Archive for ‘Activities’

July 30, 2012

My first BASE jumps

When I first started skydiving, I thought for sure that I would want to try BASE jumping. What skydiver doesn’t? BASE jumping has become increasingly visible in just the last few years. It’s featured in all sorts of movies and commercials, not to mention all over youtube, for your viewing entertainment. Almost starts to look safe and accessible! Almost. Because it’s not at all safe or accessible. I’ve given BASE jumping a lot of thought for the past 6 years. I ultimately rationalize the choices I make based on risk vs. reward when it comes to my hobbies. Skydiving to me has relatively little risk with unbelievable amounts of reward. I feel much more in danger driving in a car than I do jumping out of aircraft. They do say driving to the drop zone is the most dangerous part of your skydive! I knew BASE jumping had very high risk, but how much reward?

I had the opportunity to find out for my birthday back in May. I took a first jump course in Twin Falls, ID from one of the best teachers in the sport. I like structure and lots of information, which is exactly what I received from the Snake River BASE Academy. When the time came for my first jump, I felt like I was on my very first tandem skydive again! Having no idea what to expect and pretty excited, but strangely not feeling fear or nervousness. Just like on my first tandem, I kept waiting for the fear to hit me and it never did. The Perrine Bridge is 486 feet high (that’s pretty high!), BASE jumping is legal year round, and the landing area is huge. Plus I had thought about it for many years, had around 450 skydives at that point, knew lots of BASE jumpers, and felt like I had learned enough from the course to make my very first jump. I felt as comfortable as you can possible be before jumping off a bridge.

And then I jumped!

How cute is this beer from a local brewery? It’s called the Knutkase!

I’ve always loved the feeling of falling, so it wasn’t a surprise that I LOVED LOVED LOVED the falling part in BASE jumping. I always feel so free when I am falling and I find the feeling in your stomach to be very pleasant! Unlike bungee jumping where the bungee softly stretches out to stop you and takes you bouncing again, you are VERY abruptly stopped by a VERY fast opening parachute. Ouch. I think it opens in like a hundred feet? (In comparison, my skydiving canopy takes about 1000 feet to flutter open.) Then you get to fly a huge canopy to landing, that part was of course pretty familiar. I can detect a slight bit of adrenaline, but for the most part it’s all about the falling for me. So are the very real risks of death, serious injury, and arrest worth the few seconds of falling??

Maybe.

I’m still trying to decide what role BASE jumping will play in my life. I made a return trip to the Perrine Bridge and also jumped from a 250′ antenna/power tower at home last month. I finally felt pretty nervous on the antenna jump. The climbing part was fine. The slowly putting myself into place on the exit point with nothing to hold on to and lots of bars to hit if I lost my balance and fell to my death part? Not so fine. But again, once I committed to go, I felt totally in control and very much free. It feels like a (very short) escape from reality and I like that.

I don’t think 19 jumps from just two objects is really enough for me to know anything. I’m going to give myself a jump from a building and a jump from a cliff to decide. Maybe I’ll retire after I get my BASE number. I understand that there are many ways to minimize the risk involved, which is the only way I would even consider keeping this as a hobby. But that’s probably like trying to keep blackberry bushes pruned back or keeping an elephant in a toddler playpen. I would only jump easy objects?? Except I would crave more challenge after a while, which could end really badly. So who knows. I’m sure my mother (who is probably reading this) would really appreciate it if I never ever jumped again.

I look pretty good in THE CHEETAH though!

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March 31, 2012

Skydiving, landjäger, and paleo sliders!

It’s Saturday and I’m still in bed because it hasn’t stopped raining for a week. Doesn’t look like it’ll stop raining for yet another week, but next weekend looks promising! I can’t wait to jump again. After so much tunnel time, I feel like a brand new skydiver and I’m completely addicted again! There is sooo much space in the sky! No walls up there! And the skydives actually go as planned! Fascinating! The tunnel is such an invaluable training tool. I was able to get 12 jumps in last weekend and I thought I’d share a few pictures! All photo credits to Kelly Craig.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more photos and videos as the season goes on! Thank goodness we have a wind tunnel here now to get through the rainy days. I’m pretty excited to go fly tonight!

The downside of so much tunnel flying and skydiving has been that I’m way less motivated to work out. I haven’t consistently exercised in several months now and I can feel myself getting out of shape. It’s such a waste because I felt so amazing and so fit after months of daily intense activity and I am just letting it all go. I still LOOK fit, but I don’t FEEL fit. Every day I wake up thinking, I should really go to crossfit/hot yoga/climbing/running/skating today and then I never really make it out. I know that if I just commit to a few days, I’ll get into a routine again. So I am going to hold myself accountable to do that starting on Monday. 🙂

The upside of skydiving is definitely our close community full of awesome friends. One of them is actually a butcher and I got hooked up! I’ll never go hungry again! I’m going to try to do a post about him and the butcher shop in the near future, if he agrees to it. His shop only carries the highest quality local meats, including the best tasting 100% grassfed local beef I’ve ever had. He actually makes lard, tallow, sausages, and cured meats, all completely paleo! I’m planning on stopping by every week! This is how I found my new favorite snack, called the landjäger (I’m too lazy to describe it so I linked to wikipedia)!

Soft, not too salty, meaty, satiating goodness! This would be perfect for hiking/trail running! I had never even heard of this before, so ask your local specialty butcher?

The NY steaks I got were so giant that I had to cut one in half. Steak and eggs for breakfast! I poached the eggs this time and put it on some arugula and baby spinach.

 

I also grabbed some lean ground beef for burgers. I usually don’t season or do anything but shape the beef into a patty when I make burgers, but this time I was inspired to actually put some work into it. I added 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 2 slices of bacon (cut into little pieces), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper to a pound of lean ground beef with delicious results! These are my naked sliders! Heirloom tomato slice and a dollop of avocado for each mini patty! I was out of all lettuce or I probably would have wrapped them. Delicious!

 

March 26, 2012

Hawaii Vacation ’12

This might seem off topic since I’ve been mostly focusing on food for this blog, but I always intended to write about my adventures as well! I spent 2 days on Oahu and 5 days on the Big Island for a family vacation last month! I save the best for last, so read on!

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At some scenic viewpoint overlooking Honolulu/Waikiki

I really hoped to skydive over the North Shore again, but my new rig wasn’t ready yet and I didn’t have a chance to jump on this trip. I was only a little disappointed though. Let’s be honest, the main reason I insisted on stopping in Honolulu was to eat at one of my all-time favorite restaurants – Alan Wong’s. They never disappoint! The chef’s tasting menu blows me away every time I eat there! I was pleasantly surprised this time that pretty much the whole meal was gluten free! But you’ll see that the meal was certainly not paleo. Definitely worth it and I didn’t get sick! Each course was flawless and the wine pairings really complemented the food.  Can’t wait to go back!

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1st Course: Trio of Appetizers - Seafood salad on soy milk panna cotta, Kona lobster "Vichyssoise," Peterson Farm egg flan

 

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2nd Course: Crab "Tofu" Agedashi - Tofu-like spinner crab mousse, Kona lobster medallions and lump crab meat, kudzu dashi

 

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3rd Course: Bubu Arare Crusted Diver Scallop - edamame truffle sauce

 

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4th Course: Butter Poached Kona Lobster - Hamakua Heritage eryngi mushrooms, green onion oil

 

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5th Course: Pan Steamed Opakapaka, Short-Tail Pink Snapper - Shrimp pork hash, truffle nage, gingered vegetables, tapioca pearls

 

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6th Course: Char Su Colorado Lamb Chop - Kabu mostarda, cardamom greek yogurt sauce

Hello best lamb chop I’ve ever had! I’m definitely going to try using cardamom the next time I make lamb!

 

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7th Course: Kula "Strawberry Romanoff" - Big Island Dairy goat cheese panna cotta, Kula strawberry-hibiscus consommé, goat cheese sorbet

 

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The best chocolate covered macadamia nuts ever!

 

I discovered that not all musubis are the same! Here I thought that musubi = a slice of spam slapped on sushi rice with a band of nori. NOPE! There were so many flavors to choose from at Mana Bu’s! I especially enjoyed the unagi, baked salmon, and spicy tuna. The whole strawberry mochi was really good as well! I was most definitely going for local food and didn’t concentrate on staying paleo the entire vacation.

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Then we made our way to the Big Island where my adventure really started. Not much notable food there. Except for the loco moco or moco loco or whatever it’s called. DISGUSTING. Meat(s) of your choosing on rice topped with fried eggs and drowned in massive amounts of brown gravy. I feel sick just thinking about it again. I tried it because it’s one of those classic Hawaiian dishes or whatever, but yeah… never again!

We stayed at the ginormous beautiful Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. This is where I got all my exercise – having to walk like a mile to get to anything! I wish I was exaggerating! Ok, I’m probably exaggerating.

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Hapuna Beach was wonderful! I even managed to get several shades darker from my usual glow-in-the-dark pale. I still have tan lines! I spent one day on the beach stocking up on my vitamin D. One day of R&R is usually all I can handle on any vacation. I’m really bad at the whole sun bathing thing. SO boring.

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I want to be back on this beach!

 

With absolutely no rental cars available on the whole island during our first couple of days, we went on a circle island bus tour.  I don’t know about the rest of my family, but I had an awesome time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in one day in a long time. I won’t disclose why since it’s one of those “you had to be there” things. Plus I’m pretty sure we would have never made it around the island with our own car.

I loved the black sand beach! Felt awful with bare feet, but it was sooo pretty!!! Especially with the gray skies that day. My pictures look black and white! I was super bummed that we didn’t see any turtles on the beach.

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We also stopped by the volcano national park. I wish we could have had time to do the lava boat tours where you can see flowing lava! But all we saw were smoking craters. I’m surrounded by volcanos where I live – Rainier, St. Helens… no big deal. We also stopped at a lava tube. The bus driver said it would take 20min to get through so I was expecting this epic lava tube hike, but no… it was like a 2min walk through a very boring tunnel. 20min for all the senior citizens on the bus tour maybe? I mean, let’s be honest, who else goes on bus tours? Anyway, I was expecting something more like the Ape Caves in WA, which I recently found out is the longest continuous lava tube in the continental U.S.!

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We visited the Dole pineapple plantation and learned a lot about pineapple. Who knew that they don’t ripen further after being picked? So eat your pineapples right away! The pineapple soft serve there was one of the yuckiest frozen treats I’ve ever had. Don’t get it. I’ll add pics later.

We definitely experienced a downpour of rain in Hilo! 200+in of rain a year and a lot of people live there! Crazy! We stopped at these waterfalls. I think it’s called the Rainbow falls? I don’t really remember.

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One thing I don’t have a picture of is the 40,000(?) acres of land that is the cattle ranch. There is so much land that it looks like there aren’t many cows! All the cows looked happy and relaxed grazing on the grass with their cow buddies. Yay for happy cows, right? NOPE! Apparently they don’t slaughter on the island. These cows get shipped to the mainland feedlots where they are grain finished and slaughtered. The now (ruined , in my opinion) meat is shipped all over the country, including back to Hawaii! Ridiculous, isn’t it? I felt so bad for the cows. So glad we have many happy local cows in WA!

And now for the very best part of my trip: NIGHT DIVE WITH MANTA RAYS!!!! This was the whole reason why I made the family go to the Big Island. This was one of two reasons why I became SCUBA certified! I recommend Wanna Dive because they have a small 6 person boat for a much better experience than the bigger boats of other companies. I was worried about not being able to cross this off my bucket list, but as soon as our boat pulled up to the dive site, we saw a manta ray on the surface! Then I saw 3 at a distance during the first dive in the late afternoon. I actually kinda hate diving – it doesn’t matter if I’m in the Puget Sound or in Hawaii, I am guaranteed to be freezing. But I was super excited when it finally became dark enough to dive in! All the divers from the various boats sit at the bottom (about 35-40ft down) with their lights pointing up while the snorkelers hang out on the surface pointing their lights down. The manta rays of Kona have learned that plankton love dive lights so they show up at this spot every night to feed, giving us a spectacular show!

I am sooo glad I took my GoPro! I didn’t expect to get such great footage! We saw 9 manta rays and a big swirling column of countless fish. It was truly one of the most beautiful and most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. These creatures are HUGE and soooo graceful. It’s surreal having them graze the top of your head and swim straight towards you with their giant mouths wide open. Can I go on my “save the oceans!” rant now? 🙂

In case you were wondering, the other reason I started diving was to see whale sharks. I hope I can make that happen this year so I can quit diving once and for all! Haha, just kidding…maybe.

September 11, 2011

Dinner at Staple and Fancy Mercantile

I did my first wingsuit jump yesterday as my 443rd jump! Skydivers reading this will all say “BEER!” and I will bring some to the BBQ on Tuesday. “First” and “beer” are synonymous in the skydiving world. I only had time to do one wingsuit jump, but it’s all I needed to know that I now have a new hobby. Or is it a sub-hobby? I felt a little like I did on my very first tandem jump – I had no idea what to expect and was super excited! There were so many things to think about, but I managed to not over-think and really enjoy FLYING. My childhood dreams of flight came true yesterday! It was rather calm and relaxing despite feeling like I had no idea what I was doing! My flight was only like 70 seconds long since I pulled high at 5.5k’, but still felt like FOREVER considering that my usual freefly jumps last like 45-50 seconds. So I’m definitely adding a wingsuit to my wishlist. I’ll post video in a few days!

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I also did a freefly jump before I had to rush home for my dad’s birthday dinner. I was sooo sad to leave before the BBQ started at the DZ! How many times have I mentioned that skydivers have the best BBQs? My friend actually built his own smoker!!! Then brought it to the DZ, put like 80lbs of meat in it to smoke for 15 hours, and made an event out of it. How awesome is that?!? He was also nice enough to pull some out for me early so that I could taste the brisket and pork before leaving. I would have loved to stay and eat more because I love smoked meat!

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There’s always drama at my family dinners, but at least the food is always good! We went to Staple and Fancy Mercantile, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Well, it was one of my favorite restaurants until I converted to paleo and started avoiding the place. I’ve never ordered from the menu here because I always choose this option: “if you would like to avoid the trouble of ordering altogether, please feel free to hand your menu back to your server and let the kitchen prepare you a family style supper served in four courses for $45 per person.” It is an Italian influenced restaurant, which definitely means pasta. I asked the server if they could do grain and legume free, and what I got was mostly gluten free, but this is definitely not the place to go for a paleo friendly meal unless you take the fun out and order off the menu (I spied a few things that looked promising).

First course – Tapas style appetizers

  • Marinated Sicilian olives
  • Rockfish, chives, and aioli on crostini (did not eat the crostini)
  • Beef, anchovy aioli, poached albacore
  • Sardines with fennel
  • Geoduck salad
  • Fried oysters (did not eat)
  • Tomato, arugula, mozarella (took a bite of the mozarella)

Most of these were paleo friendly!

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Second course – Pasta

That dreaded word – PASTA. In my pre-paleo days, I used to LOVE pasta, especially filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. I’ve found out since then that I don’t love pasta anymore. It’s way too filling in a bad way? So it had been a very long time since I had been faced with pasta on the table before me.

  • Pork belly ravioli in brown butter and sage sauce (I tried a few of them, taking the filling out of the pasta)
  • Gluten free rice shells with mussels in pesto sauce (Other tables got fettucini or something instead of the gluten free. I had a spoonful, I definitely don’t care for pasta anymore. The mussels were great and I don’t even like mussels!)

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Third course – Meat and Seafood

  • Grilled white fish of some sort (don’t remember), stuffed with lemon and oregano (I will be doing this at home!). I didn’t eat the white bean puree, just the stuff on top. Delicious!
  • Grilled pork loin (didn’t eat the corn, meat was perfect)

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Fourth course – Dessert
I think dessert is way more tempting than pasta. Especially really really really good desserts. Sugar, dairy, and flour filled desserts. I just can’t say no. But I definitely limited myself to a few small bites of each. I also noticed that my sugar cravings are almost gone – I was able to stop myself from eating most of it (good thing I had to share with 3 other people!) and it tasted VERY sweet. Almost too sweet.

  • Lemon cake with berries and sorbet
  • Ricotta cheesecake with figs – Hands down the best cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life. I usually hate cheesecake and this was amazing.)

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Sometimes you just can’t avoid non-paleo dinner situations and you just have to do the best you can. I don’t think I did too bad. Some dairy, some rice pasta, and a few bites of dessert. I also skipped the wine. I absolutely love wine pairings with multi-course meals. Makes the meal that much more enjoyable because the wine tends to really complement the food and open up the flavors. But I am striving to be 95% paleo and alcohol-free for 30 days. How many more days do I have? Just kidding!

I also ate 2 peaches and a Blueberry Muffin Larabar yesterday as snacks while at the DZ. I’m finally feeling less insatiably hungry. This morning I woke up without any sugar cravings and no desire to eat something right away!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since 9/11. Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was as I watched the second plane hit on the news. Remember how “United we stand, divided we fall” was the post-9/11 motto? What happened to that?? Because all I see are people divided by insignificant differences. It shouldn’t take a horrific national tragedy to bring people together, but that often seems to be the case. I hope I can do my part to change that.

August 24, 2011

Getting back to normal!

I haven’t been myself the last two weeks. I pretty much stopped exercising and had very inconsistent eating habits with lots of non-paleo days. I’ve been lazy, lethargic, irritable, unmotivated, and overall feeling off. Yesterday was the first day I decided to get back to normalcy, whatever that is.

I started my day with Bikram yoga. It was the worst hot yoga experience of my entire life. I was miserable from start to finish. I did not want to be in there, I wanted to leave. I lied down a lot and skipped so many postures because I just had no motivation to push through it. Plus I kept feeling light headed like I was going to pass out, not that I’ve ever passed out before. It had only been a week since I last practiced, so it shouldn’t have been that bad. Even my first time was awesome compared to yesterday. I was probably dehydrated days of non-paleo food with all that sugar and salt as well as alcohol. I know I definitely hadn’t been drinking enough water. I love Bikram yoga, I love being in the hot room, I love the body high and the sense of complete joy and relaxation at the end… I love everything about it. But yesterday I got to see another side of it. No wonder a lot of people hate hot yoga. I’m going to try to go every day this week to get back to having happy practices.

After such a horrific yoga experience, I was just not prepared to go back to MMA yesterday. However, I did go climbing. That was rough too! I hadn’t climbed in 2 weeks. It’s crazy how fast climbing strength goes away when you don’t use it. I found myself feeling very weak and heavy and had to downgrade. It was kinda depressing! But motivating at the same time. Must climb more!

All I can say is, thank goodness I snapped out of my two week period of sloth before it became permanent.

I finally went grocery shopping yesterday! Having paleo food in the house helps me stay paleo and motivates me to actually make myself food.

  • Ground beefalo
  • Grassfed beef ribeye steak
  • Free range local boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Prosciutto di parma
  • Organic, uncured, all natural bacon
  • Wild king smoked salmon
  • Red onion
  • Shallots
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut
  • Annie’s organic dijon mustard
  • Organic capers

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And with that + what I already have in the fridge, I am set for several days of delicious food!

Here’s everything I ate yesterday except for the Coconut Bliss.

Cucumber and Lox salad

So I’ve been trying to find ways to eat cucumber and I think I just found my favorite way! This was delicious! Cucumber, red onion, tomato, avocado, smoked salmon, and capers with a little bit of the juice. No dressing required! I loved all the different textures and the flavors went together so well.

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Kiwis!!
I try to be a locavore, I go to farmers markets and joined a CSA. But let’s be honest, globalization happened and I’m going to eat kiwis.

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Deconstructed bacon burger

Red leaf lettuce from our garden, beefalo patty, bacon, tomato, avocado, and onions with a sprinkle of smoked paprika. I first cooked the bacon in a skillet, then used the bacon fat to cook the onions as well as the patty. Using the bacon fat is key. What is it about pork fat and onions that go together so well? This was very satiating. I just wish I had arugula!

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Watermelon!

Not my favorite fruit in the world, but it’s so refreshing on a nice summer day.

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It’s quite possible that I consume way too many almonds on a daily basis. I am obsessed with them, especially with a drop of local honey on each one… What? I’m trying to keep seasonal allergies at bay. And bears eat honey. Oh and with 90% dark chocolate here and there as well. I’m pretty sure that eating all these almonds has made my skin softer than ever.

 

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I wasn’t hungry, but decided to eat anyway because my friend was really hungry while we were doing some shopping at University Village yesterday. Restaurant choices are limited there, but you can usually find something to eat at “Mexican” restaurants. So we went to Sonrisa where I had the Seared Mahi Mahi with spicy fruit salsa and vegetables. No rice, please! Let’s just say I could have made it 1000x better at home. The fish was overcooked and dry, to almost a chewy leathery texture. The veggies were way over seasoned with salt. But I still ate everything on the plate. I don’t need to be hungry to be a glutton!

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Looking forward to another fully paleo day today! Hope you enjoyed all the paleo food porn. It has been a while since I’ve posted so much paleo food, no?

 

 

August 8, 2011

More calories, squash, and bouldering

My last post was rather poorly written, sorry about that! I was suuuuper tired and there was a lot of word vomiting going on. This one will probably be the same. I also know that I’ve been slacking on food posts lately! I just haven’t had much time to try out new recipes lately and I’ve been making the same old quick meals. How many times can I post about a piece of meat with a side of veggies? I will try to cook more this week.

As you may have noticed, my activity level is at an all time high. In order to supply my body with enough energy and sustain the increase in muscle mass, I know I have to consume more calories. I already eat as much as I want and I am always full. I don’t think my stomach could fit more food and I really don’t want to force myself to eat when I’m not hungry. So my solution has been to try to eat more calorie dense foods – basically, more fat. I’ve been attempting to eat more nuts and fattier meat/fish. Any other tips on eating more calories on a paleo diet? Or should I even worry about it? Maybe it’s best to see how my body reacts naturally (being hungry more often, etc.) before stressing about it.

Summer Squash Scramble
I used some of my CSA veggies in my breakfast today – the yellow squash (have no idea what kind it is) and sweet onions. I also added mushrooms, zucchini, 2 slices of bacon, and a chicken apple sausage. All the veggies cooked in bacon fat before I added two eggs and scrambled away! With all the squash, it turned out pretty watery so I had to drain the extra liquid. But the flavor was good and it was very filling. Normally I skip bacon, but like I said, I’m trying to eat more.

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I had planned on doing all sorts of things yesterday, but was feeling pretty lazy. I only made it to my bouldering gym. I am so frustrated by this V3 on the big wall. I MUST conquer it before they change it. I get to maybe 4 easy moves away from the finish, but I run out of steam – my hands and arms burn out. This big wall is pretty high and I get scared by the time I’m half way up, which really doesn’t help me relax, think, and use better technique. At least I’m getting used to falling! The nice thing about climbing with a harness and rope is that you can totally rest while the belayer holds you up. I have enough strength and endurance for bouldering shorter routes, but this one is rough for me! Not only is it the tallest wall at the gym, it’s also angled down quite a bit. Defying gravity seems to be a key characteristic of most of my hobbies.

Here’s the view from the side to show the angle and height (blurry, but you get the idea):
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And a video of me trying to climb it today:

See my bulging muscles? I told you I’m not skinny! 😉

Afterwards, I went shopping for more workout clothes at Lululemon. The “educators” working there always ask you what you need the clothes for and what you do. I get to my dressing room and see this! My name is spelled wrong, but I appreciated the “badass athlete” part. I don’t know if I’m badass quite yet, but I do feel like an athlete again!
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August 7, 2011

A few perfect days full of my favorite hobbies

Continuing on from my previous post!

Thursday

As I had planned, I made it to my boxing and MMA workout classes. At the end of those two hours of intense cardio, I mentioned to the instructor how maybe next week I can do the next class, Capoeira, as well. He told me I should stay because it’s more fun and that I could totally do it. And so I stayed for a third hour at Axtion Club. I like how someone else’s workout of the day is my cool-down.

The Capoeira instructor is this gruff Brazilian guy who barks out “left!” “right” “NOOOO!!!!” etc. among various unintelligible words in Portuguese that I assume are moves in Capoeira. Mostly towards me because I was new and I’m not coordinated at all. Let’s not even get started on how I always confuse left and right! I had so much fun though and I laughed a lot at myself. I finally managed to get some smiles out of the instructor as well. Also, I can’t do a cartwheel to the right to save my life. I really enjoyed that everything is done to awesome music. I may not be coordinated, but I like to think that I have some rhythm. Anyway, he did tell me I did a great job for my first time and that he hopes I come back. Of course I will! But maybe after I watch some videos of capoeira on youtube with subtitles…

I bought my own gloves at Sports Authority. Why do they insist on making women’s gloves a disgusting bubblegum pink? Why not black? Or turquoise? Or lime green?

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I was super hungry between volunteering and the workouts, so i stopped by Whole Foods for some snacks! The 1/2lb of prosciutto only lasted 2 days… I’m so obsessed with prosciutto!

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I got some carnitas from the taco bar section. All paleo ingredients. I use all the ingredients in my own carnitas except for chicken stock. I will be adding some chicken broth to my next carnitas attempt because this was delicious!

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So I’m always looking for paleo friendly (i.e. as paleo as possible?) treats. I know a lot of paleo purists say you should quit everything cold turkey and not try to paleofy your favorite non-paleo foods, but I’m sorry, I cannot do that. Live a little! I LOOVE lemon tarts and I was sooo excited when I saw this at Whole Foods. Check out the ingredients! Not bad, eh? Not bad at all! Apparently that little thing is supposed to be 3 servings, but I ate the whole thing. Deliciously lemony! And I loooved the coconut in the crust.

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I saved my coconut for the end of my workout! Fresh coconut = 2394723974 times better than packaged coconut water. I could live on this stuff. Ok maybe not, but it’s the best treat ever after strenuous activity!

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Friday

I went climbing outside! My first outing of the season and I’m now so motivated to climb more. I was pretty tired from the night before, but somehow managed to climb a big wall. We went to Exit 38 off I-90.

Snacks! Pluots and cherries from my CSA bag (I’m so sad I’m out of them now), prosciutto, raw almonds, and coconut water!

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All the routes were 5.9s. I looove the feeling of real rock on my hands! Cool, textured, and rocky… love it! Plus there’s no tape telling me what to do, so I get the extra challenge of having to find my own way up!

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Saturday

I’m so happy that I’ve been keeping up with my goal to hike every Saturday! We went to Lake 22 because I wanted an easy hike after my really active week. It was just 5.4 miles with 1350ft of elevation gain. Nice and easy! I even made myself slow down a little to enjoy the scenery and the company of my two friends. I love seeing waterfalls and lakes on my hikes, can you tell?

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Sunday

Today was my designated rest day! And it was the best rest day ever! It was a beautiful day for skydiving. I hadn’t jumped in over a month and it felt soooo good to be back in the sky. Although I may enjoy flying in the tunnel more than skydiving these days, there’s really nothing like the first few moments after letting go of the plane. And the scenery!!!

I did 4 jumps and rushed out of the DZ to make it to a 5pm Bikram yoga class at my new studio, Bikram Yoga Everett. I could definitely feel my week off from hot yoga. It was rough at times and felt like the longest 90 minutes ever. I think the room was hotter than at my last studio too. I will review this studio in a later post.

Here are some pictures from the plane today. You can see the Puget Sound, the other jump plane, and Mt. Rainier!

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August 3, 2011

MMA and CSA!

I have too many hobbies… too many hobbies that involve strenuous, intense activity. I am trying to figure out how to schedule all my hobbies without getting burnt out. Which basically means that I have more hobbies that involve plenty of relaxation. I’ll let you all know how that works out! So far this week:

Monday
I started Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) on Monday! I bought a groupon for a month of unlimited classes at Axtion Club. They offer MMA workout, Muay Thai, cardio kickboxing, boxing, core-training, and Capoeira classes! So I went to the 6:30am MMA workout class on Monday. It was an hour of non-stop movement for the entire body. The warm up consisted of lots of jump roping and cardio stuff involving medicine balls. Then I got to put gloves and shin guards on to do some drills on the bags. At first I was like, “uhhh I don’t think I have enough aggression for this?” But soon I realized that the harder I punched and kicked, the better it felt and I discovered an aggressive side of myself. By the end of the hour, I felt fantastic. The instructor told me I did great for my first time and was shaking my hand when I asked if I could stay for the next class – Muay Thai. He looked at me like I was crazy.

I was fully warmed up by my second class and felt even better. More jump roping and medicine balls followed by partner work. Where we had to punch and kick while our partner held pads out. Again it was non-stop movement of the entire body. It ended with a nice core workout as well. I absolutely loved it and was just bursting with energy and happiness. Of course it came out that I have a pretty active lifestyle and one of the students said something like “ohh that’s why you’re so well conditioned for this.” It’s nice to be recognized for being fit and strong by other fit and strong people.

I loved it sooo much. Two hours of AWESOME. I recommend it to all of you to give it a try! I definitely have way more respect for fighters as athletes now, as well as for last season’s Biggest Loser contestants. It’s a pretty intense workout!

And because I’m crazy, I also skated for a little bit before coaching. I really miss skating.

I ate more of my ground elk on Monday. Instead of scrambling the egg with everything else, I just fried one and put it on top so I could have a runny yolk. Yum.

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Tuesday
Since I missed skating so much, my friend and I went to our old rink for a short session. I forgot how cold it is there! I did some jumps and some spins, but my heart wasn’t in it. My old rink = too much nostalgia. I missed all my old skating friends and all the good times we had there. Rink rat love!!!

After volunteering, I met up with another friend for sushi at Nishino. I’m admittedly a sushi snob (fine, let’s be honest, I’m a food snob in general) and it might be my favorite out of only three sushi restaurants that I find worth going to in the greater Seattle area. I always sit at Mori-san’s sushi bar and he makes some of the prettiest, tastiest sushi ever. I started out being committed to staying paleo and got some omakase sashimi. But I could not resist ordering my favorite kind of sushi, which are nigiri that come sprinkled with ponzu sauce. I also like seared scallop nigiri, so I had to get one of those too. He also made us a special roll with freshwater eel. I usually don’t like most rolls, but this was great. I did tell Mori-san all about the paleo diet and explained that I don’t really eat rice anymore. He was actually pretty interested in the concept behind it as well as the health benefits. When I stray from the paleo way of eating, I make sure it’s the best of my favorite non-paleo foods. And Nishino has some of the best sushi around.

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I usually don’t like to eat before I do anything active, but I went climbing on a full stomach!  I got further than ever on this V3 on the big wall that I’ve been working on for the past few visits. I was maybe 4 easy moves away from finally finishing it when I gave up for NO REASON and dropped. Then I could never get as far on the subsequent attempts because my hands were burnt out. My arms were fine, my hands just start burning. I ripped up a couple of callouses again. However, I felt great that I could still get further than I did in previous visits. So there’s definite improvement in strength and coordination there! I’ll have to post video sometime.

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Wednesday

I had all these plans for yesterday. I was going to do the MMA workout and Muay Thai class in the morning like Monday. Then I had planned on going to hot yoga in the evening. None of this happened because I ended up staying up until past 2am become someone is out to sabotage my schedule. So I made all these back up plans to do other activities later in the day. Those never happened either. But it was good to have a rest day. I ate a lot of plain pan fried pork, 85-90% dark chocolate, and fruit from my CSA bag!! Much better than my last rest day, no? I was a lot more productive too, I played piano for 2 hours. It has been years since I’ve done that, I barely play now. It was a little depressing and quite humbling to not be able to play as well as I used to… lack of practice will do that to you. Pieces I had memorized are hard to get through even reading the music. But how I’ve missed Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, etc. etc. etc. I’m considering taking piano lessons again. As if I need more things to do!

So I bought a LivingSocial deal for 5 weeks of organic produce from Tiny’s Organic, which is a CSA (community-supported agriculture). Every Wednesday I pick up my bag of fresh, local organic fruits and veggies. I had always been intrigued by the idea of a CSA, but was worried about the quality and content since I don’t directly pick the produce. Well, I was blown away by what was in the bag! Not only was the small bag (for 1-2 people) actually pretty big and heavy, it contained so much stuff! Everything was super fresh and super tasty. I’m not even exaggerating. I am IN LOVE.

I arranged for pick up at the local YMCA. You just have to sign in and take your bag.

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I love that they come in reusable bags that you have to return the following week when you pick up your new bag.20110803-101453.jpg

Check out what was in this week’s bag! It comes with a sheet of paper with info on what’s in the bag as well as some useful recipes. I’ll have to look to see if there are any paleo recipes!

  • Lapins cherries
  • Flavor Supreme Pluots
  • Arctic Star Nectarines
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Summer Squash Mix: Costata Romanesco, Eight Ball or Floridor (I think I only got one kind of sqauash and I don’t know what it is)
  • Cucumbers: Armedian, Satsuki Midori, Lemon, Boothsby Blonde or Poona Kheera (there are at least 3 kinds of cucumbers)
“Above is the short list of what we hope to put in your bag based on what is ready when entering the fields on Monday morning.”

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Today (Thursday)

I’m planning on going to boxing and MMA workout this evening after volunteering, maybe staying for capoeira if I have the energy for a third hour of intense workout. i originally planned on going to morning classes, but my sleep schedule is all messed up. I miss being a morning person!! I’m trying not to eat all the fruit, but it may be half gone already…:D I’ll have to figure out what to make with the cucumbers and squash! Tomorrow morning I’m going climbing outdoors! On real rock! I am beyond excited since I haven’t been out all season. I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures!

August 1, 2011

Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls

On Saturday, I took my friend on her very first hike. I chose Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls because it sounded like a beautiful, moderate day hike to me (7.2 miles round trip, 2000ft elevation gain) and it was only about an hour away. As usual these days, I was overflowing with energy the entire time. I started at a brisk pace, but could not help but run every so often because I LOVE trail running. Then I would wait for my friend to catch up as she gave me death glares. It was really challenging for her on the way up, but I was so proud of her for trekking along at her own pace and not giving up. SO PROUD! I was probably super annoying with how happy I was running and skipping around. Several people on trail actually commented on my fitness and my speed as I passed by. I guess it’s pretty noticeable when most people are huffing and puffing slowly up the hill. I just have SO. MUCH. ENERGY. I get anxious going slow. My heart rate and breathing stayed moderate the whole time and the hike was easy on my body. No soreness whatsoever. I feel like I’m in better shape with each passing day. I consequently feel like I have to push myself to go further and faster, to lift heavier, and to do more than the previous day in order to just keep up with myself. Where is my limit? Is there a limit? I’m constantly impressed by my body’s ability to meet every challenge by becoming stronger each time. I’m not just living anymore, I am THRIVING. I’ve blogged about how incredibly amazing I feel eating paleo every day. I think I’ve reached a new level of amazing now that I’ve added exercise into the mix. It’s an everlasting natural high feeling this healthy and happy, inside and out. My one wish would be for everyone to attain this level of vitality and happiness – I’m pretty sure we’d have world peace as a result. Unfortunately, I realize that such a lifestyle is impossible for many people. I am incredibly lucky to even have the option to move and eat the way I do.

I took water, coconut water, raw almonds, a banana, 90% dark chocolate (higher the cocoa content, lower the sugar – I think this one only has 3g of sugar per serving and it has no soy or dairy), hot coppa, and prosciutto! Perfect snacks for a hike.
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And now lots of pictures of the hike!  I live in such a gorgeous state! I wish pictures could better convey the beauty of nature, but nature is really something you should see for yourself while out in it.
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Bridal Veil Falls
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That’s me! I had fun on all the big boulders.
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Silliness on trail.

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Lake Serene – the water is SO clear.

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The start of the falls and the valley below.

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The cold water felt sooo good on my feet on the way down. Have I mentioned how much I love my Vibrams?!? I can just go in the water, no problem.

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Post-hike meal: grassfed rib eye and a fried egg with sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, and onions

I was ravenous when I got back. Steak with a runny egg yolk is my new favorite thing!

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A peach for dessert… I also had some Coconut Bliss!

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I slept wonderfully on Saturday night and went to Bikram yoga the next morning. It was my last day at Hot Yoga of Woodinville since my Living Social voucher expired. I made sure to tell Sandy how much I’ve appreciated her guidance this past month and that I will definitely be back after I use all my other hot yoga vouchers. I saw so much progress in my yoga practice thanks to how much she cares about each student’s practice. I’ve mentioned before how she always shares words of wisdom during class. Yesterday she said that people who are attracted to Bikram yoga and practice regularly are very hard working people, that it’s difficult to teach them to relax. Now, I don’t know if I’d describe myself as “hard-working”, but I definitely have a hard time relaxing. My last post was about how I force myself to take rest days and how bored I am staying still. I started this post with how I always have to push myself harder and do more. My idea of relaxation is Bikram yoga, which certainly is challenging as well. I think it’s time to add meditation back into my life. A balance between relaxation and activity is key to a sustainable lifestyle and I am definitely skewed towards activity right now.

Ground Elk and Veggies

I have a lot of ground elk in my fridge.I had no idea what to make yesterday, so I threw a bunch of stuff in a pan and made myself something that looks like gourmet dog food.

  1. Chop up onions,mushrooms, zucchini, butternut squash, and garlic.
  2. Add veggies into sauté pan with olive oil and cook until squash is softened.
  3. Add ground elk until brown.
  4. Crack an egg into the pan and stir everything around.
  5. Tear up some fresh basil and add at the last moment.
I started eating it when I felt like it was missing something. One swirl of balsamic vinegar later, it was DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making this again. Nothing I love more than 5 minute meals!

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July 26, 2011

Being busy means less cooking, more eating out

This is turning out to be a pretty busy week combining activities, friends, and volunteer work. One of my best friends decided that she wants to live a healthier life without the prescription drugs for her auto-immune condition. So she is combining juicing with a paleo diet. Personally, I think juicing is overrated and usually leads to over-consumption of sugar (from all the fruit), but different things work for different people. She is also “shadowing” me and going to every workout/activity that I do this week. My other friend said, “I can’t believe she’s going from zero to Jeanna in a week… she’s going to die.” Haha.

It’s important to keep in mind that I was eating paleo for several months before I gradually added exercise back into my life. Now I am literally in the best shape of my life and feel absolutely amazing. I am in complete awe of how my body is responding to everything that I put it through. I can SEE improvement every single time I do something. Bouldering on Monday, I was able to get past the crux of a V3 I’ve been struggling with for the last week! I was SO excited. After only 3 hours of sleep, I somehow managed to get to Crossfit at 6am on Tuesday. The WOD was 5 rounds of 5 Dead lifts (95#) and 10 burpees after a warmup that included handstands, pushups, situps, and shoulder presses. I finished the WOD in under 6min, yay! Later that afternoon, I went to hot yoga and had my best class yet! I could never touch my forehead to my knee on some of the compression poses, but all of a sudden yesterday, there it was! My forehead. On my knee. Awesome. More bouldering today! I hope my friend is up for day 3! 🙂

I’ve been eating out a lot lately since I haven’t been home enough to really cook for myself. I think more and more of my friends are starting to try eating paleo or at least are very understanding of my choice to eat that way. I no longer feel like a social outcast because of my lifestyle! Not that I was ever casted out, it was my own personal choice.

 

Happy Hour at Peso’s Kitchen and Lounge in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood is amazing. So many food options for $4-6 each! And everything I’ve ever tried there has been super tasty! They claim to be the most visited HH in Seattle. I believe it, it was packed on late sunday night! The pictures are pretty bad, it was really dark and I had to use the flash.

My HH buddy and I ordered four plates to share. The Chevre-Stuffed Jalapeños wrapped in bacon are not pictured, but they were amazing!

5 Chile Seared Prawns
w/ Mango-Habanero Marmalade
ancho, gaujillo, New Mexico, de Arbol chiles
These were pretty spicy, but the mango came through to help with the heat. Delicious!
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Ceviche
I couldn’t find this on the online menu, but I’m pretty sure it was rockfish and halibut ceviche. I love ceviche so much, but I find that it’s only good 50% of the time. This would fall under the good 50%. I did not eat the the little tortilla thing underneath the ceviche. I nibbled on it and blegh, oily corn crisps are not for me.
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Ahi Tuna Tartare
Not sure what exactly was in it anymore since the online menu doesn’t have this one either, but it was delicious too! I love tartares. Raw fish is good, but raw steak tartares are even better with the egg yolk on top.
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Modified Greek HoboVoulas Offshore Cafe, Seattle
Post-Crossfit breakfast! YUM. The Greek Hobo is “Greek sausage, onions, mushrooms, hash browns, and eggs
scrambled together and topped with Feta cheese.” I asked for no hash browns and no cheese while adding tomatoes. Voulas usually gives you gigantic plates of food, but without the hashbrowns or toast, it was a much more reasonably sized plate of food that I could actually finish. The Greek sausage is awesome! I wonder what’s in it though…
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Holy BasilRacha Thai Cuisine, Woodinville
I usually don’t like to eat after hot yoga, but my friend and I went next door for some dinner. “Racha stir-fries are cooked quickly over high heat in heated Canola oil seasoned with seared garlic.” “Oyster mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, fresh minced red chilies & fresh Thai Holy basil.” I ordered mine with chicken, which was super tender. The only non-paleo part of this would be the canola oil, but I could live with that. This tasted super fresh, clean, and was full of flavor from the chilies and basil! I would definitely eat it again.

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