Monday, March 7, 2011
Monday Back to the Grind and Eating Out Again ;-)
Isn't this the cutest picture of our little baby boy Nicco (aka Binky)? I know I am a proud cat mommy but I think my fur children are the most adorable babies particularly when they are being good. ;-)
Monday started with a bit of whimper since neither of us slept well last night. When that happens we both decide to sleep in rather than head to the gym before work. Whenever we drink tea (or any liquid) too late, we are up once or twice in the night which doesn’t help either of us get good rest. I do know better and didn’t think I had made tea that late in the evening but apparently I did since the same thing happened to both of us. *shakes head* No matter how well you think you are doing there is always something that you can tweak. ;-) I wanted to mention this in case the same thing is happening to any of you. I find that if I stop consuming beverages two hours before bedtime that seems to be enough so that my sleep isn’t interrupted.
Temperatures were in the 30’s this morning which meant breakfast for Dan was a big bowl of hot oatmeal with wild blueberries (previously frozen), wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseed, cinnamon, powdered ginger, stevia and walnuts. When it is cold outside it is difficult to get enthused about something cold for breakfast. Not to mention that when I tried drinking smoothies or juice when it was cold I seemed to stay cold all day unless I had a mug of hot tea in my hands almost constantly. I think we all need to figure out what works for us. Personally I prefer to have most of my raw veg mid-day during the winter after my body has warmed up and the day is as warm as it is going to get. This is something that I found works for me after much trial and error. However I wanted to mention this in case you are struggling with eating more raw food but live in a cold climate.
I did some simple strength training at home this morning and a little gentle cardio to get my blood pumping without stressing my knee. Exercising alone works better for me when I need to take it easy. My competitiveness comes out when I exercise with others. Does this happen to anyone else?
My breakfast was leftover soup from last night topped with leftover salsa. I know not everyone eats soup for breakfast and I never did when I was an omni. However since giving up meat, dairy, and other standard American fare now I seem to be able to enjoy eating anything without regard to what time of day it is. When I get up in the morning I make myself what appeals to me at that time. ;-) Once I let go of my need to have breakfast food in the morning there were many more options that opened up for me. It may be unconventional but it works for me. ;-)
Knowing that we were going out to dinner tonight with Phil and Jeff I decided to take it easy today on the food and skipped lunch since I wasn’t hungry.
My father called mid-day and asked if I could make him some chutney. Do anyone else’s elderly parents have chutney emergencies? As much as they rail against my healthy vegan food when they need something it is nice that they acknowledge that I am a good cook. LOL, they are too funny aren’t they? Since this is vegan, though not the least bit healthy, I will tell you what I did. I used ½ a pineapple with its juice, about 2 cups dark raisins, ½ cup sugar, the juice and zest of one orange, I onion peeled and roughly chopped, cinnamon, cardamom, about an inch of fresh ginger that I grated and a dash of vanilla. I cooked this until the onions were tender and the syrup was thick.
During the afternoon I stumbled on a show on PBS called “The Amen Solution” by Daniel Amen, MD. Since it was diet related I watched for a little while. I was a little surprised that the diet was very similar to what I believe with the exception that it includes fish. There may be more things that are different but that was all I picked up in the half hour that I was watched. The thing that resonated with me was that he talked about how different diets work better for different people. While a vegan diet works well for both Dan and me I don’t think it will work for everyone. Don’t get me wrong I think that a whole food plant diet is extremely healthy but some people may be so unhappy eating the way we do that it would be detrimental for them in the end. Once I get through the current stack of books from the library I will pick this one up and let you know what I think of it.
Here in a short video and article about the chemistry of cooking. If you are like me and like Shirley Corriher you will enjoy this 2 minute video. Also Shirley has a few cookbooks you might want to check out. They aren’t vegan but she does explain the science behind cooking which is very useful information no matter how you cook.
As if we don’t need another reason to stay away from processed foods check out this article. It is not good news but I think it is better to know these things than to be uniformed. This is another example of why I am happy that I don’t eat processed food for any longer. Bleh :-P This particular article addresses omni processed foods but it also explains the negative impact of IGF-1 that I mention often. I hope you take a few minutes to read the article and pass it along to your omni friends and family.
Next it was time to go out for dinner. Dan picked up the guys, then me and we were off the restaurant. You all know where we went right? Yes of course Ian was cooking, LOL. This was why he was worrying about food on Saturday we had warned him that we were coming back on Monday. While he likes to have advance notice that we are coming in I sometimes think it isn’t good since he seems to over think things when he as too much time to think. I wish he would relax and just wing things for us but he doesn’t work that way since he is a perfectionist. Are you starting to see why I always feel like we put him out when we come in? It is so sweet that he caters to us but since it isn’t a vegan restaurant and he isn’t tremendously comfortable with cooking that way I feel like we are causing problems. I know I am as bad as Ian only over thinking things only in a different way. ;-)
Fortunately Jen is working tonight which is great since she knows how we operate. It is always nice to have someone that “gets us” since we aren’t typical customers. When I made reservations I checked on the availability of Phil’s beverage of choice (Dewar’s). Do any of you check on things like that when you make reservation or is it just me?
Dan and I started the evening with a pot of tea (green with hibiscus, pear and strawberry). I love the color of hibiscus tea and just recently read that hibiscus helps to lower blood pressure.
Like usual Dan and I didn’t order instead the kitchen sent out things they had prepared for us.
The first course that came out was an antipasti plate of caponata, hummus, dill marinated artichokes, olives, roasted peppers and a chickpea salad with house made whole wheat flat bread. It was very tasty and filling
Our entrée was Szechuan tofu which we both love and haven’t had in many months.
Phil and Jeff had omni dishes and thoroughly enjoyed them as well. This is one of the reasons that we always end up at the same place is because all of us are happy, vegans and omnis alike.
True to form we had a good evening at the restaurant the food and company were both great. On days like today I have to pinch myself to see if this is really my life. Overall things are pretty darn good here and we are working on that one pesky health problem. ;-) If determination makes a difference we will get that under control too, at least that is our plan.
• It was very nice to wake up this morning and have no pain anywhere. Thank goodness the back and knee issues seem to be behind me for now. With a little luck I won’t don’t anything silly and reinjure myself. *fingers crossed*
• I attended a webinar this morning that started my week on the right note. Since Mondays are not my favorite day it is nice to have a giggle in the morning to start the week. It is good to have friends that look after you. Thank you LJ for making me smile!
• I loved seeing a doctor talk about nutrition today on PBS. It was comforting to me to hear a physician focus on whole food as a way to improve not just your weight but for brain health and mood. When the doctor was talking about the impact each of us have on the diet habits of others I could not help but smile. Seeing things like this in the mainstream is very encouraging.
• It also made me smile that my father realizes that I am good cook even though we don’t eat like he and my mom do. My father is not one to show emotion so this is about as close as I will get to approval. ;-)
• Dinner tonight with Phil and Jeff was very nice. It is such a shame that they live so far away. Both Dan and I enjoy spending time with them. I don’t think there was a 15 second gap in conversation all evening. That is truly the sign of good dinner conversation.
Since we went out for dinner and stayed out too late I need to zip this up and turn in. I hope you had a good Monday too. Talk to you again tomorrow.