Archives

Fall Festivities

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I’m still in the heat of midterms, but I thought I’d pop in and share some fun weekend happenings.

IMG_4417

I had to start my Friday off on the right foot pre-midterm. An amazing Fuji apple from the farmer’s market with cottage cheese and sun butter. My midterm was a time crunch. I walked out with my brain fried, and grateful that I planned a track workout right afterwards! 4x400m-nothing too crazy, but homework for my exercise physiology class! I spent the afternoon running errands-including a flu shot, new running shoes, and some study time in Peet’s. That evening I went to Crossfit for some squats and a lighter workout that involved lots of push ups-my shoulder is getting stronger!

My evening plans involved friends and a nice bottle of wine.

IMG_4422

I still cannot believe I will be leaving these people in less than a year!

Saturday morning I had planned on going for a fall run, but my legs were not feeling it. They had been feeling a little rough between my race, spin classes, and sprint workouts, so I went for a leisurely morning bike ride. I did a beautiful 15ish mile loop, and the good news is I felt much stronger than the last time I did it a year ago-those spin classes must be doing something!

Post ride meal scavenged from the fridge:
IMG_4426

Sautéed garlic spinach, rice, and leftover chicken (served with ketchup of course!).

That evening was our Homecoming football game. My Crossfit actually arranged a tailgate prior to the game, so I enjoyed some time outside of the gym with my workout buddies. Everyone looked so different not in workout clothes!

At game time, I met up with some friends.

IMG_4444 IMG_4443

Our mascot is a tree, and each year, it is quite the honor to be the tree. The trees are crazy-they usually have to do some sort of insane stunt to get the position, although many of these are kept under wraps. The tree makes its own costume each year, with many different interpretations, including a palm tree, the traditional pine, and this year a willow. A fun part of Homecoming is seeing the tree reunion!

IMG_4447

I left at halftime (we were up by 2 touchdowns already 🙂 ) to head over to a Wine and Cheese night hosted by my sister. She had an extensive cheese selection, and pumpkin creme brûlée made before our eyes with a hand held blow torch. (How cool is it that she has that??) It was also fun to see her friends and discuss the wedding!

Sunday morning I was up bright an dearly to sub a spin class at my off-campus gym. It was a good class, and I left energized!

The main event for the weekend though?

PUMPKIN PATCH. There’s a historic farm across the bay (that has baby animals in the spring) with all kinds of ruminants, plus a full on pumpkin patch. I made my friends commit to going weeks in advance because I didn’t want anyone to miss out!

IMG_4448

First up was the goats. I’m pretty sure these goats are the babies of the pregnant mothers I saw in the spring!

IMG_4450 IMG_4451

The most exciting thing? I got to see my cow! I saw this cow when it was young (maybe teenaged?) my freshman year of college, and when I returned last spring, it had grown so much! This year? I got quite the wonderful surprise when I saw that it had a young calf! My cow is all grown up!

IMG_4452 IMG_4454 IMG_4456 IMG_4460 IMG_4507 IMG_4475

After exploring the cornfields, it was time for the pumpkin patch! I was on the search for the perfect pumpkin.

IMG_4469 IMG_4470 IMG_4476 IMG_4477 IMG_4483

After an extensive search, I found the one!

IMG_4486 IMG_4488 IMG_4511

On the way back to campus, we stopped for pumpkin froyo. Because basic. And because fall. I got pumpkin froyo and salted caramel froyo. SO amazing.

IMG_4503

I love fall!

Sweet Potato Bread Recipe

Ok, I know I’ve been promising this bread for forever. Ok, like a week, but still. I’m finally ready to share it today!

First, I want to catch up a little bit. On food. On fitness. Life. Etc.

First of all-my sister is engaged! How crazy is that?? I’m the maid of honor and I’m so happy for the couple! We even broke out the good champagne to celebrate!

IMG_3765

It happened on a hot air balloon in Napa-hwo perfect is that? They stopped by for congratulations and to partake in our grilled nectarine salad (because we got nectarines from Costco with only a few days to eat them…)

IMG_3766

Recipe here.

Another meal I’ve been meaning to post were these beautiful parmesan and spinach soufflĂ©s.

IMG_3591 IMG_3592

Plus a delicious side salad with herbs, meyer lemon infused olive oil, and aged white balsamic vinegar.

In workout news, I messed up my shoulder today. I was weight lifting with my trainer. We did heavy snatches and I did pretty well-didn’t hit my max but made the lifts I should have made. Then, heavy deadlifts. After working my way up to heavy weights, I did a set of 5 at 210, a set of 3 at 220, and a set of 1 at 230, followed by max reps at 230 (I got 2-apparently my form was going and I wasn’t allowed to try a 3rd with my ‘cat back’). Then,I worked on behind the neck snatch grip presses and snatch balances. It was fine. So basically I spent a lot of time stabilizing heavy weights with my shoulders with no issues. Then since there was a bit of extra time, we did some core work-roll outs. You may have seen those ab wheels before, but I used a barbell with circular plates to roll out. I got a little too ambitious on the first one and roll out to far, and then got kind of stuck and ended up sort of face-planting and felt a pop in my shoulder. I was worried at first, but everything seems to be in the right place and it feels much better than it did initially. The pain is in the same area that my shoulders get creaky, especially this one, so I think it’s just a bit of a sprain/strain. I’m hoping it feels better soon!

In life news, I’m jetting off to Hawaii with my family! My dad has a conference so we’re tagging along and making a vacation of it. To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit worried about what I can eat but I’m sure we’ll make it work. Hawaii is full of nuts and coconut, and the last time I was there I ate both and ended up with a pretty bad allergic reaction to macadamia nuts (this is before I completely avoided them and was still in denial).

IMG_3975 IMG_4036 IMG_4065

It’s actually looking to be a pretty active vacation for me. I have a 10 mile run scheduled this weekend, which will feel great in the heat and humidity I’m sure…Plus some other shorter runs. I’m also hoping my shoulder is ok to visit some of the Crossfit boxes I visited last time I was there! Other excitement includes another visit to see the piggies.

IMG_4097

 

The biggest thing I’m excited about it visiting a goat dairy farm! We went many years ago and I remember trying delicious goat cheese. Plus-RUMINANTS. I think as part of the tour we get to milk them? So pumped!

In terms of my health-my stomach is mostly healed but not 100%. There are still times were I feel super dizzy and nauseous, and tums/pepto still has to come everywhere with me just in case. Luckily, at this point it seems these episodes are mostly linked to certain foods. Which can be frustrating, but I’m trying to be better about figuring out what foods and how to better avoid them The list of things that makes me sick includes dark chocolate, onions, mexican food, tortilla chips, wheat, too much sun butter, too much fatty food. The list goes on. I really do feel like some of this is temporary and won’t affect me in time when I’m fully healed, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m sticking to gluten free-all of these breads I make with gluten free flour, and you’d never know it. It seems to be even less noticeable with pumpkin bread than banana bread too.

Which FINALLY brings us to the recipe! I wanted to make sweet potato bread, but couldn’t find the recipe I used in the past so I figured, why not try my own hand at it? Like I’ve said before-I’ve tried very hard to screw up my basic banana bread recipe so I might was well try a little bit harder!

Sweet Potato Bread

IMG_3648

Ingredients

1.5 cups mashed, cooked sweet potato or yam

1 c flour

1/3 c milk

2 bananas, mashed

2 T oil (I used avocado)

1 egg

1 T vanilla

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1/4 c honey (can add more-to taste)

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

Optional: 1 T orange juice (I wanted to moisten it and in full honesty the only citrus we had was a tangerine so I just used the juice from that)

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top

IMG_3650

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix wet ingredients well, then add dry ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top (this just makes it pretty!)
  4. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.IMG_3644

This dense bread is the perfect segway between summer and fall. It’s a dense, warm bread but doesn’t quite have the kick of fall spices.

IMG_3651

What is your favorite quick bread? What should I experiment with next?

 

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.

IMG_3637

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.

IMG_3638

Sweet potato seed crackers were on the side.

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

IMG_3640 IMG_3641

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.

IMG_3653

IMG_3658

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.

IMG_3645

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.

IMG_3643

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!

IMG_3657

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?

Skipping Burpees

Do you ever have one of those days when you just feel like you killed your workouts?

That was yesterday for me. I’m loving these afternoon treadmill runs!

I did my heavy squats, and then I knocked out a treadmill speedy run. I started with 2 miles at an 8:00 pace. This is big for me, since I haven’t run fast much lately! I’m hoping to slowly increase this distance-honestly it’s harder mentally than physically!  So maybe if I do that I’ll have some hope of being prepared for the turkey trot? I followed those 2 miles with 5 intervals-2:00 @ 7:30, 2 min walking. I covered 4 miles total. It felt amazing. After all that running though, I made sure to come back and ice my foot right away! I’m pretty sure my feet like the extra cushion of the treadmill.

In terms of food, yesterday was pretty clean cut.

Breakfast part 1: cranberry orange bread (so good!!).

IMG_0037

Breakfast part 2:

IMG_0038

Lunch: Leftover Goat Cheese Souffle+ roasted carrots and a persimmon.

IMG_0043 IMG_0044

Snack immediately post run: coconut covered date roll.

IMG_0045

After my workout, I was pretty ravenous for dinner. I had a salad with BBQ chicken, more veggies, and then I went back for a roll on the side.

IMG_0046

I also snacked on a protein bar plus some cheese and crackers later on!

So…last night I managed to be really dumb and somehow totally wiped out…in my room…Our beds are sort of raised, so I either have to jump up and down or use a chair. I tend to only use a chair when I’m lazy, which apparently I was. Somehow while I was stepping off the chair I lost my balance, and my other leg got caught on the back of the chair, so I had no where to go but down-I ended up falling pretty hard on my knee. Luckily I was wearing pants, but I still have pretty bad carpet burn plus a bruise. The only upside? It meant there was no way I was doing burpees during this morning’s Crossfit workout. I subbed 1 squat+1push up for each burpee….which was definitely much preferred!

When was the last time you wiped out?

Kinda Over It

Hello! I’m popping in again today to talk about running!

Despite definitely not going to bed early enough Saturday night, I was surprisingly up bright and early and ready to run. Since I’m not technically training for anything right now, my running schedule has been pretty low key and variable. The night before, I mapped out a route and made a playlist, which took me about 7.5 miles. It was a loop that went around the outer edge and beyond of campus.

Before the run, I had some dates and sunflower seed butter. I picked up some dates at the Farmer’s Market the other day, and I love having them for before a morning run for some quick energy.

The run went well. I went Garmin-less since I knew the route and distance. My foot was a little bit grumpy for the whole thing. It wasn’t the type of pain that made me stop or limp, but it was enough to be annoying.

My route took me past a whole bunch of changing trees with beautiful fall colors. This is actually the farthest distance I’ve done in a long time-since before taking time off to heal my foot! I’ve been running 6 miles pretty regularly, but nothing above that. Yeah…around the 6 mile point I was kind of over it, and my toes were hurting. I think 6 miles is my sweet spot right now! The race in my most near future is a 10k Turkey Trot, so ideally I’d be a little bit above 6!

Overall,  great start to the day. Plus, brunch was open by the time I got back. I didn’t have nearly enough carbs the night before, so I was ready to dive in.

Salad, roasted kabocha, eggs with cream cheese, and a couple of raspberry white chocolate pancakes.

IMG_9967

In the afternoon, I got a delivery from my parents-still warm homemade pumpkin bread! It’s a pretty healthy recipe (whole wheat flour) plus we tried some things with the sweetener so it wasn’t that sweet, which was great! The sweetener is a story for another day. It’s going to be nice to have before AM Crossfit. Luckily, some of it made it to the freezer but MAN is it good!

Dinner was a little weird/sad. It was Mexican food, but they tragically ran out of guacamole. Plus it was weird because they only had beef and fake meat, and the fake meat was really strange. I fixed my food into a taco salad, with a mini quesadilla on the side.

IMG_9970

For dessert, I had a little bit of chocolate ice cream, and another slice of pumpkin bread as I was slicing and freezing some of it.

In terms of my eating, I probably should have had less pumpkin bread. In terms of the big picture, after tracking calories and activity for almost a week, I’m getting a sense of where I should be. That being said, a calorie is not a calorie, and certain foods result in different things. So I can’t just expect calories to do their magic!

What is your favorite pumpkin product?

I have to say I love the classic pumpkin bread!