When we ventured to San Francisco last weekend, I had NO idea how much I would fall in Love with this city. It is so incredible. We started out with a “to do” list, and I didn’t really know what we would actually get to see. However, we crushed our list..and then some. I have had several people ask me for the details of my trip, so I wanted to share what we did for those who are interested!
I really, really, really wanted to go to Alcatraz, and unfortunately, because we were going to be in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend, the tour tickets that were just to Alcatraz were sold out. HOWEVER, upon doing some research we figured out how to get tickets to Alcatraz when it’s sold out. There are quite a few 2nd party tours that will offer a tour of San Francisco, including Alcatraz in their entire package. We were hesitant to do one of these tours because…let’s get real…tours of any kind are usually a little bit cheesy. Let me just tell you I’ve completely changed my tune here. If you are looking to see a lot of the “touristy” San Francisco sites, DO THE TOUR, and do it the first day…and I’ll tell you why.
Parking in SF is nearly impossible, and it’s expensive. Our tour hit SO many awesome places that we wanted to see, and we didn’t have to find parking EVER. It was simply a matter of being dropped off and picked up. It was awesome. The tour we did is THIS ONE if you are interested in our exact plan, but there are quite a few. Here is how our itinerary went down for the weekend…
- San Francisco Day tour – We got to walk down Lombard Street, visit the cable car museum, walk through China Town,
visit the Fortune Cookie Factory, Visit the Painted Ladies (Full House home), Drive past the Mrs. Doubtfire house, Stop at the Grace Cathedral, drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, Stop on the other side for a picturesque view of the bridge, stopped in Sausalito for lunch (We ate at a Mexican place called Copita that I would HIGHLY recommend.) I ordered the Chicken Tinga. I’d eat it all over again right now if I could.
- At this point our tour took a ferry ride back across the bay, which was so fun.
- We stopped at a frozen yogurt place in the Ferry Building called Humphry Slocombe which was BOMB.
- We then walked to another Ferry to head to Alcatraz. GO TO ALCATRAZ. It was so fascinating. I absolutely loved it. We were there for a few hours. You have the option of doing the audio tour that is included. Do it. It is so cool to hear all of the facts. We then took a ferry back.
- We walked down to Fisherman’s wharf & saw the sea lions, which was super fun. We walked all around the shops, & had dinner at Boudin. We then walked back to catch our BART back to where we were staying. All in all we walked about 10 miles day 1.
- I woke up and ran along Ocean Beach. There is an AMAZING trail that runs right along the ocean.If you are a runner, or if you have any interest in an awesome view while you’re running, this is an AWESOME place to go. It’s a straight trail w/very few lights.
- We then went and rented bikes to ride around the Bay.THIS IS A MUST. We got off our BART at Embarcadero, right by the ferry building and there was a bike rental place right there. Their info is HERE. They were super nice & easy to work with.
- We biked from right by the ferry building all the way to Chrissy Field,where we stopped and bought some waters & took some pictures. It is an AWESOME view of the bridge. We then continued across the bridge. At this point you can actually go down into Sausalito, & then take the ferry back if you’d like. However, since we’d already done that, we decided to turn around and bike back & have lunch in San Francisco. I’ll be honest there are some HILLS along this little adventure. It was a pretty good workout. We ended up biking around 16 miles. I loved it! 🙂
- We ate lunch at a little cafe right by Ghirardelli Square called The Black Point Cafe. I really liked it!I got their “seasonal” salad w/chicken. We then biked back to the Embarcadero station, & returned our bikes.
- Next we headed to Oakland to go to an A’s game which was so fun!The weather was perfect, and they had a fireworks show after the game, so everyone was able to go down on the field to watch it. Worth it.
- We trekked out to Muir Woods to start the day off. It was awesome. The parking here is a little crazy, but it’s worth it!It is a great stop because you could go for 20/30 minutes and walk around and be done if you’d like, or you can take your time, enjoy some of the hikes, and make a day of it. We were there for a few hours because we chose to go on some of the hiking trails. There are trails for those who want a flat, less strenuous adventure, as well as the hiking trails that are more hilly.
- We headed back toward San Fran after our adventure in the Muir Woods & Stopped in Sausalito at Cafe Tutti’s for lunch. I’ll be honest, this place wasn’t my favorite. Their ice cream actually looked decent, but I would have rather gone back to Copita’s, or across the street to Lapperts, and just had some ice cream for lunch. 🙂
- I knew what was coming next though, so I just waited until we got to the Bi-Rite Creamery. YES PLEASE. We waited about 30 minutes in line here for our ice cream, and it was SO worth it. It was seriously delicious. I went with a scoop of mint chocolate chip, and a scoop of cookies & cream. The cookies & cream was by far my favorite. I LOVED it! Everyone was really happy with this stop.
- Next we went to another hot spot we had been told was a must stop, Bob’s Donuts. I am not much of a donut lover, but everyone that got some said they were delicious. They are open 24 hours, so this is an easy one to fit into your itinerary at any time. 🙂
- I had a friend send me a post on the Seward Street Slides, and I was bound and determined to find them. These long cement slides are so much fun!
We found out after that people bring card board to slide down on to make them go faster, which is brilliant. These slides have weird hours, and close at sunset. I think they are also closed on Sunday & Monday if I remember correctly, but well worth a quick stop!
- We went to find an incredible view of the bridge above Baker Beach next. This is another spot that is worth the stop if you are looking for a great view. There is a parking lot you can pull right into & go explore. It was gorgeous. Totally worth it.
- We ended our last night watching the sun set on Baker Beach. It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. I LOVE San Francisco. I can’t wait to go back!
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried minced onion
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 4 fresh garlic gloves, minced
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Directions: Pour one TBS of olive oil in the bottom of your crockpot. Add fresh minced garlic. Layer chicken breasts. Mix together dry spices, and pour of the chicken. Pour the balsamic over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until chicken shreds easily. Serve over quinoa, brown rice, or atop a salad.
Disneyland is the best. It just is. The wonderful rides, the nostalgia, the scent of churros, the magic of it all, and every other amazing detail that makes Disneyland fantastic. I love it. It’s hard not to feel like a kid again when you are walking right down the middle of main street USA. I write all the time about moderation. I think that eating healthy the majority of the time and indulging in something you love every now and again is absolutely fine. However, most people live with the opposite mindset; eating whatever they want the majority of the time…occasionally dipping into the healthy stuff every now and again. I can promise you, if you want to see any type of progress in your health and weight loss you HAVE to consistently eat well. It is just the way it is.
With that being said, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to be healthy at the happiest place on earth.
1. Pack your own goods. If you are worried about finding healthy options that you will like in the park, or if you just want to save some cash on food…bring your own food! We brought a small cooler pack with our own lunch. I had turkey, hummus, and veggies. It was delicious. I also brought a Questbar, fruit, nuts, popcorn, and water to snack on throughout the day. If you don’t want to carry your cooler, put it in a locker outside the park. It’s like $7, and you won’t have to worry about lugging it around. I would also suggest Larabars, apples, bananas, nuts, dried fruit, turkey jerky, and cut up fresh veggies if you don’t want a cooler because they are easy to carry around.
2. Seek out the healthy restaurants. Believe it or not, there are actually some good finds in the park as far as eating is concerned. I had grilled chicken and veggie kebabs that were at the restaurant right across from the Indiana Jones ride. These were delicious, and moderately priced as well. Amanda found a similar option with Mediterranean skewers in California Adventure at the Paradise Garden Grill, located on Paradise Pier. Hers came with a cilantro sauce that looked divine.
3. Look for the healthy snack stands. There are kiosks all over Disneyland and California Adventure that offer snack sized fruit bowls, packs of nuts, pineapple spears, apples, bananas, hummus, cut up vegetables, and vitamin waters. The key here is looking for these options. It is very easy to find yourself starving and reaching for the quickest, (and most heavenly smelling) option that is close by. Plan ahead. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
4. Choose your indulgences wisely. If there is something that you can’t live without at Disneyland, the dole whip, the churro, the chocolate dipped banana…whatever it may be…choose to make the majority of your day as healthy as you can and then enjoy every bite of that waffle cone. Instead of feeling sick after your day of fun, you’ll be proud of yourself for walking like a fool and practicing some self control. It will make your indulgences taste that much better!
Oh…and FYI: On average…Park Hoppers who spend the whole day at Disneyland walk between 15-20 miles, burning 180-350 calories per hour, depending on how much you are walking. THAT is awesome.
I must say…of all of the healthy bagged popcorn options SkinnyPop is my favorite, and I have tried A LOT of them. It has flavor. It is light. It is all natural. It’s just pain delightful. Well, you can imagine my excitement when the fantastic people of SkinnyPop sent me three of their new flavors to try. The new flavors are Black Pepper, Naturally Sweet, and Ultra Lite White Cheddar. All of these flavors are low in calories, and made up of all natural ingredients. The Black Pepper flavor has a light peppery kick to it that I loved. It gave it some flavor, and it was something different than the usual popcorn taste. I really liked it. The Naturally Sweet flavor wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would be like kettle corn, but it’s not. It is very lightly sweetened with cane juice. It has just a hint of sweetness, and unlike kettle corn, it only has one gram of sugar per serving. This stuff is TO DIE FOR. I liked it a LOT. I usually don’t love cheddar flavored popcorn, but this flavor of SkinnyPop made me think again. It’s lightly dusted with the white cheddar flavoring, staying true to it’s “Ultra Lite” claim. It was really flavorful, and I think it is an awesome snack option that people will LOVE.
SkinnyPop, you have seriously done it again…times three. My only qualm is that I have yet to find a place where I can purchase these incredible flavors around me! If you see them, try them! It is the best healthy snack. My only warning is that you may want to eat the whole bag in one sitting… 😉
There are some products I review that I think fall into the “good” category. I genuinely think they will be a healthy and tasty option for a lot of people. However, every now and then I review a product that I think is awesome. These G2G bars definitely fall into that category. There are a lot of reasons why I feel this way, and I’ll tell you why. Most importantly, they are delicious. I refuse to eat anything protein bar-esque that is gross. It just isn’t worth it. I like my food to be enjoyable! These G2G bars are SO GOOD. The almond chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip flavors taste like a no-bake cookie to me, which happens to be one of my favorite treats. On top of tasting delightful, these bars are completely natural. This is HUGE to me as well. I hate looking at nutrition facts, only to find that I have no idea what I’m actually eating. These bars are made up of whole ingredients like nuts, whole oats, fruit, flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut oil. They contained no refined sugar, and are sweetened with honey, brown rice syrup, and coconut crystals. The protein in these bars is whey protein, which is a high quality, quick-digesting protein that is very beneficial to protein synthesis in muscle repair. The nutrition facts are fantastic. Because of the calorie count, I think these bars make the PERFECT on-the-go breakfast. I think it is so important to start your day with a high-protien breakfast that will get your metabolism going. The flavors of these G2G bars are:
- Almond Chocolate Chip
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Almond Fruit Nut
- Peanut Fruit Nut.
I had some friends and coworkers try them out with me, and I think they agreed with me on the Almond Chocolate Chip being the favorite BUT they are ALL tasty. These bars have no preservatives in them, which indicates how fresh and natural they are. Oh and a couple more awesome things…they are gluten free…AND they are manufactured in my home town. Yay for supporting local small businesses! If you want to get your hands on some of these delicious bars (and I promise you do) visit their website HERE. I have already recommended these to clients, friends, and family, and I will surely continue to do so!
I am always on the lookout for healthier snack options for my clients. I have a few clients who have to follow a gluten free diet, and finding healthier snacks that fit within their dietary needs can be even more difficult. While I am not usually one that seeks after processed foods, I think there are some healthy options out there that are made from highly nutritional sources. The people from Riceworks sent me these delicious brown rice crisps to try, and they definitely won me over! These tasty crisps are made from all natural ingredients, contain no preservatives or artificial flavors, are low in saturated fat, and are certified gluten free.The two flavors that were sent to me were the Sweet Chili and Sea Salt flavors. Both kinds were delicious on their own, but I also think the Sea Salt flavor is perfect to serve with my homemade hummus, fresh homemade salsa, or guacamole. I would definitely recommend these brown rice crisps to anyone! They are the perfect healthy option to add to any get together family dinner, backyard BBQ, or pool party! Thanks to the people at Riceworks for letting me snack on this deliciousness! For those of you who have more in-depth questions about this product, click HERE to visit the Riceworks website.
Let me just start by saying you HAVE to try these. You just have to. My guess is that you have seen these around. They are starting to POP up everywhere…no pun intended…kind of. Next time you see them, you should absolutely grab a bag. Let me start by saying that I have never been a potato chips girl. Don’t get me wrong…I know there are plenty of tasty options of chips that are out there. However, for whatever reason, I’ve just never been one to buy a bag of chips to snack on. It isn’t because I don’t like them. It is because I know myself far too well. an open, portionless bag of chips is a bottomless pit of scary in my eyes. I am not good at determining how many chips I’ve had…or when enough is enough. SO, I just stay away. It’s better that way. However, the fabulous people over at popchips have changed my mind. What is a popchip you may ask? I certainly did. It is just that. A chip that is popped instead of fried. This is a quote straight from their site that helps give a bit more info, “popping is a way of making our naturally delicious chips. we start with the finest ingredients, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! it’s a chip. all that’s added is a flavorful blend of seasonings to create taste-bud popping flavors.”The nutrition stats on these tasty lil’ snacks are awesome. For 1 oz (about 23 chips) you are looking at about 120 calories, 4g of fat, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, and 2g of protein. These chips are not greasy. They are light, crispy, and full of flavor! I tried a variety of flavors from Thai Sweet Chili to Barbecue to Cheddar…just to name a few, and they were all SO good! I think the winner in my book is the Thai Sweet Chili. It is absolutely bursting with a unique flavor that I LOVE. These are a great health snack option for everyone! Kids and adults alike will be in love with them. I even tried them out on my dad, who is a LOVER of chips. They passed with flying colors. In fact, I think he was surprised at how much he loved them. 😉
I love Pinterest. Who doesn’t these days, right? It is such an awesome way to find new ideas for healthy recipes. I quite frequently will browse through my pins to try and shake up what I am eating. You can follow my Healthy Recipes board and my Paleo-rific board to see what delicious ideas I’ve been pinning. Here are a few of the recipes I found today that I’m dying to try!
Southwestern Grilled Sweet Potato Salad Avocado Egg Salad Yummy Grilled Zucchini Mini Pepper Chicken Nachos Chicken with Garlic Balsalmic Tomatoes and Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Butter Frosting