We are in the middle of a celebration week. I haven’t done much celebrating at home since 2018. I happened to have a few days with a little more free time on the evenings and on the weekend. I figured, let’s DO SOME STUFF. 💓
My husband brought some flowers to brighten up our kitchen. See photo below! Last night we went swing dancing to live music from Laura Gonick and the DamifIno Band. I had worked all day and then went rock climbing at the gym.
When I finally got home at 9 PM, I wanted something to eat, but nothing too heavy as we were about to go dancing. Thankfully, I had made my chia pudding/overnight oats up ahead, and it was the perfect thing.
What do I put in there? It’s peanut butter powder, soy protein powder, hot cocoa mix, cinnamon, flaxseed powder, regular oats, lots of Chia seeds, and whatever plant milk I have available. In this case, it was my favorite good karma flax milk plus protein, which includes pea protein.
After I mix the ingredients together in a bowl, I put a lid on the bowl, and leave it in the refrigerator, for several hours. It stiffens up and turns into something like a pudding or a very stiff cold oatmeal. Then I usually mix more plant milk with it, to soften it up.
If I have any fruit, that’s perfect for putting on top, to add some sweetness (no sweeteners in here, besides a bit of sugar in the cocoa mix). In this case, I had some fresh blueberries on hand.
If I have vegan whipped cream from a can available, I like to use that as a topping. Doesn’t add a lot of calories and meanwhile adds a delightful touch of decadence. 😍 Makes me feel like I’m having a treat instead of slogging through a healthy gruel! 😅
Also, I like to add a dusting of wheat germ and hemp seeds, if I have any of those on hand. Thankfully, I had all of that on hand today. For me, it was so delicious.
I like to get the coconut-based whipped cream in a can from Trader Joes (USA-based grocery store) as it is the cheapest one I have found. Whole Foods also has oat-milk-based whipped cream in a can. For about twice the price.
It’s amazing to me, how perfect this dinner of chia pudding / overnight oats was for my brief visit at home in between rock climbing and Swing Dancing. My husband and I have not been out for a late night swing dancing event in quite some years, and we had a fabulous time.
By the way, for this indoor dance event, everyone in attendance is required to be vaccinated and also everyone has to wear a mask covering nose and mouth. They give out N95 masks at the door: However, that doesn’t guarantee that COVID-19 would not spread at an indoor event like this. There was an outbreak where several people got COVID-19 at this event when it first started up again in May 2022, and that includes me!
This time, in December 2022, part of what we did, to reduce the risk, was to arrive later, when there were not as many people in attendance.
The way I look at it, COVID-19 is here to stay, unfortunately. In the future, we are always going to be at risk at contracting COVID-19 and/or passing it along to someone else, whenever we go into a setting where we are socializing with other people.
Going forward, each person has to evaluate how much risk they are willing to take versus how much of life they are willing to miss out on. For example, if you’re fully vaccinated and you have all your boosters, as my husband and I have, and you are wearing surgical masks or N95 masks, properly worn over nose and mouth, and you are limiting close exposure to other people, and you are in a well-ventilated space, your chance of contracting COVID-19 or getting very sick from it is small.
On the other hand, if you look at how small the risk is, but you decide that you want to keep your risk at 0%, so you don’t go, then your chance of missing out on an evening of social dancing is 100%.
Remember also that getting dressed up to go out dancing in a social environment has positive health benefits, helping you get aerobic exercise which helps to prevent diabetes; elevating your mood, which helps to prevent depression; building muscle, which helps to prevent frailty, and relieving stress, which helps to prevent cardiovascular disease.
It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 is here. However, while that is the case, it is always going to be a guessing game with no “right” or “wrong” answers … balancing out risks versus benefits.
This event occurred at the Verdi Club in San Francisco, which thankfully survived the pandemic. It’s an old Italian social club, and they took advantage of the downtime during the pandemic to completely renovate it. Attendance is definitely down because of the pandemic. As always, historic institutions like this are in danger of closing down. I’m thankful to be able to go out and enjoy these things while they still exist!
About my husband and me. I’m 25% South American indigenous/West African/Other African, 25% Spanish/Basque from my father and 50% Northern European (Scandinavian/German/Dutch) from my mother. My husband is 100% Chinese as far as we know! I keep saying he should do the DNA ancestry test but he doesn’t want to because he says it will be a waste of money and come back 100% Chinese. Ha ha!