Delicious Food

My Nutritional Balance

Being vegan you’d think I’d monitor my balance of nutrients pretty carefully.  You know, making sure I’m getting enough protein and iron, that kinda thing.

But actually, not even a little bit.  I’ve been vegan for over two years now, and have never had any serious issues, so I just assume I’m doing a pretty good job.  Except every once in a while I’ll start craving burgers.  The last time this happened my good friend Jay told me that used to happen to him when he wasn’t getting enough protein.  So now when I crave burgers, I make a point of loading up on protein.

However, this week it hasn’t been burgers I’ve been craving.  How about one of these?

Or THESE??!?

I have officially become obsessed with Pinterest, and I’m pretty sure it’s exclusively to live vicariously through all the non-vegans out there.  I would kill for one of these right about now.

MY NUTRITIONAL BALANCE: 4

Overall I’m still alright, but I need to find what’s missing!!!

So seriously, what is causing my desperate cravings for anything warm and sweet???  (With sprinkles, obviously)

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Beautiful Salads and Commitment to Relaxation

SALAD PRESENTATION: 10

It’s hard to complain at all when someone else is cooking dinner.  Especially when it’s an incredible salad, considering how bad I am at keeping a large amount of produce fresh all at the same time so I can actually make one of my own.

And then when it’s presented to me looking like this?  Seriously.  One spoiled girl.

TULIP BLOOMING: 8

I love tulips.  I find them to have a lot more personality than other flowers.  And when they open up to say hello?  Even better.

Only downside is that when they start blooming they also start drooping.  Which means they’re not going to last a whole lot longer 😦

THIS DUDE’S COMMITMENT TO HIS JOB: 7

Could I have been laughing any harder when I saw this on the way home from the Tobacco Trail the other day?  On the way to start our bike ride we passed him standing up and commented that he looked about 12 years old.  On the way home, he had clearly had enough of walking around holding the Great Clips sign.  So he decided to just lay down on the sidewalk and prop it up.

Hesitate to give him above a 5, because I’m pretty sure his boss would not be pleased with this, but I hesitate to give him below a 5 since cars can still see the sign.  So normally this would be a 5, but the laugh it gave me and my parents is worth at least 2.

7!

MURPH’S HELP WITH MY EDITING: 8

Who doesn’t love a cuddle buddy when knocking out a little work?  This girl definitely does.  Especially if it’s a juggle whose name rhymes with Smurph.

That said, the actual ‘help’ he provided was minimal.  For such a smart dog, he doesn’t often put it to work outside of sneaking into cabinets and trash cans to overdose on food…

Plus the more deeply he fell asleep, the more weight he put onto my arm making it trickier to edit.  I also had to stop every 5 minutes to gush at how cute he was as he snored…

So in terms of productivity, it was no good.  In terms of a smiling heart, it was great 🙂

Coming up next is a full review of Full Steam, an awesome brewery in downtown Durham I’ve recently fallen in love with 🙂  Until then, just living for the tens!

Genius Bars & Cinqo de Meato

Look who I discovered wandering around my apartment complex this weekend…

BABY GOOSE: 9

ADORABLE.  Find me someone who doesn’t love a baby version of anything and I’ll call them crazy.

This little guy made my morning drive infinitely better on Friday.

-1 for my new nervousness that he’ll stumble into the road and get hit by one of the crazy drivers around here.

MAC GENIUS BAR: 8

Saturday was a day put aside for mad editing.  So of course, my hard drive decides to fail.  Before you get too upset for me, I should tell you they were able to recover all data, so all that was lost was about 3 hours of my day at the Mac store and a whole lot of editing time.  BUT, I purged my old hard drive of now unwanted things, and got a faster computer out of the deal 🙂

Had two pretty good experiences at the Genius Bar today, with some smart dudes who were able to save all my stuff, and get it covered under AppleCare (despite me admitting to 1) spilling beer on my computer a couple months ago and 2) pointing out the dents from the time I dropped it on my foot in February).  So the cost was ZERO dollars.

MAC FAREWELL: 10

Highlight of my Apple store visit?  One of the guys working there walked out of the back and every Apple employee in the entire store started clapping and cheering.  All the customers looked confused out of their minds, but the employees across the store (all 63 of them) were celebrating.

I looked at the guy helping me with a confused face, and he explained that it was this guy’s last day of work.

Seriously???  What an amazing company culture that this is what happens on someone’s last day.  As of recently I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to build a strong team culture, and think things like this are such great examples in the business world.  But, it leaves me wondering all the small things they do to build the culture where this kind of thing happens.

I’ll sleep on that one, but in the meantime this moment made my heart smile.

CINQO de MEATO 2012: 8

It’s hard to believe a vegan would rate a Meatfest as high as this, but give me a second and I can explain why.

+1 for Curtis (the host), who was kind enough to make a DELICIOUS vegan chili.  Luckily all the carnivores in the house left it pretty much alone, so I could devour 4 bowls.  Okay, I exaggerate.  Wait… not really.  It was THAT GOOD.  I’m almost tempted to take a point off for how much I ate, but I actually think I was just doing my part to save more animals.  That makes sense, right?

+1 for a house FULL of good people.  Seriously, there were like 80.  While I can’t vouch for every last one of them being good people all the ones I talked to were 🙂  Entertaining, smart, and downright attractive (see below if you don’t believe me).

+1 for good beer.  I can take partial credit for this one since I brought Big Boss Hell’s Belle (a new favorite) and exclusively drank that.  But after the day I had, I deserved it.  DE.LISH.

-1 for the amount of animals killed in ‘celebration’, and -1 for the rain 😦  There were so many people stuck inside, when any BBQ (or meatfest) is made better with a little corn hole and outdoor activity.  It only motivated me to host a get-together at my place SOON!

All in all, a pretty great weekend 🙂  Until next time, just living for the tens!

Franklin Street & Never Ending Climbs

Let’s be honest.  It’s hard not to let our personal lives affect our professional lives.  These past couple weeks have been a great reminder of that, and have done a lot for my sympathy in understanding what both colleagues and students bring in to school with them every day.  Even harder is not being able to acknowledge the reality of a personal life while at work.

So you can imagine my surprise and appreciation when a colleague left a nice note on my desk this morning and a container of vegan ice cream in the staff room freezer waiting for me.

SURPRISE ICE CREAM TREAT: 10

Seriously.  I always see it at Food Lion and Trader Joes, but always resist the urge to buy it.  Today, the choice wasn’t mine.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!  I made the smart move of leaving it at school, having enough self awareness to know what would happen to it if I brought it home.  A couple spoonfuls here and there might be the best solution ever to a long week 🙂

MURPH’S LOVE OF THE NC HEAT: 2

I always forget how much the Smurph dog hates the NC summers until the warm weather really starts to hit.  While in the Spring, Winter or Fall he’s dying for a longer walk, as soon as the heat kicks in he’s begging to head back home.  Literally.  He puts on the brakes and refuses to go any further.  After I explain to him rationally that he’ll be just fine, and that he needs the extra exercise to burn off the trash he devoured that day, I can often coerce him.  But it is never easy.  Tonight was no exception.

After a walk with Murph, I headed to the CHCC for a Tuesday evening climb.  Arrived a bit late, but still got some nice climbs in with Paul.  Until we hit this route, however.

JOHN’S URGENCY ON THE ROPES AT THE CHCC: 3

I suppose you have the right to take your time.  But I’m also pretty sure there’s a sign on the wall encouraging urgency for the sake of cutting down on lines.  After waiting for over 10 minutes, we decided this was definitely ratable.  While not a rating of John, or his climbing (as he is still very much loved by us), it is a rating of the seemingly endless wait to finally get on the wall.  But if I’m being honest with myself here, maybe the real rating should be:

PAUL & MY CHOICE OF ROUTE: 3

I suppose at the end of the day it wasn’t really John’s fault, but instead ours for choosing to wait in line behind the SLOWEST CLIMBING PAIR EVER.  Okay, I exaggerate.  But when the lines are long, your partner is hungry and trying to peace out early, every second counts.

Following another climb or two we headed out to Tyler’s for dinner and then the Orange County Social Club for some celebratory beers, as a friend’s new album was just released.

DRIVING DOWN FRANKLIN STREET ON A WARM NIGHT WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN LISTENING TO JOE PURDY: 10

Seriously.  Heart smiling and loving life, there’s something about Joe Purdy that goes BEAUTIFULLY with a nice drive down Franklin Street.  Especially when it’s 80 degrees out and smells like summer.

Making it even more exciting?  Realizing that in a matter of two weeks all the undergrads will be gone and it will officially be CAROLINA SUMMER TIME!  I can’t wait 🙂

Overall, a great evening.  Stay tuned for the rating of Tripp’s newest album!

Until then, just living for the tens!

Chinese Delivery and Bouquets of Flowers

It’s starting to feel like summer here in NC.  Not spring- that was so two months ago.  But now that it’s actually spring, it’s starting to feel like summer!

WEATHER FORECAST WITH A WEEK FULL OF 90’s: 8

After last week’s batch of cold weather (and the return of my fleece jackets and constant goosebumps), it is very exciting to see 90’s in the forecast.  My tan from Mexico is rapidly fading, and a weekend lounging by the pool might be just what this girl needs.

However, it also means 100 degree days are right around the corner, and it’s almost time to bid my jeans a permanent farewell for 4 months.  That and give up on ever blow-drying my hair.  -1 for each.

CHINESE DELIVERY: 8

Chinese delivery is something that soothes my soul for many reasons.  Growing up, it was always a special treat when the parents decided it was a Chinese night.  Rarely did we do delivery then though- we’d always drive with my dad to go pick it up.

In college I discovered the beauty of Chinese delivery.  Any delivery really.  If I could call and have it at my door (or the front desk) in less than 30 minutes I was a happy camper.  I distinctly recall Sundays where we would pride ourselves on not leaving the dorm all day.  That and a week in 2003 when we were hit with a serious snow storm and the only source of food was the incredibly brave Chinese delivery man who figured the risk of driving on the treacherous roads was worth it for the massive amounts of money he could make off college students.  And boy did he.  I think I had to take a month long break from Chinese food after that blizzard.

Either way, these are some of the reasons I have such fond memories of Chinese delivery.  So tonight Bill and I decided it was the night to revisit the amazing Chinese food.  That along witha  six-pack of delicious summer beer.  Pretty sure life doesn’t get any better than this.

Until you find out the Chinese delivery restaurant is closed on Mondays.  And the other 9 1/2 around you don’t deliver.  So drive to pick it up we did.

Still delicious.  Still satisfying.  -2 for the lack of delivery options in this area.

FORTUNE COOKIE FORTUNES

I’ve complained about this for years.  If you’re my friend, or former student, you know how irritated I get with the ‘growth’ of the fortunes in fortune cookies over the past 10 years.  FORTUNE cookie insinuates that inside I will find a fortune, or something predicting my future.

Yet in the past couple years I find these fortunes to be more advice than fortunes.  I’m curious what goes on in the minds of the fortune cookie creators.  How they interpret these as fortunes is beyond me.  BEYOND. ME.

MINE: 0

Not a fortune AT ALL.  And not even all that clever.  In fact, I’m annoyed.

BILL’S: 3

While still not a fortune (we’re 0 for 2 here friends), at least it’s advice.  And it made Bill laugh.  I’ll give it 3 points for that.

UNEXPECTED FLOWERS: 10

In the background of my fortune picture you can see a beautiful bouquet of birthday flowers.  I don’t care what any girl (or person) tells you.  Unexpected flowers make you feel special and loved.  Even if they’re unnecessary, a waste of money, or whatever other excuse someone gives- everybody likes to feel special and loved.

Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for this birthday bouquet 🙂

Until next time, just living for the tens!


First Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the Season…

9.

So very, very close to a 10, but I find it hard to give any drink a 10 that costs over $5.  And that it did.

But once I forked over the money, that wasn’t going to stand in the way of my enjoyment of my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the season.  Add in the fact that the high tomorrow is 62, and you’ve got one happy, fall-loving girl.

HECK YES.

Afternoon Runs…

Slept straight through my 5:45am alarm this morning, which was supposed to lead to a nice morning jog.  After making the decision last night to sign up for the Jingle Bell 10K in December (and immediately label the next three months of my calendar with my training plan… obsessive planner?  Perhaps.)

This of course leads me to then think about where I’m going to fit my workout into my otherwise super busy day (and by super busy, I mean finding as many ways to avoid work as possible… turns out I’m just not the ‘sit at a computer all day and do work’ kinda girl).  Luckily I got an email from my MIA roommate asking if I was up for a 3pm run.

YES!  An excuse to get in my workout AND see another human.  Perfect.

DRINKING A LOT OF COFFEE BEFORE GOING: 2

Since the plan was unexpected, my 2pm ‘stay awake so I can actually get some work done’ coffee was unfortunately timed.  Had to go to the bathroom 5 minutes into our run.  Luckily the American Tobacco Trail is relatively uncrowded during the day, and I had a running partner, aka lookout.  Behind a tree I went.

NOAH’S LOOKOUT ABILITY:  2.5

Unfortunately, my running partner was not a very good lookout.  I walk out of the woods to see him way off in the distance, running the other direction.  Not only did he leave me behind, but had he seen someone coming (and there were 2 on their way towards me), there was no way to notify me.  When I rated him a 3 he began arguing the rating, so I bumped it down .5.

In his defense, maybe he didn’t know what it meant to be a lookout?

RUNNING IN 96 DEGREE WEATHER: 4

Glad I did it now.  Wanted to die then.

Will be waiting until sunset in the future.  Or fall.  It’s almost here, right?

RECOVERY SMOOTHIE: 10

Noah was going to attempt to make it, but, like most meals at our apartment, he realized within 3 minutes it would probably be better if he just let me do it.  So I did.

And he was right.

AMAZING.

Noah says ‘I would give it a 9.  A swirly straw would have been nice… something a little festive, you know?’  Fair enough.

TODAY’S CAMERA MASTERY:  5

One of the many ways I attempted to avoid work today was getting a little bit better with my Nikon D40.  Thought I was doing just great until 3 hours later I decided to check my understanding with the smoothie pictures.  Clearly I couldn’t remember most of what I had learned… will need to remediate immediately.

Until next time, just living for the tens 🙂