WIAW- A Healthier Vacation

Hello, hello! I’m back from Maui, just in time to celebrate What I Ate Wednesday. Thanks to Jenn for hosting, although I’m sure she’s super busy with her adorable new baby!


This post will cover the last couple of days of vacation plus Tuesday. First, I wanted to talk a little bit about being healthy on this vacation. My family’s vacations are often centered around food. And in Hawaii, with so many delicious things around-how could it not be? To be honest, I was a little nervous leading up to the vacation about staying reasonably healthy. The last time I went to Hawaii was almost 4 years ago. I remember getting back from that trip and being 10 pounds heavier than I left. I was not aware that was possible. While I may be a tad flabbier than I left, it certainly is nothing significant, and I returned feeling healthy and strong. So what changed?

1. I didn’t go crazy on desserts. Last time, I remember eating so many chocolate covered macadamia nuts that I felt sooo sick. While sure, I ate more sweets than normal, I didn’t really gorge at any one time. With the exception of a very large piece of chocolate cake that left me feeling off for 2 days after…

2. I split meals. Restaurant portions are often huge (especially at touristy places). Before the trip, my mom and I agreed to split things and it worked out perfectly. We didn’t split a couple of times and both agreed afterwards that we should have.

3. I exercised. I continued to follow my half marathon training plan, so I ended up running 4 times on my 10 day trip. I also visited a few local Crossfit boxes- in Lahaina, Upcountry Maui, and Kihei. Some of my favorite days of the trip were the days I got a tough Crossfit workout in, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. On one of my no-workout days, I was feeling really sluggish. I busted out a quick 5 minute workout, and I felt like a different person.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast. On vacation, we generally buy food to eat in our room. I was really excited for all the tropical fruit. A healthy breakfast helps you feel good going into your day. Example A: my tropical yogurt bowl-plain yogurt, mango, banana, passion fruit, sunflower seed butter.


I came home feeling pretty strong. Before I get into a ton of delicious food, I wanted to talk a little about the last Crossfit I visited- Crossfit Kihei. I had heard from another Crossfitter that they weren’t very friendly. Well…that was kind of right. Myabe they don’t get as many visitors-I don’t know. I wasn’t exactly comfortable the whole time, in contrast to the other Crossfits where I felt like part of the team. The coach was really uninvolved, and there was no group warm up. Plus, for the WOD, I Rxed it when I really shouldn’t have. It was 50 snatched with squats mixed in. No one else Rxed it and I ended up finished wayyy after everyone else, which was a little embarrassing as I was just a visitor. It was a good workout though so I can’t complain. My shoulders really are feeling it today. 

Ok-food time!

Vacation food:


Turkey sandwich which I got for the avocado-plus it has cranberry sauce-how fun!


Ice cream! I regretted this choice. I don’t like coffee…and this didn’t have quite enough fudge. Oh well-you live and you learn!


Salad with bleu cheese and asian pear.


DELICIOUS dinner-macadamia crusted Mahi Mahi with pineapple salsa, jasmine rice, and veggies. My dad and I split this, and they were kind enough to serve it on separate plates.


Lilikoi (passion fruit) cream pie. 


Chocolate cream pie. Sooo funny story. When my family ordered these desserts to share, my dad asked the waiter for 2 forks…for himself. And yes, he did use both. My family takes our dessert seriously.


Airplane food. You know you’re a blogger when your first instinct is to snap a shot before eating, even on a plane. There were a few pieces of lettuce under there for garnish-you better believe I ate those-vegetables are vegetables!

Aaand that leads us back to today. This morning I ate my typical pre-run breakfast-a ThinkThin bar plus fruit, and ran 8 miles. I would be so much faster if my foot wouldn’t act up! Regardless, I didn’t worry too much about pace. PRing this race will be hard since it’s a very hilly course (Nike Women’s in SF). This weekends long run is 10 miles. And that will be my last flat long run. I have a very hellish run planned for the 11 miler. Anyone from around Palo Alto knows the Dish trail-yeah, that will be smack in the center of my 11 miles. Kill me now….

I went to Whole Foods for lunch and groceries. Image

I’m in love with Probiotics.


Chicken, avocado and kale salad, chinese chicken salad, and a few fried plantains. I’m starting a mini Whole30 a week from Friday (I’m doing 7 days), and I want to try to ease myself into it. I’ve been thinking about it, and the list of things I wouldn’t want to give up to eat more Paleo is shrinking. Hummus for salads. Goat cheese. Laughing cow. Gummy vitamins. Run fuel. That’s about it. In the future, I may be sort of Paleoish. The big thing for me is watching the grains and sugar I eat since my blood sugar seems to like to crash.


I also couldn’t resist trying these since I love dark chocolate. They’re good!

For dinner, we made Greek salads topped with spicy avocado hummus and a runny egg. 


I also got another kind of hummus to try, which I ate with cucumbers. It’s really interesting and different!


And dessert was some of the pineapple we brought back from Maui. So good. 


A couple of random other things- I got new shoes to replace my walking around/general workout shoes. My old ones were blue and neon green. The new models are blue and pink. I don’t know about the pink though…What do you think? I might get neon green laces. That way I can accidentally match still since all my clothes seem to be neon green and blue.


And lastly-my haul of Crossfit shirts from my trip! I swear, all I bought on the trip were 3 t-shirts but my suitcase was waaaay more full. Huh.


And I’ll leave you with that! Have a great day!

How do you approach vacation? Has anyone done a Whole30? Tips? 

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee-yay or nay?

Trying Too Hard

Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to post this since Wednesday, but I never got around to it/didn’t want to make a different post super long. 

First, I want to start out by saying I’m kind of uncomfortable talking about my dietary guidelines. I can’t exactly explain it. Maybe I feel really vulnerable. Mostly I feel kind of silly. I feel like I have a lot of “WOW I just figured out this amazing style of eating and it’s going to be awesome and I’m going to do it and it’s going to solve all my problems, abolish world hunger, and bring world peace…” Also, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I can’t stick to anything. At least in terms of my eating habits. I’ve had a few no-sugar challenges that were successful, but I never completed them. I only really stick to my weekly goals for a few days. Remember Operation: Get Healthy? Yeah, that fizzled out. What I’m saying is, I feel stupid for having all these failed a-ha moments, only to restart on something new. I’m a food and fitness blogger, aren’t I supposed to have everything together?


Well, now I’m done. I’m done trying to fit other’s eating habits into my own life. I seem to love giving myself food restrictions-Paleo, no sugar, gluten free. I guess in some ways it just makes things easier. And maybe it’s an excuse to eat as much as I want- I’m Paleo, so if I eat 3 tons of wild buffalo I’ll be healthy, right? 

I never had these types of restrictions in the past, and I was a lot healthier. I guess when you’re looking for a quick fix, it’s easier to say “Ok, I just won’t eat this and everything will work out.” I’ll be 100% honest. College destroyed my eating habits. Rowing didn’t exactly help, because I was burning so much I could literally eat anything and not gain weight (never mind the fact that I felt awful). 


I finally got my blood work back. It seems unlikely that I have a gluten sensitivity, so it’s likely I’m suffering more from portion control than anything else. (Also-my allergy test came up negative for nut allergies, but I was expecting that. Given nuts just give me SUPER bad acne, it didn’t exactly seem like an allergy thing. Maybe it’s something hormonal-I’m still going to avoid them.)

It’s likely that I just crash my blood sugar my eating too many carbs. I’ll do another post on this soon-I just want to refresh myself on the science of it and look over my old nutrition notes first. In short, everyone has a different point at which a certain amount of carbs will crash their blood sugar, mine might be low. 

So instead trying some food group restrictive eating pattern that leaves me desperately craving pancakes (I swear my love for pancakes only came about in the past year), I’m just going to eat food. I’m not going to avoid gluten, I’m not going to be Paleo. I’m still going to try a Whole30 for a week when school starts (just because I’m curious and I won’t immediately get in the habit of eating pancakes every day). Lately, I’ve just been working on incorporating lower amounts of carbohydrates into my diet. Image

When I try a particular, restrictive style of eating, I end up either going crazy with the foods I can eat, or completely giving up and gorging on what I’ve missed. The problem with this is somehow that style of eating and kind of fizzled out my passion for nutrition. Now, I’m trying to eat more like I did in high school, and already this past week my passion for nutrition is returning. I haven’t cut out food groups. But I’m eating more moderately in terms of portions as well. And I feel awesome. I find myself craving healthier foods. I feel like I’m eating more like I have in the past, and that makes me happy. The only food I might ever consider cutting out is sugar, in the form of a no-sugar challenge. However, I see no need to do that now. I’m not struggling with my sugar intake. I find myself wanting a square of super dark chocolate as my sweet, and I’m ok with that. 

ImageI love nutrition-it’s something I want to spend my life working on. It’s part of why I started this blog. Yet I haven’t talked nearly enough about it as I would like. I intend on doing some more research-I love the metabolism aspect of everything, and how our bodies process food. Plus, I really should have found some papers for one of my professors on sugar….I want to spend some time doing some research on my own. Maybe I’ll come up with a new style of eating-who knows. But it won’t prevent me from eating my pancakes. 

My first topic to figure out is how many carbs I should eat (i.e. how many pancakes I should eat) to fuel my workouts but not crash. I don’t want to talk too much about my fitness goals right now, but I’ll give you a hint-I need to be able to do an actual pull-up. 


Just to summarize, I feel silly trying out all these new styles of eating, only to ultimately fail. I feel like as a health and fitness blogger, I should have my life more together, but in reality I really don’t, and for now that’s ok with me. Saying no to pancakes is not an eating style that is going to work for me in the long run, but maybe I can succeed by eating one pancake instead of five. To be, healthy eating is all about balance. So, no more broad proclamations of my new greatest thing. The new theme here is moderation, and eating to fuel my athletic performance. After all, sports are how I got interested in nutrition. I don’t need to try so hard. I just need to put my passion into use. 

How do you feel about “diets”? Do you avoid any foods? What works for you?

Kitten Pictures-You’re Welcome

First of all, Happy 4th of July to you all! I’m meeting up with my high school friends for a BBQ for lunch, and then this afternoon maybe I’ll see a movie. My family is grilling tonight, so lots of barbecues!

Normally, we make  flag cake for 4th of July-Devil’s food cake, vanilla buttercream, and decorated with blueberries and raspberries. 
Last year, I was trying to cut back on sugar so we made strawberry shortcakes instead (with a major fail from me-I put a little too much egg coating and ended with scrambled eggs on top-it was still delicious though!). This year, I decided on Blueberry Crisp because A) it’s the best thing ever and B) I had devil’s food cake for my birthday. 
Blueberry crisp is so delicious, but that devil’s food cake sounds pretty perfect just about now! 

I have to share dinner from last night with you guys-so delicious!

Butternut squash and roast chicken soup, Paleo Zucchini fries, and balled honeydew. Everything is better in balled form. That’s a fact. 
And ketchup is a food group. Here’s the zucchini fries recipe. They were sooo good, but a tad salty.  I think we’re going to try the same recipe with other veggies as well. Suggestions? 

And let’s keep this post light with probably the only reason you clicked on it-kitten pictures! Some of the previously really tiny kittens moved into the main nursery this week (and my favorite litter left 🙁 ). It’s crazy how grown up they are, given I bottle fed them a few weeks ago!
I bottle fed that little tabby in the front and he fell asleep on me!

What are you doing for 4th of July?


Happy What I Ate Wednesday! I feel like this is basically a holiday, except it happens every week! Yay! Thanks again to Jenn for hosting the fun!
As I’ve mentioned before, one of my goals this summer, I want to figure out what foods work best for me. And yes, I promise I’m going to get tested for gluten soon!
Summer Shape Up Banner
(I had way too much fun making this banner.)

My summer shape up goal for this week was to try a mainly Paleo style of eating, as I’ve felt pretty good in the past when I’ve tried eating in this way (although it was only a few days in the past). My basic guidelines have been to avoid dairy and grains, so not totally Paleo. So without further ado, here are some of these new eats!
Spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs, topped with almond milk mozzarella. For the meatballs, we simply balled up Italian seasoned ground turkey, and they came out really well! As for the almond milk cheese-it’s pretty good. I wouldn’t necessarily eat it in something where cheese is the focus, but it works in tons of different things. 
Leftover blueberry lavender smoothie from Gina. For this, I used egg white protein powder.
This is a Turkey and Havarti sandwich from Cooking Light. My mom and I both LOVE this recipe! This is hers- bread, mustard and mayo, arugula (spinach works), red onion, havarti cheese, turkey, and sliced apple. Put in the oven on broil until the cheese is bubbly, then top with ground pepper. The pepper makes it! Here’s my Paleo version:
No bread (hence the tinfoil), and almond milk mozzarella cheese. SO delicious! Make this-you won’t be sorry!
Chocolate covered frozen banana-the chocolate fudge sauce isn’t exactly Paleo, hence the “ish.”
My new obsession! The mango-cocout flavor is so good!
Snacks. The Thinkthin Divine bars are sooooo good. They are gluten free, and MOSTLY kind of Paleo. 
href=”” target=”_blank”>This quesadilla from Blogilates. This was a great use of almond milk cheese-this meal is totally Paleo!
Mangos which I am obsessed with. Remember when I had over 20 mangos in my dorm room? Yeah, not one went bad :)<a
See’s dark chocolate (left over from Easter…). One thing about avoiding grains is my desserts are mostly just dark chocolate, or Baker’s chocolate with raisins. This is likely keeping me sane. 
Any Star Trek fans out there? Yes, my family owns a Starship Enterprise pizza cutter. 

In other events in my life, I finally picked up my new shoes, and they’re ever prettier than I was expecting!
I wore them this morning for my 3 mile run and I’m in love! (Sidenote-I think 3 miles is my mental limit on the treadmill…) I can’t wait to wear them for my 10 mile run this weekend. To clarify, I can’t wait to wear the shoes, I’m terrified for the run!

Today also marked the beginning of summer quarter. I went down to school yesterday to get instructed on the research I’m doing for a Professor, and I went back today as well. It’s not glamorous work (looking at pictures of mouse carcasses) but hey, I’ll take it! Wednesday is my first day of Health Psychology, so I’ll be sure to share anything interesting I learn from that! Hope you all have had a great week so far, and have eaten some deliciousness!

What are you thoughts on Paleo? On food sensitivities?

Dirty Thirty

Over the weekends, I always feel like I don’t have that much to blog about (I truly live an exciting life! My friends from home are all going back to summer school and my friends from school are long gone!). But then I go to blog and realize I actually took quite a few pictures. 

As promised, I have a workout for all you guys! I tested it on my friends, and they approved. The idea is to take rest when necessary. If you go straight through it will obviously be much harder! We kept taking breaks to chat, because, well, that’s what we do. Let me know what you think!
(I tried to make this into something prettier but me+computers is not a good combo…)

Forward squat jumps: jump forward (covering distance)

In and out- balance on tailbone, hands on head, and bring your knees in toward your chest while crunching up

Plank dips-plank position on elbows, and lower hips to the ground, then raise up

Cross leg sit up cross- sit with your legs crossed, and then do a sit up, crossing one arm over to touch the ground in front of you

Let me know if you try this! A modification you could do is Filthy Fifteen (15 reps of everything).

Other highlights of my weekend included a trip to Whole Foods for Paleo-ish foods. 
Actually surprisingly good!

Friday night I bundled up in all my warmest clothes and headed to San Francisco for the Giant’s game! Only in SF would I dress for a snowstorm in the summertime!
San Francisco is known for having good food at the ballpark, so I was able to find a pretty healthy option. I got something called a Cha-cha bowl. 
AKA one of the few things there that had vegetables. It is a bowl with pickled veggies, pineapple salsa, chicken, black beans, and rice. They were kind enough to make it for me without the rice too! I’m maintaining my Paleoish way of eating! Since I knew I’d be craving sweets later in the night, I decided to bring my own (it would be really hard to argue that a Ghiradelli sundae is Paleoish).
Baker’s chocolate and raisins-a winning combo! Although sadly the Giants lost.

Saturday morning, I was back at Crossfit. Since I was the only Intro person, and the guy who usually works with the Intro people had to leave, I was thrown into the regular class, which I was super pumped about. The WOD was:


5 handstand push ups

10 pistols

15 pull ups

For the handstand push ups, I did them with my feet on a box, and definitely not a handstand! Pistols are single leg squats. And I did the pul-ups HEAVILY banded! I made it through 8 rounds, plus 15 reps! My arms were jello….I was glad there wasn’t too much leg work involved because I was a little concerned for my 8 mile run Sunday!

In the afternoon, I went for a walk along the bay with my friend. I am so grateful she introduced me to the trails along the bay-they are perfect for my long runs because they basically go all the way up the peninsula! 
You can kind of see the city through the fog!
When I got back, I promptly put my feet up in preparation for Sunday’s run. Saturday was a quiet night spent watching Burn Notice with my family (and cats of course). 
How is this comfortable??

And since I’ve been talking about it all post, you guys know that Sunday held my 8 mile run. I think this was the longest I’ve ever run. While training for my 10k last summer, I ran for 75 minutes, which my little Nike chip in my shoe CLAIMED was more than 8 miles, but I don’t believe that for a second. For one thing, when I run for time I definitely am dogging it. 

Since I knew 8 miles was more than I’ve run before, I was a little nervous about how my feet would hold up. I got a really bad blister last weekend, which had been kind of sore all week (although it hadn’t bothered me much running). In addition, there’s also that whole landing on a nerve in my foot and making my toe hurt thing. Right before my run, I remembered how my toe thing actually got BETTER after like an hour. 

My run went really well! To be honest, way better than I was expecting. My feet weren’t fabulous, but they held out just fine. My running shoes that I wore are super old though, and I felt like my feet were hitting the ground kind of hard. My new Nikes are in, so I’m picking them up tomorrow. Hopefully I can break them in enough for next week’s 10 mile run! (Gulp.) I ran with a book on tape this time, which I really enjoyed. I find that on long runs I get bored with music. Now, I can’t wait for my next run! They discovered a body just as I was finishing up!

I was also pretty happy with my pace. While I simply want to FINISH my race, I would LOVE to maintain 10-minute miles, so I am trying to train to this pace, which is pretty close to where I was. 
I had a little trouble finding where I parked, but the walking time was much appreciated-I was not capable of getting in my car right away! I also found myself wishing I had a foam roller WITH me. Next time! On the way home, one of my favorite songs to spin to came on the radio. The gym was on the way home, so I stopped there to spin my legs out a little (just lightly) because they were starting to tighten up. 20 minutes of spinning, and then foam rolling worked wonders! I legs felt 1000x better. Foam rolling my calves was kind of death, especially the outside-ish parts, since I run on the outsides of my foot. WHEW. 

I actually enjoyed this run, although I am kind of scared for the 10-miler. So my Crossfit gym is holding a trail group run on the same day that I am supposed to run 12 miles (which is the highest distance my plan goes), and there is a 13.1 distance option for that trail run. Should I do it? It would be more interesting, and to be honest I would be a bit more comfortable getting the race distance under my belt before going into the race. Plus, it’s only a mile more, and what are the odds my schedule would line up so perfectly??
Summer Shape Up Banner
I wanted to update you guys on this week’s goal of my Paleo(ish) style of eating. It’s going really well! I feel a lot more confident making eating choices, although there are definitely some areas I could clean up (for instance, I’m sticking with corn but eating half a bag of kettle corn wasn’t necessarily the best option). Is it possible that grains could mess with my hormonal levels? I swear I feel almost depressed eating them. I’m just way happier eating this way! So what HAVE I been eating?
I really disliked this. It was just WAY too sweet, and I felt a little jittery. I missed the tartness of yogurt! I may add kefir back in, since it is 99% lactose free. 
I much preferred the coconut milk yogurt; it was tarter. Although I probably won’t get it again unless I can find it in Plain instead of vanilla. 
href=”” target=”_blank”>Blueberry lavender smoothie from the Fitnessista! This was SUPER good, and I still have some left over for another day!
I really liked this flavor of Kevita-Coconut Mango, how could you not??
Salad with hard-boiled eggs and roasted garlic hummus. 
Pre-run fuel. For this, I kind of decided “screw Paleo.” The bar has grains (Gluten Free) but worked for me before a run in the past, which I decided was more important. I also said screw you to during run fueling, which I was planning on practicing on this run. Mostly because I was lazy and didn’t want to carry a water bottle (I ran in the morning, on a cloudy day, next to the bay. It was definitely not hot!)
Post run. After drinking random almond milk and sampling all kinds of things trying to decide what I wanter (answer-FOOD). I really was craving sweet potatoes, but making them would take time and effort, so I settle for these little spinach bites. Yes, they are Spongebob shapes. HOWEVER. They are one of the cleanest foods in the frozen section at Whole Foods-potatoes, spinach, eggs, spices. No sugar, grains, or dairy. For this coming week, I’m going to try to clean up a bit more-more fruits and veggies and less Paleo-alternative products. So we’ll see how that goes! I’ll leave you with this picture of my crazy cat watching the Giant’s game:
How do you spend your weekends? Do you watch baseball-what team?