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.

Happy Thoughts:

• 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.

Signing Out:

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.


  1. Yay on no pain! When we make reservations, we always make sure there is a vegan or veggie dish.

  2. i think by now you would know if Ian was getting sick of catering to your diet, you know? thats the advice you would give me...and have given me lol but thats why i like you, you care about puting people out.

    "Do anyone else’s elderly parents have chutney emergencies?"

    you might, very well be, the ONLY one in this....predicament...:) ive always kinda thought (and hoped) your parents really appreciate what you do but have an extra hard time saying and showing it.

  3. and i dont know how i could have forgotten!! but that picture needs to be framed!! it is so pretty!

    binky = adonis:)

  4. Heather,

    Thank you so much, I was very happy about the no pain myself. Also it is nice to know I am not the only one that asks questions when she makes dinner reservations.


  5. Michelle,

    I know Ian likes to do it but I still feel guilty about it. I suppose that is just who I am. Thank you for reminding me though and for making me smile.

    It is hard telling what goes through my parents mind. We will go with your theory though since I like the sound of it. ;-)

    Thank you for the Binky compliment. He is a little cutie when he is being good. LOL


  6. Ali, I LOVE that your dad called requesting chutney, so cute! LOL @ dads! And yeah, I'm a little jealous of the friendship with Ian. I wish I had a restaurant that made things just for me! :)

    I'm glad you enjoyed my webinar. It's definitely a fun and silly way to start a Monday.


  7. LJ,

    Fathers are funny aren't they? He cracks me up sometimes.

    We are very lucky to have Ian. He is very sweet to us and we love him for it.

    Your webinar was a great way to start my Monday. Thank you very much for including me even though I am not a teacher.

    big hugs!

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  9. That is a striking photo of Nicco - wow!

    I always love seeing what you get when Ian cooks. What a wonderful night.

    I usually try to accommodate my father's beverage choice - Bud Light - because I go a few places that either don't carry it or will laugh at you for ordering it. Plus I only see him a few times a year so it is worth it. He doesn't have chutney emergencies, though!

  10. That article on the bovine growth hormone is ... ugh! I eat vegan for so many reasons, and that is one of them. I still hate reading about that stuff. On another note: can I just say how envious I am of your "Cheers" restaurant (you know, "where everybody knows your name... and they're always glad you came...:)

  11. I'm shocked that you had sugar in your house! I have some, but rarely use it anymore unless it's for the hummingbirds. On the other hand, I still eat chocolate of various sorts...can't seem to entirely get off sweets.

    Thanks for the links and your book report from yesterday. Enjoy another evening dining out! We went to a Mexican place the other day, but the food didn't sit well with me. I get tired of spending so much time in the kitchen, but feel so much better eating my own meals.

  12. Jessica,

    Thanks, I liked that pic of Nicco. He is very photogenic. I took that with my cell phone.

    I appreciate knowing that you like to see what Ian comes up with for us. The dill marinated artichokes were particularly good and not a flavor combination that I would have thought of instinctively.

    Thanks for letting me know I am not the only that asks bar questions when making reservations. LOL

    I don't think most parents have chutney emergencies. Mine are just a bit spoiled. I wonder how that happened?


  13. Elizabeth,

    The bovine growth hormone article grossed me out too but it is better to know. I wish I could get through to my friends about the dangers of dairy.

    We know how fortunate we are to have "our favorite place". In addition to them catering to us the restaurant is also very close to home. You have to love a restaurant that you can walk to. That is part of the reason we tried it the first time. Now we are fixtures of sorts.


  14. Laura,

    You know me too well. I didn't have sugar in the house. I had to get that from my parents to make the chutney. Good thing they are close. LOL

    Glad you enjoyed the links and book review. I really enjoyed that book and think you will too. I plan to lend it to my non-exercising friends which is why I am buying it.

    I am very excited to meet Dr. Greger. Can you say nutrition geek? I am a bit nuts I know, LOL. My next post will have all the details of the DC trek.

    I know what you mean about eating out and having food not sit well with you and getting tired of cooking. The same thing happens to me. That is one of the reasons I make large quantities of food that we can reheat. I guess you could say I am a bit of a lazy healthy vegan now. LOL

    Have a great Wednesday,


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