Moving Through the City

Hey guys! Sorry for leaving you guys for a bit-this week has been kind of crazy! I get kicked out of my housing this weekend, so I’m moving to a house across town. On top of that, I’m going out of town this weekend to visit family in upstate New York! I have until my laundry finished to type up this post!

Crossfit wise, I am happy to report I PRed my split jerk this week! And my handstands against the wall are getting worlds better. On the running front, things are looking pretty good as well. Each week is a bit faster than the last one. Running club is making a huge difference, and I consider it the hardest workout of the week. I went tonight, and it was short but sweet because I’m doing my 10 miler tomorrow-since I’m traveling, that was going to be a mess to try to figure out once I’m in NY!

I went to November Project this week, and it was PR week, meaning we run the stairs 13 or 17 times straight for a time. I did the scaled version, but I felt 1000x times stronger than PR week a month ago! Progress!



Food-wise, there’s been some of the same, some more exciting, and some me being lazy and failing to take a picture.

For lunches, I’ve been splitting it into two parts-salad/veggies and then yogurt mix.

Heirloom tomato salad:



Green bean salad:



And then yogurt with sunflower seed butter and blueberries:



As for dinners, I’ve made a couple of “quesadillas.” I couldn’t actually find tortillas at the grocery (what??) so I got some type of whole wheat flatbread thing-it’s pretty similar when filled with cheese and then cooked on a stove.

Round one was stuffed with cheese, tomato, and avocado:



And round two was filled with ground turkey and veggies from the freezer:



On the more exciting dinner front, I went out to dinner yesterday because one of my friends here is leaving this weekend! It was a super late dinner-we met at 9pm. I classily satisfied my post workout hunger before hand with milk from the carton and sunflower seed butter from a plastic fork.

For my main dish, I went with salmon with fried plantains and creamy herb sauce.



And of course, dessert was necessary. I chose the bread pudding, which was delicious (but not as good as my family recipe-I need to make that sometime!).



A perfect end to the night. Needless to say, I’m running on fumes. I didn’t get back until after 11 last night after waking up at 5am for November Project. Hopefully I’ll have some time for some much needed rest this weekend!


Wiped Out

Whew guys. Sorry for lack of posting-this weekend just wiped me out! In addition to spending hours outside in the hot sun exploring DC, I still slept an insane amount, thanks to drowsy-inducing alley medicine. I got eaten alive by mosquitos the other day-and I do not react well to East Coast mosquitos. None of the normal tricks were working, so it was necessary. And then Sunday I accidentally had a bite of something with a nut in it, so I’m hoping that with allergy medicine I can prevent the reaction from coming on, although I probably won’t know if it worked for a few days!

Friday evening started with bench pressing at Crossfit and sweet potato nachos.



After staying up later than I should have, Saturday morning my friends and I met up again to visit Mount Vernon. I am seriously falling in love with the Virginia countryside. It was beautiful. And all the history was so cool! I forgot how much I love American history!

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Afterwards we got froyo and it was fantastic.

On the running front, I want to give a little plantar fasciitis update. For some reason, I woke up for my 5 miler on Friday morning and I couldn’t walk it was so bad. I immediately took Advil, and hobbled along for a mile or so until it warmed up, and then had a good run. The other day though, I bought some sleeves for my feet that give me extra arch support and they are lifesaving. I’ve been on my feet all weekend, and my feet are fine. It’s amazing.

On Sunday, I had my long run in the morning. I had a great route. 3 memorials, 1 river, Mt Vernon trail, an airport….and most importantly, ending in cupcakes. The plan was to run to cupcakes, and then metro back. I saw the Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR memorials. The FDR was on accident. I made a turn looking for a bathroom and there it was.



It ended up being a good run, although I felt like I was slugging along. I always forget how hard these first long runs are. Somehow I managed to hit a pace that was around where I should be though, which was nice.



Most importantly though, I have finally found the best cupcakes in the DC area! I had a good feeling about this place. I heard about it from my coworkers. It’s called Lavendar Moon, in Alexandria. I even ordered a cupcake that wasn’t my favorite flavor, and I’m still saying that. FINALLY a perfectly moist cupcake. I had a s’mores cupcake.



Look at that beauty. Can every run end here?

After returning home and cleaning myself up, I headed out to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It was really cool-I mostly wanted to see one of the IMAX movies, and it did not disappoint. I only got the the air part, not really the space part, before I got incredibly tired and had to call it a day. I got some books though that I’m excited to read!

And that was my weekend. The only thing I’ll add-I went to spin today without my spinning shoes. It was awful. My arches don’t like me right now. It’s amazing the difference they make!

Have you ever been to a Smithsonian? Which should I go to next?

2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Today I want to talk a bit about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans-you know, the food pyramid and more recently MyPlate?


The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every 5 years, so the newest version will come out at the end of 2015. A committee of scientists and experts (the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee) is currently worked on a science-based report to advise the next guidelines. Basically, the committee reviews lots and lots of studies and uses the evidence they find to determine what to recommend. They will then submit a report to the government, who will release guidelines. The report may look different from the original guidelines because other factors may come into play.

Anyways, the committee is having meetings to discuss their findings and ideas, and these are open to be viewed by the public. They are webcasted, and I watched the July 17-18 meetings, which lasted a day and a half. If anyone is interested, to watch the next meeting on September 16-17, go to their website and you can register. You will then get sent a link to the videos.

It was definitely interesting to watch. In terms of dietary data, their findings seemed to be consistent with the advice in the 2010 dietary guidelines. The guidelines are interesting to read-the first ones are from 1980, and I’ve read all of them up to 2010. They actually haven’t changed a whole lot since then-they’ve just gotten more detailed. The first one was maybe 15 pages, while the most recent was almost 100! They are all available on the USDA’s website.


One thing to look for in 2015 is the new focus on sustainability. The 2015 guidelines will include recommendations for a sustainable diet, as well as a nutritiously sound one, although from their current findings, it looks like a nutritionally strong diet is also very sustainable.

Out of the however-many hours of the meeting, one particular comment really stuck out to me.

“If the overall diet quality is high, the specific pattern doesn’t matter.”


This means, if the diet has lots of healthy, nutrient dense foods, the type of diet doesn’t matter-they are all equally healthy to reduce disease risk and maintain healthy body weight. The common qualities of disease risk-reducing diets were found to be high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low in processed meats, refined grains, and sugar sweetened foods and beverages.


This comes back to my REAL foods philosophy. If you’re eating the good stuff, it doesn’t matter if you eat exactly the recommended ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. You can be vegan, vegetarian, no-sugar, gluten free, low carb, 80/10/10-it doesn’t matter as long as you chose nutritious foods. I loved hearing this from a scientific perspective. Our bodies are pretty adaptable, and no one pattern of eating is right or wrong. Additionally, everyone is different, so what works for some may not work for others-so don’t try to model your pattern of eating to something that Instagram or twitter says is the “right” way of eating.

Just eat real foods.


Yoga Wednesday

This title is a bit deceptive, seeing as the yoga actually happened on Monday and Tuesday, but we’ll get there!

Monday and Tuesday mornings both started out with the same breakfast-banana custard with blueberries!



I used the recipe for Boston Cream Pie filling, and subbed bananas in for the sugar. This was good but would have been better if I had modified it with low fat or fat free milk because it’s pretty rich! Good, but not great.

Lunches were also the same. Cumin roasted cauliflower and a green bean salad.

The green bean salad had a balsamic dressing with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.



Plus some yogurt because otherwise this would hold me over for about 2 seconds. The thing about plain, full fat Greek yogurt is that it’s so thick. My experience eating it was a combination of really liking it and trying to choke it down. Beautiful.



On the workout front, Monday night I went to Crossfit and PRed my front squat! Not a huge PR, but I don’t have my lifting shoes with me this summer which help a ton, so I know if I had them I could have lifted more! Also, I love that we have a PR gong at this Crossfit. I’m going to need to take that idea back home to my Crossfit box there!

The WOD was a quick one:


Heavy kettle bell swings (I used 53#) and wall ball sit ups (throw the ball against the wall while doing a sit up). I finished in 7:42. After class, I did a couple of sets of single leg RDLs in an effort to strengthen my hamstrings-NOT a night before running! Plus, it was the perfect time killer before a much needed yoga class. This class was great-it was subbed by a girl in my Crossfit classes, and it was the best class I’ve been to in a long time. I left feeling awesome, and my calves were noticeably looser today, hence the need to do yoga.

Tuesday morning, I did a quick Nike Training Club app workout. Unfortunately, the end was kind of disjointed because my WiFi cut me off and it cut out.

Tuesday evening was a highlight if the week for me. I wanted to do something explorer-y, and after much deliberation, I decided to try out a yoga class in Alexandria, mostly so I could spend some time wandering the streets there.

The yoga studio was a 15 minute walk from the Metro, and I had some time to kill before class. When I saw a cupcake shop, I had to try it. You know, “research.”



It was definitely a good cupcake. A solid effort, but not the best ever. I did appreciate the dark chocolate cake part though. The good news is I happened across another cupcake place that I think is supposed to be THE ONE. But I was already a cupcake in at that point!

I had just enough time to make it down to the water.

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Alexandria is an adorable town, and I think it would be just perfect in the fall. I’m really disappointed that I am missing fall in DC!

Finally, it was yoga time!



The class was called “Core and Stretch.” I didn’t love the class-it wasn’t a bad class, but like I’ve said before, I’m much more of a power yoga person. Still though, it was a good experience. I loved the studio.

Afterwards, on the way back to the Metro, I grabbed dinner. It ended up being my first sit down dinner by myself! Granted, the restaurant was a bakery type of place and I didn’t realize it was the type of place where you get seated, but it was fine. And I had a delicious turkey and avocado tar tine (basically a fancy open faced sandwich.)

IMG_8653And I’ll leave you with that beautiful image!



Getting Back Into It

Well, who’s ready for another week?

Today, I want to talk a bit about something a lot of runners may be familiar with-getting back up to that fitness level we tend to expect from ourselves.

When I ran my last half in April, I was coming off a winter of training with lots of speed work. I crushed my training runs at good paces. I was so much faster than I had been before.

But now it’s July. And while it’s not like I wasn’t running at all prior to the official start of my training, I certainly wasn’t running as much. I thought I was semi-prepared because I was putting down decent paces for my Crossfit Run Club runs, yet here I am at the start of half training, still searching for some semblance of speed.

Today, I did my “long” run-6 miles. It felt fine. Nothing of great excitement. I got it done, but it wasn’t fast for me. I wasn’t really pushing the pace, but I wasn’t dilly-dallying either.

It can be frustrating-knowing that once in the recent past, you were knocking out runs at a much better pace.

But I’m here to say-it’s ok. The speed and fitness will come back. Just put in the work, and you WILL get there. Heck, I’ve been knocking off seconds on my paces on ALL my runs in 3 weeks. And while I may not be where I’d like to be now, I am confident that I will be ready come race day!

In other weekend news, I refueled from my run with brunch! Brunch is a magical, magical thing, and it’s been far too long.

I met up with some friends at Ted’s Bulletin, famous for its homemade pop tarts.

I got a blueberry cheesecake one.

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While it was good, I thought it could have used more filling!

For my main course, I got an egg sammy.



While delicious, it was probably about 80% butter.

We then did some touristy things. First up was the Botanical Gardens.

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We were lucky to be there on a relatively cool day, so it wasn’t too hot! We’re currently in what people here are calling a “polar vortex.” As in, maybe 80-85 degrees? It’s fantastic. The other day, it was probably in the 70s, and I walked outside to COOL air! Crazy!

We also went to the Smithsonian art museum. I have never felt so uncultured as I did in the presence of modern art. I just don’t get it. At all. Why is one person’s big rock better than another’s?

Later in the afternoon, we walked over to get frozen custard. I got mine with lots of chocolate-but it may have been a biiit over the top!



Anyway, across the street was an American art museum, which was much more suited to my tastes. It had all the portraits of the presidents, so I really enjoyed looking at that!

And in other life news, I finally started Breaking Bad. I feel a little too united to Chemistry given the insane amount I’ve taken, so I kind of like the aspect. I’m “studying” right?

What TV shows do you watch?

Fitness as of Late and I Made a Casserole

Happy weekend!

I wanted to talk a bit about fitness as of late, more exploring DC, and the big milestone in my life.

Wednesday I went to Crossfit and worked on cleans-as I already stated. I did some single leg RDLs after. Not a lot, and not heavy. But my legs were SOOOORE. Plus I was really sore from all the cleans. But holy hamstrings. Whew. I decided that my hamstrings have gotten weak and inflexible so I’m going to tack some single leg RDLs on the end of my workout every week or so. But not right before run club…

Lucky for me, run club was easy on Thursday. The fast people weren’t there, so we just did a basic 3 mile route at a reasonable place. Super easy.

Friday morning, I had a 4 miler at an early hour. I was taking it easy, but my taking it easy this week was faster than my taking it easy last week, so that’s always good to see! Getting faster!

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Friday evening was Crossfit. We did bench presses and negative chin ups. Despite doing bench press most weeks since I’ve been here, I can probably still count on one hand the number of times I’ve bench pressed. For some reason it was just one of those things I almost never did, so I’m sore from that!

Saturday morning I went to another OutRun. This week was the same instructor as the first time I went, and it was a much faster pace than last week’s OutRun! Lots and lots of hills too-I guess I don’t have to worry about the SF hills for my half!

This afternoon, I went to a big mall to get my iPod fixed. I dropped it on an early morning groggy run and jammed the power button down. I had to exchange it, but I’m happy I got the same model-I like that it has a clip!

Afterwards, I stopped at Arlington Cemetery on the way back.

It was so peaceful and quiet there. I don’t think I can accurately portray the sense of respect and honor, so I’m not going to try.

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I walked up high onto the hill, with an amazing view of the whole city. I sat there for a while, just looking down on everything. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve fallen in love with this city in such a short time.



On a much lighter note, my milestone is that I’ve officially made a casserole. That makes me officially old.



It has quinoa, spinach, corn, milk, and various types of cheese.



It was good but not great.



Then again, I just threw things together so I had no idea what to expect! Also make note of my loaf pan-aka the only pan I have.

Have you ever made a casserole? How did it turn out?

Long Commute

Hey guys! I’m half posting right now because I can’t go to bed with carrots in the oven, and half because I made a huge mistake in yesterday’s post that I feel so bad about! Thank you to Angela for pointing this out-the arepas were adapted from this Blogilates recipe, and I completely forgot to credit that so I edited it into yesterday’s post. Thank you again!

My day was long. I had a really long commute on public transportation this morning and had to leave before 6am for a 2 hour trip…which included a bus ride through 64 stops…

I packed breakfast because I didn’t think I could eat so early, and it was such a good one, although lacking in the beauty category.

Last night I made chocolate blueberry banana bread, by using my double chocolate banana bread recipe and substituting blueberries for chocolate chips.



I made a delicious yogurt bowl featuring this, fresh blueberries, plain greek yogurt, and sunflower seed butter. I wish the pictures were better though.

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Lunch was at work again-today’s focus was roasted veggies. I learned that I love roasted parsnips!

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Another favorite was root vegetable gratin. Delicious!

After work, I made it to Crossfit and we did a lot of work on cleans, including a hang clean tabata for conditioning. That was tough! I did some single leg RDLs on my own afterwards because my hamstrings have been feeling light lately and I think those tend to help them.

Dinner was not what I was planning. I wanted to make a vat of fresh guacamole but I only had one small avocado that was ripe, so I whipped up a small amount of it, and then improvised a corn salsa, which I served with leftover parsnips “nachos,” plantain chips, and carrots.



And now it’s very much time for bed. Have a great week!

WIAW on Stormy Days

Happy Wednesday! (Feel free to ignore the fact that I’m posting Tuesday night. You get the idea.) As usual, I’m celebrating WIAW with Jenn!


I have lots of good things to share, including a recipe! Yay!

Before I get to food, let’s talk about workouts. I was all set to go to Crossfit after work Monday, but I walked outside to a giant storm, and then the Metro stopped running, so I missed the class, and didn’t feel like going to the late class.

Anyways, this meant Monday was rest and today was a 3 miler! After pouring all afternoon, I decided to take a chance and go for it during a break in the rain. I did my usual 3 mile route.



Yeah. I live here.

And this is not a bad turn around point:



Yes, the Washington Monument is EXACTLY 1.5 miles away, so it should be pretty clear why this is my typical route now!

On the way back, storm clouds began to threaten. It started POURING right as I was running up my block. Talk about lucky!

The run also felt fantastic. I was running on rested and not “just woke up and it’s 6am” legs, plus I’m been working hard in my training, and it’s certainly paying off. This is week 3, and each week I’ve done this route. I’ve done it faster each week, and each week it feels better. Week 1 was super slow for me-10:18 pace. sat week was 9:48, and today was 9:29. And it wasn’t like it was an all out pace, so it’s a good start!

Now onto the part everyone actually cares about. Food.

Breakfasts have been the same old-sunflower seed butter with lots of fruit! Plus chai tea since I’m laying off the coffee.




Lunch Monday was leftovers of Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa plus some yogurt.



Lunch on Tuesday was extra special. I was on trip at work, and the food they prepared us was amazing and beautiful.

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I’m not sure how much I should talk about work on here, but I will say this gives me so much hope for the future of America’s school food system!

I piled my plate high with all kinds of delicious salads. One of my favorites was a ginger root salad. This is the first context in which I’ve actually enjoyed beets!



I also got to take leftovers home with me, which made a great pre-run snack/dinner.

And finally-for the recipe!

Coconut Flour Arepas

*Edited to add: this is based on the fantastic Blogilates recipe for healthy quesadillas!




2 T coconut flour

1 ear of corn

2 T water

6 T egg whites

1/8 t baking powder

salt to taste


1. Mix together coconut flour, water, egg whites, and baking powder in a small bowl.

2. Remove the corn from the cob, and add to mixture.

3. If mixture is too thin, let it sit a moment. The coconut flour may take a bit of time to absorb the water, but this will still be fairly runny. Add salt if desired.



4. In a large pan, add a touch of olive oil and heat the pan.

5. Once pan is hot, pour mixture into pan.



6. When bubbles begin to form on the surface, flip and cook through.



7. If desired, sprinkle with salt, and fill with desired fillings. I used smoked gouda.



Delicious, and comes together in minutes!

What is your favorite type of cheese?

Not for everything, but I love goat brie. If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely need to!


The Easy 5 Miler that Turned into a Tempo Run

So I did end up running this morning. And run, I did. I wore compression socks all day Saturday and Saturday night, so my calves were much better in the morning. I decided to still run in the socks though, just in case!

After a leisurely breakfast and morning, I headed out around 10:30am for an easy, slow paced 5 miles. Or so I thought.

About a mile in, I happened to run into some people from the Run Club I’ve been going to. I ended up joining them. They are MUCH faster than I am-and I’m especially slow for me right now since speed work was long in the past!

The scenery was much better than my planned route though.

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And I finally saw the Jefferson Memorial!

Talk about a death of a run though. I ran with them for a bit over 2 miles. We were going at about an 8:40 pace. I have never been so grateful for stop lights! And I’m sure heat wasn’t helping matters!

I took this picture when I broke off from them as proof I was actually running kind of fast (for me).



Granted, my 5k time is much faster than that, but that is a totally different setting and training level! My legs were dead heading back.

But the views weren’t bad.

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It’s weird to see the monuments when it is actually light out and crowded! Not so many people there at 6am!

I also found ducklings in the reflecting pool. So cute.

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That was definitely not the boring, easy 5 miler I had been picturing, but that should make me faster in the long run (no pun intended). (Well, sort of intended.)

I refueled with a Dunkin Donut breakfast sandwich (my stomach was all weird but I needed food, so something bland) and a DECAF iced coffee. I’m not a fan of Dunkin coffee…it tastes too sour, or fruity or something.



As far as the rest of the day goes, it was low key. Did you guys watch the World Cup game? I was rooting for Germany. For no particularly good reason. People from my University organized a meet up to watch the game, so I watched it there. It was super loud and crowded though. And not going to lie-not the most exciting game, at least until overtime!



For dinner, I made a repeat of last week, but I totally messed it up. I screwed up cooking the quinoa-it ended up drying out a bit, so I added water to the whole thing, and it came out ok, but the texture wasn’t quite as good as last week. Still tasted good though!




Plus leftover brussels sprouts on the side.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty successful day, although I didn’t do that much! I’m glad I got to finally visit the Jefferson Memorial though!

What did you do this weekend? Who were you rooting for?

I Don’t Understand the Cupcake Craze

Hello everyone!

This morning, I went to another OutRun!

I fueled up beforehand with some banana-oatmeal balls and blueberries.



The workout was fun-it was in a different place this time, and included plenty of hills, including trail running. I generally hate trail running-although to be fair I now have a good excuse for hating it. I have foot issues that are worse on trails-and the foot doctor even confirmed it. Not sure if I ever talked about this specifically but all the pain and numbness I talk about in my feet on long runs is apparently something called a neuroma, which is scar tissue build up on/around the nerve. This is probably from years of bruised feet when I played softball and had the cleats stick up through the shoe into my foot. Anyways-the foot thing isn’t an issue on shorter runs anyways!

I only wiped out on the trail once! By some miracle I landed perfectly, without a scratch. This OutRun was-I guess I would say-an easier workout than the last one. It was a larger group, so there was more pace differential so I didn’t feel like I was pushing the pace much. However, I’ve logged a lot of miles this week-kind of out of nowhere-so my legs were dragging a bit. I was especially worried about my calves. They were super tight, and my left one wasn’t feeling that great, so I kept a close eye on it. Not sure if my “long run” (5 miles) is going to happen tomorrow though, just as a precaution. I’ll play it by ear, but it is definitely not worth it to push myself and get hurt 2 weeks into training. I’m currently wearing compression socks, hoping they work their magic!

My running for the week was as follows:


Tues-3 mile training run

Weds-November Project+running there and back, so ~3 miles?

Thurs-Run Club. Between 3-4?

Friday-4 mile training run+maybe a mile or so at Crossfit?

Saturday-OutRun, about 4 miles

Sunday- (5 miles)

While the mileage isn’t that high, it’s much more than I’ve been running lately. The thing is, I don’t know what to cut out! It’s definitely something to figure out, especially as the long runs get longer.

After the workout, I decided to try my luck at Georgetown Cupcake. The line is always INSANE there, so I was hoping that before 11am, it would be reasonable! It was better, but it was still a wait, and I ran out of water so I was SO thirsty! I bought 2 bottles of water there. Worth every penny.

I had a lava fudge cupcake.



It was a chocolate base with cream cheese frosting and fudge sauce on top.



It was good, and the fudge on top was definitely a nice touch. I don’t get the gourmet cupcake trend though, now that I’ve had a few of the “best” places. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I could make the same thing, or better, myself at home! Sure, it wouldn’t look as nice, but that’s really not the important part! I’m much more on-board the gourmet ice cream trend that seems to be sweeping the San Francisco Bay Area. How am I going to make liquid nitrogen ice cream at home?? (Wait-new life goal!)

So while this famous cupcake was good, I won’t wait in line for another!

Since I ate a pre-lunch cupcake, I decided I should get some veggies in my system. I happened to pass a SweetGreens-they’re seriously everywhere! I got the seasonal salad, which has peaches, goat cheese, basil, and balsamic. I added chicken.



I really liked the basil in this. It was such a nice touch that gave the salad a whole summer-y feel.

After lunch, I walked around Georgetown a bit, and then walked home.



My afternoon has been really low key. I decided to save the exciting things for tomorrow. I’m meeting up with some people to watch the game, and depending on if I’m running or not, I might hit up a Smithsonian.

For snack, I had some leftover brussels sprouts. They were a little firmer than I would have liked, so I heated them up in the microwave liberally to cook them a bit more. I then topped them with smoked gouda. Delicious.

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Since I ate plenty of veggies in my snack (that bowl x2 or 3), I opted for a simple dinner of an egg and some very egg heavy chocolate chip pancakes.



They came out super dense, and not the most amazing things ever, but it got the job done!

Have a fantastic rest of your weekend!