April 2012 archive
Whoo Hoo, it’s Wednesday! I’ve had the last two days off work (and spent a long wknd in Napa!) so am feeling very lucky and am missing all the stress that a mi-work-week usually brings. Won’t last long though….back to work today!
But first, time for What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks, as always, to Jenn for hosting.
This wasn’t the healthiest of days and it ended with fudge cake, but I tried to fit some veggies in where possible.
7am:A cup of coffee to start the day
Ok, I wish. That was my coffee from Napa on Monday. I really drank this cup sitting on my couch, which wasn’t nearly as pretty.
7:30am: I made cinnamon rolls! super delicious and hit the spot. Side of fruit, for at least a little nutrients.
It was great fuel for my morning 3-mile run.
The morning got away from me after that and I was running around catching up on things. I didn’t eat lunch until almost 2, which is so unlike me!
2:00 lunch: I thought this might be my one chance for veggies today, do I made a ginormous kale salad and threw in everything in my fridge- red & yellow pepper, fennel, pickle, leftover brussel sprouts, and tofu, all doused in rice vinegar. Very crunchy!
Snacks I had a big handful of the granola I made yesterday— yum!!!
6:30pm Dinner It’s my dad’s birthday today, so we all met for dinner at his favorite spot- Original Joe’s- an Italian restaurant that just moved into a new location (love the redesign!)
A glass of wine
Spaghetti and veggies
And a few bites from the table
And a bite of chocolate fudge bday cake…I was too full by then. Lots of eating!
I was so full by the end of the day! Splurge day a bit!
what was your last splurge?
Granola’s a great post-workout or really, anytime-snack and is so versatile, it can just about be eaten anytime of the day. I love sprinkling it on top of yogurt or ice cream, eating a bowl with almond milk, and even topping my salads with a hefty spoonful.
With the combo of crunchy-ness, filling, and a hint of sweetness, you really can’t go wrong!
While I usually get my granola out of the bulk bins, making my own is not only healthier, but I can add just my favorite ingredients. Plus, it’s super simple!
Here’s my favorite recipe;
– 3 cups rolled oats
– 1/2 stick butter
– 1/3 cup honey
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 cup cashews and walnuts (chopped into medium sized pieces) (can exchange other nuts here too, of course)
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
1) Preheat oven to 325.
2) Melt butter and honey in a pan over low heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir. Set aside.
3) Mix oats, nuts, and salt in a bowl.
4) Pour in butter/honey mixture.
5) Mix together. Then spread in a thin layer onto a baking sheet.
6) Bake for 18-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Be sure it doesn’t burn! And not to worry if it’s not crisp- that happens when it’s cool.
7) Remove from oven and let cool completely.
8) Pour it into a bowl, break up large pieces if you want. Then, mix in dried fruit.
I sprinkled a few chocolate chips in there for good measure (can’t help but add choc chips to everything these days!)
And, there ya go! Easy granola that you can now add to everything!
Then, go give the dog a bath
Oh wait, that’s just me
– What are your favorite things to add to granola?
– What do you eat with your granola? Yogurt, milk, salads, oatmeal?
This weekend, I spent time at a natural hot springs in Napa. Besides being incredibly relaxing, hot springs are actually really good for your body- everything from soothing tired muscles to increasing the function of your organs
See the smoke from the hot spring/geyser in the background? Neat.
We just went for fun and a mini- vacation, but I found the science behind it as a natural holistic healing power really interesting so thought I’d tell you more about it. If anything, hope it will give you an excuse to plan a hot springs vacation (besides Calistoga, I hear Saratoga Springs is great)!
The pics are from the rest of my day up there btw
Spending time in a hot spring:
- How it works– at the hot spring i was at, a fractured plate deep deep in the ground left an opening. Magma oozes up, heats the underground water, pushes it through the earth, forcing it to escape in the geysers.
- the temp is HOT so they cool it slightly for the baths. Generally 92-102 degrees.
- Bathing in it gradually increases the body’s temperature, killing off internal harmful germs and viruses.
- They increase your hydrostatic pressure, increasing blood circulation (which helps push toxins out).
- It increases the flow of oxygen in the blood, bringing nourishment to organs and stimulating the intentional tract.
- There are trace amounts of minerals in the water – including sodium, magnesium and chloride. All of these mineral are absorbed and are good good for the organs and glands, stimulating the immune system.
- the sulfur in the water (which smells a bit, to be honest) can help your skin (Esp if you have skin diseases like psoriasis or funguses).
-And for all the runners, triathletes, etc- the temp of the water and everything in it helps to soothe sore muscles. The warmth relaxes the muscles, which reduces stress on joints and increases joint mobility (also excellent for arthritis).
- Plus there’s the physical and mental relaxation from spending time in the hot springs, which produces endorphins and just plain makes you feel better!
So… If you get a chance, go visit a hot spring! So relaxing. Plus, my skin feels so soft and great.
Jared and I are already planning another trip up there this summer after one of his tough races.
- Have you been to a hot springs?
This post will be sorta brief because I’m still up in Napa, but I just have to say- I feel so lucky to live 90 miles from here. It’s beautiful, relaxing, and so peaceful. Like a bubble from all the chaos of regular life! Plus, I know I talk about the weather too much but it was 50 degrees in SF sun morning and it’s 75 in wine country, so you really can’t beat that.
Remind me to come up here more often, k?
Drove up with my sister and got here around 1 and met our parents for lunch in Calistoga. We haven’t done a family trip all 4 of us in a few years, so it’s nice to spend the day with them.
Wine was involved at lunch, of course.
And basically, the rest of the day was spent at the pool. It’s a hot spring, so the water is full of minerals and naturally heated to 100 degrees
Drinking copious amounts of lemon/grapefruit water (yuuummm)
(attempt to take a mirror photo without anyone noticing)
Our “cottage” with the comfiest bed ever
After dinner (which was Mexican food) involved roasting marshmallows (see, best hotel ever!) and nighttime swimming
That’s my weekend update!
More later about the benefits of natural minerals in the hot springs- really interesting topic.
Where’s your “happy place” for relaxing and getting away?
And best close wknd getaway spot near you?
Saturdays are for
Yoga pants and flip flops
Playing at the park full of Spring flowers (….or are those weeds?)
Eating lunch at home instead of brown baghin’ it at my desk (….even when you literally have no groceries like me today)
Errands and shopping
And fun dinners out with friends!
How’s your Saturday this wknd?
Friday the 13th! I’ve already overslept (my cell alarm was on vibrate- hate that!), spilled coffee everywhere, and a weird thing happened- I was sitting in Starbucks and a homeless guy (who has some mental issues too) took out a throw-away camera and started snapping photos of me. Weird and disturbing!!
It’s another moving day at work (the stuff from storage to the new office) so I think I’ll be all over the place again.
But no worries, ’cause on Sunday and Monday, I’ll be in Napa!! We’re celebrating my dad’s 60th with a mini family trip. Hello massage, pool, and VINO. Supposed to be 70 degrees too thankfully, cause it was lightning and thunderstorms and pouring the last few days.
My favorite place to stay in Napa...email me if you ever have napa questions!
The past few days, I’ve been trying to decide what new race to sign up for. Now that it stays light earlier and later and just cause my legs ate getting the “itch”…,,Time to start running again!
Since I love making lists lately, I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve learned from running. Tell me if you relate.
This is totally me.
1. My body is capable of much more than I ever thought it was. A year ago, I had never run more than 6 miles. Now I can run more than double that. Three years ago, I could barely run 1 mile. I was in shape, but not conditioned for running. The day I ran 10 miles, I smiled a ton. I never thought I could do it. And I did.
2. Foam rolling is amazing. Yes, without a race to focus on, I doubt I would have started foam rolling. And now I am obsessed.
3. Carbs are good. I definitely eat way more carbs during training. I used to steer clear of bagels. But now after a long run, they’re just what I want and “can” have. And they taste great. Just have to watch to make sure I don’t go overboard.
4. My leg muscles get stronger and my pants are a little tight, but that’s ok. It never would have been ok before. But now it’s strong, not fat. And that’s a good thing!
5. Early mornings are so worth it. The sunrises and pretty views of dawn I’ve seen from being outside (as opposed to being inside the gym…or let’s be honest, still in bed) is incredible and makes my whole day so much better.
6. The right shoes and clothes really make a difference. I learned the hard way. ‘Nuff said.
7. Update your iPod already. Yes, I learned the hard way for this too. So bored with my same 20 songs.
8. Goals and Schedules are for me. It’s been really nice looking at my calendar every morning and feeling like I “have” to finish and not cut it short, because it’s part of my plan.
my last race
9. Don’t be afraid of a running buddy. I was so scared to run without someone and fail, but when I actually did it, it was way more fun and made the miles go by so quickly.
10. Running gives you bragging rights. Non-runners get impressed by runners and talk of their miles. “You ran 12 miles today! Oh my gosh!” and it’s fun to be the recipient of their positive comments. Kind of a motivator.
No matter how far you run, whether it’s 5k or an ultra marathon, running teaches you a lot about yourself and your body…things you might never have expected.
Ok, back to work and trying to pick out a race
–Tell me what YOU have learned from running!
Ok, random title, but what can I say? It’s Friday! I’m going to Napa this weekend- can’t wait.
First of all, just wanted to say a huge thank you for everyone’s sweet comments after my guest post at Carrots n Cake yesterday! They all meant so much to me!
Will def have a bunch more Ironman-related stuff in the next couple weeks, but today I wanted to talk more about food.
NO NOT THIS KIND OF FOOD. Healthy Food! Though this would taste amazing right about now
I finally watched Forks Over Knives last night. Have you seen it?
I’m guessing a lot of you have. And if you haven’t, it’s basically really similar to Food, Inc and other documentaries discussing the food industry, all chemicals put into our foods, the horrible treatment of animals at slaughterhouses, and just how our current foods are affecting our bodies.
The studies are really interesting tracking cancer and heart disease among those who eat a standard American meat-eating diet and those who focus on plant-based whole foods. Among other interesting parts of the film is the stories about people with advanced heart disease and diabetes who changed their diet and reversed all the affects.
While a lot of what was discussed in the film wasn’t brand new information to me (and I’m guessing that as part of the Healthy Living Blogging Community, it’s not so new to you either), but I do know people who saw the film and significantly changed their lifestyle from it.
Which got me thinking…..
What health-related media had the most significant affect on you? Was it a slew of things, was it one thing, or was it really non-media related and more about your family’s influence?
Family of course has a huge influence. My Mom did most of the cooking and her focus on fresh produce and “healthy” foods helped shape my own choices for sure.
With my dad....I think I was 7?
but after I read Skinny Bitch in 2007, it changed me completely. That same day, I gave up dairy, sweetners, and white flour. I started eating ONLY a piece of fruit for breakfast. I cut back on my protein and meat intake significantly. I was doing it all in the quest for health and treating my body right, but something about the timing that I read that book and their message just struck me exactly in the right spot.
I went overboad though, unfortunately. I lost a significant amount of weight (too much) and eating became more of a chore than a joy to me. I def was not much fun to go out to eat with.
I’ve certainly relaxed over the last few years and watching Food Inc or Forks Over Knives or even reading the China Study, doesn’t have the same influence on me as Skinny Bitch did (which is a good thing!).
Occasionally, when I read something in a magazine, it will strike me to change a bad habit and I def focus more on veggies after watching those movies, but not obsessively and now I take it all much more with a grain of salt.
happily got caught up on all my magazines last weekend
Blogging is of course, a form of media too, which has had an everyday influence for me (so, thanks guys!) and helped me become way more balanced than I was before.
I know that media, body-image, and its effects are a MUCH larger issue, but still curious about your thoughts–
– Did one movie/book/article affect your healthy you WAY more than the rest?
– Or was it more of a combo of people and things you learned that shaped you?
– And lastly, if you could eat ANYTHING right now, what would it be? (I want that sundae!)
So nice of Tina at Carrots ‘N Cake to let me do a Guest Post today! I wrote about the 10 Things I Learned About Dating An Ironman, so check it out!
5:45am: Early Morning! Breakfast 1
I was up and out of the house super early. Made a huge pot of coffee (which I didn’t really get to enjoy because I was rushing around) and a pineapple Green Smoothie. My favorite way to start the day.
8am: Breakafst 2. After an early meeting, I took advantage of being downtown and stopped in at a bakery.
Got a slice of carrot-lemon bread and a diet snapple. Bread was okay, but I think I’m getting choosey- I like breads I bake better….
A grapefruit later for a snack:
I’m thinking I need some crunchy greens and some protein next.
In other news, I picked up some Maca powder at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. Have you heard of Maca?
Maca’s a South American superfood that has been used as food and medicine for hundreds of years. Inca warriors used to take some before going to battle (cool, huh).
Maca helps regulate hormones through the hypothymus gland and increase energy. They make it in a powdered form that can be added to smoothies. Neat, huh?
I thought I’d give it a try. I always love trying new local products…and I figured giving my hormones some regulation help can never be a bad thing
The Maca is mixed with cacao and stevia so it tastes really good. I mixed some with almond milk the other night- yum!
Love trying new things. Have you tried anything new recently?
Happy Spring Wednesday, people! Since I know you’re all just sooo curious about what I ate, I’ll skip the narrative and get right to it. My camera needed to be charged so these are all from my iPhone….hence the lack of quality.
Breakfast: 7am. Blueberry yogurt, pineapple, and coffee in my ENORMOUS mug. Are you surprised I didn’t have a green smoothie this week
11:30am: Lunch. Sweet potato, kale, and baby carrots. I added some almond butter and sea salt to the potato after I took the pic. I cannot get enough sweet potato these days- love love love.
Since I ate lunch relatively early, I ended up eating two snacks today.
The first at 1:30- Wasabi seaweed (spicy!) and a green apple.
And then a Larabar when my stomach was growling again a little before 4. My computer clock is wrong, if you are wondering.
eaten at my desk, of course
A long-ish, post-work dog walk was the only exercise I got in today, unfortuantely.
7:30pm. Dinner was leftovers from Sunday night’s farmer’s market feast. Lamb, purple potatoes, and asparagus. yum.
And that’s my What I Ate Wednesday for ya!
– What time do you normally eat your afternoon snacks? I’ve been wanting mine soo early these days.
– Any food you can’t get enough of lately?
Ok, here’s something that totally made my day!
I was talking about “appreciating the simple things” the other day and trying to show more gratitude for the little things in life.
So check this out!
It’s a Blueberry Plant! You can grow your very own (for only $6.99, pretty cheap, huh)
I thought it was so cute so wanted to share. YUM!
You can see more of why I love Blueberries here
So, thats my “Thanks for the Simple Things” of today!