NOURISH. {Lorna Jane Cookbook Review}

8 Jul

{Disclosure:  I was given an advanced copy of the Lorna Jane Cookbook to review and was asked to write a review.  I was also given a gift certificate to Lorna Jane through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own}.

As some of you may know, I recently got more into cooking/meal-prepping since I switched to a *mostly* paleo diet a few months ago. (Okay, I cheat sometimes, but leaning paleo has worked for me, so I’m sticking with it).

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I jumped at the chance to check out NOURISH – billed as a Fit Woman’s Cookbook.  The roughly 130-pages are filled with gorgeous options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert, as well as LJ’s fitness and food prep tips, and some of her healthy living mantras and suggestions.  I really liked Lorna Jane‘s definition of what “active living” means to her:

active Living: [ak-tive; liv-ing]
1. to get more out of life by giving more of yourself every day.
2. to strive to be better each day than you were the day before.
3. to practise moVe, nourIsh, beLIeVe
✱ moving your body every day
✱ nourishing your body with delicious food
✱ believing anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.

(Fun fact: Lorna Jane is Australian so some of the spelling is cutely non-American).

There were a BUNCH of recipes I wanted to try, and all of them use mostly healthy ingredients.  The one thing I noticed about many of the recipes, though, is they included many ingredients and some of them were not necessarily things I had on hand.  Luckily, a lot of the recipes are adaptable and can serve as inspiration in the kitchen.

I am three weeks out from the California bar exam (eek!) so cooking elaborate recipes is sort of out of the question right now, so I opted to test out two of LJ’s snack options.  Study snacks are crucial these days.

First, I was intrigued by the honey & sesame spirulina balls.

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LJ’s version:  honey & sesame spirulina balls

  • 1 cup macademias
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconuts
  • 1/3 cup unhulled tahini
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black chia seeds

Process together, form into ball shapes, and freeze for 30 minutes.

I didn’t have “dessicated coconuts” (no idea what those are), couldn’t find tahini, or vanilla bean paste, and opted to forego the spirulina powder (because, paleo) and created my own version.  Thanks for the inspiration, LJ, I will DEFINITELY be snackin’ on these again in the future:


 my version:

Combine the following in a blender:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Roll together in ball forms and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  These were DELICIOUS, #ifidososaysomyself.  I meant to save these for study snacks throughout the week but they didn’t last 24 hours – they made a great pre-run breakfast this morning to take the edge off. I’ll definitely make them again as study fuel, for sure.

I also opted to try another of Lorna Jane’s easier snack options — frozen raspberries and grapes! 


These were so easy – literally just throw some grapes and raspberries in the freezer and enjoy!  The grapes hit the spot during some study sessions, but I didn’t love how the freezing basically took all of the sweetness out of the raspberries and left them super sour.  I’d freeze grapes again but maybe not raspberries.

I’m excited to check out more of Lorna Jane’s recipes once I have a little bit more time to get creative.  (There are some veggie wraps that look incredible).

Want to win a copy of NOURISH? 

Come party-it-up with the Sweat Pink Community and Lorna Jane on July 9th at 6PM PST / 9PM EST with the #LiveLoveNourish Initiative!  Join us on Twitter and follow #LiveLoveNourish with @LornaJaneActive and @FitApproach! You could be one of 10 winners of a hard copy NOURISH Cookbook, and the most active participant will receive both a cookbook AND a $200 Gift Card to Lorna Jane!

** Click to get started in the #LiveLoveNourish campaign**  =>

Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

  • Are you a Lorna Jane fan? 
  • Favorite study snack? 

village runner 4th of july 5k.

6 Jul

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to check in with quick little race-recap.  I should be studying right now, but I’m having one of those “blech I would rather do anything than study but my apartment is clean so blogging it is” moments.  But anyway, I digress…

A few years ago, I instituted a tradition (with myself, because why not) to run a race on the morning of the 4th of July every year. I did it a few years on and off (once in high school, again in 2009), and now I’ve done it every year since 2011.

Here are my recaps from 4ths of the past.  Funnily enough, I’ve done a different race the last 4 years:

  • 2011: Channel Islands 10k
  • 2012: Will Rodgers Pacific Palisades 10k
  • 2013: Huntington Beach Surf City 5k

Anyway, this year I wanted to run a 5k to see if I could bring my 23:34 down from last year, so I chose to head out to Redondo Beach to run the Village Runner 5k.   This was one of the best local races I have ever done – it was flawlessly executed, the course was (relatively) flat, fast, and well-marked.  I also shaved almost 3 minutes off my time from last year (different course, but very comparable).

Village Runner 5k:  20:41 (6:36 pace). Splits were: 6:22/6:44/6:50.

3rd/133 in my age group  and 153/2500 overall.  I’ll take it!


I have some more thoughts to share about how/why I’ve gotten faster but I’ll save those for a different post.   Back to the race itself…

I got to Redondo around 7:15 am for an 8 o’clock start, checked in, grabbed a T-shirt and some Clif products before heading back to my car to stash my stuff.


pre-race expo.

I weaseled my way to the front in true gunner fashion and waited for the start.   I LOVED that the race announcer dedicated the race to Louie Zamperini, who grew up in Torrance. (Side note: I am currently reading “Unbroken” and am loving it).

I also enjoyed the gaggle of teeny tiny high school boys all ready to race their 5k. They were SO energetic and nervous and also all shirtless which I am not sure was necessary.


The race started and we headed out to the ocean, ran along it for a bit, and turned around and came back.  First mile was a little fast, but whatever.  I was so ready for it to be over around mile 2.5 and then I said to myself “if you walk during a 3 mile race you are doomed for life.”  So obviously I didn’t walk, and I was really happy with my time.

I also loved this race because I bumped into so many people I know from the running community. First, I saw my high school friend and teammate, Jordan Page, who was the 6th finisher overall.  He always was and still is a total beast. First mile in 5:05? Ain’t no thing.

I also saw my sorority sister Cody out there – she screemed my name a little bit after the half which was awesome, and my DTLA Running bud Kevin was out there in an American flag body suit.  My Ragnar SoCal #DirrtyDozen Teammate Carrie @ Family Fitness Food was out there cheering for her son, so it was nice seeing her for a little bit as well!


Post-race, I was impressed by the expo — I grabbed a banana and some water, and picked up some Clif products to take home. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new Kit’s Organic Fruit and Nut Bars.  I also loved how race results were posted almost immediately and e-mailed to us, and that they let me pick up my medal so I could skedaddle out of Redondo before the ceremony.  I’ll definitely be back to run the Village Runner 5k, especially since it is now home of my “since HS” 5k-PR.  (It’s possible it is a straight lifetime best, since some high school races were not 3.1, but rather 2.9 or 3.0 miles).

I spent the rest of the 4th partaking in some #traditions with my best friend Whitney and her friends who I have appropriated as my own over the last, I don’t know, 8 years?


It was the perfect study-free day.


I am NOT good at drinking games (just the drinking part), but at least I look like I can rock flip cup? #powerstance 10517515_10100291666310529_3976696655601967099_n

Later, we rented/borrowed bikes and headed out to Venice Beach to plant ourselves in prime territory to watch the fireworks.  There were some minor bike problems but it was super fun being out there.  I need to bike outside more. 10481442_10103258237941853_7878310175708820563_n


I hope you had a fabulous 4th!

Do you have any annual holiday traditions, fitness-related or otherwise? 

I also like to do a 5k on Thanksgiving morning.

vinyasa, vino, & my fav L.A.-dy bloggers.

28 Jun

This past Tuesday, I was privileged to attend “Vinyasa y Vino,” hosted by Whitney of To Live and Diet in L.A. and One Medical Group at General Assembly in Santa Monica!

IMG_7369I have been reading Whitney’s blog for awhile now and love how she balances studying to become a Registered Dietician with fitness as well as having a lot of fun in LA!  We hadn’t met in person until Tuesday, so I was glad I was able to attend!

The event kicked off with a fabulous 45 minute yoga class led by Jake Ferree  of Aura Yoga.


I loved Jake’s style and the pace of the class. Since I started studying for the bar, I have been mostly doing spin, body pump, and running and have let yoga fall away a little bit.  This class was so energizing and also calming and it felt SO WONDERFUL that it reminded me I need to do more yoga.


{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I will definitely check out Aura Yoga again post-bar!


After the vinyasa came the vino!  I enjoyed a glass of Chardonay from One Hope Wine.IMG_7375Every bottle sold benefitted a different charity, which I thought was pretty cool.yoga_13{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I also enjoyed some tasty passed appetizers from Luvo, and I just learned Luvo is now doing in-flight meals with Delta! Sort of makes me want to book a flight just to try it…

I spent the rest of the evening chatting with some of my favorite L.A.-dy (get it?) bloggers.  It was so nice seeing Gigi, Ashley, and Katy!   I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love how blogging allows you to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise.  When I recently met Katy for the first time in April, it felt like meeting an old friend, so it was so great to see her again and meet her fiancé.  I tried to seem as not-weird as possible so he doesn’t think it’s weird Katy makes friends online…


Katy and Me!

Whitney gave out some raffle prizes and passed out goodie bags to everyone full of some great products.  It was one of those “how cool is this?” experiences and I am so lucky I had the chance to go.  It was a much-needed Tuesday night break amidst monotonous and draining bar studying!

I can’t wait to try these Luvo frozen meals…Maybe not 100% paleo, but a good healthy option.

IMG_7386…And some of the awesome products in the goodie bags.   So far I’ve LOVED the cherry cashew pure bar, hint water (I was already a huge fan),   and I love this Clean Plates LA book!


The co-host of the evening was One Medical Group, and we all were given a free one-year membership to check it out.  My primary care physician is in my hometown, so I may check it out!

Thanks again for a great Tuesday night vinyasa y vino sesh, Whitney!

What would you rather do to de-stress: vinyasa or vino? 

midnight mission 10k recap.

24 Jun

This past Sunday, I ran the Midnight Mission 10k in the Pasadena/La Cañada area.  It was a great event and inspiring on many levels so I wanted to bring you guys a full report.


the view from the start (photo credit: @midnitemission on IG)

Before I get into the ins and outs of the race itself, I want to reiterate why the Midnight Mission is such a cool organization. The Midnight Mission helps individuals experiencing homelessness.  Their website really says it best:

“The Midnight Mission offers a path to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost everything. Our emergency services, 12-step recovery program, job training, education and work programs offer a compassionate bridge to productive lives. We remove obstacles to self-sufficiency and provide the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to rejoin their communities. Our conviction and commitment to their success define us.” 

The Mission also has a “Running Club,” fearlessly led by Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell, who became involved once a man he had sentenced in court was released to the Midnight Mission on parole encouraged Mitchell to come check out the Mission. When he was there, Mitchell explained he’d heard about a similar running club at a shelter on the East Coast, and offered to start one at the Mission. Last year’s race funded enough money to send three of the Running Club’s runners to Ghana to run the marathon. (To read more about Judge Mitchell and the Running Club, head to this LA Times article).

After the race, I got to speak with Ryan Navales, a man who went through the program with Judge Mitchell and now works for the Midnight Mission in an administrative capacity.  He explained that next up for the Mission’s Running Club is to send its runners to Rome to run the Eternal City’s marathon. Ryan dubbed it “From Skid Row to the Vatican.” Cue the shivers down my spine.  If that doesn’t inspire you, I’m not sure what will.

Onto the race itself…

I actually ran this event last year (except it was held in Elysian Park).  I was actually the first female overall last year (tiny, itty bitty little race) so I had to see what this year had in store.  There was a bigger field — over 600 athletes took over Oak Grove Park to do battle with a 5k/10k.

The course and the race… 

The course itself was an out and back through trails, which was awesome, and there was one significant hill. The race was great – challenging but fun, and scenic!  There were a couple of water stops, and it was pretty well-marked. My ONLY complaint about the course is that it was really short. My Garmin clocked in at 5.43 miles (instead of the 6.2 standard for 10ks).  I wasn’t too bummed – I was running pretty fast (for me) but I knew the course wasn’t too PR-friendly, so I didn’t care.

I was the 2nd female (!) which was awesome.  39:33 for 5.43 miles, 7:17 pace. Here are the splits:

  • Mile 1 – 6:46  (I’m dumb)
  • Mile 2 – 7:41
  • Mile 3 – 7:21
  • Mile 4 – 7:08
  • Mile 5 – 7:25
  • 0.43 miles – 3:12

Not the most even splits, but the course was decently varied.

I had encouraged some friends and family to sign up, and I am so lucky that so many indulged me!

My mom ran the 5k and rocked it! Her first mile was in the 9:00 range!


My ex-roomie/future co-worker, Jenn, also ran the 10k!  She was running happy and strong when I saw her near the turn-around. She has been consistently running 2-3x/week and had a great day out there!


Jenn’s fiancé, Daniel, shaved over 4 minutes off his time from his last 5k – the Santa to the Sea in December which is PANCAKE flat, so this was great! Jenn’s mom and family friend also joined us an walked the 5k.  Woo-hoo!


At the last minute, I roped two of my friends, Kwesiu and Eric, from my gym into running the 10k.  We all work out together every Sunday usually, but the classes at our gym were cancelled so I suggested they come with me for a little 10k action.  Eric runs pretty often, but Kwesiu NEVER does so he was nervous.


As it turns out, they both crushed it — clocking in at exactly 8 min/mile splits for the 10k. And check out how cool this picture is…Looks pretty runner-like for a “non-runner.”


One of my favorite things ever is watching non-runners become runners and develop a love for the sport – and beating whatever time goal you had for yourself or surprising yourself by having fun out there is a pretty great feeling. I’m gonna aim to get them to do a 13.1 with me next…Shouldn’t be that hard.

We hung around and chatted, hit up the expo (I tried chips made from egg whites from IPS and snagged a couple of Pure Protein bars). The awards ceremony was cute :).


In addition to these awesome medals…


photo credit: @MidniteMission on IG.

I got this sweet plaque and a gift certificate to a complete shoe fitting from Fleet Feet Sports – Burbank. Can’t wait to redeem that the next time I need a new pair of my old faithfuls (aka Brooks Addictions).

This race had everything I needed for a perfect Sunday: sun, sweat, friends, family, and some bling. I’ll definitely be back next year!

  • What is your FAVORITE way to spend a Sunday morning? 

Disclosure:  I was provided with race entry in exchange for covering the event.  All opinions expressed are my own! (I love this event and would have paid to run it, regardless!)

my top 10 law school experiences.

19 Jun

So right now I am 5 weeks deep into studying for the CA bar exam.  It’s going fine — the days are long but also go by fast, but the constant nagging feeling of wondering whether I am doing enough is a little weird.  As a break from reviewing, I thought I’d put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Law School experiences.  I am one of those weirdos who actually loved law school.  I had a great experience at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and want to re-cap why.

In no particular order…

(1) Judicial Externship with the United States District Court for the Central District of California

I had the honor and privilege to extern for the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the US District Court for a semester of my 2L year.  Hands down, this was the best thing I did academically all of law school.  Not only did I get to observe jury selection and trial, but I wrote an insane number of motions on issues and cases before the court.  It was incredibly challenging and  I learned way more in those four months than I did in any class.


I also developed a strong bond with my co-externs Taylor, Ben, and Colleen.  Watch out for one of them on the Supreme Court one day (okay, maybe just Ben and Colleen out of the four of us are in the running for that — but they’ll all do big things).

(2) Spending a week in Vienna, Austria as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team.

I joined this team as a 2L (second-year law student).  The five of us wrote two briefs (one for Claimant and one for Respondent) and then we practiced 3-4 times per week for our oral arguments.  The competition was located in Vienna (no that is not the sole reason I tried out for this particular team).

counsel for Respondent at the Juridicum

My teammate Rachael and I outside Vienna’s law school. Oh and it was FREEZING.

The competition itself was interesting and fun – we went up against teams from all over the world and had arbitrators that were equally international.


We didn’t advance very far in the competition, but we had so much fun exploring Vienna’s sights and beer halls.  Oh, and schnitzel and spaetzle. The best.

with my friend and teammate Rachael and Professor McDermott on our last night in Vienna.

Our advisor, Professor McDermott, me, and Rachael.

(3) Bar Reviews.

No, not what I am currently doing. “Bar Review” is law school shorthand for “drinking a lot.”  It’s the law school equivalent of a sorority invite – except people are more excited because going out happens with less regularity than it did in undergrad.  I’ve racked up a few funny bar review stories over the years — but my favorite one was the end of 1L bar review.

law school bests celebrating the end of the year.

my law school posse SO STOKED to be done with 1L.

(4) Research Assistant for my favorite professor

I don’t have a photo for this — that’d just be weird — but during my 3L year I worked as a Research Assistant for my favorite professor at LLS, Professor Kevin Lapp.  I had him for Evidence and LOVED his enthusiasm so I jumped at the chance to help him with some research (about juvenile DNA collections and fingerprinting) this past year.  It was a good experience and I loved picking his brain a little bit.

(5)  Trial Advocacy

This past fall, I took a course called Trial Advocacy. This was a fun, practical class where we practiced real substantive lawyering skills, and our final was to conduct a trial.  A few things made this class fun: (1) it was taught by an actual judge who gave amazing, substantive feedback, (2) we had one class in the judge’s actual courtroom in downtown LA, and (3) one of my law school friends/arch-nemesis/biggest rival was in the class, and we went head-to-head in our final trial.


Who do we think won this little show-down?  (Answer: The judge didn’t reach a verdict, but I got a higher grade in the class. Yes, this is how competitive Taylor and I are.  We’re still waiting on our final transcripts…)

(6) Surviving 1L

1L (or 1-hell) is pretty grueling.  ALL of the biggest classes are front-loaded, so in one year, you take criminal law, property, torts, contracts, civil procedure, legal research and writing, and an elective.  1L grades matter the most, so stress is pretty high all year.  It was arduous, but I sort of didn’t hate the “right of passage” nature of it.  Again, I am a freak and people call me a gunner.  Didn’t really realize it until writing this post. Whatever.


(7) Finals rituals

My law school posse developed two traditions that I loved to help us get through 6 rounds of finals.

First, during our long days of studying, we took a walk break to the nearest Starbucks (at LA Live) and re-caffeinated or got some sort of treat.  The break to chat, stretch our legs, and check out whatever was going on at LA Live kept us sane during finals, and we always looked forward to when 3 pm would roll around.


We also often would go out for a drink or a meal after each final as a tiny celebration before studying for the next one resumed.  After one 1L final, we went out to dinner and then went bowling which was fun, but usually we’d go to Yardhouse at LA Live for beers and bad food.


(8) Pro Bono with Team Prime Time

My law school has a pro bono requirement – we had to do 40 hours total of community service — either in the form of free legal work, or through a variety of enrichment programs bringing law and law school to kids. I worked with a few other students to develop a mock trial that a bunch of middle schoolers from LA worked to present, before a real judge in one of our mock courtroom classrooms.  It was so awesome getting to know these kids and have them deliver opening statements and closing arguments as well as watching them cross-examine witnesses and create exhibits.

Team Emerson, about to head into court.

(9) Law School Summers

I had a lot of fun in my summers between 1L and 2L (when I worked for a Superior Court Judge) and 2L and 3L (#bigfirmlife).  I loved the opportunity to get first-hand experience and to hit up many a farmer’s market and firm happy hour.

(10) LLS Ambassador 

As a self-proclaimed Loyola Cheerleader, it was only natural that I become a Loyola Ambassador.  I gave a couple of tours, wrote for the Admitted Students Blog, and attended several Admitted Students Days events and panels where I spoke to prospective and admitted students. These are THE BEST. People are excited and ask the most ridiculous questions…



Admitted Students Event at DTLA’s City Club.

this view wasn't too bad either.

an Admitted Students event at the Dodger’s Stadium Club.

  • Law students: FAVORITE thing you did in law school?  Am I crazy for liking it? Wait don’t answer that. 
  • Non-law students: What was your favorite thing you were involved with in college (my sorority and studying abroad.  And I realize how cliché I am for typing that.)

dtla dad’s day.

16 Jun

I wanted to stop by before bar study: week 5 commences to share a few photos from my family’s father’s day festivities yesterday.

My parents, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend, Olivia, were nice enough to drive all the way downtown for brunch so I could make it to the gym AND study the rest of the day.  They did it to be accommodating, but I also think they love DTLA too so it’s all good.


We had a delightful brunch at Artisan House and we all loved it.  Four out of the five of us ordered variations of the same thing (eggs & bacon, because duh).


All aboard the paleo express…

We didn’t participate in the bottomless mimosa deal (sad face) but we all got our money’s worth in terms of bottomeless coffee…


It was so nice spending a little time with the fam in DTLA.  We had a great time brunching and I think we decided to make Father’s Day brunch a “thing.” Love you, Dad!


(In case you’re wondering, I gave my dad QuestBars so he can become obsessed too and a Kings hat.  My Dad is somewhat of a Kings fan but doesn’t have any gear. I feel like the Stanley Cup win merited at least a cap).

Hope you all had a nice Father’s Day!

How did you celebrate?

Favorite LA brunch spot? 

upcoming race: Midnight Mission 5k/10k

8 Jun

Hi party people!

I wanted to share an upcoming race with you guys and encourage you to run it with me.  I’ll be running the 10k, and it supports a cause that is close to my heart.


The Midnight Mission 5k/10k takes place on June 22 at 8 a.m., in Oak Grove Park in La Cañada Flintridge  to raise awareness of homelessness in Southern CA and to advance health and wellness programs as the Midnight Mission commemorates its 100-year anniversary.

The Midnight Mission is a human services organization in downtown Los Angeles‘ skid row. The organization provides basic subsistence to the region’s needy, drug and alcohol recovery services, “safe sleep” programs, educational training, a mobile kitchen, and family housing with an emphasis on developing self-sufficiency.

One major aspect of the Midnight Mission’s health and wellness programs is its Running Club, led by L.A. County Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell.  Mitchell started a running club in 2012 and since then, has mentored Midnight’s residents on their road to recovery.  You may remember reading about Judge Mitchell during last year’s marathon.

This year, nine Midnight Runners completed the LA Marathon and will lead this year’s 5K/10K run/walk.

I ran this race last year  (albeit at a different location) and was so honored and inspired after meeting Judge Craig Mitchell.  His ability to balance being a judge with mentoring and running with the men of the Midnight Mission was a huge inspiration for me personally to join Back on My Feet and find a small way to give back through a sport that is a major aspect of my life.


My dad and me with Judge Craig Mitchell after the race last year.

I wanted to get the word out about this great event — who doesn’t love starting a Sunday with a little race action and support an amazing cause?

Click here to register.  It’s $40 for adults, but you can save $5 with coupon code MIDNIGHT.

Will I see you at The Midnight Mission 5k/10k?

What inspires you?


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