It’s The Final Countdown!

FOOD

It's been a relatively simple few days on the food front. Smoothies of course, including one called Carrot Cake today from http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com (totally check it out for some fun ideas). It didn't really taste like carrot cake to me (though to be fair, carrot cake is my favorite, so anything less than the actual cake may be a bit of a let down), but it was really tasty none the less.

D and I went out to dinner Saturday night, and while the two of us could have fun in a paper bag, I was very disappointed in my food. I had the chickpea/tofu burger in a lettuce wrap, and other than the carmelized onions, it had no flavor. The brussel sprouts weren't cooked enough, and also totally bland. D liked his food though, so that has to count for something.

Yesterday I stopped for lunch at a place called Food for Thought. Another farm-to-table restaurant with a southern/comfort/but healthy food fusion. I had the Ancient Grain Salad – quinoa and oranges on mixed greens. Not bad. Not worth $12.50, but not bad.

Dinner was with AC at Pasha's. Red lentil soup and wine and coffee!

FITNESS

I hit up a hot yoga class today, and it was totally awesome. It was a challenging class, but normal paced (vs. vinyasa, which is what I have been doing), so the balance was good.

AC and I are going to try and hit a night or two per week for a class. I think it'll be a good way to balance my at-home practice to be sure I'm not picking up bad form habits!

LIFE

Friday night was very low key. We went to bed pretty early, and get this…I slept for ELEVEN hours! Yes….eleven hours. And it felt so wonderful. I know “experts” say you can't catch-up on sleep, but I think that's a bunch of bogus. No way I would have slept 11 hours otherwise.

Saturday was errand running and then an evening out with D. We went to the mall downtown, walked around, looked at stuff, then went out to dinner. While our service was awful and my food wasn't anything I'd ever order again, it was still nice to just hang out. We were home by 9, stayed up a couple more hours, and still was in bed by a reasonable hour. I'm getting so old 🙂 I remember when I wouldn't dream of going out before 10pm!

Sunday I did a day trip to Williamsburg to hit up the outlet malls and then walk around in the cute cobblestone downtown area. I got a great haul (and deals) on fall clothes, and stumbled upon a street arts festival. I had some spiced cider, picked up a small gift for a friend, and then headed back to town to meet up with AC for dinner.

Okay, THREE MORE DAYS!!!! The count down has begun to birthday girls trip! Seattle, here we come!!! We have an amazing agenda thanks to CT's epic planning skills, but also enough down time to chill, cook, and hang out. I can't wait.

So there ya have it. I clearly made up this weekend for being sick in bed last weekend. Now I just need to get through two more work days (today was a good day), and then I'm off until middle of next week! Hope you all had a great weekend too!

 

What I Haven’t Eaten Is Still An Impressing List

FOOD

Daily green smoothies for breakfast is still my favorite thing. Mornings are usually so hectic, that it's all I have time for!

Yesterday was my standard smoothie, but today I added a scoop of Vega French Vanilla nutritional shake powder. I don't love “protein powders”, and I don't feel that my plant-based diet is even remotely deficient in protein (and in the US we're a protein-obsessed society and don't need nearly what we think we do), so I usually avoid it. That said – when I know my smoothie is going to be a long-term meal (ie – no chance to eat real food for several hours), I will throw some Vega in. Vega is so much more than protein – it's major antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. That scoop gives it some oomph, and staying power when I need it to. If you're trying to get more nutrients into your diet and are usually a processed food person – this is a good place to start.

 

Dinner tonight was a red lentil soup that was just amazing. I have been obsessed with an Anatolian Red Lentil soup at a local Turkish restaurant, but my attempts to recreate haven't been so successful. Lo and behold, I found this recipe. I used it as a base, tweaked it to be gluten free, vegan, and a bit spicier – and what I ended up with was a soup that I like MORE than the restaurant version. YUM. Plenty of leftovers too.

I also whipped up a batch of homemade soymilk. From scratch, it's less than $1 per gallon. And here's how I milk my soybeans!

 

Okay, so I decided to research fruits and vegetables. I want to know what I HAVEN'T eaten. I have said for a long time that I eat more and varied foods since becoming vegan, and I wanted to see what plants were out there that I haven't noshed. I found this comprehensive list and started scrolling. I have a LOT of food to try….

The most shocking on the list for me are those that aren't very unusual or hard to find, but still have never had. Like apricots and figs and persimmons.

FITNESS

Now that I can get to my treadmill again, I put it to good use last night. D was stuck at work until after 9pm last night, A was working, so it was just R and I. Since she spends the day at Y camp, I didn't feel like dragging her back there so I could workout while she hung in the child care area.

So I spent 45 minutes huffing and puffing and working on getting my running legs back.

LIFE

Busy. Crazy. Hectic. Awesome. My life 🙂

I worked from home for a half the day yesterday to accommodate the tree guy, pest guy, and plumber. Plumber and sheet rock guy come back Monday. Oy.

My Aunt J bought a VitaMix, and we spent some quality family time chatting about it last night. I can't wait to hear what she's whipping up in it.

D ended up being at one of his sites last night for 11 hours. It was near 10pm when he got home – hungry (the vendor didn't feed him while he stayed all night working his butt off to fix their mistakes), cranky, and exhausted. Then had to be back early this morning.

So it was just the girls and me last night. I got a lot of cleaning and laundry done, and caught up on Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef!

Since D had to be out so early this morning, I got to take R to camp, and snap the rare Morning Picture with me in it!

Work was fine. Only two meetings today – one with one of my teams and the other a more anxiety-inducing one. I had a presentation in front of all the senior executives today, and while I know my materials, my projects, and can answer any questions tossed at me, I still get very nervous in the hours leading up to it. As in I can't eat, forget anything with caffeine, etc. That's the reason I had my power-smoothie today – I nursed that sucker for 4 hours. My meeting was 1-3, with me being 3rd on the agenda. No way I could eat lunch!

And now – now I'm going to book my birthday trip. Big birthday this year – big trip. I'm so excited. More to come later on that 🙂

 

Knitting Requires Advanced Math

FOOD

It’s sad to say, but I’ve only cooked one big meal since Friday night.  That meal had 8 dishes, which means tons of leftovers, but still.  Just one meal.

Breakfasts have varied between smoothies (like this morning) and leftovers.

vanilla coconut milk, spinach, and frozen strawberries. Simple, but yummy!

Yesterday I made a tofu cheezy scramble tacos for breakfast, and that was fun!

tofu scrambled with nutritional yeast, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, tamari, and spices. I mixed in some of the leftover basmati rice, and served it taco style on corn tortillas

Sunday’s dinner was the main event.  I spent about 5 hours making various Indian dishes that culminated in a big feast with lots of leftovers.  On the menu was:

Garlic Naan, red lentil soup, chickpea masala, cardamom basmati rice, yellow split-pea puree (that was the favored dish), curried potatoes and carrots, cabbage salad with mustard seeds, and a beet, mint, and yogurt condiment (So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt was used).

Indian Feast

Lunch and dinner yesterday was a bowl of leftovers.

FITNESS

This weekend was mostly runs, with one bike workout.  With the crazy schedule with D and the kids, I had to work around them a lot.

I have my first injury of the season.  A fun one too!  I pulled a lower butt muscle on my right side.  The pain extends down to about 4 inches above the back of my knee.  I went to the gym yesterday to do some strength training; the same workout I did last Monday; but I could only manage one set of squats before I just hurt too much.

So here’s what I did.  It seems to be feeling a bit better today though, so I’m hoping for a quick and easy run this evening.

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Leg Raises in Captain’s Chair – Abs 2 10 Ico_delete
Jack Knife on Stability Ball – Abs 2 15 Ico_delete
abdominal Crunch on Stability Ball 2 25 Ico_delete
oblique Crunches 2 15 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Barbell 1 30 15 Ico_delete
Side Squat 1 15 Ico_delete
Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Shoulder Press w Barbell on Stability Ball 1 25 20 Ico_delete
Machine Dip 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Machine Pull Up 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 1 10 10 Ico_delete

LIFE

The kids and their friends had a blast at laser tag Friday night.  While they were all sleeping on Saturday, I took R to Williamsburg to do some outlet shopping.  Both she and M needed new shoes badly, so we took care of that.  It was a really  nice day, so we just walked around in the sunshine, had lunch, and then headed home.

We got home just after everyone started waking up.  I took a short nap, and the rest of the day was nice and lazy with an early bedtime!

Sunday was all about kitchen time for me.  D took R out to the movies and the mall (she’s he did something special with A and M on Friday, Sunday was R’s turn).  He came home with an Xbox Kinect!  Apparently there was one at the laser tag place, and the kids were going nuts with it.  D hooked it up while I was making dinner….and my kids were going nuts!  Here are some pictures of them doing some dance game.  D even picked me up a Zumba one!  Can’t wait to try it.

Yesterday was my final hat class at Knit Witts.  I’m very excited to say that I finished!  And it looks like a hat!!!!  I will say that there got to be a point where I had to move from circular needles to 5 double-pointed needles – and start doing advanced math to figure out how many stitches needed to be on each…it was a complicated mess, and I’m amazed it still turned into a sock.  Happy, but holy cow, it’s sort of crazy working with 5 needles at one time!

The next few days are looking to be quite crazy as well.  If all goes as planned, my friend will be admitted into the hospital tonight, and then induced in the morning to give birth to her 3rd baby.  While she and her hubby are focusing on that, I get to stay and play with her two kids, who are 5 and 2 1/2.  We have some fun planned (lots of cooking, games, and swimming if we can), so it’ll be a good time with them as they await their new baby brother.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fun pictures of them for the blog!

Greenalicious…Green Lantern…Lizard Woman….You Get The Idea…

FOOD

Green.  The color of the day, and the predominant color of my food.  I’m craving them like nobody’s business!  My youngest had a couple of books a few years ago.  One was called Pinkalicious, and one was Purplelicious.  There are more in the series now, but R is too old.  If you have a 4-6 yr old little girl in your life, I’d suggest picking these up though!  In each, she ate foods of predominantly that color, and her skin and hair turned to match.  That’s going to be me.  Greenalicious!

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie.  Unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious brand as always), many handfuls of spinach, half of a banana, and some frozen pineapple.

Lunch was a turkish red lentil soup and a kale and beet salad from Pasha’s (and a glass of malbec).  The waitress knew what I wanted before I even ordered, which is just funny.

I forgot my camera, so D took a pic of my food with his phone. Clearly my skin isn't green. Yet.
my pretty (and pretty amazing) kale and beet salad
and because he was being cute...he took a picture of HIS food. Turkish french toast. No syrup or anything, but he said it was incredible

For a mid-day snack, I made some kale chips.  I also whipped up a kale salad, and a smokey tempeh and greens stew with….KALE.   I will admit that I was too full to eat dinner (kale must expand 100 fold in my belly), so the salad and stews were left for today!

SO simple. Olive oil, sherry, and then sprinkled with sea salt when they come out after roasting 35 min at 300 degrees. Heaven pretending to be a green chip thingy

This morning I had coffee and fruit for breakfast.  Lunch was the kale salad I made last night (steamed a ton of kale for 10 minutes, then coated in a lemon juice/garlic/olive oil dressing).  I threw in some chopped beets that I picked up yesterday (cheating by using the canned kind, but was still awesome!).

okay, not nearly as pretty as the kale salad from Pashas, but it was good. I steamed the kale too long and used a bit too much garlic, but I'm more than willing to experiment on myself with future versions of this salad

I roasted a big bunch of beets (regular and golden ones) for use in a wild rice and orange salad for dinner tonight, as well as roasted a butternut squash to make a coconut/squash/rice dish.  Oh, and will be serving with some homemade baked falafel.  I guess you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to find out how THAT went 🙂

individually wrapped baby beets, heading into the oven for a long roast
I love winter squash! I actually like it more than summer squash...

FITNESS

This morning was another 5am strength training session!  Only 4 of us showed up (out of the 6 in the class), but we had one heck of a workout.  I’m seriously considering signing up for the next class when this 6 weeks are up.  Thanks to my sister, I track my workouts in a website/application called My Fitness Pal.  Since I already wrote it there this morning, I figured I’d cut and paste it.  Here’s the workout I did this morning, at least when I remembered of it:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Lat Pulldown 3 15 60 Ico_delete
Bench (Chest) Press, Machine 3 15 30 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Seated Row, Floor, Machine 2 12 60 Ico_delete
Front Raises, Straight Arm 2 12 5 Ico_delete
Abdominal Crunches 3 15 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Reverse Crunch 3 15 Ico_delete
Russian Twist 3 20 Ico_delete
Plank 3 1 Ico_delete
Flat Dumbbell Fly 3 12 75 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 3 12 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Leg Lift 2 30 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat 2 15 40 Ico_delete
Squat w Side Leg Raise 2 10 Ico_delete
Box Jump 2 15 Ico_delete
Barbell Row, Bent-over 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Dips 2 15 Ico_delete

Afterwards, I did a quick half hour on the treadmill.  It was 22 degrees out.  No way I was running outside in that, and until my ear ache is fully gone, I’m avoiding the pool.

LIFE

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  After church, D and I went out to lunch at Pasha’s (one of my favorite local places in Norfolk).  Since he’s agnostic (I’m Catholic), we just met up after I was done at mass.  Pasha’s has a jazz brunch thing on Sunday’s, so it was quite cute, just the two of us.

After lunch, we dropped the Bug off at the dealership and went home.  Then I did our weekly meal planning, and headed off to the grocery.

The rest of the evening was spent in the kitchen, and then watching Facebook for updates on the Green Bay Packer’s game.  When no one I knew….my sister, my cousins, or my friends who are diehard Packer friends weren’t posting about ANYTHING, I knew it wasn’t good news.  Alas, GB lost, and the season is over for us.

Today is a federal holiday, so my kids are off of school.  Since we’re down a vehicle, I stayed home while my husband took mine to work.  I had only one meeting, so was able to knock a lot more off my to-do list.  While wearing workout clothes and no makeup.  I love days like today!