening to pick up tools for the upcoming flooring project. Then it was dinner for 6 at my house! Lots of fun and the kids all watched a movie too.

Wednesday was a ton of meetings and then a late wine meeting with a venture capitalist who’s backing a software company I’m looking at. Then it was home to pack.

Thursday I had an early flight to Nashville. I landed around 10 and headed to a Starbucks to await A, who was driving up from NOLA. Was perfect because I got all my school stuff done.

We went to her brothers, went to grab food, and then had a chill night of hanging out and catching up over a bottle of wine for us and some bourbon for JJ!

Friday was relatively low key too. I was up several hours early, so did more school stuff. Then A and I went for coffee and pedicures. She showed me around parts of Nashville – which is a beautiful city.

Dinner was with a group of A’s friends from High School. One I had met before in Virginia Beach. All really sweet ladies, and then we went back to H’s house to hangout for a bit.

Saturday was literally a day of drinking and music and it was amazing. We stopped at one quick place (where I had a cider and a sour beer) before going to the really famous area where all the music stuff is. We spent the afternoon at a place called Tootsie’s drinking beer and listening to bands. People can just walk in and play and it was so cool. I really loved this 15 year old girl who got up and sang House of the Rising Sun. Made me totally miss my Dad – he’d have loved it.

Also got a wicked cool rendition of The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

And then – off to the main event! The entire reason we came here – other than to see each other of course. Sleigh Bells, the Pixies, and Weezer show! It was totally amazing. We had pit tickets so we were right up at the stage. It was just shy of 4 hours of music and dancing.

We crashed hard when we got back and today has been low key. Breakfast and will be leaving for the airport soon to come home! I miss my kids and my pups and my guy and I’m ready to sleep in my bed! Will be sad to say goodbye to A since I don’t know when I’ll see her again, but all told, this was an amazing trip!

All About Balance

FOOD

So I didn’t do an additional 3 days of all smoothies, but it has still been a gentle eats week for the most part.  Morning smoothies and fresh juices (they never get old), fruits, salads, and whole foods in general.

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!
keeping the fresh green juice flowing!
today's minty watermelon citrus frosty
today’s minty watermelon citrus frosty
enjoying said frosty poolside with studies
enjoying said frosty poolside with studies
vanilla/orange smoothie
vanilla/orange smoothie
BAS
BAS
poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.
poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.
BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.
BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.
quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots.  I love just munching on these as a snack.
quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots. I love just munching on these as a snack.
Pho!!  All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it's usually fried and I wasn't feeling fried foods)
Pho!! All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it’s usually fried and I wasn’t feeling fried foods)
picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it  - and only got 4 ounces!  Still - smells amazing and I can't wait to use it (or gift it).
picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it – and only got 4 ounces! Still – smells amazing and I can’t wait to use it (or gift it).
tonight's dinner - which was really awesome - brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale
tonight’s dinner – which was really awesome – brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale
up in C'ville at Brazos Tacos!  SO good (as was the watermelon margarita - not pictured)
up in C’ville at Brazos Tacos! SO good (as was the watermelon margarita – not pictured)

FITNESS

Honestly, the heat has been BRUTAL the past weeks.  >100 degrees most days, so I’ve been walking, yoga-ing, and treading in the pool.

LIFE

This was a fun week because I got to go out of town!  After the week I had last week, it was a welcomed trip because I got to do one of the best parts of my job, see wonderful people and friends, and go to bed STUPID early since it was just me and my hotel room!  I had meetings at one of our hospitals that just happens to be in the same town where my grad school university is!  So – I got to have a few meetings on campus as well as the meetings at the hospital.  Plus seeing classmates that live there is always a bonus.  All in all, this week very much balanced me.

in the PepsiCo forum on grounds meeting my professor.  Love the "firstcoffee tradition
in the Pepsi Co forum on grounds meeting my professor. Love the #firstcoffee tradition

To explain a bit about my program – there are 29 of us in my cohort, and while we have classes 3x per week, it’s virtual via Adobe Connect.  We meet in person in various global locations for 2-week residencies (US, Brazil, and China so far – Europe, India, and another US to come).  So my classmates are literally all over the world – it’s pretty freaking amazing.  We also meet virtually to study several times per week, so we’re all always in contact and often very close, even though we don’t see each other often.  So – when I do get to see any between residencies, it’s always extra special.

I was back late Thursday for budget meetings and then regular stuff on Friday.  Best of all, a friend (and classmate) had her baby yesterday (mom and baby doing great!) and I can’t wait to meet and spoil the heck out of him!

Always – fun pics!

Bumble - living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.
Bumble – living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.
because I think this is funny (and true!)
because I think this is funny (and true!)

Staying Juicy!

“FOOD”

I put food in quotes because I’ve been on a juice cleanse for the past three days!

It’s been a very easy going 3 days, to be honest.  It’s been way too long since I’ve done one, and since going back to school my eating and drinking habits have gone to hell and I managed to find a few pounds I thought I lost a decade ago.

I decided that a reset was in order, and planned this fast for mid-week.  I like weekdays vs weekends since you’re so busy at work and there are fewer food distractions.  I had plenty of energy and, aside from the various juices, also had tons of water.  I averaged 220 ounces of water per day.

I did a blend of juices I made myself and some I had shipped from Jus.  All told, yummy and I feel wonderful!  A friend in Kenya did it with me too!  It was nice to have another soul doing this at the same time.

green juices are always my favs
green juices are always my favs

20160720_123034728_iOS 20160720_145619603_iOS

called booster shots - straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did
called booster shots – straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did

20160720_191214180_iOS 20160721_125217733_iOS 20160721_134927355_iOS 20160722_133055043_iOS

my last juice - while flipping through a cookbook.
my last juice – while flipping through a cookbook.

I’m considering migrating to a smoothie fast for 3 days to get a deeper reset.  Well see, but will keep ya posted.

Speaking of smoothies, the whole fam is joining the #smoothieselfie movement!

20160722_121900855_iOS 20160721_122638583_iOS 20160720_123715949_iOS

even R joined in!  I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!
even R joined in! I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!

 

FITNESS

Strenuous fitness while on a cleanse is a pretty poor idea.  I hit up a lovely gentle/restorative class Wednesday night.  Thursday was a bad day (not the cleanse – work), so I pretty much got through the day until I could go to bed!  Today I went hiking at the state park with my youngest daughter and the pups.  I physically feel fine, and by today I felt mentally better to.

20160722_171630613_iOS

LIFE

Not going into too much here.  Been a rough week, but you know what.  They happen.  And what matters is how you move forward, and that’s what I’m going to do.  I will focus on the loves in my life (my husband and kids, friends, and school) and the rest is what it is.

Speaking of my studies.  She’s back!  Ginny, my #fluffystudybuddy

20160721_214012733_iOS

Of course we need other fun pics to wrap up the post!

D & M
D & M
D & R
D & R

20160721_112217215_iOS 20160722_223812878_iOS 20160722_225224001_iOS

 

Everyone Should Pop Up for Dinner!

Okay, this post is going to be exclusively about dinner last night.  Yes, it was that epic that it gets a whole post on it’s own!

I met Fran Costigan (@goodcakesfran) on the plane last Thursday on the way to Austin.  Immediately, it felt like we’d known each other for years.  I love it when that happens!

Anyway, she invited me to a pop up dinner that was held last night by a group called Supper Friends here in Austin.  It’s a multi-course plated dinner that’s served in a lovely place called the Swoop House.  They have rotating guest chef’s, and in honor of our vegan bloggers conference, the dynamic brother duo of Chef Chad Sarno (@chadsarno) and Derek Sarno (@wickedhealthy) were the hosts of last night’s Supper Friends.

Fran, Colleen (co-founder of VegNews magazine), and I uber’d it over to Swoop House to begin our dining adventure.

First – the location.  It’s a house in an older neighborhood that has been repurposed to be a pop-up dining location.  The grounds were gorgeous, and the inside was adorable as well.

WP_20150530_012 WP_20150530_013 WP_20150530_014 WP_20150530_022 WP_20150530_021 WP_20150530_020

As soon as we walked in, we were each given a glass of white sangria and the canapés were passed around.

these were amazing!  There was a slight kick of heat to the jam that made these delicious.
these were amazing! There was a slight kick of heat to the jam that made these delicious.
another amazing dish that, from what I hear, tasted just like lox - but made from carrots.  Genius.
another amazing dish that, from what I hear, tasted just like lox – but made from carrots. Genius.
this blintze was also divine.  And I have to say, incredibly cute in it's tininess.
this blintze was also divine. And I have to say, incredibly cute in it’s tininess.

After hors d’oeuvres were served, we were all invited to find our way to our assigned seats to begin the meal.

WP_20150530_019

my seat!
my seat!
the menu
the menu
I met this very lovely woman - Whitney - who works for Miyoko's Kitchen.  She's from the same hometown as D, so that was a fun conversation!
I met this very lovely woman – Whitney – who works for Miyoko’s Kitchen. She’s from the same hometown as D, so that was a fun conversation!

The first course came out, and it was simply amazing.  Called Golden Beets, it was beets three ways with a merlot gel, candied pecans, grapefruit, vegan cheese and horseradish.

WP_20150530_026

The second course came out, which was a Ricotta & Tomato dish paired with a 2012 Sangiovese wine from Italy.

Again, a totally perfect dish.  The tomato confit with leeks and the crispy bread was so luscious.  And the ricotta spread and the dehydrated tomato slice just made all this excellent.
Again, a totally perfect dish. The tomato confit with leeks and the crispy bread was so luscious. And the ricotta spread and the dehydrated tomato slice just made all this excellent.

The third course was called Wicked Nicoise.  I think this may have been the most talked about, because Chef’s Chad and Derek managed to make something that looked and tasted like a hardboiled egg – from tofu and potato!  The olive dirt on the bottom (which isn’t dirt, by the way!), green beans, and mustard seed vinaigrette made this so perfect.  It was paired with a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.

WP_20150530_031

The fourth course was my favorite!  A Spring Ravioli stuffed with spring peas fava beans, mint, and other herbs, with a sherry parmesan cream sauce.  It’s one of those dishes that feels creamy and indulgent – but not heavy.  Which was really the whole meal, now that I think about it!  It was paired with a 2012 Seven Hills Riesling.

I have to learn how to make this!
I have to learn how to make this!

The fifth course was a King Scalloped Mushroom.  It was served with asparagus, corona beans, and sorrel pesto.  It was paired with a very yummy 2012 Pinot Noir.

WP_20150530_035

The final dessert dish – called Drunk Fruit – was also completely life altering in it’s yumminess.  An amaretto gelato with berries, melon, fennel, white balsamic and pistachio.  Paired with a 2012 Moscato.

WP_20150530_036

So that was the food!  The company was also completely amazing, and I admit to feeling star struck more than a few times.  At my table, aside from Fran, Colleen, and Whitney, was Miyoko Schinner – who revolutionized vegan cheese.  Here’s a link to her three books if you’re interested.  I can tell you that I’ve EATEN her cheese all week, and you should be interested!  (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mikoyo+schinner&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amikoyo+schinner).  She also started Miyoko’s Kitchen, a wonderful vegan business that is making and marketing vegan cheeses to establishments and groceries.  I’m hoping it’ll be at a Whole Foods near me very, very soon!

Oh, and there was Ellen Kanner, author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost, Allison from Seed Food and Wine in Miami, Betsy from Delicious TV and Vegan Mash-Up.  I also got to talk to the lovely couple behind Olives for Dinner.

Of course, I had to get a picture with the Chef’s!  I tried to convince Chad to move to Virginia, but I don’t think he’s interested.  He has an culinary course that I just may have to take!

WP_20150530_037

watching them work with such focus was a great addition to the dining experience.
watching them work with such focus was a great addition to the dining experience.

After dinner, it was an Uber ride back to the hotel with Fran and Colleen, and a lovely feeling of having one of the most satisfying meals of my life.  So yea.  GREAT time!  This was my first pop-up dinner experience, but hopefully not my last!

When Did I Become a Fuddy Duddy?

FOOD

Okay, so one thing about California I could get used to is the food!  Of course I’m on East Coast time, so I was up at a ridiculously early time this morning.  What that did allow me though, was the chance to actually go out for breakfast.

I found my way to a place called Sol Cal Café not far from my hotel and the convention center, and I was totally thrilled.  All vegan and healthy place, I not only got a tour of their offerings from the gentleman that worked there, but I also had an incredible breakfast!  I may have also sampled two of their coconut milk based homemade ice creams, but that’s so okay….

They make cold pressed juices, and I opted for the Happy Roots (beet, lemon, ginger).  It was so good, and a fresh juice after traveling is just what I needed.  I also decided on their waffle breakfast.  Gluten free waffles with blackberries and coconut cream.  People, I’m telling you….ridiculous.  I want to eat this all the time.

WP_20150314_001

felt totally indulgent, but didn't sit heavy at all.
felt totally indulgent, but didn’t sit heavy at all.

Lunch was during the conference, and V and I walked a couple of blocks to a place called Mary Jane’s.  It was pretty much a diner (with terrible service), but my veggie chili was tasty.

super simple.  Black beans corn, tomatoes, and peppers.  Not fancy, but still good and not a huge serving, which was nice.
super simple. Black beans corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Not fancy, but still good and not a huge serving, which was nice.

Dinner was at Queenstown, which was a neat little place.  They put their wine in totally non-fancy water glasses, and that made me like them even more!  I was a bit surprised at their lack of flexibility to accommodate vegan eats on their menu, but totally made due.  An appetizer of a raw veggie plate and a meal of quinoa salad was more than enough to make me not hungry.

horrible lighting, so my apologies.  Carrots, broccoli rabe, jicama, pita, hummus, and a sauce I didn't eat because it had cheese.
horrible lighting, so my apologies. Carrots, broccoli rabe, jicama, pita, hummus, and a sauce I didn’t eat because it had cheese.
red and white quinoa with celery, carrot, cucumber, sunflower seeds, arugula, and an orange reduction.  Surprisingly good.
red and white quinoa with celery, carrot, cucumber, sunflower seeds, arugula, and an orange reduction. Surprisingly good.

FITNESS

I mentioned that stupid early wake up, so with time to kill I got my workout on.  Sunrise was pretty and I can’t complain about the weather!

LIFE

Well, it’s Saturday and I was technically at work all day, so there’s that.  I’m at a conference evaluating vendor IT solutions within the cardiac world.    It was a really good day in the sense that I got to see a lot of what’s out there and what companies are planning, but it was also a bit of a challenge because no one is really getting the long term vision and don’t have a real solid offering.  Someday it’ll be there, but not quite yet.  <insert sigh here>.

After the conference I went back to my hotel and immediately got quite restless.  It probably didn’t help that there’s an outdoor concert going on outside my window, and I think the entire hotel is vibrating.  At least it’s not country music….

I changed and pretty much left to walk around the city.  I wasn’t planned to meet up with my conference hosts until around 7, but I really didn’t want to listen to the thumbing electronic music, so off I went.  I walked through Little Italy and picked up a bottle of water and a newspaper and sat to read for a long time.  It was a really gorgeous evening, and while the news was depressing, it was still pretty fun.

It was then off for dinner and drinks, and back to my room because I’m still on East Coast time, and it’s WAY past my bed time!

Yet it will be about two hours before I can go to bed.  Why?  Hotel is still vibrating.  Concert is still rampaging outside (seriously, reminds me of my rave days!).  And what did I do?  Called the front desk like some old lady to ask when the concert would end.  11pm.  1 hour and 45 minutes.  And don’t think I won’t be watching the clock the whole time…and if they go past 11pm, I imagine I’ll be scowling out my hotel window at those “blasted kids”.  When did I become an old fuddy duddy?  Oh yeah.  Tonight, apparently.

sunset!  I'm a sucker for palm trees....
sunset! I’m a sucker for palm trees….

A Chance To Drink Your Greens…For Free!

I am so excited to host my first giveaway of the year!

If you’re a regular RunCrissieRun reader, you know how much I love my green smoothies, so I’m really excited to review and host a giveaway for The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet! by Tracy Russell.

So here’s a breakdown of the book, because it’s not just recipes, ya know.

The first part of the book is broken into an intro and an entire chapters about why you should want green smoothies in your life!  For many of us veteran green smoothie drinkers out there, the why may seem obvious, but if you’re new to the idea or have a family member you’d like to convert to the goodness of green drinks, then this is a good chapter for that!

There’s a whole chapter on how to make the perfect green smoothie also.  From tools (not everyone has a $500 blender) to proportions of liquid/fruit/greens/fun flavors and even a section of fixing a smoothie mishap, and freezing them.

The best part is the ingredients chapter – it really leads you to “build your own smoothie with confidence”.  And finally, the recipes!  This section is broken into chapters as well, based on what you want to get out of your smoothie – for example, post or pre-workout drinks, immune-boosting, weight loss or detox (a quick note, this is NOT a diet book and the author does not promote that green smoothies are the panacea of weight loss…but are a healthy addition to your diet, which generally means weight loss if you’re drinking smoothies as an addition to healthy lifestyle choices).

I have had the pleasure of making many of the recipes in this book, and certainly have a favorite to share!

InstagramCapture_109266c0-c916-48f6-b83c-f5a9ba53ff16 6tag_141214-091724 WP_20141216_07_08_50_Pro WP_20150101_10_40_51_Pro InstagramCapture_e19f8125-c726-43fc-aa8f-d98b664228be

Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean)
  • 4 ounces coconut water

Seriously, I’m not giving you directions 😉

Another thing I like about this book is that the nutrition information is listed with each smoothie, so if you’re tracking (like I am on MyFitnessPal), it makes life MUCH easier.

Okay, now for the fun part!  I mean, other than actually making the above awesome recipe…..

Please comment below if you’d like a chance to win a copy of this book.  The drawing will take place on January 30th!