Happy Sunday, I am thankful to have a 3 day weekend because I have been dealing with a nasty cold and/or bug that has been ripping through work and making a lot people miserable for weeks in some cases. I even had to take a sick day this week with a slight fever and extremely stuffed head. I am not a fan of taking sick days – they should be relaxing, but I usually feel guilty for not being at work and worry about what’s piling up. I know, that’s ridiculous.
I did watch the Minimalism Documentary on Netflix which is a great thing to watch in January, but I had mixed feelings on it and the message. While I am a huge fan of uncluttering and living simple, not as extremely as these guys and some of the guests in it, such as vegan writer Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. And another guy who is basically homeless and lives by couch surfing and traveling which he finds as a very satisfying lifestyle. But totally not realistic for anyone with a family or job. I have watched a lot of tiny house shows and documentaries and decided that is not for us. But we do live in a moderately small house and can get both cars in the garage which is a huge decluttering win – right? The basic message is to not let material things run your life, live for relationships and experiences instead of the latest fashion and keeping up with the Jones’ which is a message I can definitely agree with.
I also watched Finding Traction on Netflix, a documentary about Nikki Kimball running the Vermont 273-mile Long Trail. Nikki is an ultra-competitive runner who set out to break the male record on this trail to inspire other women to get into running and the documentary follows her and her support team on this as well as dives into her history and why this is so important to her. Does she break the record? I won’t spoil that. The thing that really bugged me about this was her diet, apparently she was following the typical “manly” BS diet too and is obsessed with bacon, cheeseburgers, and eggs and there was nothing inspirational about that for me. This women’s determination and drive is amazing and I kept wondering how much better her recovery and performance would be and how much farther she could take that exceptionally rare drive if she was consuming anti-inflammatory plant foods and more whole grains. And why couldn’t she inspire more women to eat healthier too. The documentary does show a lot of the gritty aspects of trail ultra running with her grabbing a few hours of sleep in a van when she could and having crazy emotional swings and verbal outbursts from being extremely tired.
Between it being January and me being sick, I have been inspired to focus on healthier foods more to hopefully get over this faster and avoid catching stuff in the future! I’ve been making our breakfast smoothies greener with more kale and fun ingredients like kiwi and ginger.
And focusing on more whole foods at home while using up stuff from our pantry. Instead of going out for dinner as we typically do on Fridays, I made a simple veggie noodle miso soup using Explore Asian’s Brown Rice Udon noodles.
Seasoned with a little sriracha, it was the perfect simple meal for my stuffy head.
There have been a lot of simple bean dishes and remixing leftovers with a variety of beans too.
Leftovers of this Dijon quinoa dish was great chilled over a salad with white bean hummus dressing.
And this chickpea veggies dish was fabulous with a ginger tahini sauce.
Another simple chickpea veggie dish because I batch cooked a lot of chickpeas for the week.
And pinto beans sauteed with tofu in veggie broth and tamari.
Simple, but I wasn’t craving anything too crazy with cold symptoms.
As usual I hit Grocery Outlet after the gym this weekend, but with a new goal to only grab healthier finds and skip a lot of snack foods this time and they actually had a decent selection of organic veggies including tomatoes, bell peppers, and fruit. I did grab one splurge to go with a huge bag of apples – Delighted By Dessert Hummus Brownie Batter Hummus.
I had no clue such a product existed before and had to see how dessert like hummus could be. It actually has a great chocolate flavor that’s not gritty or earthy or too sweet, perfect with apple slices.
Hubby and I also checked out the Fitness Expo at Cal Expo this weekend.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was interesting! It seemed more targeted to hardcore body builders with lots of supplements and various strength demonstrations. There was a lot of fitness fashion for sale too such as gym tanks and socks with witty fitness slogans – none that I could find were vegan. I wasn’t interested in massive jugs of whey protein, but Vega products were there too as well as produce delivery services and other tasty vegan products such as Garlish vegan mayo alternative with a hugely and satisfyingly strong garlic flavor.
And Barnana organic banana snacks. Flatout Bread was also there serving up samples of their low carb, high protein wraps and bun alternatives. When I asked about Flatout products being vegan friendly, we ended up striking a long conversation with a rep at the booth about going vegan because he was just starting the transition for ethical reasons after getting a reality check of what pigs and cows go through, always great to meet new people passionate about the lifestyle and pass on information for connecting with the plant based community for support.
On the way home we stopped by Whole Foods because I haven’t been in ages and picked up some new products to try like Sweet Earth’s Benelovent Bacon and Daiya’s new Deluxe Vegan Cheezy Mac with veggies for hubby.
Running has been going, but not great thanks to this cold thing and rainy weather. That’s not unusual in January for me, it tends to be an off-running month and just getting in runs outside or on a treadmill 3-4 times a week is a great thing even if pace and performance weren’t exactly impressive. I am getting ready for a long run outside today, a must since were getting sunny weather this weekend and more rain and storms next week. And I have been focusing on more running strength training exercises during this off time too. Things will start revving up soon again because my sister has an aggressive goal of completing 100 miles in races this year that she wants me in on. That starts with a half marathon in March with possibly a 10k and 4-miler before and will most likely end doing the California International Marathon again this year if all goes well. So I do have ambitious goals for 2017 to look forward to and I need to start looking for cuter vegan tank tops to sport for these races.
Okay, the list!
Matt and Doug are slowly getting back to it on the No Meat Athlete Radio podcast after a long holiday break and recovering from having a new baby and being sick. So far the episodes have been good about realistic New Year’s goals and not making yourself miserable and hate a healthy lifestyle with goals that are too aggressive.