Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Gadget

Ladies and gentlemen feast your eyes on my new running companion, the Garmin Forerunner 305.

I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while, and I finally splurged on it. It has GPS, so can accurately tell me how far I've run. It tells me my pace per mile, so can encourage me to run faster. It can also tell me my calories burned and my heart rate. Overall, it's a little piece of technology that will help me get more out of my runs.

I know, it looks gigantic- they make iPads smaller than that, don't they?

While the 305's appearance is sizable, it is really light. I wouldn't say that I didn't notice it was there, but I attribute that to never being a watch wearer. I have never owned a watch before and I don't ever wear bracelets. I think I will just need to get used to having something around my wrist.

Does it look all that bad on? I hope not.

I took it out on its first trial run today, and it went swimmingly, or should I say runningly. I definitely think that it encouraged me to keep a faster pace throughout my run and helped me to push myself harder.

And here are the specs;

6.19 miles in 52:56. My average pace per mile was 8:33. The fourth box tells me my current pace, which is apparently about 40 minutes per mile while sitting :)

I also set the timer to stop when I stop moving, so when I have to wait for a stoplight, it doesn't count against my time or pace.

I am pretty excited about my new running buddy, and can't wait to take her out for a spin tomorrow!

What's for Breakfast?

I love breakfast! On days that could seem lackluster I just think about breakfast and it perks me up and gets me out of bed.

I used to be a pretty religious cold cereal with soy milk kind of person. But, as I started to become more conscious and wary of processed foods, I looked at the labels of my cereals and was less than happy with how many ingredients were listed therein

In an effort to eat more whole foods without added ingredients I turned to oats- a super whole food loaded with healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. I eat Coach's Oats because they are guaranteed 100% whole grain, while most flat pressed oats and rolled oats can lose some goodness through processing. This whole bag was $5.99 at Costco and has lasted me for months, eating it every day.

To change it up a bit, sometimes I add this 7 Grain Hot cereal by Bob's Red Mill. Overall, Bob's Red Mill makes really great products, and their cereal has 7 whole grains and no other additives. This cereal mix gives my oats a nutty flavor that I really enjoy.

Today my oatmeal consisted of:

- 1/4 c mix of oats and 7 grain cereal
- 1 small banana sliced and cooked with the oats (it disappeared into the mash, but the flavor stayed present)
- handful of fresh blueberries
- large dash of cinnamon
- drizzle of agave nectar
- 3 crushed walnuts

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Long Distance Sundays

How I love my long runs on Sundays, let me count the ways!

1) Running around the scenic crater, Diamond Head.

2) Looking out to the ocean and watching surfers for about 2 miles.

3) Minimal cars on the road.

4) Lots and lots of
runners and bikers getting their sweat on.

5) Post-run smoothies!

6) Not drinking any alcohol on Saturday and going to bed early to get up feeling great for my running date.

7) An intense feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction on a day that can otherwise be somewhat melancholy.

This week was a scale back in mileage in terms of my long run. I did a wonderful 8.6 that felt really great the whole way through. Pre-run was a snack of banana and peanut butter. My post-run recovery smoothie had all of these goods in it.

- frozen banana, strawberries, and blueberries
- 1/2 papaya
- spinach
- silken tofu
- soy milk
- mango nectar
- Maca powder
- flaxseeds

Yum! Now it's time for the Women's Word Cup finals, go U.S.A.!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hoofin' it to the Farmer's Market

Happy Saturday!

There are always two things that I want to accomplish on Saturday morning- running and the farmer's market. Since it's better to do both as early as possible I joined the two together and ran to the farmer's market.

I ran 4 miles to Kapiolani Community College, where the market is held, and Tim drove to meet me there with coffee and bags in tow. We did so well today, and got really amazing produce.

Apple bananas, bell peppers, Okinawan sweet potatoes, Molokai red sweet potatoes, roma tomatoes, radishes, gold beets, long beans, zucchini, Manoa lettuce, red leaf lettuce, baby kale, and spinach! Guess how much all of this wonderful fresh food bought straight from the farmers that grew it was....$25! Gotta love Saturday mornings.

Now we're off to the beach, have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rainbow Chili

Chili is great because it is jam packed with protein, which makes it hearty and filling. What I don't like about most chili is that they are usually monotone, my brain and tummy sense something amiss when they don't see any green on my plate. This is no reason to discount chili because I don't think that there is any reason not to marry traditional chili's protein punch with an array of vitamins and nutrients by adding some fresh veggie's. When I cook or make a salad I love to see as many colors as possible because it means that I am getting a good variety of nutrients, hence the name of this recipe-- Rainbow Chili.

Above are the ingredients that went into the crock pot for the chili, all except the mango. I bought the mango along with some of the other produce, and thought it looked pretty.

There is nothing better than chili in a crock pot, it really allows the flavors to come out and simmer together, it also allows one more freedom to get other stuff done because you can throw it all in and forget about it for a few hours. So while this recipe can be done on the stove, this is what went into my crock pot.

- 1 yellow onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 sweet peppers
- 2 Hawaiian chili peppers
- 2 ears of local corn
- long beans
- kale
- Okinawan sweet potato
- 1 can each of garbanzo, black, and kidney beans
- 1 can of tomato paste
- chili powder and cumin (sorry, I do not measure out spices, I add some taste, and repeat)
- Salt and pepper
- honey

This is a picture of the veggies representing the colors of the rainbow. I let those cook for about 2 hours before adding the beans, since the beans are already cooked.

And this is a picture of the final product. It turned out really amazing, which can be vouched for by others. Another great feature of crock pots and stews in general... leftovers! Can't wait to eat this again tonight!

A Fruitful Afternoon

I was able to work from home this afternoon, which means that I was able to multitask and do other things around the house, which has really translated into lots of time in the kitchen. When it rains, it pours- I made lunch, then got dinner going (I have a mean meal in the works, but you'll have to wait for the recipe), then made a snack, which consisted of this.

All in a blender.

- frozen strawberries and blueberries
- 1/2 apple banana
- 1 small papaya
- mango
- soymilk
- 1/4 cup of silken tofu
- honey

Delicious! And also excellent fuel for the run ahead of me, I've got 7+ hilly ones planned. It makes me laugh when I read in Runner's World about the need to incorporate one hill run per week. Why is this funny you ask? Well, because ALL of my runs are hilly runs, due to the lay of the land here. Living in a valley I have to run up a hill coming towards my house, down a hill going away from it, and many ups and downs in between. So when my training plan says I should do hills they are certainly not hard to find. So send me your energy, shortly I'll be running towards these.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meet the Fam

I'd like to introduce you to the people that will be making regular appearances on this blog, both to familiarize you with them and to allow me to further use pronouns at whim.

Here's the happy family, Tim, Griffan, and me, Stef.

I am a graduate student in education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I am currently halfway through a two-year program, which will allow me to become licensed to teach primary education (watch out!) and will also tack on some more letters to my name (M.Ed.) Yay! I also work on campus in addition to taking classes and student teaching, so I am a busy bee, which is how I like it!

Then we have Tim, my boyfriend of 2+ years. He is a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Tropical Plants and Soil Sciences, or agriculture. He works at an arboretum in the micro-propagation lab storing and growing seeds of rare and endangered native plants of Hawaii. To sum it up, he loves plants, to an extreme degree. He is the green thumb of the family. While I love our garden and the idea of growing our own food, he is the one that makes it all possible. I get out and help where I can (mostly weeding), but he is the brains behind that operation. He shares my passion of leading a healthy life filled with good food and good beer.

Lastly we have Griffan, our child. He is a terrier mix-- half jack russel and half brussels griffon. He will be a year old in August. Like a human child, he goes everywhere with us; to the beach, camping, hiking, and to friends' houses. He has such an amazing personality and the cutest face ever, I'll just say that he his well loved.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

5.5 and Feelin' Alive!

Did my mileage in 45!

I was telling the BF yesterday that lately I have had an insatiable appetite for fruit. This desire is not a discerning one, but is applicable to all of the wonderful fruits under the rainbow. Exhibit A: I bought a rather large box of strawberries from Costco on Saturday, and they were gone yesterday. Exhibit B: I was at home, getting ready for my run, when the BF walks in the door and says, "I come bearing gifts." He is holding a large box, which I quickly peer into and am so elated and overjoyed that these are the contents:

That amounts to 4 containers of strawberries, 4 containers of cantaloupe, 1 each of honey dew melon and watermelon, 2 nectarines, and a dragon fruit. Holy cow, it is like Christmas! Those containers of purple looking rounds are Okinawan sweet potatoes, yes, purple sweet potatoes and they are deeelicous! Sometimes I reap the benefits of his internship at a fruit tree nursery, and when I do it is like a religious experience for me. In this instance these fruits were cut and packaged to sell at an open market, but were not sold and were going to be thrown out. For shame, we will take them!

I quickly ripped open a package of cantaloupe and devoured it, which made my running attire all the more appropriate.

I did 5.5 fast ones today. My training plan called for a fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish. Because I do not want to run endless laps around a track to work on my speed, I incorporate it into the runs on my normal routes. While running I choose a point to pick up my pace to just under a sprint and then choose a point to run to further down the road, usually a tree or fire hydrant, then I run like the wind. After I pass the stopping point I slow down to a more normal jogging pace.These quick bursts of speed took my overall average pace to 8:07/mile, which is pretty speedy for me if I do say so myself!

It's All in the Name

To get this blog rolling I feel it necessary to give somewhat of a statement of intent. Why am I writing this blog, and more importantly, why are you reading it? This blog is, by most definitions, a healthy living blog. I like eating delicious food that is great for my body and I like being active in pretty much any way possible.

About the name; Living the HI Life. For me this name has two meanings. One being the representation of the place, Hawaii (abbreviated HI). I live on the island of Oahu, in the city of Honolulu. This place that I live, work, and play will be a feature of my posts. Because of the wonderful climate I can run outside, go camping, hiking, swimming, and ride my bicycle year round, so you will be seeing some of this...

Another interpretation of the blog's name is the HIGH life, as in a high standard of living (not as a drug induced high). My high standard of living is not about the amount of money I spend, but the quality of my life. I like eating whole foods that are close to the earth, and the best way to do this is
to plant your own produce, which I do on a small scale now. So expect to see some of this...

I also believe that to guarantee the "healthfulness" of your food you should cook it yourself, so expect to see some of this...

I also try to hold my body to a high standard by giving it regular quality exercise. I do this through biking, kayaking, and hiking, and yoga, but recently I have become obsessed with running, so I will also be posting a lot about that, including runs I did, training plans, racing, etc.

So welcome to my blog, and thank you for reading!