Thursday, March 13, 2014

Layover

A 24 hour layover in San Francisco treated me exceptionally well, and so did the weather.

6am sunrise, jet lag, + three cups of coffee.


Yoga + a view at International Orange.


Palm trees + sunshine on the Embarcadero.


Taking photos + buying no souvenirs in Chinatown. 


Afternoon light + skyline delight.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Healthy Is As Healthy Does

D and I had a really interesting conversation about granola bars a couple of days ago... you know, how some bars are "healthy" but have added sugar or weird ingredients. And then we started talking about health.

Health is such an intensely personal thing. Every body and each body are so incredibly different. And what does health feel and look like anyway?

When B asked me a few months ago if I have always been healthy, I didn't know how to answer. Because my own definition of health has changed and evolved. I have eaten things that I thought were healthy but actually made me sick (7-grain bread, I'm looking at you. You devil you.) It has been a process of trial and error to find the foods that make me feel happy and healthy, to create an active life, and to make sure that my diet and my physical activity work in tandem.

This means fruit and vegetables and protein. Nothing processed. This means a boatload of water. This means quinoa and oatmeal (grains I can eat!). Coffee, because I (really) like coffee. Almond butter. Berries. Spinach. More protein.

This means running. This means strength training. Bootcamp. Barre classes. Plenty of yoga. And it also means November Project because I like forty stadium sections at sunrise and planks in the mud (read: dirt, sweat, and endorphins). 

I have been stoked to see new food and fitness options come to Boston. Flywheel. Barry's Bootcamp. SoulCycle. Plus, Exhale Spa just added a Core Fusion Barre + Cardio class. I like the kale and the quinoa at Boloco and Sweetgreen and there are finally more and more smoothie bars. These are all good things, especially when it's cold as sh*t outside and you need a fun new workout and something delicious to eat. 

{Cue the smoothie/snow montage}

Love Alive from Life Alive

PB&J from Fuel Bar at Barry's Bootcamp

Especially the smoothies. I'll hike to Southie for Nourish Your Soul, I have a crush on the PB&J smoothie at Fuel Bar, and today I tried CocoBeet, the new organic eatery near Government Center. I scoped out the menu beforehand and I was pumped to try it post-Sunday run. Granted, I was a little bummed that the smoothies and juice are bottled and not made to order. CocoBeet also does not serve food on the weekends, so it's really just open to sell the smoothies and juice (I think this business model may be a bit questionable, yeah?).


Regardless, I'm happy Cocobeet is there. I bought the Blue Coconut and the Kale Karma (points for fun names!). I liked the Blue Coconut - I definitely tasted the almonds and coconut oil. The Kale Karma is in my fridge for tomorrow.

I'm excited for kale and November Project tomorrow. I'm excited for yoga class this week and running in San Francisco next weekend. I'm excited for health, always.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This Is the Rhythm of My Life

Where was I two years ago? Six hours away (roughly) and a million miles away (roughly). Someplace hot and humid and tropical. That was a different life.

Where was I a year ago? Well I can't really say for sure, but I'm pretty confident I was working. I was in a work coma. For a year. That was a different life.

This year? Unlike any other year or life.

I can say that I have never been faster or stronger. Sometimes it catches me off guard, like during yoga class when our teacher tells us to move from a three legged plank through three-legged chaturanga. Like when I realize I'm getting a little bit closer to Eight-Angle Pose. And definitely when the November Project workout is to sprint (no biggie) with a human being on my back (very much a biggie). The practices of running, yoga, and strength work are integral to my identity and to my daily life and having the chance to do these things is awesome and humbling all at once. These things fulfill me, challenge me, and always, irrefutably, undeniably, without fail, propel me on.

What I look forward to are the adventures and the opportunities to expand on these changes and to do more... to go to the Wanderlust Festival, to run Bay to Breakers and to run the SeaWheeze Half Marathon again, and to travel to all of those heart-stopping, heart-breaking places. I realized a few years ago what it is like to travel to run. Last August, SeaWheeze brought together running, travel, and yoga in a very radical way. So, these days are in part a preparation for travel and for experiences to come.

What else is happening these days? I am looking here for the right words to describe my professional ambitions. Ambitions, yes. Ambitions they are, because I have never and will never lack motivation and self-discipline.  I will say this: I am doing the hard work now and I am putting myself through the paces now, today, tomorrow so that, in six months or a year or two, I can say that I myself lay the foundation. I am laying the foundation for what I know I will achieve.

And I can turn around and use almost the same words to describe relationships. Let's lay the foundation. Let's get together and let's get excited, get positive, passionate, constructive. Let's help each other and let's grow, and if it's not a two-way street... well, then get out of my street.

I am interested in deeply transformational experiences, relationships, friendships, challenges, and  opportunities. Let's have some fun, let's get a lot done, let's do epic shit, let's do it all. Eyes on the prize y'all, and the prize is this year.

P.S. Where's the title from? The Corona classic. Rhythm of the night, rhythm of my life.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's Peanut Butter and Jelly Time

I love everything about smoothies. I love the fruit, I love the protein, I love the highly saturated colors that look Photoshopped but are real. I make a smoothie most days. (There are also those days when protein powder and coconut milk go into a blender bottle and that's it. Those are the lazy days.)

Last Friday, L and I tried Barry's Bootcamp for the first time. It was totally my kind of workout. When I lift, I like to keep my heart rate up and Barry's does that by alternating intervals on the treadmill and weights on the floor. The music was loud (perfect), it was sweaty (perfect), and we. worked. out. (Perfect!)

After class, we went to the Fuel Bar at Barry's for smoothies. The smoothie menu is solid and most of the smoothies are priced at $7 and clock in around 300 calories or less. I picked the PB&J and, really ever since then, I've been thinking about peanut butter. It was that good. (And filling too!)

Here's my version:


PB&J Smoothie
3/4 cup milk (I used SoDelicious coconut milk)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Blend all ingredients until smooth and drink up!

Monday, January 27, 2014

48 Hours

Five course tasting menu at Asta. Ballet class. Steaks and bourbon. Bowling and beers at Jillian's. Run through Chinatown and the Theater District. Shopping for shiny, pretty things and soft, warm sweaters. Sunset over Boylston Street and dusk on Newbury Street. A plate of oysters. Three episodes of The Only Way is Essex.

Can't wait until next weekend, can't wait to do it all over again. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday

Today started at 7am. Well actually it started at 6:20 when the alarm went off, but really I think it started at 7 when L and I went to spin class at Recycle Studio. If you didn't start your day with dance remixes of Ellie Goulding... well you should have.

The rest of the day? It was cool. Ya know. Work. Getting things done. I spent a big part of the afternoon switching between working and trying to register for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon. Last year, I fell in love with Vancouver and I PR'ed at SeaWheeze. This year, I want to have a little rendez-vous with Vancouver and I want to PR again. That's the plan. That is, if I can get a spot. (The registration site crashed today. Twitter and Facebook exploded with Lululemon smack-talking. Hopefully the site is back up tomorrow. Fingers crossed.)

TBT to sunset yoga at Kits Beach. Just another reason to go back to VanCity.

And at the end of the day, when drink plans fell through, L and I went to get pho at Pho Pasteur. Any day I get to see L twice is a very good day indeed. I detoured through the park and, oh Boston, if you're trying to make me love you more, you're doing a great job. Boston, I love you in the sun and in the snow. I love you forever and ever. (And I love pho too.)



Today was a great Thursday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More Tea, Please

Tuesday night, another snowstorm rolled through Boston. Everyone was all, "BLIZZARD. BLIZZARD. BLIZZARD." Full on blizzard panic mode.

At the end of the day, I made a major detour to go to David's Tea on Washington Street. I bought some chai tea, my very first infuser, and a cup of tea to go and I walked home the loooooooong way. The snow was falling, I sipped my tea, and my heart almost burst right out of my chest because downtown Boston was just so perfect in the snow and I was just so cozy in my big jacket and wooly hat.

So what does one do on a snowy night at home? Well, one drinks more tea. Obviously. This time, I made a tea latte. This tea latte is creamy, a little spicy, and a little sweet.


Chai Tea Latte with Cocoa and Cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon loose chai tea (I used Chocolate Chili Chai from David's Tea) or 1 teabag *
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Chinese Cassia cinnamon
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)

* I used chai tea because I like a little kick, but you can use any kind of tea! 

Bring water to a boil. Put loose tea in an infuser or use a tea bag. Steep tea in boiling water for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat milk over medium-low in a saucepan and stir in cocoa and cinnamon. Stir to make sure the cocoa and the cinnamon are fully dissolved and to prevent the milk from burning. When the tea is ready, froth the milk using a milk frother (mine is an Aerolatte) in a separate mug and pour the milk on top of the tea. Sprinkle additional cinnamon and cocoa powder on top, if desired.

P.S. I didn't sweeten this recipe, but the friendly sales girl at David's Tea suggested using a little honey. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Smoothies in Southie? Sure Why Not.

I wake up Sunday and there are two things I want to do: buy new pillows at West Elm and get a smoothie at Nourish Your Soul. West Elm is in Fenway; Nourish Your Soul is in Southie. Not a great plan. But I do it anyway.

I go to West Elm and buy all of the pillows and then my pillows and I get back on the T. I get off at Broadway and walk to Nourish Your Soul. It's pretty funny walking through Southie on a Pats game day. Everyone is carrying thirty racks or going into the bars and I'm all, "Hey guys! I got pillows! And I'm here for the smoothies!" (I'm hilarious.)

Nourish Your Soul is not exactly central, but it's right across the street from Rue La La headquarters and adjacent to The Club, so the location does make sense I guess. It's a super new, super modern space and one whole wall is glass, overlooking the boxing rings in The Club. This makes for some pretty good people-watching.

To my (admittedly) untrained eye, I don't see sugar all over the menu. I love Life Alive and Blue Shirt Cafe, but so many of their smoothies have sorbet or coconut ice cream in them. I'm all game for non-dairy ice cream and I'm definitely game for dessert, but I don't want a ton of sugar in my smoothies. Smoothies are smoothies and desserts are desserts and I would really like to keep it that way.

I know I should order the Green Glow smoothie (because... spinach), but I get the Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie instead (dates, almonds, banana, almond butter, cacao, sea salt, and filtered water). Heads up: juices and smoothies are $10 a piece (well, $9.99), so a drink is a commitment. Good thing I like my smoothie. What I really like is that I can taste the almonds.


I also picked up a bottle of cashew milk (for smoothies at home?) and a bottle of Chilmark Coffee Company cold brewed coffee (for my caffeine addiction).

Pillows. And bottles. And I need to stop shopping.

I get on the T with Pats fan headed to the bars and, all the way downtown, their cases of beer are rattling and clinking. And then there's me. Chilling with my pillows and cashew milk. Yup.

P.S. Go Pats!