Monthly Archives: November 2010

December Detox

Today was rainy and cold. I think I brought the cold weather back from DC with me. It was 75 degrees here in Atlanta when we left on Thanksgiving day! Jason and I were both craving something warm for dinner. Well, at least, I was. We decided on a potato leek soup. I started prepping the ingredients when I realized that someone who shall remain nameless bought a fennel bulb instead of a leek. Oops! So we scrapped the soup idea for now and made grilled vegetable sandwiches instead.

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On our last day in Maryland, my mom, Jason and I went to the American Tap Room for lunch and my mom had the grilled vegetable sandwich. I thought it would be pretty easy to recreate at home and it was. We bought some multi-grain French bread and topped it with some brie, grilled portobellos, grilled onions, grilled zucchini, spinach and tomatoes. The brie was on sale at Kroger and sort of an after thought, but it really made the sandwich.

After several days of lots of food and drink, I decided that I need a detox of sorts. I’m not really sure what I mean by that except that I want to really focus on eating whole foods, real meals and less fake stuff. I get a lot of stomachaches and I’m always tired and I really want to see if eliminating certain foods (like added sugar and diet soda) will make me feel better. I have a hunch that it will.

I’m also going to take a break from alcohol. I like having a glass of wine, but more often than not it turns into many glasses of wine and I feel awful the next day. Feeling buzzed for a couple of hours really isn’t worth feeling crappy for an entire day. That’s not to say that I’m going to stop drinking entirely, but I’m just going to stop for a couple weeks and see how that makes me feel. I am encouraging Jason to do the same. Frankly, it’s easier to not drink when I have someone not drinking with me.

We didn’t get home until 11 last night, so we weren’t able to get Murphy from the doggie hotel until today. I missed this guy. Wouldn’t you?

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Day Three in MD

You know what else I am thankful for? Wi-fi. My mom doesn’t have wi-fi and it’s making it really hard to blog. I am managing to get a weak signal from the neighbor’s house. Yay for townhouses.

I can’t believe the 4-day weekend is almost over. We’ve been busy, busy, busy. We had dinner on Thursday at my dad’s house. My stepmother made a ton of food, including some special vegetarian stuffing and brussels sprouts (everyone else’s had bacon) for me. I somehow forgot to get pictures of most of the food, but we also had sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans and of course, there was a turkey.

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I was extremely full after dinner, but managed to have a piece of pie anyway.

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I started Friday morning out with a run. My mom lives right on the Capitol Crescent Trail so I always try to run there when I am visiting. My plan was to run 6 miles, which I did, but it wasn’t pleasant. I don’t know if it was the 2.5 glasses of wine that I had at Thanksgiving dinner or it was just one of those runs, but it sucked and I felt kind of nauseous the entire time. It didn’t help that it was cold and rainy out. I got it done and that’s the important part, right?

Since we didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with my mom (the joys of having divorced parents), we had a second Thanksgiving dinner at her house on Friday.

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My mom made spinach and meat lasagna and chicken caccitore.

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I made brussels sprouts and cookies.

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This morning brought another blogger meet up. This is the second time I’ve met up with bloggers in the past week. When it rains, it pours, right? I met up with Erin, Emily, Sana and Erin’s roommate at Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast.

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I had some sort of porridge that was one of their daily specials. I don’t know what it is, but oatmeal always tastes so good to me in restaurants and so blah when I make it at home. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

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I used to get nervous at blogger meet-ups, but everyone is always so nice as were these ladies. We had a nice time chatting.

Jason had requested that we check out Ben’s Chili Bowl while we were here. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had several vegetarian items on their menu so I was pumped to try it out.

We walked to the metro and took it to the U Street station and were kind of bummed to see a huge line that wrapped around the building.

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We wouldn’t have minded waiting if it wasn’t windy and freezing outside. Instead of waiting, we walked down the street and ended up in a noodle place. A huge bowl of warm noodle soup was perfect to warm us up.

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Ben’s Chili Bowl will have to wait for next time, I suppose. One more night here and then back to Atlanta, so I’m off to enjoy it. Although, it’s really freakin’ cold out…

I am thankful

Sometimes at Thanksgiving dinner, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. We didn’t do that this year, but I thought of some things anyway:

*I’m on my mom’s PC and don’t know how to make a bullet point. My list would look prettier with bullets. Alt + a bunch of numbers? Seriously, PC get with the program, option 8 is way easier.*

Mostly I am thankful that my dad has recovered. He had major surgery in March and, after a few complications that landed him back in the hospital, he seems to be doing totally fine.

I am also thankful for my best friend, my husband. I know that sounds so cheesy, but it’s true. Both that I’m thankful for him and that he’s my best friend.

We got to come to DC this year for Thanksgiving. Last year, I decided to stay in Atlanta and while we did make a Thanksgiving dinner, it just wasn’t the same. Due to the nature of Jason’s job (he’s in tv), he normally doesn’t have holidays off. But he requested off for this Thanksgiving last year and he was granted his request. When you aren’t able to always spend holidays with your husband, it makes the ones you can spend together very special.

Murphy. He is also my best friend. He’s like a person. We had to board him while we came to DC. We went to a new place and they have webcams so we’ve been watching him. He looks so sad! It’s good to know that he’s been cared for but he just looks like he misses us. He’s just laying there. 😦 I wish I could have brought him to DC but I keep telling him that he’d have to fly with the luggage and he wouldn’t like that.

Then of course, I’m thankful for my family and friends and having a job and being in good health.

See, wouldn’t that list look better with bullets? I suppose I could google how to do it on PC, but I’m lazy.

I took a bunch of Thanksgiving pictures, but posting them requires downloading them to my macbook, finding my mom’s internet cable and unplugging it from her PC to the macbook. You all know what a turkey looks like anyway!

For any local, DC-area bloggers – we’re having a little blogger get-together on Saturday morning in Bethesda. If you would like to join us, email me and let me know!

Dinner with Kristy and Laura

I had dinner tonight with Kristy and Laura (who used to blog) at
R. Thomas.
I hadn’t been to R. Thomas in years. It is one of those restaurants that I have always liked but just never really think of. I’d met Laura twice previously and neither one of us had met Kristy before, but we all got along like old friends. It’s so funny how that happens. Laura and I ordered the same thing – the Thai express. The waiter said it was his favorite thing on the menu and that he went for two years before he even tried anything else. Sold! It came with either chicken or tempeh, but I asked for tofu instead. I’ve tried to make myself like tempeh but I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t.

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The food was really good and we ended up sitting around chatting for a long time after we finished eating. We all said that we need to do these dinners more often.

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And trying to take a picture in the mirror.

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Fun times!

On Sunday night, I decided to make my own oven-dried tomatoes. They were good but they took like 4 hours to dry out. In my opinion, I’d rather just buy sun-dried tomatoes.

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I also made a couscous salad.

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Italian Couscous Salad
Serves 2

1/2 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
1.25 cups water
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
1 small can sliced olives
1 tbsp Ken’s Northern Italian Light Dressing
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

1. Cook couscous in water according to directions. I used a rice cooker, but you don’t have to.
2. Cool couscous in refrigerator and when cooled, mix with veggies.
3. Mix with salad dressing and goat cheese.
4. Eat

Relaxation

I wanted a relaxing, lazy weekend and I got just that and it was wonderful. On Saturday, I met up with my friend Joan at the Silver Comet Trail. We’d planned to run for 4 miles, but ended up mostly walking. We both aren’t very good at talking while we run, so walking gave us a lot of time to talk, which was nice. It was warm out – almost 70 degrees and we had a nice time. I sometimes forget to just slow down. I am constantly running – literally and figuratively. I’m always looking forward to the next big thing and often forget to enjoy the present moment.

I was telling her about the curry that I made from the Skinny Bitch Cookbook and how good it was and when I got home, I was really craving it for dinner. This time I added a lot more vegetables.

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With a piece of Trader Joe’s naan for dipping purposes. Yum. This curry is so good and easy to make. Jason has added chicken (which he cooked, not me!!) to it so you could certainly do that if you wanted to or any sort of meat, for that matter.

I managed to sleep until 9 am this morning which is sort of late for me. I always tend to wake up at 7 on the weekends which is when my alarm goes off during the week. I decided to go the gym early, to get it over with. Going to the gym in the mornings on the weekends always makes me feel productive. I also feel like if I take a nap later in the day, it’s well deserved. At the gym, I had a good, sweaty 20 minute interval workout on the elliptical. I don’t usually use the elliptical because I find it very hard to push myself on it. Whereas a treadmill you have to run at the set speed, the elliptical is very easy to go at a comfortable pace and that’s what I normally do. So today, I decided to do 1 minute at 150+ strides per minute and then 1 minute recovery. I really felt like this was a difficult workout. After that, I did some lower body weights.

Came home and made another Skinny Bitch recipe, or a version of one rather. I can’t find a link online, but basically, you crumble some tofu with salsa and add it to sauteed veggies with some spices and then put it in a tortilla. You’re supposed to use refried beans, but I had a can of kidney beans opened so I just used those instead. I’ve only eaten a tofu scramble in a restaurant, I’ve never thought to make it at home for some reason.

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Murphy was demanding a walk, so I took him, camera in tow. Since I live in the South, the leaves turn later than they do in the North and they’re still very pretty here. Of course, I’m sure by next week, they’ll all be gone, but I wanted to take a picture of my pretty street.

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The only problem to these pretty leaves?

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That is my front yard and, if you can believe it, Jason filled up ten bags of leaves like a week and a half ago!

Cooking Veg

The weekend is finally here. I am exhausted. My weekend plans include a run with my friend Joan, maybe getting my hair cut and that’s it!

At work the other day, people were ribbing me for not cooking meat for Jason. Even though I’ve reintroduced fish and seafood into my diet, I still cook almost 100% vegetarian at home. That’s not to say that I’m never going to cook a piece of fish or some shrimp; I just haven’t yet since I started eating fish again.

When I cook vegetarian at home, Jason has three options. He can eat what I make, he can eat what I make and add his own meat to it or he can make himself a completely different meal. We’ve talked in detail about this and he’s totally fine with it.

But some people at work aren’t. I’m not sure why my semi-vegetarianess always seems to be a topic of conversation, but it does. Several people were telling me that I should make meat for Jason. They thought that I should cook the vegetarian meals but then also cook the meat for Jason. I’m not a big cook. Cooking a meal that tastes good isn’t the easiest thing for me. I’m really not about to cook two meals. My husband is not going to die if he doesn’t have meat every night.

This woman that I work with recounted a story. I think her point was men like meat, but I got something totally different out of it. She told me that her husband was on blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. She decided to make something (I forget what it was) with smoked turkey instead of ham because she wanted to cook something healthier for him. He said that it wasn’t as good and that he can eat the ham because he’s on the pills! Talk about masking the problem!

Roni, from Roni’s Weigh had a great post about this. Just as she feels like she shouldn’t have to apologize for cooking healthy, I feel like I shouldn’t have to apologize for cooking vegetarian (and healthy.) I’m not saying that eating meat is unhealthy. I don’t think that. But I do think that going meatless a few meals a week is good for anyone, and it’s certainly not going to hurt them.

I’m lucky. Jason agrees with me on this. While he loves a good cheeseburger, he’s also fine with a veggie burger at home. I guess you could turn my argument around and say that what if Jason only cooked meat, isn’t that the same thing? Well, no, it’s not. While I have made a conscious decision to not eat certain foods, Jason still eats the food that I do eat.

What do you think?

Edited to add – I hope this post doesn’t come across as me being upset at my co-workers or anything, because I’m not. I just really wanted to hear other people’s opinions on the matter.

Crazy Busy

This week has just been insane. I have been going, going, going. It’s all super fun stuff, but I miss my relaxation time, not to mention my gym time. Last night was the first of two concerts this week.

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We were close to the front but not that close. My point and shoot has a major zoom on it. This was one of the few pictures that I got that wasn’t too blurry. Here’s a random factoid about me – I’ve seen Dave Matthews Band at least 25 times in my life if not more.

I went to the concert straight after work last night and didn’t get home until 12:30 am. I finally got to do a short run today, a 2-miler. It was the first time I’ve worked out in nearly a week! That’s highly unusual for me and makes me feel uneasy. I can honestly say that I haven’t had the time. Okay, fine, that’s not completely true. I could have worked out in Asheville, but I just didn’t. And then I guess that I could have gotten up early yesterday morning but again, I didn’t. Oh well. Taking 5 days off is okay. I need to remember that.

My week didn’t get any calmer after last night. I met two old co-workers for dinner tonight and didn’t get home until after 9. Then, I had to go to Kroger to get ingredients for something for a Thanksgiving potluck at work on Friday. Why couldn’t I get the ingredients tomorrow? Because we’re going to another concert! Then on Friday, I have my dinner club.

And then on Saturday, I will rest.

On our way home from Asheville on Monday, we stopped at Greenlife Grocery (which is secretly Whole Foods) so I could pick up some Buchi to take home with me.

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Look at the back. The Great Kombucha Crisis of 2010. Love it. Too funny.

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I decided to email Buchi and ask if they were going to start distributing in Atlanta anytime soon. And guess what? They are putting in a Buchi TAP at a Whole Foods that’s not too far from my house! I am very excited about this.

In other Kombucha news, I also emailed GT Synergy to inquire about why I couldn’t find my favorite flavors – raspberry and passionberry. They told me that passionberry was going to start returning to the shelves next week and raspberry should return a few weeks after that. Just in case you were wondering too.

Okay – this weird thing just happened. When we were at Grandfather Mountain on Sunday, the audio tour pointed out “Forrest Gump curve.” A small part of the road up the mountain was featured in the movie Forrest Gump. Jason just happened to change the channel on the tv and Forrest Gump was on AND IT WAS THAT EXACT PART OF THE MOVIE!