Tag Archives: run

A Perfect Saturday Morning

I have had the most perfect Saturday morning.

One of my all-time favorite things to do on a Saturday is to go to a farmer’s market in the morning.

I love all the fresh, cheap, local produce…

(I got my produce for the week for less than nz$10!!!)

I love the atmosphere…

(Though these two were a bunch of hacks.  They were very poorly lip synching to their own CD lol)

But what I love most is getting a little treat for myself!

My parents always get a treat to share at Starbucks on Saturday mornings, and I like to think I am continuing their legacy.  I brought home a special pastry for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up….

Since we were in Rotorua last week, it was Alex’s first time and he we went ga-ga for the gourmet hotdogs, croissants (yes, plural, he got two), and smoothies.

He was also kind enough to pick up a special loaf of bread for an appetizer tonight!

Indeed, last night I finished The Other Boleyn Girl (loved it, obvi), so I was excited to go to the library to pick out a new book.

The Auckland Central Library is really big and new inside, but their selection is seriously lacking.  I looked for a bunch of the recommendations I got, plus books from my Bucket List, but they didn’t have anything!  I ended up getting these two books:

The one on the left might insult my intelligence.  The one on the right might make me suicidal.  I predict the chick lit will be entertaining and mood-boosting, but sometimes I need a little bit more substance, and world poverty is a huge interest of mine.  We’ll see how it goes!

I also perused the children’s section to find something for school this week.  I found this cutie.

It looks like a good message about friendship and self-esteem.  It also happens to be perfectly at most of their reading level!  Let’s see if the kids like it!

Once I got home, I went for a nice quick run!  My legs were feeling really tight, but the weather was sunny and cool, so I appreciated just being outside and going wherever my legs could take me.

For lunch, I had some roasted kumara I made yesterday and I threw together a protein salad.

On some chard and kale there were green beans, carrots, quinoa, and pumpkin-kumara hummus.  It was delicious, but nothing compared with my treat!….

A few months ago, I had a debilitating CinnaBon craving, which I conquered for the time being, but I’ve still been jonesing for a steamy, sticky, doughy, sugary, cinnamony bun…

Craving conquered!  For real this time 🙂  Hannah and I split one, and it was everything I thought it would be 🙂  I put it hot in the microwave and savored each bite.  Hello, YUM!

The Farmer’s market, the library, a run, and a cinnamon bun.  I hope the rest of my day is just as wonderful!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday?




Filed under Food, Life, New Zealand, Running, Student Teaching

20-20-20 Dash

I had a truly fantastic run this morning!  After my equally fantastic brekkie, that is…

instant coffee with soymilk

vampire toast

microwaved egg on toast with S&P

two dates with p’nut butt-

(Doesn’t it appear fancier when I type it in like that????!?!?!)

It was nice and filling, which was good news for my Friday morning run!  I woke up to rain, but I’m becoming familiar with New Zealand’s weather.  If you don’t like it, just wait five minutes.  After brekkie digested and the skies cleared, I headed out for a 20-20-20 dash in the sun.

What is a 20-20-20 dash, you ask?

  • 20 minutes speed walking (while listening to my Harry Potter 3 audiobook)
  • 20 minutes running (while listening to trashy running playlist)
  • 20 minutes speed walking (reverting back to HP)
  • 5 minutes of downdog, pigeon, forward fold, and handstands

I followed this breakdown and simply set out in one direction, then turned back at the 30 minute mark.  Secretly, I am always faster on the way back, so I used the extra 5 minutes to be stretchy.  I felt amazingly strong and energized during (and after!) this workout.  Though it’s a full 60 minutes of sweaty cardio, the walk sandwich makes it seem less treacherous while the run is still a challenge.  I’ll definitely be trying it again!

While I was stretching, Hannah placed a great surprise at my threshold!

A package of cookies (and crackers!) from her Nana in Maine.  WOW!

Incredibly soft peanut butter cookies, crispy savory crackers, and the cutest sugar cookies cutouts!

Hannah gave me a peanut butter cookie and a half, plus the legs of that lil guy.

But the crackers that were most exciting!  (They were the only contents of the package that showed a little wear and tear from their journey.  A miracle!)  They are made out of cheddar cheese, butter, hot peppers, and puffed rice.  Hannah warmed some up, and they were so crunchy and flavorful!

Thanks for sending them, Nana! (And Hannah for sharing <3)

For lunch, I had the last of my Chinese leftovers 😦  I’m so sad to see them go!

I put a lot of chopped kale in there to bulk it up with nutrients.

I’m proud to say that I’m actually making pretty good progress on research today!  I’ve got a good skeleton of an essay going…

Afternoon snack attack!

A green apple with p’nut butt-  How unusual!!!

In other news, I got to skype with Dominique this afternoon!  She even showed me her workout schedule:

I am oh-so proud.  (Our chat was even more special because it’s a very special day today!!!!!……..But what?  ;))

I have a VERY exciting weekend ahead: tonight we are going to our very first rugby game, then early tomorrow, we are leaving for a weekend trip to Rotorua.

What are you doing this weekend?



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, Running, School

Beneath the Surface

I miss UVM…

Watch this video!

Just one of the many reasons I love it so much!  We have our own Farmer’s Market, and it’s fabulous.  Plus, Feel Good, an amazing organization that is ending world hunger one grilled cheese at a time, sells sandwiches there!  Guess who is next year’s deli manager 😉  MOI!

It gets pretty cold selling sandwiches outside the library during finals. But we smile!

Imma manage that deli like it’s my JOB!  Well, it sort of will be my job 🙂  cheese + bread + changemaking = MY LIFE

My running fuel this morning was an instant coffee w/ soymilk and vampire toast:

I guess it wasn’t that flash that made it look like blood…my secret is coming out…

I went for a pain-free 30 minute run.  I wanted to go longer, but I played it safe.  Yoga was a good cardio workout yesterday, anywho!  To me, Ashtanga really is the most well-rounded workout out there: strength, stretch, and cardio.  It really puts your endurance to the test.  You try doing 10 sun salutations in a row, only one breath per move!  You’ll be huffing and puffing and sweating like a beast.  We tend to focus so much on how our workouts benefit us on the surface, like slinking off fat or building up sexy muscles.  But the most important benefits occur inside: healthy joints, healthy heart, healthy mind.  And yoga nourishes all three ❤

Once back from my run, I had a no-big-deal bowl of oatmeal (cinnamon + 1 spoonful of p’nut butt-)

I had a marvelous morning doing laundry! lol And preparing for the practical exam during class today.  It wasn’t too difficult, it was a test to see if we could administer New Zealand’s standardized math assessment.  Essentially, reading through a script and knowing where to go next per each response.  Easy peasy!

Lunch was leftovers from yoga dinner yesterday:

Potatoes with the most heavenly seasoning ever, and some kind of roll with tzatziki, spinach, and ???

I think more potatoes, maybe?  I also had a snack to hold me over until after class: 3 crackers with p’nut butt-

and a ginger slice as a treat.  Those fill me with so much DELIGHT!

See that dwindling foodstash behind me?  (We have the top shelf)  We are trying to hold off grocery shopping until this weekend, because some huge American college guy is crashing with us for two weeks…

Halloween (he doesn't normally wear a hat lol)

Hannah’s boyfriend is arriving next week, yay!  But we need to stock up for his hungriness, big-time.  It’s be a big haul, lol.  (And expect some man-friendly recipes soon!)

Thus, dwindling foodstash = this for dinner:

Good thing we had some in-stock!  The perfect brain-food for trivia tonight!

What benefits are you getting from your workout?



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, Running, School, Yoga

May Foliage

I started my day with a long chat with this crazy bunch:

My family in Pennsylvania!  That’s my sister Sam, my Dad, my dog Ghia, and my mom (She has a new hobby!

Collecting vintage Pyrex bowls!  It’s fascinating!  That’s my g-ma Gram L. creepin in the background.)

Once we said our goodbyes, I set out to try running again among the autumn foliage.

Good news! My run today was much better than Sunday’s!  I ran (with some walking for recovery, especially after/during hills!) for 45 minutes and saw lots of pretty leaves changing.  Nothing can compare to Vermont of course, but I’ll take it!

After doing a loop around the Domain, I intended to stop once I crossed the bridge, but instead I cranked “Shipping up to Boston” and pushed pushed pushed!  I did finally call it quits after one hard loop of the park near my apartment to “Dog Days are Over.”

I felt pretty good most of the run, with just some side cramping that is pretty typical for me.   I just walk it out until it goes away.  But also, my hamstrings were really tight from yesterday’s yoga, so I needed to stop and stretch a few times.

A fabulous lunch was waiting for me to heat up when I got home.

Though my practice wasn’t exactly perfect last night, dinner after yoga did not disappoint!  The studio I attend on Mondays offers a full vegetarian meal after class, included in the nz$14 drop in price for students!  Last night they served this lasagna, veggie soup, a side salad, real AMERICAN lemonade (“lemonade” here is really sugary and carbonated), and apple crumble for dessert (made with apples from my friend’s tree!)  Since I wasn’t feeling my best after class, my appetite wasn’t as rampant as usual–I can usually clean the plate!  I finished the soup and salad and a few cups of lemonade.  I don’t have to tell you that I was feeling well enough for dessert 🙂  But I brought all of the lasagna home!

It was amazering.  A HUGE bowl of spinach and kumara (sweet potato) lasagna was the perfect way to refuel after my run.

I also had a nice instant coffee with oat milk before class.  Gotta stay awake during the 2pm-5pm class somehow!

During class, we got the news that a tornado had struck just north of Auckland.  Traveling at 200km/hour, it swept away cars and roofs of buildings, injuring many people and killing two.  Luckily, I am home safe and the storm system has dissipated.  In comparison to the tornadoes in Alabama, it seems like nothing, but it is a huge deal for Auckland and New Zealand – stuff like this simply doesn’t happen here.  I am so thankful that I am safe, but those affected are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand

Auckland Inner City Dash

This morning, I woke up bright and early at 7am, ready to run!  At the same website where we got information about the Coast to Coast Walk, there is a section about running routes!  I found this great one near my apartment that goes through both Albert Park and the Domain – my fave places to run!

It is 4.5 kilometers long, and says it takes “approximately 30 minutes.”  ummm…with all those hills?  LOL! Maybe, if you are a cheetah!  I figured it might take me 45 minutes, a perfect length for me this morning.  However, once I hit the pavement, I wasn’t feeling very strong 😦 so I just shortened the route (didn’t go over to Myer’s Park) and walked whenever my bod wanted me to.  This resulted in me running up ALL the hills and only walking to catch my breath after each one.  Motivation courtesy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook, plus Dev’s “Bass Down Low” for one particularly rough hill.  I made it back to my apartment in 45 minutes, so it ended up being the perfect length!

When I got back home, I enjoyed a lovely cup of instant coffee with a splash of oat milk (the giant mug was clean-SCORE!)

plus a standard bowl of oatmilk oatmeal with coconut, cinnamon, and dried berries.

Just like dinner the other night, this has a hidden treasure underneath it, too!

A glob of crunchy peanut butter!  I love pouring my oatmeal on top of a spoonful of PB because it gets it all melty and it easily mixes in.

What’s your #1 motivational song?


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Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand

“Are you a vegetarian now?!”

I got that (sort of desperate) email from my good friend Tara the other day.  (Fun facts about Tara: she has been committed to a vegetarian diet for the past few months and she is currently living in Galway, Ireland!  and I miss her.)  I was a vegetarian for about five years, for animal rights reasons, until I started college and my roommate Jocelyn and our good friend Kelsey began to force feed me wings every so often 😉  We managed to keep it a secret until I felt too guilty and had to come clean.   Plus, after watching Food, Inc. I realized that it was not just the American meat industry that I didn’t agree with, it was the entire American food system!

So for the past year, I’ve tried to live as closely to a “thoughtfultarian” diet (as Kath described) as I could.  This means eating wholesome (organic, local, karma-free) foods whenever possible, wile not restricting myself AND sticking to my college-gal budget.

But I must be honest: I haven’t been happy or satisfied with that diet.  I still truly believe that animals can serve a much greater purpose in life than our dinner (just look at Heifer International).  My response to the veg question lately has been, “I have vegetarian sympathies,” though personally, I still identify myself as a vegetarian.  In fact lately, I’ve been even more closely identifying myself as a vegan.

  • I am trying to avoid dairy because of my skin issue and a slight lactose-intolerance I tend to suffer from.
  • I am trying to avoid meat because I believe in the life-changing potential of all animals
  • I am trying to avoid all animal products because of the cruelty they suffer and because I wish to eat karma-free
  • I may never be able to give up fish because of the strong fishing culture of my family and its unparalleled health benefits
  • I am trying to eat produce that is local, organic, and in-season for the sake of our depleting family-farm values, our environment, and its nutritional value

But at the end of the day, I’m not going to kid myself.  I know that right now I cannot commit to this diet because of money and my frequent traveling.   Though inside my little head I believe I am a “vegan,” I can’t publicly identify myself as such because I don’t want to offend those who do live a committed vegan diet.  But I can commit to awareness. I can commit to eating a wholesome, healthy, balanced diet, and that is the most important eating philosophy of all.

So what did I eat today, you may ask?  Before my run, I had a piece of wholemeal toast with crunchy peanut butter.  Best fuel ever.  On my way home, I stopped at The Juicery for a Green Monster!  My yoga friend, who owns the place, asked me if I was out “Sporty Spice-ing” lol!!

As I power-walked the rest of the way home, I enjoyed an ice-cold blend of leafy greens, apple juice, pineapple, banana, almonds, and sesame seeds (and I added chia seeds!).

Yay a new sticker for the collection!  For lunch, I had some very eggy French Toast.

Two slices of wholmeal bread dipped in an eggy mixture (eggs, cinnamon, a dash of oat milk) then grilled crispy-perfection

and loaded with mixed berries and banana!

On the way to class, I had one of my homemade oat bars:

It wasn’t enough 😦  I have class from 2-7:30ish every Wednesday.  Class is held in the Marae, a sacred Maori building in which you cannot eat or drink.  This is proving to be very challenging for me.  By the time class is over, I’m totally out of it with a headache and ravenous hunger.

(Class was very interesting today, despite my fatigue.  In Maori society, we learned about the mysterious discovery of New Zealand.  Maori tradition and Western beliefs clash!  In Leadership, we talked about the importance of being proactive.  We learned about the first female Maori Queen who was a pretty cool chick!  More on that later, I have to write a paper on it.)

Dinner was very replenishing and satisfying: lettuce wraps!

While I babysat the quinoa as it cooked on our ghetto stove,

Hannah cut some tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini.

I ❤ balls falafel balls

I love when I eat something that is also an activity, I had so much fun building my wraps!

I also enjoyed an Isaac’s Pear Cider.  SO refreshing!

The rest of the brownies were eaten for dessert.  I’m sad to see them go 😦  But maybe my next dessert rotation will be vegan!

What kind of diet to you try and follow?



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, School

St. Paddy’s Day & The Morning After

I woke up in a super-fabulous mood this morning!

Maybe that’s because I had so much fun out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends yesterday!  Look at Hannah’s adorable outfit!

The Sky Tower was wearing a pretty cute outfit, too!

Apparently, Auckland’s Guiness (my favorite beer) comes from Christchurch, and because of the earthquake, they had to ration their supplies of it so that they’d have some for St. Paddy’s Day! I’ve been living without it for a few weeks lol, but I was lucky enough to get one small glass last night!  They did run out pretty early, so I stuck with a “handle” of Mac’s Gold

Haha that’s what they refer to as a handle!  A bit different than American “handles”!  We hung out with some of our Danish friends.

And they brought along a new friend for us, a German!

We wanted to try and go to O’Hagans, apparently “the best” Irish Pub in town:

But the line to get in was ENDLESS…

We still had a good time hanging out among the crowd though!

It looks like Elf Yourself, haha!

We turned in before things got too crazy.  When we got home, we decided since it was the AM already, we’d make an early breakfast 😉

Shake and Pour batter with frozen berries!  A midnight snack was absolutely necessary, lol

The perfect way to end the night (and the antennae ended up with us!)

For my REAL breakfast this morning I had a nice big yoghurt bowl.

Chopped frozen mixed berries, raw oats, whole almonds, and some plain lite Greek yoghurt.

It had great texture. And flavor, of course!  After breakfast, I went on an excellent run through the Domain where I rocked out to my homesick playlist.  Usually all the hills wear me out super early, but today I was feeling pretty invincible!  But it was still really hard work and when I got back, I was feeling hungry, so I devoured a grapefruit.

And you know what, it fought back!  I got squirted in the face/eye too many times to count.  But I’m used to it, if you know me you know how prone I am to getting hit in the head with stuff.  But it also upset my tummy a bit since they are so acidic, so I had a few of these babies to settle my stomach:

Seaweed rice crackers.  We got a package of these for nz$0.50 last week at Countdown. Major score! They are really salty and crispy.

Hannah and I are headed out to go shopping soon!  Enjoy your St. Paddy’s Day, America!



Filed under Fitness, Food, New Zealand, Recipes