Monday, December 10, 2012

Juicing Day 6 - Lots of Pulp

There is so much pulp leftover after I make my juices.  I felt bad just throwing it away (as I don't have a garden or compost) so I looked up some recipes to make with the pulp.

Once recipe was to make vegetable stock, which is great to use in making soups.  The recipe is simple, add the pulp, water and spices and simmer for a couple hours.  Strain the pulp from the liquid and you have your stock.

Pulp simmering
If I had a strainer cloth this might have worked better, but overall it didn't make much stock.

Not a lot of stock
I did cheat a little bit this weekend, I had a glass of wine at a party and made butternut squash and apple soup.  I know I am only supposed to do 'juices' but having warm soup helped the emotional side so much that I didn't care.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jucing Day 3 - Warming Up

I have realized that doing a juicing cleanse in fall/winter is not a good idea.  While I crave hot tea, coffee and soups, I have to sip on refrigerated juices.

To help me keep myself from freezing and going crazy, I will be making puree soups out of veggies.  I found a bunch of recipes and am planning on going to Costco tonight to pick up the produce needed.

I had back-to-back meetings 10am-4pm today so I only had a small juice in the morning and then a small juice again after my meetings.  This definitely went against the juicing schedule, where they have you eat every 2-3 hours.
 I am so looking forward to warm soups

I am going to brunch with a couple of friends tomorrow so it will be my first real challenge - to go out to eat and not actually eat.  I will see if they have any vegetable soups and if not, then get some fruit to munch on.  I am ok with doing what is needed for my lifestyle, ordering and eating (!) fruit and such at restaurants. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Juicing Day 2 - Tired & Cold

Super tired.  Had a really hard time waking up and felt half asleep through my morning meetings.  Whether this is due to the juicing, the fact that I suck at sleeping or that I have low iron (just found out) and haven't purchased supplements yet, I don't know.

Still freezing at work, I think I will bring in a space heater to blast directly on me for the day.

Felt much better by the afternoon but I was so miserably cold that I didn't finish 1 1/2 of my last juices for the day.

By the time I got home I was so cold and tired that instead of my dinner juices I ate 2 avocados.  I know I am not supposed to 'eat' anything but I was so sick of being cold that I couldn't stand it.

So, with my avocados, I curled up under a blanket on the couch, snuggled with the kitties and watched Harry Potter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Juicing Day 1

Day 1 of juicing completed and I think it went fine.  I didn't drink nearly as much water as I should have but I was so cold (my office is freezing) that it was tough to.  In the afternoon I finally starting drinking hot water plain and warmed up a bit.

I went to Target yesterday evening to pick up some more nalgenes, as this is what a full day's consumption looks like:

There are actually 6 juices here, the first nalgene contains two.  Combined, here is what is in all 6:
13 apples
3 carrots
1 lemon
1 cup spinach
2 stalks celery
1 cucumber
1 pineapple
1 lime
1 cup kale
1/4 bunch of broccoli
1/2 red beet
1/2 zucchini
2 juices worth of fruit/veggies
 It takes me about an hour to cut up, create juice for a full day and clean up.  I make all juices the night before. 
I woke up with a bit of a headache today but I think that is due to dehydration.  Day 2-3 are supposed to be the hardest, so we will see how the rest of this week goes. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Juicing Day 0 - Groceries

My juicer arrived and I put together my shopping list for 2 days of meals. I already had some of the stuff on the list (apples, carrots, etc) so I purchased:

10 golden delicious apples
10 gala apples
2 avocados
1 red beet
1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch celery
2 cucumbers
1 lemon
3 limes
5oz kale
10oz spinach
2 pineapples
1 zucchini

At QFC this totaled to $49.  Clearly, I will be hitting up Costco this weekend.

Monday, December 3, 2012


On Saturday, I wasn't able to fall asleep so I spent more time that I care to admit browsing the interwebs.  I landed on Pinterest which is something I rarely check out but there are always time-consuming 'pins' there.  I ended up on a couple different blogs that talked about juicing which lead me to the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary.  At 1:30am I decided to watch it.

While the documentary itself wasn't that great, the message was clear.  Liquified fruits and veggies = weight loss, increase in heath and energy and a great detox of your system.

As many of my friends can attest to, I am a pretty healthy eater.  I primarily eat pescatarian and have very limited amount of carbs, and I don't drink soda or fast food.  I have been an athlete through college and still work out regularly, do endurance events and have a personal trainer.  However, ever since high school I have struggled with my weight.  I have gone to multiple doctors, have had everything tested and tried every diet.  I even tried hypnosis.

Everytime, the doctors tell me I am perfectly healthy and my heart breaks a little.

So, to continue my trend of trying everything in hopes that one day something will work, I am going to go on a "juice fast" for the next two weeks at least.

I gathered info from a bunch of places and am going to do what works best for me and my lifestyle.  I purchased a juicer, found a bunch of recipes and am excited to start.  I know it will be hard but it won't be the most difficult thing I have ever done.  I plan on documenting this cleanse as much as possible for the next couple of weeks.

The juicer arrives on Wednesday so will kick this off as soon as I figure out how to use it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

RSVP Race Report

Ride from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and Party (RSVP)
Total Distance: 189 miles
Average Speed: 14.2 mph
Total Elevation Gain: 7115 ft

This past weekend Heather, Ashley, Josh and I biked from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC.

Day 1:
Seattle to Bellingham
105 miles
Average Speed: 14.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 4400 ft

Start Line
Friday was the hottest day yet in Seattle, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90's.  This might not seem toasty to my CA and Texas peeps but keep in mind that Seattle homes and apartments do not have A/C.  This also meant that we didn't just bring the sample size of sunscreen bottle, we brought the whole thing.  I think I put on sunscreen 5 different times which caused a nice shiny layer for all of the following pictures.

Elevation profile from Seattle to Bellingham
At the start line, one of the swag items we got were fanny packs.  Ashley was in love.  Since there were only 2 food stops per day (comparable to other rides which have stops every ~15 miles) we had to bring a lot of food as well as all our fuel with us.  Ashley rocked hers both days, I wore mine just on the first day.

tall purple people

There were some mechanical difficulties on day 1 for Josh.  At mile 12 we went over a bump and his seat fell off.  Fell off!  He got picked up by a support vehicle and met us at the first rest stop (~35 miles). 
Sad face

Calling support
At mile 50 he got 3 (three!) flat tires while trying to leave a water stop.  Luckily there was a mechanic there and he was able to buy more tubes and a new tire.

flat tire 1
tube from flat tire

side of road waiting
Mile 90 is where the 9 mile climb started.  This was Chuckanut and took us into Bellingham and was the longest hill ever.  But had some great viewpoints.  We were staying at the dorms at WWU which worked out perfectly!  We took the bus into downtown, ate lots of food, drank a few beers and were in bed by 9pm.

view from Chuckanut

Day 2:
Bellingham to Vancouver
85 miles
Average Speed: 14.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 2500 ft

We woke up at 6am on Saturday and were ready to go by 6:30am.  Layers of sunscreen on again.

tired eyes
We grabbed some breakfast and food at Starbucks and prepared ourselves for the day.  We evaulated the course map, noticed that there was a hill called "The Wall" (see mile 30 below) and figured out where the 2 rest stops were so we could plan water accordingly.

Bellingham to Vancouver elevation profile
Majority of the roads we were on both days were long country farm roads.  Lots of flats, which was great, but also a lot and a lot of headwind (not so great).  It was really pretty and I only missed course turn-offs twice.

One of the higlights was passing through the Canadian border around mile 26.  They opened up a car lane for just bikes and barely glanced at our passports and race numbers, we didn't even have to take off our helmets or sunglasses.

border crossing
I also learned that British Columbia is "The Best Place on Earth" which I thought was a pretty bold statement.  Saturday was in the 80s which was much much cooler than the ride on Friday.

action shot
And lucky for Josh and us, Saturday there were no major mechanical problems.  The day went by pretty quickly and there was less climbing overall, but still had a couple intense climbs.

The finish was at the Coast Plaza Hotel in downtown Vancouver and it was a little anticlimatic.  I am used to the Seattle to Portland finish which ends in a large park where for the final mile, there are people lining the streets, giving high-fives, loud music and lots of finish line vendors.  Granted, there are also about 10,000 people that do the STP where for the RSVP, there were about 1500.  For the RSVP, we turned onto the street and were immediately directed to go down into the underground parking tunnel.  Dodging cars down there, we stored our bikes in the secured section and headed back up the ramp (didn't know where the elevator was) and wandered around to the front of the hotel.  We asked some people where we should go and they pointed inside where there was the finish line party.  We received a coupon for free food OR beer and had to buy tickets for anything else.  A burger cost $7.75 and beer $6.75.  We used the ticket for food and bought beer which was the Canadian equilavent of Bud Light (not tasty).  Plus, it was less than a pint so I wasn't too happy about paying nearly $7 for a tiny amount of cheap beer.  The outside seating was beyond packed so we found a table inside but the DJ had the music blasting way too loudly that we could barely hear each other while sitting beside each other.  Needless to say, we didn't stay for a second beer.

Our fantastic friend Danielle drove my car up from Seattle and picked us up from the hotel (which was booked) and drove us to the other hotel we stayed in.  We showered and went to a brewery in Gastown for second dinner.  Heather and Josh went to bed after dinner and Danielle, Ashley and I wandered around for another couple of drinks before walking back to the hotel.

Oddly enough, I am not sore from the ride.  The first day I had some achy joints and I was a little stiff after the car ride back but that has gone away already and I feel fine.  I loved being about to spend such great quality time with my friends!

Swim for Life Race Report

Medina Beach Park to Madison Park
2.5 miles open water
Completed in 1 hour 22 minutes

Kim, Emily, Amanda (our kayaker) and I did the Puget Sound Blood Center Swim for Life.  It is a 2.5 mile swim across Lake Washington.

The official picture(s) haven't been posted yet but here are some that Kim took before the race.  This is my third year doing the event and it was the best weather yet.  I have only swam a handful of times this year but I knew that I could make the distance.
Race start

We got interviewed by Q13 News but I am not able to find the report.  Here is another report done by KOMO News:

It was a fun swim and not a bad way to spend a Wednesday morning.  After we swam we grabbed some breakfast, showered and went to work.

Kim & I

Race start

Monday, July 30, 2012

Seattle Century Race Report

Kim, Ashley and I did the Seattle Century ride hosted by Portland Bike Club.  They have a 50 mile, 85 mile and 100 mile option.  Some quick details of the 100 mile option.

Distance: 99 miles
Elevation: + 5189 / – 5496 ft
Climbing Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult*

Our stats based on my bike computer:

Distance: 99.35 miles
Time: 7:35:50
Max Speed: 39 mph (not my PR)
Average Speed: 13.3 mph

Race map and elevation profile

The race start was at Magnuson Park where we met at 6am.  The race was a fully catered race which started with breakfast at the start line, then deli sandwiches on Dave’s Killer bread (yum!), pie from Remlinger Farms, strawberry shortcake, and ended with chicken and salmon dinner and unlimited free beer (more on this later).

Race start
At the first rest stop another ride asked us if our matching outfits were intentional.  They were.  Thanks to UW crew free gear. 

At the second rest stop (~30 miles in) Kim realized that she busted a spoke on her back wheel.  While there was support at each stop, Kim was so overdue for a tune-up (and new brakes!) that one of the volunteers just took a pair of pliers and tucked the loose end to try to alleviate some of the noise making.  This of course caused a significant wiggle in Kim's wheel and he suggested that we do the 85 miler and not do the optional 15 mile add-on.  We said we would think about it.

When riding, I always get a song stuck in my head and it just loops over and over.  To most, this would probably drive you nuts, but oddly enough, it doesn't really bother me, unless the song is not something I want circling in my mind for hours.  About a 1/3 of the way into the ride, there was a break in the clouds as the sun attempted to come out (and it did later, turning into a beautiful day).  This break in the clouds and seeing my shadow on the road beside me prompted me to think of Annie, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.  So, for the next few hours, that song played on repeat in my head.

I told the girls about this habit of mine, of which Kim particularly enjoyed and decided to give me a new song, The Motherf___g Pterodactyl.  This is a comic written by a local comedian/artist who is super funny, The Oatmeal.  Well, lets just say as soon as she mentioned this song, it was stuck in my head.

Within a few minutes, I was asking Ashley to provide me a new song (because you can only sing about a pterodactyl ripping you a new one so long), an easy gospel song to sing along with.  For those who do not know, Ashley is an amazing singer (currently recording in a studio actually!) and whenever we hang out she (oh so nicely) obliges our repeated requests to sing something.  At this time we had picked up another rider who was unaware of the private concert he was about to witness.  On a back road on the way back from Snoqualmie Falls, Ashley starts belting out He's Got the Whole World In His Hands and Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Loved it!

Snoqualmie Falls (61 miles)

As soon as we dropped from the falls, we climbed into Issaquah up a monster hill that has a fake descent in the middle that tricks you into believing the climb is over, but its not.  During this hill, I kept alternating our names (Steph & Ash, Ash & Kim, Kim & Steph) and sang He's Got the Whole World In His Hands in my head on repeat.  I think it helped.

At this point we knew the biggest climbs were behind us and we were back in familiar territory and on familiar roads.

At mile 95, Kim was leading the way (usually I lead in biking and she leads in hiking) and I was about to slingshot up a hill and as I came up on her I challenged her to the top.  I won by a hair, but it was more fun to be able to still have that type of energy at 95 miles.

Finish line!
We finished and quickly loaded our bikes on our bike racks, changed into flip flops and headed for food.  We quickly inhaled chicken teriyaki, salmon, salad and veggies.  There was a live band and table/chairs set up which was a great way to end the race in the sunshine.  Unfortunately, as Kim and I searched for the beer section (Ashley doesn't like beer) we realized that they set up the beer garden inside of the building, rather than making a separate section outside in the sunshine, with the live band.  After eating we walked inside to get our (unlimited) free beer.  They told us they were out of Co2 for the kegs and they told us to wait a few minutes as they got "more."  We assumed, "more" was more Co2 for the tasty beer.  However, we saw someone walk in with cases of PBR and Rolling Rock.  Their solution to running out of Co2 was to buy crappy beer.  Disappointed, we strolled over to the merchandise to see if there was anything fun to buy.  Ashley got a cute shirt and all three of us got cute biking pint glasses.  As I was waiting to buy my pint glass, I was chatting with a volunteer and expressed my disappointment at the crappy beer.  He turned out to be someone who ran the race and gave me the pint glass for free, which was very nice and unneccessary.  We grabbed some beers, sat down inside and drank them quickly so we could head home and shower.

Overall, the race was really fun and I liked doing a race course that I haven't done before.  Outside of the beer at the end I really liked it and loved experiencing it with some great friends.

*Climbing difficulty is a sliding scale is based on the following criteria: Easy: Gently rolling terrain with few short hills. Moderate: Has rolling short steep hills or moderate, sustained climbs. Difficult: Has longer, steeper hills or extreme terrain with frequent steep hills and long sustained climbs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seafair Sprint (but we thought it was Olympic) Relay Triathlon Race Report

.5 mile swim (Steph) - 13.30
12 mile bike (Heather) - 36.12
5k run (Aarthy) - 24.36

Going on 2.5 hours of sleep, I woke up Sunday morning at 4:30am for the Seafair Triathlon.  As my knee is in pretty bad shape these days, I was only doing the swim leg of a relay.  Heather would be doing the bike and Aarthy the run.

I showed up at the park around 5:15am with plenty of time for a warm-up before the anticipated 6am start time.  Well, as we were a relay group and Heather kindly picked up all our packets the day before, I was not able to get into the transition area until she showed up.  I don't think Josh enjoyed my 5:30am call to see if she was on her way as Heather's phone was dead.

Waiting outside of the transition entrance I was able to gawk at all of fancy bikes and gear many people had.  I ran into Rusty Pruden who was assisting a legally blind triathlete and chatted with them for a bit.  Amazing.
Aaron and Rusty at the finish

Heather and Aarthy joined me and we set up in the relay section of transition.  As we were chatting with others, we soon learned a few things.
  1. The relay triathlon was only a sprint distance, not olympic distance
  2. The relay start wasn't until 8am (currently around 6am)
  3. Try to stay warm for the next 2 hours
So we watched all of the olympic waves start, waited 23 minutes, then the sprint waves started.  I got a tiny warm-up, just enough to get wet and get moving.  They grouped us with the men 40-49 age group.
As I am a decent swimmer, I am used to getting a jump start and having some space in the swim leg of triathlons.  As we rounded the first buoy and I was still fighting my way through, I remembered that this was a relay and that all the swimmers out there are good swimmers, hence their reason for doing that leg of the relay. 

Since I have started regularly doing triathlons, I have trained my body to put a lot more effort in my pulling, rather than kicking as you need your legs for the bike and run.  I quickly had to focus my efforts in reminding myself to kick, and kick hard as this was .5 mile sprint.  I originally had hoped (when we thought we were doing the olympic distance) to break a 25 minute mile so I knew that this was a good chance to see how fast I could go.  However, with the lack of warm-up and the not warm weather/water, my breathing and stroke were not as smooth as I would have liked.

To transition where Heather totally kicked butt on the bike and tried out aerobars for nearly the first time.  It was pretty windy and she felt it on the ride.  It was interesting to watch all of the relay legs come in as everyone was actually sprinting on the legs.  I am so used to seeing endurance races that I really enjoyed watching people putting their everything into one part of the race.

Aarthy took off in her cute lululemon top and Heather I wandered over to the finish line to get some food.  I had to convince a volunteer that I really was in the triathlon in order to grab some noms. (I did a deck change right after the swim to get warm).

Aarthy came in quickly and we cheered and took this sweet photo where I look like a giant.
Winner winner, chicken dinner.

This is our official winner's photo as we were too cold to stick around for the awards ceremony.  If we did stick around, we would have gotten an award as 

We won the all-female relay!

Maybe next time I will swim more than once in the 6 months before the race.  Well done ladies, I can't wait for the next one!