Live Well: Recipe for the Perfect Weekend

You know, just the view of the bay from our neighborhood.

I have to admit - although the past few weekends have been enjoyable, something about them has been a bit lackluster. Part of the problem has been cold weather, part has been residual workweek exhaustion and worries, and part has been our Whole30.

Because our diet is pretty limited right now, I've been hesitant to make plans with friends. I mean, no one likes to hang out the weirdo at a small dinner party who awkwardly and nervously avoids bread, pasta, and cheese at every turn. When you don't eat those things but your friends do while in your presence, they almost always feel like you're judging them, even when you're not.

But this past weekend we were blessed with a trifecta - the weather was beautiful, I didn't have any work stuff hanging heavy on me, and I put extra effort into making plans with friends (by scoping out restaurant menus beforehand). Here's my recipe for the perfect weekend:

1. Get off of work before 6PM on Friday.

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2. Enjoy a long dinner with one of your oldest friends and his wife at a great restaurant.

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3. Wake up the next morning and get a great workout. Note - I am usually NOT a selfie person, but after Saturday's CrossFit workout I felt compelled to document just how sweaty and red I was looking. For those of you who are interesting in this kind of thing, this is what we did:

Warm-up: 5x5 squats @ 75%

Workout: In groups of three, complete

Run 800 meters

150 thrusters

150 calories rowing

150 burpees

Run 800 meters

= death

4. Have your husband cook you a delicious brunch

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5. Take a long walk around your beautiful neighborhood. (Unfortunately, that is not my husband and me laying on the grass. I agree, it would be a lot cooler if it was.)

6. Get dressed up for dinner, only to forget your memory card, making the camera you carted to dinner with you totally useless. (Don't worry, you know me - I'll just re-wear that outfit this week.)

7. Go to a delicious early dinner with friends (who were lovely and accommodating of our weird diet when we discovered that everything is served family-style).

8. Go see niche artsy films like you used to in college. (We saw Locke. Not unexpectedly, we loved it.)

9. Wake up and take your poor body that endured that CrossFit class to yoga.

10. Eat a delicious brunch at Kitchen Story. (Seriously - so good. And the wait for two people at noon on a Sunday was only 20 minutes! Unheard of by San Francisco standards.)

11. Take an afternoon nap.

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12.  Make totally delicious, totally easy, totally Whole30-compliant tuna and avocado lettuce wraps for Sunday dinner.

13. Close out your Sunday by watching Mad Men. (I'm still devastated that we're only getting seven episodes this year.)

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I hope everyone had a similarly spectacular weekend. I'm also pretty excited about the upcoming week - for the first time in a LONG time, I will not be flying anywhere - woohoo!

Enjoy your Monday - I'll see you back here tomorrow.

Be Well: Nailing the Routine

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Routine always gets a bad rap, but for my entire life I've been very big fan. I was that weird kid who loved having a routine. Starting in sixth grade, I got up and made myself the exact same thing for breakfast every morning. For several years of my life, I would wear my clothes on a rotating basis - each day I would wear the shirt and the pair of pants at the front of my closet (assuming that they matched). When I was done, they would get shuffled to the back. Having a routine was my jam.

Lately, though, I feel like I've been really bad at routine. Which has got me thinking about the point of routine in the first place. Routine is often viewed as the driver behind a mundane life. But I would argue against that. I think well-chosen routines are exactly what allows us to have rich and varied lives.

Case in point: I save a lot of time by getting my morning routine down to a science. By repeatedly showering, putting my makeup on, and eating breakfast in the same way, I open up additional time that I use to pick out my clothes. Because I've made the non-exciting parts of my day as efficient as possible, I have a few extra minutes to enjoy myself while I try to put together an outfit. Maybe it's a small thing, but I treasure those extra minutes of creativity every morning.

The same concept can be attributed to working out. I used to think that routine in exercise was the worst thing in the world. And in some respects, it is. If you do the same exercises day in, day out, they won't have the intended effect. However, routine can be a good thing if you can find a routine that incorporates variety. For instance, the summer before my senior year of college, I got in the routine of exercising five days a week. Every weekday morning I would go to the gym, no exceptions. When I was there, though, I always changed things up - some weeks I would try cycling classes, others pilates classes, others step classes. During days in the interim I would go on long runs, then do sprint workouts, and then maybe try yoga. I set up a system that made variety possible, and I was healthier because of it.

Lately, I've become determined to become a "regular" at the 6AM classes at my Crossfit gym. I try to go every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. And you know what? The more I've turned it into a routine, the more I've enjoyed it. Every week I go I meet a few more people, which means I feel a little more comfortable there the next week. The social aspect has become very fun for me, rather than very scary like it used to be. Knowing that I'll be strengthening friendships when I show up has become a major motivator for getting out of bed. Do I still hate the first ten minutes after my alarm goes off at 5:20? Dear Lord, yes. But I'm working through it. I want to make Crossfit a routine, and I think I'm getting close!

Please don't think that I have routine nailed, though. You know what the next big frontier is? The weekend. I used to be great at working out on the weekends. Lately, though, I haven't gone on a Saturday or Sunday run in months. Ditto for yoga classes - I just stopped trying. Why drag yourself to yoga class when you can laze around in bed until 11AM? It's crazy how quickly you can fall out of a routine - skip a few weekend workouts, and you may never go back. This weekend, however, I'm pledging to myself and all my lovely readers that I will do a workout of some kind, whether it's Crossfit, running, or yoga. If weekend workouts are something you struggle with too, let me know - we can keep each other honest!

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Yesterday, my friends, was anything but routine. At shopkick we launched a new version of our app, which meant that everyone came to the office really early in the morning. I showed up at 7:15, and most people had been there since 6:00. Was it exhausting? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes, without a doubt. I find it hard to believe that any other company walks the line between demanding great work and ensuring great happiness in quite the same way that shopkick does. Yesterday, despite being a 12-hour day, was one of those days that makes me thankful to be where I am. And what could feel better than that?

Have a great Thursday!

Be Well: Back in the Gym

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Life is crazy this week, so I only have time for a short post. I wanted to drop in and let you guys know that my Seattle vacation was wonderfully relaxing, and despite the fact that the week has been busy, I managed to go to Crossfit yesterday and this morning - yay! Yesterday, after five rounds of seven front squats I realized that my legs are wayyyyyy out of shape, but feeling that way only gave me extra motivation to keep going regularly. Also, I made a few friends in the process, which helps with my fear of the unknown :)

I'm still easing back into my diet - more on that next week!

Finally, like I said above, life has been crazy busy, so I just wanted to take a minute to let you guys know that although I haven't been great at responding to comments, I read every single one and appreciate them all. Also, I'm way behind on emails, Facebook messages, and texts, but I promise I will respond very soon! Getting messages from you guys makes writing this blog so worth it. Thanks to all of you for your continued support - it means the world to me!

Have a wonderful day!

Be Well: Hitting the Pause Button

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I think it's time for me to hit 'pause' on this whole diet and exercise thing. I know, I know, I'm only two weeks in. But I have my reasons, I promise.

Since I started the diet, I've felt like my body was in a constant revolt against me. Two Tuesdays ago, I had scheduled to go to a CrossFit class at 6AM, only to wake up with a brain-shattering migraine at 5AM. Obviously, I had to cancel. The following day I went to a CrossFit running class, but had to duck into the bushes for a few minutes as I willed myself to keep from throwing up. The following week I signed up to attend CrossFit on Wednesday and Friday, made it to class on Wednesday, but then was up almost all Thursday night/Friday morning getting very sick, which caused me to cancel again.

Basically I've been feeling like I can't win. The trend has continued this week - I was scheduled to go to CrossFit again today, but now I have a really unpleasant cold, so I canceled in favor of sleep. I have no doubt that it was the right decision for my body, but I'm getting pretty frustrated at the fact that I seem to never be able to make it to the gym, despite what I believe are truly my best efforts. My body is just not cooperating.

So, I sat down, I thought about it, and I'm going to hit the 'pause' button for a few days. I've been feeling like someone who can't step into a revolving door because it's swinging around too fast, so I think I need to take a few minutes to myself out on the pavement while I wait for it to slow down. As I've already mentioned this week, my husband and I are going to Seattle with my parents on Thursday night to enjoy a long weekend in that beautiful city. I think it's the perfect opportunity to relax my eating restrictions, stop thinking about the gym, and spend three days outside, eating delicious meals, enjoying beautiful scenery, and laughing and talking with my parents and husband. All I want is to come back from this trip feeling refreshed, and I think if I start thinking about having a good time, and stop worrying about missing workouts or getting sick, I'll feel completely rejuvenated when I come back to San Francisco.

I'll be back on track next week! Until then, have a wonderfully healthy Wednesday.