Posts tagged ‘elk’

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 28, 2011

Steak and eggs

I feel super lazy today. I went climbing yesterday, but didn’t do too much because I wanted to save everything for Crossfit this morning. Except I didn’t make it… I slept in! I suppose I can go to an afternoon session, but I’m never as motivated in the afternoons. Maybe I’ll skate and do hot yoga today. I feel obligated to exercise these days because I have so much energy. I can’t sit still anymore!

Elk Steak and Eggs
I always thought that steak and eggs were a strange breakfast, so I had never tried it. Why would anyone want steak for breakfast? But I had a small elk steak and eggs and not much else in the fridge for breakfast. My life just changed. I love steak with over easy eggs so that I can dip the steak in the egg yolk! This kept me feeling satiated for at least 4 hours.

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Steak Tartare Café Presse, Seattle
After climbing, I volunteered for a couple hours and had a half hour break before I had to go to an HIV 101 class mandatory for all volunteers. So I speed walked over to this little French cafe for some quick food. What is quicker than something that requires no cooking? I ordered the steak tartare – “Raw, hand-chopped and seasoned NW Grass Fed sirloin and hanger steak, fried potatoes, watercress salad.” Local grass fed steak tartare?!? YES!!! I skipped the potatoes and asked for extra salad instead. The server didn’t know if it was possible to get extra salad, but he said he’d try, so I’m not sure if I did get any extra salad. I had been craving steak tartare all week so this was perfect. However, I could have really used a nice over easy egg with it, or at least an egg yolk on the tartare. It was also pretty salty because of the capers. Now, are capers even paleo? There seems to be debate on that.

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July 25, 2011

Elk steaks and trail running

On Saturday I went hiking with a friend and his sister’s two Siberian huskies to Wallace Falls. It was about 5.5 miles round trip. I like hiking, but I like trail running more. I’m not patient enough to enjoy the scenery at a slow pace, I want to get to whatever the main attraction is asap. So my hikes always turn into trail runs! I LOVE trail running, especially compared to running on pavement or on a treadmill (waste of time!). I love the softer surface of dirt, the varied terrain, the elevation gain, and the agility needed to maneuver around any tripping hazards. I’m actually pretty clumsy until you get me on a trail! It’s super fun for me. I wore my Vibrams and am even more in love with them. I love being able to feel the ground and how my foot reacts to the different surfaces and angles. I felt so much more secure running up steeper parts of the trail and I loved how light they were on my feet, like I wasn’t even wearing shoes! I ended up taking both the dogs because my friend had a bad knee and was too slow for me. Funny thing is, I had so much energy that I ended up pushing the dogs a lot (with my hands on their bums) on the way up. They decided to run on the way down and so I was running down hill while pulling them back. What a workout!! Because of where the dogs were in front of me, it was really hard to see where I was going, so my run wasn’t as efficient. I ended up being pulled to land really hard on a root with the middle of my left foot. 10 hours later, it hurt really bad. I could barely sleep because it was cramping up so badly! The next morning I couldn’t even walk on it, but I went to Bikram anyway… and guess what? It was 100% normal afterwards! Hot yoga is miraculous!!!

The trail follows the river for the first mile or so. The dogs enjoyed dipping into the water.

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I took along almonds and clementines as snacks, along with lots of water and coconut water. I would have loved to have some jerky or prosciutto too! Not sure if you can see very well in this pic, but there are callouses forming on my hands from climbing and crossfit.

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The upper falls!

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The middle falls were much more spectacular.

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Elk Round Steaks

When I got home, I made myself elk steaks! Look at how dark and lean the meat is! I really enjoy the flavor of elk. It’s mildly gamey and tender if you cook it right. I sear both sides on a cast iron pan and stick it in a 400 degree oven for only about 2 minutes for perfect medium rare steaks. These steaks were pretty thin and they cook much faster because of the lack of fat. I seasoned them with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasonings.

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While the steaks were good plain, I couldn’t help but make the balsamic vinegar, chicken broth and shallots sauce that I first mentioned in this previous post. This time I added some garlic to it. SOOOO GOOD. I would have loved mushrooms with this. I have more ideas for the rest of the elk meat I have. I think a huckleberry sauce with mushrooms would be awesome with it! 20110725-015057.jpg

 

 

I’m definitely going to be trail running every saturday morning from now on!  5-10 miles with plenty of elevation gain. I love being outdoors in the fresh air amongst all the trees I love so much. 🙂

 

 

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