Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for this year?

I’m thankful for…

Delicious food.

Photogenic Food.

Family, their good health and love and support.

Small animals.

Larger animals.

Getting to study what I want to study….

Where I want to study.

For my friends both near…

and far…

and virtual…

For my good heath and the ability to run, walk and stretch.

For all of the small, beautiful things everyday.

I am thankful for you lovely reader, because I get to blog about something I love for fun.

I am thankful for all the good blessings in my life of which there are many. I am thankful to be secure,to have a roof over my head and the ability to help others less fortunate.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow I am going to Catie’s parents house in the Inland Empire. I am thankful to have a place to go this year. I’m a little surprised by how homesick I am. I only go home about twice a year for a week at a time max and rarely feel really homesick. Maybe its because its my first Thanksgiving away from home. I know tomorrow will be a wonderful day though and I have so much to be thankful for.

What are you thankful for this year?

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Long Run

Sunday I went on the last long run before the Malibu Half Marathon this Sunday!

Since then I have been compulsively checking the weather in Malibu for this Sunday:

Nearly perfect! I would prefer the high be 70, but I’ll take 74. The race starts at 8:30 and it will likely be considerably cooler, I would guess about 60. Should be great weather.

My last 10 miler was last Sunday morning. It went well. I pushed myself and ran the back half faster than the first half (it was also up hill). My hips were really tight afterwords and I am having some heel pain. I’m 100% sure it is plantar fascitis. I had a brief running stint early in college where I developed it and I can feel it coming back in my left foot. I got heel cushions and I feel pretty confident that it will not impact me on Sunday. I have an idea of a pace I want to maintain but the point of this race isn’t running a pace, its finishing 13.1 miles. Times goals are for another time.

Source

We are out of Nike Ads so we’re moving on to other ads.

The plan for this week is a lot of stretching, wearing comfortable shoes (wore heeled boots today, whoops), and get pumped for Sunday.  I went on a 4 mile run today which was pretty awesome. My noise wasn’t running as much as it has been and I felt really, really strong.

I am very excited for Sunday. Some may know about my not so secret desire to run a marathon. Obviously these distances require advanced planning and I have to consider my schedule and as a student, and what is possible in the foreseeable future. Obviously, a year from this Summer I will be taking the bar and who knows what will happen in my life after that. For now, lets just say I am looking forward to challenging myself in the future.

12 Mile Milestone

Today was the day. It was time for the longest run on my training plan (not to mention my longest run ever!)

But first: some inspiration by Nike.

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Pre run I had the GREATEST GRILLED CHEESE OF ALL TIME! It included shallots, cheese, and tomato and was cooked on my fantastic new grill plan.

So good. Maybe not the best running fuel of all time but eh why not?

 

Pre run

Then I headed out, settling into a nice, natural pace. I didn’t time myself because I didn’t want to be thinking “oh I need to go faster” at all. Not timing myself takes the pressure off the already pressured situation of running a new distance. I made it all the way to the ocean and along the coast. The weather was overcast but it was such a personal accomplishment to run all the way to the ocean that I didn’t mind. At mile 6 I walked for 5 blocks and had three shot blocks.  I wish I brought more because around mile 9 I was pretty hungry.

At mile 10 I ran into two guys who were training for the LA Marathon. They were running 8 miles. I kept just behind them for the final two miles which kinda made me feel like a rock star. And before I knew it, I was sprinting across the final intersection and it was all over! I went 12.1 miles overall and I really believe I am going to be able to finish the half. Nothing is more empowering than running a long distance. Nothing.

post run

Post run I immediately ate a new to me flavor of larabar.

As much as I love the wall of Larabars at Whole Foods, I normally get my larabars at Trader Joe’s because they are slightly less expensive and lets admit it… I need to avoid Whole Foods because otherwise I will go from poor grad student to broke grad student.

Then I ate pizza, which didn’t make the blog BUT it was on white crust instead of whole wheat, because I live on the edge.

Now I am finishing up my calorie replenishing bonanza with Tina’s Sweet Potato Cookies, sent to me by Carolyn via our baking exchange. They are amazing, and also all gone.

Yum! I am off to watch Desperate Housewives. Am I the only person still watching it? Hope you all had an awesome weekend!

 

Things to be Thankful For

Hey Blog World! Today was a good day. I have had such high energy this week and today I was reflecting on all the wonder things I have to be thankful for.

For example: I have great friends, I can run 10 miles and will soon be a half marathoner, I get to study race at a top institution with a one of the kind program, I can and do make choices to make myself happier everyday, I help those around me, and I get to blog for fun. How lucky am I and how is this my life? Things always turn out so much cooler than I could have ever imagined.

And on top of that I sorted out my situation for next summer and took a job offer. Wahoo! This demands a celebration so I went to Susie Cakes (obviously).

Seasonal Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

Soft and moist, with light seasoning. The cream cheese wasn’t heavy at all. Simply delicious. The best celebration treat ever!

I might have gotten a cookie for lunch tomorrow to. So shoot me.

Its just too cute.

So you’ve had a cupcake treat, what are you going to make for dinner? Answer: a creation from the brand new, yet to be released Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. This book is completely vegan and emphasizes local, pure food. What do I mean by pure? No preservatives. While I am not vegan I do eat mostly local (all local produce) and eliminated almost all preservatives from my diet in order to lose weight and fuel my runner’s body.

I used the pasta that I had, cut down the recipe, and substituted some major ingredients but I kept it vegan and let me tell you: best white wine sauce ever! In the past when I made white wine sauce I’ve use butter. Let me tell you, this is better. Did I just say better than butter? Why yes I did.

I don’t want to post the recipe because this book literally just came out. Buy it here! I will say that the sauce had grape seed oil, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, spinach (swapped with arugula), white wine, and vegetable stock. I wouldn’t have thought about the veggie stock but it was a great addition and gave the sauce a lot of flavor.

So the deal with the pasta: I didn’t have spaghetti. It ended up being a mash up of whatever I had left over but I think it looked pretty good.

As I mentioned above, this white wine sauce was better than the sauce I made in the past with butter. I am still in disbelief and will most definitely be making more from this book. If you are a vegan or just want to eat delicious wholesome food you should get this cookbook. There is tons of basic information about healthy eating and living a more healthy lifestyle. Left Coast Approved!

The Dinner Dance

Tonight my little friend engaged in the “dinner dance”. The dinner dance happens between the hours of 7 pm and 9 pm, at which time she is actually fed. Literally, if I readjust on couch, yawn, turn a page or make any movement of any kind Izzy goes running to the kitchen making all kinds of noise. She leaps from precarious positions just to get a bite of food.

Exhibit A: Notice the open mouth, indicating loud complaining.

Exhibit B: trying to guilt me into giving her food.

I did manage to make a nice dinner despite the little distraction nipping at my heels. I wanted comfort pasta so I constructed a red sauce with roasted tomatoes, EVO, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes.I cooked the onion and garlic and mashed the tomato.

And the final product:

Yum. It hit the spot. I used the leftover Tagliarelle. I generally eat brown pasta (unless I make it myself) so having white for a change was nice. I love putting red pepper flakes in pasta sauce. It gives it that little extra spice.

I also had roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli and the last of my leftover butternut squash.

No dinner in my apartment is complete without some roasted veggies!

Hope you had a good Monday! Mine was kinda blah but I used my universal cure to raise my spirits:

I’m still a believer. A manicure can cure anything. Don’t you agree?

Something New

**It isn’t too late to vote for Left Coast Contessa to advance to round 3 of Project Food Blog. Vote here! Thank you!**

Today I tried making something new for dinner. I didn’t know that I actually liked this food until last Spring. I think that goes to show there is no food I dislike.

Any guesses what the mystery food is?

Here is a hint:

If you guessed beets then you are correct! I discovered that I like beets last May but I never tried to make them for myself. I would pass them in the farmers market and think “but how do you even cook that?” Obviously I would try to roast them but do I take off the skin? How is it done?

I had all my questions answered by this months Everyday Food. I decided to roast them for dinner tonight with eggplant, potato, and broccoli. As usual: EVO + S&P, for 30 mins after you wash and peel them.

While they were roasting I made some whole wheat cous cous.

I loved the colors in the final product!

Beets are delicious! How did I live so long without them? I have no idea.

Today the temps finally got under 80 around 6:45 so I hit the road for a sweaty 2 mile run. It was so nice to get back on the road. I have a midterm in Evidence tomorrow so I really needed to get some type of a run in. The feeling of running after taking a few days off is amazing. It feels like my body is coming back to life.

So, wish me luck for my test tomorrow! I feel prepared. Let’s face it, the idea of a test that mimics the Bar Exam is a little scary but I studied diligently! Now I suppose all I can do is turn it over and let the chips fall where they may.

Again, it isn’t too late to vote for Left Coast Contessa to advance to round 3 of Project Food Blog. Vote here!

Running 9 and Feeling Fine

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Happy Sunday. Today I went for an amazing 9 mile run. I was a bit worried leaving the house because my 8 mile run wasn’t my favorite but I rocked 9 miles. The only minuses were some cramps at mile 4 and 5. The entire second half was pretty much uphill and I ran the second half FASTER than I ran the first half. Thank you “Power” for coming on as I charged up a hill.

Pre run I snacked on this lovely platter which included apple with Cinn, bagel chips and fancy pants brie from Cookbook in Echo Park, plus carrots and pretzel thins with hummus.

As I was running I thought about how wonderful running truly is. I was in a terrible mood before I went out on my run but afterwords I felt almost amazing. Running is my aspirin and my prozac. I literally don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t run. Running makes life melt away around me and I love it for that. I think I’m running towards solutions and mental wellness. What are you running towards?

What a difference a year makes

This week, after recovering from my birthday stomach flu, I weighed myself and discovered that I have lost 20 lbs this year! Tonight I’ve been on my computer (live tweeting etc.) and I ran into some pictures that were taken around this time last year. I thought I would share them because the difference is kinda epic.

August 2009- Just before law school started, moving into my apartment in LA with Izzy Cat. I had just eaten my way through Boston and had just stopped going to Bikram yoga. I was super flexible but had gained some weight. I don’t remember myself looking this big. I remember being happy, thinking I looked like I probably had for years. Izzy has lost weight since that picture and I will be devoting a page to Izzy’s slimmed down figure at some point.

Me, with my BFF Catie, August 2010 (last week in fact). I have to say that I am literally in awe of my body right now. If you told me one year ago that I would be running 7 miles with ease I would have laughed in your face. Beauty is about happiness and I believe that I have always been beautiful. Look at my smile in both pictures! But now I feel much more fit and confident. I got chills last night when I was running thinking about how strong I am right now.

Anyways, I thought the change between these two pictures taken a year apart were pretty radical and I thought I’d share. Thanks to all the people and the healthy blogger community who have supported me this year! 🙂

Healthy Saturday

Happy Saturday!

Today has been a chill day. Mostly I have run errands and done reading for school. Soon I am going out on my long run. As some of you may have gleaned, my training runs have been a but jumbled up this past week. I realized yesterday that I have to do my long run today because Sunday is going to be busy. Because Saturday is long run day, yesterday became a rest day. Although, I must say that my arms are still sore from pole dancing class! I plan to go again. It is an amazing arm workout which is just what I need!

This morning while reading I enjoyed a cup of coffee in my new mug…

Obviously it was with a side of peanut butter toast. I’m probably going to have another before I go out on my run.

My stomach was grumbling around 1 so I made a healthy lunch at home.

Sandwich, pita chips, poulet, chocolate chips, and black iced tea.

The sandwich was farmer’s market inspired:

Ezekiel bread with hummus, radish, spinach, heirloom tomato (!), and turkey. I love an heirloom. It makes it so, so delicious and fresh.

Supplemental food:

I love a side of chocolate chips with lunch. It satisfies my chocolate craving every time.

In other news:

I recently joined the website healthylivingblogs.com. Here is a little bit about the site:

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you’re interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.com and check the site out for yourself!

  • Email subject line: MEMBERS

  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)

  • Blog Name

  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)

  • Your twitter handle, if applicable

  • Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy’s sake, that is completely understandable. We’ll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)

  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

I love the healthy living blog community and I am so excited to be part of the community. The healthy blog community is awesome and so supportive of my running, weight loss and is a fantastic resource if you want to learn more about having a healthy lifestyle. The best part of healthylivingblogs.com is that they inventory blogs by location. I really want to connect with other LA area healthy living and food bloggers. So feel free to check out the site!

The Spa Day

Today was my birthday/one week til 2L rejuvenation day at Burke Williams.

I love a “no cell phone” area. No pictures but it is so worth it!

Overall, I had an awesome Burke Williams experience. My favorite treatment was the Hunter’s Retreat which took place in a water room. Basically you lay on a massage table and have several shower heads spray you with hot water. Then you get exfoliated followed by the application of some body wash which they used a giant seaweed thing to rub into your skin. There were so many bubbles. Then you flip over. Did I mention that they are massaging you also? It was amazing. Guys, I’ve never felt so clean in my life. It was awesome.

After I got some lunch. I went to Umami again. Oops, I did it again (but this time with the So Cal burger)…

So amazing. Probably my favorite Umami burger so far!

I also had a refreshing drink:

After lunch I went back to BW and took advantage of the amenities, which really are the whole reason to go to Burke Williams. I went to the quiet jacuzzi for a while. Then I went to the quiet reading room where they have rows of lazyboys and blankets with low lighting. I read a bit of “One Day” which is very readable. I love getting hooked on a good book. I think I’m going to make my summer reading goal!

I also had a few other treatments. First I had a relaxation massage which was so nice on my aching runner’s legs. Because it was my birthday I got a free aromatherapy upgrade. I opted for muscle relief and I got a bottle to take home with me! Great perk!  Then I had a manicure and pedicure which was awesome! I got an oatmeal neck pillow which smelled so delicious and I had my first paraffin wax treatment which was so cleansing. My skin felt much smoother afterwords.

While getting my mani/pedi I read September Glamour and I read about Operation Beautiful and surprise, surprise I came home to this waiting on my doorstep…

Yay! Thanks Carolyn! Caitlin is one of my favorite bloggers and I was so excited to get her book. I’ve already started reading. For those that don’t know Operation Beautiful is a movement where people post positive notes about beauty for others to get. Notes say things like “You are Beautiful” or “You’ll always be beautiful no matter how many miles you run” or  “relax and smile, it’s not that big of a deal”.

If you’ve been in my bathroom this summer then you know I posted my own note last June. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share it.

It’s so nice to see some positivity when I wake up in the morning!

That’s it for now. Tomorrow my Mom, Dad, and David (AKA LCCMOM, LCCDAD, and LCCBRO) descend on LA for my birthday weekend. Let the par-tay begin!