Puerto Rico Adventures!

Back in the spring one of my BFF’s Caitlin and I decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico in the fall. I saved a portion of cash from all my gigs last spring in a piggy bank to save up for the plane tickets (so it wouldn’t get mixed in with my Europe savings) and bought my ticket in August!

We only had 2.5 days together as Caitlin left early Sunday morning and my flight was late that afternoon, but we had an amazing time! We stayed in two different hotels in Candado in San Juan and really enjoyed that part of the city. We had beach access and were in walking distance of most things that we wants to do in the city!

On Thursday we checked into our hotel, showered, changed and went out to explore/eat. We walked from Candado to Old San Juan, which was a bit of a hike, and settled on the cheapest Puerto Rican restaurant we could find. The main meal was probably the worst of the trip but we were starving and the appetizer was really delicious. The first hotel was a little place, nothing special but a good price. After dinner we stopped at an Italian place for drinks, we loved it so much we went there the rest of the trip for after dinner drinks!

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On Friday, after I went for a brutally hot run, we packed up and rented a car and drove out to El Yunque National Park for hiking, swimming in the waterfalls, and exploring the rainforest. It was about an hours drive and absolutely worth it!!! The views were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time there.

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We drove home, showered and headed out for dinner closer to our hotel, we decided on a Latin restaurant. Our mojitos came and they were very weird and our least favorite drinks of the trip so we were very nervous we had made a terrible mistake. But the mofongo was AMAZING. It was absolutely delicious and we were relieved.

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On Saturday we went to Old San Juan to shop around but lost of stores weren’t really open yet, which was disappointing. We had delicious mallorca sandwiches for breakfast and packed up at our hotel, and walked down the street to the La Concha resort. My dad had gotten us a night there with his Marriott points and it was an amazing hotel. I HIGHLY recommend it!

We sat out on the beach Saturday afternoon and then walked down to the lagoon and went stand up paddleboarding which was sooo much fun!

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We had dinner at a fabulous Cuban restaurant and finished the night off with dessert and drinks at our favorite Italian place (di Parma’s).

Sunday morning Caitlin left and I ran on the treadmill and lifted some weights in the gym before an awesome breakfast and a last few hours on the beach.

It was fabulous and I already miss it!

Mileage – yoga, rest day

QOD – Relax.

Helloooo October! (1 week late)

Yesterday was the final performance of Baylor’s production of Into The Woods! I was playing in the pit, which made for a crazy two weeks since we had only 1 night off in the almost two week run (we had tech rehearsals the first few nights of week 1). It is an amazing show though and I had a blast playing Sondheim’s music! I’m pretty excited for the movie coming out in December! Anyone else?! Official Trailer in case you haven’t seen it!

During the show I managed to get in all of my weekday runs and workouts except 1, I was just too exhausted that morning. Most importantly, I ran a 9.25 miler and a 12.5miler on the two Saturdays. I knew if I didn’t make it through the show weeks my training plan might be ruined – but I survived!
I’ve also been working on a scholarship application for a possibility after graduation, which is due THIS week. On top of class, recital prep, and thesis writing. So it’s been pretty insane in my world, but hey I’m a busy bee kinda-gal.
But I made one healthy meal for my lunches this week that is super delicious so I had to jump on here and share. Honey Lime Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn. I made this sweet potato taco filling sans honey, and I am eating it on it’s own with some avocado and it’s just too good!
I also made an incredibly delicious and easy breakfast pastry (not clean but not too terrible for you). Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. I didn’t use all the butter and I didn’t make the frosting, which makes them a smidge healthier. I only kept 3 out and froze the rest to have for breakfast the next 2 or so weeks.
Mileage – 7 miles
QOD – “So many people are insanely busy nowadays, and it’s easy to say, ‘Ah, I’ll workout tomorrow.’ But you have to set aside a time and stick to that schedule.”

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New Recipe Favorites!

The past 4 days I’ve been working like crazy for my assistantship (auditions and making orchestra folders) and at my new part time job (bookstore so we’ve got textbook mania going on right now). BUT I’m hoping as I settle into a schedule I can make my blogging more consistent.

I’ve been chipping away at my runs – most sitting in the 3-4 mile range as I readjust to 80 degree heat even at 6am and making sure my legs are healthy and ready for marathon training. Mileage buildup for pre-training prep starts again this week! 

I’ve also been cranking out new recipes and I have two awesome ones to share. 

First is a collection of smoothie recipes and tips on freezing them! I made 3 weeks worth – and while I LOVE the recipes and the concept – I don’t have quite the time once I get into the semester to blend one up every morning and make sure the blender is clean for the next day (you have to dry it fast or the fruit cakes on, even while soaking). I’ve been eating them with my muffin tin eggs but I may go back to something I can have fully cooked on Sunday and just grab and go every morning once I run out of all my smoothies. I love the smoothies because I control all the ingredients in them – I even eliminated the apple juice and water as my liquids and have just been using fresh pressed orange juice for all of them. 

The second is one of my dinners for this week and I am possibly now obsessed with this dish. Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad! My only changes were that I used a microwave steam bag of broccoli since I had it on had and I used just bottled buffalo sauce because it’s a personal favorite – I also may have added extra cabbage and carrots. I love all the veggies mixed into the salad, the protein, and I get all the taste of buffalo wings (a personal favorite) without the frying and creamy bleu cheese dressing! Plus it made enough for 5 meals for me easily. It also cooked up quick – I had everything ready to go in 30 minutes. 

Not the prettiest but dang delicious
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Time to get back to practicing! 

Mileage – 3.3 miles, Nike+ Training “Sculpted Arms” workout

QOD – Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
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Sunday Grubday – European Style!

Sorry for going MIA upon my return – I was working and spending lots of time with family and friends! I’m currently at my family’s happy place – Bethany Beach! But onto the post I previously promised…

The food in Paris and Italy. Yep, I miss it already. The funny thing about eating overseas is I can eat out daily (although I didn’t), never have any stomach problems, and eat all the foods that I love but rarely eat in the States – aka carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

A well picked restaurant means fresh ingredients and all the processed nonsense that messes with my body in the US just isn’t in the food – but even European processed food is usually cleaner than American. I didn’t eat out everyday because I honestly couldn’t afford that and a good portion of the trip there was no need!

In Paris we went out to one fancy dinner the first night and for a few days I lived off sandwiches from a bakery and fruit I bought at the store. I usually ate a hearty breakfast of yogurt, fruit, “granola bar” things, and fresh cheese. The last few days all my lunches and dinners were fruit, some cucumber, and sandwiches I made myself from a loaf of bread, world’s best goat cheese, and simple sausage I picked up in stores in St. Germain-de-pres.
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I found these stores through an interview with Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) where she listed her favorite shops in her Paris neighborhood! I’m not joking, the cheese was seriously the best goat cheese I’ve ever eaten and despite it’s cost I would go buy it again in a heartbeat and it lasted for 6 or 7 meals!

In Assisi we were provided a huge breakfast spread every morning by our hotel. I usually ate eggs, fruit, and granola in pineapple yogurt (no really it’s delicious) or a croissant with hazelnut spread. The croissants were baked during the night and we could always smell them when we came in for the night!

For lunch I bought peanut butter, bread, and fruit, and would snag something snacky from breakfast and that lasted me about 10 days. When that ran out I would go to the local market and get an amazing sandwich with fresh sliced meat and cheese for less than 3€!

Our dinners were really something. We had many courses with bread always on the table to start. Then antipasto, a soup and pasta OR two pastas, then a meat, cooked vegetable, raw vegetable, then a small digestif salad before dessert. The desserts were usually something you can serve a large amount of people quickly so we would of course have gelato after the last concert. The antipasto, pasta, and soups were usually my favorite dishes. I also LOVED the raw tomatoes – which normally I don’t like – and amazingly fresh watermelon we were frequently served.

I saved my real pizza eating for Rome because the pizza in Assisi was more American style with a thick crust. I love truly thin crispy crust and pizza Diavola, with spicy salami and cheese, is my absolute favorite. I ate at least 5 pizza diavolas during my 7 days in Rome and tried a few other pizzas as well. I also got pasta and sandwiches.

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One odd thing I noticed now that I was paying for my own meals in Paris and Italy is how insanely expensive salads usually are! I mostly ate carbs and protein because a salad menu could start at 15€! I definitely will be enjoying lots of greenery over the next few days because I’ve missed my leafy greens.

If you can buy, store, and make your own sandwiches, meals, etc with fresh local ingredients while traveling in Europe I highly recommend it! It’s not only cheaper but you’re eating like the locals rather than possibly getting trapped at a touristy restaurant.

Sorry, but not really, I just rambled about my eating for the past month – but for me it was way out of the norm, delicious, and something I wanted to share!

Post coming soon about some running updates!

Mileage – probably a gym day, not sure yet!

QOD – Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.

Airport Post!

Hello from one of my new favorite cities – Copenhagen!!!

I had never been dying to go to Denmark, my favorite Scandinavian country being Finland, but since I had such a long layover I had to go out and explore. It took a 13 minute metro ride and a turn out of the metro station for me to fall in love with the city.

I love being near the water, smelling the water, feeling the wind – so a canal city like Copenhagen is my kind of place. My favorite big city in Italy is Venice! The weather was chilly so I was glad I wore my sneakers, jeans and jacket and I stashed the rest of my stuff in a storage locker at the airport.

I first visited Nyhavn where Hans Christian Anderson, the fairy tale author, lived in several building that still remain and are well marked. Lining the canal are brightly colored historic buildings filled with shops and restaurants that weren’t open since I got there at 6am.

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Then I walked around for the next 3 hours, mostly along the water but into some other squares as well. I saw the Royal Danish Theatre, the amazing new contemporary opera house, several gorgeous parks filled with fountains and statues, AND The Little Mermaid.

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The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney film growing up, but even after I’d read the H.C. Anderson original fairy tale I still loved the story so I was a woman on a mission to find the statue today.

I really enjoyed my brief time in Denmark and I learned that in the beginning of July Copenhagen has an amazing jazz festival and at the end of the month an opera festival – so here’s hoping that I will be back!!

I’m hoping to do a FOOD post from my trip soon – maybe start writing. before my flight if I get ambitious! But next time I post I’ll be back in the USA!!!

Mileage – stretching awkwardly in the airport, sitting on an airplane rest, and vacation workout challenge a home

QOD – A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

Last Day in Assisi! Plus running in the rain.

Today is my last day in Assisi before I make my way to Roma!!! I’m sad to be leaving such a beautiful town with some of the kindest people – we’ve met many shop owners, restaurant employees, and religious men/women who are generous, welcoming, friendly, and helpful.

The weather hasn’t been the kindest to us the past few days but I’ve kept on running around the city and added a path outside the city towards the surrounding neighborhoods. Today the fog was crazy and yesterday was my day off.

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But on Sunday I got rained on and when the rain was coming down hardest an elderly Italian gentleman stumbled upon me and offered to share his umbrella. I accepted and then went on my way when the rain lightened up. It was actually really therapeutic to run through the mountains with the light rain coming down.

Yesterday we went to the gorgeous Lake Trasimeno and took the ferry to the Islo Maggiore, where we wandered the beach, had some delicious pizza, and ate gelato on a pier before a storm came and rained out the rest of the afternoon.

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Tonight I’m page turning for the pianist during the final opera performance and then my group of friends is celebrating the end of the festival!

While I’m sad to be leaving I definitely plan on doing the festival again and I’m so looking forward to Rome!!!

Mileage – 5 miles, workout challenge

QOD – Run in the rain.

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Fitness Friday (a little late) from Assisi Part 2

Lack of internet means late posting! The adventures of traveling!

YOGA 

How does your body change when you do yoga? Check it out!

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RUNNING

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WORKOUTS

SarahFit brings you more great workout moves for the bikini body crazy!  

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MOTIVATION

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Mileage – Running rest day, Yoga for Runners (so happy I have working YouTube because these hills are killer) and workout challenge

QOD – Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.

Fitness Friday!

Hey all! 

I’ve stocked up on my Fitness Friday articles and workouts so I’ll have plenty to share while I’m out drinking eating running my way through Europe! And of course I’ll be playing plenty of bass. But here are today’s picks coming to you LIVE while I lay on the ground pretending to stretch after my run… (I promise I’ll do my yoga later!)

YOGA 

As a musician and someone who has had surgery on both wrists I love this – especially for difficult balance poses like crow! How to protect your wrists in yoga!

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WORKOUTS 

Another great workout from Pumps & Iron for stairs/stadiums – think they’ll let me do this workout in the Colosseum?! 

I haven’t tried many but I love the concept of these 30 minute video workouts – Bikini Workout from FitSugar

RUNNING

Here’s an AMAZING plethora of motivational posters from Runner’s World… I have to share but I will probably be using some of these again and again! 

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MOTIVATION 

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Mileage – 7.15 miles, Yoga for Runners, foam roll 

QOD – Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time.

Vegas and Hiking in Red Rock Canyon!

Greetings from Las Vegas! I’m on a long weekend vacation with my family belatedly celebrating my brother’s 21st birthday and Father’s Day of course! While we’re certainly enjoys the drinks, dining, and gambling in Vegas we also planned a trip out to Red Rock Canyon for a hike.

My family is an active family, as I’ve shared before, but I’ve never talked much about our hiking adventures when I was younger. We really loved mountainous vacation destinations and always took advantage of the hiking available to us. We’ve hiked in the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Adirondacks, Appalachians, and the Canadian Laurentians!

We started traveling abroad several years ago and our last hiking vacation was cancelled due to injuries so we haven’t hiked as a family for awhile so this hike was a must-do for us!

It was so much fun!!! We only hiked 2.8 miles round trip, but there was a fair amount of rock scrambling on our trail. But our view at the end was worth it!

Since I went for a long run on Friday and I knew I’d be putting my legs to work later yesterday I woke up early thanks to the time difference and got in 45 min on the elliptical and some upper body weights before the hike. Today I woke up early again and hopped on the dreadmill treadmill for a 5k with a negative split goal. I put some walking on either end and did some more arm weights since I’ve been neglecting my poor arms recently.

Time to go clean up for a night out on the town!

Mileage – 3.1, walk, weights

QOD – What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

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