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I don’t think it’s a big secret that I’ve been having fun, living it up, and maybe enjoying myself a little too much. Thankfully, the new year came around to re-instate a #newyearnewme :-P. However, this past week I really got back on track and started to kick my butt into gear. Here’s are some steps I’m taking to re-start my fitness/healthy lifestyle:

  • Set a goal: For me, this is to have a really strong spring marathon (Mountains 2 Beach). It would be great to BQ. However, even just giving it my all for this training cycle (within reason) and having a solid race would be a success.
  • Find something new: I honestly have not cross-trained since before the Chicago Marathon. But at the same time, I find myself burnt out on the usual workouts I used to opt for on the side (e.g. yoga, yoga sculpt, Pilates). This week I got a new gym membership and started swimming again. And I’m SO EXCITED TO SWIM! I find myself waking up (willingly) before 6am to get a lane and get a workout in early.
  • Step outside the gym: I’m also striving to be more active, aside from running. Whether it’s playing a sport recreationally (we might start a kickball team), shooting hoops, or hiking, I want to be more active/outdoorsy and not always focused on just running as a means of activity.
  • Cut the booze: well not all of it (because alcohol is kinda great…). But I’m definitely trying to make more conscientious decisions and break out of the habit of having a casual beer some nights.

What do you do to help get yourself back on track?

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One of the many places I went to eat last week was Claire’s on Cedros. This was my second time ordering the Quinoa & Lentil Salad, and since the first time I found myself thinking about recreating it.  So for lunch this week I tried my best to make a copycat version (the only things missing are the green onions — which I’m not an onion fan in general — and the currants — I just forgot).  I like how many different textures come together, and  how much protein is packed into this dish!

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Quinoa & Lentil Salad
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 cup green lentils, cooked in vegetable broth
2 cups persian cucumber, cut int half-moons
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup red bell peppers, chopped
1/3 cup cashew pieces
1/4 cup sesame ginger dressing (from Whole Food’s)
1 Tbsp. mint, minced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together.
  2. Option to plate over a bed of lettuce and serve with chicken.

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Oh hey.  It’s been a hot minute for meal planning, especially since last week I didn’t grocery shop and ate out M-F, BLD (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It definitely made me realize the importance of grocery shopping and meal prepping on Sunday (even just for the sake of my wallet)!

Saturday I picked up my 6 juice assortment of OH! Juice from the Little Italy Farmers Market.  It’s been a great little addition, and a good way to get in nutrients, especially since my meal prepping mojo is at an all time low.

This week’s menu:
Breakfast – Greek yogurt with fruit, granola and Sol Raiz Organics maca
Snack 1 – OH! Juice (pictured: Nice Melons)
Lunch – Quinoa & Lentil Salad
Snack 2 – Apple
Dinner – TBD

Keep an eye out for the “copycat” Quinoa & Lentil Salad recipe tomorrow!

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You ready for another Happy Hour Made Healthy?! We thought so.

This time around, my colleague (lol jk) London and I headed to Hillcrest to scope out the healthy happy hour offerings over at Lotus Thai. The dimly lit but modern dining room set the theme for our entire experience- a fresh take on traditional Thai that kept us there wanting more! With happy hour this good, sometimes you just have to stay for dinner (and dessert) too 😛

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Drinks –

Silk Pearl (Han Soju vodka, peach puree, champagne) and Pink Lady (Han Soju vodka, lychee juice, pomegranate, and champagne). Both of these bubbly drinks feature Soju, an Asian spirit with less alcohol (and calories) than traditional vodkas. Fruity but not overly sweet, these drinks started the night off right.

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Rambutan Mojito – Native to Southeast Asia and most similar to tropical lychee, the rambutan fruit has a hydrating juicy flesh full of Vitamin C and copper, which help your body flush out toxins and free radicals. This subtly tart mojito was super refreshing.

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Appetizers –

Heaven Roll – Cool chilled rice paper rolls of tofu (omitted), shrimp, bean sprout and fresh basil leaves, served with a sweet vinaigrette sauce. These were tightly bundled and full of freshly crisp veggies and shrimp.

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Noodle Shrimp Tempura – Lightly fried shrimp wrapped with bacon and crispy egg noodle served with house plum sauce. This was our favorite! We loved the unique take on traditional tempura. Definitely not a date night dish though- this one got messy! We loved how “nouveau” this dish was.

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Green Papaya Salad – Shredded green papaya, carrots, tomato, and fresh green beans add spice from fresh Thai chili tossed with spicy lime sauce and sprinkled with ground peanuts. Definitely bright and fresh while cleansing on the palate.

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Entrees –

Tiger in Bangkok – Grilled sliced marinated tender sirloin steak, tossed with rice powder, onion, cucumber, cilantro in spicy lime dressing. This beef salad was absolutely delicious, but the coolest part was the rice powder- rice roasted and ground up into tiny, smokey crystals- offering another flavor dimension. It gave the seasoning of salt, without heavily adding sodium.

Shrimp & Clam Pineapple Curry – Sauteed shrimp and clam, fresh pineapple, kaffir lime leaves, bell peppers in red curry sauce. Always a favorite, this creamy tropical curry seems to taste even better in the summer with the freshest of pineapples! Full of flavor and fat, plump shrimp.

Ok, we might have stayed for dessert too…

Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango – This is a favorite for the gluten-free peeps. It was my first time experiencing the “warming effect” of sweet sticky rice (similar to the feeling you get when you eat bread-pudding). This dessert was creatively displayed, with the mango sliced magically thin and then formed into a heart!

Coconut Ice Cream – made in-house with young coconuts and fresh jackfruit. Topped with crushed nuts, mint, and a drizzle of chocolate, I could eat this every day!

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Lotus Thai
3761 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
619-299-8272

Happy Hours:
5pm-7pm everyday

Don’t miss the: Noodle tempura shrimp!

Take-away tip: Seek out a modern spin on traditional dishes, they tend to be fresher (and healthier!).

Thank you to Lotus Thai for hosting this week’s Happy Hour Made Healthy!

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There are some new things getting me going this week:

  1. Cold brew coffee.  I wish I could bottle this up, but I mean, it already is bottled.  I think I’d just like to drink it and rebottle it just so I can drink it over and over!
  2. Hibiscus tea over ice.  Does anyone know what the health benefits are of hibiscus tea?  I remember it being something, but now I can’t find exactly what I thought it was.
  3. Trader Joe’s peanut butter with flax and chia seeds.  This texture is divine!  And it almost tastes like  dessert.
  4. Maca in my salad/my salad this week in general.  I was skeptical that I was adding too much but something about everything just works!

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Breakfast – Green smoothie + cold brew coffee w/almond milk
Snack 1 – Greek yogurt with fruit and PB
Lunch – Power greens salad
Snack 2 – Banana with peanut butter
Dinner – TBD

Green Smoothie – this week’s
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup frozen kale
1 cup frozen tropical fruit
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
DIRECTIONS

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.

Greek yogurt with fruit and PB
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup plain 0% greek yogurt
1 yellow peach, chopped
1 Tbsp. peanut butter with flax and chia seeds
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Layer all ingredients in a container.

Power Greens Salad
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups power greens
1/2 cup harvest grain blend (from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/5 of a hot house cucumber, sliced
1 Tbsp. eggplant hummus
2 Tbsp. Avocado Vinaigrette
1 tsp. hemp hearts
1 tsp. Sol Raiz Organics maca
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Toss power greens with avocado vinaigrette.  Assemble the salad with the rest of the ingredients listed above.

What are you eating this week?

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Yea, oatmeal is super simple to make.  But there’s times when it’s too runny, too thick, runs over the bowl, etc.  This is my fool-proof recipe for making the best oatmeal!  Trust me, it’s all in the process…

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The Perfect Oatmeal
INGREDIENTS:
½ cup dry oats
1 cup water
1 banana, sliced
pinch of walnuts
1 tbsp. peanut butter
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add water to dry oats. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir, and let it rest for 2 minutes.
  2. Cook for an additional 30 seconds. Let it rest for a couple minutes.
  3. Remove from microwave and top with banana, walnuts and a blob of peanut butter.  Option to add strawberries.

Congrats!  You have now cooked the best oats (and my favorite thing to eat before a long run).

Tell me: what’s your best breakfast recipe?

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First off, my comments button has finally been fixed!  So go right on ahead and leave me a comment 😉

And now…here’s what I’ve cooked up for this week:

Breakfast – Green Protein Smoothie + iced coffee
Snack 1 – Greek Yogurt Filled Cantaloupe
Lunch – My Big Fat Vegan Bowl
Snack 2 – 3-Ingredient Waffle
Dinner – TBD
Additional snack (if necessary) – Peanut Butter & Oat Bar

Green Protein Smoothie
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 handfuls of spinach
1 cup frozen tropical fruit
1 handful ice cubes
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.

Greek Yogurt Filled Cantaloupe
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cantaloupe
1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
Honey
Granola
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove seeds from the cantaloupe. Add in scoop of Greek yogurt.
  2. Drizzle lightly with honey and top with a sprinkle of granola.

My Big Fat Vegan Bowl
Adapted from Oh She Glows’ Big Vegan Bowl
INGREDIENTS (for each bowl):
2 cups kale
1/2 cup cruciferous green blend (from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup harvest grain blend, cooked (from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup roasted chickpeas*
1/2 cup roasted sweet potato*
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 Tbsp. eggplant hummus
2 Tbsp. tangerine vinaigrette
1 tsp. hemp hearts
1/2 tsp. Sol Raiz Organics Maca
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Toss kale and cruciferous green blend with tangerine vinaigrette.  Assemble the bowl with the rest of the ingredients listed above.

*To roast the chickpeas: Drain and toss 2 cans of chickpeas with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees F.

*To roast the sweet potato: Wash and cut 4 medium-large sweet potatoes.  Toss with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees F.

3 Ingredient Waffle
Serves 1
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 banana
1 egg
1 egg white
Splash of almond milk (Optional. Add if mixture is too dry.)
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat waffle iron.
  2. Place all ingredients (oats, banana, eggs) in a blender. Blend until combined.
  3. Pour over hot waffle iron.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes.

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This past week (Tuesday until this morning) my co-worker (formerly referred to as my “bossociate”) and I attended a conference in Hanford, CA.  Let’s just say, Hanford is definitely the Central Valley.  So for me, it was Modesto, but incredibly smaller.  Healthy options were far and few so we did our best to “get our steps in,” run, make modifications, etc.  Luckily, it was also a rest running week for me, so it was not imperative to get my longer runs in.  Here’s how I stayed healthy in a not-so-healthy place…

photo 2-2On working out:

  • Pack workout clothes – if you don’t, you set yourself up for failure from the get-go.
  • Pack walking shoes – get those steps in. #FitbitAnonymous
  • Run outdoors and explore the area – the first day we were pretty confined to >1 mile radius. The second day we ventured out further and gained a new perspective on Hanford.
  • Find a local yoga studio and pop in for a class – we randomly did this.
  • Sign up for a day pass at the local gym  – we lucked out and got one-day for $5. At that price, you could pass up one Starbucks for a workout (in fact, we had to since there were no Starbucks OR coffee shops in the downtown).
  • Use the hotel gym – fit in a quick speed workout on the treadmill if you’re pressed for time.  My prescribed workout was 4×400 at increasing speeds with 400 rest in between.

photo 3-2On eating:

  • Opt for healthier options on the menu – e.g. side of oatmeal and fruit bowl (aka melon bowl).
  • Remove the bad stuff from healthy options – e.g. no butter on my oatmeal (didn’t know that was a thing?), dressing on the side and/or off the salad (always opt for pigslap…jk, don’t ask)
  • Pack healthy snacks – such as CLIF MOJO bars (a light snack because I knew I wasn’t going to be doing any heavy duty working out).
  • And always indulge in the town/city’s specialty – aka how could we pass up SUPERIOR DAIRY?!

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What are your tips for staying healthy in a not-so-healthy place?

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One of my goals for the longest time has been to stay consistent with prepping my meals.  Just taking a couple hours one day to prep everything makes the rest of the week so easy.

For the past two weeks I’ve been on a roll.  And since I always want the same thing for breakfast, I had an epiphany to just prepare everything (meaning breakfast, lunch, and snacks included)  and take it all to work.  I realized that trying to eat at home and hustle to get ready for work, just never works.  I end up losing focus up and just eating in the bathroom…FAIL.

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Plus!  I just got a new “adult” lunchbox a la Target that fits everything perfectly.  Now I look less hobo-ish not carrying everything in a reusable grocery bag.

My current prepped meals:
Breakfast: mixed fruit, greek yogurt, honey drizzle and cereal/granola
Snack 1: overnight oats or mocha protein shake
Lunch: warm salad bowl (simple: quinoa, greens, broccoli, kabocha squash, chicken, etc. extravagant: chicken farro health bowl, healthy rice bowl)
Snack 2: quest bar
Dinner: flexible/TBD daily

Tell me!  What’s in your fridge?

March – Thing One: Prep food consistently
See: Three Things – March

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Merry Christmas Eve!  I’m here today to fill your inbox and computer screens with complete junk and poor advice.  Prepare yourself 😛

Tips for working out/avoiding over-indulging during the holidays:

  • Schedule your workouts like appointments – …which I’m not.  The best part of the holidays is the freedom to do what you want, when you want it!
  • Exercise with a friend – Nope, not doing this. I don’t have any friends to run with,  and my one shot at running with a group died when I slowly did a drive by only to turn around and go home.
  • Eat regularly – easier said than done.  Right now I’m stuck with very few options, especially since 2/3rds of my meals are eaten out and healthy restaurants do not exist.  Like, I Yelped “breakfast/brunch” and a stream of Jack ‘N The Box’s and Huckleberry’s popped up… I’m not eating at either, but I’m letting go and living a little, which is shocking my system with more meat than I probably ate when I was Paleo, and filling my body with a higher concentration of diet soda than when I was (basically) an addict.  But so it goes.  This leads me to…
  • Don’t deprive yourself – Christmas (and these holidays) come but once a year.  If you can, try and do everything in moderation.  And if not, like me, over-compensate in other areas (such as run too much…bad advice?).

Do as I don’t say, and don’t do as I do?  Or something like that 😉

Fact of the matter is, if you want to work out during the holidays, make it a point to do so.  Your biggest motivation will be yourself.  You just have to do it.  For example, I was hesitant about running alone back home.  It’s definitely not a nice coastal city where everyone is out and about, active and there’s a sense of safeness.  It’s quiet (in a sketchy way), nobody really runs, and who knows who might be hiding in the bushes.  But I have to give the city the benefit of the doubt and not make the generalization that everyone there is a criminal.  Time to take off the paranoia pants.

As for eating healthy…when you can, opt for healthy snacks, make modifications, or cook for yourself – yadi yadi ya.  But it’s hard when everything is Christmas parties and celebrations.  Just know that indulging for these couple of days will not throw you off the horse forever.  Maybe it will buck you off, and you’ll get dragged along with one foot caught in the stirrup…moral of the story: enjoy yourself and know you can always get back up (great analogy or what?)

Are you working out during the holidays?  Staying healthy?  Living it up?

December – Thing Two: Workout during the holidays
See: Three Things – December l December – Thing One

 
 
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