Exploring the Beautiful Shores of Southern Cali on an Electric Assist Bike

La Jolla Cliffs

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a BEGINNER biker chick. However, my husband Tory loves biking so much that it’s starting to rub off on me. Since he does all the hard stuff, such as researching and purchasing the necessary equipment, choosing the best routes, and motivating me to follow him on crazy trails and through traffic, I’m slowly learning there’s more to it than tight, padded clothing and silky smooth man legs!

The real trick to keeping up with my guy, while on the hills of California, is that I was riding an electric assist bike. These things are AMAZING! Since I complained when my hubby bought this thing (they aren’t cheap), I won’t be showing him this post. Seriously though… I was able to stay right on his tail in some difficult spots! If the hills got too steep, I just chose the turbo level (yep, the highest power assist) and cruised up the hill. I especially loved passing a few people, who looked like REAL bikers, who were huffing and puffing all the way up! In the picture below, our electric assist looks small, compared to the big pink one I found along the way but it’s actually pretty big. People would always shout out “nice bike!” or “look at those huge tires!” as I passed by.

Me on Huge Pink Bike

Our first ride was to the La Jolla Shores.

La Jolla ride

We started out at a condo we rented, about 15 minutes away from the beach. I held my breath and dodged in and out of traffic a bit, right behind my husband, until we got to the actual shoreline. If there wasn’t so much traffic in La Jolla, it would be perfect. There was a great little trail along the cliffs that I especially liked. There was a spot where we had to get off the bikes and walk them down narrow stairways but, all in all, the breathtaking views made it all worth it! Next time we’ll stay closer to the beach and skip the crazy traffic but I hope we make it back to the La Jolla Cliffs!

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The 2nd Cali ride we did was the San Diego Bay Loop. If I would have realized what I was in for on this ride, I might not have done it. BUT, we were brave and it was pretty memorable.

San Diego Loop

We took the Coronado Island Ferry out to our starting point.

Coronado Ferry

This was the easy part, of course! We then followed a nice concrete trail for about 13 miles. We were able to view the ocean on and off, during this portion.

coronado2

The remaining trail became difficult to follow at some points because there weren’t clear markers. We had to backtrack a few times and go through a US naval base and some pretty busy traffic at the end but it was a good learning experience.

All in all, the bike adventures added a lot to our California visit! It’s so much more personal seeing a place by foot or bike than from behind the glass window of a car! Let me know if you try either of these rides or if you know of some other ones in the same area!

Delicious Summer Relish Straight From Cyprus

If you’re looking for something to liven up your morning meal, give this one a try! You will absolutely not regret it! The simple, fresh, REAL ingredients of this relish are perfection together. I got this recipe from my dear friend, Lara Baker, who grew up in Cyprus, one of the Greek islands. She whipped it up one morning, when my family was visiting hers, and I’ve been making it ever since.

The ingredients, which make this relish so unique, are mint and cumin. Who would have guessed they’d round everything off so nicely?

Mint tomato onion & red pepperCumin

Summer Relish Ingredients:

2 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped

½ Onion, chopped

½ Red Pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. Mint, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 – 1½ Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

1/8 Tsp. Cumin, powdered

1 Pinch Red pepper flakes

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine the tomatoes, peppers, onions and mint.

Breakfast relish beginning

Next, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Poor mixture over the chopped ingredients and mix together.

Olive Oil mixture

This relish goes really well with eggs! I always use organic, cage free ones. I simple scramble one egg with a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut milk and a little salt and pepper and cook it in a frying pan.

Summer Relish and Eggs2

I hope you take the time to try this recipe because I think it will quickly become a favorite! Let me know if you make it or something similar!

Don’t Throw Away the Sweet Potato Leaves!

Recently, at a farmer’s market in California, I noticed sweet potato leaves for sale. Since this plant actually thrives like a weed in my AZ yard, I did a little investigating and was excited to learn that I could actually put it to good use!

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A wonderful Asian lady at the market told me how she prepares the leaves. The funny thing is that she prepares them the same way most Americans prepare spinach or kale. When I mentioned this, she was surprised. Maybe most Asians don’t eat spinach and kale as often as I do. Who knows?   Anyway, I followed her advice and sautéed the leaves with olive oil and a few other things. I was pretty happy with the results. It tasted similar to cooked spinach, light and not too overpowering. The leaves were nice and tender, surprisingly!

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Sautéed Sweet Potato Leaves w/Garlic

1 pd. sweet potato leaves, stripped from thicker parts of the stem

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (healthier version of soy sauce)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Saute the garlic for about two minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. Cook down for about five minutes, until desired tenderness is reached. Enjoy!

After a little research, I discovered some other great ways to use the sweet potato leaves:

-Omelets

-Salads

-Soups

-Stir-fries

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According to NutritionData.com, sweet potato greens are extremely high in vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A. With a mere 22 calories per cup of steamed leaves, you can hardly make a dent in your daily allotted calories! So get creative and try some today! Let me know what you come up with…

Sweet Potato Leaves Nutrition Facts
Calories 22 (91 kJ)
Calories from fat 2
% Daily Value 1
Total Fat 0.2g < 1%
Sat. Fat < 0.1g < 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg < 1%
Total Carbs. 4.7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5%
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 1.5g
Calcium 15.4mg
Potassium 305.3mg

Green Chick 21 Begins…

IMG_3849Welcome to my Green Chick 21 blog! I hope to entertain, teach and inspire you to live a healthier life. Stay tuned because we’re going to be exploring some fun stuff! I LOVE healthy food, exercise, gardening and living green!

Let me tell you a little about myself so far… First, and most importantly, I am a wife to a wonderfully supportive man and mom to three beautiful kids.  I am also a nationally certified group fitness instructor and teach Yoga, Pilates and Weight Training classes. I’ve managed a health and weight loss resort, where people came from all over the world to lose weight and regain their health.  I use REAL food, mostly fresh, non-GMO, organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains in my cooking. I have three amazing hydroponic Tower Gardens, which produce an impressive amount of edible food. And last, but not least, I strive towards leaving this planet in better shape than I found it!