Monthly Archives: August 2015
A #Domesticated Weekend
Good morning, sunshine!
In addition to being a Monday and the last day of August, it is the first day of school for my alma mater. Here’s to hoping that I look more put-together than I feel….I miss being a student. Guess that’s what happens after that whole graduation thing? ;) I’ll distract myself with blogging and coffee and a homemade clean-eating pumpkin pie energy bite…
I felt quite domesticated this weekend. This was my first full weekend home in a month and I filled it with all those little things we just never seem to have time for. Looking back, it was a productive 48 hours and I feel like I should still have a little downtime before diving back into another work week!
Saturday morning began with a run outside like usual, before it climbed up to 103 degrees and I hid indoors for the rest of the day. I love summer but not when it limits our time outside…autumn can’t come fast enough. I spent a few hours doing regular chores like laundry, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, banking, re-organizing my closet and making a donation pile of clothes. After a little strength sesh at the gym, I worked on my blog, registered for my next marathon, and found a couple new recipes to try. Seeing as how we were stuck indoors for the afternoon, I got right to baking!
As an afternoon pot of coffee brewed (I don’t care if it’s triple-digit-weather, coffee is always a good idea), I made TWO new clean-eating energy bites: Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites & Blueberry Almond Energy Bites. Both were AMAZING and totally different but I think the fan favorite is the blueberry version. Only 4 ingredients, it’s basically a Larabar in bite form. I’ll share the recipes to both later this week :)
Saturday night I also charged my Garmin (since I returned my FitBit), and downloaded some new music BECAUSE Sunday morning I had a 14-mile run on the agenda. I enlisted my dad to keep my company because it turns out that nearly 2 hours of running by yourself is pretty boring. He woke up at 6:30 and rode his bike next to me for 14.0 miles while I ran to my heart’s content. What a guy :)
I was more than happy with my average pace of 7:15 per mile, but I know I have quite a bit of work to do before I’m “marathon ready.” This week I’ve added in some speed intervals and a tempo run to start getting out of that comfort zone. The heat will make it a little more difficult but I’m pretty familiar with extra challenges.
After the long run (and LOTS of stretching), my mom and I treated ourselves to a manicure, pedicure, Quest Bars at GNC, iced coffees, and some fun errands. Lots of quality time with the parents this weekend! :) We’ve been watching the series Mad Men from the beginning (I’m only 6 episodes in) and obviously I’m in love with the costumes, hair & makeup. The show highlights the gender inequalities of the 1960s and the limited rights of women…but honestly, I would still prefer to live in that culture and decade than our current one. Everything seems so simple, free from reliance on the internet and technology, and people seemed to have more manners. Personally I find the “housewife” stereotype a little charming.
I took my domestic homemaker inspiration to make a more-elaborate-than-usual dinner. Pumpkin Kale Lasagna. My normal dinners are a clean combo of raw and cooked veggies, lean protein or a veggie burger, sweet potatoes, etc. I haven’t had actual noodles in forever and I never usually make something with so much cheese, but I DID run 14 miles that morning so it was a nice change-up! :)
The superfood lasagna was another success and I’ll post that recipe later too. By the time Sunday evening rolled around and I finished meal-prepping for the week, it was already time to climb in bed.
Lots of recipes coming your way. But I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs from Sunday’s running playlist. My best friend texted me the night before with new music recommendations and I replayed this one three times ;)
Surfing (kind of), Acai Bowls, and Cold Brew Coffee
I need more weekends like this past weekend.
Persian cats, happy hour boat rides, salt water snorkeling, and one of my best college buddies.
There has been a constant theme in my summer so far and it has to do with energy….
I’ve never been one to really buy into the whole ‘spiritual realm,’ but I am starting to believe that our positivity or negativity towards situation will affect the outcome. A ‘you-attract-what-you-emit’ type of thing…
Huh?? Well, it seems that during circumstances where I adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude and truly believe that everything will work out actually do work out better than I even imagined (like my Southern Road Trip!). A positive outlook brings a positive experience. Similarly, when I am skeptical or pessimistic about my day, it naturally tends to go downhill.
This weekend, one of my best friends from college Chelsea invited me to visit her and her family and it was so perfect and refreshing! Chelsea is such a patient and positive person, and I think that our go-with-the-flow/we’re-going-to-have-fun-no-matter-what attitude made the weekend such a blast. So on Friday I happily packed up the adventure backpack and headed towards Orange County!
I spent half of Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Chelsea’s family in a very water-filled weekend that also included many “firsts.” First time surfing, first acai bowl, and first cold brew coffee. But the weekend began with a little visit to a friend where I met this photogenic little guy… (Too many captions come to mind for his expression, I can’t pick one!)
In the evenings, we took a walk around the lake and saw so many friendly people walking their dog. Chelsea has an extra surfboard and wet suit that I could borrow so we started planning our beach day….I was a little shocked when she suggested we start our Saturday at 6:00am. (!!!) Monday through Friday I wake up before the sun to squeeze in a workout before work. I have to give a disclaimer to any friends I have sleepovers with…my bedtime is somewhere between 9 and 10pm. #proudgrandmastatus
We compromised, setting our alarms for 6:30am ;) Starbucks made it a little easier, and we were westbound with an americano in hand before 7am!
Chelsea suggested hitting up Doheny State Beach because it’s known as a ‘beginners’ beach for surfers. The sky was grey and overcast and the water was flat. I got a little tutorial for paddling, standing up, and surf etiquette on the shore before we pulled on our springsuits and paddled out. I was nervous that the water would be freezing but it actually felt so comfortable!
There were looooong lulls of flat water between sets, so we spent lots of time just paddling, floating, sitting in quiet with other patient surfers, taking pictures and appreciating the morning.
When the sets of waves did come in, they were little baby waves crashing close to shore. There wasn’t much to catch with the board and we never stood up on the board. But somehow, four hours flew by and before we knew it, it was noon! We have no idea how the time passed so quickly as we floated on our boards.
All of that not surfing worked up an appetite ;) I’ve been eager to try out the trendy acai bowls but I’ve been told to hold out for the REAL DEAL at a specialty shop rather than a chain restaurant’s knock off. Chels and I loaded the boards in her car and drove to Laguna Beach for Bonzai Bowl where I ordered the Shark’s Cove Acai Bowl —> Acai, hemp milk, and frozen bananas blended together and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, bananas, coconut, granola and honey.
Now that we were full of super-food yumminess, we were re-energized to get back into the water! This time we used Chelsea’s snorkeling gear to check out Diver’s Cove. The water was SO CLEAR and blue, it was a gorgeous day. Chelsea brought her GoPro (so many fun toys!) and we took some fun underwater pictures.
I guess we weren’t done with the water yet so our evening consisted of a happy hour boat ride around their community’s lake, some snacks and good music. I felt so grateful for such a beautiful perfect relaxing day, where the toughest decision was which smoothie toppings I should pick ;) Even though I also had my first cold brew coffee that afternoon (which was STRONG), we crashed early again. Being out in the salt water and sunshine drains ya!
Weekends like this deserve a little extra appreciation. It was a total recharge going into this next work week. :) And now we’re all caught up! See you here again soon XOXO
Back-to-School Roundup: Kickstarting a Healthy Semester!
I’d be a big liar if I said I wasn’t a little jealous of you collegiates heading back to school in these coming weeks. Ever since pre-school, I love being a student. Starting fresh new courses, with new groups of people, figuring out a new teacher with their new system. Learning a new subject, a new challenge. Not to mention making your own schedule for homework and study sessions in the comfort of your room. It sure beats the monotony of a desk job. Although there is that whole aspect of making money rather than spending money which is pretty nice.
I’m trying to tell you to enjoy it while you can! Because even though you may feel overwhelmed or stressed with classes and exams (or worse, group projects) once you graduate and you experience bills, unexpected medical situations, 40-hour works weeks, commuter traffic and these weird things called “taxes” and “insurance policies” you will be as nostalgic for back-to-school days as I am right now. ;)
When I started this blog three years ago, I didn’t have a specific vision or theme in mind. My daily life has a pretty consistent focus on eating nutritious foods as well as finding balance with being a social student and a training athlete. Overtime, Strong Like My Coffee naturally evolved into a “health and fitness for college students” blog (even though most of the content is applicable to anyone, college or not!).
Several blog posts from the past three years are so appropriate for this back-to-school season we’re in, so I’ve compiled a list here for you! *Each link will open in a new tab :)
While I’m writing this, there are several other points I want to hit on about setting yourself up for success in the first few weeks of school that are unrelated to health, nutrition and fitness. I’m thinking I’ll write a whole separate post on this later this week :)
In other news, I’ve been called an “expert” by a fellow blogging site. A few months ago, a PR and online media executive reached out for some healthy snack ideas to add to an article on a gaming website. The Empire City Casino online gaming site has a blog with a wide variety of content for it’s users, including this health and nutrition piece. I happily offered my insights and I’m excited to share a link to the finished product with you:
Power to the Brain: Stimulating Gaming Snacks
This weekend I visited one of my college buddies for a beach trip and had my first experience with surfing, acai bowls, and cold brewed coffee. Full recap coming up on Wednesday :)