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Southern California Hiking

TGIF! (2 posts this week? Maddness.)

Christmas Day Beach Hiking (

Southern California doesn’t have “winter.” (One of the things I miss most since relocating to the mountains!) Our Christmas Day was sunny and 75, tank top weather. My little family was a bit untraditional this year and decided to make December 25th a beach day! We opened stockings and made a yummy breakfast before driving to the Newport coast. First we hiked the Crystal Cove State Park trails, about 8 miles of hills and canyons in the glorious heat.

Crystal Cove State Park hiking trails (

I feel blessed for everything I have and had a hard time asking for anything in particular for Christmas this year. I just wanted great warm weather and some beautiful scenery. Crystal Cove did not disappoint.

Mom in her Fabletics gear!

Mom in her Fabletics gear!

When we planned our beach day, it wasn’t even a question of what we’d do for lunch: picnic on the beach. We made turkey sandwiches and sliced apples, and I found some adorable old-fashioned sodas in seasonal flavors to add :)

Christmas Beach Day Soda Pops

We definitely appreciated the warm weather, laid on our blanket for a bit and watched the waves roll back and forth. My mom would love to experience a “White Christmas” with a blanket of snow and a fire in the fireplace but I’m trying to thaw out before I head into single-digit degrees so an untraditional holiday was fine by me ;)

So Cal 3So Cal 4

We had a similar day just before New Years as well. We met our friends in the San Diego area, Lake Poway to be specific. The trail begain around a lake where old men sat in little fishing boats and trees were still dark autumn colors even though it was almost January.

Lake Poway

The path became narrow and steep QUICK. We zig-zagged up the switchbacks on Mt. Woodsen Trail for over an hour until we came to: Potato Chip Rock (I love that name!) Again, we packed a picnic. Walking straight uphill for over an hour requires a little nutritious re-charging at the top. I was hungry for our healthy snacks after about 4 miles. But not before we snapped a picture sitting on the edge of the thin rock….

San Diego Potato Chip Rock

Unbelievably enough, there was a huge line of hikers wrapped around the trail waiting to take the same picture. (Just search #potatochiprock on Instagram and you’ll see.) We would have been in line for easily over an hour….forget that! We were too hungry and tired to wait. :( Instead we had a picnic at the summit with a view of the ocean.

San Diego Hikers (

Aside from our hiking treks, I tried to run outside during my time here instead of at the gym. I’ll be getting plenty of treadmill time in the coming weeks as the temperatures hover around 20 and ice covers my trails.

Potato Chip Hike

My winter break is quickly coming to an end; classes start on Monday. My LAST FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. What?! Naturally my mom and I have to do some shopping this afternoon then ;) Shopping, lunch, gym time, and homemade pizza fill the agenda for the rest of the day. I’m also determined to finish the book I’m reading (American Wife, highly recommend) and download a few podcasts for the car tomorrow. Can’t wait to get back to my own little apartment and see what this next semester has in store <3

The Ultimate Healthy Breakfast

Today’s healthy breakfast “recipe” brought to you by our very good friends :) My family spent the weekend in the San Diego area (Missy too!) to visit our friends. Since we are all active and healthy, the weekend was full of good food and outdoor exploring.

I can’t wait to recreate the breakfast they made us this morning. It was a fun diversion from my usual oatmeal. Look at this spread:

Healthy Breakfast Parfait Bar

These were toppings for mini 7-grain pancakes (made with almond milk & apple sauce, cooked with coconut oil). You might want to rethink your butter & syrup combo after this….

So many healthy benefits to this breakfast: Omega-3’s, protein, essential amino acids, protein, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, fiber.

Put them all in a bowl and what do you get? A protein-packed pancake parfait (and yes, I was proud of myself for that alliteration.) Ta da!

Healthy Breakfast ParfaitThat is a beautiful Sunday brunch :)

I did a little research on the nutritional content of the ingredients above. Aside from being vegan, raw, and “clean”, here are some fun nutritional facts:

  • Hemp seed comes from the cannabis plant (yes, marijuana) but has miniscule to no THC, and does not contain any drug properties. It does however act as an extraordinary source of all essential amino acids. (Those are good!)
  • Cinnamon is a mega-antioxidant that controls blood sugar levels and has been shown to increase metabolism. It also has “warming” properties (freaky!) and in my opinion is one of the best scents ;)
  • Flax seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which do wonders for your heart’s health <3
  • Greek yogurt. I would say that Greek yogurt qualifies as a “fad” right now but I’m right on that wagon. It’s delicious, filling, low-carb/low-fat/low-sugar/high-protein. Those are good ratios!
  • Strawberries are the most popular berry in the United States (potentially arguable statement.)
  • Studies have concluded that blueberries can improve memory. They are also highly addictive.

(If you have any other toppings ideas, let me know!)

Time for a hike! Our families climbed to the peak of one of the local San Diego-area mountains. My calves were burning over the steep grade and the views were beautiful, all the way out to the ocean. Love hiking with my family!

San Diego Hike peak

Who has heard of geocaching? It’s a GPS scavenger hunt that takes you to hidden containers where players can leave behind objects and messages for future players to uncover. The top of the hill we climbed was a geocache location and Miss Johnna found the metal box hidden in a bush under rocks. Treasures!

San Diego Hike geo-caching

I love the idea behind the geocaching game. It reminds me of the TV show The Amazing Race, which is also the only reality show that I would actually consider signing up for. Thanks for such a fun & healthy weekend!

Dinner with the Hitts

Last but not least, next installment of my marathon training playlist. This week I’m going to have to go with Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down and I apologize for the old dude in his underwear…

A little bit of a throwback… The song is 14 years old and I remember listening to it in elementary school. It’s definitely in my 200-song playlist for marathon training :) There aren’t really any specific lyrics this time that I can relate to running, just love the beat!

T-14 days to my first marathon! Time to get those 8-hours of zzzzz’s…

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