Tag Archives: Hiking

go outside!!

This weekend was perfect. After days of being in the house, classrooms, and laboratories, the weekend just screams go outside! On Saturday, my friend Erin drove to Davis to visit me from San Jose. We went to middle school together in Austin and I hadn’t seen her in years! She happens to be doing an accounting internship in San Jose for the summer, so hopefully I will get to see her a few more times before she leaves. The fact that you can go years without seeing someone and then have it be like no time has passed at all speaks volumes about true friendships. While we are both very different than we were in high school, we still meshed well and were able to connect in new ways. We saw Ted that night, and it was actually way better than I thought it would be. I usually avoid comedies that look…. you know… dumb, but it was cute and funny. A slight over-reliance on racist jokes, but pretty good.

Erin and I, overlooking Lake Berryessa

meet the newest addition to our house, Kathleen :)

Northern California is so beautiful. I am in love. The vineyards, the farms, the bay, the ocean, the people. I think I may want to cozy in here. :)

On Sunday, my friend Aaron and I drove up to Marin to visit Zoe. Before she got off work, we went to the Marin County farmers market. It is the best market I have ever been to. I am so sad and sorry I didnt take photos! I bought…

  • a pound of pasture raised goat meat
  • pastured sheep yogurt
  • maple whiskey jerky
  • an entire pastured roasted chicken
  • an entire pastured raw chicken
  • organic goat cheese

That roasted chicken came in handy for the 5 hour hike we took afterwords!

It was three hours, and perhaps 6 miles, up to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.

We were very hungry and slightly exhausted once we got to the top, but the views made it all better. Long hikes like these require the best company. I realized how much more fun it was being able to talk during the hike than the many times I have hiked alone in New Zealand or Tibet.

beautiful Zoe and Aaron, who wore a weighted vest…. 

We treated ourselves to burgers, Cobb salads, french fries, and honey lavender ice cream. Third day in a row (between two cities) that I have had honey lavender ice cream. Obsessed.

Honey Lavender from Scoop in Fairfax

Honey Lavender in my bed ;), from Davis Creamery

But until I figure out how to make my own honey lavender ice cream, you will have to settle for this friggin amazing chocolate pudding recipe. Seriously, this was so delicious that I ate the whole thing in one sitting. I had meant for it to be two desserts, but that didn’t happen. I worked out hard that day, damnit! Not that it really matters, since it is sugar free and dairy free and paleo approved.

Aztec Chocolate Pudding

Recipes: Serves 1-2

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 dropper stevia, to taste
  • big pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (chipotle is good too if you like it!)

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until nice and cold.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge. 

it seriously tastes exactly like chocolate pudding.

Benefits:

Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

Bananas * a good source of natural sugars, fiber, and potassium, which is key for electrolyte balance. A great source of carbs for paleo followers!

Cocoa * a dense source of antioxidants. Cocoa is also a great source of pre-biotics to feed the healthy flora living in your digestive tract!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Lake Tahoe! This weekend has truly been a blessing. Carlyn and I drove to Tahoe early Friday morning to her parent’s new home on North Shore. It is the longest period of time I have been able to spend with her throughout our entire friendship. She is the busiest girl I know. She wants to be a vet and apparently getting into vet school is even harder than med and law school combined. I have to fight for a sliver of her time between her two jobs, internship, and school – so obviously spending an entire weekend with her and her fam has been extra special. We have gone hiking…

We have tanned…

We have eaten delicious food and made fresh mojitos…

And simply enjoyed the beauty around us..

In 4th of July spirit, I have a recipe that can easily be made red, white and blue! Just add a few red sprinkles or cherry chunks ;)

Vanilla Cashew Blueberry Cookies

sugar free but delish!

soo creamy

Recipe: Makes ~10 cookies

Dry ingredients - 

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (can sub in sugar in equal quantities)

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

optional: dash cinnamon and/or tbsp brown sugar

Wet ingredients - 

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp cashew butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (except blueberries) and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Take a spoonful of cookie dough, roll into a ball, and flatten onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.

they were a hit –  literally gone in 10 seconds

Benefits:

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

New Zealand wrap up

After 12 days in lovely New Zealand, I am home! Getting back was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. After a three hour flight from the South island to the North island and a 12 hour flight to the US of A, I arrived at LAX. I figured I could just take Amtrak to Davis, so I hopped on the Flyaway bus. Once at the Amtrak station (after being propositioned to be “taken out to hollywood tonight” and then “driven up the beautiful PCH to Davis” by a total stranger), I learned that there isn’t actually a train to where I live. So I took a 3 hour bus ride to get to a 5 hour train ride and then topped it off with another hour and half bus ride. It was just so much fun. During the third bus ride I realized that I didn’t have a key and my housemates weren’t home yet. Oops. It’s all good, though!

I didn’t take pictures every day but I will post some of the best that I have to sum up the remainder of my trip…

My step sista Brittany’s house, see all the Tibetan flags and things?!

Her driveway and horse

New Zealand has the coolest yogurt flavors.

Unfortunately their greek yogurt has the same nutritional profile as regular yogurt..?

Pastoral

Farariki beach, which my mom just called “Freaky Beach”

And the best meal I had on my trip..

Zucchini bruschetta with goat cheese and mint

Amazing goat cheese salad with fresh pears, walnuts, endive, and croutons

BBQ scallops with chili, lemon, olive oil, and wild rocket

Beef carpaccio with gorgonzola Dulce, lemon, chili, rocket, and grilled baguette

Pan fried snapper with tomatoes, red onion, basil pesto, and lemon

Clearly, we feasted.

Although the trip was truly great, I am excited to be back home and get back into the swing of things. This includes cooking and blogging new recipes! The discovery that I enjoy some cheeses has opened up a whole new world to me…

Happy 2011 everyone!

Bird poop in New Zealand is clear, but in the States it is white….

I am not sure if the title of this post means anything, but I feel that it is worth noting.

Day 3:

Madre and I woke up and had breakfast at the hotel and then set out for what is said to be the prettiest section of the Queen Charlotte trek. Unfortunately for us, it began to rain pretty hard about an hour in. I did manage to capture a pretty photo between the bursts of rain.

After the 4 hour hike, we decided to drive all the way across the country horizontally to Westport to go on one of the most beautiful treks in the country, the Heaphy.

The drive was gorgeous. We passed through so many different terrains, including pastoral scenes of sheepies, jungle, thick wooded forests, and vineyards!

God?

We arrived in Westport late on Christmas Eve and Madre almost had a panic attack because no hotels were open. Eventually, we found a gem of a motel and crashed there. As I cozied into bed after a long day, I smelled this really strong odor of garlic-butter-onion-aioli. Is it me? I smelled myself and it definitely wasn’t me. I tossed and turned, each motion granting me a fresh whiff of garlic butter, and eventually fell asleep. The following morning is when I learned that you are always supposed to pull back the top blanket on a motel bed. The rich buttery scent was eminating from my blanket, which I had previously been so cozily curled up in. To be honest, the stench would have actually been half way appealing if I hadn’t been sleeping with it.

Day 4:

We woke up early and went to the lobby for the free continental breakfast and were met with fruit from a can floating in a vat of syrup, stale toast, sugar saturated yogurt, and fake eggs with canned mushrooms. Mmm.

Grossed out but full, we hopped into the car and drove to the portion of the famous Heaphy trek that we intended on hiking. It was gorgeous.

About 2 or so hours in, I started getting pretty loopy. My feet were heavy as stones and instead of focusing on the gorgeous scenes around me, I was looking at the ground. The sounds of nature were drowned out by my pounding heart and inner monologue “IM HUNNGRRYYYY!”

Just another hour… keep on walkin’. Ordinarily, I am against listening to music while hiking, especially in a foreign country. One should focus on taking in all the details of their surroundings and ingraining the beauty in their memory. You never know if you will be back there again, or if it will even exist. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I pulled out my ipod and started my favorite dance/workout playlist. It was like someone had injected me with adrenaline and seratonin. My pace quickened… I felt great. My favorite song came on and suddenly I could breathe, I could run, the trees parted for me and I was so free. It dawned on me…

I AM IN NEW ZEALAND! THIS IS AMAZINGGG!

With my mom’s back to me, I broke out in dance. Yeeee!

Finally, we reached our lunch destination on the beach. I devoured my canned chicken, crackers, nuts, goat’s feta, and apple. I layed out and napped while mom explored and then we headed back the way we came.

I spotted a creek of what looked like blood..

After seeing that, I quickened my pace a bit. I kept looking over my shoulder for a swarm of mosquitos, or towards the water for a stampede of frogs…

5 hours after we began, we arrived back at the car. We drove to Nelson and arrived at about 10pm last night. This morning we had a nice breakfast at the hotel (not really photo worthy though..) and are going to go pick up my step paps from the air port.

I miss reading all of your blogs! My reader has 78 unread! :(

Greetings from New Zealand!

Hello! I am currently in Portage, New Zealand! I left on Saturday around noon and arrived in New Zealand almost exactly 24 hours later. The 12 hour flight from LA to Auckland was actually perfectly comfortable. Being in coach on New Zealand Air (or pretty much any other country…) is like being in business on an American air carrier. Sad, but true.

I am meeting up with my mother and step family to spend Christmas with everyone at my step sister’s home! I am so glad to spend time with them;  it is a rare occasion that we are all together!

Day 1:

Land in Auckland and take a short flight to Nelson on the South island. Get a rental car and eat lunch.

Pan seared fish atop roasted asparagus and potatoes with sun dried tomatoes and buerre blanc

Explore the cute little town of Nelson and nap. Eat dinner. Pass out.

Interesante

Pan seared blue maki with pumpkin risotto, steamed asparagus, salt and pepper fried calamari with a balsamic reduction and a sweet red pepper sauce

Day 2:

Drive 2 hours to Portage. Go on a gorgeous 4 hour hike.

Slightly lost en route, but thats okay.

Mama’s behind.

I brought goodies to make lunch on the trek. Look at the cool stuff I found in the supermarket!

Whole grain crackers topped with goat’s milk feta, pumpkin-kumara hummus, and caramelized onion spread. A few with chicken as well.

Hello gorgeous.

After the hike, we cozied into the Portage Hotel and lazed by the pool. Then, we cleaned up for dinner and passed out once again.

SWEET JESUS. Caramelized pear, onion, and blue cheese tart with candied walnuts and vincotto.

Seared groper with caramelized fennel, puy lentils, and citrus Sambayan butter

The internet is being sketchy, so I must go!