Hungry Hungry Hippie

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low expectations

Okay, so this is NOT the best approach to life. I hate starting the day with this kind of attitude, but I have to say…sometimes having low expectations leads to a surprisingly pleasant day. After the crapolla shift that was yesterday, I was really not thrilled to go to work today. I got no sleep last night, waking up 800 times, and I had massive bags under my eyes in the morning.

Here’s the lunch I packed for myself last night. I bought a small coffee in the morning, but I felt so yuck, that I waited until I finished a liter of water before felt like I could drink it. I was def big time crampy. Ew. Explains my lovely mood.

A few different people commented on how crappy I looked. I have never understood why people ask/tell you either (1) you look tired or (2) you look like you didn’t get too much sleep. Could this be anything other than insulting?

A co-worker even said to me today “what’s wrong with you, you aren’t your usual chipper self.” Normally, this would be a semi-thoughtful observation, but this guy is the person who single-handedly made yesterday a living hell for me, so I was in NO mood to even answer him, for fear that I would lash out and start screaming that it was because of his lazy work ethic and apathetic patient care that I was forced to step up and take on the patient load of 2 people so that nobody died. UGH! Does he have any concern for his patients’ lives? Ok, enough. Does PMSing count as an excuse for murder? (kidding!)

Anyways, I actually did have a good work day (thanks to my self preserving tactic of avoiding the aforementioned co-worker). A few of my fave nurses were there, and one of the cardiologists bought the unit a huge platter of Bruno’s sandwiches (no veggie options, but still a nice gesture), and one of my patient’s family members brought a big cookie basket. I had a decent patient load, and managed to get away for lunch at a normal time.

Smart deli “turkey” sando and my absolute favorite Bruno’s veggie soup, white bean escarole.

Holy yum!
This soup is SOOO good.

The rest of the day was fine. Nothing too exciting. I again forced myself to drink 2 liters of water. I didn’t have anything to snack on after lunch since I knew I was going out to dinner right after work.

For dinner, I met my girlies at Republic in Union Square. It is a noodle place (nothing too innovative) but it is in a great location and since it’s been 2 months since the 3 of us have gotten together for our (previously) monthly dinner dates, it was a BLAST. I heart these girls, and we are practically like sisters since we have known each other since kindergarten. We know every single thing about each other, and amazingly we all ended up in NYC, so it’s pretty great to see them. Since I had just gotten off work, I was in my scrubs, which was slightly embarrassing (this is the first time I went anywhere after work and didn’t have a change of clothes). So, I was rocking the green ensemble as I ordered a glass of cabernet sauvignon. For dinner I got the “curry vegetable broth” which was tofu, rice noodles, snow peas, straw mushrooms, carrots, fried shallots, cabbage, and broccoli, in a red curry broth. When it arrived, it looked like a wok full of soup (meaning it was a huge bowl). The curry flavor was delish and every once in a while I caught a fleck of something super spicy and coughed a bit. The noodles were extra fine and very good, as were the veggies. The tofu was just kinda blah. Not seasoned very well, and I only remember about 4 chunks. Still I enjoyed it and was full at the end of the meal. I also downed about 4 glasses of water. It was such a blast, we talked forever, and I totally lost track of time…I didn’t get home until nearly 11! I was so exhausted, I literally jumped into bed within minutes of getting home. Zzzzz.

beep beep

I felt like the f-ing road runner today. Actually, I felt more like the coyote, getting anvils dumped on me throughout the day πŸ™
So today was a completely miserable day. Fortunately, writing this blog in hindsight helps me not vent to the extreme that I would have if I were writing it in the moment. Grrr

Anyways, I packed this lunch the day before.

I had a Bruno’s coffee first thing in the morning, as well as a huge bottle of water, then the odwalla Berries GoMega bar for my AM snack.
For lunch I had this Bruno’s tomato veggie soup. Not too exciting as far as Bruno’s soups go…but still well worth the $.

I also had my same sando: smart deli turkey, lettuce, chobani, mustard, on A street bread.

That held me over until I got off work. But then I headed to Whole Foods, and got this gem, that I couldn’t even wait til I got home to open. Vegan chocolate pudding (this is what I want heaven to be like)! I’m on the subway platform in this photo πŸ™‚

I had a few bites on the train, but then I put it away so I didn’t ruin my appetite for dinner. Plus, this pudding is SOOO thick. It reminds me of Betty Crocker’s tubs of frosting (which I used to eat with a spoon in my younger years)…it is extremely rich and chocolate-y.

For din-din I polished off 2 rolls of veggie sushi, with texturized protein, carrots, cabbage, and brown rice. I drizzled soy sauce all over it, too. Love me some salt πŸ™‚

And then back to the pudding. Since I am HORRIBLE when it comes to moderation, you KNOW this must be decadent, since every bite could have fit in a thimble and I had to down a glass of milk between each one.

Look and the fun shapes I was making with my spork (spoon-fork)!

Heavenly. No other word to describe it (I may be entering PMS-ville, btw). TMI? Either way, it explains a lot.

I was feeling a little sick at this point, so I decided to save the last few bites for tomorrow…but first, I wanted to show how cute this little spork is πŸ™‚

Folded up in it’s slot (above) & open and ready for some grubbing (below).

Cool, no?

More milk…
and (a few) dates – I can’t help it!!

Date montage.

First day of snow!

I woke up to flurries, and the weather only picked up from there. It was nice to sip hot coffee inside, wrapped in blankets, while the snow fell outside. I only like snow when I don’t have to leave the house though, so I think I’ll be over it pretty quickly since I have work tomorrow.
With my AM coffee, I had a handful of dates, they were SUPER soft and chewy – the way I like them best.

Look at the snow! It’s hard to tell how much it was actually snowing from the pics, since I’m not a whiz with the camera. In fact it’s Kyle’s camera, so I was just glad I managed to figure out how to turn the flash off.

Maybe I’ll have my first white christmas this year?

Lunch. Veggie “chicken” spread.

I mixed it with some ff chobani…

Then I sliced up an apple to dip in the greek yog/”chicken” spread mixture.

It was good, in fact great, but it didn’t fill me up, so I had some more spread layered on a piece of A street bread. I looooove this spread.

Still hungry, so I made up another slice (this time finishing off the spread). Mmmm…

After lunch I was full and ready to brave the storm. As I walked to the gym, I practically turned into an icicle!! IT. WAS. FREEZING. Looks like my days of outdoor running are over!

At the gym, I was kinda in a lazy mood. I really wasn’t too motivated, so I turned on the t.v. and zoned out for a not-so-intense elliptical workout. Good thing ellen was on so the time flew by…I did do an above average (for me) arm work out, followed by a sub-par ab work out, and a lot of stretching. Ah well. No gym tomorrow, so at least I can rest and my muscles can get a break for a few days.

I was starving after the gym, so I heated up a bowl of creamy butternut squash soup, which I then spilled.

Since I was a klutz, I was left with only half the bowl (post spill), so I also snacked on some soy nuts. Man do I love salt.

For dinner I had “Health is Wealth” vegan nuggets. L-A-Z-Y!!

Here’s my full spread. Yes, that’s regular bbq sauce, HFCS and all. I’m pretty sure the carrots make up for it, though, right?

I didn’t wait long for dessert. This choc sorbet was an obvious choice. I had a third of the container and then got mad at myself for eating without designating a set portion (a BIG no-no).

So then I scooped the rest of my dessert into a glass. In total, I think I had half the carton? While I’m annoyed that I didn’t eat dessert very mindfully, I’m glad that I realized it and corrected the situation before it got out of hand (a problem I’m definitely not a stranger to).

Hello sugar high.

i’m thinking squash

Buenos dias! No work = sleep in day (woo hoo)!

Made a nice big frothy mug of coffee this morning. Yum yum yum. I spent the next few hours doing errands around the apartment…and I didn’t even realize how much time had passed until my stomach started growling around 2 pm. Whoa! Late lunch much?

So I made a nice platter for myself with the best hummus EVAH (Sabra).

First I had some carrots and a slice of Alvarado street bread…

Then I had one more piece of bread (caked with delicious Sabra)…

And another…

And then a GN veggie burger…with a (large) dollop of hummus on top πŸ™‚

Doesn’t it look a bit like a hummus hairdo the way I arranged it?
Since it was UNseasonably warm today (no complaints) I decided to run outside. I ran to Central Park and did 2 laps around the lake (maybe 40ish mins total). Then I cooled down at the gym on the elliptical (level 8) for 15 mins and stretched.
For dinner, I had quite the meal planned. Thanks to Erin from Care to Eat (shout out), I was all set for my first go at cooking spaghetti squash. Look at this massive baby!!

I only sorta knew what to expect when I cut it open (which was a serious feat in and of itself)! The outside was way tougher to penetrate than I expected (that word will always sound dirty).

Here’s the inside, seeds and all.

Before and aftershot. Scooping is not so fun. Reminds me of carving pumpkins. You just want to get it over with so you can start the fun part. Ordinarily I would have saved the seeds to bake (just like I did last year with pumpkin seeds) but there really weren’t enough to make it worthwhile. And I’m lazy. πŸ˜‰

Here’s one half cleaned out and ready for the oven…

the second half was a bit bigger, so I cut it in half so the pieces would all cook evenly.

Here they are all ready in the pan (along with approx 1 cm. of water).

I don’t know how long they were in the oven, I just kept checking on them until the skin was soft enough to stab with a knife.

Look how the insides are just naturally stringy! So cool!

Once it cooled I started scooping out the flesh.

BEAUTIFUL stringy noodle-y spaghetti squash!!

Here’s a view of the inside mid-scraping.

And here are the skins all hollowed out.

There was so much I separated it into containers for future quick dinners.
While the spag squash was in the oven, I got to work preparing for the rest of my dindin. I decided to make a vegan spaghetti with meatballs, so I had to start seasoning the tofu with some italian spices. Sometimes I forget to mention the specific spices I use, but we have a pretty extensive spice collection, so it’s rare that a recipe calls for something I don’t have. Our apartment may be teeny tiny, but we are stocked with seasonings.

That’s not even all of them either!

So on the tofu I used:
onion powder and flakes

garlic powder and flakes
fennel seed (ew, never again)
s + p
Here’s the final product. I popped a few into my mouth before everything else was ready, and they were TASTY!

Plus some of Brad’s organic pasta sauce (tomato basil flavor).

Below is the first plate all together.

This deserves quite a few “holy yum”s. Each bite got better and better. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the spag squash noodles, but in my opinion, they were even better than reg noodles! The big chunks of tofu were an especially great addition to the spaghetti meal.

Very much a meal I’ll make again.

This was plate #2 – heavenly πŸ™‚ Not much tops warm comfort food in winter.
I did have room for dessert though (clearly).

But I only had a few spoons – not enough to warrant a bowl.

Awesome Blossom

Good (hungover) morning! Thank god I pounded water before I went to bed last night and then slept in today, because after last night’s festivities, I needed sleep and hydration big time. I had SO much fun at the work holiday party. Drinking and dancing with the whole cardiac surgery team in a fun (non hospital) environment was a complete blast. The biggest shocker, though, is how SORE I am today! I danced for maybe half and hour, but since I was in heels, I guess I was using different muscles? My quads are aching. I can’t stretch enough. Who knew in addition to fine wine and fine dining, I’d be getting in a work out! The DJ played most of my requests, so I was in heaven πŸ™‚
Anyways, I started off the day with a mug of Starbucks’ holiday blend coffee with ff skim plus (we’re out of soymilk).

I had a few cups, and wasn’t really hungry until later in the afternoon. Looks like I’m back to my normal meal times now that I’m officially over the cold. So, for my late lunch I made myself a new type of sammie (I was in a creative mood). I mixed approx 3 oz. of “chicken” Smart Strips with brocc slaw, veganaise, ff chobani, and curry powder.

Then I heaped it all onto a slice of Alvarado Street (CA style) bread…

It was too big to eat open face, though…so I added another piece of bread on top.

Pic of sandwich doing the splits below.

Yummmm…note to self: curry “chicken” salad sandwich is a repeat, fo sho.

I needed a little sugar pick me up before I headed off to the gym, so I had a big (organic) gala apple.
Summary of my gym visit in three words: ouch, stretch, ouch. My quads were in pain! I was planning on kicking my butt today, too. Clearly, I accomplished no such mission. I managed to stay on the elliptical for 60 minutes, alternating between levels 10 and 11, but I was in agony the entire time. At least I had some good football on tv to distract me πŸ™‚ Favre and the JETS made quite the last minute comeback.
After the gym, Kyle and I headed out for errands and stuff. I hit up Starbucks while we were out for a coffee. I added fake sugar (when will Sbucks get on the Stevia bandwagon, stupid FDA) and vanilla silk soy milk. I’m not sure how long we were out, but by the time we made it back home, we were both starving.
We had a dinner date planned for the evening, which I was VERY VERY excited about. I have been looking forward to going to Blossom Cafe since it opened! This is the sister restaurant to the original Blossom in Chelsea, and is jsut around the corner from us on the Upper West. It is one of the more popular vegan restaurants in NYC, so naturally I had to try it out.
I started with the soup of the day, which was a sweet potato, ginger, coconut milk soup. HOLY YUM! This $h#% is bananas!!! Really thick, really favorful, and really good.

I was savoring every bite, and was about 2/3 into it, when my entree arrived. I initially ordered the porcini crusted tofu, but they were all out, so I instead order the Seitan Scallopini. I am so glad I was forced to order this instead of the tofu. I always get tofu, and I really am glad I branched out.

Pan seared seitan cutlets in a white wine lemon caper sauce served with mashed potatoes and sauteed greens. OMG. This meal was so f-ing good. I. heart. good. food. I’m officially in love with Blossom after this meal. The pic doesn’t even do the size of the dish justice. I have never had seitan in any other form than shredded pieces, so this was new, and quite delish. Also I was so happy to finally have mashed potatoes on my plate that I could actually eat without fearing the revenge of the butter/milk/dairy the following day!! Vegan dining is the way to go! Words just don’t describe how good this meal was (definitely just cracked into my top 5 fave restaurants of all time – and that is a serious accomplishment with my fine dining experience)!! Kyle and I left the restaurant stuffed to the bone. I wanted to finish my soup, so I couldn’t even finish all the seitan (so of COURSE I had them make me a take-away bag of the rest of the meal). Leftovers πŸ™‚