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I'm a self-professed adventure writer and former exercise junkie seeking a long-term relationship with my higher self, healthy workout habits, and a balanced, adventurous lifestyle in San Luis Obispo. Join me as I discover the healthy activities of SLO County, from land to sea.

Monday, April 29, 2013

SLO Spanish-Style Salad

I didn't exercise today, but I did eat. 

In fact, after work I was so busy putting together the final touches on my newest culinary creation—a flavorful Spanish-style salad that melds the interesting nuances and zing of peppery arugula, paprika chicken, marinated red bell peppers, green olives, Manchego cheese, flat-leaf parsley and Sherry viniagrette—that I'm surprised I actually found time to eat this enjoyable meal. After all, I wrote up the recipe, snapped photos and posted to my food and wine lifestyle blog


But eventually I did relish the fruits of my labor, and this flourishing, savory recipe can be enjoyed by all. I hope that you will feel inspired to try it. Or at least try a new dish that appeals to you. 

And maybe get out for some exercise. Same goes for me.

Click here for the recipe!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chasing Birds

Foggy mornings in Morro Bay are not uncommon. The air is cool, the wind puffs about, and the waves crash amidst grey skies.

This morning, on the tail-end of a cold that knocked me for a loop the past few days, I knew what I needed: to escape to the outdoors.  

I drove north to the monster rock for some much-needed beach time. Families gathered and paraded about the beach for Morro Bay's annual kite festival; birds flocked heavily along the shores in a feeding frenzy.

Chasing these elegant birds alongside shattering waves at Morro Rock is just what the doctor ordered. Invigorating for the mind, body and soul. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Making Sense

It's been approximately two weeks since I ran/walk a half marathon, and almost one week since the horrific bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon. Although I don't have any answers or insight into this travesty, I remain steadfast with something that I do know: People are good. In the face of unfathomable tragedy, humanity rises up. 

Calamity sends us a reminder of what's important and weas a collective consciouscan provide healing. Although I will never understand what the victims and affected family members of this tragedy have undergone and will continue to endure, I do know that the empathy and compassion of others is far-reaching.

After participating in several endurance events, I also know that when reaching the end of a long, hard training season and arduous race, the friends and family waiting at the finish line are paramount. They are the faces and support that keep us going to the end. Now we must hold the bystanders so wrongly affected in the Boston race in our thoughts and our devotions.

Perhaps in the face of tragedy we might never find the answers we need, but we can always do what's right. We can all keep doing whatever it is we do to make the world a better place. 

Each one of us knows what that is. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

SLO Marathon

13.1 miles are behind me! What an adventure on foot around my own town.

Hundred of runners and walkers showed up in the wee hours of the morning to participate in the San Luis Obispo Marathon & Half races. The courses took participants out and back through the streets of charming downtown SLO and the Edna Valley wine region. 

Not a bad view as we ran alongside green pastures, mooing cows, and rolling hills.

Did I mention hills? They got the best of me. I wasn't quite prepared physically for so many inclines and around mile 8 the remainder of the race became purely mental: Just keep going

But thank goodness for the bystanders. At spirited cheering stations along the way, runners and walkers felt their their support. Believe me when I tell youthis encouragement from a community of neighbors and spectators is paramount in a race. Complete strangers yelled out: You got this! Keep it up, you're doing great! The words may sound simple, but the impact is enormous. Early in the race, I ran by a man standing on a corner holding a sign that read: I don't know you, but I'm proud of you

Thank you whoever you are!

Throughout the race, participants were treated to music from a brass band, real cheerleaders jumping up and down with shimmery pom-poms, pumped-up music blaring on the sidelines, and even shots of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (handed out by a group of what I assume were college students). After all, today is National Beer Day. There was also a Chinese dragon dancing in the streets by the Chinese Park as we ran by. Loved that!

By the time I closed in on the last two miles, I honestly didn't know if I could keep going. My legs and feet hurt beyond belief. So close yet so far. But I kept moving forward, even if it was only at a SLO snail's pace. 

Finally my weary legs brought me to the finishing pointMadonna Inn—and I forced myself to run the last stretch through the finish line. 

Now the race is over and done...until next year. Big sigh of relief. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Escaping Paradise

This past weekend I escaped from paradise. I packed my bags, threw them in the car and headed to the Sierra foothills near Yosemite National Park. Time well spent.

As a permanent resident of San Luis Obispo County, I realize the Central Coast Mecca that I call home is often seen as Utopia. But sometimes we all need a getaway from our own blissful surroundings; a change of scenery to provide us with a fresh perspective. 

I got what I asked for. 

My sojourn took me to new sightswhere I breathed fresh air, witnessed colossal, puffy storm clouds, and listened to booming, crashing thunder late at night. I hiked pass brilliant wildflowers, spring green hillsides, and giant sequoia trees. 

A different kind of beauty. 

Then I returned to paradise...home sweet home. 

Wildflowers are springing up in leaps and bounds along the Merced River Trail in Mariposa County. 
On this flat out-and-back trail, hikers meander along the river by way of an old railroad bed and pass by ancient shale, an old mining settlement, and breathtaking scenery.

This trail is now alive with the vibrant colors and sights of springtime.
Shale and wildflowers harmonize.
In Madera County, you can escape to the quiet, Zen-like forest of the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Plush, velvet-green moss covered much of this oh-so-peaceful forestland.
The remnants of the weekend's overnight storms dusted the higher elevation of Yosemite National Park's Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Fresh air and moss-covered trees rewarded hikers at all heights.
Just another paradise.