Trip to Big Sur, California

Recently I went on a rad trip to Big Sur. Big Sur is in California right along the coast about 45 minutes from Santa Barbra on the way up to San Francisco. My friends planned the trip while we were all still at school so we could make sure we could get a camping spot because they fill up quickly. The fun thing about coming home is that all my friends want to do fun trips around California because they miss it just as much as I do. I never understood how much I loved the beach until I moved away from it. I think my favorite feeling in the world is coming home from the beach after being there all day. My skin is tanner, my hair is lighter, there is sand still on my feet, and I do not have a care in the world. Going away for school lets me have the experience of learning about somewhere new, but also gave me the opportunity to really appreciate where I come from. While I’m home, I make sure to do as many activities near the beach as I can.

Something I have always wanted to do was check out Big Sur because I have heard so many incredible things about it. Finally, we got a group of us together and made it happen. It was so easy, and I have put if off for so long. This goes back to my issues of going to go see the ski team. I thought that it was going to be so difficult and put it off for so long. It was not difficult at all! We planned and pulled it off in a matter of one weekend. I had been telling the ski team I would go for two years. So long story short, it’s not as hard as you think. The memories are worth it.

Over winter break a group of 12 of us woke up at 4 a.m., packed our cars, and headed up the coast. Honestly, I was asleep for the first half of the drive but woke up around the time we got to Santa Barbra. One of my friends goes to school at UCSB and she knew all the local restaurants. We ate at this delicious bagel shop and then we were on our way. Once we were about 20 minutes out of Santa Barbara the drive was beautiful, right along the water and surrounded by green. On the way up we drove past Hearst Castle where we saw Zebras on the side of the road! Hearst was a very rich man who built a beautiful castle that is now a historic attraction for tourist to see. One of the things he is known for is how he made his own personal zoo where he bought wild animals like bears, lions, tigers, bison, elk, zebra and even an elephant roamed free.

Once we got closer to Big Sur, we started to drive around narrow cliffs. It was kind of scary at first, but it was hard not to be in awe over how beautiful it was. I am used to being next to beaches with a ton of houses, palm trees, and people. This part of the coast was like being in a forest, but suddenly you look out and there is the ocean! It was an amazing change of scenery. Once we arrived at the campsite, we set up the tents and then went for a hike. We hiked along creeks and then ended up at a waterfall where we sat and had lunch. The next day we went to the more popular destinations, which were by the cliffs. I have been to many different beaches, but never have I seen a place like this. It is hard to describe in words so I will leave the rest in pictures. Enjoy!


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Trader Joe’s, I love you.

I think one of the greatest things that happened to me was that there was a Trader Joes when I moved to Albuquerque (yes I’m being dramatic) but it is one of my favorite places to grocery shop. Not only is Trader Joe’s college budget friendly, it has a ton of delicious healthy options. What I like about Trader Joe’s is that they carry Trader Joe’s brands of quality food where I cannot find anywhere else. Okay enough of my Trader Joe’s rant; my point here is to show you a few of my favorite snacks from Trader Joe’s. I know that as a college student with classes, jobs, or sports we barely have time (or money) to put a snack together. I have found a few things at Trader Joe’s that have saved me between practices and classes.

I’ll keep it short and simple, I think snacking is one of the most important meals of the day. I cannot pay attention in class on an empty stomach. It is pure torture! If I go without eating between classes, I will go home and binge eat everything I can possibly find in my fridge. This also creates roommate problems because yes, I also eat their food. Have snacks ready and available to grab when you are in a rush or need to eat something fast! It will save you the stomach growls and then stomach pains of over eating.

My Trader Joe’s Munchies

Lara Bars: Lara bars consist of fruits, nuts, and spices. They are gluten and sugar free. I enjoy them because of the texture and flavor each bite brings. I have to eat it slow because there is so much flavor in every bite. One bar can get me through a full morning workout!


Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil: This is one of my favorite snacks after lunch or dinner. It is low calorie and is the perfect snack to hold you over until your next meal. I like to separate the popcorn into little bags with about two cups in each bag. I do this so I do not eat the whole bag in one sitting (which I have done) and also so I have it ready to go when I am on the go.


Just Mango Slices: Sometimes we just need a little something sweet. These dried mangos from Trader Joe’s are delicious. They are all natural, with no added sugars. It is soft, chewy, and sweet, making it perfect for that sweet tooth craving.


Gone Bananas: Then there are those times you need to TREAT YO SELF. These are dark chocolate cover banana slices ready to be eaten. Need I say more?


Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats: I love oatmeal; it is one of my favorite breakfast choices. As a kid my mom would add brown sugar, syrup, and butter to it. Although yes, it sounds delicious, all that sugar would slow me down rather than give me the energy I needed for the morning. I started to add new combinations to make my oatmeal taste great with out all the sugar and fat. One of my favorite ways of eating oatmeal is from the Organic Mixed Berries, Sliced Honey Roasted Almonds, and 1 Tbsp. of Sunflower Seed Butter from Trader Joe’s.





Katie’s Mixed Berry Oatmeal


1 cup Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

½ cup water

¼ cup Organic Mixed Berries

Handful of Sliced Honey Roasted Almonds

1 Tbsp. Sunflower Seed Butter


Add oatmeal into a bowls, and then add water. Microwave for 1 minute. The oatmeal should not be all the way cooked. Then add the frozen mixed berries and stir them in with the oatmeal. Put in the microwave for another minute. Stir the berries and oatmeal. Add almonds and sunflower seed butter. (Optional: add almond milk and cinnamon)

Never heard of Sunflower Seed Butter? Well neither had I until I stared a Paleo diet where they suggested it. I bought it at Trader Joe’s and was addicted. Not only is it tasty, but also has so many more nutritional benefits than peanut butter. I found a link below where you can find more information.

Grab your Friends and GO!

I have lived in New Mexico for a few years now, but have yet to explore all it has to offer. My time here has consisted of school, soccer, and sleep. This year I promised myself that I would do more exploring! When I got here in the summer before pre-season began, a few of my friends decided to drive up to the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa. I had no idea what I was getting into; I mostly went just to get out of the house. When we got there, all I saw was what looked like a man made pool, but it was actually a natural body of water that was about 30 feet wide and 80 feet deep! There was a few different heights to jump from and for some reason I decided to go for the tallest one. Once I got up there, there was no turning back. I counted to three and went for it. Two seconds later I plunged into the freezing water where I thought I would never catch my breath again. I was trying to act cool like it was nothing, but I couldn’t help but doggy paddle like a 4 year old as fast as I could back to the ledge. Although it was a terrifying jump, and ice-cold water I was proud that I went for it. It was a great memory with my friends and another destination I can cross off my list.

If you go to school in another state, or even if you go to school in the same state you live in, my biggest suggestion to you would be to get to know as much as you can while you can. Whenever I go home for breaks and see family they always ask about New Mexico. Sadly some people knew more about it than I did! This is the time to be adventurous. Make the time to explore what’s around you. You are not going to remember that Saturday you went shopping or lay around watching Netflix (although those are some of my favorite things to do).

One of my good friends that I met my freshman year is on the Ski team at UNM. I have promised her every time they have a home meet that I would come up and watch. It never happened. Finally, after two and a half years, this past weekend my roommates and me made the trip up! It was very spontaneous, but we had the weekend off from soccer (which is very rare) and decided we would split a hotel room and gas and go for it. We went right after practice and drove about 3 hours to Taos where we stayed the night. The next day we drove up to Red River and went sledding before the meet. Once we got to the lift, they let us go up for free because they love Lobo fans. It was awesome seeing the team up there, and they were so appreciative of the support. It was one of the coolest sports I have ever seen! I’m from Southern California, so snow is a rare sighting to me. It was so beautiful up in Taos and Red River everything was covered with snow. This was another great memory with my friends and it was much easier to do than I ever imagined. I would always make excuses for why I couldn’t go, but if you have the time and the right people you can make basically anything happen.

Jumpin’ for the Blue Hole, Santa Rosa



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Here we go.

Hello there!

My name is Katie Hinman and I am from Orange County, California. I am currently in Albuquerque, New Mexico playing soccer and studying interpersonal communications at UNM. Recently I went three weeks without dairy, sugar, or wheat and the change was incredible. I had the energy to stay awake in classes after practice, and even get some homework in! Usually the weekends are spent sleeping and eating (poorly), but now I find myself more energized and wanting to be more active. My whole attitude has changed, and because of this healthy lifestyle I have been able to do more with my life. Through this blog I hope to provide healthy meal plans and ways to stay active! With only a few years left of college I feel I owe it to myself to enjoy every moment, which was hard to do when I was constantly wasting it by sleeping!

I found that although I was playing soccer and kept a pretty active lifestyle, freshman 15 was still a thing. I took full advantage of my meal plan, and tried everything the dining hall had to offer. How could I resist endless pizza, bagels, french fries, and ice cream?

It was absurd how easy it was to gain weight, and not only did I not like the way I was looking, but I felt very lethargic. As I division 1 athlete, I was not eating the right way. Although we would run everyday at practice, I still felt like I was never getting in shape. Balancing soccer and school was already tiring, but the way I was eating made it near impossible. I had no social life because all I wanted to do was sleep.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I moved out of the dorms that I started to change the way I ate. I got to decide what foods to buy, and wasn’t constantly tempted by the food at the dining hall. I tried to go with the ultimate fad of going gluten free, but I ended up overloading my diet with gluten free substitutes that were filled with sugar, leaving me even lazier than before.

The beginning of this year, which is my junior year, I think I have finally figured out a system to feeling better and having more energy. I have tried to completely get rid of sugar, dairy, and wheat from my diet. Yes I know these sound very extreme, but there are so many healthy delicious meals that come from it. Basically what I am doing is eating the “paleo” diet but with a little twist, and some cheating here and there. Once the new year began (this January) I decided to full on give it a go. The first 30 days were a struggle, mostly because it was such a shock. Once I planned my meals, and had food prepared it got a lot easier! Now it’s a new month and I still want to continue!

Here is an example of an awesome meal with no sugar, wheat, or dairy!!

Spicy Avocado Tilapia with zucchini


1 4-ounce tilapia

Half avocado

1 medium Zucchini

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. cumin

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. garlic salt

½ tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how hot you like it!)

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Tilapia Instructions:

  • Mix salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt and red pepper flakes in small bowl
  • Rub the tilapia with olive oil and seasonings and place in the fridge for about 20 min.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375
  • If the fish is still frozen, leave in oven for about 20min, if it is thawed cook for 13min
  • Once the fish is out top with avocado, add the zucchini and enjoy!

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Baked Zucchini Instructions

  • Take the medium zucchini and cut it across 1 inch apart
  • Place the zucchini on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching
  • Drizzle olive oil over the zucchini (and red pepper flaked for taste)
  • Pre-heat oven to 375, and let them cook for 8-10 min