Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three Beautiful Things Tuesdays #2

Welcome to my second "Three Beautiful Things Tuesdays" post!

*Three Beautiful Things Tuesdays is a new series I was inspired to create by reading Clare's blog: Three Beautiful Things, and she invites everyone to join. The idea is that you are to post three beautiful things about your day, life, the world, whatever. Please join the fun and post your own Three Beautiful Things (3BT) in the comments (or on your own blog and post a link in the comments so that I can follow along)!*

1) The cafeteria at my work now offers tofu on their salad bar! I'm a fan, and to show my total appreciation for this fact, at 12:30 pm, I bought all the remaining spicy Thai tofu and put it in a container to save for tomorrow's lunch. My coworker (a fellow vegetarian) and I also told the chef personally that we really love the new tofu he had out. So hopefully my cafeteria will keep it up with all the awesome vegetarian options!

2) I biked today (on an indoor exercise bike), and it didn't hurt my bum foot. Yay! My bum foot is not so bum anymore, and the cardio options are expanding!

3) I'm going to a mid-week party at a friend's house tonight and bringing some delicious homemade Baked Beans, recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore!  Yes, mid-week parties are totally a thing when your husband and his friends happen to have weird work schedules where Tuesday is part of their "weekend".


Stay tuned for an update on the meal plan I made this week, which I am using in an effort to try new recipes from all the awesome cookbooks that I got for Christmas and my birthday and spend less time wondering what I'm going to have for dinner and from where I should order takeout yet again.  I received so many great vegan cookbooks! Thank you friends and family! This week my meal plan features The Happy Herbivore Cookbook By: Lindsay Nixon (who I actually met this past November when she came to DC) and Vegan Comfort Foods from Around the World By: Veronica Grace of the Low Fat Vegan Chef.

Also, I was totally going to upload a post about the first recipe (well, 3rd because I technically started the new-recipe-extravaganza on Sunday) I tried on Monday night, but my husband and I totally got distracted my adding new photos from my camera to Facebook instead of adding food photos to my blog. Oops!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Swimming, Swimming, In the Swimming Pool!

I don't know if any of you ever went to summer camp when you were younger, but the title of this post comes from a camp song from my youth. I went to Girl Scout camp, and there were a plethora of songs sung around the campfire each night, but for some reason this one stuck with me.  The original song goes a little something like this:

Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool,
Some days are hot, some days are not,
in the swimming pool.

However, we also sang a parody of that song that I liked better and is the one that I remember most:

Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool,
Some guys are hot, some guys are not,
at the swimming pool!

Anyway, my original point is that I'm getting really excited about being able to swim again. I went swimming on Monday evening and again today after work, and I'm feeling really good about it.

Things I love about swimming:

1)  First of all, the endorphins. I haven't been able to do aerobic exercise lately, so this is great. It's a major mood booster!

2)  Exercise! Did I mention that I really need the exercise after several months of little to no physical activity? I've gone up a few pant sizes since February, and I'd definitely like to go back down to normal sometime in near future. Ideally, I'd like to be fitting back into my old pants and clothes by November, and I think swimming combined with more vegetables and self-control in the food department will help me reach that goal.

3)  It's a very diverse activity. I used to be a lifeguard and did swim team my senior year in high school, so I know quite a few different strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, etc.  It doesn't get boring when you switch strokes every other lap and make use of the kickboards, pull buoys (those little odd-shaped floats you put between your legs to focus on strengthening your arms only), and flippers.

4)  It's free! The pool I go to is free to all DC residents and military families. So, I just flash my military ID and get to swim without spending a dime on membership, which is super nice, especially when you know the exorbitant price of gym membership in the DC area.

5)  I think it's helping with my post-surgery foot recovery. My foot didn't hurt as much Tuesday or today, and I'd like to credit that to my swim session on Monday night. My podiatrist actually did say swimming is great for recovery; so I'd like to think this improvement isn't all in my head

6) My pool is conveniently located next to the biggest Whole Foods in the VA-MD-DC area (that I've visited). After exercising, the Whole Foods hot bar, with labeled vegan entrees, is a welcome dinner option. They also have delicious vegan bakery options, like multiple vegan bakery options: muffins, scones, etc. It takes me about an hour to get home. So if I want to eat before 9 or 10 pm, I probably should eat some dinner before I hop on the metro. 

Aside: Whole Foods in Falls Church: Please take note and hop on labeling the vegan options on your hot bar. It would be much appreciated by your faithful customers, such as myself. And if you would offer a vegan muffin or two in your bakery section, that would be totally awesome!

Also, I would totally share a picture of myself in awesome swim gear to accompany this post.  (I treated myself to a new swim cap, goggles, and a sportier swimsuit back in July when I started getting into swimming before my surgery, so I look like a serious swimmer now.) But let's be honest: that's just a look that nobody needs to be sporting outside of the swimming pool facilities!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Series - Three Beautiful Things Tuesdays!

I've decided to switch things up on the blog a little bit! Yes, I'm a vegan, and yes, I like to exercise, but I'd also like to write about non-vegan things, like doing crafts (mostly knitting and yes, there are some non-animal fibers vegans can knit), music I like, and just general life events that I'd like to share. I follow some other lifestyle blogs, and I really like the personal touch of reading along and following the story of someone's life.

I've been vegan for over a year now, and it's feeling like old hat to me now. Don't get me wrong! I still love reading vegan blogs and getting ideas for new recipes, and I'm sure I'll continue to post my own. However, I want to expand my focus to the wider, more accessible world of the blogosphere.

So starting today, I'm doing a new series: Three Beautiful Things Tuesdays! There is a wonderful blog entitled Three Beautiful Things hosted by Ms. Clare, and she invites everyone to join in the party. The idea is that you are to post three beautiful things about your day, life, the world, whatever. I don't think I can commit to everyday. Therefore, I'm only committing to Tuesdays, which should hopefully also help me stay more on track for a regular blogging schedule. (I'll at least be posting new content every Tuesday! Yay!)

I hope you enjoy my Three Beautiful Things (or 3BT), and also please check Clare's original TBT blog out!

1.  Yesterday night, I went swimming for the first time since my foot surgery on July 28th, and it was so great! I'm in much better shape than I thought. I swam 1,000 meters (further than expected) and even passed some people because they were swimming slower than me!

2.  This morning, I had an awesome (vegan) blueberry muffin for breakfast, courtesy of the awesome vegan-goods-stocked-bakery at the Tenleytown Whole Foods (near the pool where I like to swim)!

3.  I had enough time this morning to make a delicious chai spice latte and take my time to really savor it (with the previously-mentioned muffin)!  I'm usually in a rush in the mornings and not a morning person, so this does not happen often in my world.

Please feel free to add your own Three Beautiful Things in the comment section if you feel so inclined!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vegan MOFO Fail

With all the stuff going on this month and my recent foot adventures, I totally forgot that vegan MOFO (*Month Of FOod*) is happening NOW, right this minute! I've been reading other blogs and following along, but I'm not making any promises about posting until things in my life slow down a bit. Lots of creative things are in the works, so look out for some new posts coming soon!

VEGAN MOFO UPDATE: In case you read my post and had no idea what Vegan MOFO is and possibly texted me in confusion to my curtly-worded ambiguously-abbreviated reference to it (you know who you are): It's a month, generally in the fall, where vegan food bloggers post often and sometimes they have fun themes on their blogs, such as movie or TV show-themed recipes or 20 different kinds of vegan mac n' cheeze. (Now that I've reminded myself of this, I totally want to do a Gilmore Girls themed-recipe week, but that probably won't happen until October after MOFO is already over. Womp, womp, womp!) Click here for more information and to view the main Vegan MOFO site with links to other bloggers who are involved in the month-long event and post much more prolifically than myself. Enjoy!

Also, here are some awesome links to some blogs that I like who have been contributing to Vegan Month of Food this year:

Vegan Crunk - Bianca is awesome, and I read her blog regularly even when it isn't Vegan MOFO. This lovely lady has published a book called Cookin' Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South with lots of delicious veganized recipes of your favorite southern comfort foods.

Cadry's Kitchen - Wonderful photo art and yummy healthy recipes. Check out her recent Vegan Barley Paella recipe.

Odd Little Vegan - Here's a new addition to my blogroll that I discovered through Vegan MOFO.

Weird! Why Aren't You Vegan? - I'm lovin' her "If You Can't Say Anything Vegan" series for MOFO, and you guys should seriously check it out, too!

Happy MOFO exploring!