Tag Archives: Colorado

Peace and Pie


Ok, so the U.S. of A just killed a major terrorist leader. Am I the only one who feels a little saddened at the jubilation of our country’s citizens over it?

Maybe it’s because I live in a small-liberal-arts-college bubble.

Ok, that’s most definitely why.

My neighbors at the Air Force Academy are having lots of fun celebrating. Amazing how we’re in the same city, but it feels like worlds away! Their celebrations have been a little tamer than other colleges, at least…


But honestly? I don’t like death. In any, any case. Not even in the name of justice. Call me a peace-loving hippie, but in my ideal world, everyone guilty of a crime would be locked away in a box somewhere,  put through some kind of living-purgatory-type-experience (I’m thinking LOST as a model), and released into existence again when they’re truly sorry for what they did.

Small liberal arts college. I did warn you.

But just because my college is full of liberal tree-huggers doesn’t mean we won’t turn this into an excuse to party on a Monday night. My school is in “8th block,” a.k.a. the last quarter of the semester. I still can’t get the glitter out of my hair from this shindig:

Good news: my red jacket is now flour-free and ready to wear again.

Tonight, however, I need to catch up on sleep, so I will leave you with my food-related hopes and dreams! Ready?

In my ideal world, everyone would realize how delicious the combo of sprouts, avocado, & hummus is, and I’d be able to let animals roam free without fear of humans eating them.

Whole-wheat tortilla with hummus, sprouts, spinach, & avocado, + carrots

In my ideal world, everyone I love would stop to partake in Sunday brunch.

Veggie skewers, spinach & egg pizza, cherry blintz, agua fresca

In my ideal world, I would have the option to go back to my pre-paid campus dining hall whenever I didn’t feel like scrounging in my fridge.

BBQ tofu, salad, green beans, white beans, agua frescaThere would be fewer last-resort sources of protein.

Tuna, broccoli, green peppers & onions

There would be more salads. Period.

Spinach, black beans, avocado, goat cheese & maple balsamic dressing

There would be lots of sprouts, because for some reason, when I eat them I feel like I’m channeling the Buddha. (where did I make that association, I wonder?)

Sprouts, carrots, broccoli & hummus

I would know the Chobani company personally, just to make sure they’re treating their dairy cows right. (Because if it wasn’t for greek yogurt, I’d easily be vegan all the time!)

Plain greek yogurt with cinnamon and....apples? Somewhere?

Plain greek yogurt with chia seeds, 1/2 a mango, & 1 clementine

I would make the whole world see that green monster smoothies are absolutely delicious.

(I might have forced this down the throats of several of my teammates one pre-rugby-game morning. No one gagged, that’s a start!)

The morning special: green monster smoothie + coffee with almond milk & cinnamon.

One of my favorite cereals of all time, combined with the more new-age almond milk.

And…my roomie would surprise me with wonderful baked goods every night! (It’s a wonder what an unexpected pie can do for a student on the verge of a breakdown!)

Homemade blueberry pie/island of crust floating in blueberry yum sauce.

And similar to bad criminals, bad weather would go into hiding, think about what it’s done to the hearts and minds of sun-loving girls like me, and only come back out for holiday festivities and the occasional ski trip.

Mountains? Uh…Marco?

More of this, please.

Little sister not necessary. Just the sunshine, please!

Thoughts on politics?

Favorite trees to hug?

Sharing is caring!

❤ Erica



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Free-soloing.


Maybe it’s because Colorado is experiencing some freakish weather right now.

Maybe it’s because I’m ashamed that I haven’t learned to rock climb yet.

Maybe it’s because I climbed the mountain in this video too long ago (not even 2 years!) and that was without being on the constant verge of a 1000 ft vertical drop.

For whatever reason, I’m obsessed with this gem of a clip about a female rock climber named Steph Davis. I think I’ve played it at least 10 times now:


Watch it. You’ll get dizzy, but it’ll be great. Trust me.

The Youtube channel it’s on is chock full of amazing feats of outdoor adventurers. I think it was just what I needed for a little kick in the butt to start the week!

On this manic Monday, I started with the (really) lazy girl’s version of overnight oats: about-an-hour oats 🙂

1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, cinnamon, apples

Meaning that I mixed these together, walked to my hour of student teaching at the high school, and then devoured them on the way back to campus. Not too shabby!

But as I arrived on campus, my mind (body? same thing) realized how early I had gotten up, and wanted caffeine.

I’ll say one thing: coffee is a powerful, powerful force.

Looks gigantic, but it just fits a "tall" size.

I stayed awake through class, but my heart would.not.stop.thumping afterwards. Can’t complain, though; I wasn’t really hungry, so I got ahead on some of the night’s reading and ended up munching a red bell pepper for lunch:

Strangely enough, it was enough!

Know what else is a powerful thing? Planning ahead. I knew I’d be starving after ballet and gym, so I pressed and marinated a block of tofu in balsamic vinegar & garlic powder before I left, popped the pieces in a 375 degree oven when I got home at 5:15, and took them out in time for 6:00 dance rehearsal in the form of a beautiful, fulfilling salad.

Complete with nutritional yeast, sauteed onions, and spinach.

Mmmm, portable goodness.

Now my reading’s all done, and it’s not even 9 pm yet. I could get used to this 😉

It’s no free-soloing the Diamond face of Longs Peak, but it’s been a day of achievement.

What are you proud of doing today?


Spring Showers


Can I go back to spring break?

I mean more than just recapping the first part of it, which was spent frolicking around the splendid sights of Denver, Colorado.

Like, can I have another one? Please?

Whenever I break out of the Colorado Springs bubble and travel to other parts of Colorado, I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the state. It’s gorgeous! I never get tired of the breathtaking drive north towards Denver. Thank goodness I have a good friend just outside the city that lets me invade her house once in a while 😉

We’re just two hippies that like to explore.

Whether it’s chatting a hookah bar in which we were the only non-Arabs (win!),

grabbing a 1 a.m. meal at Pete’s Diner,

(we’re both vegetarians now, which made dining extra sweet this time around!)

snarfing down greek wraps

visiting the Denver Botanical Gardens on a free admission day,

My religion major mind was on vacation; I didn't try to figure out what this symbolized.

local ice cream joints,

Chai tea yogurt in a gluten-free cone. Why? Because it was an option! Tastes just the same.

walking in Washburn Park,

with her majestic great dane, Lucy

and a plethora of fruit and naan

baking banana bread

pasta,

and then, more cooing over animals which are not mine 😉Between when I got back home and leaving for Oklahoma, things got bland.

I did attempt to make cauliflower pizza.

Looks cool, but not so tasty.

Snackage was random:

and at the same time, completely predictable.

Green monster smoothie with banana, spinach, vanilla protein powder, soy milk, & cinnamon

Cereal, my favorite.

Raw cookie dough, made with almonds.

 

Apple-cinnamon-peanut butter oats.

Another green monster.

Leftover garden benedict and mushroom omelet.

Strawberry-peanut butter oats.

Sorry for the blah-ness of throwing food pictures at you. I’m just a little cranky from being sunburnt (not enough SPF), bruised (rugby), impatient (wordpress! grr), and stressed (class + tech week for a dance show).

But hey, despite the fact that I just walked home in a snowstorm, Colorado is showing signs of spring. That means summer is just around the corner, right? 😉

What’s on your plate for this week?


Life of Erica



Do you ever read or watch something that was popular years before, and even though it’s a good decade after it came out, you still want to chat about it like it’s hot off the press?

This is one of those times.

In a nutshell: An Indian boy survives 227 days after a shipwreck, while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a bengal tiger. He happens to be very spiritual, practicing 3 religions (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity) all at once, and also the son of a zookeeper.

A good part of the book was filled with elaborate, technically detailed descriptions of the process of staying alive in a lifeboat. I did not like this. But I highly enjoyed the spiritual imagery.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, this weekend, my rugby team spent 10 + hours in cars traveling to the southwestern corner of Colorado to play a game (which we won). In my opinion, both road trips and rugby games are a great time for reflection and revelation.

Uhhh…why?

Well, think about it. On a roadtrip, you’re passing new landscapes….

If you’re lucky, you’ve got a mix of old and new friends.

You may stumble upon familiar landmarks.

(If you’re me, you may not be hungry for tamales and end up eating an apple, a pear, an orange, and 2 apple-cinnamon muffins for dinner without complaint, over the course of 5ish hours.)

On a roadtrip, you may get to your destination to find that it’s better (or worse) than you expected.

Better: mountain views, fluffy grass, 60 degree weather in March

Worse: field is behind a bowling alley, the opposing team plays and talks dirty

Comparing this new location to home is ok.

(Conclusion: Colorado Springs’ mountain views are prettier.)

You may want to play around a bit in the sunshine.

(If you play women’s rugby, that just means you’ll emerge a bit more scuffed up at the end)

Then you can explore the local dives…

Thanking God/Allah/Krishna/whateveryouplease for vegetarian options at a brewery…

As well as for the appetite for ice cream to fuel the 5 hour drive back home.

You may even encounter some blatant messages along the way.

(some are not necessarily to be obeyed)

And though you may come home physically worse for wear…


The reflection and revelation takes hold, some way or another.


What’s a good book y’all have read recently? What did you learn from it?


Saturday’s a Rugby Day


Oh my word. I will be SO SORE tomorrow!

And for the first time in 5 months, it won’t because of weights. or yoga. or running.

It’ll be because Saturday was a RUGBY day!

Since I was abroad last semester, it’s been 5 months since I’ve picked up a rugby ball.

5 months since I’ve been swiftly tackled to the ground.

5 months since I’ve been bruised and beaten to a pulp.…and for the most part, loving it.

No more!

Last night, I was so excited to lay out the clothes for the long day ahead:

Snacks/portable breakfast were added later: an apple, pb sandwich, larabar

I did my best to get a semi-decent night’s sleep, then woke up at 6:30 AM to leave at 7 for the 9 AM-4 PM Women’s Rugby Clinic hosted by the Glendale Raptors.

It was a fantastic day! While the rest of the country is drowning in snow, Colorado has been generous with the sunshine and today was no exception; 60 degrees, baby!

And may I just say…it’s so refreshing to play a sport where you will never, ever be mocked for the size of your thighs. In fact, the more muscle you can pack into those quads, the better!

Of course, I couldn’t take any action shots from the sidelines; I was too busy doing them 😉

It was a long day, but I didn’t feel worn out until the end of it. That’s a reward for my hard work in the off season! I had a great time running drills for forward players, but now my shins and butt are really feeling it. Scratch that, every part of my body is aching. Plus, I can say I bled today; I totally gashed up two of my fingers!

How? I’m not sure. Turf fields have a knack for roughing up your skin.

All in all, I’m so happy to have gotten back on the field for some pre-spring season action. And to have slapped around bonded with my new teammates:

I love when Saturdays are rugby days!

Question: What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Does it involve sports? I grew up always having a game of some sort on either Saturday or Sunday. In fact, I remember using that as an excuse not to go to Sunday school or get confirmed in church. Hehe 🙂

 


 


To the mountains, with oatmeal


Thursday started out like any other.

I whipped up some oats…

(1/3 cup coach’s oats, apple, cinnamon, vanilla protein powder)

Transported that breakfast to class so I could eat it leisurely…

(rather, outside of class. I beat the rest of ’em!)

Did the rugby weights routine, came home to lunch…

spinach with nutritional yeast, salsa, and an egg over easy

But then….TO THE MOUNTAINS!

This is a big, big deal for me.

I grew up in Connecticut, so I had my share of skiing in Vermont during high school.

But overall, skiing…meh. I don’t hate it, but don’t love it either!

So I’ve never brought my skis out to school in Colorado, and I’ve definitely never driven hours to the ski slopes up North.

Buuuut since my new roomies are awesome and they do this all the time (ok, everyone does), I decided to join a group for 2 nights in ski country! Good, good decision.

We had a beautiful ride up.There was chili (meat and veggie!) waiting for us at the condo upon arrival.

And lots of fresh snow the next day.

Ok, ready for this? I learned to skateboard when I got to college, but had never snowboarded before.

So I kinda took a leap of faith, borrowed a friend’s board, and hoped for the best.

Success!!!!!! I didn’t even fall when I first attempted the bunny hill.

For those familiar with Colorado skiing, we went to A-Basin the first day and Keystone the next. It was a huge ego boost for me to be shredding up the blue squares on my 2nd day!

Not saying I’m going to fork over hundreds of dollars a ski pass anytime soon, or ask my parents to ship out my skis, but I might indulge a few days to practice my new skills this season. Or just practice my apres-ski.

College kids +  ski condo = an odd combination of shenanigans and exhaustion.

(the non-skiers that day made carrot cake!)

others passed out on the floor.

And we did take a break from our heavy consumption of instant oatmeal, eggs, pasta, and alcohol to stop by a favorite bakery!

I passed up cupcakes for an all-time favorite treat of mine: a pumpkin bar! with cream cheese frosting, another all-time favorite. Yummmmmy.

We stopped by this same place on the way home, where I devoured a huge garden salad tuna salad on top 🙂

Oh, and a hemp milk steamer (with toffee nut flavor!!) for the road.

The food coma induced a nap all the way home, and when we arrived I was awake enough to hit the gym for weights. Isn’t that the best?

How’s your weekend so far? Question: Do you ski or snowboard?

 

 

 


Into the dark


Well, it couldn’t last forever.

Not only am I referencing the gloomy, flurry-spewing cloud that has descended over Colorado Springs, but also my digestive health.

Since I have returned from Jordan, I’ve only experienced that Middle-East-worthy-level of stomach pain once…until this morning, when it hit me hard while running.

Why? I’m not sure. It’s a mystery, one that begs to be further explored.

The last time this hit me was also when I was running, about 2 months ago. Both were both I’d had a real breakfast (just a pre-workout snack), but other than that, no unusual dietary habits seemed to have triggered it. Wtf?

All I know is that it really, really hurts and it’s really, really inconvenient. I’ve already gone through one round of tests through an endogastriologist, so at least I know it’s not 1) giardia 2) an std 3) a parasite 🙂

But as bad as it was this morning, a day of rest, reading, and other forms of relaxation have left me feeling as good as new!

It doesn’t hurt that my roomates and neighbors make amazing food! Especially when it’s bread that tastes amazing, looks amazing, and makes me tummy feel amazing to boot!

Over the past few years, as my cooking and baking skills have evolved, I’ve been in the habit of saying to my mom, “When I’m married, I will do all of the cooking without complaint. But I want a husband that makes bread!

Now I have a boy roomate that makes it. Close enough!

I’ll handle the vegan goodness myself…

Pan-fried tofu with spinach, onions, marinara sauce, and nutritional yeast

In fact, recently I’ve been preparing my much-needed protein individual appetizers before group dinners:

Mmmm. Yes. Roasted tofu marinated in balsamic vinegar, cumin, and garlic.

The perfect appetizer for a pasta dinner.

As for the sicky meal of choice?

B.R.A.T.T.Y. diet at its finest! (you know, bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, tea, yogurt?)

Honey greek yogurt with banana.

Eating it in the container was an added comfort!

In a way, being sick today was ideal; the gloomy cloud cover was a perfect opportunity to stay inside, test danish hot chocolate stirrers and philosophize.

How real is the fog over the mountains? How do we know if we’ve seen this view in a past life?

But more importantly, how much snow will there be for skiing this weekend?!

The warm weather couldn’t last forever, but at least we’ll be reaping the changes on the slopes!

Have a terrific Thursday!

Do you ski or snowboard? I ski, but I don’t really make a habit of it because it’s not my favorite thing in the world. But this time I’m resigning myself to the bunny hill and learning to snowboard!

 


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