Monthly Archives: March 2014

a GRAND adventure.

Okay okay I don’t want to drag out my spring break adventures but there’s also so many awesome moments to share….so cram them into one photo-packed post I will!

I haven’t done homework in 9 days. I haven’t so much as looked at a textbook. I don’t even think I’ve looked at what’s due. I have thoroughly enjoyed my spring break as an extended recharge moment.

The last time I traveled to the Grand Canyon was on a camping trip with my parents about 12 years ago. We were caught in the middle of a huge monsoon driving in and the hail and thunder stunned us. I don’t remember much of our hike or time in the Grand Canyon so I was stoked to go back this week with my friend Kerri. It was her first time to the most-visited Wonder of the World (and she’s an Arizona native!). Say no more. To the giant crater in the earth we go.

Grand Canyon Just Hanging Out *stronglikemycoffee.com

Just hangin’ out!

We took the shuttle to the Kaibab Trailhead. “Steep and Slippery” is an understatement.We were taking baby steps to keep from sliding. 4 month-old running shoes do NOT equal hiking shoes. ;)

Grand Canyon Ooh Aah Point

“What can I say about something that blows me away without sounding like another cliche?”

Grand Canyon Sitting b

The epicness of the grand canyon cannot be captured in a photograph. You just can’t see the depth and vastness of the thing in 2D! As much as I love taking pictures, it really is better just to enjoy this one with your eyes.

Kerri & I got a late start to our hike, and we were warned “It takes twice as long to get back up so give yourself plenty of time.” We turned around after 90 minutes,expecting to take about 3 hours to get back up. It is STEEP, like doing the stairmaster for 2 miles straight……but it didn’t take us any longer to get back up than it did to get down.

THEY UNDERESTIMATE US AND OUR RUNNER LEGS.

Grand Canyon fatigue

Just bear with me for a couple more pictures. I was totally digging the new environment. I like collecting my memories in photographic form.

Grand Canyon dead tree

Grand Canyon black and white

Feeling on top of the freakin’ world.

Grand Canyon lookout

Grand Canyon with Kerri Collage

That bottom picture was our view driving back to school. Kerri took probably 90 pictures while I drove. No one can accuse us of not appreciating our surroundings….we gush about that mountain like it’s our middle school crush.

**Hey we reached the halfway point of this recap post! (I told you it was going to be jam-packed.)**

My mom must have been inspired by my Sedona & Grand Canyon pictures because she wanted some of her own. She drove up and stayed with me for the end of Spring Break.

mom wknd grand canyon

My pass into the Grand Canyon was good for 7 days. Naturally I had to go back before it expired. So I made the journey again with my mom, this time with the goal of reaching Skeleton Point. Even though the distance is only 6 miles round-trip, coming back up 3 miles is so steep (and at 7,000 ft elevation).

mom wknd skelly point

We reached the turn around point, but it’s hardly “half way.” The trek down is nothing compared to the hike back up. So awesome! Being out on Skeleton Point really felt like being IN the Grand Canyon and I felt so small.

mom wknd and i grand canyon

Sedona was a little less dirty, a little more red, a lotta bit warmer. We spent another nature day climbing rock stairs to picnic on Devil’s Bridge.

The Devils Bridge Sedona AZ (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Crazy amounts of sunshine on this spring break and I tried to absorb it all! Can you store extra vitamin D for later?!

We were NOT ready to head home yet so we pulled up a table on the deck of a cafe and sat until we felt the start of a sunburn.

Mom wknd Iced Beverages in Sedona (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We also made a bunch of healthy recipes this week that I’m definitely going to have to share soon! But I think I’ve carried on with this post long enough :)

Spring Break had a thousand memories and now we’re back to reality. Time to make up for my lack of educational stimulation over the past week and half.

But, but….Sex & the City is on. To homework or not to homework? One episode won’t hurt…

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Recent Clean Eats

I’ve been eating clean for a little over three weeks now. There have been many scrambled egg whites, bowls of oatmeal, protein supplements, fruits and veggies. I’ve had more almond butter than I probably should and more quest bars than I will admit, but for the most part my meals are 100% natural ingredients.

So I thought I would share some of my more appealing looking meals & snacks today! Because even though it may seem like I’m “limiting” or restricting my diet, there really are countless options, tons of ingredients to play with and I am able to get plenty of calories (not too mention all the necessary nutrients) without getting bored of the same ol’ things.

Steel Cut Oats with blueberries, banana slices, toasted coconut, goji berries, cinnamon and almond milk. Coffee of course, with almond milk and 1/2 packet of stevia in the raw.

Clean Oatmeal with goji berries, coconut, fruit and almond milk (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Stuffed Bell Pepper with brown rice, lean ground turkey, onion, zucchini, more bell pepper and a splash of liquid aminos.

Clean Stuffed Bell Peppers with ground turkey and brown rice (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Snack bowl with raw almonds, fresh blueberries & a drizzle of blue agave.

Clean dessert parfait (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Egg white omelette loaded with diced yellow & green zucchini, red bell pepper, sweet onion, spinach & topped with avocado.

Egg white omelette with veggies (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Picnic snacks for a day trip. Clementines, apple slices, blackberries, protein bar & green juice. *These Nugo Slim bars are the most “processed” thing in my diet now but the ingredients list 17 grams of plant protein, nuts, cocoa, and stevia. The best option next to Quest bars if you ask me*

Clean picnic snacks (stronglikemycoffee.com)

And roasted baby brussel sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts and Clean Eating (stronglikemycoffee.com)

This is just a tiny snapshot of what I eat. There are many more protein bars/protein shakes/fruits/baked sweet potatoes and spoons of almond butter.Even though my diet is “clean” I can still do a better job of eating more greens and natural proteins and less bars/powders/butters. But I’m getting there!

I actually have a few “clean” recipes up on the blog already:

Sunshine // Springtime

Let’s finish up with my weekend adventures, shall we? After our day zip lining through the trees, Chelsea & I headed towards sunshine.

Am I sick of Sedona yet?

Ha, not in the slightest. Every time is different! The Devil’s Bridge picnic, the Valentine’s Day hikes, the solo adventure.

Our mission was to absorb as much sun as possible. Chelsea calls herself a “ghost” and my skin is about 43 shades lighter than my summer self. Thank goodness for GORGEOUS blue skies, BRIGHT shining sun, and TONS of friendly people out. You just couldn’t help but be happy on a day like this. You just couldn’t.

Sedona Hiking day

We packed a bag with essentials like sunscreen, cameras and (clean) snacks. The trail isn’t too hard, just follow Bell Rock Pathway until you reach the base of the hill and start climbin’! There were people sun tanning, people doing yoga, people having photo shoots. We had a picnic :)

Sedona Hiking Lunch

Our clean picnic – almonds & pistachios. Apples. And my current addiction, Quest Bars.

When you’re following a clean diet, you get a little desperate for something sweet and desserty. Quest Nutrition is getting creative with their bars to use in recipes with other clean ingredients, and I can’t wait to try this Pumpkin Pie recipe. I even follow the brand on Facebook & posted this picture with #Onaquest hashtag to enter into a Quest Bar Photo contest. Loyal customer right here!

Sedona Shoes

Working on our tans ;) This is our kind of spring break! We might have gotten a little too much sun and some aloe vera was necessary but I wasn’t ready to go back home just yet. Heading to Phoenix was like an obstacle course with the crazy tumbleweeds across the highway that were sticking to everyone’s grill. Welcome to the desert.

Phoenix palms

I got a personal tour by Miss Chelsea of ASU & I’m a fan. Everyone wants what they don’t have, though right? Come from a snowy climate and you’ll be immediately attracted to the heat. Come from the desert an you’ll be fascinated with the white mountains.

When in Phoenix! (stronglikemycoffee.com)

When in Phoenix..?

Our hiking wasn’t even done yet. Sunday morning began with a short hike up A mountain to get the overview of campus and Tempe. This is where I ran my first marathon so I have a special attachment to this city! Seeing the Tempe Town Lake reminded me of running the last quarter-mile, crossing the bridge and seeing my family. Good memories :)

phoenix view

After a few hours by the pool with a pretty fruit salad I was back on the highway with my iced coffee and my country mix CD. I’ve driven more miles in the past week than I have in my whole life ;) and I’m loving it!

This song……..change “Ford” to “Honda” and it’s like he’s singing about me. Love me some EYB!

 

And spring break is just getting started. Happy Wednesday! (Also known as “Chest & Triceps” day. Ha!) :)

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