Monday, June 21, 2010

The addiction begins....

Happy Monday ladies and gents!

I had a wonderful weekend full of friends,lawn mowing, food,and fresh air! Hope you had a wonderful time doing what you love. I think that's key in life to enjoy your passions and soak them up because they make life so FULL and they help you leave behind (even if just for an hour) the stresses that you may be faced with.
For me being outside and in the mountains or on a trail is like being in a different world. It a simpler world where you only find ferns, moss covered trees,babbling brooks, and quiet! I feel so recharged and motivated after being in the forest, like I could accomplish anything. Where is that place for you?

I started out on Thursday after work with a run on my favorite trail that is only 5 minutes from my work..YAY! I was running alone and I get a bit nervous just because there are crazy people out there. I pulled into the parking lot and there was this guy just sitting in his pick-up truck smoking a cigarette...uggh. What a great way to kick-start my fears into high gear. I did some stretching and waited to see any joggers come along the path and there were enough to make me feel safe so I decided I would stay. I ran with my phone and my car key which I had strategically placed in between two fingers just in case. Okay, call me paranoid but seriously you need to think about the possibility of a creeper (even though it aches me to say that) especially because this trail is in a wooded area.

Once I actually got on the trail..heaven!

It's so picturesque in there my picture doesn't even come close. And because of all the rain we have been having, it's so green in there I had to squint when the brief periods of sun shined down, very brief!

I could stay in there forever! Such beautiful scenery really keeps me motivated while running.

I love this section as the trees are leaning into the trail and you feel like you are running under the protection of the trees. You know in medieval time how the royal men would walk under the swords..that kind of thing..hahaha. Yes, I did just say I feel like royalty! I had a little prance in my step at this point in the run:)

You can't really tell from the photo but this is a hill..a MONSTER of a hill that continues on around that corner. I love to conquer this on my runs..feels darn good and the heart likes it too:)

I had such an awesome time on the trail that I've decided to visit here 2-3 times per week.
After my run on Thursday I boogied on over to my grandma's house where my mom was because I ordered a flat (15lbs) of strawberries. My mom sells the berries that she gets directly from the farmer so they are fresh and oh man they are fabulous!
These are not organic and I'm okay with that because I have a direct source to the farm. I've looked around and there doesn't seem to be an organic strawberry farmer in my area which is too bad.

Oh yum! I seriously ate 5lbs to myself on Thursday night..yep I'm addicted!

On Friday night we just hung out at home and watched a movie. I find its hard to plan things on Fridays because everyone is just so beat and needs some down time. Anyone else feel this way or are you pumped for a night out on the town? I'm starting to feel my party stage die! I still love to party..just on Saturday night instead and maybe at a friend's house instead of a club. Oh how your preferences change!

When I was making some eats for dinner on Friday I had the weirdest thing happen. I was taking my yam fries out of the oven and I put the glass pan they were in on a wooden cutting board when BAM.....

The pan just shattered!! I stood there in shock for 30 seconds as my brain tried to get caught up as to what just happened. Thankfully, I didn't get any in my eyes or anywhere else! I still don't know how it could have happened, maybe the pan had a crack in it that I didn't see?? Whatever it was, it freaked me out and it took forever to get all the glass pieces picked up off the floor and the cutting board as I was shaking for a couple minutes! And all those yam!

To make the night all better I made a little dessert! I bought an Endangered Species chocolate bar and decided to make some banana chocolate chunk mint softserve! I think I have officially beat down my tiny food processor to the point where she doesn't want to destroy frozen bananas anymore. Instead I had to use the blender which was definitely not as fun but still did the job!

This delicious dessert was 1.5 bananas, 5 squares of chocolate, and 3-4 mint leaves. Food process or blend until creamy. Yum!! I love mint and chocolate together. The perfect combo in my opinion!

On Saturday I cut the lawn as the hubby was working and then did some grocery shopping. Check out the produce that I found...
Look at that dinosaur was massive and 99 cents a bunch! They grow it themselves and do not use any sprays..score!

Ever tried a kohlrabi? They are a funny German Turnips are oh so crisp and delicious! The taste and texture are similar to the broccoli stem or cabbage heart but a little more juicy I find. I really love them and can't stop eating them lately!

Greens, greens, and more greens. I bought the kale, huge bunch of parsley, cilantro, radishes, kohlrabi, collard greens ( among other non-green veggies). I love when my fridge is stocked! I've also noticed that this past month I wasn't really eating enough greens so now I have no excuse to get smoothied up!

On Saturday night we went over to a friends and had an amazing dinner! We had a wild rice, BBQ'd beet salad and there was a fennel salad (can't remember what else was in it), and a chickpea, cucumber,and mint salad. Oh I was in heaven! Sorry no pictures:( But here's something you don't see every day...Ry with a baby AND a beer! I just had to snap this picture of our friend's newest addition. It was probably Ry's first time holding a baby with one!

Don't worry there was parental supervision and only 2 beer sips had been taken!!
Don't mind his expression!

On Sunday we headed out to another little (healthy!) addiction of ours. For the first time this year we climbed the Grouse Grind. We love this trail because you basically are climbing the side of a mountain. It's only 2.9km long but the elevation gain is 853 meters or 2800 feet. It's called "Mother Nature's StairMaster" and it lives up to that name. For us it's all about the competition and beating your last time! Last year I think my best time was an hour. Yesterday I beat it by 3 minutes! Wahoo I'm pretty excited that I started off so strong on the first trek up to the top. I completed it in 57 minutes, Ry completed in 45 minutes!

Gorgeous!! See that little speck on the electrical line..that's the gondola and that's probably 1/4 up the mountain so you can tell you are pretty much in the clouds!

The beginning couple of minutes is nice and its fun to look at the forest but this is the only easy part of the whole hike. I followed that guy in the picture all the way to the top. He kept a good pace and so I tried to match him:)

And up we go! Some areas there are wooden stairs but other times you are walking on big rocks etc! Very good hike for the mind as you have to pick your next step wisely!

And into the clouds!! It was pretty cool yesterday when we hiked up but I was glad for those temperatures because you get so hot stair climbing a mountain for an! As it was Father's day there were lots of dads with their young kids and (most) kids love going up there! We past one little guy who didn't seem to be too impressed and Ry passed one little girl who said "I knew there wasn't ice cream at the top and now the bears are going to eat me." They have two grizzly bears that were orphaned as babies in a large sanctuary of sorts at the top of the mountain. So cute:) We will be trekking up the mountain a lot this summer and probably trekking back down too. There is the option of taking the gondola down but apparently they are going to be doubling the price soon which makes the trip out there not very economical for us. So, we decided to try hiking down the mountain on a different trail to see what it was like. It wasn't bad at all because we took our time and made sure we landed softly for the knees.

It was a little sketchy here because all the roots were wet and slippery. I was nervous that it was going to be like this the whole way down but it got better and I actually enjoyed it. I could feel the knees a little bit nothing crazy. We had one downer hiker who should have really minded his own business but he decided that we were really stupid to go down the mountain because it is horrible on the knees. I made a comment that basically said we wanted to try it out and it was our first time out this year. He pretty much snapped back and said well see how your knees feel Monday and went on to bitch and complain to his hiking buddy about "first time" hikers blah blah blah. Gosh, what does it matter to you? I'll wreck my knees if I want to (even though I was being super cautious). Oh well, there's always one isn't there? On a happier note, Ry bumped into an old high school class mate of his on the trail. Seriously Ry bumps into random people he knows from high school or elementary school ALL the's bizarre! I don't even see anyone I know when I'm IN my home!

Roots, roots everywhere! Yes, I climbed down this but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I held onto the trees for support and zig-zagged down!

All in all, it was an awesome hike up and down! My dirty running shoe tells it! I really need to get me a good pair of hiking boots because these trails rapidly destroy running shoes!
We are anxiously waiting to eat because we were going to our favorite post-Grouse Grind restaurant, The Naam! This is a 24 hour vegetarian eatery that is a Vancouver fave! We were almost there when ker-plunk Ry's muffler decided to come off. We are in the middle of kits and thank goodness there was this couple that had a screw driver for us to use to keep it secure until we got to a store. Well an hour later and many trips into Canadian Tire, the hubby fixed the muffler (out in the parking lot with the car raised onto the curb ha!)..wahoo! I love that he can fix car problems because it sure saves us a pretty penny!
By this time we were starving and so we quickly ordered. Ry got his favorite..the Reuben platter (made with sietan) and got the Naam salad with romaine, beets, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, carrots, and more but I just can't remember. The dressing was miso ginger...duh! Sorry no pictures as we were too busy scarfing..I mean slowly eating our eats! Oh so good.
After our late lunch we went to check out a store that was highly recommended for organic and healthy bulk items. The store is called Famous Foods.

I read that they really don't like people taking pictures inside so I don't have any insider picts but I didn't see too many workers around so I totally could have snapped a time! Anyways, the store isn't huge but its awesome! It has everything seperated into bags already so you don't have to worry about bulk bins. They have every kind of bean, grain, spice, baking item. There are lots of organic options and the prices are really good! I think when we are down in Vancouver we will stop in on the way back to the valley. I won't be making an extra trip out as it wouldn't make sense with all the driving and all!
Well that's my weekend in a nutshell or a novel:) Hope you have a wonderful week this week. I have a couple of exciting things happening: Tomorrow is the hubby's birthday so we are going out for din din, later on in the week I'm going to be going to my first ever raw foods class and I'm going to help the teacher with a little bit of prep and some clean up. I'm excited to meet her and I'll update you as the date gets closer:) Plus more berries..ohh I'm SO excited!
PS Meghan is having a glassdharma giveaway. Wahoo!!
PPS Aimee is having an amazing vegan vitamin D giveaway! This contest ends June 25th at noon Pacific


Kris | said...

What a beautiful weekend!

That Grouse Grind killed me the first time I did it and have been scared to go back ever since. I am in wayyy better shape now, so I know I can rock it, but WOW, what a doozy it is.

I was "high" on endorphins for hours after doing it!

I have never been to famous foods, is it good?


evergreen said...

What a wonderful weekend! The trail you run on looks so pretty. Isn't it motivating to have a beautiful place to enjoy!

Oh my goodness, that glass pan must have been scary, so glad you didn't get hurt.

Great produce finds, I keep meaning to try kohlrabi.

The Grouse Grind looks like quite a workout. I am looking forward to hearing all about your raw foods class:)

Happy Birthday to Ry!

kelli said...

maybe i'd start running if i had a nice trail like that one to run on. maybe.=)

glad you had a nice weekend. happy birthday ry, and enjoy your class!

Nelly said...

what a fantabulous weekend...

you are so lucky...wish i lived near ya, i would be your running buddy...and we would be prepared with perhaps some pepper spray? haha!

i love the pic of your hubba hubba hubby holding the cute little baby (ry is really cute, i love his hair)...and of course so is the little tiny baby...haha!

both your dinner sound fantastic...

oh and was the cutting board wet? i know that if you place a very hot glass anything on something cold it can and will shatter, so be very careful...even a tiny drop of water may have contributed to that!!! glad you're ok, and nothing happened to you...

can't wait to hear about the raw food class...and happy birthday to ry!!!

sending you lots of love my girl!

aletheia said...

Wowww-what a fun weekend! Reading this post makes me wanna do a grouse grind!!! :-D

The glass pan shattering must have been really scary! That happened to my Mom once a few months ago, and what's worse is that she was entertaining guests at the time! And the glass containing their dinner just shattered before their eyes!! Thank goodness you didn't get hurt though.

I love your fresh produce! Can you believe I've never tried kholrabi yet?? I want to but I'm a bit timid... I think your description sounds convincing enough though :-)

Best wishes for the raw food class! And happy birthday to your husband!

xo Aletheia

Ameena said...

What a great weekend...I have been to your neck of the woods once and I love it! I even went to Grouse Mountain, although I certainly didn't run up the mountain...maybe one of these days!

bitt of raw said...

I love those hiking pics. Reminds me of the applalachia trail near my parent's house. I love hiking into the clouds too.

I just read something awful about strawberry pesticides, not to make you paranoid or anything. Some nonorganic do not use pesticides. But since you are my friend I want to protect you from any bad chemicals. And 5lbs, yes I can see myself polishing that much off if I had that many!

Melissa said...

Hey Kris - Oh the first time on the grind I wanted to turn around at the quarter! But after the second and third time, it got easier and I wanted to go back for more:)
As for famous foods, it has some amazing selection of spices, flours, baking supplies etc. They are all pre-packaged in small and medium bags so if you are used to just getting a small amount out of the bulk bins then it may be a bit much. Not sure where you get your eats now but I think it would be worth checking out anyways if you are in that general area (its on Kingsway). Oh and they also have a small selection of organic produce too:)

Hey Evergreen - Oh my gosh..scenery is so motivating! Thank you for the birthday wishes:)
As for the glass pan, holy I think my adrenals had their work cut out for them lol! I was fine but I'm still finding the tiniest pieces of glass even though I have swept and that's a little annoying.

Hey Kelli - Thank you for the birthday wishes! I love going to that's not even like you are working out because its such a joy to be in there!

Hey Nelly - I would LOVE a running buddy, one day perhaps, right??? And oh yes we could double dose the creeper with pepper spray..haha! The cutting board may have been a bit damp so that might be the culprit..thanks for the info! Thank you for the birthday wishes lovely:)

Hey Aletheia - That's horrible about your mom and her shattering experience..ugh what a disappointing sight to have dinner splattered everywhere.
You have to try the kohlrabi!! You will love it and they look so funny and alien-like I'm sure you could sketch a cool picture for your blog post:) Thank you for the birthday wishes!!!

Hey Ameena - I love that you have been up the grind!! It's quite the experience, hey?

Hey Aimee - applalachia trail sounds hearing about great trails! Thank you so much for your concerns over the berry pesticides, you are a good friend indeed! I do know that strawberries are pretty high on the "to avoid" list but I can't help myself this time of year. I know lame excuse but I have such easy access to them that I scarf down a lot and them leave them for the year (buy organic the rest of the time). I know I'm taking the risk and probably eating pesticides..ugh next year I'm just going to have to do more research and maybe travel a bit further for them.