San Diego Restaurant Week Fun: Del Mar’s CUCINA enoteca + Taste of Thai

Last week was an exciting time for a San Diego foodie who enjoys a good deal like myself: the city’s 2015 Restaurant Week!

SD Restaurant Week

Over the course of 7 days, diners can enjoy discounted prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at the more than 180 participating eateries in 12 regions throughout San Diego County. Every year that I’ve been in town for it, I love taking the opportunity to grab a bite at a few of the participating restaurants that I’ve never been to before for a few bucks cheaper.

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The first restaurant that I dined at during Restaurant Week was Del Mar’s CUCINA enoteca — an eatery featuring California-inspired dishes with an Italian flair. CUCINA enoteca opened in 2013, and I had heard good things about it. Zagat recently called Cucina Enoteca one of the hottest restaurants in San Diego. I got to see what all the hype was about when I met with two girlfriends of mine for dinner there last Tuesday night.

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(Super Bowl Recipe Idea Alert!) Chickpea Sliders with Vegan Garlic Aioli

Hi friends!

Hope you had a nice weekend! My weekend was pretty low-key, and the highlights were a Friday evening light hike with my little family, a pedi/lunch date with a girlfriend on Saturday and a trip to the dog beach on Sunday afternoon.

Del Mar Dog Beach

Del Mar Dog Beach

Do you know what my weekend did not include? Football. Well, technically that’s not true, since I did watch a bit of the Pro Bowl when Serena Williams’ match at the Australian Open last night went to commercial, but that’s only kinda sorta a real NFL game.

This is the time of the year when the NFL season ends, and on one hand, it’s nice because I have extra time to do other things on Sundays; but on the other hand, I get a little sad because I love watching football and all of a sudden there’s this empty hole in my sports viewing life. BUT, before this officially happens, next Sunday the Super Bowl is taking place. Besides what will hopefully be an entertaining game, what’s something I always look forward to during the big NFL showdown? Food of course! chickpea sliders-2

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Mediterranean Wedge Salad with Chickpea Vinaigrette

Ever heard of the phrase, “If you’re bored then you’re boring”?

For some reason I was thinking about this the other day in the context of food as I was photo editing this recipe. If you eat the same foods day in and day out and are just kind of blah about your meals, you’re most definitely a boring eater. And you’re probably bored with your diet.

Let’s talk about salads in this context. Numerous people have said to me, “I can’t eat a lot of salads because they just get boring.”
Wedge Salad-3
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Being Gym-less + Gigabody Online Fitness Class Subscription Giveaway

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve belonged to a regular gym…. that is, until last year, when I moved and left my beloved, cozy gym full of friendly people and didn’t begin a membership somewhere new.

Hitting the trails with my hiking partner

Hitting the trails with my hiking partner

Since then I’ve tried out a few regular gyms, but haven’t found one that I’ve loved enough to join as a member. While I’ll probably join a gym sometime in the near future to switch things up, I certainly haven’t been bored during these months.

Between hiking around Southern Cali and other outdoor workouts, trying out a couple of new workouts with Groupon, doing a few fitness collaborations for the blog, including trying out ClassPass and working out at Fitwall, taking challenging classes instructed by my newly Lagree method certified friend (Core40 review here!), and working it out with at-home workouts, I’ve found my workout routine to be anything but a boring old routine.

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Date Night in Carlsbad {Weekend Recap}

Hi friends!

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. My long weekend was a great one, and here were some of its highlights:

Carlsbad beach

I kicked off my weekend with a walk along the beach with my little family. I had planned on getting an at-home workout in afterwards, but wound up not feeling like it at all. Most of the time when I’m feeling this way I just push through an exercise session, but once in a blue moon I just skip it – especially when I’ve worked out every other day that week as was the case on Friday night. 
banana bread

Instead of working out I baked banana bread, read blogs, made white broccoli pizza and watched a movie…..and it was fabulous.

white broccoli pizza

Saturday morning I met up with a few other women for a hike at Torrey Pines State Beach. It was a perfect day weather-wise, and the views aren’t too shabby, as you can see below!

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines-2

I hadn’t been to Torrey Pines in awhile because it’s a bit of a drive from my house, and more importantly, because the park doesn’t allow dogs. Hiker traffic is heavy, which I usually steer away from on trails, but it’s so gorgeous walking along the coast, so I was glad that I got the chance to spend the morning there.

Torrey Pines-3

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2-Minute Berry Banana Sorbet

Happy, happy Friday! Any fabulous plans for this weekend? I’m looking forward to my long weekend full of football watching, a hiking date with my hubby, doing some recipe experimentation, a workout with a girlfriend of mine, and a mix of both doing some productive things and relaxing.

Today’s topic is a never-ending love of mine – fruit. I have a serious obsession with fruit, from apples and banana to cherries and strawberries.

fruitbowl

In fact, while I enjoy veggies, I have to kind of plan them into my meals mindfully. Otherwise, on the produce front, my diet would consist of all the fruit and none of the veggies.

berry bowl with almond butter

Since I have a huge sweet tooth, I’m always finding ways to make meals that could be dessert, but are also healthy and nutritious enough to be considered a wholesome meal. I’m sneaky like that.

Cue my latest lunch love: a frozen berry banana protein bowl.

berry bowl with granola

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The Blog Turns Three!

A few days ago I got a WordPress alert on my phone telling me that it had been THREE years since my first WordPress post. Wow, the years have completely sped by!

Happy Birthday FLF

It’s crazy to think about how when I started blogging, I had no idea what a great part of my life it would become. My hubby had just deployed, and I decided to start what was then called Foodie Meets Fitness as a new hobby and a way to share more of my day-to-day life and recipes with loved ones 2,500 miles away. Since then there has been a lot of change and growth around here!

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Embracing What is | Monserate Mountain Hike Recap

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to clear my head, enjoy nature and practice mindfulness. I always consider it time well spent as I’m trekking up a mountain, feeling the breeze, and taking in the scenery, and every time I reach the peak, I do so with a grateful heart.John Muir quote

(source)

However, just as with everything in life, sometimes hikes don’t go exactly as planned. This was the case last weekend, when I set out to try hiking a new trail: Monserate Mountain in the nearby town of Fallbrook.

Sometimes when hikes don’t go exactly as planned, it’s because I get lost while I’m actually hiking; other times I get lost trying to get to the trail itself. The latter was the case last Saturday.  Monseate Mountain-1

One of the challenges of finding new hikes is figuring out how to actually get there, since I find that addresses to trail heads aren’t specified a lot of the time – especially since I usually find out trail info via hiking forums. Oh, and I have no sense of direction either, so that never works to my advantage.

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Banana Almond Butter Muffins {Vegan & Gluten Free}

Happy Friday friends!

Hope that your first full week of January has been awesome, and that you have some fun weekend plans ahead. Speaking of fun, today I’ve got a fun recipe to share with you guys!
browned bananas

Whenever I go food shopping, bananas are always on the list. I buy a ton of bananas! A and I both use them for smoothies almost daily, plus I like to smear bananas with nut butter or top yogurt bowls with banana slices often.

However, I somehow wound up with too many bananas in the house over the past week. We couldn’t eat them fast enough, and before I knew it, I had 5 brown bananas sitting in my fruit basket. I threw a few of them in the freezer for later smoothie use, and then I had a yummy idea for the remaining ones…

banana almond butter muffins-2….baking some muffins! 

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The Organic Debate + My New Year Health Coaching Program Discount!

Hi everyone!

Being that it’s the start of a new year, I know that many of you have resolutions related to health: wanting to lose weight, eat better, be more consistent with your exercise routine, cultivate a more positive mindset, or find ways to be more active in your everyday life. Perhaps you want to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet, or transition into a plant-based diet.

Nicole Crane Health - Logo

Whatever your main healthy living goal is, I’d love to chat more with you about it and see if my health coaching program is a good fit for you. I offer free consultations to discuss all of this, and I’m happy to announce that I’m offering a new year discount! If you sign up for my program in the next month, you’ll receive $100 off your total program fee.

Prices for my 6-month program are offered at $195 a month, and there are additional discounts for paying in full at the beginning of the program, and also for signing up on the same day as your consultation. With all discounts applied, including my new year discount, right now you can pay as low as $142/monthly to be my client! With my program, you’ll get 1-on-1 coaching sessions, food samples and recipes, email and phone support, as well as goodies and offerings that are unique to the coaching program I create just for you.

It’s a New Year, let me empower you to create a New You! Visit my health coaching page or email me at nicole@foodielovesfitness.com to find out more. 

Now, let’s dive into today’s post topic: organic food. I’ve been asked by a handful of people recently about how I feel about organic vs. nonorganic, so I wanted to share some insight.  

Fresh fruit

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