It’s been a week…or two.

Wow, that’s all I can say to start with.  It’s like at some point you just take a deep breath and wonder how in the world you’ve made it through some of the crazy.  One of my friends from work, Chrissy, put it great on her blog just over a week ago, there are just those days where you’re like WTF.  I’ve had several of those at work lately.  You know, it’s seriously so frustrating and so hard sometimes knowing that most every single problem that we have comes down to poor communication.  That being said, Jacks has gone so above and beyond to make sure that I’m able to unwind a bit.  Ever since I got home last night, it’s been fantastic for just getting relaxed.

We went out for some Indian food at Choolah Indian BBQ in Sterling last night.  It’s one of those fast/casual restaurants much in the style of Cava or Chipotle.  We got a ton of food really cheep, and it was quite tasty.  We sampled some tofu and veggies along with some yellow dal and chana masala.  We also tried the samosas and got whole wheat naan.  It was awesome that everything was marked so clearly as vegan.  My favorite was the chana masala.  Jackie’s favorite item was none of the above.  She was in love with the automatic hand washer.  It really was rather nice.  You just shove your hands in and it’s like you got a nice water massage.

Untitled

Afterwards we met our friends Jeremy and Kaitlin for some coffee before heading off to Escape Room Loudoun.  We’d never done an escape room before.  Talk about a great time.  This one was themed around escaping from a creepy doctor.  We worked super well as a team, nobody got edgy with anyone, we all had gifts to add.  Jeremy was very good with the spacial puzzles.  (Seriously I sat there for 5 minutes and he got it in like 30 seconds).  Kaitlin was good with the word puzzles.  Jackie killed it on getting our locks undone and noticing things out of place.  Me?  I don’t know, I just added the engineer mind, I don’t know, it was super fun.  We escaped in about 54 minutes… Oddly we could have been out about 2 minutes earlier, but apparently I’m special with the locked door.  Here’s a great picture of us all.  We really couldn’t ask for having better friends, and they’re right next door.  Bonus.

Untitled

It rained all night and a fair part of today, but it’s left the weather perfect.  70ish and a nice breeze.  I’ll take it as a respite from the typical July weather.  This morning I set out for a long run.  I didn’t know how far I was going to go, I just knew I was going to go.  I slept in without an alarm (SO Rare for me any more) and got out there at about 6:45.  I started on a trail that the girls (Jackie and Kaitlin run together) went on yesterday.  Then I crossed Evergreen Mills road and went into the newest section of Willowsford.  I found an absolutely amazing trail system back there.  It gave me a great feel for my 15K that’s coming up in a few weeks.  Because of the rain I got to run in a ton of mud, forded some creeks, saw some deer, but sadly not the bear that has been sighted here lately.  Just short of 11 miles later I ended up back home.  I was either consistent with pace or had negative splits almost the whole way.  It seriously made my day in terms of just relaxing and getting moving. I did particularly love the caked on mud at the end.

IMG_8078

My secret lately for enjoying my runs is the Rich Roll podcast.  If you haven’t heard of Rich before, he’s an ultra athlete that’s plant based.  His book Finding Ultra is one of the better books I’ve read in the last year.  I love that he’s open to hearing about most anything, he just looks for the movers and the shakers of the world.  Whether it’s about how we treat each other, how we can be more compassionate, or looking more at the plant based life, it’s really engaging and makes me feel like I know more after I’m done.  I’d highly suggest checking it out.

After the great morning we headed out to Maryland to hit up Roots Market and grab lunch at Great Sage Vegan Restaurant.  Check out this Jackfruit BBQ sandwich. It was amazing. I haven’t really cared for jackfruit, but this changed my mind. Finally one that wasn’t overly sweet.

IMG_8088

What a fantastic morning.  You want to know my favorite part of all that?  We didn’t play the radio once, Jackie and I had a lot of great conversations about life.  It’s awesome getting to spend time with your best friend.  So now I’m in a better place and feel much more relaxed than I have in awhile.  I’m curious if you want to leave a comment as to what you do to relax?

Side note of what’s been going on in the past two weeks other than work… We did hit up Green Fare organic restaurant for lunch last Friday, that was a really great meal as well.  We managed to FaceTime nearly all our family last weekend, which was nice.  It was especially great to watch Amalia running around.  I can’t wait to see that little chubber again.  Jackie had bible study on Wednesday’s per usual.  Church has been great, good messages and it’s great to serve.  We hit up Trivia at Blend Coffee Shop, where I also had my weekly Men’s group.  Tried to find some time to play some games, grab some coffee/tea and just keep living life.  I did finish Proteinaholic, which was fantastic, definitely check that out.  Oh and obviously, we’ve spent plenty of time walking Olive and making sure she has a great time.

IMG_8043

IMG_8058

I think it’s about time to start thinking of some recipes to get up here again.  Or at least a product test Tuesday or something.  But for now, I’ve rambled enough.  Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Detox? Living it up with Thrive Live Reset.

One of Jackie’s friends had this idea a few weeks ago to try a detox.  The basic premise here was whole foods, no meat, no dairy, no refined sugar, low oil, no alcohol, no caffeine detox.  Really what you’re doing is teaching your body to go without all the junk that we normally crave.  Jackie asked me about it and we were both like sure, why not, we’ll join you on this journey.  We even got Bethany to join in with us too.  So the way this one works is that you sign up through Simple Green Smoothies and they send you a meal planner for the week.  They also hook you up with a Facebook group for support.

We started out on Monday and to be honest, for the majority of the week it’s been super easy.  As I sit here writing this, I’m somewhat bored, so all I want to do is eat, but other than that, we haven’t had a lot of the issues that others have been seeing.  We’ll get into that in a minute, but first I wanted to say that the food is great.  With the exception of the one smoothie that I found to be just a bit potent on the greens.  I suspect that had more to do with our cherries having little to no flavor than anything else.  Here are some examples of a few items we’ve had in the last day.  Grilled/Roasted Broccoli steaks, and a Watermelon Blueberry smoothie bowl.  We’ve definitely got new recipes that we’ll be keeping in our rotation for sure!

IMG_8042

IMG_8040

 

Ok, so onto the health stuff, which is the whole reason for doing it in the first place.  I would certainly say that my mind has been more fresh.  There is no fogginess going on up there.  I’m totally not bloated, and Jackie agrees on that count for her.  It’s just helped to get our body back in sync.  My taste buds are reset in terms of how sweet and great tasting the fruit and vegetables are.  Oh, and I suppose I should note that I have dropped almost 11 lbs in the 6 days we’ve been doing it.  Now, I will say, I didn’t need to be dropping 11 lbs, so the last day or two, I’ve been upping my snack portions a bit.  I wasn’t following the instructions in that I didn’t tail back my exercise.  Which I probably should have, especially considering how dang hot it is here in Northern, VA.  The weight loss also was probably a bit water related as we totally had our favorite take out Chinese the night before starting.   Good Fortune always delivers on taste!

We haven’t had any of the crazy sugar cravings, or headaches, or complaints about lack of protein.  We simply feel good.  It might have been easier on us given that we were already vegan going into this.  For people that haven’t eaten that way, I could certainly see your body rebelling a bit.  I recall when we made the change, I went about 2 weeks before I started seeing an uptick in energy.

On a side note, I’ve also been reading the book Proteinaholic, by Dr. Garth Davis.  It’s been a really great read so far.  I haven’t got to all the science portion where he breaks down the diseases, but he makes everything so approachable and just intuitive.  It’s funny how we as a culture have stopped talking about actual food, and now break everything down into the macronutrients.  Let me just say this, I’m in complete agreement that if we’re getting enough calories, we’re getting enough protein.  If you want natures answer to that just look to the Silverback Ape, the Elephant and the Rhino.

Oh, Olive also loves the goodies from the plan…. Look at her enjoy that Watermelon, Strawberry popsicle!

IMG_2398

We’re feeling good here and we’re also happy to just have a weekend to rest. This is not something I’d do all the time, but it was a nice way to reset and get more whole foods into our body.  We’re playing some games with our friends tonight, so it should be totally low key.  Hope you’re all having a great week.

Friday Free for All

It’s certainly shaping up to be a great day.  Here’s what’s happened so far as well as the plan for what’s going to happen the rest of the day.  (I guess by the time I post this it will all have happened, but I digress).  Jacks and I both started the day off with a run.  I wasn’t necessarily planning on getting out this morning, but it was still raining and I can’t pass up a run in the rain.  I don’t know what it is but I absolutely love it.  I’m also super proud of Jacks, she did 5.2 miles.  That’s awesome! Breakfast today is oatmeal with all the fixings.

IMG_8022

We’re just going to hang around the house for a bit, and then we’ll be off to our favorite vet’s office Caring Hands Animal hospital for Olive to get her nails trimmed… Weird fact about our dog, she just LOVES the vet.  She’s so bizarre.

IMG_8023

We’re going to head down to Arlington after that and sell some gear at a consignment shop, hit up a great little bakery/coffeeshop, Bakeshop, and probably get a smoothie for a snack at South Block.

Salted Oatmeal Apricot Cookie!
IMG_8027

Dogs want smoothies too!
IMG_8025

Lunch is/was a nice big salad.
IMG_8031

We’ve got a massage planned for the afternoon, and then, one of the most fun things we’ve had in the plans for awhile.  We’re going to make dinner with both Connor and Bethany.  We’re still trying to figure out the exact menu, but there is just something about cooking together and breaking bread together that is awesome.  It’s been a huge blessing to have the two of them around a lot lately.  It’s kind of sad that they’ll be headed off to British Columbia in a week.  But I’m really excited to hear those stories as well.

Speaking of the massage, that seems to be one of those things that often leads to comments about us having a great marriage.  I find that kind of interesting, but it really does help to put things into perspective.  I do think we have a great marriage, but it takes a lot of work.  As a man you can’t give up on dating your spouse.  It may be easier for us in not having kids, but I’m going to challenge you to look at your priorities.  Even without kids, we have to make an effort.  It requires putting things on the calendar, and it requires putting the phone down and talking.  It also takes a very clear understanding that it’s a commitment.  And for us it’s a covenant as well.  We couldn’t do it without having God in our lives.  We were trained several years back as marriage mentors, what I would tell you out of that is that we got so much more in our own marriage when we were helping others.  It required us to really look inward at ourselves.  I know there are a lot of people out there that are struggling at hurting.  I’d encourage you all that getting help and talking to people isn’t a sign of weakness.

I hope and pray for you as the readers to have a great day, and if any of you needs prayer, I’m always happy to do that.

A beautiful day to get outside!

Hey y’all.

Thanks for the wonderful response to the post the other day. Knowing that people are reading and care, certainly does make a person happy to put their thoughts out there. I’ve got a recipe coming up here one of these days, but for now, I figured we’d just keep sharing life.

We’ve got a good old four day weekend going. I needed the break and so far it’s been really nice and relaxing. The day started off with a nice fun run with Jackie and Kaitlin. I had a great time with Mike and Eddy for our church Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting. And then the bulk of our day was spent with our friend Connor who just got back from Peru. He was part of a team of 13 that went with Leadership Excursions/Endurance Leadership. We were very excited to get to hear all about how God was working down there. Both on the team that went as well as with the orphanage there.

We made some sandwiches featuring Herbivorous Butcher “meats”. Oh my delicious. Jackie’s favorite is the “turkey” slices, I personally like the “pastrami” the best. Whatever way you slice it, it’s all good. Connor was a fan, which is always a plus, when your omnivorous friend, digs the food.

We had planned to drive to Maryland to check out the Red Shedman Farm Brewery.  We’ve picked up some of their raspberry cider in the past and it’s super good.  We thought it would be fun to put the dog in the car and head out there to hang out and try some beverages while playing some games and catching up.  It was perfect for all of that. First off the Farm has beer, cider and wine.  We didn’t check out the wine today but we sampled everything else.  Its set in such a beautiful location, there are rolling hills and trees everywhere.  You’ve got the vines for the winery surrounding all the sides of a nice little grove with picnic tables set up.  (In retrospect, I really should have taken some pictures of the property… gotta get back in the habit.)

We tried a flight.  I personally thought the best beer was the Lunatic Fringe.  A Belgian IPA that was infused with habanero.  Jackie was a fan of the Raspberry Cider, and Connor’s favorite was the Farmers Daughter, a wheat beer.
IMG_8016

Here’s Connor and I just enjoying a moment there on the picnic table.  The beard is so much bigger isn’t it!
IMG_8018

Connor fell asleep with Olive in the car on the way back.  But he woke up in time to show us a rocking backflip off a tree.  After we got a good video we wanted to try to do a boomerang video…Well it didn’t work quite as well, but it’s super funny to watch.  🙂

IMG_8019

The real highlight though was hearing the stories, and challenging each other on what’s going on in our lives.  Connor asked the question as to what our greatest fear is.  I’ll tell you what, it takes a good friendship to get vulnerable and really share that.  It’s been a blessing to have him here as an intern and getting to know him.  Between him and Bethany we’re going to be really sad when this season of life is over and we have to go to remote relationships.

We’re going to end off the night by going to see Despicable Me 3.  I’m excited, Jacks is super excited.  It should be a whole lot of fun.  We’re going to sneak in some Earth Balance White Cheddar Popcorn.  😉