Life: weekend routines

I used to think those stay at home moms are so lucky because they have plenty of time for themselves. Well…. not so true because now that I’m temporary taking that role, I find myself busy during the week for no reason. I keep running errands in the mornings. I have a long to-do list everyday to tackle. Groceries shopping takes a lot of time now that we have 5.5 people in the house.

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Fortunately coming home and see this face makes me smile

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oh… she smiles a lot too, specially when I play with her.

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We got our first batch of potatoes!!! Look how cute they are and really tasty too.

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Last weekend: Saturday mornings are dedicated to soccer game.

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Sofia and Tony warming up

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Sofia plays and eats her fruits while I got to relax. Then at noon is Sofia’s ballet class.

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She’s going to Tiny Dancers and the place is really cute. A small studio where parents get to see them the whole time.

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Each week there’s a theme, they read a book and dress afterwards, and a parade with their costume for the parents.

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first week’s theme was bubble bee

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Sofia had a lot of fun!

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Saturday evening we went to a friend’s new house for BBQ

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what a great feast!

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Sunday I started with 7 miles run. Unfortunately I didn’t feel strong in that run. Maybe because I didn’t carb load the night before? maybe because I didn’t sleep enough? Need to try another meal and sleep more this week.

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when I came home, my lovies were watching soccer game and having breakfast

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Sofia is getting into soccer games with Tony

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then it was her swimming class

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followed by lunch at Iron Chef with friends

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On July 18th Lizzy turned 3 months!!!

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she’s such a fun girl to play with

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this weekend we did pretty much the same… soccer saturday morning

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then ballet

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Sunday was my 5k race! 🙂

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My first running trophy!!!

We had an amazing day on Sunday because someone won a trophy!!!

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I had signed up for the Birthday Bash 5K few weeks ago as part of my half marathon training plan.  I haven’t participated in a race for over 6 years so I was a bit nervous and excited. Tony and Sofia woke up early with me and we went out together.

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To my surprise, there were over 500 people in this family run (1k and 100 m were available too)

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I lined up at 9-10 min/mile pace and went off. I have warned up few minutes before the race because I find myself always struggling in the first mile or so.

Mile 1 started with a downhill so I picked up the pace and went fairy fast (8:45 min/mi). I felt good, I felt extremely good for such a fast pace but I told myself not to go faster because I could run off the stamina too early.

Mile 2: I still felt fine and confident, passing through runners all the way. I knew I was still going faster than my normal pace but I felt confident that I still have a lot of energy. My last 5k race time was over 28 minutes so I mentally calculated that if I kept up with that pace, I would PR. Woo!!! that sounds exciting! So I should keep up.

Mile 3: downhill and uphill. The course is really nice. Although it was sunny and hot, my hat protected me and I didn’t feel too heated. To distract myself, I counted how many runners I pass. 7 on mile 3! 😉 I got a bit tired with the fast pace so I slow down a bit to around 9 min/mi until 2.9 miles. Then I press the accelerator and gave all I had left until the finish line. I was looking for Sofia and Tony, and there there were, waiting for me! What a great feeling to have my loved ones waiting for me at the finish line!!!!

While I run, Sofia and Tony had fun at the photo booth.

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Surprisingly, for such a small race there were many vendors. We got cupcake, ice creams, banana, sample juices, ice crush, popcorns and free cartoon.

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we got a family portrait

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we loved it!!!

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My chip time was 26 min. I didn’t think too much of it but my friend told me that I placed 29th among female runners. Woo!!! That sounds great! But then when I went to take a picture of the final results, I saw that I placed 3rd on my age group! Woo! Even better! We were going to get a trophy!!! That’s INCREDIBLE!

Sofia went with me to take it

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She was beyond excited too! She told me that she wanted to run! Oh… baby… run with mama next year!

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when we came home, someone was up and waiting for us

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to celebrate even more, we had a great BBQ (korean baby ribs, spicy sausage, chicken leg, asparagus, corn and salad).

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What a wonderful Sunday! It was Sofia and Tony’s first time to see me running a race. Their presence made it so special. Just for the feeling of crossing the finish line knowing that they’re cheering and waiting for me, I’ll keep running and racing because that feeling is priceless!!! 😀

Life: race is on & weekend happening

After 24 hrs of deep thought! I signed up for the September 12, 2016 Park half marathon, the same one that I did 6 years ago!!! 😀 What pushed me to make the decision was great memory I have from that training, the sense of accomplishment I had after each of the long runs, support from Tony and knowing that 4 of my friends are running it too, 2 of them run with me last time. I’m super excited about it.

On Sunday I did 6 miles. My plan was to run it slow so I could increase mileage. When I finished.. I felt great, so great that I could run probably 1-2 miles more. And it turned out, I wasn’t too slow.

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There’s 9 weeks to go until the race day and I’ve written down my plan. Both for the half marathon and continuing with MUTU. Glad that I’m on maternity leave so I can spend 2 hrs per day training.

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Lizzy started to play in the playmat and she seems to like it. She could lie down there by herself for half an hour. Sofia loves to join her.

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Saturday morning we stayed at home and had BBQ for lunch

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because Sofia and I had a girls night planned. We went to see Cirque Italia

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it was our first time going to cirques and it was quite fun

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Sofia was definitely excited to watch the show

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Sunday morning was swimming class for Sofia. Then we went to have lunch at Iron Chef

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We ordered 3 appetizers: a spicy seafood soup (I had it almost all of it!)

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shrimp dumpling (mostly consumed by Sofia)

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grilled squid

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Sushi deluxe

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Sashimi deluxe

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It was a great meal, so refreshing for a warm day. Lizzy behaved real well. The trick is to time it well with her sleeping schedule. She woke up, I nursed her and left the house. When returned home 2 hrs later and she was ready to go for a nap.

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Sofia enjoys eating out and trying new food nowadays. Although she’s not very adventurous but she’s willing to try at least one, like squid, and asked for more.

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Sunday evening we went to a soccer play. Tony loves soccer but haven’t found anywhere to play. So meetup.com did the magic. We signed up on a Saturday morning and he was playing the next day. Definitely going back for more!

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while he played, Sofia played in the playground, I fed her dinner and I did some reading. Perfect way to end the weekend.

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Now that Tony started working, weekends are even more precious. Loving it!

Journal: busy day running around

5:10am woke up and once more surprised that Lizzy didn’t wake up last night. This girl really likes her sleep. It has been 4 days in a row that she doesn’t wake up to eat at night. Are we really into sleep-through-the-night mode? Finger crossed.

I pumped 8 oz., had coffee and some cereal and hit the road for my morning run. I look forward to it everyday. Although the training plan calls for rest today, I still felt like running. So, I did 3 miles at very slow pace.

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7:30 am: when I came back all the family was up. Sofia dressed but haven’t started breakfast, Tony was up feeding Lizzy, mom getting ready for Sofia’s breakfast and me all sweaty mess.

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I took a shower, prepared breakfast for Tony and myself. I had another egg-cheese wrap.

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8:30am Tony, Sofia and I left the house. It was Tony’s second day at work. I was the designated driver for ms. Sofia and mr. Tony.

10am: I arrived home and had a white peach.

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I pumped again and went to Target. They’re running a huge promotion so we’re stalking up some diapers for Lizzy. It was our 3rd trip this week. Maybe we’ll go back again 1-2 times to get more.

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11:45am: Lizzy was just waking up from her morning nap. It is 3.5 hrs nap!!! Grandma fed her while I unpacked things.

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I also went to Teeters to get italian ice for Tony, and ArticZero for me. I’m trying to cut back on my kabocha consumption at night. Let’s see if the ice cream does the trick.

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Then I played with Lizzy for a while

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she’s such a happy baby. She smiles at me when I talk to her. Sometimes she even “speaks ” back.

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12:45pm Lizzy back to her swing for another nap. I pumped while I was preparing for my lunch. So efficient, right?

1:25pm lunch time.

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farmer’s lettuce from Teeters (really tastes like those from farmer’s market but half of the price), tomato, red onion (so sweet after soaking at water for 10 min), cucumber, roasted beet and pan fried tempeh. Dressed with olive oil, fig balsamic, lemon, mustard and salt.

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few squares of chocolate for dessert.

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2pm I was catching up with important pics and writing yesterday’s long catching up post.

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2:45pm Lizzy was up. I think it was because her room was too hot. It was 88F. Otherwise she’d take longer naps. I fed her first.

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then played

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took a lot pics to show Tony later

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put her back to nap at 3:45pm. Then I did the MUTU system intensive workout #1, core workout #2, and Tracy’s arm workout. I like listening youtube videos while I workout because I’ve done those many times and no need to focus on watching them.

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I also did few exercises my physical therapist gave me.

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4:40pm I had some pistachios before heading out the door.

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5:15pm arrived at Sofia’s daycare and she was cooking. This girl loves cooking, as her teacher says, kitchen is her favorite play area. I guess that’s because she just wants to be her mama. 🙂

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5:30pm Tony texted me that he arrived the station which is one block away from the daycare. So we went out to meet with them and drove back home together.

6pm: Dinner was almost ready when we arrived. Mom told me that Lizzy woke up right after I left, so just 45 min nap, again due to the heat. Fortunately she didn’t complain and was happily playing at the playmat when we arrived.

For dinner we had salmon head soup with tofu, scrambled eggs with tomato, sautéed kibosha and sautéed romaine lettuce.

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6:45pm Bath time. Although it was almost 2 hrs since Lizzy woke up from her last nap. She  was still content by then, even laughed at me when I undressed her.

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I fed her and put her to sleep (in the swing).

7:30pm Dessert time! For couple of months, I’ve been having big bowl of kabocha as dessert, but last night I had articzero. It was really good. Perfect for the summer. But to be honest, I missed my bowl of kabocha.

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then I laid on the coach reading my old blog. I read about my experience running my first half marathon. I still vividly remember how much I enjoyed the 2 months training and the final race.

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I had an idea. What about running another one? like… in 8 weeks? is it possible? should I do it? why not? what prevent me from not doing it? I’m already running 4-5 times a week. If I train like I did last time, I can definitely run another in September or October this year.

This idea kept my mind busy the whole evening…. and I’m still not decided, more yes than no. Maybe if I find someone to run with me, then I’ll do it? Let’s see.

9pm: pumped for the last time.

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had a cup of chamomile tea.

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in bed by 9:30pm.

Should I run or shouldn’t I run? that’s the question.

Life: happening, eating and more

Playing catch up again. I really hope I can blog more from now on… maybe 3 times a week just as I did when I was on maternity leave last time. I really enjoy reading those. Good memories. Now.. we are living another special time.. and I want to record it too.

Happening

First let’s see how we celebrated grandma’s birthday this year. It was a surprise celebration. I didn’t tell her when was her birthday this year but secretly planned it with Sofia and Tony. Sofia came back with a cake and my mom was happily surprised! 🙂

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following tradition, we had noodle for dinner.

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Sofia helped blowing the candle while Lizzy continued staring at her sister

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Everyone enjoyed the cake and the ocassion

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including Lizzy… she had a “taste” of the cake

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I love my mom so much. She’s the wisest woman I know. She is also caring, generous and always there when I need her. I notice that she’s getting older, not as energetic as few years ago. Her time with us here in the US will be limited. She will probably go back to  China next year. We will all miss her so much.

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As present for grandma, I took her and Sofia to see Riverdance. I saw the show 7 or 8 years ago and at that time I knew she would love it. So when I was thinking about what to give for her birthday, Riverdance happened to be in town that weekend.

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Three generations of women went on a date… it was a lovely day

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it was Sofia’s first show experience and she behaved really well

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It was the perfect present for grandma. She really liked it. Now that she’s getting older, I think she enjoys experience over material goods. I will definitely share more memorable experiences with her. These are invaluable.

We’ve been exploring farmer’s market on Saturdays. The last time I went with Miss Sofia alone and treated her with a popsicle. She was so happy.

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Sofia started her swimming lessons. Now she’s in Peddle II.

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We went to a pool party at Brian’s, one of Sofia’s classmate

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she had such a blast! I wish we had a pool at home too. She could spend the whole afternoon in the water.

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Lizzy started to smile and “talk” to us. She’s such a happy baby, so easy to be content! 🙂

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On July 4th weekend, Sofia and I prepared a icebox cake to take to a friend’s BBQ party

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she had so much fun putting those fillings.

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We will definitely make it again next year.

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We took Lizzy to the mall one day… one of few outings with her other than to restaurants. As long as I keep moving around with the stroller, she’s content.

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I love seeing Tony interacting with Sofia. I know I say it repeatedly, but I still feel moved when I see them together.

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Four days weekend at home drives me crazy… Sofia has so much energy to release. I was out of ideas… so I took her to ride bike for a while, teaching her how to turn without falling

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I encourage Tony to exercise, Sofia likes to join.

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We invited friends over to play with Sofia, so we make egg tarts

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Sofia loves cooking with me and I love having her as company. I wish she enjoys cooking as much as I do in the future.

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They played for few hours and they got tired too. Some downtime with the iPhone.

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by the end of the long weekend, I was so exhausted. I didn’t want to move out of the couch.

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This Monday the teacher called me. I was in panic. Fortunately it was nothing major but we  still took Sofia to get checked. Apparently little girls can have yeast infection too. Who knew? But it’s nothing to worry about. Just keep her private area clean and dry, apply the cream twice a day for two weeks.

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Eating

I’ve been eating really clean lately because I can prepare meals myself. I love it! I enjoy cooking and I feel the greatest when I eat clean with tons of veggies, lean meat, limited fat and fruit, and almost no grains.

For breakfasts I’m addicted to is this protein cake. Made with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 3 egg whites, 2 TB corn flour, 1 TB cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt and stevia. Mix, microwave for 3’50”, top with PB2 sauce. It’s like eating dessert for breakfast. So so good. I think I had it for 3 weeks straight and each day still looking forward to it.

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for savory option, I’d have a grilled wrap filled with 1 egg, 1/2 C egg white, 1 oz. mozzarella cheese and 1 slice of smoked ham.

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or this savory pancake made with 1/4 C of chickpea flour and the same feelings as the wrap.

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For my mom and Tony, I prepared egg muffins

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bread with ham, bacon and hash browns

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waffles with PB2 sauce and homemade berries jam

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I don’t often have morning snacks, if I do, it has been mainly pistachios, my fav nuts!

I usually eat lunch pretty late… around 1:30pm. Some random combos:

a soupy mixture of shrimp head, tofu, napa cabbage and shiitake noodles.

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taco bowl made with grounded turkey, sautéed kale, chipotle salsa and cauliflower rice. Such a filling and tasty meal.

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when it’s hot, I’d have a salad. This one has lettuce, tomato, cucumber, asian blend veggies and grilled shrimp. I made an asian dressing with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey.

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similar salad with grilled tofu

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Quick stir fry with whatever I had: kale, palm heart, red onion and tempeh.

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Asian blend sautéed with onion, kale and homemade turkey meatballs, with tons of spicy korean sauce.

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asian blend sautéed with shrimp, paired with cauliflower rice

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asian blend sauteed with onion and turkey meatball, paired with cauliflower rice

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sauteed purple cabbage with kale, grounded turkey and shiitake noodles.

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Tony’s (he gained 10 lbs recently, so I’m trying to get him to eat cleaner too).

seaweed tofu soup, homemade chickpea and bean burger, and sweet potato fries

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pasta with carrot and turkey meatball. I added carrots so he doesn’t feel it was too small a portion of pasta.

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milanese with tomato and roasted sweet potato

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We eat a veggie loaded chinese dinner. We typically have 1 or 2 veggie dishes, 1 protein (mainly fish or chicken, occasionally beef or pork or tofu)

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We’ve been doing a lot of BBQ too. As simple as salad with sausage

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and grilled vegetables

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Misc:

I finished Grit. I was very excited when I first hear about it. However, the message is simple and I don’t think it needs such a long book to deliver it.

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I’m running again! I started at 6 weeks postpartum. Now I’m addicted to it. I’m following Nike’s 5k coaching program so I don’t have to decide how long I should run everyday. I just follow the plan and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!

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Well… that’s a long recap. Hopefully I’ll start posting more from now on. Good news coming up.