Day 24 – A Sunny Day Off

I really am *savoring* my days off. I have been trying to recharge my batteries as best as I can to help me power through my work week. It’s been an important lesson for me, because I used to feel overwhelmed and guilty about needing to accomplish lots on my days off. Now, I realize that a long walk with my husband, or “FaceTime” with my family IS an important accomplishment.

After easing into our morning, Kegan and I decided to walk to Chicago Diner for an awesome vegan brunch. We love our neighborhood walks, they are so special to us. I opted for the quinoa bean chili which is on the gluten-free menu, but said yes to adding mac and cheese; I’m not sure if the noodles were gluten-free. I ordered a side of arame slaw for some veggie crunch. Everything was delicious!

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It was a treat to have my dish with “sour cream” and “cheese”, because I’ve been trying to stay away from pseudo meats and dairy products on this challenge. I find myself desiring them less and craving more whole, or close to whole foods. That’s been a positive benefit of this challenge, among many others.

After lunch, we walked around the neighborhood; and, despite the chilly weather, we enjoyed the feeling of sun on our bodies (through layers of clothing, of course)! I stubbornly wore my Five Fingers shoes, even though it was wet and slushy on parts of the sidewalk. Inspired by reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, I’ve been learning more on the topic of modern day cushioned shoes being the cause of many foot problems. I had bought a pair of the aqua sock-lookalikes a few years ago, because I’m always a sucker for new styles of shoes. Standing for most of my work day, I’m always searching for comfort for my feet. I wear the shoes every so often, but feel self-conscious about how goofy looking they are (additional to the fact that they look like finger gloves, my pair is bright blue and yellow). Today, I decided to let my “freak-flag fly” and sport them around my hipster neighborhood. I’ll let you know how achy my feet and legs may feel tomorrow. (They activate dormant muscles that aren’t really used when wearing a more structured shoe).

We did a little window shopping, and with all of our walking, we felt we’d earned a treat. My friend Kelly told me that a local chocolate shop that serves drinking chocolates had recently added a dairy-free almond milk-based hot chocolate! The inside of the shop was so adorable, and they were kind enough to split our chocolate into two large mugs since we were sharing! I thought that was very *sweet* of them! It was decadent!

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I was feeling pretty tired, so we headed home. We stopped at a food mart to restock on my growing addiction to Frank’s Hot Sauce. Is that bad?!?! I really do put that sh*t on everything (as the famous ad states). I suppose my addictions could be worse. I made an impulse buy at the checkout on some raw chocolate (speaking of addictions). I am such a sucker…

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Home we went after that, and I felt a lovely Sunday nap brewing. As I was dozing off, my sister attempted to FaceTime me from her I-pad for the first time, but we were having some technical difficulties. After about ten minutes, we had it. She was visiting my nephews and my mom, and it was so cool to be able to stick my tongue out at my nephew! That little rascal…

At this point, it had been a few hours since brunch, and I was a tad hungry. We had been given some cookies from Chicago Diner, so we decided to nibble on one. Since I didn’t really eat lunch, it didn’t sit so great in my stomach, especially after the hot chocolate…I ate the leftovers from brunch to put something more substantial in my tummy, and then it was time to head out to yoga. I had a great class. I’m really glad I renewed my commitment to yoga for the year. Just like this blog, it’s making me more aware of myself, and allowing me to learn about ME!

I came home and my body wanted greens. One of my favorite things about this challenge has been my increased use of greens. I try to make them the focus of my meals. The YU recipes make it seem less like a chore, and more like a regular habit to squeeze them into my meals. For dinner, I heated up a veggie burger from yesterday’s batch of sweet potato quinoa kale cakes. I had a bunch of collards, so I made a quick simple preparation of them steamed with garlic granules and smoked sea salt. I served them aside my veggie cake with a bit of avocado, some lime, and ahem, some Frank’s Hot Sauce. I ate a few bites of raw chocolate, and I’m happy to just lay on the couch and watch the rest of the Oscars! Tomorrow will be shopping day!

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