Happy Holidays

Hello, everyone. I hope your holiday season is going well. Things have been crazy over here, but I just finished submitting final grades for the fall semester, so I will have a little room to breathe over the next couple weeks. Though this holiday season is much different than it usually is, there is a lot I am grateful for, so I am trying to concentrate on the good in my life.

Things have been going fairly well with my nutrition. Of course, this time of year, there are a lot more treats to indulge in, but I have managed to stay gluten-free. I recently started speaking with a new nutritionist who gave me some compliments on the way that I am eating but encouraged me to get more protein and more amino acids into my diet, so I will try to up the bean, egg, and quinoa intake. I’ve made some delicious gluten-free dinners lately, including homemade vegan black bean burgers, fresh salads, and crispy kale chips.

I think that over the next week, I will also try to do a little baking and might try making some truffles using the Trader Joe’s gluten-free peppermint sandwich cookies! This year may be a little different, but I think we will try to have just as much fun as we always do.

I have been trying to get a little festive around here! Our tree is a bit on the small side, but there is something that is so comforting about the soft glow of tree lights. I also have been lighting some good winter candles. I love the scent of pine and evergreen.

My workouts have been pretty great. I do miss getting to do cardio at a gym. I still take walks almost daily, but I am not a fan of running in the cold. However, I do a lot of jumping around inside when I can, and I’ve been doing more Pilates and ballet-style workouts to really try and strengthen and tone my muscles.

I just realized that I haven’t posted on here since before Thanksgiving! We had a fairly quiet one and just stayed at home. I cooked a dinner for the first time and it was gluten-free and really delicious. We also picked up some gluten-free Bundt cakes that were probably the best I ever had! I also attempted to recreate the dish my grandma makes ever year for the Christmas party she throws in mid-December. Since we didn’t do that this year, I made her recipe for meatballs and sauce for the first time and everyone in my immediate family loved it. Even though I missed my family, it was nice making some new traditions.

I have been spending most of my days going to work and coming home and doing schoolwork, but now that the semester is over, I have been spending some free time watching old shows on Netflix (Young and Hungry) and new shows on Hulu (A Teacher). I also plan to read and maybe dive into some fiction writing — it’s been so long and I really want to take the time to write for fun now that I do it for work every day. We’ve also watched a few movies and enjoyed some wine from one of our favorite musician’s (Maynard James Keenan) vineyard.

I’ve also been limiting my grocery runs to once every two weeks. I always get so annoyed when I go because someone is inevitably not keeping their distance or wearing their mask incorrectly. I’ve started to try going at a time when there are less people around. My hauls remain full of produce and some good finds here and there!

And that’s about it! I haven’t been up to much — just working, writing, grading, cooking, working out, and eating! I hope to do a fun Christmas recap after next week. Wishing you all a joyful Christmas, however you spend it.

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