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!

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Encouraged to keep telling our story!

So today we we’ve had the great opportunity to have some friends over to the house and talk about our ongoing journey in life.  We’re talking about a both our faith journey and our journey with veganism.  I’ll tell you what, I think that the world is ready and ripe for change.  People want relationships, people want to feel better, and that’s a good thing.

We watched a great documentary  the other night, “What the Health” on Netflix.  That prompted us to share with everyone we know that they should all watch it.  It certainly reaffirmed our thoughts about what we’re doing being right.  It’s also had some of our friends wanting to make substantial changes in their life.  We know how hard that the change was so its pretty fun to answer questions and help along the way.

It’s also been a really fun day.  I started out with an 8 mile run, it’s crazy hot out here in Virginia these days, so it was a bit of a hard run for me.  I had to take a few walk breaks to make sure I didn’t die, and that was even at 6 am this morning.  (For the record, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and somehow running has become such an important part of my life.  I just get to get rid of so much stress from doing it.  We’ve got a lot of runs coming up and we’ve just done a few races.  One just last weekend was supporting such a great cause, A fight against Human trafficking.  Here’s a race picture for y’all.)

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Then we went off to our favorite Doughnut shop.  Glory Doughnuts in Frederick, Maryland.  Check out the dough and my BBQ Tofu Club.  What a breakfast.

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We went from there off to Root’s Market in Olney, MD.  Our favorite grocery store shopping ground.  They have so many great products that we can’t find anywhere else and they are almost always the first place to get to roll out new vegan products.

Now it’s a restful afternoon, we’re having this great conversation, yes I’m blogging while talking, but hey that’s because these friends have all encouraged me to do this again.  In the mean time, here’s a few other pics for you all to know that we’re still alive and doing well!

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Hopefully we’ll catch y’all again soon!

Day 19 – Only 9 days left… woah

It’s really been 19 days of whole foods and no refined sugar.  I can hardly believe it.  The Abundance Diet has been a great find for us.  Somer really knocked this out of the park for giving people an easy to follow plan that generally leaves you feeling very full and not having cravings.  Wahoo.  Today was a repeat of Day 16.

Here’s my thoughts on Day 16, seeing that I wasn’t here the first time.  The Jaffa Cake smoothie is absolutely fantastic.  I loved it.  It’s like drinking candy.  There is no sense that I’m actually having something that is healthy for me.  My one desire would be that it have a little bit thicker consistency.  I think next time I’ll use a frozen banana and that should do the trick.  We made up the dressing for the Chipotle Salad.  I thought the salad was very good and faintly reminded me of Chipotle.  I thought it tasted great, next time I’m going with the alternate suggestion and warming up the rice and beans.  I just think that will give me more of what I was looking for.  Very filling for a salad, I credit all the beans.  The soup is awesome.  I remember it from when we made it before, its so hearty, and warming to the belly and the tastes are complex and dance on the tastebuds.  We finished out the day with the Shepherd’s Pie.  Jackie knocked that out of the park.  Good job, and seriously how in the world that cauliflower mash came out so smooth and so tasty I have no idea.  This is where it’s going to get a bit odd, and I’ll have a lot of people question me, but I actually liked it better cold than reheated.  Its an amazing dish, and when cold it just seemed less dried out.

After dinner we went out and got our groceries for next week.  We like to work ahead and do date nights at grocery stores.  We’re so odd to most of the world.  Then we got home and since it was actually nice outside Jacks suggested we go for a run.  It was really nice, we both ran faster than we have as part of our program.  What a great Friday night.  We finished it off with watching Get Hard.

I want to get real with you all.  I know we’ve been touting how great this has been for us, and I wouldn’t change that overall opinion in the slightest.  Today however was a challenge, the first real one of our time so far.  We both really were having strong cravings of something sweet or in Jackie’s case salty and crunchy (i.e. french fries).  I’m sure a lot of it had to do with it being the weekend and that was our normal routine before.  But still it was a strong craving.  We got some roasted chickpeas with cinnamon and had a few as we left the grocery store.  It hit the spot and didn’t ruin our plan.  Just wanted to give you all a sense of reality that it really does make you think about what’s going on in your mind.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sweating Rainbows

Nick and I recently had a weekend getaway in Madison, WI. We signed up to do the Color Run together, and so we decided to make a weekend of it. We left early Friday morning and came back on Sunday afternoon. I had done a Color Run last October with Mel, and so I couldn’t wait to do one with Nick. They really are the Happiest 5k’s around! I’ll be honest and say I don’t really love running. It’s great exercise, and I usually feel great when I’m done, bu I tend to get SUPER bored with exercise. I think that’s why I’m doing so well with sticking with our Kettlebell dvd’s. It moves quickly, the moves are challenging, but then it’s over in 20 minutes! That being said, I ran the entire thing on Saturday. (I was pretty happy with myself!) There is just something that makes running 3.1 miles better when they throw color on you every kilometer! Not only that, it’s just like a big, messy party, and everyone is there to have fun. It unfortunately rained THE ENTIRE RACE, but it certainly made the color stick even better!! I’m really glad we did it – we had a really fun time. We have some great pictures, that’s for sure.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Here we are pre-race. All white, pasty and happy the rain had stopped (for about 5 minutes):

First pic post-race:

(Nick caught some free sunglasses and didn’t stop to take the sticker off the front, ha!)

Color throw!

What we looked like after our color throw:

And my favorite pic:
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Like I said, the rain TOTALLY made the color stick. In fact, 3 days later, Nick and I both have color stains! He’s got some pink tips to his faux-hawk and I’ve got a couple of smatters of hot pink on my ankles. Ah. Such is life! It’ll come off eventually! I’m actually doing another one on the 14th with Mel in Minneapolis. We’ll see how colored I get at that one!

Have you ever done the Color Run? Or anything like it?