Tag Archive | Holidays

Happy New Year!

Has it really been over a month since I published a blog post?! There have been some BIG changes in my life, primarily, I quit my job. But more on this another time.  Also, though I haven’t been able to run since October due to an injury, things are finally looking up for me. This week I was able to run/walk a total of 2 miles without any pain in my foot. 2! II! TWO WHOLE MILES, THANK THE RUNNING GODS! I’m still not ready to resume a full training schedule just yet, but I have been abysmally keeping up my cardio on the stationary bike and elliptical. I’m also taking yoga and Pilates classes about 4 times a week, so my chi is chill and I’m ready to start a new year!

Instead of going through a lengthy recap of my holiday season, I would like to just share my favorite photos from a few big events in the last month of 2015!


Fall of the House of Usher at the San Francisco Opera


Pivot fashion show in Santa Cruz



Wedding Shower for my bestie


Christmas Day!


Tickets to Disney World!


New Years Eve


Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe on New Year’s Day


Hello 2016!


Christmas Hike


On Christmas morning, Rich and I went on an 8 mile hike!


We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to hike in the Marin Headlands…


We took the Tennessee Valley Trail to Muir Beach, the same route I ran with Jesse and Taylor a couple of months ago!


It was hard waking up early on Christmas morning, especially after an indulgent Christmas Eve dinner…


But I’m so glad we did! It was a beautiful day, and it was nice to get a workout in. We spent the rest of our holiday relaxing at home, opening presents, drinking Champagne and watching It’s A Wonderful Life.


I hope everyone had a great Christmas!


My Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I’m sure a lot of you were out there turkey-trotting bright and early on Thursday morning, but since I had to work late on Wednesday night (or shall I say, until early Thursday morning!) I had to forgo an official race and sleep a little later. But no fear! After a morning Skype date with the fam in Arizona, I made it out for a solo Thanksgiving 5K in the early afternoon!

The weather was clear and lovely this week, and I figured I could use a little practice with elevation, so I decided to take my run up, up, up the hills of Bernal Heights.


There is a difficult incline that begins at Folsom St and 26th, and I DID have to walk for a few moments…but the hill training is great and the payoff is huge once you reach the top. I was treated to some sweeping views of The City…


The second half of my Bernal Heights run was mostly downhill and I finished the with ease.


New elevation data on the Nike + app, lovin’ it

And now for the food! Planning a Thanksgiving dinner was a bit…tricky this year. The last couple of years I have gone to a Friendsgiving dinner; however, my boyfriend, Rich, is fighting this weekend (later this afternoon in fact!), and must weigh-in. During his 8 week training camp he has been on a strict, clean diet. Which meant no stuffing, no bread, no butter, no salt, no dairy and NO PIE for Thanksgiving! I mean, what is left after all those restrictions?? We stayed home for dinner this year, bur have no fear…I figured out a delicious, yet figher-friendly menu!

1. The Turkey!


For the Thanksgiving turkey, since there would only be 2 of us, we bought a small Butterball turkey breast. I patted the turkey with a little olive oil, and rubbed the meat with a mixture of thyme and fresh minced garlic. Then, I squeezed a half of a lemon on the turkey, and topped it off with ground pepper. I cooked the turkey following the directions on the label (325 degrees for 1 3/4-2 hours in a roasting pan). The turkey breast came with a packet of gravy, which I DID use for myself, but only about a tablespoon 😀

2. Roasted Cinnamon Butternut Squash


I recently cooked Butternut Squash for the first time, and decided it would be a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner. When the turkey had just about 25 minutes left to  cook, I added the prepped butternut squash (cubed and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of cinnamon) to the bottom of the pan, and roasted the squash for the remainder of the time the turkey was in the oven.


Cooked Turkey and Butternut Squash!

3. Roasted Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Rich was not able to eat anything wheat based or starchy, so potatoes and stuffing were out of the question. So! I substituted cauliflower for potatoes, and prepared my favorite dish of the night. I essentially followed this recipe I found on Pinterest, but eliminated the salt.

I peeled and shelled garlic cloves and covered them with foil. I placed the garlic in the oven at the same time that I added the butternut squash to the turkey roasting pan and cooked for 25 minutes.


Then, I cut up a crown of cauliflower and boiled the florets in a covered pan for 8 minutes.


After the garlic and cauliflower were both cooked, I combined them with about 1/3 of a cup of almond milk in the blender (a food processor would probably fair better, but this was a decent alternative). I lightly blended until the mixture resembled that of mashed potatoes! I served them with a few dashes of ground pepper.


And there you have it…the finished product. Everything turned out even better than I anticipated!

The next day, I decided to brave the crowds and go shopping on Black Friday for the first time ever! In truth, I just wanted to see the Christmas tree lighting in Union Square, but since there are so many stores in the vicinity I did a little shopping as well.

I pre-gamed my Black Friday adventure with coffee and food at Craftman & Wolves.


Cappuccino and the smallest $8 sandwich I’ve ever had. Welcome to San Francisco.

Then, I took BART to Union Square for a little holiday shopping at Macy’s.



Security was directing traffic through the store, and there were lines JUST to get on to the escalators-it was a packed house! The store itself was shop-able, and I picked up a few goodies from MAC.


I headed outside just around 6 PM so that I could catch the lighting of the giant Christmas tree just outside of Macy’s. Upon exiting the department store, however, I found myself trapped in a crowd of protesters (RE: the Ferguson case) and I was unable to make my way to Union Square. While I am not indifferent, the presence of riot police, whistles, sirens and an enraged crowd were alarming and I raced out of downtown. There were reports of rioting and violence just blocks away from my home as well, and I spent the rest of evening safely at home!

Now it is time for me to head to Santa Cruz for Rich’s fight! I am both excited and nervous, and I can’t wait to report on the results!


Still Running!

Even though I haven’t been focusing on training for any upcoming races, and I’ve admittedly been a little MIA in the blog-o-sphere, I’ve still been running! I have given myself the rest of the year off of a rigid running schedule to focus on rebuilding my base.

Thus far, Fall in San Francisco has been relatively mild. I’ve enjoyed some new scenery as the leaves are starting to change color:



And some slightly cooler air…but overall the weather has been PERFECT for running! As of right now, I am running mostly 3 and 4 milers, and my longest run since the Nike Women’s Half Marathon has been 5 miles.

FallRunning3 Fall4miles FallRunning5

Next week, I’m hoping to increase my long run to 6, and then slowly work my way back to double digits by January!

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’m planning a healthy holiday dinner for my boyfriend and I to enjoy. Rich is fighting 2 days after the holiday, and must weight-in on Saturday morning…which means there will be no pumpkin pies for us! I picked up a small turkey breast to roast on Thanksgiving, and I’m looking for a few other vegetable side dishes to go with the meat.

I get a lot of inspiration shopping at Trader Joe’s, which is by far my FAVORITE (and most affordable!) store in the City. They have a seasonal, rotating inventory and I always find new, fun things to try. I picked up a butternut squash and cooked it for the first time the other day-it was so simple and easy!


I cut the squash in half…


then seeded and cubed the gourd.


I drizzled just a little olive oil over the cubes, added a few sprinkles of pepper and cooked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. It came out perfectly! We will definitely include this on our Thanksgiving menu 😀

I also found this Heirloom Spinach, which is a beautiful Fall red!




I cooked it in a pan with onions and a few other veggies. I liked the taste of the spinach, but the leaves were still attached to thick stems, so I had to pluck them before cooking. Also, the red color bleeds when warm, so be weary of staining your clothes. I may defer to another side dish. I’m considering cauliflower mashed potatoes, sans butter/salt/dairy. I’m open to any suggestions!

Lastly, I am still getting used to my new hair!


I wanted to take my hair a little darker for the Fall and Winter seasons, and the color turned out even darker than I had planned. But it is starting to grow on me as the dye fades slightly 🙂

Anyone else enjoying a butter-free, salt-free, dairy-free, 99% fat-free Thanksgiving??