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Hiking the Dipsea

Posted: May 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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One of the goals that my study group is holding me accountable to is doing one fun exercise activity each week. This can be something new – a spin class, rock climbing, walking to some crazy new destination, etc. For this week, I chose a local bay area hike – the Dipsea – 679 steps + a 6 or so mile hike out from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. I recruited my friend Sondy, a Bay Area native, and friend from college to lead the way.

The trail is outrageously beautiful, and includes sections through woods, out in the open, around big hills, and up and down them. Not for the totally out of shape hiker, but not particularly challenging for someone in shape.

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I wore my Vibram Five Fingers, odd looking shoes certainly, but supremely fun to wear. And to meet people with – I must have been asked about them five times by hikers on the trail. Sondy, the amazing woman she is, did about 6 of the 7 miles *actually barefoot*.

As for food on the trip:

Before the hike: Oats in a jar – steel cut oatmeal, in the bottom of an (almost empty) Barney Butter jar with a tablespoon of Nutella. Portable and easy for my commute to Mill Valley. (MUNI and Golden Gate Transit).
During the hike: Dried dates – you know, the little date pieces that look like worms. (About 1/2 a cup, total). Water. A piece of dried mango, offered up by another hiker.
Post hike: Meal at the Sand Dollar – a (small) hamburger with cheese and no bun, fries, a pickle, and lettuce.
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After lunch, we wandered around Stinson Beach until the Stagecoach came and picked us up to head back to Mill Valley. When we arrived, we walked the mile and a half back to our car. Yeehaw!

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Dinner and CSI

Posted: March 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

I didn’t make it to Frances tonight. (I will soon! I will!)

I made it to my couch. And then briefly to the kitchen. And then back to my couch. I’m actually still sitting here. Boy, was I exhausted!

Somewhere in the depths of my freezer, I had this amazing portion of curried butternut squash and apple soup. I heated it up on the stove, and in a fit of genius, stirred in a little bit of corn.

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This stuff was good.

I ate is as I watched two episodes of CSI from last week (Miami and New York), which, perhaps un-coincidentally both featured axes as the main murder weapon. Ax-murdering doesn’t seem like a particularly pleasant way to go.

After dinner, I sat around and watched more CSI.

And then I opted for some more protein, and made a baked oatmeal with oats, egg whites, cinnamon, baking powder, brown sugar, and a splash of maple syrup. I’m not posting a recipe because there isn’t really one, and also, this batch didn’t come out quite as good as normal.

Steamy!

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And then you dig in:

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I know, it doesn’t look too pretty.

And now, finally, some well deserved sleep.

Adieu!

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Odd Food Habits

Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’ve been taking the day to get some errands out of the way. In the house, because it was raining for most of the day – why does it always rain on my days that I’m not working in a specific place?

I ate my way through some food leftovers, which leads to some of my odd food habits:

For breakfast, the last of my Goan Black Eyed Pea Curry, from ‘5 Spices, 50 Dishes’  which I added a few squirts of sriracha. I wanted a little bit of fire!! I also had a cup of gingerbread coffee. I know that curry sounds a little wacky for breakfast, but it’s really quite satisfying.

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I continued on my clearing out the fridge project with:

The last of my steel cut oats topped with two eggs, and some papalote salsa. This might sound awfully weird, but I assure you it tastes good.

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These are just the beginning of my odd food habits. What are some of yours?

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Oatmeal and Candlelight Yoga

Posted: February 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Exercise | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m still struggling to get enough sleep these days. I’m definitely an 8 to 9 hour sleeper, and getting 6 to 7 throws me off and makes for a cranky morning! Last night I decided that I was going to be proactive though, and I registered for a yoga class for this morning, knowing that even if I wasn’t feeling up to it, I’d go, because I had already paid for it. I think this is the trick!

I woke up at seven, and made myself some of my already made steel cut oats, and stirred in a tablespoon of Justin’s Maple Almond Nut Butter, and some cinnamon. I moved it all around with my spoon until I couldn’t eat anymore, and then just popped it in a container and took it with me. (I’m actually still eating it as I type this). Sometimes, I just can’t get in very much breakfast, but I try to have even a little bit to wake up my metabolism.

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I headed out to Valencia street for my class at the Yoga Tree over in the mission. I loved practicing this week at the Yoga Tree on Castro, but Valencia is a tad closer to where I live if I want to get in a session before work in the mornings, and I thought I’d check it out.

Getting in a little early though, I headed in to Ritual Roasters, to have a teeny tiny cup of coffee. I opted for a single shot cappuccino. Just a little one! Not too much caffeine for me!

Ritual Roasters

Here it is:

Ritual Coffee

Their foam art is so pretty!

The fellow across from me was reading the Financial Times. Aside from being an incredibly interesting newspaper, they print it on a salmon colored newsprint. I used to see a lot more of these on the East Coast, but apparently people in SF are less likely to be interested? A lack of investment bankers?

Ritual Coffee and Paper

I read my copy of Runner’s World to give me some motivation to put lots of energy into my yoga practice. I’m not really a dedicated runner, but the incredible stories in that magazine are great for any sort of personal achievement motivation.

Half of Coffee

I love how my heart flower stayed at the top until I finished my coffee!

Energized, I headed over to Yoga Tree.

More Candlelight Yoga

Candlelight yoga is a class where deep asanas are practiced with the lights off and the room lit only by candles. It’s a great way to start the morning and increase your presence and focus. There were about 40 people in the room, and we got cozy with one another! It was so beautiful!!

Candlelight yoga

The class was led by Pete Guinosso, who is currently leading a 40 day consecutive practice of yoga. There were quite a few 40-day folks in today’s class, and I have to say, I’m kind of in awe of this dedication. I enjoyed Pete’s guiding of our session – but must admit that a few times found myself giggling because he is an entertaining fellow! (I don’t see anything wrong with some lightheartedness in a hard session – he led us well.)

During my yoga, I thought about my health, being thankful that I’m able to move and push my body more and more every day. I noticed a marked increase in my flexibility, even from last week. I also thought about my friends and family, and even the people who I have struggles with.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of some hard practice, I was sweating up a storm! (There’s no after shot today, because I had to get to work!) I’m really hoping that this is something I will do more often. The high after the fact is pretty wonderful.

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Posted: February 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Good morning gray skies!!! It looks like we are in for another day of dreariness. Although, I probably wouldn’t have been so inclined to get in my yoga workout yesterday had it not been so overcast, so I’m not going to complain any more about it.

Yesterday afternoon I picked up a new mug at Starbucks – I’m still on the lookout for a really nice hand thrown ceramic mug, but I was so sick of drinking out of UC Irvine mugs that I just went ahead and got this one (neither of us actually went to UC Irvine, but the mugs are leftover from old housemates).

I like it because of it’s pleasant weight, the brown ceramic interior, and this handy dandy rubber hand grip in the middle, so you can hold your mug in your two hands without scalding yourself.

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And finally back to steel cut oats this morning! After doing a bit of research, I found the easiest overnight steel cut oats recipe, that takes much less than 1/4 of the time it would take to cook a pot on the stove. All you do is boil water, add in the oats, bring back to a boil, turn the heat off, and cover, leaving it overnight. In the morning, the oats are practically finished! Just heat for a few minutes, and serve!

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

makes 6 1-cup servings

In a large saucepan, bring six cups of water to a boil, and ad 1 1/2 cups of steel cut oats. Stir until boiling, then cover, and turn off the heat. Let the pot sit on the stove overnight. (About 9 to 10 hours, so i’d make the oats right after dinner to give them enough time to soak unless you plan on sleeping in).

In the morning, give the oats a stir, and turn on the heat. Cook until warm, or 7 to 10 minutes if they need a little bit more cooking. (When I woke this morning, the oats were ready even before I had to cook them, so I just heated them up).

You can eat a serving or two warm, and then put the rest in the refrigerator to heat up over the next week.

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Look at that texture!

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Today I’m doing some more errands, roasting an acorn squash, cleaning the house, and getting in some undetermined exercise. I’m a tiny bit sore from yoga, but it’s the good sore!

I also signed up for this summer’s Self Challenge. It’s a great way to kick start yourself into gear, particularly if you have gotten a little sedentary over the summer. There are some good menu and fitness suggestions. I’m planning on following the program pretty loosely, but in the past I’ve stuck to it and lost between 10 and 15 pounds a summer.

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