Friday, August 31, 2012

Selling my soul to the Rockies

I've been living in Boulder, CO for two weeks now, and I couldn't be happier. This city is amazing, and not just because of the mountains that you can see from anywhere, but also the people and the atmosphere itself. I also have a great apartment, with a huge kitchen I can cook lots of meals in. School also started recently, so I've been focused on classes and getting my homework done.

I have a feeling that my posts will slowly turn over from food based writing to nature writing. I could go on and on about the recent outdoor activities I've done since moving here. Boulder is known for it's outdoor activities, and it falls short of absolutely blissful. Biking, running, hiking, climbing, even slack lining. There's something for everyone here, and winter sports have not even started yet.

The first big outdoor activity I've been involved in is cycling. I did this in NYC a lot, but I bought a new bike. I needed a touring road bike here, that could also work as a commuter, and bought this beauty..

It's literally my baby... I've ridden it everyday since I've gotten it, so almost two weeks straight. It's so smooth and gets me everywhere I need to be. Sometimes I use it to get to the grocery store, other times I just ride for fun. One day, my buddy and I biked 25 minutes away from where I live, and hit this:

No joke, we were in the mountains and next to a creek in less than half an hour on bikes. It was great.. This place is the opposite of NYC, I'm actually surrounded by nature as opposed to craving it. And even though school started, I still make time for explorations and peaceful time outdoors.

hiking with some boys on my floor

One of the boys, Grant, hanging out on top of a rock

I also am part of a transfer student group, where a really awesome coordinator sets up activities and get-to-know-you events. The most recent was a night hike, at the flatirons. Originally, we were all going to stick together, but I ended up breaking off with another transfer student, and hiking to the top of the first flatiron.

Like I said, it was night, so these pictures are of Boulder at night. You can see that the lights get farther and farther away. We started hiking at 8:30 P.M., and we didn't get back until 2:30 A.M. It was AWESOME! Although slightly scary at times, especially when we had to scramble up the backside of the first flatiron without a trail, it was totally worth it. I looked it up when we got back, and the elevation change was 2000 feet both ways.. crazy! Pretty good for a girl who has lived at sea level her whole life.

For now, I am relaxing, doing homework, and planning on hiking all three days of this three day weekend.

Hope all is well

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Help! Advice needed!

Hey readers.. I'm in Boulder, moved in and content. However, I'm posting a quick post asking for the opinions of other vegans (or vegetarians!).... how do you deal with living with three big meat eaters? Not that there is anything wrong with people who eat meat, but watching one of my roommates cut up bright red beef (aka a cow!) in front of me eating dinner made me nauseous and lose my appetite.. I'm not sure how to deal with this, as I've never had to experience people cooking fish in crock pots in our kitchen, or large meat eaters living next to me.. How? Help!!

This is my version of "meat" a vegan, gluten free chili dog...

Feel free to comment- I'd love to hear some advice!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Starting an annual tradition.. in Yosemite Valley

It seems to be a trend these past two years, I go to Yosemite Valley the weekend before I leave for school. Last summer, it was before I left for New York City, however this summer I went this past weekend before I leave for Boulder on Friday. I like this tradition, and might have to keep it up, seeing that I love Yosemite.

Since I knew that I'd be cleared to "lift" over two pounds with my left arm (because of my shoulder) last Thursday, I knew that this weekend would be a perfect time to camp out in the Valley. I went with two co-workers, a chemistry friend, and two of her friends. Although I am not a group type of person, it was pretty fun most of the time. One of the best parts of the weekend was my solo hike, but of course I liked the interaction and it was interesting to see how three of them reacted to being in the valley for the first time.

We got to Yosemite on Friday night, camped out a rad camping site, then woke up Saturday to get to the Valley. Since I still can't climb, I knew I'd be hiking. Charlotte and our other co-worker John joined me.

El Cap

Charlotte and her adorable dog Selma

Later on, we went over to Tenaya Lake in Tuolumne Meadows. I didn't get any pictures, but it was pretty beautiful..

The next day, on Sunday, we packed up camp and headed back towards the valley. The rest of the group went to boulder, but I wanted to go on a long hike. I picked Upper Yosemite Falls, and hit the trail.

It was a pretty strenuous hike- 60 switchbacks the first mile alone. Naturally it was all uphill, but regardless it was pretty awesome. Since it was so hot in the valley I was a sweaty mess, but it was so worth the views and the awesome trail.

After my couple hour hike I met back up with the group, and we headed towards Glacier Point to see the valley for the last time before heading home.

After the long drive home, I made myself some gluten free dinner, took a shower, and slept in my bed for 10 hours straight.

brown rice pasta with tomato sauce and a gluten free breadstick
The rest of this week will be spent packing and final shoulder appointments before I move to Boulder on Friday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I've been on some sort of pancake craze recently... not sure why. It's so easy for me to make pancakes, even though I don't eat gluten.

I use the The Cravings Place pancake and waffle mix, which is totally vegan, and totally gluten free. It's delicious!

All you do is mix the mix with water, add in whatever, and cook like regular pancakes! yum!

My trick to delicious pancakes is to place the batter on the preheated pan first

Then add the toppings, such as fruit

And then once the bottom is sizzling or brown, flip it over.. It should look like this:


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shoulder-less workouts

Tomorrow I will be 11 weeks out of shoulder surgery. I've been out of the sling for 6 weeks, and can't believe how good I feel. I can raise my arm above my head, and have almost full rotation everywhere else. The only thing I'm restricted on is weight bearing- since I'm not allowed to lift over 2 pounds until I hit 12 weeks. That allows time for the anchor in my bone to set..

I've still been working out even though I can't ride my bike or run, and of course I still can't climb.
Here's a peak at my day at the gym:

20 min stair treadmill- intervals
15 min treadmill at highest incline- intervals of walking
30 crunches- each ten crunches sit up and hold for ten seconds
30 penguins
20 leg lifts
20 frogs
Cool down:
one mile on the stationary bike

I love the feeling after you get from working out- especially since I know I'll be able to hike and run again soon...

Last week I went back to Boulder for orientation.

I'm moving there in about two weeks and I'm pretty excited. Especially since a new restaurant recently came to town... Native Foods!

Native Foods is an all vegan chain restaurant, that started in So Cal (I think). I lOVE their salads, as shown above. Huge, delicious, and so filling. I can't wait to eat out there a lot.

I'm also almost done with my summer chemistry class, which is probably the most exciting aspect of my summer. I'm so ready to be down with homework and 8 AM lectures!!!! Especially since... the day after my final I'm going to Yosemite to go camping for the weekend!

Before I leave you to sleep before my class.. enjoy this picture of a friend I made on campus yesterday morning..