Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Mulled Apple Cider

Getting into the holiday spirit, this past weekend we had some friends over for wine and pumpkin carving.

I got a little bit excited about the fall. Last time we went to Costco I bought the giant pack of apples SPECIFICALLY to use for cider.

Not to mention I was dying to dip into the mulling spices I picked up at Penzey's the weekend before. They're not paying me. I just have a huge crush on this place.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 43

Sunday we drove back from San Diego and were exhausted. So, nada on the workout front.

Monday I taught Power Yoga, and then took 1/2 yoga at the new studio I found last week. I did Pincha away from the wall for the first time EVER. It felt pretty incredible.

Tuesday I taught Power Yoga again - in the morning this time - but then took Power Yoga in the evening. I'm so happy I've had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time on my mat in a classroom setting lately. It's so inspiring and helps me feel good.

Wednesday I had the day off of exercise. I met one of my oldest friends for drinks and a little catch up session. I'm so glad we reconnected. Hooray friends!

Thursday I was back at the studio to teach Power Yoga in the morning, then again Beginner Flow in the evening. After class I hopped on over to the gym and ran a mile.

Friday  morning I taught again - Hatha Yoga this time. In the evening, I hit the gym and just did a quick 3 mile run on the treadmill. It wiped me out, but I did manage some ab work and pushups. I was so tired.

Saturday morning, hubs and I went to the gym early. I ran 3 miles again - just over, actually - but I've been trying to push myself and pick up the speed, so by the time I get to 3 miles, I am beat. When I run my next 10K in December, it will definitely be slower, but I like that I'm running faster - even if it is only on the treadmill.

Oh, also, this photo is from Saturday night. Some friends and I had thought a little acroyoga would be a fun challenge... and challenge, it was.

Sorry I got this one up so late! How was your week? Get any good workouts in?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Baked Apple Oatmeal for One

I eat breakfast alone weekday mornings. Ever since last Fall, when I started getting up earlier for my leisurely mornings, I've been making myself a small, simple breakfast, coffee or tea, and taking a few moments for myself. Tim gets up and leaves much earlier than I do in the morning, but even if he were home, he would opt to sleep over having breakfast. That's his peaceful time.

Lately, I've been making a lot of oatmeal for myself, and even more recently, I started topping it with fresh fruit - banana, strawberries, blackberries. Well, this particular morning, I was fresh out of those. I had some apples, but I wasn't feeling the cold crunchiness of the apple with oatmeal.

So, instead of waiting until the very last to make my breakfast, I went downstairs after brushing my teeth and started my oatmeal early so I could bake it and finish getting ready while it was in the oven.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 42

This week was kind of weird - having to readjust to working out post sickness. I tried to ease my way in as much as possible.

Sunday we went to the gym. I fully intended to just walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but I got a leeeetle antsy, and ended up running a mile in there somewhere. It felt really good, but not good enough to run further than a mile. Easing myself in, remember?

Monday and Tuesday were weird. With the October 15th tax deadline, I found myself working late and getting home exhausted. So, Monday I got home and 7 and plopped myself on the couch. Really healthy, active day (no, not really), and Tuesday I got to the gym late, but decided to push myself and ran 4 miles at 6mph. It was hard. I was totally beat. I went into it thinking I would run 5 miles, but by 3.5, I knew there was no way I could make it another mile after I finished the next two laps, so I slowed down at 4 and walked the next 10 minutes.

Wednesday night I tried a new yoga studio. I bought a LivingSocial deal a little while back and I activated it just barely in time. I now have 10 classes to use in the next three months, and I will definitely be using them. It was a Level 1/2 Heated class, but it was a small class of pretty experienced yogis, so it ended up just being a lot of fun. They really took a lot of seriousness out of the practice and we just played for an hour and a half - tried new poses, helped each other out. It was great. I'm excited to go back and try more classes there.

Thursday night I was back in my class for teaching.

Friday night I ate too much and didn't work out. I'm ok with that.

Saturday I did a 4 mile adventure run from my in-laws. I don't love running, but I am a huge fan of how I feel after a run. It's amazing.

How was your week?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know I was sick last week, right? I vitamined and juiced and fluided (totally not words) it up like crazy and I really only had one day when I couldn't take three steps without needing my box of tissues. By Sunday, I was ready to tackle the gym again, and ready to get back in the kitchen. So, that's exactly what I did.

There was a request for cookies, so cookies it was... sshhh, don't tell him I wanted to make cookies anyway...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Currently; October 2013

Currently, I'm...

I finished rereading Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. Then I set a date to see the movie with my friend... and it was only in two theaters, both unfriendly distance from us. Sad day. So, we're gonna wait until its out on DVD and rent it, I guess.
I'm looking for some book suggestions for the fall! If you've read any good books lately, let me knooooow! I have The Count of Monte Cristo hanging out on my Kindle saying "read me, read me", but I'm in the mood for something a little lighter, ya know? I also just downloaded Lost at Sea, after listening to the most recent This American Life podcast.

Dexter is over... and the end was... disappointing. That's all I'm gonna say about that.
Breaking Bad is over and the end was completely satisfying. Thank you, AMC.
What I'm watching now? Oh... Walking Dead... because it's back. TEHEHEHEHEEEE! Also Bob's Burgers. If you're not on that train, seriously, get on it because Bob's Burgers rocks my world. Mostly because of the kids.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 41

Happy Sunday, y'all. This week is kind of depressing to be one of my workouts. Sorry about that. I was sick about have the week.

Sunday we had this plan to get out to the gym around 3 and do cardio sunday... but I totally fell asleep.

Monday I had a cupcake date with my favorite preggo girlfriend. I thought I would go home and do P90X, but I got knocked out by a killer headache and ended up spending most of my evening on the couch.

Tuesday - another girl date - this time for wine. Basically since wine was involved, it meant no working out. Oh well.

On Wednesday I went to Power Yoga. It was awesome to get back on my mat in a class setting - just be a robot and have someone tell me what to do. I've been doing a lot of stuff on my own lately and it's really nice to be back in class.

Thursday morning I woke up with a little bit of the sniffles. I decided to get a sub for my class. I spend the evening on the couch watching old episodes of Bones... like ya do.

Friday my sniffles were a full on cold. No breathing out of the nose for me. And I've learned the hard way not to workout when I think I'm getting sick, so I opted to take it easy. I had some work errands to do and I spotted the Pressed Juicery truck across the street, so I ran over and got the low-down on what I should drink to get healthy faster, AND its pretty yummy too.

Saturday was another round of rest for me. I did manage a little gardening. Woot.

How was your week?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some days

Yesterday a relatively new friend of mine posted this in her status on facebook,
Everyday I wake up I feel completely different. Nothing is ever guaranteed and I don't say this from a bitter place. I say it because it's true. It's my truth. Some days you have to work a little harder to realize that Life is good. You may not know where you're going or what you're doing but there are still things to Appreciate. I needed to hear this, so I share it.
Some days you have to work a little harder to realize that Life is good.


I'm surrounded by some amazing, smart, and inspiring people.

Be Happy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Pesto Genovese

Last year, on an Italian vacation with my family, hubs and I took a day trip up to Genoa. Part of the reason we went up there was because a few days earlier we'd read in a guide book that Genoa was the birthplace of, not only Genoa Salami, but pesto.

It was settled as soon as we'd read it. Our itinerary "free day" would be spent taking the two hour train ride West, from Milan to Genoa, where we would adventure and eat pesto.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Coconut Maple Bourbon Granola

A little while back, I went a little nutso at Trader Joe's and bought a ton of nuts. Too many nuts. More nuts than I or we were eating.
I somehow managed to finish the cashews, but the almonds and sunflower seeds were taunting me... and on a separate note, I needed something to liven up my goat milk yogurt in the morning. Then I had an epiphany. I WOULD MAKE GRANOLA!

I would say I'm never buying granola again, but that would be a lie. I will probably still buy granola, but I am super happy that I can make it myself. I'm excited to try some new varieties!
It's so stinking easy.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 40

Happy October, y'all! I know everyone's said it already, but I really cannot believe it's already October. Wasn't it July yesterday?

Now that it's cooling down some, I've been taking some of my workouts back home with my favorite workout dvds. (yay) It gets crazy hot in our house and I don't like to blast the A/C when I can just go to the gym.

Sunday, we recommenced our new tradition; Cardio Sunday. Slept in, went to the gym, ran 3 miles on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the recumbent bicycle, 30 minutes of elliptical, and then epic foam rolling. I cannot emphasize enough how much better I've been feeling since I hit my IT band with the foam roller. It's changed my world. I'm still kind of surprised.

Monday night I almost crashed on the couch and caught up on my DVR'd episodes of Bones - which are so so bad, btw, so so bad - but I watched for 20 minutes and then got my but up off the couch and popped X2 Total Body and X2 Ab Ripper into the DVD player. So glad I did. Even though I skipped the pull-ups sections, I still kept working out - usually pushups or flies or just something that would keep my upper body working.

Tuesday I was back at Cardio Barre. I felt amazing. I swear I had a little upturn to my lips the whole class. Every time I did something I had a hard time with last time I took class, I giggled to myself. It was still a sharp reminder that I am not 100 % back in my right leg, but I am so much further along now. It's really incredible. It makes me get a little misty eyed.

Wednesday I was all set to activate a yoga groupon I got a little while back, but I decided I didn't want to drive to Encino and instead I would go to the gym with my honey. I just did a quick 3 mile treadmill run and then got back to stretching out my legs.

Thursday night I taught my class. I was only away from it for a week, but it felt weird to be back - like I had been gone much longer than I really had been. After I taught, I made a quick run over to the gym and just did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I tried to push myself, but I was feeling a little lethargic that night, so it was hard to get my motivation up.

Friday I got stuck at work late and by the time I'd gotten home and changed, I lost my motivation. So, I ate a healthy dinner and called it a night.

Saturday we headed to the gym around noon. I did a 3 mile run on the treadmill and then about 40 minutes of yoga in the empty studio. I could have kept going, but when hubs came in and told me he was done, I realized how tired I was too and we went home.

How was your week?

Just FYI, this month my friend Jenai (also a yoga teacher) is hosting a yoga photo challenge on instagram. I decided to do it, so for most of the rest of the month, I'll probably be using those pictures for my yoga/workout recap posts. :) This first one is Day 3; One Leg

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Aloha; A Little Maui Recap

Welcome back to me! Haha, you probably know I spent most of last week on a Hawaiian vacation with my family. As beautiful and inspiring as it was, it was bittersweet leaving my honey at home. I spent a good amount of time wishing he was there with me.

I did still manage to have a good time though, and I've put together a little photo journal for you.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy in Real Life

Soo... I'm back to my normal Thursday shenanigans of not planning my be happy post until the day of!

Truth is, I've been on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster lately - struggling with my own self worth and my choices. I got back from my vacation, was thrown back into the real world, and remembered that life is not a beach blanket and a good book. WHAT? I know, ridiculous. It totally should be.

I haven't even been home for a week, but I have been swamped with all the everyday life stuff and more.

I guess the be happy linkup is just what I needed though. To get me back to being thankful and full of love. Truth is, I've got so many good things going on right now. I just needed to remember.
This is kind of a lame teaser post. I'm really excited about some things that are in the works, but I'm not ready to share them with you yet. So, that's what this post is about.  There are meetings and things that need to happen before sharing.


Remember this is a linkup! Be sure to follow the links and check out these other amazing ladies' happiness journeys!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Foam Roller to the Rescue

Y'all know I was having some knee trouble, right? Every since I ran my half marathon, I had some pretty regular discomfort behind my right knee - sometimes in the calf, sometimes in my hamstring, but always behind the knee. No big deal, I thought, I'll just keep doing my yoga and I'll stretch it out and heal it, right? Wrong.

Since high school I've had undiagnosed hip and leg pain. I even saw a doctor for it once, but because we couldn't figure out where the source of the pain was, they didn't even know where to look. I ended up working with my chiropractor aunt on stretches and things I could do at home to prevent and alleviate.
Then when I started doing yoga all the time, I stopped noticing leg pain. I never even knew what stretches were helping - only that I was active, doing yoga, and not hurting anymore.

Then my shiny new injury limited the amount and depth of the stretching I could do. Normal stretches I used to relieve and pain in my hips, legs and low back, I couldn't get into all the way because of my knee.

Now lets rewind a little bit again... (imagine rewind sound effects)

I'm a P90X fan. I've done both P90X and X2, and while I was doing X2, I invested in a little gadget called a foam roller. This is the one I bought (because they're majorly overpriced and I didn't want pay $40 for a piece of foam). I mostly used it to roll out my calves and middle back. Since I was so active with my regular yoga and stretching, I didn't feel like I needed it much.

Then this weekend at the gym, about halfway through cardio Sunday, I had an epiphany (or an 'apostrophe' for any fellow Hook lovers out there). Maybe I can work out this leg pain with a foam roller. So, I grabbed a mat and a roller (the gym has nicer ones than I have) and ducked into the empty workout studio.

I immediately went for my IT band. I didn't know for sure that it was the source of my pain, but it's helpful to give all your muscles a little foam roller love sometimes, so I went for it, and almost immediately I knew I was working the right place. I stayed on it for a good 10 minutes - finding points and letting the foam roller work its magic, essentially using my body weight against the roller to work out tension.

Later that night, sitting on the couch I noticed the lack of nagging discomfort in my right leg. Then just for the heck of it, I straightened my leg and grabbed my foot... just to see if I could, and I was astonished to find I had almost COMPLETE mobility back in my right leg. It's not all the way back to normal, but can I just say "Hallelujah Foam Roller!"? I am elated.

Foam rolling can be very uncomfortable. Let's just get that out of the way. You're finding tense points that need to be worked out hard. It's the equivalent of having a knot in your back and asking your friend to dig their elbow in there. The difference is that the foam roller wont slide out of place and elbow you in the rib. That's how you know you're working the right place - when you have to grit your teeth until the pain goes away. Ultimately, it should feel good though, so listen to your body and know your limits.

Have you ever tried foam rolling? Do you love it or hate it? :)