WIAW: Juicy-J

 

 

There I was strolling down the Whole Foods eating food of the shelves. I mean actually meandering through aisles with my hand in a large bag of pita chips, the other hand fingering a container of fresh guacamole.

Then I woke up. To realize I had two more days of my juice cleanse. @#$%

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Let’s rewind to Sunday night, which involved ten avid hands in the kitchen and five too many eclectic dishes. To complement the burgers (salmon burger for me), Japchae (Korean vermicelli), shrimp cocktail, Kimchi, and wine, some homemade frying techniques demanded testing. Lots and lots of testing.

Japchae:

Katie's twin, the vermicelli noodle bag

Katie’s twin, the vermicelli noodle bag

Zucchs for the Japchae

Zucchs for the Japchae

and chves

and chives

oh and finely diced mushrooms

oh and finely diced mushrooms

voila

voila

 

Burgers:

tomatoes <3

tomatoes ❤

rave reviews

rave reviews

 

And then these happened:

dutch oven versions

dutch oven versions

sweet potots. of course, my favorite

sweet potots. of course, my favorite

getting fancy

getting fancy

two styles of white potatoes

two styles of white potatoes

bigger cuts

bigger cuts

matchstick, mcee-d's

matchstick, mcee-d’s

 

 

And here we are now. As I coddle my final juice of the evening, reliving the aroma of sweet potatoes experiencing rebirth in peanut oil.

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It is Thanksgiving next week, and I will soon be wrecking havoc on my digestive system to next Thanksgiving week. Seven layer carrot cake, anyone?

I’ve never tried an official cleanse. I’ve juiced my own green juices throughout the day, I’ve watched friends suffer through their expensive concoctions, and I’ve cast a very very very skeptical gaze over the whole trend. But I had yet to experience it first hand until Monday. I’ll let you know my closing thoughts on my experience, the process, my energy, and the product!

 

Have you juice cleansed before?

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Fall into It

After 60 minutes of long holds, trembling triceps, I was finally there. Dear, Shasvasana. My heavy breathing coming to a pause, my lips parting, and eyes falling heavy.

 

In that state of rest, my yoga teacher whispered reminders to be still. To be comforted in this instant. To relish in the moment. And quell our worries and push away those nagging anxieties. We were here. Perfect in this moment.  And exactly where we needed to be.

 

With a crazy work schedule like I had last week, it’s seemingly impossible for those words to resonate.  Heck, I’m even on my work email Sunday night. But we must let them. Be still with your breath and comprehend that you are in this moment—not yesterday’s argument or next month’s job review. You’re here now. This is the opportunity to remain grounded. And to find perspective. Challenge yourself to ride life’s waves and not connect every dot in your life. Be patient enough to endure and strong enough to believe.

 

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A Little of This

After such disjointed time in DC this summer, it’s nice to settle back into life in the nation’s capital. I can breath a sigh of relief not having to source my wardrobe from my textbook sized suitcase. With the crisp hint of fall in the air, I’ve been soaking up rendezvous with friends, sleep time in my quasi new apartment (as its been very rare), pumpkin flavored everything, DC centric activities, reading whenever I have a spare second, and overall, some care free weekends.

 

 

This fall has looked a little like this:

Pumpkin candles....and spring tulips

Pumpkin candles….and spring tulips

 

Scoping out my next meal at Ted's

Scoping out my next meal at Ted’s

 

Killing a trail half marathon...while killing myself in the process

Killing a trail half marathon…while killing myself in the process

 

Still nursing wounds

Still nursing wounds

 

Rekindling my love for Sweetgreen salads

Rekindling my love for Sweetgreen salads

 

Alt-J

Alt-J on Wednesday

 

Pumpkin pancakes and pink kettles

Pumpkin pancakes and pink kettles

 

Coveting puppies

Coveting puppies

 

Froyo with my bro

Froyo with my bro

 

Potomac scrambling life

Potomac scrambling life

 

Pumpkin lattes and fall nails

Pumpkin lattes and fall nails

 

Pretending to be hipster

Faux hipster selfies

 

Shifts at the yoga studio

 

Breaking bad therapy

Breaking Bad therapy

 

Anyone watch last night’s finale?? What’s your fall looked like?

Prepcation

Okay okay okay. So I may be guilty of taking blogging reprieve #387, but there was positive intent behind it. A little R & R in South East Asia? I’ll take it

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I have to say I feel utterly rejuvenated. Fourteen days of mango sticky rice, street Pad Thai, 5 hour muddy treks, spa days, ornate temples, sleeping on village floors, luxurious hotels, and so on.

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After accomplishing a big career to-do and  being finished with the Thailand/Laos planning, I feel ready to really buckle down and focus on my next steps and “the plan.” I’m a wee bit guilty of over-planning  and overextending details of my life, but at the same time I so often get consumed by the daily commitments that my to-do lists will then repeat for months on end. Thus I’m back from my first truly self-sponsored vacation with a college bestie and ready to focus on what the twenty four year old me needs at this moment.

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Coinciding with this motivated self is a very confused body and circadian rhythm. I’m thirteen hours off and surely feeling it on the return much more than on the arrival. Given that there are fellow type A’s out there who similarly like to micromanage the transit woes, I thought I’d discuss some of my lessons learned for jet lag and travel.

 

Tricks of the international trade:

  • Avoid checking bags if possible. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve arrived bagless at my international destination, only to have my bag returned the day I’m returning home. Save yourself some anxiety…and money buying new underwear

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  • Master the traveling chic. It’s that happy medium between wearing your PJs and being stuck in an uncomfortable formal gown, so that you’re confident if you meet your future husband while sitting in 5D. And luckily  that spells leggings and a cardigan or pashmina throw for me
  • Keep the stewardess on speed-dial. The 3 oz cups of water they serve could not possibly hydrate a mouse. I’m in constant need of a refill and why wouldn’t I on a 10 hour flight? Hydration is key especially with the hand and foot swelling that takes place inflight
  • Pack a neck pillow for 6+ hour flights. This trip was my first time using a neck pillow (which deflates to fit in my bag I might add), and it was a saving grace. I didn’t arrive in Bangkok in need of a chiropractor. Hallelujah
  • Prep those snacks. I’ve starved one too many times on flights when faced with the mystery meat that frequents airlines meals nowadays. Given I’m the snack queen, I can tell you I had sustenance on hand for my 23 hour flight
    • A few ideas: water dense veggies and fruit, protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, sandwich for your next meal, miso soup packets, seaweed snacks, etc
  • Slip on a pair of thick socks. A friend suggested this to me before I left and boy was it a great tip. Sandals and flats are the ideal security shoe; however, when the temperature on the plane drops to 50 degrees slipping on a pair of warm socks helps you maintain whatever menial amount of heat you have retained
  • Move it. I am not someone who will advocate doing lunges and stretches down the aisle. I once witnessed a woman do a full blown yoga sun salutation in the aisle, complete with chatarangas and down dogs. I still cringe. However, I will suggest you move when you make your arrival. I know all you want to do is sleep but whether you go for a walk and explore the city or hop on the treadmill briefly, you’ll thank me because these are the steps (literally) your body needs to adjust
  • Stay present. Whether your luggage is lost or you accidentally drank the native water, you’re at your prized destination and that’s what matters

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Any travel tips?

Schweatttty Downpour

For those of you more in tune with the weather and less predisposed to be stranded at the gym in a gusty downpour circa 7am. Extra points if you were also in spandex shorts for the first time in 6 months, because of course its spring and was 90 degrees less than 12 hours ago…

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So if you plan to avoid the cold, biting rain and puddle-filled sneakers but still want a workout today then I have a treat for you. After spending some time on the Stair Master this morning, I figured I needed some HIIT exercises back in my life to get that heart going and metabolism active. I have a love-hate relationship with burpees–hurts so good.

I performed the below at the gym but you can do so in the comfort of your own, dry home. No equipment needed and you’re sure to be sweaty as can be.

 

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Let me know if you try it out!!

WIAW: Breakfast Style

I think I have to proclaim breakfast as my favorite meal of the day. Growing up I was a banana pancakes kind of girl and could not be force fed eggs of any sort (much to my parent’s chagrin). The texture gave me the heebie jeebies. And now that I don’t have my dad to wake me up with morning smoothies, I’ll have to starve concoct my own. Sigh. How nice was it having someone else make breakfast before school? Double sigh. Those were the days.

So back to reality… now the morning fare ranges each day according to my mood. After morning yoga or a fast run, all I’ll want is a juice and then I’ll move onto a heartier meal. Sometimes my sweet tooth is ravenous and needs to be tamed before I even get dressed for the day. I do love me some egg scrambles, ergo those are usually saved for the weekend given the time expenditure and my penchant for hurried mornings.

 

Protein pancakes in the works. New spin on my old banana pancakes

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Juice on juice on juice

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A little chocolate fuel to start the day

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And sometimes new, wild, and filling dishes. ..

Almond Porridge
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons flaxseed
½ cup vanilla almond milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk
2) While skillet is heating, spray with oil or butter (your preference) and pour mixture into pan. Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring when needed
3) Remove from heat and top with additional almond milk, toppings, and sweetener if you choose

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I think I may have added too  many eggs my first time around–kind of like sweet eggs.  I’m still processing my feelings on it and how frequently it’ll make an appearance in my kitchen. Round two is the charm?

 

What’s your breakfast of choice?

Blurry Eyed

I drive past it every day. In a morning fog and with blurry eyes. Only looking at the clock and thinking of the traffic that will impede my commute to work. But last night after over a year reprieve from any performance, I re-familiarized myself with the beautiful and historic Kennedy Center.

photo by Carol Pratt

 

New York City Ballet? Swan Lake? Birthday celebration? And Caitlin’s stash of  jelly beans? Done deal.

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After a night of regard for the pointe work and feather-like adages, I dragged myself out of bed this morning for spin class. I have to tell you I’m very particular about my spin instructors, and I’ve been known to walk out of classes if they murmur comments like “this is your ride,” “forget I’m here,” and the like. I’m there for a motivating class that kicks my behind, or else I’d be riding solo in the cardio room (insert Ridin Solo song here…or not). I’ve found two teachers at my gym who I religiously go to. And the others I will not touch.

So back to the dragging out of bed. Post that event, Robert burned up my legs with sequential sprints beginning at 1 minute and moving up to 5 minutes non-stop. Then repeat. Glad my heart stayed in my chest this morning.

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I always find spin a refreshing change from runs and yoga. But that’s me. Good start to my almost Friday day.

 

Have you ever taken a  spin class?

As of Late

Lately… my days look like this. Despite the kind beginning of the Spring Equinox

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Lately…I’ve been running more. Stella is getting her groove back and likes it. I ran my third half marathon, the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon last weekend.  The route was hillier than when I PRed at it two years ago; I was also in Charlottesville hill shape then and actually training. I loved the race and it was so nice to run with a friend the entire time, rather than be plugged in to my pod. I loved having support waiting for me at the finish line 🙂

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Lately…I’ve been channeling Martha Stewart. The pre-insider trading/criminal Martha. Nothing is as cathartic as spending a few hours in the kitchen working on a dish for loved ones. Peach-pear pie anyone?

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Lately…Bloody Marys have made a come back in my life. I guess it takes a make your own Bloody Mary bar to make me reconsider my Mimosas. Getting in my veggies, right?

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Lately…Breaking Bad has been on the mind. Two episodes away from being caught up on the current season. Eeeeeeeee, so good.

 

Lately…I’ve been loving words like these, “I believe if you float that the wind will certainly one day find you… that it takes patience to hover and watch… it takes courage to put out your sails and wait for an invisible force… this is no external hand but the quiet space between effort and letting go.”

 

Lately…I discovered the best French restaurant in DC.Montematre, I have no complaints. It was the most delicious race fueling I’ve done. Wine helps the legs right?

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What have you been doing lately?

Sore Morning

 

I couldn’t help but feel like this after Mysore yoga this morning.

Mysore is an asana practice within the Ashatanga Yoga tradition–each asana builds upon the previous and prepares for the successive. The class is not led but rather the students practice the sequence at their own pace and through memorization of the series. What makes this practice so transformative for your practice is that the teacher is able to take the time to assist each student individually with physical adjustments and verbal cues.

Back in college, a friend (hi Becky)and I discovered the 5:30am Mysore classes and how they advanced our practice and complemented our running–strengthening and stretching muscles that were prone to injury. Two years later, I’m trying to ease back onto Mysore. I need to recommit the sequence to memory and learn how to contort my body into poses I use to have, but it will come. I took my first Mysore with a couple of my favorite yogis last week, and this morning was my second. I’m still elated. I guess that’s what finally getting Bhujapidasana and having a good morning of drop backs will do to you

Bhujapidasana

Bhujapidasana

Back drops from standing

Back drops from standing

 

Any poses or goals you’re working at?

Running it Off

I have to say that living in a running city is  a nice reminder with every step. A reminder that someone else is pushing through their training run, running off a heartbreak, forgetting about their work week, and recovering from their umpteenth injury. It reminds us to be gentle with ourselves through each pleasure and pain, confusion and wisdom of our uncontrollable everyday lives. We have to let there be room for the smiles from passerbys, for the misery that will shadow our week, and for the relief that will come at a new dawn. The pavement is the perfect place for me when things fall apart. It’s within reach when so few things seem like they are.

 

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Ended up doing 12.05. The time of day is off fyi

Ended up doing 12.05. The time of day is off fyi

 

Thank you for lending me your roads this weekend, DC. I needed them