Beyond Broccoli

In an effort to add more dimension to my blog, I wanted to talk about FOOD. Not from a nutritionist point of view, but from a girl, that happens to be an athlete and loves food point of view!  
I grew up in a food loving family, but not by any means what an “average American” would consider food loving...or food for that matter.  We didn’t consume copious amounts of sugary treats or greasy fried goodness. In fact, I recall my Dad candidly remarking “If you eat fat, greasy food, you’ll be a fat, greasy dude”!
I’ve been a lover of all fruits and veggies for as long as I can remember and gladly make a chocolate bar last the better part of a year!  (ice cream is another story)
Lucky for me, I realized young how different foods affect my body, opting for the ones that make me feel good, and keep me from feeling lethargic, lazy and, well…gross!

I will reiterate, I am not an EXPERT, I just listen to my body (sometimes more than others) and eat real food!

Since it's fresh in my mind, I'll start with Christmas dinner.  The only holiday tradition my family has, is trying new things.  No gigantic pile of meat, no mashed potatoes, none of what you would see in most homes, and I wouldn't have it any other way!


I was lucky enough to make dinner for my Dad who was visiting from out of town, and I, which entailed pan seared sea scallops w/ salt and pepper (cooked to absolute perfection. seriously), a side of steamed broccoli (perfectly cooked as well) sprinkled with cheese and we shared most of a demi baguette.  
You see the real star of this meal was WHO was at it, not what we ate.  And the lovely bottle of 2011 Beaujolais ;)

I was actually house sitting, so I had breakfast by myself, played with the dogs and went for a run with my virtual running buddy, all before meeting up with my brother's family for a little gift exchange.  Afterwards I took a quick nap and headed to my Mom's house.
Dinner turned out to be an unexpected treat!  I anticipated having leftovers from my Mom’s breakfast - our ONE  tradition is chili rellenos on Christmas, but she decided NOT to make it - what?!  And felt like stir fry - wha-what? DONE! 
What I love about going to my Mom’s is that she tells me what she wants and I get to create it! (I L.O.V.E. to cook)
So, we had chicken stir fry with absolutely stunning black rice.
It was not from a recipe or planned, so we just grabbed what was in the fridge and gave it a whirl!

Here’s what was in it:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ Red Onion, diced
4 large carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 turnip, cut into matchsticks
1 clove garlic, minced
Ginger - I thumb sized piece, minced
4 baby bok choy, sliced
5 mild chilies, sliced
juice from a mandarin orange
crushed red peppers
soy sauce (low sodium)
ginger-garlic seasoning & spicy Szechuan seasoning

served with black rice

Um - yum!

Sometimes we do plan further ahead, but whether we do, or don’t, it’s never a stress.  The nice thing about not having traditional holiday meals, is that there’s no expectation.  No one’s favorite dish goes missing, instead, we usually all find a new favorite! Better yet, if it's a disappointment, no worries, we weren't planning on making it again anyway ;)
This year, I encourage you to go beyond tradition and just do and/or eat what feels good!






If I told you the future of your dreams was a $2 lottery ticket away, what would it look like?

What would you do with your life tomorrow if today you won the lottery?

"I don't like to gamble, but if there is one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself." - Beyonce

YOU are the jackpot.  Do something EPIC with your life.


Running and movement

As a lifetime athlete, I have always had an intense fascination with the human body and how it moves. I've spent countless hours observing, researching and practicing movements to figure out the most efficient path for optimizing athletic performance.

Over the course of my life so far, I have competed in numerous sports from soccer to javelin to long-course triathlon and everything between!  Not only have I had countless hours of personal experience in training and competition, I've also had the opportunity to coach high school varsity athletes (soccer, basketball, volleyball, track, tennis, cross country, rugby and swimming), coach adult endurance athletes (swimming, biking, running and triathlon) and increase the physical fitness and strength of the general population at large as a Personal Trainer.

Here are a few things I've learned as both an athlete and coach:

  • Injuries are often a symptom of a larger issue.
  • Individuals do not all have the same level of body awareness.
  • There is not always one optimal movement pattern, but one that is best for each individual.
  • Successful athletes are a blend of physical talent, mental fortitude and relentless determination.
  • Intuition is underrated. Listen. To. Your. Body.
  • Mental skills take just as much training as physical skills, make time every day.

Though all movement fascinates me, running is no doubt where my passion lies.
Not too long ago, I finished my latest course on running through Bobby McGee, Total Run Transformation and I couldn't be more on fire about running and sharing what I've learned!

This is a great video that highlights some of the basics on running technique.


In run training, it's important to start with a sound foundation to build upon.  Strong before long.
One must first look at their own movement patterns, kinestetic awareness, range of mobility, stability, flexibility, strength and symmetry.   Every movement you make throughout the day represents habitual patterns which can help identify where inefficiencies originate.  Any compensation allowed to continue over an extended period of time is not only a sign of dysfunction, but can lead to injury.
Strength imbalances are a symptom of compensation and result in instability around the joints. This results in our bodies relying more heavily on smaller stabilizing muscles as the large muscles/muscle groups are not able to contribute effectively.  Once the stabilizers are over worked, recovery is compromised, reducing your ability to train consistently and more often than not, leads to injury.
In order to be able to maximize your training, it's exponentially important to reduce both your inefficiencies and risk of injury!

How is your body moving?  Take the time to check in with yourself.
Does what you are doing feel right?  It might feel easy, but the path of least resistance only the most worn, not the most efficient.
Have you seen pictures or video of yourself running and/or moving lately?  Ask a friend to help.
Do you have chronic injury/pain and treating the symptoms does not seem to be helping? If so, you haven't found the real problem yet.
Have you sought the help of an expert?  It's worth considering.

Remember -
Train hard, live well!




         1. Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful.
2. Expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.

I can't think of a day in my life I'm not grateful for! In fact, most days before I go to sleep, I write down 3 things I'm grateful for. This exercise is especially helpful on those "bad days", I am able to put everything behind me, go to bed with a full heart and look forward to the coming day.
On this day in particular, I wanted to share a few things I'm thankful for:
My family. There is nothing like unconditional love.
My friends. They keep me grounded.
Holidays. I love seizing the opportunity to express gratitude and spend time with loved ones.
Long weekends.
Rock concerts. LOVEd me some PEARL JAM this weekend. Best. Concert. Ever.
Training buddies. Having people to train with can make all the difference on long weekends with lots of travel, late nights and the previously mentioned concert.
Triathlon. I could not imagine my life without this sport and the community within.
Portland. Good people, good vibe, great food.
Road trips. Always an adventure.

Do you have an attitude of gratitude everyday?
Start by writing down one thing every night and reading it back in the morning.