The Gun Show

The banana bread turned out sooo yummy! It made the house smell absolutely wonderful.

Moistness- 10/10

Chewy edges and crust- 10/10

I don’t know how it happened but my mouth stole a slice of the bread while it was still warm! Just might have to steal another slice for breakfast tomorrow 🙂

I got a good workout at the gym today, total of about 1:20 minutes. I’ve had a hard time staying at the gym long enough for a workout that makes me feel like I actually did something. Earlier this week I didn’t give myself enough time for a hard workout, but I think today I made up for it!

  • Spin bike- 35 minutes with seated hill intervals, jumps, and sprints.
  • Treadmill-10 minutes running
  • Push-ups 10 X 3
  • Tricep dips 10 X 3
  • Pull ups 10 X 3 (On the machine that I only lift a percentage of my weight)
  • Shoulder press 10 X 3
  • Bicep curl 10 X 3
  • [a few random reps that I didn’t really count]
  • Bicycle crunches- 10 minutes (not all at once)

I feel like Ron Burgundy now!

Haha okay, not really. Funny thing is that there are guys at my gym that actually make loud grunts while weight lifting. I think it’s so silly! They aren’t impressing meeeee!

For dinner, I adapted the Otsu recipe from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Supernatural Cooking. Love that book! She has an amazing food blog called 101 cookbooks. Definitely a must see if you haven’t already. I love that she is from San Francisco, because that’s where I gained my culinary inspiration as well, while living there 🙂

I think the only thing I kept the same from her recipe was the soba noodles, green onions, cilantro, and ginger dressing. Instead of tofu I used tempeh, instead of cucumbers I used zucchini, and I also added red bell pepper.

So fresh and SO spicy! I went a little overboard with cayenne pepper because here at my house, we like to eat very spicy foods!

Well, it’s tea time once again! I need to rest up because I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Peppermint, the standard!

What is your favorite kind of tea?

Have a good night!


June 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm 9 comments

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me!

I’ve been working on my computer all day! The InDesign project I’m working on is almost done…I hope.

For lunch I had a very big loaded salad.

It had: Spinach, onion sprouts, spring mix, green onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, shredded carrot, bulgur, Scarlet Runner beans, cranberries, walnuts, and a tahini-honey dijon dressing.


I also enjoyed a nectarine.

So after hitting the computer so long, I had to do something else. After flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, The Balanced Plate

I decided to bake banana bread. That’s what you do when life gives you ripe bananas!

The batter was really rich. The recipe called for a lot of maple syrup and agave and I don’t have either, so I used honey instead. To cut down on the sweetness since the bananas were pretty ripe, I used only 1/4 cup of honey. I also added an extra heaping teaspoon of cinnamon than what the recipe called for.


Into the oven you go, my little 9″ loaf of love!

OK- I’m going to admit something kind of embarrassing and gnarly with you all on here. For the past three days my parents and I have battled a plague of fruit flies! They came out of nowhere. Out of desperation this morning, and in a fit of insanity I finally looked up how to end their existence in our household. Thank youuuu!

I followed the steps to two of the homemade fruit fly traps. For the first one, I mixed apple cider vinegar with soap in a jar, and let it sit in a highly infested area…

Here it is after sitting for an hour. I think I counted about 13 flies!

The second trap I set out this afternoon was the ‘fruit peel in a bowl’ trap, using plastic wrap to lock ’em in. This only had about 4 flies after an hour.

My final verdict on the most effective method so far is the apple cider and soap in a jar. I’m thinking I’ll need to set out more jars to get rid of all the little suckers! 😈

I’m probably going to head out to the gym for a much-anticipated workout, once the bread is done baking. I need to stretch these legs that have sat all day! Yarg 😕

Have you ever had to deal with a bug infestation in your house? Did you turn to alternative, natural remedies?

June 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm 2 comments

Music & Lyrics

Good morning everyone!

I woke up surprised to see gloomy clouds outside of my window. I guess it’s predicted to rain. So strange because yesterday it was sunny. Must be June gloom! I won’t let that bring down my energy for the day, even though I like to think of myself as a solar-powered running machine! 😀

I was trying to think of something different for breakfast. I wasn’t in the mood for oats, and I thought of making a smoothie but it’s a little too chilly for that. So I opted to repeat yesterday’s breakfast and make it with a twist.

Blueberries, about 1 cup of Greek yogurt, some walnuts, honey, and bulgur!

If you haven’t tried bulgur before, you really should! It has a chewy texture when cooked, and has a really earthy flavor. I cooked three cups worth yesterday to have on hand in the fridge for a few days.

Uh oh! Looks like it snowed cinnamon all over the berries and walnuts! Lucky me – everything taste better with cinnamon! ¡Delicioso!

Yesterday during my run I listened to my play list that I created for the marathon. I had to make a really long play list to help me get through 26.2 miles. I had 70 songs worth to listen to, equivalent to 4:43:47! I knew I’d finish before that time but I gave myself a little cushion just in case.

The music really helps me during my runs because I like to listen to songs with empowering lyrics and beats I can keep rhythm with. I think I surprise myself with some of the songs I listen to during my workouts though. I have a lot of songs on my play list that I normally wouldn’t listen to for enjoyment!

Here is a list of the songs on my play list during the marathon..and yes you can laugh at some of the song choices!

  1. Mamma Mia – A*Teens
  2. Super Trouper – A*Teens
  3. Dancing Queen – A*Teens
  4. Secret Crowds – Angels & Airwaves
  5. Love Like Rockets – Angels & Airwaves
  6. Secret Crowds – Angels & Airwaves
  7. The Moon-Atomic (…Fragments and Fictions) – Angels & Airwaves
  8. Baby (feat. Ludacris) – Justin Bieber
  9. The Adventure – Angels & Airwaves
  10. Distraction – Angels & Airwaves
  11. My Humps  – Black Eyed Peas
  12. Where Is The Love – Black Eyed Peas
  13. Feeling This – Blink 182
  14. Always – Blink 182
  15. Here’s Your Letter – Blink 182
  16. Rock ‘n Roll All Nite  – KISS
  17. Flat On the Floor – Carrie Underwood
  18. Get Out of This Town – Carrie Underwood
  19. Crazy Dreams – Carrie Underwood
  20. Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore) – B.o.B
  21. Beautiful (Valentin Radio Mix) – Christina Aguilera
  22. Fighter – Christina Aguilera
  23. Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
  24. Green River – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  25. Forever  – Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem
  26. Lose Yourself – Eminem
  27. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
  28. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
  29. Warning – Incubus
  30. Ridin’ Solo – Jason Derülo
  31. In My Head – Jason Derülo
  32. Run This Town (feat. Rihanna & Kanye West) – Jay-Z
  33. On to the Next One (feat. Swizz Beatz) – Jay-Z
  34. Young Forever (feat. Mr. Hudson) – Jay-Z
  35. California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Katy Perry
  36. Live Like We’re Dying  – Kris Allen
  37. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
  38. Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World
  39. Burnin’ Up – Jonas Brothers
  40. One Time  – Justin Bieber
  41. Use Your Love – Katy Perry
  42. Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
  43. My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
  44. The Fame – Lady Gaga
  45. Alejandro – Lady Gaga
  46. So Happy I Could Die – Lady Gaga
  47. Bulletproof –  La Roux
  48. Paper Planes – M.I.A.
  49. One Day – Matisyahu
  50. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson
  51. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  52. Just A Girl – No Doubt
  53. Different People – No Doubt
  54. Hallelujah – Paramore
  55. Life Is a Highway (Movie Version Long Intro) – Rascal Flatts
  56. Revolution – Rascal Flatts
  57. Hard –  Rihanna Feat. Jeezy
  58. Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston
  59. No Creo –  Shakira
  60. Te Dejo Madrid – Shakira
  61. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  62. Great DJ –  The Ting Tings
  63. Under Pressure  –  The Used/My Chemical Romance
  64. Starstrukk (feat. Katy Perry)  – 3OH!3
  65. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  66. If We Ever Meet Again (feat. Katy Perry) – Timbaland
  67. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  68. Rocket Queen – Guns N’ Roses
  69. Hey, Soul Sister –  Train
  70. Just A Girl – No Doubt

Out of these songs, the most memorable one for me, that I think really defines the entire experience I had during the race, would have to be Crazy Dreams by Carrie Underwood.

It’s the one song that made me a get teary-eyed during the race!

I know I’ve asked whether you listen to music during your workouts here on the blog already, so for those of you who are music listeners.. What do you like to listen to? What is your power song?

Congratulations to my friend, Lauren! She is getting married today 🙂

June 11, 2010 at 8:22 am 2 comments

Easy Peasy

I got a little hungry before dinner time so I munched on some un-photographed sugar snap peas I pinched from the garden, and also a mini JŎCALAT bar. One of the few samples I snagged from the race expo last Saturday. 🙂

Chocolate, Fair Trade, AND Organic? Yes please!

Once dinnertime came around, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to make. Whenever I prepare dinner, I usually just take a gander at the fridge and take out random veggies and through them all together. I like getting creative and using veggies in a different way each time. Sometimes it’s also good to have a basic go-to dinner for nights where I’m not feeling so inspired. (It happens to all of us!)

Well here is my tip for the evening, a simple go-to grain bowl!

There are four easy components to building your grain bowl dinner. I say bowl because it’s easiest to serve it in one, but it’s certainly not exclusive to bowls.

  1. Grain of choice: This can be any grain really. Try steering away from white rice if that is what your used to, and experiment with more wholesome grains like quinoa, wild rice, millet, or cous cous. Tonight for dinner I used bulgur.
  2. Greens: I like kale, but any dark leafy green works perfect. Also try collard, broccoli greens, or chard. This could also be a veggie like broccoli or cauliflower too. I cooked some kale with onion and a little olive oil and placed it over the bulgur.
  3. Protein: I’m a vegetarian so I use legumes, tofu, or tempeh. If you are an omnivore and choose to use meats or fish for this part of the grain bowl, please buy local sustainable seafood or local grass-fed organic beef. Tonight’s protein was Scarlet Runner beans.
  4. Dressing: This could be your favorite sauce, shredded cheese, avocado, or pesto. I made a fresh pesto so that was my dressing of choice tonight.

And there you have it! Easy dinner in 4 quick steps!

I’m going to drink my nightly tea and try to watch Valentine’s Day without falling asleep!

Have a good night!

June 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm 4 comments


So the run wasn’t bad at all!

I didn’t track my distance, but I did run for 30 minutes. To make it more of an intense workout, I used the telephone poles as markers to alternate my running pace with fast sprints. Back at the gym I also did 10 X 3 push ups, 10X3 tricep dips, 12X3 lunges with twists using an 8lb medicine ball, and some crunches.

For lunch, I visited my friend Julie. She has the cutest little garden in her backyard, that was installed with the help of Victory Gardens San Diego.

Some of her plants have gone to seed, but she has exciting new ones growing in!

Cute baby basil


Baby tomatoes and strawberries!

I brought guacamole with me that I made at home, and Julie made us some quinoa salad and served it with zuchinni linguine and kale salad from Peace Pies, lemons from her lemon tree, almonds, and broccoli from her garden.

Julie is a very sweet person, I’m really grateful for our friendship!

I came home and realized I haven’t shared some exciting news with everyone yet! Look who came out to play over the weekend!

Our Pinwheel Dahlias are blooming now! I was so nervous when I first planted the bulbs a few months ago because I wasn’t sure if the planter I used would be deep enough. Dahlias are one of my favorite flowers, they make me so happy!

So now that I’m back home I’m going to keep working on some projects I have on InDesign and Photoshop. I like creating projects on the computer but the only thing I don’t like is the fact that it’s nothing really tactile I can say I accomplished by the end of the day. Unlike baking where I can actually eat what I’ve made! 🙂

Have a good afternoon!

June 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment


So today I will make my first effort in my official first run since Sunday’s marathon. Kinda nervous, kinda excited!

Here is how I’ve eased my way back to exercise:

  • Monday- rest day, big stretch
  • Tuesday- Elliptical 45 minutes (alternating between fast/slow intervals and incline), crunches 10 minutes, big stretch
  • Wednesday- Elliptical 10 minutes at high resistance, Spin for 35 minutes alternating with hills, crunches for 5 minutes, normal stretch. I wanted to work out longer yesterday but for some reason I was feeling a little shaky after the bike. So strange! I listened to my body and called it off early.

To me physical fitness and health have every bit to do with really listening to your body. On my rest days, I will admit to feeling lazy because I’m not doing any extreme activity that makes me sweat a lot. It’s best to look in the broader sense of what I have accomplished during the entire week and not just one day. There has to be a continuous balance to achieve sustainability in your body. I want to keep running, cycling, hiking, and all the other things I love to do!

For breakfast this morning I had a nice ‘parfait’. I put that in little quotes because we don’t have any granola to make it legit.

It had: 1 small banana slice on bottom, about a cup of plain Greek yogurt, topped with blueberries, sprinkle of walnuts and cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. I also enjoyed a cup of java.

The first bite of my parfait totally brought back so many memories of last summer! It was definitely the taste of blueberries that was the trigger. Funny how we associate flavors to memories, isn’t it?

What flavors bring back memories for you? Hopefully they are all good flavors with all good memories 🙂

June 10, 2010 at 7:34 am 1 comment

Race Weekend -Part 2- The Marathon

**Just a forewarning.. this is a very long blog post!**

I woke up around 3AM and was so nervous that I’d sleep through the alarm for wake up at 3:40AM. As much as I tried to fall asleep again I continued to wake up every 5-10 minutes until finally I gave up and decided to just lay there awake until I heard the alarm sound off.

I got dressed and used the coffee maker to heat the water for breakfast oats. Room service gave us styrofoam bowls with lids, so I managed to cook the oats perfectly by pouring the hot water on to the oats and sealing each bowl with a lid, letting it sit for 5 minutes.. et voilà! Cooked oats! I topped each bowl with a spoon full of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey and one banana all of which I brought from home. I didn’t have coffee with my breakfast because I did not want to be dehydrated from the caffeine intake, plus I didn’t want to be running to the bathroom too often before the race. My nerves were enough to make we want to pee every five minutes!! Unfortunately taking photos of my breakfast was the least of my concern so I didn’t even think of snapping food photos… oops!

My parents and I hopped on the shuttle that our hotel arranged for all the racers, and we were carted off to the start line at 4:30AM. I am such a morning person, so I was loving it! And yes I am every bit serious with that statement 🙂

My mom and I checked in our gear bag for things we didn’t want to carry during the race (namely cell phone and change of shoes) and we hung out, used the restroom, and stretched a bit.

At 5:30AM we did a short warm up with the San Diego Track Club. I got a chance to wish Karon and Steve good luck!

Finally, the time came to head over to our designated corrals. This is where the nervous chatter started getting louder, and louder, and louder. I made a casual conversation with the girl next to me in Corral #17, and we told each other our stories of how we wound up at the start line. It was a lot of fun hearing her story and those around me. Different paths lead us there and we all shared the same goal to cross the finish line. 🙂

At 6:15AM they started releasing the wheelchair racers followed by the first corral. Slowly the line started to creep further and further to the start line and suddenly.. we were off and running!

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a Pacetat so that I could have a personal goal for myself as well as something to guide me during the race.

I wasn’t sure how attainable the goal was but to my surprise between miles 1-12 I was EXACTLY on target! It felt awesome!!

The first ten miles were very easy. My legs felt fresh, I was soaking in my surroundings and enjoying every minute of it.

  • -At mile 5, the marathon course took us around the Padres baseball stadium, Petco Park. They had some positive words of encouragement for the runners on the big marquee, “THE PADRES CONGRATULATE ALL RUNNERS – 5 MILES COMPLETED!”
  • -After reaching the 6 mile mark, I though to myself “Only 20 more miles to go! I have run 20 before, I know I can do this!”

Please don’t mind my super loud breathing!

I was having so much fun running around the parts of the city I ran through during my training. I kept having flashback memories from each passing street, everything filled me up with so much energy! I would wave at other runners during a loop we did, and high-five the folks in the crowd that would reach their arms out. There were bands throughout the entire course and I’d give them a thumbs up each time I’d pass a stage. I also got a good laugh out of some signs I saw that had things written like: “RUN LIKE TIGER’S WIFE IS CHASING YOU!”, “CHUCK NORRIS NEVER RAN THE SAN DIEGO ROCK ‘N ROLL!!”, and “HURRY, THE FREE BEER IS RUNNING OUT AT THE FINISH LINE!” Someone even wrote “Bruce: Will you marry me??” in chalk on the pavement!

  • -I took my first CLIF shot just after passing the 9 mile marker.

Look at how crazy my neck looks!!

  • -Around mile 12 I noticed my pace began to slow down a little bit, I was behind my target by 30 seconds. I started being cautious with the road because it was pretty sloped and I didn’t want to get injured. Even though it slowed me down a little, I didn’t mind!
  • -After reaching the halfway point, 13.1, I felt another burst of energy. Just in time! My pace picked up to 8:48/mile and even though I wanted to go faster I held back because I knew I had a ways to go and wanted to keep that energy stored for when I really needed it. I looked down at my watch and wondered how my parents were making out in the Half Marathon. Check out some of the footage I recorded at the 13.1 mile mark!

I would sip on the coconut water from my water belt between aid stations, and every other water station I’d walk about 5 steps for a drink of water before heading back into the race, running again. I made sure to thank every single person holding out the cups for us! They were drenched in water for being splashed by the racers!

  • -I think it was between miles 15-17 (??) we passed through a really cute neighborhood were families set up tables outside of their homes and were handing out oranges and pretzels to everyone. I grabbed two slices of oranges and somehow managed to eat them while running. They tasted like the best oranges I had ever eaten! Maybe that was just my feeling at the moment, either way they were really good! Shortly after that, I’m guessing near mile 18 we passed through a street where everyone lining the road dressed like characters from Alice and Wonderland. It was very cute and made me smile! :mrgreen: I think around that mile is where I was also passed by some dude wearing a diaper and a big plastic blow up monkey on his back!!
  • -At mile 20, I knew it was game time. I thought to myself: NOW THE RACE BEGINS. My legs felt a bit sore, and my feet felt the heat of the pavement. Thankfully, I wasn’t having any blister issues because all the blisters that I had during training had already become thick calluses.. nature’s way of keeping my feet – and me-  happy! 😀 I started passing people left and right, and I was also being passed myself. Whenever I passed people who had stopped running and began walking I would give them words of encouragement as I passed them, saying things like “You got this!!”, “You can do it”, “Don’t give up!”. I knew that if I were in their shoes I would have liked hearing those words, so I hope they did too!
  • -After reaching mile 21 each mile seemed to take so much longer. I no longer checked my Pacetat but I did look down at my watch. I knew for certain my parents had already crossed the finish line so what helped me power through to the next mile was that I wanted to cross the line as soon as possible so I could congratulate them. The course took us around an island, and I was so annoyed at how deceiving it was for the runners! A few hundred meters I could see the top of the roller coaster at Sea World (the finish line) and then we’d make a turn and it would be out of sight. I felt like we were on the island for-ev-er! 😯
  • -Around mile 23 I started to really rely on the crowd and not so much on my legs. I had a little over three miles to go. My closest friends were not able to make it to the race to cheer me on, but I pretended to see their faces among the spectators cheering the runners on. I have kept running this whole time, I’m not stopping now! I guess this is where I hit ‘the wall‘ people always talk about. I kept looking in the distance to pick a point to run to and would look at the feet in front of me until I reached that point. I kept doing that until I reached mile 25, while also envisioning my legs at the sole reason for the music to continue playing in my earphones. I let the music  and the crowd carry me in.
  • -Finally, I passed the mile 25 marker. This was it! The crowds lined the course straight to the finish line. There was a girl wearing a pink tank top that was neck and neck with me for the entire last mile. She passed me for the third time just before we had about 400 meters left. Out of no where just when I thought I had used up every ounce of energy I had left, my competitive blood shot through my body. With the cow bells ringing and the crowds cheering on each side of me, I began leaping further with each stride. I passed the girl in the pink tank top with about 200 meters left and crossed the finish line with both arms in the air holding up the rock and roll sign with each hand. I did it! I finished!

I’m trying to point at my cape that I wore the entire race. You bet I’m fueled by local farms!!

I’m very pleased with my race stats. I can even say I did a PR..since it was my first marathon! My parents did amazing as well!

  • Mom, Half marathon- Chip time= 2:23:00, Clock time= 3:11:05, Overall= 6158/13561, Sex Placement= 3646/9641, Division Placement= 136
  • Dad, Half marathon- Chip time= 3:18:44, Clock time= 4:06:49, Overall= 11717/13561, Sex Placement= 3652/3920, Division Placement= 29
  • Me: Full marathon- Chip time= 4:17:42, Clock time= 4:32:17, Overall= 2750/10625, Sex Placement= 907/5505, Division Placement= 121

We shared kettle corn and I ate a mini Luna bar and a banana as we headed back to the hotel. After we got home I took a nap and despite my lack of appetite I had a bowl of Greek yogurt with an apple, and drank lots and lots of water too. We celebrated in the evening by going out for dinner at Stone Brewery.

I had the vegan Tempeh Shepard’s Pie with a side salad. I was not super hungry so I ate half of the pie. Later I finished the night with a chocolate chip cookie (no photo).

All in all, the race was amazing! I don’t even think I have the right words to properly describe it. There is so much more I could share on here, but that would take forever and I think it would spoil the fun for anyone who may think of signing up for a half or full marathon in the future. It was brutal, very long, tiring, and incredibly rewarding! It is truly an epic experience!

I am so proud of my parents!!! They finished their first HALF MARATHON!!!!

I will definitely be thinking about another race in the future.. after I’m done icing and recouping! I have to beat my 4:17 time, next race! 😛

I’d like to thank everyone who supported me through my training up through race day, from the bottom of my heart. I thought of everyone’s encouraging words during the race and it truly empowered me the entire race. Couldn’t have made it without you all! 🙂 Thank you!!

P.S. Camille wrote a great post about her race experience! Check it out-

June 7, 2010 at 9:57 am 22 comments

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Hello! My name is Alexandra.

This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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Always savor the sweetness that every day has to offer. Respect the environment and respect yourself. Be grateful for all that you have, and be love.

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