Au Revoir 2019, Bonjour 2020!

FOOD

Been a pretty good week. Not a lot of food, but what I did eat was yummy!

Bruch with my baby was delicious. Vegan burrito and festive drinks.

Grapes for dinner at Busch Gardens.

Morningstar Farms vegan chicken strips with greenbeans (I was hungry and this was fast).

Tofu green curry (of course)

Kitchen Sink Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 package frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp red curry powder or paste (I use the Spice House powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Directions:

  • Throw everything in your pressure cooker (I used my Ninja Foodi)
  • High for 6 minutes. Natural release for 10.

It was really, really yummy! Makes 4 servings.

Family Mexican dinner night out – vegan bowl and margaritas!

Today was an Eastern Shore lunch date for a Beyond burger and beer flight (of which 1 I just couldn’t stomach – so he drank it for me!).

FITNESS

4 gym days for that HIIT class and 2 runs.

I really do dig this class. But saying it’s a class isn’t exactly accurate. It is a daily curated workout where there are 15 stations. You exercise 3 rounds at each station, and each round is 1 minute. There’s a timer that indicates when a round starts and ends (there’s a 20 second rest period after each round) Each day is a different focus. Like yesterday was arms and back. Today was full body and core. There’s almost always a trainer or two wandering around to motivate and correct. There are also videos for each station to show the moves, so when I’m there and there isn’t a trainer (like today), I’m not lost.

So – here was today:

10 minute warm-up on the rower.

  1. Sit in a V position in front of weighted ropes and, using your core, flip the ropes over your legs.
  2. Using a TRX suspension trainer, put your feet in them, and then walk into an inverted V as many times as possible before the buzzer rings.
  3. Leg raises on an inverted incline
  4. Skierg (love this thing. It’s essentially a standing rower – more to mimic cross country ski motions with your arms than any leg work)
  5. Walking dumbbell lunches
  6. Pulley rope pull. This one you sit and imagine tug of war, but the rope is silicone and going through a pulley to put tension on it.
  7. Barbell squat + overhead press
  8. Rower
  9. Hard to explain this one – you hold dumbbells overhead – but in an X shape. Then touch elbow to opposite knee. It was awkward and I felt highly uncoordinated!
  10. Cybex Arc Trainer on a forward incline
  11. Combo move of dumbbell curls to overhead press while stepping up on a box and doing a knee raise
  12. V sit ups while sitting on a 1/2 bosu ball
  13. Cybex Arc trainer upright (not forward incline)
  14. While lying back, raise legs and move in a half circle to one side, back, and then the other
  15. Oblique crunches

Total circuit takes 45 minutes plus whatever warm up. You wear a HR monitor that displays on the screen to let you know how you’re working. Today I was feeling slow, but still burned 612 calories, so despite the struggle, it was still awesome.

I also like that it changes every day. I don’t do well with monotony.

LIFE

It’s been a really nice and mostly lazy week.

Thursday my guy and I hit up our wine bar and I stayed at his place, and then we had brunch in the morning.

Friday was cleaning and mostly hanging around the house. Oh, and an emergency vet visit because Kuma got into A’s stocking and ate chocolate! She’s fine, and after getting home, we snuggled on my bed watching Star Wars.

Did visit the guy for a bit that evening and finished the last Star Wars movie in the series before the new one.

Saturday was The Rise of Skywalker! I actually really liked it. I was never a big Star Wars fan (I was always Star Trek over Star Wars), but having just watched them all in the previous week, I had a good appreciation of it. Stayed over again.

A very hippie book was recommended to me, and I promised I’d read it, so I glad I got it at the library (and didn’t spend any $ on it). I’m trying, but I can honestly tell you I am not really digging it. But I’ll finish it because I did make a promise. But ugh. Sunday morning was wonderful and lazy – coffee and reading on the sofa with my bf. Then home.

Sunday afternoon R and I hit up Busch Gardens for arcade fun and Christmas Town. Honestly, the lights were beautiful. It always does blow me away.

Was hoping for an air hockey rematch battle, but it was busted

Monday it was really warm out – so it was run fun and I honestly can’t recall what else 😳. Grocery shopping probably.

Tuesday I went to see my good friend M, who is moving to Nashville this weekend. Going to miss him and his wife very much, but I have friends all over the world I manage to see on occasion, and I have no doubt we’ll visit M&R over the years.

Then it was time to hit up the outlet mall with R to spend some gift cards and then meet up with all the fam, minus my eldest, for NYE dinner.

We went home, I rented a movie, and was in bed by 1030!

2019 really flew by. It was mostly a good year, but I’m not sad to see it go. The past decade has been really eventful! Obtained 2 degrees (and the majority of a 3rd), raised a family, got divorced, made some of the most amazing friends a girl could have, traveled the world, lost my Dad, discovered what drives me and makes me passionate, found love, and, more than anything, realize just how much I like me. Will I always strive to be a better person? Absolutely. But by and large, I like who I am as a person, what I stand for, my independence and strength, and who I surround myself with.

So 2020 is here – now what? For me, big focus is on graduating with my doctorate. No reason I can’t finish this year – just means a lot of work (not like that’s anything new – but this is now all self guided research and writing). It’s really exciting! And then focusing on what to do with it, which I’ve certainly been giving a lot of thought to.

One thing I will occasionally do is take on a “project food”. My dad always said that if you don’t like something you eat, it is because it wasn’t prepared in a way you like. I took that to heart, and over the years, I’ll tackle a food I didn’t like, but make myself try it and prepare it in various ways over a year. If I still hate it, then I know I at least tried. I’ve done this with blueberries (used to hate them unless in a muffin), beets, and mushrooms. Mushrooms I say are a partial success. I like portobellos, but that’s about it. This year’s project food – WHISKEY!

Yes, I know it’s not a food, but if you’ve read recent posts, you know I’m pretty obsessed with becoming a whiskey drinker. My eldest and son-in-law even bought me a nice bottle for Christmas. And I picked up one recommended by my best friend too. So – I’m not sure how it’ll go – I’ve always disliked it – but I’m going to give it a shot! Wish me luck.

First attempt….

Random pics from the week that don’t fit anywhere else!

Not bad, considering most my free time is spent on school! I love to read, and while I do a blend of professional and fiction books – I know there’s more fiction in here than non!

Home Sweet Home

FOOD

I didn’t snap a pic of it, but my Christmas dinner made by my BIL was Tofurkey sausage, baked potato, sweet potato, and corn. It was very filling and yummy and I couldn’t finish my plate!

Thursday I had lunch with my boyfriend – Thai of course!

Dinner was veggie burgers. Nothing fancy.

Friday morning was a smoothie, lunch was a slow cooker sweet potato, white bean, and kale soup, and dinner was R and I out with my guy and his son at Yard House where I had the gardein orange “chicken”.

Saturday was an oatmeal and banana breakfast, and lunch was busting out the Ninja Foodi for a brown rice with roasted sweet potato and tofu meal. SO good. Plus a BAS (big ass salad). I made a vegan ranch dressing for the salad and for dipping veggies.

Dinner Saturday was out with my guy at the Grilled Cheese Bistro in Norfolk. I had a vegan caprese sammich that was epically delicious. I couldn’t finish it – but I really wanted to! Before dinner, we stopped for drinks at one of our fav eclectic spots downtown.

This morning was a breakfast salad at Whole Foods and then leftover soup for lunch. Snacked on some veggies with dip too.

FITNESS

Friday I did a YouTube spin class in my garage followed by some yoga.

Yesterday I went to the gym and did the weight circuit and then ran 3 miles.

Also – today marked a 14 day streak for daily meditation. I’m using Headspace and love it.

LIFE

Okay, Christmas evening was spent at my sisters with my mom as well. We exchanged gifts and had dinner. After taking my mom back to her place, I walked Kuma and then R and I packed since we were hitting the road early the next morning.

My seester made me vegan cookies!
Little bear and mini moose!
Christmas afternoon cocktails with my sister
My parents look so young!!!
My mom holding me as a baby

Gift from my sister. So funny (and it shouldn’t be – it’s actually tragic)
Jordy getting jealous of my sister snuggling Kuma

Silly text with my guy about Kuma hogging the bed

And indeed, on Wednesday we were on the road by 540am. A quick stop at Starbucks, and we ended up pushing straight through to home with brief stops for gas and to walk Kuma. Traffic was strange – part of I-80 was shut down due to a major accident, so we were routed into Michigan for a bit. All was fine until we got near DC, which sucked royally. We should’ve gotten home by 930, but it was almost 1130 by the time we rolled in. But – felt great to get home.

Kid slept the better part of the 16 hr drive.

Thursday early my guy came over. Excellent timing as he helped save Kuma’s life! She had gotten into some chocolate my son left on his floor (ugh), and thankfully my boyfriend knew how to make Kuma vomit! Hydrogen peroxide on a pancake. Worked like a charm too – poor bear. Once we knew she was fine, we had some wonderful quality time together.

Thursday afternoon R and I went to the SPCA where we promptly fell in love with a 1 year old cat named Mena! She was very outgoing and demanding face scratches. We knew she was meant for us. We filled out the application and went home. Sure enough, the next morning we got the call that we were approved! They had to validate I owned my home and that Kuma was up to date on her immunizations. So – off we went! We’ve renamed her Luna (a name my boyfriend picked out and R and I thought was perfect). Her and Kuma’s meeting was relatively uneventful. I think Kuma is happy to have a kitty again. She’s missed Ginny and Bumble.

Saturday was grocery shopping and errand running, and then an evening and overnight with my guy. We were originally planning to go to Christmastown in Williamsburg, but decided to stay close to home. By the end of the night, we had gone to 3 bars and 1 restaurant. Heard some local music, and then went back to his place. Awesome night all around.

One of our stops was at Grain. I wanted to see the life sized ginger bread house in the Hilton Main where Grain (it’s a rooftop bar) is. And we’ve always enjoyed going there for drinks.

This morning we went out for coffee, and then he headed home while I went to Whole Foods. Went home, ran out again for some errands, and have mostly been just relaxing (aka – bored out of my mind!).

All my kids are now home! M got home from NY yesterday, and A got home from Toronto today! Nice to have them all home again.

And Luna is having fun exploring! The first day she spent much of it under my bed. But she’s been going around a lot, but mostly seems to stay upstairs.

Her food and liter box are in the laundry room, which I separate with a baby gate to keep Kuma out

So it’s been a week of home sweet home for sure! Going back to my old “home” to visit family for the holidays. Then the joy of coming back home to Virginia, which is very much our home now. To bringing Luna to her new forever home. All sweet indeed.

MY YEAR OF LESS

Well, still nothing great to report. Haven’t been overly contentious of spending, and that’s not good – that’s backtracking to old habits.

A Busy (and Tasty) Week, and a Sad Farewell

FOOD

Well, it was another week of typical eats, but with a few stand out meals out. There were tacos, potato tacos (where I put taco fillings on a baked spud), smoothies, salads, a deconstructed veggie burger, curries, stir-fries, tofu scramble, and this amazing quinoa/portobello/veggie dish!

FITNESS

What a chaotic week! Not one single yoga class fit my schedule. So – it was runs and home gym workouts!

LIFE

Last Friday we said our final farewell to Bumble. Such an amazing, quirky, and loving girl she was. A little over 18, she had a long life and brought a lot of joy to my family. We all miss her.

On Saturday I hosted a surprise bday party for a friend and her husband (who is one of my bowling buddies!). I made tons of tacos (hence all the taco leftovers), and the garage was converted into beer pong central. It was a fun time, and K really was surprised.

Also went to see Black Panther this week, which was just amazing. Beautiful visually, great story, well acted, but mainly I believe this movie will be historical for what it’s doing to lessen the “white washing” of Hollywood.

Did happy hour with a good friend of mine who is going through a divorce on what would have been her anniversary. We drank, hugged, and had a good time.

Spent a lovely day out and about yesterday in gorgeous weather with someone special. Shopped, walked, and stopped at a tavern to watch some sport fun. I’m just going to say – I don’t get curling! Also, UVA kicked butt against Pitt, so that’s awesome.

Today was another amazing day. 80 degrees! Called for a run and then fun at the beach with the two youngest and the pups. M brought his long board to skate down the boardwalk, while R and I walked along the beach with Kuma. Then we stopped for a bite before going home. Also did typical Sunday stuff like meal plan, make a grocery list, go grocery shopping, and cook.

Of course there was also normal life stuff, like studying and chilling with the family. This will be a crazy and intense week too. I need to work ahead a week for school since I’m out for a work conference, which means I’ll have no time at all next week. So yeah. There’s that!

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.
Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my morning juice when traveling
my morning juice when traveling
breakfast BAS
breakfast BAS
and another
and another
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...
Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...
last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…
roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)
roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome
it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

20161006_173618244_ios

Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!
at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!
me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!
that’s my driveway and front yard!
dude kayaking through the street
dude kayaking through the street
view from my front yard
view from my front yard
blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.
blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase
Ginny jumped in my briefcase
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.
I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...
I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…
Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.
Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.
spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.
spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.
that tongue...
that tongue…

20161010_132455276_ios 20161013_020737526_ios 20161013_025726302_ios

Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece
hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)
with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

20161011_123120190_ios

Kuma tagging along
Kuma tagging along

20161013_122801376_ios 20161014_123044275_ios

Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
me, JG and RM last night
me, JG and RM last night

 

 

Au Revoir, Paris! Guten Tag, Berlin!

FOOD

All I can say is – I’m definitely not traveling for the eats.  Ugh.  Vegan options here are just too heavy for the way I’d like to eat.  Honestly, my best meals are makeshift eats from the local market, and I find myself eating very little otherwise.  And I’m getting kind of sick of bananas.  But alas – I can’t complain because the trip has been awesome.

One thing I love the French for is a yummy Dijon beet salad.   Germany has yet to impress me much, but it’s early yet 🙂

do love me some ginger ale!
do love me some ginger ale!
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
more beets!
more beets!
my entree at the Eiffel Tower!
my entrée at the Eiffel Tower!
my last morning, took off to a little cafe down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
my last morning, took off to a little café down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
Starbucks in Berlin!
Starbucks in Berlin!  Because it’s universal
today's lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.
today’s lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

One of the grocery stores I went to (we actually did a case about them a year ago!)

20160917_094541037_ios

FITNESS

A couple short runs (1 outside, 2 on the hotel treadmill) and some in-room yoga.  And hiked up a ton of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s that…

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!
ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

I am excited that I found a hot yoga studio just down the block from my hotel here in Berlin.  It’ll be interesting because I don’t know diddly about the German language, but I figure I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I’ll be able to follow along just fine!

LIFE

Okay, busy few days!!  I may just tell it in pictures!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
and after...another bit of fun in the park
and after…another bit of fun in the park
me and J after the parade!
me and J after the parade!
walking back to the hotel
walking back to the hotel

Thursday night was spent at the Eiffel Tower, including having dinner at one of the restaurants.  We then went to the very top (a combo of a TON of stairs and elevators that move in a diagonal), and had just an incredible view.

20160915_161227619_ios

goofy face, and my "photobomber" is actually one of my classmates, MS!
goofy face, and my “photo bomber” is actually one of my classmates, MS!

 

restaurant menu
restaurant menu
not photobombing this time...
not photobombing this time…
The Seine and the city!
The Seine and the city!

20160915_193721521_ios 20160915_193916685_ios 20160915_194146361_ios 20160915_194953810_ios

After our last class in Paris Friday, and we celebrated with a lovely champagne lunch.

me and B and champagne!
me and B and champagne!

Then, me, NS (HUGE Liverpool fan), and WB left the group to hit up a local bar called Lush to watch the Chelsea v. Liverpool game.  Being the ONLY one in a Chelsea shirt (and only 1 of 2 supporters in the place), it was a bit unfriendly at first.  That vanished quickly when they realized I was a good sport.  The evening was a blast, and we hung out for a long time talking politics with the locals!  (They find our situation in the US both hilarious and troubling…pretty much like the rest of us to!).  Beyond that, I met some wonderful people, exchanged contact info, and hope to come back soon!  (and actually have Chelsea win…).

yum!
yum!
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
on the metro back!
on the metro back!

By the way, NS sang annoying Liverpool songs at me for 2 days.  I figure he ought to enjoy it now, because despite Liverpool’s win, Chelsea is still beating them in the EPL standings….

Did pick up a magazine for those rare non-school reading moments…

20160916_142515067_ios

Yesterday was traveling to Berlin (flight was delayed), but the hotel is freaking amazing!  Oh – did I mention that during my stay in Paris a Saudi royal Princess was at my hotel with her entourage?  Yeah – there’s that.  And the Berlin digs are even better!

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.
setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

20160917_174947944_ios 20160917_174952294_ios 20160917_174958923_ios 20160917_175008738_ios

Of course D is at home holding down the fort.  I missed R’s 13th bday 😦  However, A and M went to her school and took her for lunch in a little picnic – and then Skyped me so we could sing and I could see them.  The 6 hr. time difference is probably the worst so far in being able to talk to my family regularly.

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!
fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

20160913_165841411_ios 20160913_181440648_ios

me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!
me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

20160913_182406034_ios

2 days of morning pictures!
2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!

It’s a Soul II Soul Kind of Day

Bonus points for you if you get the 1989 musical reference!  Here’s a link if you did not…

FOOD

It’s been nice to have enough time at home to spend some of it in the kitchen.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as hectic as my life gets, I often give that up.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep the trend up!  I tend to forget that yummy and healthy food can be simple and not every meal needs to be a complicated affair!

Take today’s lunch, for example.  Totally amazing and yummy.  I took a whole grain pita bread topped it with a little BBQ sauce, red onion, crushed pineapple, and leftover citrus seitan from last night, baked for 10 minutes at 350, and had a tropical pizza for lunch!

WP_20160103_006

Other eats from the past few days…

Smoothies, of course…

WP_20151231_001 WP_20151231_002

Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice (which was really, really good – just followed the marinade on the bottle of Jerk Seasoning)

WP_20151230_001 WP_20151230_002 WP_20151231_010

for the rice
for the rice

InstagramCapture_94f1aa5f-ded8-4440-bf9d-496ffc512b6d

Made my very first batch of homemade seitan!  To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about something called “wheat meat” and actually ate it for the first time not too long ago.  Since I had time and the right ingredients on hand, I whipped up a batch.  It’s SOOOO good.

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker
after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

Last night for dinner I made brown rice, sweet black beans (also in the pressure cooker), and a citrus marinated seitan.  Totally, totally delicious.  With enough leftovers for wraps and salads for lunches this week.

before baking
before baking
after
after
dinner!  Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt
dinner! Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

I also made a batch of homemade yogurt.  Super simple – just plain soymilk, probiotic powder, and a little raw sugar.  I incubate it for 15 hrs because I like mine super tart.

My favorite toast – Ezekiel sprouted bread with sunflower butter, sliced banana, and a little agave.

WP_20160102_003

I roasted a bunch of root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets) with coconut oil and maple syrup.  Topped a baked potato with them – also really good.

WP_20151230_004 InstagramCapture_1badff4b-a40e-4092-9a62-f54f55c9b769

It got cold finally, so this morning I went with Irish oats instead of a smoothie.  With banana, cinnamon, and a very little bit of maple syrup.

made these in the pressure cooker too.  45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker?  Yeah...I'm not overly patient...
made these in the pressure cooker too. 45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker? Yeah…I’m not overly patient…

I had one meal out and it was quite a disappointment.  My area has no decent Chinese food.  I grew up with a few really good restaurants, and when I lived in the Seattle area – forget it.  The grocery store’s Asian food was better than anything I’d ever had!  Here in Hampton Roads, all the Chinese restaurants are take-out places with maybe 1 or 2 sit down restaurants.  When I was in Richmond in November and had lunch with JG, we went to Peter Chang’s – a sit down real Chinese restaurant – and my meal was awesome.  I was so excited to find out that one opened in Virginia Beach!  I was out shopping (in vain) for curtains, and stopped for lunch.  I had a clay pot of tofu and veggies, and it wasn’t all that great….

looks cool though...
looks cool though…

FITNESS

I’ve been running every day the past week or so.  Not terribly far (rebuilding some base mileage), but it’s been nice to get out there.

It’s strange going from shorts and a t-shirt to gloves and headbands!  Chilly weather is upon us.

New Year’s day I was up WAY earlier than everyone else, and since there was a gaggle of teenagers sleeping on my living room floor, I immediately left the house to grab coffee, run errands, and take my first run of the year down at the Oceanfront.

King Neptune as a running buddy!
King Neptune as a running buddy!

And this was me today after getting back from a noon run – my face is about as pink as my headband!  I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to smile – I was in a hurry when I took it 🙂

WP_20160103_002

LIFE

It’s been a really nice week.  Quiet at work, fairly quiet at home, no classes, and lots of time to study and relax.  It’s going to be tough getting back to reality tomorrow!

New Year’s Eve is always a quiet affair for D and me.  We stay home, relax, and I tend to go to bed around 1215!  This year was no different.  M had a bunch of friends over, and effectively kicked everyone else out of the living room!  A went to a friends house, so me, D, and R watched movies in my bedroom until just before midnight.  And as usual, I was out cold by 1215!

I meet with my classmate partners in crime tonight, which will be nice.  They’re a great group and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Otherwise it’s meal planning for the week (which is done), cooking, more studying, laundry, and getting ready for everything tomorrow (back to life, back to reality! – it’s the song lyrics if you didn’t watch the video)

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures…as usual…

snuggles
snuggles
her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house
her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house
the New Years Eve drink!  Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.
the New Years Eve drink! Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.