Friday, August 31, 2012

Incorporating CrossFit

Are you getting bored with the routine yet? If you are, may I suggest incorporating crossfit into the plan? A few years ago, a fellow trainer introduced me to crossfit. It's an intense workout that incorporates cardio and weights to functionally train your body and prepare you for "real life" situations. I loved it, BUT, traditional bodybuilding worked well for me and I wasn't going to give it up. I really didn't want to pay for a crossfit gym either. So, I compromised. On days that I had "off" from lifting, I would do a crossfit WOD (workout of the day) on my own. I even got a few of my clients into it.

Here are some examples of the workouts:

100 pushups
100 sit-ups
100 squats
(You do it "for time," meaning you get through all of it, as long as it takes you, and you try to improve your time the next time you do it.)

10 pushups
15 squats
(You do this every minute, on the minute, for 30 minutes... or 30 times total)

Run 400 Meters
(for time)

Run 800 Meters
(three rounds)

There are countless workouts to choose from, or you can try to do the "WOD" posted here every morning.
These workouts are great to do with other people (for motivation).
Try it!!! Maybe you'll become addicted.

Have a great week of workouts!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Hurricane Dolly

Hurricane Dolly made landfall on South Padre Island, Texas while I was visiting home during summer break 2008.
When a voluntary evacuation was issued, we didn't even consider it. My immediate family members are just as stoked about storms as I am. A lot of us are back in Texas. For one, it's usually the only chance for decent surf in the summer. And two, none of us want to go through life knowing we missed out on a hurricane party. I still get a little jealous whenever a hurricane hits and I'm away.

The excitement in the air right before a hurricane is unlike any other. Everyone is wondering how much damage she'll do and how long we'll be without power. We're worried about whether we've boarded up our homes well enough and whether we got enough sandbags. We're mostly concerned about whether we have enough beer stocked up until the stores open up again.

The way the sky looked over our little island set the scene perfectly. A huge wall of clouds could be seen at the horizon. The sky was every shade of purple and pink and orange and red: the calm before the storm.
I stayed home with my dad, stepmom, and little brother, DJ. Into the evening, the wind gradually picked up and proceeded to howl fiercely all night long. Here's what it sounded like:
Still, we managed to get some sleep. 
We awoke without power and the storm still battering us. We enjoyed the view from our lanai. I was in the middle of 4 online summer classes from UH (and we were only supposed to be allowed to take 2 at a time). Nobody in Hawaii was concerned about hurricanes, but there I was trying to complete my day's assignments despite all the commotion. My dad hooked up the laptop to his truck's power so that I could do work. 
When it started to ease up a bit my little brother asked me if I wanted to go for a drive. Ummm... yes! We hopped into his truck and drove around the island to assess the damage...
There wasn't as much damage on the island as there was on the mainland right across the bridge. The hurricane cost Texans $1 billion, but thankfully no lives were lost. (Not in Texas... one person died from the rip tides in Florida and two people died when the remnants hit New Mexico.)

I stuck around the island for about two days after the storm. The July heat and standing water had turned it into a sauna. It was SO hot and humid and nobody had power or air conditioning. When I had enough of it, I drove up to Austin and stayed with some friends. I'm glad I did, because we were able to catch an Aesop Rock show the night I rolled in:

Passport Photos and Epiphanies

Today I took Evita to get her passport photos taken. I hadn't laughed so hard in a while.

I drove to the Long's Drugstore down the road from my house. I walked up to the photo center and told the lady I needed a passport photo for the baby. I guess she was new, because she said "Oh no! How are we going to do that?"

Maybe she wasn't so new. She called two other store workers over for help. They were delighted to see the baby. The three of them started calling to the baby, making funny faces to try and get her to focus long enough for a picture. But whenever the baby looked up, she squealed and laughed and buried her chin in her chest.

Can I mention the three ladies were Asian? I don't want to offend anyone, but if I don't mention it the scene cannot be completed and properly recorded. Asians and Asian-Americans make up the vast majority of Hawaii, and I've grown to love the culture. It's a lot different from the Mexican-American culture I grew up with in South Texas, but I like it. I'll miss it (assuming we don't get sent to Asia.)

Anyway... We were trying so hard to get the baby to just look forward for three seconds. If we still lived in the film era we'd be out of luck. But the baby was laughing, the three older Asian ladies were laughing, and I was laughing. Almost in tears.

It was just one of those moments when you realize how beautiful life is.

And after all that, this is the best we could come up with:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eva's First Hike

Last Saturday we took Evita on her first hike ever. It was absolutely fabulous to be up in the mountains again. I missed them terribly. The hike is called "Olomana" or "Three Peaks." Getting to the first peak requires "intermediate" hiking ability (you have to do a bit of rock climbing and you're on a very narrow ridge for much of the hike), but the other two peaks are "advanced." Because of the baby we only did the first peak, which is about 1.5 miles in and 1,000 feet up. I want to say it was exhausting but I'd feel like a huge wuss since Daniel did it with a 20lb baby on his back (and was still walking ahead of me and E). I used to be in such great hiking shape but despite running everyday it's terrible now.
We were at Babies-R-Us Friday night and we found the most awesome hiking carrier ever (and no this post is not sponsored... I wish!). Even though we already had four carriers at home, we just had to get this one. The best thing about it is that it doubles as a chair for the baby. It's perfect for hiking breaks (since you wouldn't really have anywhere else to set the baby down in the forest). It also has a nice little shade and rain cover, as well as pouches to store things in. This baby has a lot of hikes in her future so we are very happy with the purchase.
The hike was almost entirely at an incline, with some vertical portions...
When we finally reached the top we had a 360 view of the Koolau mountain range and the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
Getting down was a little tricker than getting up. There is quite a bit of loose gravel to slip on. That, and when you are climbing up you don't notice how far up and close to the ledge you are. 
On the way down we stopped to munch on some strawberry guava. This is a no-no since they are an invasive species. They are delicious, but when you spit out the seeds a new plant is very likely to grow. It's best to save them for later if you can (or put the seeds in a plastic bag).
Evita slept almost the entire way, but when she was awake she was so stoked about everything around her. Here is a short little video of her at the top:


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Inspired by another Currently post from Danielle.

Loving: That I have finally been able to hang out with friends lately. Law school and pregnancy made me a bit unintentionally antisocial. Now that's behind me I've been able to hang out with a few friends who moved out here from back home (finally), my old neighbor (and best friend out here), and even some blogger friends (like Jess from TART and E from Adventure of E.)

Reading: Still reading The Girl Who Played with Fire. I actually stopped for a bit to finish up another book and read some baby-related material but I'm back on it.

Watching:  I'm FINALLY all caught up with Breaking Bad. Now I'm catching up on True Blood and next will be Weeds... or my guilty pleasures 90210 and the Vampire Diaries. 

Listening To: I've been going back and forth between two Pandora stations lately- Gang Starr when I'm cruising around the island and Thrice while I'm running.

Thinking about: Changing the name of my blog, actually. I was 10 seconds away from doing it and then I stopped myself. Apparently the unwritten rules of blogging state that you're only allowed one name change. I need to give this some more thought. Maybe I'll wait until we move to our new country. Maybe I won't change it at all.

Surprised by: How out-of-hiking-shape I'm in. I hiked up Olomana last weekend, and I'm not going to lie, it was rough. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since I hadn't been on a hike in forever, but with all the running and cardio circuits I do I thought I'd be a little better. 

Making me sad: I have exactly 3 weeks left in Hawaii. I'm so, so, so, so excited to be an "ex-pat," but I know how much I'm going to miss this place while I'm gone.

Making me happy: Living my last few weeks here to the fullest; really taking advantage of not having work or school in Hawaii. I'm trying to do everything I haven't done yet, and everything else "one last time" (for now). I'm determined to go on an adventure every last day I'm here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Melissa from Growing Up Geeky asked us to share easy, go-to meals this week. While this isn't necessarily a meal, and I definitely don't advocate actually eating this (haha), it's a recipe that everyone should be familiar with. You know those warm, fresh chips they bring you at Mexican restaurants? The ones you get full on before your real food even comes? Well, it turns out they are pretty much the easiest thing in the world to make. In fact, I don't even know how tortilla chip companies stay in business. All you need is a large pan, some cooking oil, and corn tortillas. If I were back home I'd get the tortillas from a local tortilleria; but in Hawaii I usually stick with Mission or Guerrero brand. Heat the oil on medium-high heat, cut the tortillas into triangles and place them in the hot oil, and cook them until they start to turn a golden color (don't let them get too brown because they continue to cook for a bit after you take them out). Drain them on some paper towels.

It's as easy as...


One thing I love making these for are pot-luck style parties here in Hawaii. Back home, these are no big deal, but people here are always so impressed when I make these. It's funny, because they require no cooking skills whatsoever. And they are ridiculously better than chips that come in a bag. I usually make guacamole or something to dip them in, or I just put some ground beef and cheese on them for D's dinner. And for all you clean eaters out there- no, this is not on the approved foods list. ;-)
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