Tag Archives: Yoga

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!

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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…

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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🙂

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Kuma tagging along

Kuma tagging along

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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

 

 

Home and Hydrated!

FOOD

Let’s just say that I’m incredibly happy to be home.  Neither Germany nor Finland were my favorite places on the food front, but it’s really irrelevant now.  I apologize now for how whiny I’m going to sound – at least I HAD food, so that was good enough.

I imagine had I been left to my own devices in meals (or had a kitchen), it would’ve been an entirely different experience.  The administrators of my program try VERY hard to be sure all of us in class with special dietary needs are well cared for and eat well.  I just think I don’t like German food as a whole.  In pretty much each meal, I found the food heavy and bland.  I’m typically “gluten light”, but that was pretty impossible while I was away.  There were literally days when bread was the only option.

Oh – and the most prolific veggie I was given was celery.  Braised, roasted, etc.  Very weird.

Breakfast each day was grapefruit and orange segments, bran cereal, and soy milk.

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One day I did order a beet/orange/ginger juice from room service.  It was amazing!

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Lunch was only eaten on occasion.  It depended on if what was served contained a vegan dish.  A few times they did make me a special dish, which I appreciated greatly!

tofu with celery and shoestring spuds.  Pretty tasty.

tofu with celery and shoestring spuds. Pretty tasty.

cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes.  Eh.  Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).

cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes. Eh. Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).

miso soup.  Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu

miso soup. Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu

a German ratatouille (which was actually gross - had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.

a German ratatouille (which was actually gross – had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.

more tofu!  And celery...

more tofu! And celery..

Dinner was also only an occasional event.  Most vegan eats were bready and pasta, and that was a challenge.  Quite honestly, I’d usually grab a salad from room service.

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our final farewell meal.  Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickels, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)

our final farewell meal. Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickles, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)

One exceptional meal stood out though!  One evening a few of us went to a restaurant after an afternoon and evening spent at a start-up incubator (called Axel Springer – freakishly amazing place).  I had this AMAZING dish of whipped vanilla carrots topped with mushroom ragout and micro greens.

I could've licked this plate if we weren't in such a nice place!

I could’ve licked this plate if we weren’t in such a nice place!

The other thing I struggled with the entire time – surprisingly – was water.  I’ve never been one who didn’t get enough H2O!  I easily drink a gallon per day.  That was impossible in Europe.  Water is never served at meals unless you ask (and it’s always bottled), and I found the significantly reduced water intake to be the most difficult.  Coffee, orange juice, beer, and wine – yes.  Water – not so much.

Needless to say, I’m so excited to be back where I clearly take my ready access to water for granted.  As soon as my plane landed, I bee lined for a drinking fountain to fill up my water bottle.

Naturally my first at-home meal was a big ole green smoothie!  Never mind that it’s my usual breakfast!  It’s always what I want when I first get home after travels.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale

coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale

For lunch, I made a quick meal (I had a ton of meetings and work catch-up to do).  Rice noodles with cabbage, water chestnut, green beans and peas, and a creamy sauce of silken tofu, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and hoisin sauce.  No real measurements, but one container of the Mori-Nu tofu blended with about 2 tbsp. each of soy sauce and hoisin, about 1/2 tsp each of ginger and garlic.

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FITNESS

I went for two runs in Germany as well as yoga.  That was by far the most fun.  I don’t know German – no one at the studio spoke English – but it was perfect anyway.  Everyone was super nice and all I can say is thank goodness for Google Translate!  Class was easy to follow without knowing what my instructor was saying.  Yoga is universal!

where I hit up a vinyasa class.  It as perfect - not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much

where I hit up a vinyasa class. It as perfect – not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much

I went for a run today and got caught in a total downpour!

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LIFE

Oh jeeze, not even sure where to start!  Of course the purpose of my trip was school and that was most definitely the majority of what I did while away.  We had some amazing school-related events (Axel Spring Plug & Play incubator was by far the best and most inspiring thing EVER).

We met with representatives from Aston Martin, CNN, and The Economist.  Helped people with start-up ideas work through things on their pitches, and spent time learning how Europe views the world (like the refugee crisis).  My mind is still blown from the entire trip, and I’ve taken away some amazing lessons that go beyond my classes.

Berlin is a beautiful city, but felt strange in it’s newness.  About 80% of the city was destroyed in the war, so almost everything you see is built post-1950.  But there’s an intense history underneath that is told in different ways by different people.  My favorite was a cabbie who grew up in Hamburg but moved to West Berlin in 1984.  His retelling of the wall falling was one of fear that the East German and Russian army would take him away.

I went to two museums while I was there.  One was Neus Museum where the bust of Nefertiti is (no pics allowed in that display)  and one was their Natural History museum.  Pics below!

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called a Face Urn and I love it

called a Face Urn and I love it

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this was amazing - to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!

this was amazing – to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!

rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin

rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin

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they LOOK like rocks and minerals.  It's melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war

they LOOK like rocks and minerals. It’s melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war

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meet Tristan the T-Rex!

meet Tristan the T-Rex!

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I went to the expo for the 43rd BMW Berlin Marathon, which was fun, and then cheered on the runners the next morning.

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I had a brief stop in Helsinki (where I want to go back and spend real time), which was beautiful.

um.  no thanks.

um. no thanks.

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Random other pics

the last evening, after classes were done.  Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!

the last evening, after classes were done. Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!

finally found a grocery - which was in a mall.  My goal was dental floss...

finally found a grocery – which was in a mall. My goal was dental floss…

goal achieved!

goal achieved!

my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!

my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!

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loved these!  France had them too.  Electric Smart Cars for rent

loved these! France had them too. Electric Smart Cars for rent

how I'd get around - take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names

how I’d get around – take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names

But – there’s no place like home🙂

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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!

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

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

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2 days of morning pictures!

2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!

Bonjour Paris!

Well, I’m coming to you from Paris as my first stop in a 3-city trip! 

FOOD

I will forever believe that the best vegan food I can get is in my kitchen.  Traveling (especially global travels) really nails that home!  What I wouldn’t do for a flat with a kitchen instead of a hotel room!

It’s certainly not all bad though, and I’ve honestly had some lovely eats in the past several days.

First – things I ate before hopping my flight last Thursday…

smoothies, of course!

smoothies, of course!

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I was in a hurry.  Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

I was in a hurry. Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

And since arriving in Paris…

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

no green curry :(  so sad

no green curry😦 so sad

I've been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

I’ve been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist.  My menu was custom made :)

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist. My menu was custom made🙂

simple breakfast eats

simple breakfast eats

room service.  Only bleh, to be honest.  Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

room service. Only bleh, to be honest. Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today's bfast)

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today’s bfast)

Overall, being a vegan in Paris isn’t the easiest.  I try to keep bread to a minimum (causes inflammation and irritates the RA).  Veggies and fruits aren’t hard to find, but to not have everything swimming in cheese is….

FITNESS

Before heading to Paris late last week, it was runs and yoga.

Since getting here, it’s been walks, hikes, and one run so far.

LIFE

Last week was the start of the school year!  Seems so strange to have only one of my kids left in regular school (as in, not college where the other two are!).

And it was all about spending time together before my nearly 3-wk trip out of the country.  That and wrapping up all loose ends at work and trying as hard as I could to prep for my residency and all the cases I had to do!

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after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

and here I am.  36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as delieriously tired as I actually was!

and here I am. 36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as deliriously tired as I actually was!

Paris is beautiful (of course), though I will say that the city reminds me very much of Washington DC.

Day 1 was walking around with a friend until our hotel rooms were ready.

Le Ard de Triomphe

Le Ard de Triomphe

lunch with M

lunch with M

courtyard view from my hotel

courtyard view from my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame

through a cab window :)

through a cab window🙂

Day 2 I went to Disneyland Paris by myself!  Being a theme-park junkie, it was awesome.

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And then classes started, so it’s all studying, all the time, with the exception of company visits, guest speakers, and some school-sponsored fun thrown in (like Le Foodist, a walking tour of Paris, and a visit to Champagne).

D and me on the walking tour

D and me on the walking tour

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

The rest of the pics are non-Europe shots :)  My standard morningpictures (now that school is back in!), cats, dog, and general mayhem.

first day of 8th grade!!!

first day of 8th grade!!!

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And now – going back to my studies!!  Au revoir (for now!)

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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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

D & M

D & M

D & R

D & R

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Doofus

That’s me.  Blogging doofus.  I appreciate the understanding that life is just so hectic that I’m struggling with the blog regularly.  It’s not that I don’t think about it.  But when I do, it usually means I’d have to skip studying (which, sorry, but hell no) or sleeping (oh HELL no).  So – I’ll keep trying, but until I finish this whole grad school thing, I may continue to be a doofus.

FOOD

Happy to say that eats have been more at home and bringing to work from home than dining out.  D and I get into a pretty regular (and terrible) habit of eating out too much.  This is largely thanks to summer, because D can satisfy his urge to cook outdoors – and ends up doing most of the cooking!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

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grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

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And aside from that, lots of smoothies (current fav is vanilla, mixed berry, and fresh basil!), salads, and simple and quick meals like baked potato tacos (baked potatoes topped with beans and hot sauce), tofu stir fries, and pasta dishes.  Also – D and I are making #smoothieselfies a thing.  And yes – we actually text each other these.  He almost never reads my blog, so he has no idea you now know this🙂

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

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made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

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Of course I eat more than smoothies!  I made some pistou (similar to pesto, but no cheese or nuts and much heavier on the basil).  I used that pistou in a few dishes – my fav was just blending up about 1/2 a cup with a box of silken tofu and some nutritional yeast.  Made a creamy basil-flavored alfredo I mixed into veggies and pasta.

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I even made homemade tofu green curry for the first time!   It came out great!  Not as good as my fav Thai places, but definitely better than some I’ve had!

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notice - only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

notice – only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

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FITNESS

Typical mixture of running, workout DVD’s, the gym, and yoga.  To be honest, the RA is has been flaring a bit since China so the running has been less than I’d like, but I’m feeling much better and lacing up more!

I will say – I should start running in my bathing suit (or at least, having that as a base layer.  It’s been HOT and on Sunday afternoon – no kidding – I jumped into the pool in my running clothes.

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

And because I’m on a group that does post-working “prove-it” selfies, here are a couple more.  Because I know you always want to see me sweaty.

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And my little yoga spot in my bedroom.

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LIFE

Well, when you last left your heroine (okay, I’m not likely anyone’s heroine, but roll with me on this!)…

D and I celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Williamsburg.  We had a blast and it was nice to get away (even though that was the weekend exams opened, which means I did NO studying at all).  It was worth it.

on our way home after a very good weekend

on our way home after a very good weekend

I then had 2 weeks to finish all my end of term exams, papers, and other deliverables, so I was literally in the office until 9-10 pm every day and all day all weekend after that.  Term wrapped on 7/9 and the new term immediately started.  Our school has no breaks – it’s 21 months of full time crazy!  But don’t let me fool you – I absolutely love it.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but everything I’m doing is exciting in some way.  And my family is so amazing that they understand why I go MIA for hours every day just to study.  Here’s the end of a chapter after a particular crazy chapter.  The first two sentences in the summary section made it all worth it though!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn't have tonic water. Otherwise I'd have been all over that gin and tonic!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn’t have tonic water. Otherwise I’d have been all over that gin and tonic!

R went to camp for a week and had (as usual) a total blast.  We took Kuma with us to drop her off and she promptly became the camp puppy.  D picked her up (I had class so couldn’t go), and the two of them passed out on the way home.  R and the dog.  Not D.  He was driving.

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pulling into camp!

pulling into camp!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

And I always have to end with gratuitous pics of Bumble, Ginny, and Kuma.

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all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she's being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she’s being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

rough life of a puppy.

rough life of a puppy.

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outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

it was hot. I can relate.

it was hot. I can relate.

first beach trip! We couldn't walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

first beach trip! We couldn’t walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

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#fluffystudybuddy

#fluffystudybuddy

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

Home!! Best. Place. Ever.

Okay, so I’ve been away for the better part of a month.  Between over a week away working nights to two and a half weeks in China, I apologize for the lack of blog.  Didn’t have access in China, and was too bloody tired after working 12 hour night shifts the week+ before that!

FOOD

Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of meal’s out!  I fell in love with a little place in Harrisonburg called Clementine’s, and went there most days while I was on my work trip.

China was a mixed bag.  The concept of vegan is totally foreign, so I struggled some on the food front.  In the hotel in Shanghai, things were fine.  Beijing was a different story.  Breakfast and lunch were pretty good, but dinner usually was watermelon and pickled veggies (hey – it was in the lounge with the free drinks….don’t judge).

last meal I made before my crazy trips!  Vegan lasagna!

last meal I made before my crazy trips! Vegan lasagna!

My Harrisonburg meals…

the Harrisonburger - totally amazeballs

the Harrisonburger – totally amazeballs

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

Various eats in China!

my school made this for me - which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to...

my school made this for me – which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to…

my most typical breakfast.  A salad and rice congee.

my most typical breakfast. A salad and rice congee.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

green tea soy frap.  This better be  thing in the US, because I loved it!

green tea soy frap. This better be thing in the US, because I loved it!

salad and grilled veggies

salad and grilled veggies

typical dinner - wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

typical dinner – wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

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fresh noodle bowl.  This was a regular as my lunch.

fresh noodle bowl. This was a regular as my lunch.

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veggie packed dumpling

veggie packed dumpling

more congee

more congee

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the purple thing is a steamed purple sweet potato dumpling. Kind of plain, but loved them.

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watermelon juice and coffee.  Had this every morning in Shanghai!

watermelon juice and coffee. Had this every morning in Shanghai!

FITNESS

Mostly hotel workouts – runs and yoga.  I did go for a few outside runs in Shanghai in the early mornings – which were pretty good.

I did go for one in the afternoon on the last Friday in Shanghai.  Upon which I was accosted by a man while at a stop-light (this was an area that would remind most of Times Square in NY).  He walked up, grabbed my boobs, and squeezed.  Not wanting to go to jail, I refrained from hitting him…but I did lose it epically.  I mean yelling, cursing, and cursing some more.  As one friend put it, I went “full Irish sailor” on him.  By the end of my tirade, I had about 60 expressionless Chinese nationals staring at me.

It took a few days for me to realize that this mans actions is not typical for anyone in China.  Thinking back on it, he may have been mentally disabled, etc.  In the heat of the moment though, it was hard to see rationally.  I imagine all those gawkers though that I was the one accosting him!

LIFE

Let’s see if I can explain the past month without getting too wordy.  Okay – work trip on night-shift to support a go-live.  It was great, and honestly put me on “china time” way in advance (China is 12 hrs ahead of my time zone)- to the point where I had no jet lag at all!

Then 2.5 weeks in China for my grad school residency.  Aside from classes, we had company tours, touristy tours (Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall), speakers (Frank Langfitt from NPR, the current chairman of the Chinese central bank, and many others), and general fun and mayhem (and hard work).

selfie in an alley market!

selfie in an alley market!

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a memory wall at The Great WAll!

a memory wall at The Great WAll!

The Great Wall!   I did yoga in a watch tower!

The Great Wall! I did yoga in a watch tower!

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mimosa's on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party.  On the Great Wall.  How surreal is that??

mimosa’s on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party. On the Great Wall. How surreal is that??

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me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

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Tiananmen Square.  We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival.  I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre.  It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

Tiananmen Square. We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival. I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre. It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

marching soldiers.

marching soldiers.

Chairman Mao

Chairman Mao

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

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The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

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Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Went to the Jade Buddha Temple with JG and OPR.  It was amazing.  Got to see monk’s celebrating some rite with their faithful.

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Other random pics

N's 40th bday celebration!

N’s 40th bday celebration!

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

the urban planning museum

the urban planning museum

a scale rendering of Shanghai

a scale rendering of Shanghai

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the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children.  Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children. Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

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the national liquor that MM picked up.  Highly potent!

the national liquor that MM picked up. Highly potent!

it's a red Wi-Fi tardis

it’s a red Wi-Fi tardis

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train station - bigger than my airport!

train station – bigger than my airport!

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

D sent flowers to my hotel in Shanghai for Mother’s Day!  I took a selfie with them🙂

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I got my morning picture every day too!  This became a highlight of a couple classmates and professors too!

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I missed my big girl’s birthday!  21!  D took her and the kids out to dinner where A ordered her first drink.  Vodka lemonade :)  She also moved into an apartment with 3 other people while I was away.  Not sad that I missed having to help on moving day though🙂

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And…we got a puppy!  They brought her to the airport when I landed last night.  Her name is Kuma!  We batted many around (Rio, Coco, Freya, Shiro, Tsuki, and a few others).  Ultimately, my friend and classmate (and little brother if I ever had one) JN’s wife CN came up with the name!

as soon as D picked her up!

as soon as D picked her up!

trip home

trip home

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nap time!

nap time!

hi, I'm Kuma!

hi, I’m Kuma!

afraid of the dishwasher

afraid of the dishwasher

chilling on the bed

chilling on the bed

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And cats….

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And I’m going to stop you before I post any more pictures, and go to bed because I have to work tomorrow.  So far, no jet lag, but here’s hoping it doesn’t flatten my tomorrow!

 

 

 

Prescribed Eats, But Still Yummy & Fun!

FOOD

I alluded during my last post to participating in a healthy eating program.  I swear I looked at it for months before deciding to jump in and try it out – and did so mainly due to two friends (AD and C) and seeing how balanced they’ve been.  Truth be told – since going back to school my dinners of Wheat Thins, hummus, and wine have reached epic proportions, and I could use some resetting of what constitutes a balanced meal.  With less wine.

So, I’m doing a portion control program called 21 Day Fix that basically dumbs down eating into categories – and you just fill the little tubs and eat the number of tubs based on your weight.  I have to say – makes it easy- though I realize I often don’t eat enough – especially when I take out the daily wine!

Here’s some pics of the plenty of eats over the last week!  I did have some wine (and a beer) this weekend, though they were accounted for.  Also – my OneNote document of eating plans!

planning ahead

planning ahead

tempeh taco salad

tempeh taco salad

stir fry veggies

stir fry veggies

the containers full of good foods!

the containers full of good foods!

soup

soup

my daily smoothie - water, vanilla extract, strawberries, and brown rice powder

my daily smoothie – water, vanilla extract, strawberries, and brown rice powder

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toast with hummus, tomato, cucumbers, and dill

toast with hummus, tomato, cucumbers, and dill

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yes...I actually like plain oats

yes…I actually like plain oats

make-at-work stuffed bells!  Steam a whole pepper, and fill with pre-cooked brown rice and pinto beans!

make-at-work stuffed bells! Steam a whole pepper, and fill with pre-cooked brown rice and pinto beans!

tofu sammich!

tofu sammich!

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dinner out - roasted shrooms, zucc noodles, spinach, asparagus, and spicy tomato sauce.

dinner out – roasted shrooms, zucc noodles, spinach, asparagus, and spicy tomato sauce.

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yes...D and I still send each other smoothie selfies....

yes…D and I still send each other smoothie selfies….

 

FITNESS

Oh wow – all the workouts, all the time!  Lot’s of workout videos, runs, and yoga.

Apologize for the sweaty selfies – it’s part of the group that motivates each other!

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so, it's the 3 of us taking a long walk around the neighborhood!

so, it’s the 3 of us taking a long walk around the neighborhood!

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LIFE

Well, 9 days of travels, time spent (more than I would have liked) at the Chinese embassy in DC, a great party for a friend having a baby, and a night out with some great friends too.

M, me, and J!  Such a great night and so glad I know these guys.

M, me, and J! Such a great night and so glad I know these guys.

Add to that the first roller coasters of the year (me and R!)

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we won SO many tickets!

we won SO many tickets!

 

Morning pics and cats!

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warm day outside, snuggled up and reading

warm day outside, snuggled up and reading

not sure that's comfy, but she was purring....

not sure that’s comfy, but she was purring….

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So – Ginny clearly decided I’m done studying for the night, so I’m totally OK with going to bed now…..’night all!

 

 

Blisters and Bruises

FOOD

Just being back in my kitchen makes me so happy!  Soups, salads, tofu, smoothies….all the grub that makes me so happy🙂

While I was away, D was a cooking fool.  It was awesome, because he’s always insisted that he can’t cook.  He made up a tofu/potato taco dish that was such a hit, he made it again my first night home.  Which was awesome because I was pretty much an exhausted zombie all day, and it was nice to have him cook for me!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

After a good night’s sleep on Sunday, I was finally feeling my normal groove on Monday.  Forgot to snap a pic, but had a mango, banana, strawberry, chia, and spinach smoothie for breakfast (and a bagel I picked up for a work meeting – won’t lie!).  Lunch was some veggie pho, and dinner was a pressure cooker split pea soup loaded with veggies, thyme, and liquid smoke for some fun flavor.

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I also did one of my fav things – banana freezing.  Apparently no one else in my fam eats bananas with the voracity that I do, and when I got home there were several that were too brown for regular eats.  So – peel, chunk up freeze, and then bag up for banana soft serve or smoothies!

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag...otherwise they stick together and are a pain.  I speak from very personal experience on this one.

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag…otherwise they stick together and are a pain. I speak from very personal experience on this one.

I started feeling not so hot on Tuesday so managed a BAS of romaine, onion, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and little else.

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Today was VERY not feeling okay, so I was happy for leftover soup…

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FITNESS

Full disclosure – I have about 342 blisters from last week.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the bottom of my feet are shredded.  I was averaging about 20 mi per day last week between morning runs and walking – and sadly most of my walking was either old flip flops or work shoes.  It’s literally hurt to stand!

Though yesterday morning was beautiful and I felt that since I didn’t run on Saturday (travels) or Sunday (zombie and foot pain day), that I definitely needed to run Tuesday morning.  Blisters were mostly feeling better and I figured it’d be fine.  About 1/2 mile in, I was annoyed, but insistent on ignoring them (I’m good at ignoring things – ask most of my family).  About 2 miles in I decided to turn around and head home.  I limped up to my front door and then left for work in flats (screw heels on blister day!).

chillin on the back porch after my "run" and before work!

chillin on the back porch after my “run” and before work!

I did yoga Monday and some light stretching today.  Some of the blisters have turned to bruises.  I think that’s a good sign.

LIFE

It’s so good to be back home!  The good thing is that so many of us were at the conference in Vegas last week, that I really wasn’t behind on anything.  That’s a good thing too, because it’s exam time for school, and all my free time is spent studying and getting prepped to knock those out.  2 this weekend, and 2 the weekend after!  5th class doesn’t have an exam, woo hoo!

I got home from the airport around 130am on Sunday, slept like crap, and was up super early.  So…zombie day.  I literally read all day and then curled up on the sofa with the family and watched the last Harry Potter movie.  It was kind of awesome to veg out though.

I also noticed that a whole bunch of people who traveled last week are in various stages of sick as hell this week.  Ugh.  Fortunately my job is pretty wicked, and as long as I have a computer and a phone, I’m good to go.  I have an empty inbox, multiple projects wrapping, and budgets reconciled!

One fun thing being at home during the day is the cats.  They certainly spend most of it sleeping, but they wander around until they find the perfect sleepy spots…

for Gin, it's seriously about sleeping in shoes.  The more recently worn, the better....

for Gin, it’s seriously about sleeping in shoes. The more recently worn, the better….

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

and an undercover kitty when they're not

and an undercover kitty when they’re not

And finally, morning pics!

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yes it's me.  Yes I'm sick so look like hell!

yes it’s me. Yes I’m sick so look like hell!