Monday, May 27, 2024

Resurfacing After a Break

It has been several weeks since I sat down to write a blog post. I have no idea where the last few weeks sped by- it was a whirlwind. School is out for summer and the end of the school year is always a packed schedule of moving-on ceremonies, dances, and recitals. I am grateful that both kids have had a good school year- with ups and downs, to be sure- but with a nice group of friends and loving teachers to help them along. 

My companions for the
last 4 months
Apart from the usual things, I've been busy with another project. Some time ago, I had the somewhat crazy idea of taking my newfound interest in fitness to the next level and getting a certification in the field. At the start of the year, I enrolled in the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) personal trainer certification program, and have been attending lectures, studying every inch of this textbook, making copious notes, and essentially reliving my student days in my "free time". 

This weekend, I went to a standardized testing center in Atlanta to take my exam, thankfully passed it (it was harder than the 8 practice exams I took!!) and as of yesterday, I am officially an NASM CPT (certified personal trainer). I undertook this certification not to change careers or anything, but in order to be my own trainer, and help any of my family/friends who are interested. My head is buzzing with ideas to share my new-found knowledge and excitement. 

Dinner at La Semilla
While in Atlanta for the exam, we had a rare splurgy dinner at a wonderful vegan restaurant, La Semilla in Reynoldstown. So fancy and absolutely delicious. It is a treat to be able to order anything from the menu. And now I want flower petals sprinkled on everything I eat! 

Pictured clockwise from top left: batter-fried lion's mane mushrooms, Enmoladas Con Verduras, strawberry tres leches cake, Chochoyotes (dumplings)- this was easily one of the best dishes I've ever tasted. We also had the Croquetas de Jamón and the queso blanco- both amazing. And interesting cocktails and agua fresca. If you're ever in ATL, I highly recommend this place. Also, go walk on the charming beltline (trails) near the restaurant. 

While I loved the lion's mane mushrooms dish pictured above, my personal favorite fried mushrooms are found closer to home in a bar here in town- it is what I chose for my birthday lunch a few weeks ago.

Fried oyster mushrooms with lemon aioli
and a whippet- a cocktail of gin and grapefruit juice

I don't have a recipe to share today, but have a new staple in my pantry that I've been using a lot lately- soy curls. These are a dried product made with 100% soybeans as the only ingredient. I bought a bulk box that will last us for months. It is nice to mix up my usual protein sources- beans, lentils, tofu- as you can cook soy curls in a hundred different ways. These are two soy curl dishes we loved recently. 

Soy curls makhani
(a take on butter chicken)

Soy curls- broccoli stir fry
with steamed rice and mixed greens

Other assorted pics from recent days---

My daughter and her friends made
this Chinese street snack- tanghulu- fresh fruit with a
shiny and crunchy sugar coating

Gardenias and magnolias
are blooming!

Light filtering through the leaves
on an urban trail walk yesterday

How was the month of May for you? Share your highlights!