Brunching & Munching

GoodHousekeepingBow

As my life pretty much revolves around food I thought it was only appropriate that I start to document some of those experience. I started with an excel sheet (very organized I know) of places that have been recommended to me and also places I have tried myself. As friends and family begin to visit San Francisco they will be looking for recommendations and I find whenever I am asked on the spot I blank, so hopefully this will kill two birds with one stone. Besides if anyone ever comments on my eating habits (which I hope will never be the case) I can say it’s research…. 🙂

As previous mentioned in another blog post weekend brunch is extremely popular here in California. The price range of food varies as much as the lines you find yourself standing in. In each post I will try give a price estimate, if they take reservations and maybe even a rating. It will be trial and error for the first while but hopefully I’ll get there eventually!

Health & Fitness & all that Jazz…

Photo taken at Fort Mason, San Francisco, California

Culture in Ireland is slowly but surely changing. People are becoming more conscious about what they eat and making a conscious choice to exercise.  When I was in secondary school I would come home and make pasta with cheese. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t cause I wasn’t able to cook something fancy, but it was the mentality of what was the point when I was only cooking for one. My youngest sister now comes home from school and makes herself a sandwich, with chicken, pesto, sundried tomato’s and goats cheese. Now she may be the exception, as she is quite the chef, but I do feel younger generations are more aware of healthy eating. As Operation Transformation makes its way back onto Irish television screens, we see communities getting together to come out and get fit! Local supermarkets advertising weekly deals on fruit and vegetable, all ready to give us that kick we need to get started.

I recently bought myself an UP Jawbone, for those of you who do not know this is a fitness tracker. It tracks how many steps you take daily, your sleep and you can also record the food you eat through the app. December 2013, myself and my sisters bought one of these bands for my dad and to this day I am surprised he religiously wears it (expect for last week when he momentarily lost it, but that’s another story). It is suggested that you aim to take 10,000 steps per day and I am finding myself getting disappointed if I do not surpass this target. Another thing that gives me a slight nudge in the right direction is that I have ‘teamed up’ with my dad and a close friend back home, which has released my competitive streak… I must beat them on a daily basis, although I don’t think they are aware of this competition.

I have also joined a gym close to work and try to go every day after work and if I am feeling super motivated sometimes on a Saturday too. I am not going to lie, the steam room and jacuzzi have a huge pull on that motivation, but that only happens if I commit to an intense 45 plus minute workout beforehand. I find my peers here are very focused on eating healthy and keeping active, some go as far as eating lunch at their desk as to have time for a 40 minute run during the day. People take pride in their health/appearance going for their bi-weekly manicures and I have even heard of people in the gym talk about their weekly massages!

Shortly after moving into our apartment we bought a Nutri-bullet, something I had never heard of before and was convinced I was also never going to use it. Now, I have two juices a day, one for breakfast and another as a mid-afternoon snack. One day in the office my manager walked by and saw me drinking my dark green drink, he asked did it have kale. As I nodded he began to reply, ‘Oh you certainly are a true Californian now’! A statement that made me laugh, people at home eat Kale too!

On the odd sunny occasion in Ireland you will hear the phrase, ‘the sun comes out, clothes come off’. You will see young girls wander around as if they are in the south of Spain, and men wandering around the city centre with tops off as if they are at the beach. Imagine if Ireland was always guaranteed that sunny weather throughout the summer/year, I feel people would be more health conscious, similar to how people are when they are prepping to go away on holiday – getting beach bod ready! I certainly know I became more aware of what I was eating and ensuring I got that gym session in once I booked my one way ticket to California.

Ireland may be years behind in a lot of things (roads and transport systems to name a few) but it is catching on quickly when it comes to the importance of fitness and healthy eating. Gyms and fitness classes are popping up across the country and there are more healthy options available when eating out. I hope by the time I move back home that Ireland will be on par with the way of living over here (maybe leaving out the weekly massages), hoping that people will invest in their health and see the benefits of staying fit!

Thinking of Home

Christmas Tree Union Square

Photo taken at Union Square, San Francisco, California

I am officially living here 2 months, although it still feels like I’m only here a wet week! In that time I have celebrated Halloween, gone to Lake Tahoe, experienced a real Thanksgiving, partied when the Giants won The World Series and so much more..! With only two weeks till Christmas I find myself missing home, with this in mind I thought I would jot down things I miss from home and others I don’t. Now I am not going to state the obvious such as friends, family and my mom’s home cooking but rather things you wouldn’t necessarily think of.

Things I miss:

Chocolate

Although my family has spoiled me, sending over some good ole Cadbury’s chocolate, it’s not the same when you know you have to ration it. I miss heading to the local shop and being able to buy it myself, instead of hiding it away.

Food

A lot of what I miss from home is food related, actually a lot of my life in general is based on food. If I was to go home for 24 hours I have a list of restaurants I would visit, such as Wagamama’s, Bay, Milano’s, a fresh bag of chippers chips (seriously lacking over here) and of course grab a white hot chocolate in Butlers.

Christmas Time

When someone says Christmas I think of dressing up my winter woolies, spending time with my family and curling up in-front of the wood burning fire. In California it’s not the same, the sun is shining, woolies are tucked away and for me the festive spirit is just not there.

Water

This one may seem crazy but the water is different over here and I don’t mean tap water. My hair never seems to be clean and needs to be washed all the time!! On that note I am also dreading the inevitable haircut.

The News & Weather Reports

In Ireland the main news station is RTE at 6pm or 9pm. In America there are so many news stations, therefore, it is a very competitive industry. As a result some of these stations air the most ridiculous news. I find it hard to find out what is actually happening in the World! I still find myself checking Independent.ie and the Irish Times.

Things I certainly do not miss:

Public Transport

On average in Dublin you could be waiting between 20 – 50 minutes for a bus. Here the maximum wait for the buses in my area (38, 38L & 1) is 8 minutes! You certainly don’t see people running for the bus and you’d be surprised how many bus drivers will wait for you if they see your attempting to cross the road to them. While I miss the convince of having my car there is definitely no need for one when you live and work in the city.

The Weather

Cold, wet, windy, hormonal weather in Ireland vs. bright, sunny, sometimes foggy weather in California. What would you choose?

Taxis/Cabs

I can count on one hand how many times I have hailed a cab since I have arrived. I always order a cab through Lyft or Uber, as I find it to be more secure and I do not have to worry if the card machine is working or if I have enough cash. Regardless whether I hail a taxi or order one through an app it is still so much cheaper than Ireland.

I’m sure there is a lot I have left out and I’m sure there is a lot I have yet to discover, but for now that is it! Don’t hesitate to send some chocolate my way if you’re really embracing the giving Christmas spirit 🙂