Four Quick Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays

Hey guys,

It feels like forever since I’ve updated. The last time I posted, I was finishing up the semester and getting into finals. At this point, I’ve turned in my final papers and finished grading my student’s final exams. I flew into Chicago last Tuesday and am finally catching my breath. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I’m doing my best to get my body back on track after a couple of weeks of stressing and stress-eating. Since I know how real the struggle to stay healthy can be during this time of year, I thought I’d share a few quick tips that might be helpful for those of us who are aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. Stay Active.

For a lot of us, a vacation might mean taking a break from working out. Workouts often get lumped in with school, work, and all of the other things that we are “obligated” to do and so when we’re on vacation from school or work, it’s tempting to take a break from exercising as well. It’s so important to remain active during the holidays, however. Considering all the (likely unhealthy) foods you’ll be consuming and the more sedimentary life you might be leading while on vacation, you should still make it a priority to be active. That being said, it doesn’t mean that your workouts need to look like they do when you’re going through your normal routine. Take advantage of your laxed holiday schedule by taking some classes that you’re usually too busy to take or going with friends or family members with whom you don’t normally get to spend time. It’s also a great opportunity to try something new, just for fun, to see if you’d like to incorporate it into your fitness routine for the new year. If you’re traveling, grab a groupon or livingsocial deal and check out a gym/fitness studio in a different city. No matter what it looks like, make sure to keep the momentum going somehow so that it’s not terrible when you have to go back to real life in a couple of weeks.

2. Acknowledge Your Non-Negotiables.

I’m pretty sure that everyone has that holiday dish that they wait all year for. For me, it’s this dessert that my grandmother makes, known to my family as “butter rolls.” And yes, it is as delicious and decadent as you might gather from it’s title. Butter rolls are far from healthy and are not paleo by any stretch of the imagination but I love them. They remind me of my childhood, holidays passed, and everything that is great about life. My granny is the only person who makes them and I only get them once a year, so you better believe that I will be having my fair share when she pops them out of the oven. Because I have the butter rolls in mind, however, I can use them to keep me away from some of the other things that might be tempting but aren’t really worth it. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t have more than one indulgence but it’s to say that acknowledging and anticipated the things that we “must have” at this time of year puts us in a better position to determine the things that we can do without.

3. Be Mindful.

The holidays can easily be seen as a “free pass” on living healthily and in some ways it is. I thoroughly believe in embracing holidays as such and using them to take a necessarily break from some of the stresses of everyday life. Just because you’ve given yourself a holiday free pass, however, doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything. As I tried to get across in the preceding point, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite holiday goodies, but you also shouldn’t mindlessly consume things just for the sake of it being the holidays either. Mindfulness is key to everything that we do and it’s important to let it guide you, even during the yuletide season.

4. Be gracious to Yourself.

This is probably the most important of all of these tips. No matter what ends up happening during the holidays – no matter how many pies you eat or how few miles you run – don’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to try something different. No matter what, just proceed with dignity and the wisdom that you acquired through the successes and failures of the day before.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

GWHG

Poblano Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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I posted a photo of this recipe on Instagram last week and the people were lovin it. I must say, as far as my extremely amateur i-Phone food photography goes, it was one of my better shots. When I posted the photo, it was a sincere reaction to the yumminess of this dish. I had a spaghetti squash and a ground beef hanging out in the kitchen so naturally, it occurred to me to make a sauce of some sort. I had tried a few different bolognese recipes at that point, but I’d yet to find one that really stuck with me. I had this recipe pinned from a while back so I thought it might be a fine time to give it a go.

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The original recipe wasn’t completely paleo-friendly but it was easy enough to modify. I was extremely pleased with the flavors. The poblano does something absolutely wonderful. I will definitely have to play around with those guys more in future dishes. Hope you guys enjoy this one as much as I do.

Poblano Bolognese
Serves 3
Flavorful beef bolognese with poblano peppers
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or cooking fat of choice)
  5. 1 pound ground beef chuck
  6. 1 TBL white wine vinegar
  7. 1 cup beef stock
  8. 1 14-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, undrained
  9. 3 bay leaves
  10. 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  11. 3 sprigs thyme
  12. Salt and pepper, to taste
  13. 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  14. 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  15. ½ cup full fat coconut cream
  16. 1 TBL butter
Instructions
  1. Place carrots, onions, and celery in a food processor and pulse until vegetable are shredded into small pieces (or to your liking). Transfer processed veggies to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet. Once fat is hot, add beef and brown until fat is rendered (you shouldn't be able to see any pink!). Transfer meat to a bowl and dispose of any remaining fat.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking fat in the skillet and cook veggies until they've softened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add white wine vinegar and beef stock to the pan and let it continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the cooked beef back into the pan along with tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.*
  6. Reduce hear to a simmer and let cook, covered but with the lid slightly ajar, for about 1 hour until the sauce thickens.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, prepare your pasta of choice. If using spaghetti squash, preheat the over to 400 degrees F, cut it in half lengthwise, rub insides with fat of choice (I used coconut oil) and bake facedown on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes (depending on size). Let it cool until it's no longer to hot to handle and then use a fork to scrape up squash strings.
  8. When sauce is nearly done, heat butter in a separate pan. Add garlic and saute for 30-40 seconds. Add poblano pepper and saute until slightly blistered, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add cooked garlic and peppers to the sauce along with the coconut cream.
  10. Thoroughly mix in cream and allow sauce to cook over low heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  11. Depending on your preferences, you can either mix pasta in with the sauce or put the pasta on a plate and spoon sauce over it.** Either way it's deliciousness.
  12. If you're a cheese person, shredded parm is a must!
Notes
  1. *Be mindful of the amount of salt in the broth that you use when adding additional salt to the sauce. Don't want to overdue it!
  2. **The original recipes from Tasting Table gives suggests using fettuccine if using actual pasta. See the link to this recipe for specific instructions on how to cook and serve pasta.
Adapted from Tasting Table
Adapted from Tasting Table
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

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Hi all!!

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday with friends, family, and of course, delicious food! I’m currently on the bus, on the way to campus for my undergrad lecture and I thought it’d be a fine time to update. I’m entering finals period so life is only going to get more insane from now until December 16th when I head to Chi Chi. My undergrads take their final on the 15th so unfortunately, I’ll have to take their exams home with me to grade. :/ The good news is, I have a 5 hour plane ride that I can hopefully use to break some of those down so that they don’t infringe upon my vacation too much.

So my Thanksgiving was awesome. It started with the 10K Turkey Trot in downtown LA. I met up with some buddies from my running group as well as my friend Steven and his dad. Not gonna lie, the run was tough. Lots of uphill. I was kind of annoyed the whole time. It was hot, there weren’t enough water stations, and I was ready to be done with it. This might have been why I ended up PRing even though I felt like a snail the whole time. Averaged sub-8 (7:48/mile) for the first time!

After the race, I came back home, did some cooking (and some Netflix) and then headed out to Friendsgiving with some great folks. It was potluck style so there was a ton of food, both savory and sweet. I was mindful of not being too glutinous but I did place my paleo habits to the side to partake of the desserts. I mean, there was pie. “Razzmatazz” pie from Marie Callendar’s to be exact. Had to go for it. I refuse to live a life of regrets.

I made an amazing sweet potato and kale gratin with cave-aged Gruyere, which was a hit.

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George made a delicious California-themed stuffing with Turkey sausage, dates, and almonds that was quite yummy.

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Yesterday, I topped off the holiday weekend with a gorgeous hike in Palos Verdes. It had rained a bit earlier in the day, so the air was cool but fresh. Such a rarity in this city. So glad I got to take advantage of it.

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Ciao.

Coconut Pumpkin Chicken Curry

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It’s no secret that I love curries. There is something amazing about having an indulgent, creamy sauce of delicious flavorful meat and veggies. Since I’ve been consuming minimal dairy, coconut cream has become my go-to whenever I need a creamy fix. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some cheese BUT I think coconut gives it a run for its money in terms of creaminess. I’m not saying one is better than the other. I don’t wanna start a riot. But I do find coconut cream to be absolutely delicious and for those who might be lactose intolerant, it might be considered a God-send. 

Now that I’ve raved about coconut cream for perhaps a bit too long, I should talk about some other parts of the recipe. In addition to the coconut milk, the pumpkin aspect is also pretty exciting. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I’M ALL ABOUT FALL. So pumpkin is always a win for me. I’m definitely that person that stocks up on canned pumpkin in the fall so that I can have it year round without having the hassle of finding it off season. It’s amazing. But then again, no one would argue with that (I hope!).

This curry is the perfect balance of hearty, warm, comfort food goodness and light protein. I ate a little bit too much the first night that I made it so I speak from experience when I say that it doesn’t leave you feeling lethargic. It will, however leave you feeling satisfied. Perfect for a cool and cozy fall evening.  Enjoy.

Also, I got one of those fancy recipe plug-ins to make my recipe easy for you guys to save (and rate!). I feel super fancy.

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Coconut Pumpkin Chicken Curry
Serves 3
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For the Marinade
  1. 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  2. 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  3. ½ C coconut cream
  4. 3 garlic gloves, minced
  5. 1/2 red onion, diced
  6. 2.5 TBL
  7. 1 ½ tsp cumin
  8. ¼ tsp black pepper
  9. ½ cayenne
  10. ¼ red pepper flakes
  11. ½ tsp salt
For the Curry
  1. 2 TBL butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  2. ½ red onion sliced
  3. ¾ C pumpkin puree
  4. ½ C coconut cream
  5. ½ C diced tomatoes with juices (mine also had green chiles for extra spice)
  6. Salt + pepper to taste
  7. Juice of 1 lime
  8. ¾ C cashews, chopped
  9. fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Put chicken cubes and marinade ingredients together in a large zip lock bag or container with lid. Place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. After chicken has sufficiently marinated, heat butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Once butter is hot, add sliced onion to the pan and sauté until soft and fragrant (about 8 minutes).
  4. Once onions are soft, add chicken along with marinade to the pan and cook through, flipping often and rotating the cubes that are directly over the fire (10-12 minutes).
  5. After chicken is cooked, add remaining ½ C coconut cream, pumpkin puree and diced tomatoes to the pan and combine.
  6. Once combined, lower heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
  8. I recommend serving over cilantro lime rice (or cauli-rice!)
  9. Top with chopped cashews and fresh cilantro
  10. Yummers.
Notes
  1. I used Trader Joe's canned diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you like spicy and you're using diced tomatoes without chiles, add more cayenne and red pepper flakes.
Adapted from PaleOMG
Adapted from PaleOMG
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/
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(Coconut lime (cauli) rice with cilantro!)

Bloggers dilemma

Hey guys!

Usually I come to the blog with something to share, whether it be a recipe, a workout, or something interesting that has happened in my life recently. Today is a bit different. I’m actually using this post as a way to work through some of my sentiments about blogging thus far and make decisions about next steps.

It’s coming up to the one year mark for Girl With the Hipster Glasses. I started this blog over my winter break last year after having thought about it for over a year. With the encouragement of a dear friend, I finally bit the bullet and bought a domain. I spent some time finding photos and learning some very minimal coding in order to make the blog aesthetically acceptable and since then, I have been working to connect with people. While my initial vision was to have a blog that was fitness and food focused, I have come to realize that I have a lot more to share with the world. My love of travel, for example, came to the forefront over the summer and I was so excited to have a channel through which to share those experiences. This semester has been crazy. I started working as a teaching assistant and a writing tutor in addition to taking courses, which is much more of a time commitment than my classes were last year. I’ve been struggling to make updates and when I do, I often question their substance. I’ve tried not to be hard on myself about it, realizing that I’m only human and that there are only a certain amount of hours in a day. But it’s hard for me to be involved with something that has so much potential and not be able to actually get it there. I have a running Google Doc of great ideas of things I could do on the blog, but I’m unsure of whether I’ll actually have the time to implement any of them in an effective way.

One of the most important things that I’ve learned in the past year is that blogging, when done well, is a full time job. Yes, it can be super fun. And when done right it can even be lucrative, but it also requires a lot of thought, time, and hard work. It’s one thing to do cool things and live well, but it’s another to do those things and write about it. And it’s a whole other thing to do cool things and write about it in a way that builds a solid readership. There are a number of blogs that I follow regularly and those who write them seem to live such effortlessly fabulous lives that they simply chronicle online and get paid for. That’s not real, however. The more that I actually get into this whole thing and pay attention to these bloggers, I realize that they are working really hard to build their brands and gain readers. It’s a FULL-TIME job. While there are some bloggers who maintain a typical 9-5 and blog successfully on the side, a vast majority of those who are most successful are so because blogging is their main focus. Obviously, as a PhD student, I can’t reasonably put in as much time and energy as those guys.

Coming to this realization, I’ve started to reevaluate some things. I got an email reminding me that I need to renew my domain and I hesitated. Even though my updates have been far and few in between these days, the thought of not having anything to update made me pretty sad. So now I’m in the position to figuring out if GWHG should continue and if so, how it should do so. I could really see myself building something cool with this but I have to decide if I want it and if I do, what plans I need to put in motion to make it all that I want it to be.

Thought? Comment? Feedback? All would be appreciated.

 

Also, just because a post sans photo is weird, I’m including one from the 10k that I did with some of my DTLARunning peeps at Universal Studios yesterday morning.

 

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San Fran + La Vie en Général

Hi guys,

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It’s been way too long since my last update. I ran off to San Francisco last weekend so this week has been absolutely crazy. I’ve had to catch up on all of the work that I didn’t do while I was hanging out in NorCal. I’m literally laying in bed right now trying to recuperate from the past four days but I thought it would be nice to update you guys on my time in San Francisco!

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I arrived in SF around 2 PM on Friday and met up with my friend Nora at her job. She had to work until later in the day so I thought I would go hunt for a Halloween costume. When I got to “Costumes on Haight,” however, there was a line. On one hand I was happy that I wasn’t the only one who had waited until the last minute to find a costume. On the other hand I thought that it was absurd that I had to wait 20 minutes to get into a costume shop. I waited only to get inside and not find anything. After trying a few other stores further down the road I decided that I would have to make do with things in my suitcase. So I thought what do I have? Bright pink yoga leggings, colorful headband, bright blue sports bra. Naturally I should be at Jazzercise instructor. I was able to borrow legwarmers and a swimsuit from Nora and her friend Genevieve and then my outfit was complete. I was living the dream.

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Nora dressed as a woman from “The Birds” and it was awesome.

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Following our night of Halloween fun I woke up and went for a great run along the bay. After running Nora and I went to the ferry building for a book signing. I have been waiting for Mediterranean Paleo Cooking to be released for sometime so when I found out that the authors would be in San Francisco on November 1 I knew that I had to go to meet them.

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It was great to hear about their experiences conceptualizing and putting together the book and it’s been amazing to start working through the recipes. Because this week has been so crazy I’ve only gotten a chance to make two things so far but they were both awesome. So excited to try more this week!

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Okay so back to San Fran. After the book signing Norand I grab some food, walked around for a bit, and then headed back to her place to get ready for the evening. We went out for drinks and dancing at “Raven” in the Mission and it was so fun. The music there was everything! So much top 40 90s pop, and throwback jams. Everything I ever want in a spot.

On Sunday I got up early for one last run. The first time that I’ve visited the city was during my foot fracture so I was really excited to experience the running culture as much as I could on this trip. During this run I almost made it to the base of the Bay Bridge but I ran into a half marathon and decided to turn around at the races turn around point so that I could fed off of the spirit.

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After finishing my run Nora and I are headed up to Sonoma for lunch at the Fremont diner. It was so yummy. I actually forgot to take pictures of everything but I highly recommend it if you’re ever in that area.

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After eating we went to Rams Gate Winery and took a walk around it was absolutely gorgeous.

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After the winery we headed back to San Francisco and grab coffee before Nora drop me off at the MegaBus station. It was so nice to get away.

This week has been nuts with doing work, readings, meetings, grading papers etc. but I’m slowly getting my footing back. The American studies conference is in town this weekend and the new urbanism town festival is also happening so I won’t have as much time as I’d like to do work over the next couple of days but I’m confident that I can push through. I’ll go now and get ready for my run to sculpt! Got to get this Friday party started!

Ciao for now. GWHW

Smoky and Spicy Nut and Sesame Seed Blend

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Sometimes you just need a snack….a delicious, healthy, filling, flavorful snack. I got you.

Nuts have been my main and favorite form of snack for years and has become absolutely critical to my new found paleo life. While I have no problem eating them, all of them, raw, straight from the plastic bags that Trader Joes distributes them in, sometimes it’s nice to jazz things up. This recipe is Jazz at its best. Simple and yummy. If you’re into smoky flavors, this is all you.

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Smoky and Spicy Nut and Sesame Seed Blend
Original recipe from Oh She Glows

Gather
1/2 C cashew halves
1/2 C raw while almonds
1/4 C + 2 T unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T sesame seeds
1 T coconut aminos or low sodium tamari
1/4 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/8 cayenne pepper

Do
1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add nuts and seeds to a large bowl.
3. Combine wet ingredients and spices together in a small bowl.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and combines well, using a spatula get all of the wet ingredients and to thoroughly coat the nuts and seeds.
5. Spread nuts in a thin layer on parchment paper.
6. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove sheet from oven, stir and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then eat…or store in a glass jar or air tight container.

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Zenbelly Cookbook Review + Giveaway + Brazilian Fish Stew

zenbellycb

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[Brazilian Fish Stew] (Recipe below!)

A few weeks ago, I realized that I start most of my blog posts the same way. I always say that I’m so “excited” to be writing about whatever it is that I’m writing about. While my enthusiasm is always genuine, I think that this is probably my most exciting post yet.

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[Porkchops with Caramelized Apples]

If you follow me on insta (which you should ! @girlwiththehipsterglasses) you’ve probably seen countless photos of food that I’ve made from The Zenbelly Cookbook. I’ve also made reference to the cookbook in a few of my posts. The book is authored by Simone Miller, an awesome paleo chef and owner of Zenbelly Catering. Given the impact that this book has had on my life, it’s only right that I take the time to give it formal recognition.

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[Cocoa Chili Pork Shoulder]

As many of you know, I’ve been eating paleo for about 6 months and I love it. Living the paleo life definitely has its challenges but I’ve come across a few awesome blogs and awesome cookbooks that make me forget about those challenges. The Zenbelly Cookbook takes an accessible, yet sophisticated approach by providing recipes that anyone – paleo or not – can appreciate for their quality and flavor. This cookbook is a go-to when cooking for mixed crowds as its recipes are sure to leave everyone satisfied.

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[Sesame Zucchini Noodles]

At this point, I’ve made 7-8 recipes in the book and none have disappointed. Given the size of my cookbook collection, I can honestly say that this is a rarity. The amazing experiences that I’ve had both making and eating the recipes from The Zenbelly Cookbook makes it the perfect candidate for Girl With the Hipster Glasses’ first cookbook feature.

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[Biscuits]

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[Moroccan Shepard’s Pie]

 

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[(Paleo) Pizza Crust]

 

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[Lamb Curry]

Now that I’ve shared a bunch of mouthwatering photos of meals that I’ve from this book, it’s time to get you guys the details on how to create some of this deliciousness for yourself. To win a free copy of The Zenbelly Cookbook, click HERE. All you have to do to enter is ‘like’ Girl With the Hipster Glasses on Facebook and comment on this post and tell me which of the recipes that I’ve presented you’re most excited to make!

Now! On to a little recipe sharing !

Brazilian Fish Stew

This stew is a awesome for fall. The use of fish makes it light and packs it with protein while the coconut milk base makes it creamy and filling. It’s also super simple to make. Just make sure you allow time for marination!

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Gather

  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest, divided
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1/4 C lime juice
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 lb wold cod, snapper, or any firm-fleshed, mild white fish fillets (I used mahi mahi!)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) jar diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tso fish sauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

Do

1. In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine 1/2 tsp of the lime zest, 1/2 tsp of the lemon zest, the lime and lemon juices, and 2 T of the chopped cilantro. Add the fish and shrimp and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.

3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, fish sauce, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.

4. Add the fish and shrimp along with the marinade. Bring to a simmer and cook another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish stats to flake and the shrimp is cooked through. **

5. Serve garnished with the remaining cilantro and citrus zest.

**I used frozen shrimp because I had it on hand. The recipe calls for fresh so if you use frozen, you should add the fish first, and allow it to simmer for 6-8 minutes before adding the shrimp 1-2 minutes before serving (until warm) so that it doesn’t get chewy!

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Friday Favorites 1

Hi all!

Hope everyone is basking in the fabulousness that should be Friday. At this point, I’ve been to my 9:15 Sculpt class with Alexis at ODD, showered, and made myself a nice lunch. Usually what happens around this time on Fridays is that I struggle to try to be productive 4-5 hours, doing very little work and watching way too much Netflix. Around 6, I decide that I’m hungry, I make dinner and then I start thinking about the fact that I have to get up at 6 in the morning to run with DTLA (we’re doing 12 miles tomorrow!). I then bum around for another few hours before calling it a night around 10.

While it is likely that this Friday won’t look very different from the usual, I thought that it would be fun to update with some of the little things that have made this Friday pleasurable despite its somewhat mundane nature.

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Pumpkin Spice Roobios from TJs. Oh hey, Fall.

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Baked sweet potato fries (seasoned with paprika, cinnamon, and salt) topped with almond butter. Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Certainly.

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Newly purchased nail polish. “Sew Psyched.” It’s all in the name.

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The new love of my life. Big plans of roasting some pork shoulder this weekend.

Cheers and Happy Weekend!

GWHG

What I’ve Been Up To!

Ciao peeps,

This week has been a crazy one. My students took their midterm/first exam last week and so I spent last weekend traipsing through them. I had 38 of them but it wasn’t too bad. I did a little bit each day and so by Sunday evening I only had to go back through and grade the final essays. This was somewhat challenging since I had to scan the essays to check that they had addressed all of the required components but I got cozy in bed, graded them in small batches and after an hour and a half or so, I was done. The more challenging part was returning them to the students on Thursday and having to deal with backlash. #TAstruggles

I’m not grading this weekend but it’s already been a busy one. It’s that time in the semester where things are starting to pile up. On top of all the day to day stuff for my classes and TAship, fellowship application deadlines are approaching so I have to work on research proposal drafts to get out to my recommenders. With all of this going on, I’ve had to be really diligent about maintaining a healthy regime. I’ve started running about 3 times a week, which has allowed me to get my mileage back up.  I did 11 and a quarter miles with the DTLA running group this morning which felt awesome (not during, but after!). It’s really exciting to be back to where I was when I was training for my half. Most people in the group are training for the Rock N Roll half marathon that’s coming up but since I’m just running for funzies, it takes a bit of the pressure off while still motivating me to get out there and push myself.

During this really busy period, time management and preparation have become so critical. Despite having a really intense dark chocolate withdrawal experience last week (which resulted in me going out of my way to Lassen’s to buy 4 bars of chocolate that I’m already more than half way through :/), I’ve been able to maintain pretty good eating habits. The key has really been food prepping on the weekends. I know that many people swear by food prep and preach of its wonders, but you really don’t know how great it is until you come home at 8:30pm after a 15 hour day (yes, 15 hours. 5:30am-8:30pm. My Wednesdays are brutal.) and there is something healthy and homemade already in your fridge for you to pop into the oven and microwave. I’m planning on doing a post on food prep (hopefully at the end of this week!) to rave about it more and hopefully provide some helpful tools/tips that might help you guys incorporate it into your routines. Look out for it!

In addition to food prepping, I’ve been really conscious of scheduling my workouts ahead of time. I’m generally pretty good about this anyway but more recently, it’s become all the more important for me to actually put workout time/classes into my iCal so that it doesn’t get compromised in all of the craziness. My workout routine has definitely evolved as a result of my schedule which has pros and cons. I haven’t been getting as much gym time, which I’m not happy about, but on the flipside, I’ve been doing more running and yoga.

I’m really excited about having yoga play a larger role in my health routine, as I’m trying to strengthen and build my practice. Last week, I went to an awesome “Strong” class at ODD that focuses on building strength for inversion poses as well as learning the proper techniques to avoid injury and feel safe while in the poses. The first thirty minutes of the class are spent getting warm and and doing muscle conditioning for the poses (think lots of core work!). I really enjoyed this part of class because we were able to break into pairs and do some partner exercises that were not only helped strengthen the core but also mimicked the feeling of being in an inversion that we would know what what our bodies/muscles are supposed to feel like in the poses. The last half of class was basically guided “playtime.” We were working on forearm stands so Joerael (the instructor) gave us some tips and modeled the pose for us and then we pulled our mats near the wall and started trying it on our own. There were only 4 of us in the class total so it was great to get some individual attention and feel supported, literally and figuratively. Can’t wait to go back next week!

Here’s what this past week in workouts has looked like just to give you guys an idea:

Sunday

3 mile run to “Sweat” yoga at ODD

Monday

8 mile run through Elysian and down Sunset

Tuesday

Gym Sessions focusing on lifting. Since I’m only getting to the gym once a week, I’m really trying to get the weight stuff in when I’m there.

Evening “Flow” yoga with Briana at ODD

Wednesday

3 miles run to 6:30am “Sculpt” yoga with Alexis. Running down Sunset at 6 in the morning is becoming one of my favorite things. So nice to meet the city before it wakes.

Thursday

“Chill” yoga followed by “Strong” yoga (described above)

Friday

“Sculpt” and “Chill” with Alexis

Saturday

11.26 miles with DTLA running group

I’m pretty excited about working out this week because I’m planning to go to a lot of cool free classes that BurnThis is hosting in honor of Marie Claire launching their new fitness section. Classes are being offered all week at fitness studios around LA but I won’t be able to attend them all because of conflicts with classes. Off course the Barry’s Bootcamp class is happening on Wednesday which is the one day in my schedule that is completely packed. I really want to make it to that place. :/ Though Barry and I won’t be hanging this week, I am planning to go to classes at Body by Simone, Flywheel, and Platinum Pilates and I’m pretty stoked about it (did I just say “stoked?” This West Coast life is getting the best of me…). I’ve actually already been to two classes at Body by Simone using the gift certificate that I got in my Racked LA Swag Bag. I loved my workouts there but since it’s all the west in West Hollywood, I don’t know if I’ll get there too often. That being said, I’m really excited to go back for this event. I’m hoping to take some photos and post about it for you guys.

So I’ll end this post with some photos of recent eats and whatever other random photos I might have collected over the past couple of weeks that give you guys an indication of what life has been lookin like.

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Amazingness from the Wednesday farmer’s market on the USC campus.

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Paleo pizza using Zenbelly’s crust. Slowly becoming a weekly tradition.

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Paleo “cauli” egg fried rice with bacon and scallions. Delish low carb play on a Chinese food favorite.

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My duck legs right out of the oven!

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Plated and garnished.

Until next time.
GWHG