Monthly Archives: August 2015

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.


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!


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.


Project 1 was just basic pumpkin banana bread.


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



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


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.



And because I have to share this picture:


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).


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.


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


Visiting my best friend in Berkeley for her birthday.

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Dorm trip to Disneyland.


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


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.


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



Color run!


Bay to Breakers.


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


Rock n Roll SF Half Marathon.

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


Tea party with the ladies of my hall.


Yoga by the bay with a high school yoga buddy.


Keeping my plant baby alive and well.


Becoming obsessed with my roommate’s persimmons.


Enjoying the perks of being in a sorority sophomore fall.


First half marathon!


Joining a sorority freshman year.


Throwing a guac party freshman year.


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


Ski trip with my freshman dorm.


Early morning wakeups+freezer breakfasts for rowing.


Watching Stanford win the Rose Bowl.

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


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


Just a typical morning freshman year.


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!

California Niçoise Salad

Hello! Here I am, posting another day in a row! GO ME. I have on day of work left! I really do love my job, but it will be nice to have some time off to prepare for what is sure to be a crazy year. I also have a recipe/salad idea for you all today!

My morning today started with a 3 mile run on the hills around my neighborhood. It’s good for me because I’m currently training for the Nike Women’s Half in SF which is hilly. Did I ever mention I was doing that? Well, I’m officially in training mode now. The run went well-I’m getting much stronger on the hills (my first few runs this summer were ugly).

I started work at 8am today, so everything occurred rather early.

Breakfast was a new to me yogurt that I’ve been meaning to try for a while-sweet potato! I liked it-the flavor was subtle and it wasn’t very sweet at all. I topped it with sun butter and had a few dates from the farmer’s market on the side.

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Today at work my position was room nurse, which means I get to room the clients and discuss what is going on with their pets. It’s a lot of fun to interact with the ‘parents’ but the position can get a little slow when there are not a ton of appointments. Around 10:30, I broke for a quick snack and ate the Vans gluten free crackers I packed in my lunch.

Lunchtime was at 12:30, and I chatted with my coworkers while enjoying my typical salad.


I also ate a piece of blueberry banana bread that I pulled out of the freezer.

Then, at around 3 I had a small piece of ice cream cake. On the last Friday of every lunch at work, we celebrate the birthdays from the month with the treats of their birthday people’s choices!

After work, I wanted to go to Crossfit, but I got out of work a few minutes late and couldn’t make the earlier class. I was a little hungry and already ate my snack for the day (oops) so I stopped by CVS to pick up a bar. It was just ok, and I didn’t love the ingredient list, but given my nut restrictions it was the best option I could find.


Crossfit was a fun one! My of my favorite types of workouts-short and heavy. As a warm up we did zig zag agility drills, which were a lot of fun and a great way to mix it up! The strength portion was 5 sets of 5 presses, at 55, 60,70, 80, and 85 percent.

The WOD I was looking forward to-7 minute AMRAP:

5 push ups

5 front squats (I used 105#)

7 knees to elbow

I got through 4 rounds plus 10 reps.

My shoulders are weak and creaky. I’m terrible at push ups for some reason and most WODs I choose to do them on my knees. This was few enough reps though that I was able to grunt out chest to ground, elbows in, real push ups. In terms of the creakiness, I can’t really do multiple days of overhead work without my shoulders being cranky, and I think it’s because I’ve gotten weak and stiff. I started going to yoga again, and I’m really hoping that helps things out! Yoga is so great for shoulder strength!

Dinner was a salad I dreamed up on the plane back from New York, and it came together beautifully. I suppose I’ll call it the California Niçoise?

(Side note-I learned last week that to get accented letters on a Mac you press down on the character and hold….I took Spanish for 5 years without this knowledge….)

This salad is fun because it’s full of all kinds of flavors and textures-my favorite way to eat a salad.

California Niçoise


(Note that this is not given in terms of exact quantities.)

-2 grilled chicken breasts, marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper

-roasted asparagus

-roasted red potatoes (I used creamer potatoes) in olive oil, salt, and pepper

-truffle goat cheese (you could use regular goat cheese)

-a sprinkle of truffle salt on top of all of that

For the dressing (adapted from Cooking Light)
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T minced shallots
1 T fresh chopped parsley
1 t Dijon mustard
1/8 t salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed

The process is simple-whip up the dressing, and then toss everything with the exception of the goat cheese, which is crumbled on top. Yum!

Dessert was also sort of epic. It was a Cooking Light recipe from the latest edition-Hasselback Apples. They’re basically apples sliced hasselback style and then roasted, topped with an oat, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar mixture, and then broiled. Words cannot describe how amazing these were!


And since my picture truly doesn’t do it justice, here’s the shot from Cooking Light.


I highly recommend giving these a try!


Are HLBs Becoming Obsolete?

Today’s topic is going to be a bit on the touchy side. Plus, we’ll do some food catch up because I like to actually call this a food and fitness blog, right? I’ll intersperse the food to keep us all entertained!

It’s no secret that I haven’t been blogging as much lately. Partly it’s time. My work schedule has been pretty crazy this summer, and when I get home I have no energy to crack open my computer. (Sidenote-these past couple of days of blogging, I’m reminded of how much I enjoy putting words on the screen and creating something, when I have the time and energy to put in).


(Blueberry banana bread remains one of my favorite healthy pre-workout snacks.)

But at the same time, I feel like I’m running out of things to contribute to the world. Maybe my own healthy habits are waning (definitely true), maybe I’ve moved on to other topics of interest, but lately I’ve felt that I’ve already put everything out there that I have in me to contribute. I’ve been blogging for two and a half years now. My life is so different now than it was then, and I’ve had all kinds of life experiences in between. My blog viewership has also changed quite a bit, not specifically in terms of numbers, but I feel like I have a different set of readers now than I had 2 years ago.

I also used to be better about commenting on other blogs. I still read other bloggers’ posts, but I never seem to take the effort to leave a comment anymore. Maybe the quantity of blogs I read now is higher, that my quality as a reader decreases.

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(Panini on a gluten free ciabatta with basil, mozzarella, tomatoes, mushroom tapenade, and a sprinkle of truffle salt. Side salad: balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled feta, dried cherries).

At the same time though, I feel like there are so many blogs out there that have grown stale. Not to be putting anyone down at all, but I’m just not enjoying reading the posts of some of the big bloggers who started it all anymore. I guess after reading hundreds of posts over several years, things kind of blur together to be and the posts seem repetitive. There are so many blogs these days, that how much information is left to gain or be given out?

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(I made my pumpkin banana bread and sprinkled cinnamon cream cheese on half. It’s never too soon for pumpkin.)

Maybe I’ve just become so set in my workout routine that there’s no time to try new things or workouts I find online. Maybe I don’t cook as much as I used to, and don’t get the same inspiration. Maybe I don’t have that “healthy living” spark anymore. Maybe my passion is faltering, and maybe I haven’t put enough effort into my health lately to have the energy for these things to excite me.

The healthy living blog world exploded as a result of some key bloggers, but does anyone else feel like it’s dying a bit? Other social media platforms are starting to take over, partly as our population’s attention span decreases. Instagram, vlogs, twitter. Is this the future of the healthy living world? Quick inspiration? Or has everything that there is to say on the topic already been said?


(Still obsessed with this lunch. Side of Vans Gluten Free everything crackers.)

What can I say or write about to inspire myself and others? What can I contribute to an internet that is already so crowded with the thoughts and ideas of others?


(Chicken noodle soup and a cheese pupusa. Pupusas are my latest obsession-cornmeal exterior, stuffed with anything from cheese and spinach to kale and pinto beans.)

I hope to post more soon. I think my blog posts tend to be better when they are a more regular thing. I also want to talk about some vet stuff and let you guys know what is going on in my life now and in the future.

Tell me-are HLBs obsolete?

Giant’s Race 2015

Hello! Guess who did a race this past weekend?


The Giant’s Race finishes in the Giant’s ballpark. It’s awesome. It was my first ever race! This year I did the 10k, not the half like I did the past 2 years. I had a hard time with my training for my April half because I was so sick, that I was just not up for it. That, and I had no time or energy to train with work. This summer I was on my feet 8 hrs a day, and half marathon training plus that would have torn up my feet!

So, I settled on the 10k.

It’s so crazy to me. 4 years ago, I ran this race for the first time.



I was about to start my freshman year of college. Where the heck did the time go?? When I ran it 4 years ago, I actually won my age group. I was in my best shape of my life at the time, and followed a strict training schedule to work up to that distance (at the time a PDR). This year, I ran the race about 7 minutes slower. Instead of moaning about how much slower I’ve gotten, I’m appreciating how my body has changed to allow me to run this distance without issue, essentially without training.


I didn’t have any expectations for the race. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted to run a decent pace. I was actually a second away from my last minute goal time. I mostly just wanted to enjoy this race. It’s an amazing course-along the Embarcadero, under the Bay Bridge, and out past Fisherman’s Wharf. Bonus-the 10k is flat. The half marathon course actually goes to Chrissy field, with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate.


The energy of the runners is amazing as well-lots of like-minded people (aka Giant’s fans). Plus, finishing on the field never gets old. I definitely enjoyed this race!


After the race, I met up with my mom and grabbed a complimentary post-race beer, just because I could. Yayy for 21. I only had a few sips though because we had other plans for beverages that morning!



There was also a little sandbag toss, for prizes. Of course, I had to take part. I nailed my first 2 bags right in the whole. I still have some softball player left in me, and walked away with some new sunglasses!

After my coffee exploration in New York, I figured I should use a trip to the city as an excuse to try some of the best San Francisco has to offer! I picked out a place, and it turned out they had gourmet and gluten free doughnuts! Dynamo Donuts. We arrived minutes before they opened.


I had a chocolate raspberry and a lemon buttermilk gluten free donut. Both were delicious, and you definitely could not tell they were gluten free.


Plus, OF COURSE a cappuccino. Excellent as well. Good coffee is just so much smoother, and without the bitterness.


Overall, it was a great morning!

Tell me-where’s the best coffee?