Evening – Day 19 A Chilly Day In Chicago

This morning I was looking forward to sleeping in, because I had the day off…but I woke up at 7:30, my body was anxious to start the day! (Now mind you, I realize this IS probably “sleeping in” for most of the normal population, but I work in retail). I have noticed this pattern of waking up feeling completely rested at least 30 minutes before my alarm goes off. It’s been an awesome feeling, and I definitely attribute it to my cleaner eating!

Kegan mentioned that it was pretty cold outside, but I was thinking about running. I opted out when I saw that it was 16 degrees with a bad wind chill. Plus, I knew Kegan needed the car today for work, and I’d be forced to rely on my bike to run my errands. I didn’t want to overdo it with the exercise. Making efficient use of my time before my yoga class, I threw the black eyed peas that I had presoaked on the stove to cook while I enjoyed my breakfast of a grapefruit and oatcakes. I had a recipe in mind of using the mustard greens and black eyed peas to make a southern stew of sorts from one of my Bryant Terry cookbooks.

I left for my yoga class and was running late, so I didn’t put my gloves on as I rode my bike since it’s only a mile or so away. BAD idea. It WAS really cold. My poor fingers. I made it to my class just in time. It was an awesome class, challenging, but fun to see how my strength and endurance has been building. When it was time to leave, I was dreading getting back on my bike. It felt like I was pedaling through sand as the wind blew me backwards. It was great to come home to the leftovers from last night’s peppered lentils with buttercup squash and kale. I had baked up a few potatoes earlier along with the peas, so I threw half of a potato in to stretch out the stew. What a comforting meal after that chilly ride home! For dessert, I had some tea, a few bites of the delicious fig dark chocolate that Kegan’s mom sent us for Valentine’s day, and a cocoa almond kale cruncher! Those are so good, by the way! Filling, and satisfy a sweet tooth!

I got cracking on my recipes. I wanted to get a few meals prepared, because this will be a busy week at work. We have a big event in our store, and I’ll be super tired after work. I made my black eyed peas with mustard greens, a pot of wild rice to serve them over, and the cauliflower chowder from YU!

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Before I knew it, it was time to leave for my haircut. Again, not THAT far, but far enough that I couldn’t walk, and no direct line of public transportation that didn’t involve a transfer. So, I got EXTRA bundled up and dragged my bike out. Oh, it was torture. The wind seemed to have gotten worse when I was riding home.

I had to quickly shower and get ready for a special dinner out by the make up company that I work for! I actually chose the location, because I had heard there were options for all types of diets. One of my bosses is vegan friendly, so we were able to order and share lots of small plates! I love nibbles of lots of different flavors! It was great. Here are some highlights…

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Among other things, we enjoyed a salad with ribbons of green papaya, chayote, zucchini, and jicama; shiitake edamame dumplings, and pear sorbet for dessert!

It was a special evening. It feels great to go out for dinner when you eat plant-based and not feel stuffed! I ate so many delicious veggies and fruits!

Must rest up for a big day at work tomorrow!

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