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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

We haven’t blogged in a few days… We’re still alive

Hey, so we finished The Abundance Diet as you all know and it seems as if we’ve gone on a hiatus.  While not really intentional we kind of have.  We’ve been slammed with activities the last few days.  I’m not complaining about it at all because it really was a whole lot of fun.

Tuesday night we went to Wolf Trap (A national park, which is an outdoor theatre venue, very cool), to see a concert with Colony House, Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors, Switchfoot and NeedToBreathe.  It was a really great show, we enjoyed it a lot.  Colony House was my favorite, but all the bands were very talented and fun to hear.  Jackie and I weren’t really familiar with NeedToBreathe so it wasn’t as exciting and it was still going strong at 10:30 when we had decided to take off.  I’m just not the late night person I used to be.  We got this great shot before the show where God showed us the reminder of his promise that he’s never going to flood the earth again.  Totally beautiful.
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Wednesday we were back at Wolf Trap again to see Jim Gaffigan.  Oh my gosh, he’s so funny.  He had an opening act by Ted Alexandro.  Ted was also really great.  I’m so impressed by comedians, I can’t come up with one funny joke let alone a whole routine.  I will never think of music class, summer, Netflix or donuts in the same way.  If you get a chance to see them you should, you’ll get a good ab workout with all the laughter.   Untitled

Today I took of from work at around 1.  It was really nice to be able to spend an afternoon hanging out with Jacks.  We took Olive out to the Village at Leesburg to hit up the Bean Bar.  Totally our favorite coffee shop.  It is literally the coolest coffee shop atmosphere.  It also helps that they have great coffee and beers/wine.  They also do up some really good food, but not a whole lot of the vegan variety.  Afterwards we went to the Farmstead at Willowsford Farm here in Ashburn.  I LOVE the place, its such a wonderful little family run place in a planned community.  The best thing about today.  We found organic SWEET CORN.  That is such a hard thing to do these days.  It was incredible.
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So you may be asking how we’re doing now that we’re 4 days removed from the Abundance Diet plan.  I’d say we’re doing pretty good.  We’re doing our best to stick to whole foods.  We packed a picnic for the concert that was oil free hummus with veggies.  We had some crackers and a bit of chao cheese with that.  Finished it off with some grapes and some yummy brown rice syrup crispy treats.  So while we did have dessert we really made a conscious effort to not use refined sugar and we kept the portion size reasonable.  I’ll say this, now that we don’t have the actual plan in front of us, there is a lot more temptation to have other stuff.  It all really goes back to the thought that moderation is key and you have put thought into what you eat.  If you have junk around the house then you’re going to be eating junk food.  There are definitely no regrets, it’s just very interesting where the mind goes.  We’ve also pretty much stuck to gluten free.  We’ve had a bit of wheat here and there, but I’ve been concerned that if I go back to having a big load of wheat that I’ll overload my gut.  Hope you’re all doing well, would love to have more interaction with you all.  We’ll do our best to keep up with the posts.  🙂 I’ll leave you all with this picture of the meal I put together for Monday night and an eat and repeat this evening… Delicious.  Soy Curls, Homemade baked beans, green beans and coleslaw.   Untitled

Day 26… Yup, that’s right, oh so close

Well we’ve made it almost all the way through to the end.  Today was basically an eat and repeat of Day 23.  We did a bit of modification on the day.  For example, Jackie ended up doing her smoothie with strawberries instead of mangoes.  I ended up doing a completely different smoothie.  I went with the Tropical Paradise smoothie.  As you can see below both Olive and I loved that smoothie.  The coconut water was a great addition for the liquid, it gave a little acidic and sweet bit and kept the smoothie really nice and green for the entire time I was drinking it.

Olive and smoothieAs to the other reason I said basically a repeat, we ended up having the curried brown rice salad while we were at the National Zoo, and we didn’t have the soup today.  It was a perfect day to go explore a bit of the city.  I love that all the museums here in DC are free, or very low cost.  For instance the zoo does charge for parking, but we found parking out on the street.  Being vegans, we’re a bit conflicted as to how we feel about zoos.  We absolutely love seeing the animals, and I really do know that the zoo keepers tend to love the animals.  But it really isn’t their natural habitat, and you can tell that some of them are just so bored.  In general we don’t go to them any more, but like I said, I love animals so much that sometimes I just want to see them. Jackie even got to pet a burro.  Seeing that it was only about 80 degrees and cloudy out today, nearly all the animals were out and about and just enjoying the day.  How do all of you feel about zoo’s? Goats!

After getting home we popped the lasagna back in the oven.  It was good, but we both avoided the eggplant.  The texture there was just off.  Then we ended up taking Olive for a walk, got a decaf soy latte and planned out a bit of a long weekend plan for later in September and talked about some goals and dreams.  Then we came home and deviated really for the first time, but I don’t feel bad.  We just made up a quick batch of nice cream, kinda chunky money like.  No sugar and the majority being frozen banana there simply isn’t any guilt.

All in all it was a really fantastic day.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Day Twenty-Five! (Week four, day 4)

Seriously… Are you all sick of hearing us talk about this event yet?  I might be sick of reading the same type of posts for 28 days.  I’ve really enjoyed reading Jackie’s posts though so I’m sure you’ve all enjoyed all of them.  That being said there are only so many ways that we can tell you that we’re feeling great and all that.  And sometimes we get sick and tired of hearing about other people on Facebook tout about going sugar free for a certain amount of time.  I do think it boils down to whether people are complaining or if they’re just doing it to get sympathy.  Its much like fasting, just make your life be normal and happy in general circumstances otherwise your motives aren’t really pure.  I think for those of you that have been following along though, probably want the honest opinion as to how we feel.

Today I personally have been hungry ever since lunch… Perhaps the problem there is that I didn’t have my soup until 1:30.  It screwed up my metabolism’s normal processing of food.  I would also just like to have a cookie bite that we had back in week 1.  I know that wouldn’t ruin anything and we could totally do it, but we’re trying to stick it out to the end.  Overall this week has not been our favorite.  Its felt like the main’s have all pretty much been one texture.  We’ve really needed more of the crunch.  All that being said, today was a repeat of Day 21, the salad is simply incredible.  It was even better with the two extra ingredients that we left out.  I really should have taken a picture because it was beautiful as well.

Jacks and I both tried the variation on the smoothie that included cacao.  As you can see pictured below.  I loved it as did Jacks.  We didn’t add the cayenne, but hey, it doesn’t matter.
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So back to my main thought that we’re really are kind of ready to move back to a little more variety. Our main thoughts to this point are that this way of thinking about food is going to be pervasive in our path forward. As long as the majority of our food grocery list is produce and beans/nuts than we’re winning. As Jackie said yesterday, I put together a menu for next week that actually stays pretty true to the ideas that Sommer put together. We’re excited for customizing and doing our own thing. We wouldn’t change anything though about following the plan and trying out all the really tasty food that is in The Abundance Diet. Looking forward to continuing to share our journeys with you. Hey if any of you all have some suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share.