Monthly Archives: August 2014

Chocolate Muffins with Ricotta Filling

Guys. I have a recipe. I know, it’s been a while, right?

But first, a couple of things.

1. I’m trying to do some work on the blog. Does a right sidebar appear when you view my blog? It should be there but I can’t get it to come

up on my computer and I can’t figure out why…

2. I have some food pics first.

I had the best morning yesterday-I went to Crossfit and had my baking in the oven by 9am. I love jet lag. My before Crossfit breakfast was

random but functional.  A biscuit+roasted carrots+watermelon.



Lunch was a hummus veggie wrap-whole grain wrap, red pepper hummus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber. Delicious. Plus more watermelon. And





And then dinner was take out-terikayi chicken tacos.



And homemade guac and salsa.



Also-I haven’t unpacked yet. You want to know WHY I haven’t unpacked yet?



They were on it ALL day.

Ok-recipe time! This recipe can be used in parts or all together.

Chocolate Muffins with Ricotta Orange Filling



The ricotta filling is from a recipe we used when I went to a culinary bootcamp for school lunch cafeteria workers for work. It originally was

used as a fruit dip. The recipe makes a bit more than necessary for the muffins so I recommend dipping some watermelon or oranges!

Ricotta Orange Filling




15 oz reduced fat ricotta

1/4 c orange juice

3 T honey

1 1/2 t orange zest

1 1/2 t vanilla

1/4 t cinnamon

Instructions: Beat all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until smooth.



For the chocolate muffin:

I used the recipe for my double chocolate banana bread (I swear you won’t taste the banana here so it won’t

clash, I promise!), although I only used 3 bananas.


3 ripe bananas

1 egg (or 2 whites)

2 T oil (I used canola)

1/3 c milk

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 c cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate, hence the color)

1 c flour-I used whole wheat pastry

1 T honey

1/3 c bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mash bananas and mix all ingredients besides the chips.

3. Stir in chips



4. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups. I also highly recommend greasing the tin so that the oversized muffins come out more easily.

5. Divide the batter into the 12 cups.

6. Place a heaping table spoon (more or less if desired) of the ricotta orange filling on top of each muffin.


7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.





3000 Miles Later…

Hello, hello! I’m back in CA!



Everyone has been complaining about how “hot” it is. It’s 82 and dry. That’s cute. I ran in long sleeves yesterday morning!

In terms of travel, everything went pretty smoothly. I enjoyed one last Sweetgreens salad.



And one last Georgetown cupcake. These are salted caramel and chocolate birthday cake.



The cupcake competition in DC may require its own post.

After packing my bags, I lugged 125 lbs of luggage through the cobbled streets of DC. That, my friends, is why I do Crossfit. Needless to say I had to pay quite a bit in overweight baggage fees…

Immediately upon arriving home, I became a furry mess, as I will continue to be for the next 3 weeks.



Besides cuddling my kitty, I’m going to be putting some work into this blog in the next few weeks. I haven’t had much time to do much with it lately other than throw up posts-my race page is sorely outdated. So be on the lookout for a fun recipe tonight!

In terms of the last few days, yesterday morning I tried out my current pre-run breakfast. Yogurt with cocoa banana and sunflower seed butter.



Then, I headed out for my run. I went out to the bay and my mom walked while I ran. I guess I got a bit faster this summer-it’s really nice to run when a) it’s 20 degrees cooler and b) not 5am and I’m just rolling out of bed to the street.



Lunch out with my family afterwards was a cobb salad with chicken and avocado.



For snack, I had some pumpkin yogurt. Yes, I know it’s too soon. It was good though.



In the evening, I went to my home Crossfit! I’m so happy to be back there! We worked on pull ups, and then the WOD included lots of tire flips. My arms hurt.

For dinner, I made a copycat Sweetgreens seasonal salad.

I also utilized my new knife skills I learned at a culinary bootcamp in DC that I went to for work to cut the watermelon.

The salad included arugula, baby kale, fresh mint, feta, watermelon, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, spicy sunflower seeds, chicken, and champagne vinaigrette.



It came out really well!



And because we need to end on a cat picture clearly:


Last Day in DC

Well, this is it folks. I’m (Mostly) packed and ready to go. Assuming my suitcases close (which is still TBD-very much TBD).

When I get back, I’ll probably do a full reflection of my time in DC, but for now I’m just going to have a normal style blog post and recap some food and fitness from the last few days.


Monday-Crossfit. We did one rep maxes for squats. I chose front squat and didn’t PR, but I matched my heaviest weight. Once I get back in my lifting shoes I’ll definitely be able to do more!

The WOD was tough:

8 min AMRAP
15 Wall balls (20-30#/16-20#)
5 Hand release pushups
15 KB/DB swings (32Kg, 24Kg)
5/side Renegade rows (alternate sides)

I used a 20 lb wall ball, and the thing about heavier wall balls is they come down on your face a lot harder/faster. Oof. I believe I had 3 rounds plus 6 wall balls?

Tuesday: 3 mile run+Crossfit

I ran in the morning and happened to run into some run club friends. Which always seems to happen on my runs! It was very uneventful. I think I had a decent pace. I ran a new route and the whole thing was brick sidewalks which stunk though.

Crossfit was my last class! Wahh. We did some split jerk work where we practiced the footwork without actually bringing the bar overhead. Then we did heavy thrusters. I don’t think I’ve done heavy thrusters, just thrusters in the conditioning portion. I think I was doing 85#? My shoulders sometimes get cranky in overhead work.

Conditioning involved outdoor running.

Wednesday: LAST November Project-PR Day!



I haven’t been to NP since moving to a different part of DC because it’s a bit far to run, and I have to get to work early. Today though, I decided to go. I took a bus to get as close to Lincoln as I could and then ran the remaining mile.

PR day consists of running the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial 17 times.



(Note that this doesn’t show all the stairs).

Soo basically you run the stairs…and then just keep going for like 40-45 minutes. I think someone once said it ends up being around 3 miles? Of straight stairs. That’s a lot of stairs. I had never done all 17 sets before since I always had to leave for work, but I did them all today and now my legs are done.



NP may have been my favorite workout here, so it was a fitting way to end my time here. This is also probably the fittest group of people in the city. There were a ton of rowers out today too! I’m a pretty fit person; a can run a sub-10 minute pace for 13.1 miles on an extremely hilly course. And I was one of the last ones to finish. I mean, MAN. Everyone is super welcoming though-so if you’re thinking of going to a NP definitely don’t be intimidated!

Foodwise, I have a couple of things from the past couple of days.

Pita sandwich at work-filled with tons of veggies and hummus.



One last visit to the Avocado Cafe-if you’re ever in Georgetown, go here! They are super nice here too. I had a wrap with chicken, grilled veggies, and avocado.



Dinner last night was courtesy of my gym. Crazy-right? They have Paleo meals. I got chicken with pineapple salsa, grilled avocado, and curry cauliflower. The cauliflower was a bit disappointing but the avocado-ohhh man.



And for my last DC dessert, I decided to try to eat myself into a comma. Or something. This was massive-a brownie sundae.



I made it maybe halfway before throwing in the towel?

Oh, before I sign off, one thing I am NOT going to miss is the mosquitos. They looooove me. And I get allergic reactions to them that none of the usual tricks help. I don’t even recognize my legs. It’s disgusting.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

Baseball and Taper Fun

Guys. This is probably my last post from DC. So, so crazy. I’m going home tomorrow. I cannot wait to see my cats. That’s really the biggest thing about home I miss!

I’m sorry for the sporadic posting-I’m trying to pack my entire life from the last 10 weeks into 2 suitcases. I’ll let you know how that works out when I’m 3000 miles back home.

I want to talk a bit about my last weekend in DC.

Saturday, I went to the Newseum. If you ever come to DC, you need to come here. Best museum hands down. I chose this over the American History for my last museum trip and it was 100% worth it. It showcases the history of news and various news/history related things. One exhibit was Pictures of the Year, with a whole bunch of amazing photographs and descriptions.

There was also a really moving 9/11 exhibit. It inspired me to go to the Pentagon Memorial after work the other day. It’s so crazy to me that I commute through the Pentagon metro, so I’m right there.

Here’s a view from the outdoor balcony at the Newseum. It’s a great view of the city, and the gloomy wet day was perfect for museum visiting.



For my pre-run dinner that night (my run was the next morning), I stopped at what seemed to be sort of like an Indian Chipotle? Not super authentic but good!


Then, Sunday was my long run. Guys, taper rocks. I feel like one really important aspect of  taper is the mental recovery. I tend to burn out a bit, and with tapering, I’m more than ready to run again come race day. That run flew by in a flash-I swear I was done before I knew it! Not a bad pace either!



I made the mistake of not wearing my compression socks until that night, and my calves have been sore and tight since. I swear those socks are magic!

The reason for no socks? I went to the Nationals/Giants baseball game! I’m a huge Giant’s fan, and I’ve been loping forward to this all summer. I mean, come on, my favorite race is the Giant’s half!

Here are some shots of the ballpark.

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I managed to snag some really good seats for a decent price. I’m pretty sure San Francisco tickets are WAY more expensive. I was right along the left field foul line, and I was able to walk right up to the edge of the field to watch some of my favorite players warm up.

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As for lunch, my grandma who grew up in Maryland told me I HAD to try some Maryland crab before I left, so this seemed like as good of a time as any! I had a crab cake sandwich and it was SO good. So, so good.



The weather was also really nice. Because it rained the day before, it wasn’t too humid or hot (at least by DC standards). It was a fun game-until the last couple of innings. Ouch.

That evening, I said goodbye to my DC friend with an Ethiopian dinner. It was insanely messy, but delicious!


I had Chicken Doro Wot, and the chicken came with bones. And everything is eaten with your hands and the spongy flatbread. The last time I had Ethiopian, I used about 20 napkins so I was a bit nervous when I saw this place had fancy cloth napkins!

The last few days have included a ton of goodbyes. I said goodbye to my Crossfit friends today as well, plus a run club buddy I happened to run into on my run this morning. I’m more determined than ever to make my way back here!

And now, more packing awaits!


Why I Don’t Plan Rest Days

In the fitness world, rest days are kind of a big thing. Everyone has their own feelings on how many and what they should consist of (does yoga count? do you have to sit on your butt all day?). Today, I want to talk about my own feelings on them.

I never plan rest days. I’ll go right out and say it. I tend to be a little overambitious/overexcited about my workouts that I plan for the week, but I know this about myself. (For example, any gym workout I make for myself almost never gets completed because I quickly realize it would take me like 2 hours to do everything…oops.)

I don’t plan rest days but they happen. They happen when I need them, be it because I’m feeling tired, like I need a break, or because something else fun comes up and I simply don’t have time.

Since I like my workouts, if I really don’t feel like doing them, it usually means I’m ready to rest. For example, today I was planning on going to Crossfit or spin, but neither really sounded that great to me, and getting there/back/showering was a logistical nightmare with my touristy things I’m doing today, and it’s been a bit of time since I’ve had a full rest day, so that’s that! I listen to how I’m feeling to decide on rest days.

Since I’ve abandoned you guys a bit lately, I’m not going to go photo dump crazy, and will focus on the highlights.

I ran out of time to make banana custard over the weekend, so during the week, I’ve been whipping up a quick microwave version where I just pour some stuff in a bowl and hope it doesn’t overflow in the microwave. Delicious with some sunflower seed butter!

Another food highlight was a giant veggie-filled lunch. I had the typical green bean salad, plus a crazy amount of cumin roasted cauliflower. It was a monster amount because I couldn’t find any bags/tupperware to put the extra in so I had a whole thing of it. It was great.



Last night, I went out with a friend to a barbecue place, and then a pie place. We got adorable little corn muffins with delicious honey butter, and then for my meal I had BBQ chicken.

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In terms of pie, I had apple sour cream, and it was delicious-especially the crumble topping!



The real event of the night though was doing the monuments in the dark. They were just amazing. I am going to truly miss this place.



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Although I don’t think anything beats the monuments at 5am when no one is there!

On the plus side, I get to see my kitties in just a few short days!

What is your view on rest days?