Sunset Eat Fresh, Day 5: You need a little sweetness in your life.

(My final post for Sunset’s 2014 Eat Fresh Challenge.)


The end of the 2014 Eat Fresh Challenge calls for

a bite-size chocolate party, don’t you think?
Well, at least a chocolate beignet or two.

Who: Trina Enriquez, copy editor

I gave up: Chocolate and added/refined sugars in desserts

The biggest challenge:Remembering which foods actually have chocolate and sugar in them. Chicken mole enchiladas? Duh. “Healthy” spiced yogurt muffin? Ditto. I felt a little forlorn opting out on the chocolate cream pie at a work party this week too.

My takeaway: Cutting way down on sugar, even for five days, has made me acutely aware of just how much I consume on the fly. Little bit here, little bit there adds up! I’ve known for a while that I needed to do something like this sugar fast, so it’s actually been a relief to shuffle off the responsibility on the Eat Fresh Challenge. Left to my own…

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Sunset Eat Fresh, Day 4: Whoops.

I gave up chocolate for the week, then proceeded to forget there was chocolate in the chicken mole enchiladas I had for dinner last night. Pure accident? I think not. Well, at least I’ve been eating more salad.


beet salad
Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Queso Fresco,
one of my favorites.

Who: Trina Enriquez, copy editor

I’m giving up: Chocolate (officially; unofficially, all refined/added sugars in desserts)

My biggest challenge: The Marketing team threw a good-bye party for a coworker on Tuesday and, in true Sunset fashion, this involved oodles of sweet things. Chocolate cream pie, blueberry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, apple pie, cookies. But most chocolate cream pie. I gazed at that lush mound dusted with chocolate shavings and felt pretty glum. But steered clear!

So I may as well confess now that the next day (Wednesday, Day 3), I forgot—you might say conveniently—that there must be sugar added to things that are not overtly desserts. Like the spiced yogurt muffin I had with my green juice for breakfast. Oh, and um, that the chicken mole enchiladas I ate for dinner had CHOCOLATE in them! Oops. No…

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Sunset Eat Fresh, Day 1: Five days is nothing

I’m blogging for work over at Westphoria this week, as part of Sunset magazine’s January Eat Fresh Challenge. Gave up chocolate for the week and it’s actually turning out to be not so bad. What I find myself craving is something with oodles of mouth-filling flavor … something spicy or just mouthwateringly savory. It makes me wonder: Is this why I snack on chocolate otherwise? To subconsciously fill a flavor void?


bowl of fruit salad banana kiwi orange pineappleFor the next workweek, whenever I’m craving some chocolate,
I’m going to eat something sweet and fresh like this fruit salad instead.
Maybe minus the candied ginger.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Fruit is my friend!

Who: Trina Enriquez, copy editor

I’m giving up: Chocolate (and—deep breath—any dessert with added/refined sugars)

I chose this because: I love chocolate not wisely but too well.

My biggest challenge: Making myself stick to a goal I know I don’t have to keep. In my day-to-day life, I know it’d be the healthier choice to eat less chocolate and more green veggies, but c’mon. A little chocolate here and there doesn’t hurt, right? Still, it adds up, I know. And the thing is, and this is probably the main thing: It’s never just “a little” chocolate.

My biggest temptation to cheat: If I walk by some cookies or other sweets someone has…

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I only ever wished I looked this badass and beautiful when I boxed. :)

Here she is below on a June 16 visit to train with super bantamweight world champion Nonito Donaire and the unrivaled strength & conditioning coaches at Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, California.

More on Marlen: “Marlen Esparza: Going the Distance” (Vogue, July 2012) || “CoverGirl Gets Olympics-Ready With Two Fresh New Faces” (People StyleWatch, April 3, 2012) || (photo via Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr.)

NBC Latino

When you think about boxing, you don’t necessarily think beautiful. But in the case of Olympic hopeful Marlen Esparza, that’s exactly what CoverGirl thought when they saw her in action.

Houston native Esparza will be making a slash in two fronts as the first woman boxer for the U.S. Olympics team and the first Hispanic Olympian to be the face of CoverGirl.

“I feel that I embody the image of CoverGirl and that anyone can be beautiful, and is deserving of beauty no matter what your personal situation is,” Esparza, 22, told PEOPLE. “You don’t have to be famous to look good.”

CoverGirl’s Marketing director Bruce Katsman says Esparza appeals broadly to the Hispanic community and she has many fans and supporters across all ages and backgrounds, which made her a perfect addition to the CoverGirl family.

“Marlen’s role goes beyond advertising, and includes helping all women feel beautiful and…

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Floundering fitness

Every morning I wake up thinking, Okay, today I’m going to work out, even if it’s just some kind of cardio for at least 20 minutes! And almost every day, it doesn’t happen, because I end up thinking, Well, I blew my diet anyway…I guess I can start tomorrow. You can guess what happens from there.

Ab-so-lute-ly nuthin’!

I realize that inertia’s probably the hardest thing to overcome in (re-)establishing a workout routine, and that at the beginning, even if you’re starting all over again like I am, consistency in working out is the main goal. I know that on one hand, I should start slow and build up my conditioning again bit by bit—but on the other hand, I feel dissatisfied with how short and thus ineffective those small workouts seem. Still, consistency. Day at a time. Gotta start somewhere. Something’s better than nothing!

Clearly I need to quit overthinking it and just do it. Blarg. Why is overcoming slugdom the hardest part about working out? Maybe it is pure physics.

Dude, I only wished I looked this nonchalant when I run.

There are two beginning running programs I’ve scouted so far that I like: Runner’s World magazine’s “Running 101” and Women’s Health magazine’s “Running to Lose Weight.” Of course I want to do the latter but I think I’d better start with the former. There’s also the article “Start Running: The Beginner Running Plan” from Women’s Health that sounds solid. Plus the .pdf comes with a handy-dandy calendar on which you can check off each day’s workout.

Now to take each day as it comes and clock the time. Where’s my positive mantra?!

(via FitSugar)

Bike to Lunch Day

Unfortunately I did not participate in Bike to Work Day San Francisco today, but I did borrow a lovely PUBLIC M8 to take for a spin during my lunch hour. Does that count? :) Probably not, since there were no Energizer Stations for me to stop by for free goodies (aka proof).

Still, it’s always lovely to get out from behind the computer and into the sun, even for a bit, on a leisurely ride. Now that the weather’s warming up and the days are longer, I’m going to have scant excuses for not biking to work at least once a week…

S.F. Biking by the Numbers (7×7)
Your Biking Photos (National Geographic Traveler)

If I took this approach to running, I’d probably enjoy it more too! Less feeling like I had to run at a certain pace and not walk at all, in order for it to count. Instead, more adventure and taking the time to look around instead of keeping eyes glued to the road directly ahead.

The Adventures of Mona

I don’t run for medals. I don’t run for racing shirts or fancy gear. I don’t run for PRs. I don’t run for weight loss. I don’t run for popularity or recognition.  I don’t even run for fitness. I’ll tell you why I do run though…

I run because there is no sweeter taste than that of fresh air

I run because nature paints colors that beat out any 3D movie or HDR photo

I run because when the breeze hits my face I feel peaceful and free

I run to be the only moving thing in a landscape of stillness

I run because it makes the smallest moments last an eternity

I run to sightsee

I run because there is nothing that calms me more than miles of open country roads

I run for that moment when the sun comes up and all of the world awakens

I run for…

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