Weekend Update + A Workout Circuit

Happy Monday Interwebz!

So if you were here last week I forced upon all of you what I did for the weekend and now I’m going to do it again!!!

As I hinted to before we headed up to Tahoe for some spring skiing.  The weather was gorgeous and pretty much summed up why I love California.  This state has every type of geographical landscape a person could want and all within a 2 hour jaunt for the most part.

Saturday we drove up from the Bay at around 4:30 and then skied from opening till about 12, which was when you more or less needed a jet ski to get around.  Then we just rode the bikes from Squaw to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the views, check out some bike shops, and get some ice cream : ) Yum!

The man took this gorgeous photo with a nifty iPhone app

The only downside was that I got myself sunburnt.  It was entirely my fault since I’m Asian, I just constantly assume that I’ll never burn even if it is 75F out.  Silly me

Next morning we woke up at 6am and I accompanied the man to take some morning shots in the meadow.  (All photo cred goes to the man.  I simply stole his SD card and borrowed the raw images.  Eventually he will render them and they will be even better!)

Misty Meadows

Mountain Tops

Snow Melt

Eventually, being a lady, I demanded we have a couple picture….

Working out the timer situation

Not perfect, but at least we have proof!

Then I stole the camera….

Took one decent picture.....

and then photobombed it myself

After I ruined that whole experience with my shenanigans we ate some breakfast and then skied until about 11:30 before it got too mushy since it was so dang hot. So hot that it became “TSHIRT TIME!!!”   Jersey Shore anyone???

Anywho we finished up the season at the passholder party where we got some cheap drinks and food.  All in all a great weekend and ending to a mediocre snow season.  Oh well there’s always next year and I’ll be in Davis which is so much closer : )

Hope you had a grand 2 days as well! Do anything cool?

Also just because I said I would here’s a little workout circuit we did in Total Body Conditioning this morning since I subbed again.

40s each exercise 3-4 rounds
Shoulder Taps or Single Arm Plank
Snowboarder Jumps
Lazy Burpees
Squat hold or Wall sits
AMRAP 8 min
MB pushup x10
Full Body Wood chop x 15
Russian Twists w/ MB x20
30s each exercise 2-3 rounds
Back lunge w/ KB
Squat + OVH press w/ KB
Bridge w/ chest press KB
20s work 10 sec transition 4 rounds
V ups
Tuck Jumps

YEAAWWWW!!

Did you work up a sweat this morning or will you later?

Have a great week!

The Weekend

Happy Monday ererrybody!

Hope you had a good weekend. I had a pretty enjoyable one myself so I’m going to share with you whether you like it or not because it’s my blog and I have that kind of power….MWAH HAHAHA

In all realness though, this was probably one of the more action packed weekends I’ve had in a while.  I’ve been working Saturdays for the last year and a half so I’m starting to finally get into the groove of taking full advantage of  that solid 48 hours including Friday night.  It’s been most enjoyable if I do say so myself. So here we go!

Showed some newbies around the neighborhood and checked out Prizefighter for their punch bowls and then Kona Club because it’s so wonderfully tacky with its tiki bar charm.  Had some fivetenburgers along the way too.  If you’re in the Bay go check out fiveten becasue they source all their ingredients locally, have grass fed burgers and you can order it loaded with bacon, eggs, and no buns!! Whooo Paleo friendly

Not my actual photo, but this is pretty much what I ate plus bacon..yummo!

After that tasty night I also volunteered with the Mynchia at a rally for No On Proposition A campaign canvassing around the city.  Can’t say I’m much of a political activist, in fact I’m not one at all, but it was a good experience to go door to door. I must give kudos to those who do it everyday fighting for what they believe in.

We finished up the day helping a friend with a website and then eating some homemade arepas. I usually don’t eat corn, but whoooo boy was worth it.   There is something about homemade which can never be replicated.

After those the man and I were pretty stuffed so we called it an early night and decided to go for a sunrise hike the next morning up in Tilden.  Photo cred goes to the man for the following pictures.

It was insanely foggy

But the morning light was still visible on the flowers

Still a peaceful and gorgeous hike

Ran into about 3 of these fellas. They are huge!

Due to the fog and also because I snoozed the 530am alarm we didn’t quite get up there before sunrise, but all in all it was still really nice to have the place to ourselves since most hikers aren’t really out until after 730 or so.

We finished up the day in Petaluma touring Tara Firma Farms with my meetup group and also checking out Lagunitas brewery.  I didn’t partake in the beer tasting since I’m not a huge fan of it, however the “Lewis Experience” Tour was well worth the trip.  I suggest you go check it out because it truly is an experience.

Fresh pastured eggs

Week old piglets enjoying their visitors.

And that’s about it.  Next week we’re heading up to Tahoe hopefully there will be lots of snow 🙂

Looking forward to this view

Staying right in the Squaw Valley Meadow. Doesn't get much better

How was your weekend? Any plans for the next?

A Little Workout from Me to You

Hellooo there!

So this morning I subbed the Total Body Conditioning class for my friend Mary at Berkeley Ironworks. So I wouldn’t be bumbling around at 6:30am making up things on the fly, which I tend to do when I’m by myself (This is a bad habit, I really need to plan my workouts more if I’m going to improve) I wrote out a little circuit for the class, which I figured I might as well share with you my internet friends : )

So here we go:

**Find a wood or tile surface. Get two towels to slide around the floor.  If you cannot just do everything without the sliding aspect
1. 30 sec work, 10 sec break. 3 rounds
~Slide pushup
– Place each hand on a towel
– First slide your right arm forward and back
– Second slide your left arm forward and back
– Pushup
~Mountain Climbers
– Get in a plank position on your hands
– Place a towel under each foot
– Slide your right knee into your chest, return to straight
– Slide your left knee into your chest, return to straight
*** Make sure to keep your hips square and try to avoid your hips from tilting. Move your legs as slow as you need to maintain this form
~Back lunge with Right leg while holding weight in Right hand.
– Place your right foot on the towel
– While holding a decently heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand placed at your side, slide into a back lunge
*** You may hold the weight up at your shoulder as well or above your head with your elbow locked and back by your ear

~Back lunge with weight on Left side

2. 30 sec work, 10 sec break, 3 rounds
 —-> Some times were adjusted due to time constraints of the class, but this was the original plan
~Goblet Squat
-Hold a kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest
-Squat
~Shoulder press Right side while kneeling on right knee
– Begin by kneeling on your right knee with left knee up
– Holding kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand, start at your shoulder and press up while keeping your shoulder down in it’s socket.  Do the movement slow and controlled.
~Should press Left side
~Side plank Right side
~Side plank Left side
~Burpees
3. Complete 50 reps of each exercise in whatever order or interval sets you please
—-> This was completed based on whoever finished first
~Core Row
– Get in a plank position, while holding dumbbells
–  While keeping your hips stable (you can widen your feet to make it easier) row a single dumbbell off the floor and up to your chest
– Return to the ground
*** 1 rep is a row for both the left and right side

~Russian Twists

-Sit up with your legs on the floor knees bent
– Lean back until you feel your abs engaged
– While holding a single or two dumbbells at your chest rotate your torso to the right
– Rotate back to center and to the left
*** That is 1 rep

~Chest Flys with leg raise
– Lie down on your back while holding a dumbbell in each hand
– Raise your legs up to 90 degrees and hold the dumbbells straight over your chest
– As you lower your legs also move your arms out horizontally simultaneously until they are parallel to the ground
– Bring both legs and arms back to 90 degrees

4. 30sec work, 5 sec transition. 4 rounds


~Tuck Jumps
– Begin in a squat position
– While you jump up kick your butt with your heels
~Elbow plank
DONE! WOOOO!!!
Now just as a note I don’t have a gym boss timer, but I downloaded this nifty little app called Seconds Pro and I have to say it worked beautifully in the class setting today especially since it can coordinate with your playlists.  There is both a free and paid version for $2.99.  The paid version allows you to save your circuits for later.
Here’s a screen shot just so you can have an idea.
Go check it out here
Soooo did you workout today?
What did you do?
Also I got this new T-Shirt. I’m pretty happy about it
Have a great weekend : )

Something To Think About

So this morning as I went through my Google Reader I found this snippet with the infographic below.

I’ll give you a moment to scan through that….

Overmedicated America
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding Online

Cool! Did you get through that?

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally I find this pinpoints one of the biggest flaws in current western medicine.  There is a hugely disproportionate emphasis on medicating to cover up symptoms, illnesses, etc instead of actually finding a fundamental solution to treat the issue.  Just search “Paula Deen and diabetes” on Google if you want to see what I mean.

Today, the population is arguably more ill than it has ever been before with increasing rates of diabetes, obesity, and associated diseases. Admittedly there are genetic factors (1, 2) involved in development of these disease, but I’d say it’s safe to say lifestyle choices play a huge role.  Just because you are genetically predisposed does not mean the war is over.

Sometimes I feel that the American population gives up too easily on their own problems and have become so accustomed to instant gratification that they would rather be handed a pill to alleviate symptoms instead of trying to make a real change to solve the actual problem.  In my opinion fighting for your health is a battle worth fighting for. Perhaps, this is just me though as my grandfather always placed an individuals health as the most precious thing in life, because if you don’t have your health you can’t really enjoy the other important things such as family, friends, or experiences.  I don’t know about you, but that seems like pretty good logic to me.

Getting back to my point, I believe if a change is going to happen there needs to be more emphasis on prevention of these illnesses and not waiting until it’s too late.  As human beings all of our fuel and the nutrients we need come from what we put into our body and how we treat it.  Shoveling Cheetos, pizza, and hostess cupcakes into your mouth while you park it on the couch is not exactly VIP treatment.  If you think about how an architect designs a high-rise they are not haphazardly drawing squiggles for the foundation, but rather really thinking about what would make the most structurally sound building blocks so the finished product doesn’t collapse because of a little wind.  So instead, I’d say let’s eat real, clean, unprocessed food and get your blood flowing with a little exercise to give our bodies the best foundation to build ourselves on.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good alternative to popping 5 plus pills a day and still feeling sick.

What do you think?

*Also just as disclaimer, I’m not health professional, nutritionist, or anything of that nature.  This is purely my opinion and is not any type of professional advice.

Recap!

Hello Again!

Sorry for the delay in posts.  I wish I had an epic reason other than just being distracted by life outside of work, but alas I do not and I apologize.  Pretty much a blog fail.  For the most part I’ve just gotten sucked into reading a variety of books, articles, and other information holes on the internet revolving around nutrition, fitness, and getting your “Dream Job” over at Ramit Sethi’s site.  One might infer that I’m in that “New Year” mindset ( I know it’s February already you have full permission to judge away) and am trying to really reflect on what I want to accomplish in my life and as a person.  Seriously though, if you are feeling like you are in a rut or just want to learn good advice on how to actually tackle anything in life I suggest you go check out Iwillteachyoutoberich.com Ramit Sethi is a no candy coating, no excuses kind of guy and I appreciate it a lot because he also goes into the psychological barriers that hold most of us back.

Anywho, moving on, here is a quick recap of what else I’ve been up to besides fiddling around on the interwebz.

1) Eating a lot of spaghetti squash.

Pork Stew with Spaghetti Squash noms!

It's like a small child.

Sorry about the spandex.  I played volleyball for 8 years so I find myself inadvertently sporting them more often than I should and thus couldn’t find a sans spandex picture showing the massiveness of this squash.

$0.99! A prime example of Bargain Bin FTW

These beasts were $0.39/lb or even just $0.99 for the whole damn thing if it was in the bargain bin.  You can’t even get a box of pasta for that cheap and grains are just bad anyhow, so I urge you to try out this magical yellow vegetable.

2) Working on being able to do a pullup.

And why you might ask? Well ever since I was 40lb of human being in elementary school this is just something I’ve never quite been able to do.  Sad indeed, but that is how it is. Baby steps people.

Coming to a gym near you! Liz does unassisted pullup : D

3) Running…wait what?

Yes, I hate running, but as a belated graduation gift Mynchia presented the man and I an all expenses paid trip for the Tough Mudder in Big Bear this July.  The course is about 10 miles so I need to rack up my running miles if I’m going to finish this fun adventure and run through an electrical field at the finish line……….

I’m super excited about that part, can’t you tell?

So much fun right?

4) Taking pictures of animals.

Hanging out at work

I love animals and animals love me or so I think.

It's SOOO FLUFFY!!!

Woman cats being all womanly

5) Started a meetup

If you haven’t heard about meetup.com it’s a pretty neat social site where the point is for people to actually come together in the flesh and do fun things such as hikes, movies, network, etc.  Go check it out it’s a cool way to acquaint yourself with other cool people in your neighborhood.

And if you’re not busy this Sunday and you live in the Bay Area you should come to my Paleo Picnic Potluck at Lake Temescal : )

6) Made Tacos for the Superbowl ala the Kitchn

I ate mine with butter lettuce leafs and homemade guacomle. Delish!

So that’s a wrap of the last 4 weeks in a nutshell and I do apologize for my posting delays. I’ll be working on getting back to my regularly scheduled program ASAP!

Have a great week!

Bargain Bin For the Win!

As you know I’m a Bay Area gal and I live on the Oakland-Berkeley border.  The area is most well known as home to the UC campus and its rather significant population of professional protestors, hippies, and homeless [See Jon Stewart’s clip on Code Pink].  However, in reality, it’s not that bad.  Sure you’ll run into some crazies and be asked for money on most days, but B-town and neighboring Oakland has an awesome amount of culture and variety, which can keep you honest and on your toes as long as you don’t get sucked into a tree sitting vortex.

With all this variety, the food scene here is top notch.  While we have San Francisco just across the bridge the East Bay certainly holds its own in the culinary world (See Alice Waters, The Local Butcher, Alegio Chocolate, etc).  We’re also growing by the day as the city slickers move over to our side since

1) Rent is cheaper

2) Chef’s are figuring out that not all the East Bay folk want to trek out to the city every weekend if they don’t have to (LAZINESS FTW!)

But the real epicurean gem in this here parts is Berkeley Bowl.  I’ve never seen a more impressive and reasonable (whooo!) array of produce, meats, bulk foods, prepared foods, spices, etc. in a single place.  Whole Foods has nice stuff and all, but it’s called “Whole Paycheck” for a reason.  In addition to the stunning array of veggies that Berkeley Bowl has on a daily basis they also have the Bargain Bin.

Now the Bargain Bin is the most magical place ever.  I try my best to live out of the darn thing.  All the produce that is getting to the end of its prime gets bundled up and placed in the bargain bin at sub-dollar prices.  Now the Berkeley Bowl standard for “end of it’s prime” often passes as Safeway’s normal stuff.  Some of it is a tad soft or fuzzy, but with a little elbow grease you can just pick out the nasties and you have just fine produce.

Greatest Place on Earth, although it's been picked through already.

I’ve had several shopping trips where I easily can get 90% of the produce I need for the week in the bargain bin.  Whenever this happens I spam people with images of my grocery cart haul, while they are likely doing important things at work.

Bell Peppers, Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, Bananas, Berries, Pears

How is this not winning?

Kale up the wazoo!

Obviously, I don’t always get to pick what I’m getting because it’s where all the randoms end up, but this is great because it forces me to come up with new recipes and it keeps the meals a changing. Variety is the spice of life! The bargain bin is my version of other people’s produce boxes from CSA’s or only eating seasonally, which in California is more or less a foreign concept : )

Great food always comes out of the bargain bin such as

Kale Chips from Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Kabocha Squash

any tomato recipe , random attempts at paleo banana breads, or smoothies.

And that is my story on the Bargain Bin at Berkeley Bowl.  It really is the most magical place on earth.

.

You got nothing on my Bargain Bin

If you’re in the area go check it out, because the Bargain Bin is always filled with winning and really who doesn’t like winning?

Hallow 2012!

To 2012 I bid you HALLOW! 2011 was a good year indeed, but I think we just might be able to make this year even better as we cross into new territories and see where life takes us. And if how we ended this past year is any prediction of the upcoming one it should be pretty darn swell : )

So just in case you were interested this is how we spent the day.

I took the day off work and the man, myself and friends from the gym started off with a quick 5k in Golden Gate Park.

Always happy prerun

The man ran in the first wave because he wanted to WIN!

Man on a Mission!

I hung back for the second wave because as you know I’m not a huge fan of the running business, but it’s always fun to do things with a group.

It was a tad chilly

Once we started moving all was well though.  I ended up falling behind Mary and the other Ironworks folk, but I had no shame plodding along at my own pace.  Perhaps I should work on that next year.  Resolution perhaps?…. I make no promises ; )

In the end, the man unfortunately did not win as he had planned because he overran the volunteer markers and thus the course. On the bright side, the man being nice finished my leg of the run with me for kicks.

run, run, run

Not completely miserable for once. Amazing!

Finished!

We enjoyed some complimentary mimosas afterwards and then headed up to the Haight to show Jeff’s friends Martin around.  Also much love to Martin for taking our pictures and holding our stuff while we ran. Thanks buddy!

The rest of the day was spent prepping some Spicy Chicken Drumsticks and Peppermint Patties from the Make it Paleo cookbook to bring to some New Years Eve festivities later that night.

The plan was for buffalo wings, but I had a few detours

Patty love

The evening was spent ringing in the new year with old and new friends, food, drinks and a whole lot of this..

and this…..

however, none of us looked even remotely that good except perhaps Amos who actually has rhythm.  The video I have is horrifyingly embarrassing so I shall make an effort to keep the friends I have by not humiliating them.

So that was how we rang in the New Year. It was most memorable and thoroughly delicious.

Happy New Year!

What did you do? Do you have any resolutions or plans for 2012?

Holiday Recap & Blendtec

Holy Moly BATMAN! Christmas is gone and the year is almost over again.  It’s hard to believe that another 365 days has passed so quickly.  I remember when I was a youngin and every year felt like an eternity.  I guess time really does fly as you get older.  I suppose I better make this lifetime worthwhile then huh?

 

On that note I’d say this holiday was a fabulous one!  And that’s not only because I got some pretty awesome gifts, but mostly because I was able to spend quality time with my family.  I spent Christmas Eve with the grandparentals, aunt and uncle.  My grandmother is frequent church goer, despite the rest of us ranging from less than enthusiastic to you can skin me before I attend a religious gathering. However, this year we all went together with her, which was very enjoyable.  I had actually never realized my grandmother goes to a gospel church, so the sermon was primarily a concert and it was fun to see how happy my Big PoPo was to have all of us there.

Christmas Day was spent with Mynchia, where we enjoyed some early morning refreshments…..

Irish Coffee

Egg Nog with Brandy

hung around the tree and decorations,

He was a fat tree

Happy Family!

Happy Family!

and opened presents.

: )

We be matching! Ha

 

We actually were scrambling looking for eggnog in the hours before, but couldn’t find any so I made due with Healthful Pursuit’s recipe, which was so much better than store bought, especially since I added extra spices in the name of clove and ginger.

 

This year I tried my hand at DIY wrapping paper and I was quite pleased with the outcome.

Simple and pretty

I got the idea from The Sweetest Occasion.

 

Running with that theme were the sugar scrubs and bath salts I made.

Ikea has the best jars

 

Adapted from Balanced Bites and Health Green Kitchen.  I ended up adding grapeseed oil to both in order to thin out the scrub and because I lacked almond oil.

They made for great gifts at the White Elephant Party we attended, where I won the best gift ever!

SNUGGIE!! and a reading light!

 

The man was highly disappointed in me when I sent him this picture, especially because I even devised a plan to steal my beloved Snuggie back. It was completely and totally worth it. I have no shame.

 

Lastly, I don’t know if this is compares to my Snuggie ; D , but I also got a Blendtec, which I have to say is one of the best kitchen tools I’ve ever owned.  This thing is a beast! It has preset settings for different types of blender jobs.  When the man and I made a smoothie we were both blown away by the technology of the thing.  First it just churned the bottom chunks before going high speed OMG and making smoothie amazingness.  No lumps, no bumps, just delicious.

happiness

 

It is great for soups, nut butters, and making nut flours.  I’m pretty stoked about it and you should be too, because it means more noms for you cyber world! Wahoo!

So I leave you with a recipe for a Smokey Tomato Soup, which just hits the spot in this chilly winter weather.

I know you want a bowl of this right about now

 

How was your holiday?  Did you do anything special?

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanza! Etc……

 

Hope you’re with loved ones feeling warm and toasty : )

 

Love,

 

Liz, Zack, and the Michi Woman Cats

I know you want to wake up to this ; )

Old picture, but so festive!

Not so festive, but cute!

 

How are you spending the holidays?