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Good morning! I’ll keep it short today since it’s an American national holiday, which I’ve elected to spend with friends instead of family (whom I love but are farther away and for a variety of reasons, can’t make it home this year. sad face). I’m currently munching on this “breakfast” while prepping my dishes for an extravagant feast tonight. It’s a delicious breakfast of vegan chocolate chip banana loaf (!!) topped with almond butter, an organic apple, sautéed kale and mushroom with quinoa. I was feeling something green and slightly savory and these healthy leftovers were perfect.

For dinner tonight, I’ll be making a vegetable dish (probably a mushroom kale quinoa concoction since that batch I last made in the above pic is so, so good) and a special, hopefully amazingly decadent and tasty pie from scratch. The recipe is from Runner’s World, and if it turns out great, I’ll make sure to share it with you. My dough’s currently chilling in the fridge.

This morning, I’ve been alternating between blogging (heeey!), listening to NPR (love All Things Considered for the humor), and listening to my Spotify Radio. I always like to keep my thoughts occupied while cooking because my attentions need to be divided and I get awfully bored! While marathon cooking or baking sessions (like Thanksgiving mornings) do you embrace the quiet or prefer to keep yourself occupied in other ways?  

In fitness news, I’ve also decided to participate in the Runner’s World 2012 Holiday Running Streak Challenge, which challenges participants to stay fit and motivated during the busy holiday season by pledging to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Read the details here. This is not going to be easy for me, I can already tell you that. For one, it gets cold here. I’m not a fan of extreme weather running. Forget about it if it’s snowing. I foresee some treadmill miles in here. Also, despite loving it so (in spurts, sporadically but loving it nonetheless), I haven’t been motivated much to run, so here goes. Day 1, always the most difficult in any fitness endeavor, is in the books!

Holiday Rant/Spiel — While I will be having my lot of pie and football today, I will take a moment to actually reflect upon the spirit of this holiday, and to give thanks to what makes us feel loved and fortunate in our lives. However, let’s also not forget those who have fallen in the quest to get where we are today. Many history lessons teach us that the First Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims and Native Americans after a cold winter and following their first harvest back in 1621. And, I seriously don’t want to get too political on this blog, but those indigenous to our nation were not treated with the kindness and gratitude that this holiday purports to celebrate. I want to share this great essay by a Native American who chooses to celebrate Thanksgiving. Our nation was young and naive, and our history — like all nations — reflects our immaturity. Immaturity is no defense to our country’s very marred history but I like to think that we have grown, and today, I am proud to celebrate the spirit of our country, of survival and of those in our nation who are bravely continuing to fight for the values of freedom and equality upon which our nation was built.