Olive update – part 3

I made it through the week without Nick! But man, oh man, was it good to have him home last night! Not just for dog duties, obviously, but it was good to “share the load” so to speak again! Olive was very happy to see him, and he’d even gotten an earlier flight home, so everyone was excited!

We took Olive back to the surgical center today for her re-check, and to have her stitches removed – no more e-collar, yay! We talked to the doctor (not the one who did the surgery, she was unavailable today), and she seemed amazed at how well Olive was doing. She said that if she didn’t know, she would have guessed Olive to be 4-6 weeks post op, instead of just the 2 weeks that she is! She doesn’t get x-rays until 8 weeks post-op – that’s when they check to make sure the bone has healed correctly – so we still have to carry her up and down the stairs, and use the sling when she walks on slippery surfaces. But after hearing what the doctor had to say, I’m REALLY praying that at 8 weeks, everything will be super awesome so she can start resuming more of her usual activities. Thankfully, we were told today that she could start walking outside a little more if we feel like she’s getting a little too squirrely inside, so that was good. Until today she was limited to 2-3 five minute walks in addition to 2-3 bathroom breaks. It will be nice to get her moving a little bit more. We have a physical therapy/rehab appointment on Wednesday, so I’m anxious to hear what they have to say, and how we can best get her up and “running” again!

I’m so thankful that she’s doing so well! We’ve been REALLY diligent about making sure she doesn’t jump, get too excited, or run around the house – even though she really wants to! And honestly, I really think that her v-dog, and turmeric and coconut supplement, are really helping her heal faster. The body recovers a lot easier when you put the right things into it!

So tired after going to the vet this morning! We’ve been calling her shaved leg her “tofurky leg”, haha!

In case you missed it, you can catch up on part one, and part two!

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Vegan Musings

Nick and I have been vegan for almost 6 1/2 years now. We first went vegan due to watching “Forks Over Knives”. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We had gotten the documentary from the library after I heard some clients talking about it at work (I was a receptionist at a hair salon at the time). We were already living a healthier lifestyle than most, but we were still eating a lot of organic dairy and meat. “Food, Inc.” had previously made a really strong impression on us, and we were doing our best to eat local, organic, and the least amount of GMO’s as possible. 

I remember when the documentary ended and Nick turned to me and said, “We have to do this.” (side note: Nick has a family history of high blood pressure and cholesterol. I have both of those in my family as well, but hadn’t yet exhibited any signs of them like he had.) He continued, “If I can change the way I eat, and not have to take pills my whole life, and lower my cancer rate crazy low, then I’m all in! You with me?”  I was. We immediately went upstairs and cleaned our our refrigerator and pantry. We threw out everything that wasn’t vegan – we did donate what we could – and we soon realized we weren’t left with much. For the first several weeks, we didn’t really know how, or what, to eat! We ate a lot of stir fry, veggie burgers, and pizza without cheese. But after a trip to the library for some vegan cookbooks, and lots of Google searches, we soon had so many more options at our fingertips. 

I wouldn’t change our decision for anything. Not only do we feel great, but Nick’s numbers are well below normal, and he’s now running half marathons! I’m not so much the runner like he is, but I’ve recently discovered that Pilates are my jam! You just have to find something you like, and that you’ll stick with. 

While we originally went vegan for health reasons, we’ve definitely educated ourselves, and are now in it for the animals, and environment as well. The meat industry is horrendous, and just the thought of the amount of animal cruelty that exists makes my heart hurt. No living creature should have to endure what they do on a daily basis. When I look at Olive, and see her personality, I truly don’t understand how we can love some animals, but torture, and eat, others. I lived most of my life with that disconnect myself, and I’m so glad that I finally made the connection! 

Caring for Olive throughout this whole process has made me think about how happy I am to be vegan, and how lucky and Nick and I are to have the opportunity to love and care for her. And most importantly, my desire to care for my body, the animals, and the earth, is the perfect marriage with my faith. I believe God gave us this earth to care for, and that He doesn’t desire for any of His creation to be mistreated. I’m proud to be doing my part.

Olive update – part one

Olive is doing so well! Nick and I are so impressed at how well she’s healing.  I told Nick yesterday that her being on a vegan diet is probably helping with her recovery. 😉 She’s been great at walking on all four legs (she’s supposed to start using her leg right away – that’s why we have the sling to catch her if it gives out, or it’s too painful), and is even back to all of her usual outdoor habits which is also great. Means that everything inside is working as it should.

I would say that hardest part right now would be carrying her up and down the stairs for every outdoor trip, and trying to keep her from getting too excited. I apparently hurt my left knee sometime this last week, and so it’s pretty tender and it doesn’t feel great lugging 37 lbs up an down 3-4 flights of stairs! It’s like I have sympathy knee issues or something, ha! She’s also feeling better, and so she wants to walk around the house, and get back to some of her usual routine. She has this really fun bed in our kitchen that she’s itching to get back into, but it’s elevated, and so it’s a little risky for her right now to maneuver getting in and out of it, and if she were to move too quickly out of it on her own, she could injure herself even more.

We have her suture removal and check up scheduled for next week, and I think that will also help a lot as I imagine that stitches are uncomfortable and tight. She’ll also be able to be in her kennel at night, and when we have to be out of the house, without the e-collar, which we’ll all be happy about! Not only will she be able to be more comfortable, but that hard plastic is LOUD in her kennel when she’s moving around!

As I mentioned in my last post, having Nick here, and going through this whole process with me, is invaluable. We make a really great team, if I do say so myself, and we both love our girl, and only want to see her back to her usual playful self!

I just can’t get enough of these two! All the heart eyes!!

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!