I had a 5 mile training run scheduled for tonight, but unfortunately, the afternoon decided it felt like dumping snow all over the DC area. All afternoon I debated whether to run in the snow for the experience, to run on the treadmill instead, or to switch my run day and my cross-training day around and spend the evening safe inside at the gym therefore getting my miles in tomorrow instead. I decided against the treadmill, because I really want to run as much as I can outside before the Charleston Half, and ultimately decided against risking an injury in the slippery snow. The clincher was that the first part of my route does not involve sidewalks, so running in rush hour with everyone coming home from work possibly slipping or not seeing well through the snow just seemed to risky.

As soon as I got off work I went straight home, changed, and went straight to the gym, narrowly slipping into Body Pump class and getting the last tiny corner of space in a class full of New Year’s resolution-ers. I’m not one to poopoo on the influx at the gym in January – I was once one of those New Year’s resolution-ers who began going to the gym to start my C25K program on the treadmill before moving outside. Some of them will stick around, and those that don’t, I applaud however long they stick it out for. 

But in any case, class was packed. I was rushed getting my weights, and between sets rushed to get water, and didn’t always change my weights appropriately. When it came to the back and shoulder track, my weights were way too light and I didn’t feel much of a workout. I was a little disappointed with the day’s exercise, and I’m a little nervous to try running outside in what will be the coldest day of the season so far, but I got some much needed squats in and a good hip flexor stretch that was clutch for my running. 

Something I started trying to do quietly at the end of 2013 was start to go Meatless Mondays and Vegan Thursdays. Meatless Monday is pretty easy – if I decided to go vegetarian fully, I would miss meat terribly but I could do it. The hardest part of when I’ve tried to go vegetarian is when you’re at a friend’s house and they’re grilling up burgers and fries and there’s not really a vegetarian option. But that I could get used to, by making salads to bring and so forth.

Trying out dried banana chips
Trying out dried banana chips

Veganism though? You have to get REALLY creative. One of the things I’m trying to do this year is learn to like new foods, specifically healthier foods, to replace unhealthy foods I’m emotionally dependent on. So far I’ve tried to learn to like yogurt to little success, hemp seeds added into said yogurt (again, to little success), kale (I think I need to get creative with how to prepare that), and tofu (I’m down). 

Working at HSUS, we have a lot of vegans around, and often when the office is supplied with treat baskets (it’s been the holidays, so there’ve been quite a few), the options are almost all vegan. Today we received a New Year’s basket from a company we work with, full of dried and fresh fruits alike. It’s no secret that bananas are pretty much my favorite food ever besides pasta, but I’ve always been distrustful of dried banana chips. Something about the concept of dried fruit makes me nervous.

But maybe it’s that in the books I’ve been reading lately, a lot of it involves characters surviving on next to nothing and dried fruit is a staple, but whatever it was, today I decided to be brave and grab a bag of banana chips to munch on if I got hungry before lunch. Verdict? As seen above: Not terribly impressed, but not in love either. Plus, looking closer at them, they’re not even that healthy. Vegan, sure. But more sugar than anything else and a high percentage of its total fat is saturated. Eh, pass. 

Lunch break
Lunch break

Lunch was mainly my Amy’s rice and tofu bowl, which was totally vegan, but is always sadly bland. Whenever I eat it, I just want to dump melted cheese all over it. But I kept telling myself this is just one day a week, I can do it for one day a week. And I tried to get my protein in with peanuts, but upon realizing I’d picked out honey roasted peanuts, I also realized honey is probably not vegan. I looked it up to confirm my suspicions, and apparently it is a touchy subject in the vegan world.

Well, I tried. Better than a Big Mac, that’s for sure.

Are you vegetarian or vegan? Have you tried? Do you do a once-a-week type plan?

Do you run in the snow or stay on the safe side? 

Are you from California and are like “what is snow and how do you not know how to be vegan”?