Tag Archives: beauty

The Muir Woods

When you take a road trip up the Pacific 1 and stop in every major coastal city, you’ve seen a lot. When someone asks you what part was your favorite and you have a quick response, that says a lot. The Muir Woods was that place for me.

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Our Up-the-California-Coast Trip in Pictures

We took a great trip renting a Camaro and driving up the California coast with the end destination being San Francisco. We stopped in Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and finally in San Francisco. Hungry is going to make a video of our trip and we will post it on YouTube, can’t wait to see that. This trip was so rejuvenating with so much ocean and greenery. It invigorated our love for travel and exploring. 

Our sick ride

Our sick ride

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Hilary and Ernesto’s Wedding in Pictures

Part of our East Coast trip was to go to the wedding of my very dear friend, Hilary

Part of our East Coast trip was to go to the wedding of my very dear friend, Hilary

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Red Rock Canyon Hike (Topanga, CA)

I am lucky to have friends who are still with me since kindergarten and middle school. I am more lucky still that they have an enthusiasm for food, fitness, and the outdoors as I have too! Pretty awesome, right? So about every other Saturday, Dani California Cooks and Jamie (she guest blogs here on Hungry and Fit from time to time), and I like to go for a hike. Whether that be Will Rogers, Temescal, or Eagle Rock, we are always up for good sights and a tough trail. I also love it that Noke usually gets to come along too! As we’ve said in many posts before, hiking is one of the best forms of exercise, training, and fitness. I will take hiking over nearly every exercise–it just brings a sense of peace PLUS works my entire body.  A few weekends ago, one of us (Jamie, I think?) suggested the Red Rock Canyon hike in Topanga. I had never done it before so I was game!

Make sure to always bring water for the pup on hikes!

Make sure to always bring water for the pup on hikes!

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Song of the Sea Review

Have you ever seen Secret of Kells? It’s a wonderful story told through brilliant animation unfolding Irish mythology. Its animation, graphics, music draw you in like little other animations do. Its rich story is told through an enchanting way that makes you love the characters and simply get lost in the “scenery.” The creators of Secret of Kells recently came out with a new movie: Song of the Sea, another story concerning Irish mythology, this time of a selky. As soon as I saw that GKIDS (the movie company) was coming out with another movie, I jumped on the opportunity to see it. With the same rich animation, I knew it would be worth seeing on the big screen. Luckily we have the Nuart theatre who is playing the movie all week. We ate at the Red Tiger and went to the theatre early for good seats and some popcorn. 

Our dinner and a movie!

Our dinner and a movie!

For me, the entertainment value was high. The animation, again like in Secret of Kells, was magical and enchanting. The voice actors and actresses were spot on in capturing a small family in a remote part of Ireland. I particularly loved Saoirse, the little girl who the movie focuses on. Her sweetness and pure wonder makes the world blossom for you as it does for her. You didn’t get to know the characters very well, but that is also how Secret of Kells is. It doesn’t draw too much away from the movie, but it would be nice to have a morsel more of information. However, the characters all have their quirks that make you smile because they are simply them. I didn’t like it as much as Secret of Kells, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

This movie deserves some Oscars. The layers and depths of the animation in this movie is hard to wrap the mind around, let alone describe in words. As the journey unfolds, there are multiple patterns of animation going on all around the screen. The animators use the graphics and drawings to reveal more about the story and the world without using characters to tell it. I find it absolutely remarkable. It is transfixing and your breath catches when you watch it. 


If there were two “X-Factors” of this movie, it would be the animation and the music. You know about the animation, seeing as I have gone on and on about it, but the music is also part of the enchantment. With the music and animation partnered hand-in-hand, you are transported into another world of mythology and wonder. The animation is incredibly unique in style. The music has roots in the Irish culture (which is already a winner for me). The music is full of song, melody, and rhythm. It sways you and brings you along for the journey. 

Hungry and Fit gives this movie a big thumbs up. If you’re in the Los Angeles area or in an area playing this movie, go see it on the big screen. The music and animation are worth it enough. Get ready to be transported into a world of Irish mythology and a child’s journey to discovering who she truly is. Enjoy Song of the Sea and prepare to have your breath taken away. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

3-Day Kaeng Raeng Cleanse Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaeng Raeng. All opinions are 100% mine.

Finally, finally! I’ve found a cleanse that is actually enjoyable. I’ve been through enough research and self-experimentation to know that there are many not-so-pleasant cleanses out there. Whether they are fasts or just horrible poop-your-pants cleanses, they don’t make the process easy. Enter Kaeng Raeng, my new favorite cleanse of them all.

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This cleanse is just three days of wonderful smoothies. There is no starvation, no unnatural ingredientsno caloric deficiency. I really appreciated that. For some cleanses, you aren’t exactly sure what’s in them. For Kaeng Raeng, it’s all freeze-dried fruit made into powder that you can mix into juice or blend for a smoothie. The scariest ingredient is probably the “L. Acidophilius blend,” but that’s just probiotics to make your gut happier! Plus, you get your full serving of all major vitamins while you drink the smoothies.

It actually tastes good. No, I’m not lying. How can fruit not taste good? Chris even liked it (he had a small sip)! There are some cleanses where I seriously struggled with. Some I had to try a million different ways just to get it down my throat. Not with this one. With Kaeng Raeng, I looked forward to each and every smoothie. And that’s how I made them: into smoothies. It was quick enough where I could just throw some frozen fruit, water, almond milk and the cleanse packet into the blender and drink it at home or on-the-go! So easy to make! It was so easy to make it into the smoothie I wanted without “cheating.”



I feel like Kaeng Raeng is a cleanse for your everday person. Have you ever been around me when I’m hungry (more like hangry)? It’s not pretty. Kaeng Raeng cleanses allow you to eat any raw fruits or veggies in between your smoothies. I was a happy girl. It’s simply not realistic or sustainable for me to do a cleanse where I can’t eat close to my normal caloric intake. It’s not going to last and it’s going to leave a bad taste in my mouth….literally (I’ll be here all night)!



For me I usually had the “Daybreak” packet in the morning which includes mango, peach, and pineapple. Lunch was the “Joyful” packet containing strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple. And finally for dinner, I had the “Into the Blue” with banana and blueberry. Like I said earlier, these are yummy. Kinda like going to a smoothie place without all the unnatural ingredients. My favorite was probably the “Joyful” which was perfect because I had something to keep me going for the rest of the day.

There are a few different levels of this cleanse and if you are unsure of where you place at, just take this quiz to find out. Another big plus about this cleanse is that they are so animal-friendly that a portion of each sale goes to animal protection organizations. As animal lovers, that is a big plus. You can buy Kaeng Raeng on Amazon for a very reasonable price. If you leave a review on Amazon, you can get 15% off your next order! The cleanse can also be found at select Whole Foods Markets as well, so call your local store to find out. Kaeng Raeng will definitely be my go-to cleanse from now on, and I urge you to try it. After the third day, I no longer had my normal cravings which was really really nice.

"Into the Blue"

“Into the Blue”

Lucky for you, we are hosting a giveaway! We’re giving away one swag bag to a reader. Just comment why YOU want to try a vegan cleanse. For an optional entry, Like Kaeng Raeng on Facebook.Can’t wait? You can use the code “KRCleanseMT10″ for 10% off your order at Kaeng Raeng. This code expires on 4/25/14. Use Kaeng Raeng cleanses to stay hungry and fit!

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Monday Meditation

I teach a Meditation every Monday and I believe it’s a good way to set up and shape the week ahead. I can’t think of a better thing to do on a Mondaybefore the madness and stress of the week totally grabs you. You can either let the week rule you, or you take control of the week. It’s the difference between stress and happiness. And it can only take 5 minutes. When I wake up to face the day, I either go for a morning walk or I do three sun salutations and meditate for a few minutes. It leaves me refreshed, calm, and ready to take on the week with a smile. Here’s the meditation I did today, very simple:

Beautiful nature always helps for meditation!

Beautiful nature always helps for meditation!

  • Start by sitting upright in a comfortable position
  • Then begin your active breathing…using the counting method, inhale for four counts, hold at the top for four counts, and exhale for four counts. Do this for a few minutes until your mind and body calms down
  • To move to the focus of this meditation, I want you to think of kindness and inhale the kindness, and exhale entitlement. Inhale kindness, exhale entitlement. Do this for a few minutes until you have a smile on your face.
  • Finish with three big stress relief breaths. Use your body and raise your shoulders as you inhale, and exhale with a loud breath (as if sighing), slumping forward. Do this three times.

And that’s it. Only takes a few minutes and really sets a beautiful tone for the day. I focused on breathing in kindness (because we all need more of that) and exhaling entitlement because I believe entitlement always leads to other problems like greed, anger, frustration, and so forth. I hope you do this meditation sometime this week! I promise it will be worth it. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

What I Learned from New Zealand

Sadly, we are back from our 2-week trip to New Zealand. This is my fourth time there (my mum is from there and her huge family), and Chris’ first time. Every time I think about how we aren’t there anymore, I feel like I’m going to cry…and I don’t really cry. There are going to be loads of posts about New Zealand coming up, about food, fitness, guides to cities and so forth. Lots of good stuff. I wanted to keep this returning post to the point. Here are a few things I learned on this trip to New Zealand:

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The people of New Zealand (the Kiwis) are incredibly down-to-earth. They don’t take themselves too seriously, for the most part, and are there simply to live and do what makes them happy. I think loads of people in the States and elsewhere could take a page from their book in this lesson.


my aunt Raewyn and uncle Michael at Huka Falls (they’re twins believe it or not)

2. Family first. I already knew this one, but this trip hit it home once again. My mum is one of eight siblings which means I have a huge family over there. As I visit more and more as I am an adult, my relationships and bonds with them grow deeper. Chris, my brother and his girlfriend, and I toured the South Island together for the first time and it was wonderful. But sometimes I found myself wishing that we were back at Nana’s, sitting around, roaring with laughter. I miss them so much now. Seeing them once every few years is just not enough!

From left to right, top to bottom: Aunt Raewyn and I, Kai and Sophie, Aunt Carolyn and I

From left to right, top to bottom: Aunt Raewyn and I, Kai and Sophie, Aunt Carolyn and I

3. Live simple. This goes for many people of New Zealand, not all, but many. They may own huge pieces of land, but a lot of it is just that–land. The beauty of New Zealand speaks for itself and you would be a fool to miss it. It was always my end goal to end up in New Zealand (as I am a citizen there), but I find myself wanting to move there sooner and sooner to live that kind of life! I remember this place on Akaroa (beautiful spot on the South Island) of this fish stand on the wharf where the guy would go out fishing, bring in the catch of the day several times of the day, and either sell the fish raw or cook some fish and chips up. That life sounds awesome to me.


Off the wharf in Akaroa

4. Don’t be afraid to spend money. This one is tough because we obviously aren’t all made of money. This certainly goes for Chris and I. We spent quite a bit of money down there and wanted to do even more! If you want to do something that you know you’ll regret later if you don’t, just cough it up and do it. You can always work more when you get home (as we are doing now).


Food is expensive there!

5. Don’t judge others and just let go. So that side of the family…when everyone gets together we are incredibly loud and almost always make a scene wherever we go because of how ridiculous everyone is. That being said, we got looks from people everywhere we went! But not angry looks, more of amusement. Just realizing that should make people second-guess judging people just because they are a little loud and…different.


Chris found a big stick...

Chris found a big stick…

Just because I don't have the entirety of my mum's thousands of pictures yet, I have to show you a daily thing between my family (this is last trip in 2011)

Just because I don’t have the entirety of my mum’s thousands of pictures yet, I have to show you a daily thing between my family (this is last trip in 2011)


A constant reaction from me and imagine that multiplied by about 10

6.Just sit down and look outside. This is huge!! If you don’t sit down and look outside in New Zealand, I have to call you an idiot. But this goes for wherever you are. Find beauty in everything. Find a moment just to sit down outside, look at the sky, mountains, plains, whatever you have. I did this lots of times by myself and with company to just enjoy mother nature.

Just before a sunset at Lake Taupo, North Island

Just before a sunset at Lake Taupo, North Island

7. There’s always a reason to smile. Even if someone is going through a rough patch in my family, they always find a way to smile or laugh. And I mean always. Whether it’s through pranks, family love, or just having a conversation, you will never ever ever see a lack of smiles on my kiwi family’s faces. And I honestly believe that it’s good for you. People don’t laugh as much here!

Us on the ferry to the South Island

Us on the ferry to the South Island

8. Do what makes you happy. This connects with a few other points. There are so many ways that we complicate life nowadays and strive for things that we think can somehow create happiness. Or sometimes happiness isn’t the goal anymore. That makes me crazy! I need to bring it to my own life as well. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, don’t make an excuse to go do something that will bring joy to you. That real happiness that is deep within. Get it!

Picking cherries with Sophie for instance...

Picking cherries with Sophie for instance…

9. Fresh fish is the only way to go. I didn’t have to worry about whether fish was farmed or not to the places we went to eat at, it was all caught that day pretty much with a few exceptions! I can’t even describe how good the fish is there. Probably the best fish and chips I had was some that my Aunt Pam and Uncle/Godfather John cooked. Absolutely amazing. Don’t know how much fish and chips I ate there. Go fresh or go home.

Drooling constantly.

Drooling constantly.

10. Switch off. I didn’t use my phone much over there (except for pictures) because I hadn’t unlocked it so I would get a billion roaming and international charges. On the South Island, there was rarely any internet. For Americans, it’s sadly tough to go without these things. But I found it to be liberating and really nice for most of the time. Sure we all swarmed the internet when we got it, but otherwise we forgot about it. We just drove through the windy hills, steep cliffs, and by the ocean and just looked out and enjoyed each other. I am personally going to try to avoid being on my phone all the time, and just enjoy what’s around me.

Not even accurate description of our sleep last night...brutal, jet-lag made us not fall asleep for a while!

Not even accurate description of our sleep last night…brutal, jet-lag made us not fall asleep for a while!

I can’t wait to get all the other pictures from mum, Chris, Sophie, and so forth. I hope you’ve enjoyed a little sample of pictures and what I learned while I was there. I could go on and on, but it’s time for me to go to bed. To all my family reading this, I miss you!! Can’t wait to head on back to my future home. And as always…stay hungry and fit!


Although I am super bummed not to be in NZ anymore, there are two cats that make it a little better

Although I am super bummed not to be in NZ anymore, there are two cats that make it a little better

Recipe FAIL and a Pick-Me-Up

We’ve had this cauliflower in the fridge for some time now, and we’ve just been so busy moving, house-sitting, being sick, and getting our stuff together that we haven’t done as much at-home cooking as I would like. Sure we’ve done easy peasy meals here and there like quesadillas, muffins, and ramen, but not new recipes I’ve wanted to try. Well this was about to change (or so I was hoping)! I was so successful with my other no-yeast whole-wheat pizza recipe, I was like SURE I can do this cauliflower pizza recipe from here. WRONG. It called for a food processor, but I don’t have one really. So I just chopped into lots of bits. Anyhow, as you will see below, IT DIDN’T WORK OUT. I made the crust too thin and didn’t balance the cheese ratio me thinks.


YIKES-and a blurry pic to boot, nice, Alana

I kind of knew it went wrong after 5 minutes in the oven, but went through some self-denial until after, 25 minutes it was a burnt mess. Determination squashed, I told Chris that my dinner attempt was done and that it was his turn. He debated making a gourmet mac and cheese, but as we are both sick (who gets a cold in summer?!), we didn’t need more congestion, ESPECIALLY since Warrior Dash is this weekend. So eventually, he decided (I wouldn’t give him any input like a brat) on his favorite Chinese place in town, China Gourmet (I can’t believe we haven’t done a post about that place).

I got a delicious Pad Thai and he got Chicken and Broccoli

I got a delicious Pad Thai and he got Chicken and Broccoli

We enjoyed a nice sunset and spent some good time together sitting down and eating food we didn’t have to prepare. The motto of this story isn’t to get Chinese food after a recipe fail, but I wouldn’t be mad if that’s what you got out of it. What I want you to get out of it is to not be hard on yourself for everything and accept that you’re not perfect and you can’t be good at every little thing you do. I screwed up a recipe–who cares, we made a solution and are happy for it. So next time you burn that batch of cookies, either cook up something easy that you love, make your partner cook for you, or go out for a cheap meal! I promise you will forgive yourself. Use this advice to stay hungry and fit!

Beautiful Boulder sunset

Beautiful Boulder sunset

We got a ping pong table! And Nymeria is absolutely adorable with us playing. Need to get a video

We got a ping pong table! And Nymeria is absolutely adorable with us playing. Need to get a video

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It’s Time to Listen to Pocahontas

I think we’ve got our philosophies wrong in the world. And sadly, it is most of the world now. There was a time where beliefs of nature and the world reigned in some parts of the globe, but global expansionism and global economy has changed that. I know it’s Disney. I know. But, I can’t help but think how right Disney’s Pocahontas is, every time I hear “Colors of the Wind.” I  know you’re thinking, “Alana, I can’t believe you’re actually writing about this right now.” Well, probably some of you can believe it and are shaking your heads and sighing.

Yes, it’s Disney, but listen to some of the lyrics. If more of us thought this way, it could change the world into a more beautiful place. I know it’s Disney, but there’s some real truth and grit in it. Just look over the lyrics.

You think I’m an ignorant savage
And you’ve been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don’t know?
You don’t know …

You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they’re worth

The rainstorm and the river are my brothers
The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends

How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you’ll never know
And you’ll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon

For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

You can own the Earth and still
All you’ll own is Earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind

I think we all ought to take a page of Disney’s Pocahontas’ book. Step back to realize the beauty that we all live in and give back to the earth more. Don’t see everything in monetary value or dollar bills. After all, how can we let green pieces of paper rule our lives? Step back and love what’s around you.

Peace, Love, and Pocahontas