Being Outdoors

50 Things I Learned in the Jungle

I’m baaaack! Peru was amazing and an incredible, eye-opening trip, but I am so happy to be home! Our 16 day trip started with a flight from DC to Miami, and then a (long) flight to Lima, Peru. We spent one quick night by the airport in a hostel, flew to Cusco the next morning, and then left the following day for a 6 night, 7 day jungle tour.

Before

Me and Stacy

At the beginning, the jungle trip was a little touch and go. Keep in mind I’d never been camping before (except when I was in middle school, according to my mother) so this was quite a way to start. For the first couple of days, Stacy and I both had a hard time adjusting to life in the jungle. Being so hot all the time, having a daily regimen of Deet only, and always feeling dirty were a little hard to get used to, but I think we reached the point of acceptance around day three or four. We were in a group of 10 people and got pretty close with the whole group over the course of that week.

Group

By the end of the trip, we had totally embraced it, learned so much, and were sad to be done! I shared this list with the group on our last night during dinner (pictured above), so I wanted to share it with you all, too.

50 Things I learned in the Jungle

1. I am not as adventurous as I thought I was.

2. Waking up at 6:30 am is considered “sleeping in” in the jungle.

3. How to pee the right way outside – squat low, lean forward and choose a downhill, if possible.

4. You can in fact live without Internet, but only for one week in my world.

5. Nothing dries in the jungle, so I really should have stopped expecting it to.

6. Peace and quiet is often underrated.

Sunset

Watching the sunset over the Manu River.

7. Animals in their natural habitat are even more intriguing than I expected.

jaguar

The jaguar we saw chilling by the river.

8. Biodegradable toilet paper is a must have at all times.

9. The “lasts 10 hours” claim on deet does not apply in the jungle.

10. Compared to some people on the trip, I am not as tasty to bugs as I would have expected.

11. Cold showers can actually be refreshing.

12. How to brush my teeth with bottled water without skipping a beat.

13. Some people can live without electricity, but I am not one of those people.

photo%205

Sun kissed on the last night.

14. Going to bed before 9pm is completely acceptable in the jungle.

15. Waking up to the sounds of the jungle is the best way to do it.

16. Stacy is actually quiet when I’m not around.

17. Instant coffee can be delicious, especially with powdered milk and sugar.

18. It’s ok to eat soup when it’s really hot out, even for every meal.

19. It doesn’t take a lot for people to truly be happy.

Boat Tour

20. I will never get tired of watching monkeys.

21. Ice is often a luxury that is often taken for granted.

22. I can fall asleep anywhere when sleep deprived enough, even with my head banging repeatedly against a bus window.

23. I really should have studied more Spanish before my trip, as I’m not very good at hand charades.

24. Birds are actually pretty cool.

Binoculars

25. Mosquito nets may cause weird dreams and/or hallucinations in the night.

26. It’s possible to gain weight from being sedentary and eating three large meals, two sugary snacks, and dessert each day, even in the jungle…

27. Wearing the same thing repeatedly, even under conditions causing extreme, prolonged sweating, is perfectly acceptable, except for with your underwear.

28. Drinking a hot beverage during the peak heat during the afternoon is not a good decision for me.

29. No one appreciates cows alongside the river in the jungle.

cows

30. Always check the water jug for bugs before you fill your bottle.

31. Instead of watching out for deer, you have to watch out for cows, lambs, and pigs in the streets.

32. I’m not good at holding my tongue, even in Peru.

33. It’s very common to crave cookies and candy by 10 or 10:30am in the jungle.

34. I would become comfortable peeing in front of a group of 10 people I met just days before.

35. In certain tribes when a man loves a woman, the father gets to “try him out” first. Despite where your mind may have gone, this involves giving him an axe so he can attempt to cut down an iron tree.

36. You cannot extinguish a candle on the nightstand from inside your mosquito net.
Mosquito Net

37. My only useful survival skill is comic relief.

38. The jungle is full of natural medicine.

39. Tough and strong are two different things.

strong

40. One benefit of cold showers is that your mirror doesn’t steam up.

41. Jungle viagra, which ironically comes from a very small tree, goes into a drink which is named “69”.

42. For some reason, people from the USA are perceived as loud.

43. Despite their intention, it is possible to fall asleep with a cheek full of coca leaves.

44. The proper way to tell someone they have a booger in their nose is to say “hey, you have a bat in the cave”.

gator

45. Unfortunately, cockroaches can fly.

46. Cock of the rock is not what you think it is – its the national bird of Peru.

47. Turns out potatoes go with everything.

48. The reserve zone of the jungle is really far away from Cusco. I’m talking 12 hours in a bus, followed by many, many hours in a boat.

Mo (2)

49. Bathrooms along the river are never where you expect them to be.

50. Laughter is one thing that crosses all language barriers.

The Five Don’ts of Bike Commuting

I feel very lucky to have found an apartment that allows me to walk or bike to work. Walking takes about 25 minutes or so, and biking takes just 10, and sometimes less if I catch the lights just right. The first time I decided to attempt to bike to work was shortly after moving, and I’d only ever used my bike for exercise before – never as a means of transportation. I figured it couldn’t be too hard and set out to go to work without much thought put into the ride.

To put it simply, it was a disaster.

Top Five Don’ts of Bike Commuting

While most of these things may seem pretty intuitive to the general population, for me, they were learned through trial and error.

1.) Don’t… Keep your phone in your pocket.

It doesn’t matter who calls or texts you on the way to work, nor what time it is each time you stop. On my first commute on bike, I thought it would be a good idea to transport my phone in my pocket and it turned out not to be when it fell out into a puddle and I haven’t been able to turn it on since.

2.) Don’t… Bring a large over the shoulder bag.

A backpack works much better, trust me on this one. Day one, the huge bag not only had me completely off center, it was going into the opposite bike lane on the road and I had to keep swerving to avoid hitting into other cyclists. Turns out, the backpack is also a great place to keep your phone.

3.) Don’t… Wear wide legged pants.

They will get caught in your bike chain, and you will rip a hole in your favorite work pants. You can roll your pants up or buy a band that goes around your ankle to keep your pants secure, or else you can just wear jeans or tapered pants and they shouldn’t get caught in your bike.

4.) Don’t… Forget to check the weather.

It will probably rain if you don’t check it, and riding to work in the rain is not only wet and makes you arrive cranky, but it’s not the safest either.  You’re better off walking with an umbrella or taking public transport if that’s an option.

5.) Don’t… Wing your route.

I found myself cycling the wrong way on one too many one-way streets on day one because I didn’t map out my route beforehand, and it was not only dangerous, it was frightening. Google maps actually has bike routes mapped out for several areas, but another option is walking or driving the route beforehand to figure out the best way.

I’m happy to report that since day one, my bike commuting skills have improved immensely. I now have a great route to and from work, only bike when the weather looks clear, and have not one, but two backpacks I alternate between. I also have taken to keeping my phone in my backpack rather than my pocket, but am still working on #3 – I definitely ripped a hole in another pair of pants yesterday…

You can’t win ‘em all, right?

How do you get to work? Drive, bike, walk, public transport? How far is it from your home?

Time to Regroup

Today is the first day I’ve had off in two weeks since I worked through last weekend at the conference in Columbus. I was so looking forward to sleeping in and not setting an alarm for the first time in 15 days… but at 5:10 am Wil’s alarm went off because he accidentally set it and I woke up for about an hour and a half before I could fall back asleep. Boo.

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty off track since my half marathon. Granted, I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life as well as my work life, but excuses are excuses, and it’s important for me to focus on myself a bit even when a lot of other things are going on. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t written about working out in some time… that’s because I took 10 full days off from any form of exercise! I can’t even tell you the last time I went that long without working out, and it didn’t feel very good. It hung over my head almost daily, but I just couldn’t get it together to go to the gym. I was working almost 17 hour days in Columbus and then just exhausted when I got back and had to go grocery shopping, clean, unpack, laundry, etc, etc.

On top of the lack of exercise, I’ve been really lax with eating junk and drinking, and I think all three go very hand-in-hand for me. I’m not saying I haven’t had fun or enjoyed myself with it, I’ve just been feeling kind of gross lately for lack of a better word. Last night after work I went for a drink with my coworker Emily at Bar Dupont. They had an awesome drink menu with cocktails that are normally $11 priced at just $5 for happy hour from 4-6.

I went with the Alan’s Love, which had Smirnoff Pear Vodka, St. Germaine, Honey, Muddled Cucumber, and Lime.

It was AWESOME. Perfect level of sweetness for me and had a nice fresh taste from the cucumber and lime. We were served some bar snacks:

Mixed Nuts, Wasabi Peas, and Corn Nuts. Perfect crunch to go with the drink. We also ordered a flatbread to share.

With fig jam as the sauce, gorgonzola, dried figs, and arugula. SO good. Figs twice in one day is fine by me! 🙂

After Bar Dupont, we ventured over my friend Jess and Amy’s new apartment and had a few more drinks and snacks. We also played dress up…

Amy, Me, and Jess. They have a chest full of costumes and we went a little crazy with it… I have a flapper wig on, a hula skirt, and a sequenced tube top over my clothes. Ha. ‘Twas a fun night!

But I woke up today feeling like I really needed to get it together and start taking care of myself better. I started out by making a delicious breakfast with potato hash and an egg. I started with a potato, a green pepper, and an onion…

I chopped up half the potato

And then nuked it with some water for 3 minutes to cook it. While that was going, I chopped up half the pepper and a chunk of onion.

And then added the onion, 1 tsp of olive oil, and 1 clove of garlic to a pan. After a minute, I tossed in the pepper too.

Once that was going for 3-4 minutes and the onion and pepper were getting soft, I tossed the cooked potatoes into the mix…

And cooked it for one more minute. I cracked an egg directly on top of the potato hash…

Added a little veggie stock to create some steam, and covered the pan until the egg white was cooked through.

Carefully transfered it to a bowl, and voila!

I also had a toasted Bagel Thin on the side.

To help soak up the perfectly cooked yolk…

So good. (FYI – this whole bowl was 4 points on WW, plus 1 for the bagel thin, for a total of 5. 1/2 potato = 1, 1 tsp olive oil = 1, egg = 2, bagel thin = 1)

After that, I went on an amazing bike ride and it felt sooooo good. My goal was to keep all the miles under 5:00 minutes, and I discovered this 11 mile loop the last time I went biking (11 days ago…) that I went for again. Here are the stats:

Distance: 11.01 miles

Duration: 48:50

Avg. Speed: 13.5 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:26 min/mile

Calories: 701

It is an absolutely gorgeous day in DC – around 70 degrees, sunny, and clear. It felt so nice to be outside and work up a sweat. I don’t know WHY I let myself go so long without exercise because its one thing that always makes me feel good.  My plan for the rest of the day is to try to hit up Bikram at 4 because that always helps me get back into a healthy mindset and sweat it out big time, and then laying low. I am really enjoying the relaxation factor this weekend is bringing, and really need to take some time for me. I’m also going to try to lay off drinking because I much prefer waking up feeling refreshed, rather than with a headache. It’s just so hard when if you want to hang out with friends, all there is to do is drink! Argh.

How has your weekend been so far? What is your favorite way to “regroup” when you feel like you’ve gotten off track? Suggestions welcome. 🙂

Happy 4th of July!

Hello! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend so far… I know I am! 🙂

Friday night turned out to be SO fun. I made it to a 4pm Bikram class, and then met my friend Jess for an I Love the 90’s screening of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead outside in Rosslyn. There were tons of people with blankets and picnics ready to go starting around 7pm.

They had a few games where you could win a free I Love the 90’s t-shirt.

I tried and failed, but Jess won! Here’s a picture of us:

And of our picnic goods:

Cheese, crackers, pita chips, hummus, carrots, grape tomatoes, and Hot Tamales. We also drank some white wine while the moving was playing. It was so funny to watch because I hadn’t seen it in years and years, so I was definitely pre-work world when I saw it. I remember thinking that she was SO cool and so old and having no idea what they were talking about with pension plans and health insurance… so funny to see it from the other side!

Yesterday was a really relaxing day. I spent several hours out by the pool and got a mani/pedi which was so nice. I did Level 1 of the Shred for exercise… it had been months since I’ve done it last and it is HARD. I am so sore today, but sore in a good way. 🙂 I was really on track with eating yesterday and ended up going out to dinner with the boyfriend while we ran around and hit up Target and TJ Maxx, two of my favorites. I woke up today and could hardly believe it was Sunday, but luckily we have tomorrow off, too!

We went to a dinner to grab breakfast, so I ordered a veggie eggwhite omelette with rye toast.

And I asked for fruit instead of potatoes, which they did no problem.

The fruit was actually really fresh which was sort of surprising… I feel like a lot of times the fruit at dinners can be questionable, but this was delicious!

What are your plans for the 4th? I have two picnics to go to, the second of which will be on a roof to watch the DC fireworks! I’m so excited. I’ll be back with a recap tomorrow!

Picnic and a Mystery

The weather has been amazing in DC since yesterday, which left me with no excuse to not go running both yesterday and today before work! Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little) but I have been doing a really good job at getting up and working out in the AM which is very unlike me. It feels so good and I hope its a habit I can keep up!

OK rewind to last night… my boyfriend has a daughter, Charlotte, and her and her sister Nora have been staying with us since Monday. Last night I got to hang out with the girls while my boyfriend worked, and we decided to have a picnic! They brought bikes with them, so we went on a quick bikeride (3 miles in total) and I was super impressed with their biking skills, considering they are 6 and 9. Here’s a picture of them with their bikes:

That’s Nora on the left and Charlotte on the right. We brought a sheet with us and I we packed up sandwiches, fruit, and chips to have outside.

I made turkey and cheese on wheat for them, and I had tempeh and cheese for myself. Here’s a picture of my plate:

The sandwich had:

  • 2 slices of wheat bread (2.5 pts)
  • a little more than 1/2 serving tempeh (2.5 pts)
  • 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • yellow squash (0 pts)
  • romaine (0 pts)

On the side I also had:

  • raspberries (.5 pt)
  • carrots (0 pts)
  • watermelon (1.5 pts)
  • pretzels (2 pts)

We had such a fun time sitting outside by the water and then climbing on the rocks. Hanging out with kids makes me feel like a kid again, and I love it. 🙂

Fast forward to this morning and I woke up really early (as in 6:45am) to go out for a run. I snoozed a few times and then finally got myself out of bed, into my running clothes, and out the door. I ran 3.0 miles in just under 30 minutes, but I honestly struggled a bit today during my run. I had to really push myself to keep going and felt like stopping after the first half a mile and then for most of the rest of the run. I’m not sure why exactly, but I did feel great after it was over and proud that I got up for the second day in a row to run before work.

Breakfast was true overnight oats (as in I actually made them last night!) with a topping I haven’t had in years.

Fluff! I saw fluff as a topping on Lori’s blog on several occassions and finally bought a jar of it when I remembered. I got around to using it today and it was a nice treat. 2 tablespoons only has 40 calories (1 pt), so the 1 tbsp I put on there only added .5 points to the bowl and was totally worth it.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (1.5 pts)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 pt)
  • 2/3 cup light soy milk (1 pt)
  • 1 tbsp fluff (.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup fiber one (0 pts)

Mmmmm. I ate breakfast out on my balcony and it was SO nice to be outside. I’m trying to spend as much time as possible outside to soak in this amazing weather! After breakfast, I picked up my CSA for the week, which had a lot of fruit this time!

This week I got:

  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • A mystery herb

Do you know what kind of herb this is?? Ever seen it before?

Also, is this not the tiniest beet you’ve ever seen?

🙂

Crabby in a Good Way

So I wrote this title this morning but now I’m feeling SLIGHTLY crabby in a bad way because I left my camera at home with all my pictures from last night and this morning! 🙁

Last night turned out to be a lovely evening. The boy got off from work early and brought home crabcakes from the restaurant, so we cooked dinner together and ate out on the balcony. Before he got home, I went on a 2.5 mile walk (in 38 minutes) around my neighborhood just to get out and move a bit. I sometimes forget how nice just walking around and exploring can be sometimes. We had some collard greens from the farm share that I wanted to cook, so as my sister Heather suggested, I grabbed an orange and cooked the collards with the juice from the orange and segments from the orange. We also made some bulgur with onions and carrots for a grain, and I had one huge crabcake (the boyfriend had two). We drank some wine and sat out chatting on the balcony, and then all of a sudden it was 1am! It was so nice to just sit outside because the night was so nice instead of in front of the TV like normal.

Even though I was up so late (I’m usually in bed by 11pm tops!) I forced myself to get out of bed and go for a run this morning! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I am NOT a morning exerciser. I sometimes try but can never get myself out of bed to actually go. But today was a bit different because I am going to my parents house tonight after work and won’t have time to workout, plus did a very light workout yesterday (the walk) so wanted to get in another good one before going away for the weekend. I woke up at 7am, put on my running clothes, and went! My biggest mistake was I didn’t even have a sip of water before leaving – – I’ll make sure not to do that again! The weather was PERFECT – sunny and clear and in the low 70s. Here’s the stats:

Distance: 3.11 miles

Duration: 30m:45sec

Avg. Pace: 6.0 mph

Avg. Speed: 9:59 min/mile

Calories: 361

When I set out I wasn’t sure exactly how far I wanted to go and ended up going a different route than normal. I ended up doing a 5k which is shorter than my normal runs but I was pressed for time.

After the run, I wanted to use my leftover crab cake from last night for breakfast. I made it into two smaller ones because the size of the restaurant crab cakes is huge, and just cooked it up in a pan. I toasted an arnold thin and put the browned crab meat on top, and then pan fried an egg with nonstick spray. I actually bought some eggs at the farmer’s market last night on my way home from work, and so I was looking forward to eating them for breakfast today. All of the eggs are a slightly different size since they’re fresh, so I of course picked the biggest one. When I cracked it into the pan, I noticed there were two yolks! I love how the yolk makes a sauce on whatever you’re eating if you leave it runny, so I did not mind one bit.

So 5k run and delicious Eggs Chesapeake for breakfast. What did you do to kick off Friday?

Two Trips

What an incredible day it is outside! This was reason enough for not one, but two trips outside this afternoon. The first was to eat lunch in the courtyard. I used some of last night’s leftovers from the Veggie Fajitas and made a huge burrito like wrap.

This had:

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • Leftover Fajita Veggies (1 pt)
  • 1 oz 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • Pico de Gallo (0)

It was delicious! I love reworking leftovers into something new so you get two different meals out of the same thing.

Nom, nom, nom. I also had the rest of the leftover Chinese broccoli from Sunday night (1 pt)

Plus an apple for my first dessert.

Trip two was to Yogen Fruz for some frozen yogurt. ‘Twas the perfect day for it. Today I mixed it up a bit and got chocolate frozen yogurt mixed with frozen cherries and topped with dark chocolate shavings… need I say more.

Incredible.

Not sure what tonight will bring but I’ll be back!

Picnic!

Today ended up being such an awesome day! I didn’t come back for lunch because I didn’t really eat lunch today. Breakfast was so late and then I grazed over some of the leftover pastries until they were gone… so much for my tips on being good at potlucks/office meals!! 😉 It was soooo hot outside today and sunny, so we decided to take an afternoon trip to Starbucks and I got a Grande Caramel Light Frappucino… first one of the season!

I never get these, but saw it on the menu and it just spoke to me. So good and really good against the hot weather!

After I got out of work, I came home and changed into my bike clothes to go meet my friends Amber and Meredith for a picnic in DC! I really wanted to get a workout in, so I decided to bike into DC rather than metro or drive, and ended up getting in 11 miles there and back! I had a banana before my ride because I was getting pretty hungry, and the ride itself went really well. Today’s round trip stats:

Distance: 11.00 miles

Duration: 54:25

Avg. Speed: 12.1 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:56 min/mile

Calories: 554

I was happy with these stats because about 2 miles was biking through DC so there was a lot of stopping at lights, dodging cars, going slow, etc. The parts on the trail were quicker, and then in the city slower, so I was pleased with the average pace and total distance I did.

The picnic itself was so fun! We walked over to a grassy area near the Potomac and set out a sheet to sit on and set out all the food.

I brought the Flat-Out Wraps, pretzels, tomato, and arugula, and Amber and Meredith picked up all the rest of the veggies (avocado, red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, sprouts, and carrots), crumbled goat cheese, hummus, and some wine! We all made wraps with the veggies, cheese, and hummus. Here was mine:

It had arugula on the bottom, tomato, avocado, hummus, and goat cheese. I rolled it up and then had some pretzels, sugar snap peas, and red bell peppers on the side.

Delicious! It felt so nice to have a healthy picnic with lots of veggies and snacks. The wine spritzers didn’t hurt, either! We had such a nice time with the three of us.

That’s Amber, Yours Truly, and Meredith. The three of us were college orientation roommates (so long ago!!) and now we all still hang out 8 years later.

Are most of your current friends from high school, college, post college, or another source (work etc)? I have a handful of friends I’m still in touch with from high school, but most of my closest friends are from college. I do have a few close friends I’ve met through work too but the majority are from GW! 🙂

Wrapped Up

Today has been kind of a weird day. I was so exhausted after I got out of the course around 3:30 so I decided to come home and nap. I rarely nap in the middle of the day because I’m always working (obviously) and then when I get out of work its usually too late to nap. It always throws me so off because I wake up and can’t tell what time of day it is and just feel lazy afterwards. I definitely need it though because I’ve only slept around 6 hours the last two nights, and I almost always get at least 8 normally.

I was thinking about going back to Whole Foods for lunch today because it was such a treat yesterday, but we had less time for our break today so I decided to stay a little closer to the hotel. I took the two course instructors to a little sandwich shop right on the corner, and we got food and sat outside to eat it. I was starving by lunch time, and did end up eating that banana shortly after my last post, so unfortunately that oatmeal didn’t hold me over as much as my normal oats. I think the toppings were good but I needed to add a bit more fruit and/or protein to it.

The weather was incredible so it was really nice to get some time outside. The vegetarian options were pretty limited on the menu, but I spotted a Veggie Wrap, and had them to hold the honey mustard, add tons of veggies, and got it with mozzarella cheese for some protein.

The wrap was actually really, really good! I was a little worried it might not be that great, but the veggies were really crunchy and fresh, and the mozz was perfect in the wrap. They put in lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, sprouts, roasted red peppers, avocado and the cheese. I also got a bag of popcorn for us to share, but we only got through about half this bag (which had 3.5 servings).

The popcorn was really lightly seasoned with salt so it was tasty and crunchy. The cookies from yesterday made an appearance again today, and this time I had one. It was a chocolate cookie with caramel crunch through it and I ate it too quick to snap a picture, but oh man it was good. These cookies are going to be around me for the next several days so I have to be careful… But the course is all done now, so now we move into the conference itself.

After I came home I passed out for a good 2 hours and then I woke up pretty hungry. For some reason, I never like to buy any yogurt other than nonfat, but in the samples that Chobani sent me, there were two containers of the Pineapple 2%. They actually have the same number of Weight Watchers points as the other Chobani nonfat flavors, so I’m not sure why I shy away so much. The stats are 160 calories, 2.5grams of fat, 0 fiber, 13grams of protein.

I ended up mixing in some chopped kiwi and a crushed Weetabix biscuit, and even though I had this almost 3 hours ago, I’m still feeling pretty full from it. There were pineapple chunks in the bottom of the yogurt and they were almost crunchy and so good. I really like this flavor. And pineapple and kiwi went together SO well. I think that should be made into a new flavor combo. They always have Strawberry Kiwi and Raspberry Kiwi flavors, but pineapple kiwi really works! I loved this yogurt and think I need to get over my fear of low-fat yogurt instead of nonfat. I seriously don’t know why I have this complex about it!

Now I am starting to think about eating again but today has been so off. I have to go to the hotel tomorrow from 1:45p – 9p or so, and I’m planning to go check out a market tomorrow in Courthouse, VA. Tomorrow is the first day of the Farmer’s Market, and there’s also a bike vendor who comes with used bikes. The bikes are tuned with new tires and ready to ride, and I’ve been really wanting to buy one since my ride with my dad over Easter weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that I find a good one!

It’s Official…

Easter is over, and I haven’t broken the fast. If you’re a new reader, I decided to give up all red and white meat for Lent (actually started a day early because of a little overindulgence during the weekend). I wasn’t eating that much meat as it was; at most once a day. Before giving it up all together, I tried to do at least one full vegetarian day per week, so I was used to having a lot of meals without meat as the focal point. I had been toying with the idea of going vegetarian for some time, so Lent seemed like a great time to give it a shot, even though I’m not very religious.

Once I stopped eating meat, I realized how it wasn’t really that much of a change for me from my regular diet, so it wasn’t that hard. There were a few times when I was eating out with other people and was tempted to try something with chicken or bacon, but other than that, it was easy. I think if I had done this drastic change without first cutting down on meat, it would have been a lot more difficult, but I’ve actually enjoyed myself without meat. I am getting a lot more fruits and veggies than I was before and have tried a lot of different dishes that I might not have otherwise. I also feel more energetic and “healthier” in my head. 🙂

I was thinking about the possibility of not going back to eating meat even after Lent was over, and as the 40 days went by, that idea became more and more of a possibility. I’m not saying I will never eat meat again, but I think for now, I’m going to stick with fish only. I may eat meat at special occasions or if I start to crave it, but I’m going to go with this for now and see where it takes me! I can see this change sticking, but don’t want to make any promises that I’m not 100% sure about.  I’m in no way against anyone else eating meat; I think you need to make your decisions for you. I just find that I feel better and have a more varied diet when I don’t have meat as part of it. So there you have it!

I swear these overnight oats really stick to your ribs. Since I started having them, I haven’t needed a morning snack, and before ONO’s, I would always have one. I like snacking a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I also like being full for 3-4 hours from a bowl of oats! I went outside to eat lunch today with a few coworkers. Since I didn’t cook last night, I threw together a quick meal for lunch consisting of an enormous salad and a “baked” sweet potato.

This salad had

  • 2-3 cups 50-50 mix, of spring greens and spinach
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 4 chopped radishes

The “Baked” Sweet Potato was microwaved for 3 minutes (the microwave at my office is super powerful) and topped with ~1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese (Trader Joe’s). All together:

This lunch was really satisfying and filling with the beans and sweet potato. There was also a lot of Easter candy in our office kitchen when I got back from lunch, so I had a small handful of jelly beans:

They left kind of a funny taste in my mouth so I went back to the kitchen to look at the package, and realized they were Sugar-Free. I used to eat sugar free stuff a lot, but now the aftertaste really gets to me. I think my body is used to have natural, unprocessed things now, so sugar-free anything just sends it into a weird place.

I hope your week is getting off to a great start and that its beautiful wherever you are! I’ll check in later.

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