Yoga Fixed My Shoulders

Phew. Yesterday was quite the day!

I started my morning teaching a 7am spin class on campus, which was awesome. I didn’t think we’d get a big turn out because it wasn’t that well advertised and it was early, but I got a good group out, including a friend!

Then, I had a weight lifting session with my trainer. I tried to move it to not the morning I had to teach, but that didn’t work out so I had to suck it up and go in with less than fresh legs. We worked on cleans, back squats, and jerks. I PRed my clean again at 148#! That’s a 8# increase this summer, so I’ll take it! Sometimes being a little tired helps things-I don’t overthink the lift, plus I was super warmed up! I also hit 95% of my back squat max for 2 reps. This is especially good because my max is a year old, and I maxed out at my 95% when I tested it back in the spring.

As for the jerks, we didn’t go super heavy but they felt better than expected. Over the last year or so, I’ve developed very creaky shoulders, especially when I go overhead with the bar. I basically have not been able to go overhead more than once a week without stiff shoulders and pain when I press up. Earlier this week at Crossfit, we did a ton of push presses and high volume overhead work. But, the jerks yesterday felt fine! It was a night and day difference. So what changed? I started yoga about 6 years ago to help with flexibly (because I have none). I honestly think yoga was key for helping me stay injury free in my many years of softball. (I was a pitcher and never had any shoulder/arm trouble which is rare for someone doing it for 10 years!) In the past year, yoga has kind of fallen by the wayside. Last month, I finally started making it to class again, and I’ve noticed my shoulders getting stronger and looser. I felt a drastic difference from just last week’s class to this week’s class when doing low push ups-my shoulders felt strong and were losing their creak. Plus, this week I walked out of class with much less foot pain because I spent 60 minutes stretching out my tight calves. Needless to say I will be making yoga a regular thing again if possible!

After my training session, I met my sister for coffee at Bliss in Redwood City for any locals.

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Of course, I got a cappuccino and it was fantastic. It was a light roast, and had premium quality milk foam (which is clearly what matters, if you ask me!)

After coffee, we headed home for lunch. I made myself a salad with truffle goat cheese (because we didn’t have any regular goat cheese), dates, a nectarine, and deli turkey.

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Sweet potato seed crackers were on the side.

I spent the afternoon resting, and then apparently going on a baking frenzy.

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It’s 4 days into September and I’ve already make 3 loaves of pumpkin bread and a loaf of sweet potato bread. Besides the pumpkin bread, I did lots of experimenting and improvising.

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For the pumpkin bread, I baked some Noosa honey yogurt into the center for something fun.

If you take one look at my recipe page, you’ll see that most of what is up there is quick breads and salads. Those are my two claims to fame. I’ve gotten very good and making up recipes for healthy quick breads. I have one base recipe that I use, and I have yet to screw it up, surprisingly, despite how many modifications I’ve tried. (That’s actually not true-the one thing that didn’t work was coconut flour banana bread. Apparently bananas and coconut flour are not good together. It was gross.) I’ve even started making it with gluten free flour, and you would really never know. At this point, nothing contains more than 1/4 cup of sweetener, but you’d never know. Even my sister approved, and she is wary of anything “healthy.”

When the sweet potato bread came out, I decided I am a freaking genius. It was on point.

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My third loaf was a total experiment, and I was running out of flour so I had to really improvise. The bread? Awesome. Exactly what I was looking for. The appearance? Uhhhh.

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The batter was completely gray-this picture doesn’t do it justice. Anyone want to guess the secret ingredient that reacts to turn this color? I’m guessing it reacts to baking soda/powder. Because of the appearance, I’m not 100% sure I’ll share the recipe. Plus, it still needs tweaking because I think if I had more flour and didn’t have to improvise quite so much it would be better!

As for the sweet potato recipe, it’s coming this weekend-I promise!

That evening, I went to run club at Crossfit. My legs were not really up for it, but I’ve been wanting to go for a long time now and this was the only week I could really make it. Since everything is based on paces, I had to do a timed mile. Blech. I clocked in around 8:10, and with tired legs, I’ll take it. I should probably actually do a timed mile sometime with fresh legs! Back in the glory days, in another life I was actually reptty fast. I think my all time best mile is 6:53, but that’s not happening any time soon! Overall, between warm up and cool down, I covered 3 miles which is exactly what was on my half training plan for the day.

Dinner was another basic one. Stir fry veggies and cheesy polenta. The cheesy polenta was just cooked polenta with smoked gouda stirred in, and it was delicious!

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I hope everyone has a fabulous labor day weekend. I’m on puppy duty full time, so I’m trying to think of things to do with her! And check back for that recipe this weekend!

What are your weekend plans?

All Spin All the Time (+ A Playlist)

Hello! WIAW was fun, wasn’t it?

My day today was full of Spin! I started the morning with a 6am class at Revelry, one of my favorite spin studios.I didn’t have any reason to go that early other than the fact that I like that teacher! It was a tough class-we did repeats that were 8 minutes long, trying to beat your energy output each set.

Breakfast afterwards was a Siggi’s blueberry with sun butter and a side of pineapple.

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After breakfast and a shower, I spent some time blogging and catching up on blogs. Then, my mom and I tried out a new coffee shop and had cappuccinos (decaf for me) and split a gluten free lavender lemon cookie.

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Not a bad cappuccino! Plus, with the start of September, it suddenly feels like fall in California and I love it. It makes the cappuccino and coffeeshop time feel so cozy. The funny thing about fall in California is I feel like it comes suddenly, and is very noticeable for California natives. Sure, it’s still warm and the leaves haven’t changed, but the air feels different and the sun looks like fall.

Afterwards, we took a trip to Costco to buy nectarines. I fell in love with a ruminant blanket (AKA cow) and plush pillow. It was probably made for a 2 year old, but I couldn’t resist! Plus, my kitty already loves it!

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Lunch was at Mimi’s Cafe. If you ever go there, get the bran muffin. The bottom is soaked in honey, and it’s served warm. Perfection.

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It came as a side to my Asian Chop salad.

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I spent the afternoon napping, picking up my car from service, and tweaking my spin playlist that I taught that night. I taught it at my other gym last week, but I have a different audience for this class. Here’s the playlist I used!

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Class went well! This class was a free class on campus for dorm staff, and I think it was added last minute and not that publicized. Even so, I had a pretty good turnout, and we rocked the hills!

After class, my mom and I had a simple dinner. Mashed garlic cauliflower, cottage cheese, and roasted heirloom carrots (how fun are those??).

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I may have been a bit aggressive with the garlic though. Oh well!

As you can see, it’s been all spin, all the time! Teaching Tuesday night, taking a class Wednesday morning, teaching Wednesday night, and then I’ll be teaching again Thursday morning! I’m loving it!

WIAW Returns

It’s been FOREVER since I did a WIAW post. This is mostly because I couldn’t figure out where the link up went. Here’s this week’s link!

So let’s dive in!

Preworkout/breakfast:

I woke up pretty hungry and had my typical pre workout snack of quick bread. I went with cherry vanilla bread over pumpkin because I cut the slices of the cherry thicker than the pumpkin.

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At Crossfit, I worked (I say I and not we because I was the only one at the 7am class!) on double unders and reverse pull ups. My double unders are coming along-they’re still a little hit or miss for me for the WODs and I had so much trouble getting my last rep of the drill! The WOD was a long one. A 17 minute AMRAP of 10 kettle bell swings, 10 burpees, and 100m sprint. I got through 7 rounds + 16 reps. That’s 76 burpees. Yuck.

Post-workout, I had a carton of chocolate soy milk to refuel, while driving to take my car in to get the brakes fixed. Again. From there, I hit up a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers. I’ve started making it to more classes this past month and it’s already making a difference in my creakiness. My foot pain was significantly reduced afterwards too (I think because I stretched out my tight calves). This yoga class is also strangely comforting. I’ve been going to the same class (off and on) for 6 years now, and it hasn’t changed a bit, in the best way! In a time when so much is changing and has changed, it’s nice to have a constant.

After yoga, my mom and I stopped by Whole Foods to get some basic ingredients for dinners and I was starving so I grabbed a few bites of french toast casserole from the hot bar. SO GOOD. It’s made with cinnamon challah, and it’s super custardy.

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It’s up for debate whether or not I should be eating wheat/gluten right now (because of the whole damaged stomach lining thing) and while this was delicious, I definitely felt sick afterwards. Darn.

Lunch was leftovers of the quinoa, roasted carrot, and grape bowl the other night. Plus a piece of my mom’s cornmeal crust pizza.

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Plus a side of carrots and guacamole.

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For dessert I had a big spoonful of vanilla fudge ripple frozen yogurt. I’m really liking Stoneyfield’s frozen yogurt. At 120 calories per serving, it’s a healthier option without all the artificial sweeteners.

Speaking of which…snack #1 was a small bowl of mint chocolate Arctic Zero.

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I think this flavor has better texture than the vanilla maple. I sort of like Arctic Zero, but it’s definitely not ice cream. It’s essentially flavored water that is frozen. The first ingredient is actually water!

Plus a oat bite. I love Bobo’s oat bars. I highly recommend the peanut butter flavor (which I am allergic to…)!

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I spent the afternoon looking up spin music and making a playlist for the class I taught that night.

Snack #2 was a small piece of pumpkin bread. I’m not normally one to snack all day, but it was a pretty active day and dinner wouldn’t be until 8!

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I got to spin early (to somewhat beat traffic) so I took my puppy for a short walk. I can’t believe how long her tongue is!

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Class went well! I actually found out that afternoon that I will be teaching at my school today (Wednesday) and tomorrow. I was recently hired to teach there, so I’m ecstatic to get started! I was told the students in the classes would be RAs at school for training, so maybe I’ll see some people I know!

Dinner post-spin was basic. There’s really something to be said for basic, simple dinners. A baked potato with Earth Balance (simply because I like the flavor more than butter), broccoli with cheddar, and a scoop of cottage cheese. Plus ketchup for the potato!

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Dessert was an actual bowl of the fudge ripple froyo.

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That was my day of food! It’s good to be back doing WIAW!

What is the best thing you ate this week?

Cherry Vanilla Bread

Update from last night: I finally got my 6 mile run in at 7pm. That’s later than I ever really run, but I got it done and get 1000x better afterwards, and that’s what matters. I’m one of those people who cannot function without exercise. I get drowsy and dopey, and I think I am sort of tightly wound, and exercise normally takes that edge off me.

Despite the late start, we had quite the delicious dinner, trying 2 new recipes of Cooking Light.

The first were cheesy cauliflower biscuits, which were filled with garlic and cheddar flavor. They almost reminded me of soufflés, because they were light and fluffy. The second recipe was the Roasted Carrot, Quinoa, and Grape bowl. I really liked this one-we cooked quinoa in chicken broth, and that was mixed with chicken, sliced grapes, and roasted carrots, all topped with a greek yogurt based dressing and served over a field of greens.

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The dressing had an interesting and delicious cumin flavor. The only thing is that I think we used more quinoa than the recipe called for, so there wasn’t much dressing for the greens.

This morning, I had a dentist appointment so I made sure to not have something that would stick in my teeth for breakfast! I had a Siggi’s pomegranate passionfruit yogurt, topped with sunflower seed butter, and a side of nectarine from the Farmer’s Market. I love that Siggi’s flavored yogurts are not very sweet!

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After the dentist, I went straight out to do my medium length run of the week-5 miles. My legs were dragged a tiny bit from running the night before, and my foot was a little stiff, but I knew I’d feel better if I just knocked it out early in the week because it works better with scheduling.

After my run, I headed home to get to work on some baking projects. I’m trying to avoid eating too many bars because they tend to be higher in sugar, and because I’m trying to eat fewer foods that may contain traces of nuts because my skin has been awful lately due to allergic reactions.

In the process, I threw together a quick lunch of leftovers, this time skipping the bed of lettuce.

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Project 1 was just basic pumpkin banana bread.

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Project 2 was sort of spur of the moment. I wanted to try something different. I’ve made cherry bread before on accident (when I realized halfway through assembling ingredients that we were out of pumpkin-whoops), so I thought making cherry vanilla bread might be fun to do for something different. It turned out great!

Interestingly, the bread doesn’t have a strong fruity flavor, but the cherry masks the banana flavor. If you want a warm, homey bread that is still wholesome, I would recommend giving this a try! It has a pretty basic flavor, and I think it could be the base for a lot of different things-I have big plans for this come winter! Feel free to jazz it up by added dried cherries or chocolate chips.

Cherry Vanilla Bread

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Ingredients:

2 well ripened bananas

1.5 cups of frozen cherries, thawed and ground in a blender or food processor

1 large egg or 2 egg whites

2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado)

1/3 c milk

1/8 c honey (or more to taste, recipe actually calls for 1/3 to 1/2 c sugar)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon (can omit-this gives it a warm flavor)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350

Mash bananas.

Add all ingredients except flour and mix well

Blend in flour, stir until moistened

Pour into 4×8 loaf pan, I recommend lining it in tinfoil

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center is clean.

Enjoy!

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And because I have to share this picture:

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Things Change

Hello! I am officially done with work for the summer! I will still be working the same place about once a week once school starts in a couple of weeks, but I’m taking some time to catch up (plus go to Hawaii with my family!)

I still have a 6 mile run to do today. I really should have done it early this morning but I’ve been moping around all morning.

I’m excited to go back to school, but I’m also not ready for this to be my last year. I don’t do well with endings or goodbyes, and I’m already worrying about how to stay in touch with everyone, especially if I move away right away.

Mid-mornign today I had a pumpkin mug cake to drown my sorrows (because I firmly believe it is never too soon).

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I just threw some things together in a bowl, and it turned out great! Egg, butter, pumpkin, spices, maple syrup, vanilla, and some gluten free flour.

Also-this is about my life right now. To keep the puppy busy, we dumped out every toy she owns. Having a puppy is hard!

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It looks like we have just about every holiday represented up there, including Earth Day!

Since I’m feeling sort of nostalgic and not ready for things to change, I thought I’d share some snapshots of college memories through the years.

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21st birthday party with all of my friends! Such a great day.

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Visiting my best friend in Berkeley for her birthday.

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Dorm trip to Disneyland.

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Random nights hanging out with my roommate and doing ridiculous things for no reason at all. #fashionicon

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Visiting my friend in Berkeley during our rival football game, decked out in Stanford gear.

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Halloween party+the popcorn ball making fiasco beforehand.

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Practicing a spin class on my friends before my first audition, and then heading to froyo plus the the pumpkin patch afterwards.

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Color run!

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Bay to Breakers.

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Tortilla chip sombrero for my birthday, a la Despicable Me.

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Rock n Roll SF Half Marathon.

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Embarking on “The Project” with my roomie, our big healthy eating overhaul.

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Tea party with the ladies of my hall.

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Yoga by the bay with a high school yoga buddy.

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Keeping my plant baby alive and well.

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Becoming obsessed with my roommate’s persimmons.

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Enjoying the perks of being in a sorority sophomore fall.

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First half marathon!

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Joining a sorority freshman year.

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Throwing a guac party freshman year.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the crew team at the beach.

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Ski trip with my freshman dorm.

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Early morning wakeups+freezer breakfasts for rowing.

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Watching Stanford win the Rose Bowl.

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Rowing training camp at the Olympic Training facilities in San Diego.

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Meeting our friendly campus cat, who sadly passed away my sophomore year.

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Just a typical morning freshman year.

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Following the Giant’s World Series run on my phone between classes freshman year.

A lot has happened, and I can’t wait to make more memories!