17.5, Goats, First Place

Thursday night, Dave Castro announced the workout for the Crossfit Open 17.5, surprising absolutely no one.

That’s right. I think pretty much everyone guessed that 17.5 would be some type of couplet with thrusters and double unders.

Thursday dinner: roasted carrots+spaghetti squash mac n cheese.

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Friday was a rainy day in these parts. Low key day, but I have to highlight a trip to Costco because one of the free samples was Ghiradelli bunny shaped caramels! So cute!

Lunch was another Quick and Easy meal I’d like to highlight.

This salad is crazy simple, healthy, and delicious. It’s literally just lettuce with hummus as dressing, goat cheese, and an egg. This is one I’ve packed for lunch countless times, with just a microwaved. Of course, when the egg is perfectly runny and the goat cheese is higher quality, it is taken up a notch.



17.5 was simple: 10 rounds, 9 thrusters (65# for women), 35 double unders.

I figured the double unders would slow me down. My double unders can be pretty hit or miss based on the day, and they go downhill a lot when my arms get tired!

The other little interesting part for me was that my jumprope has a little wire sticking out the bottom, and if I whip myself a certain way, it cuts me. So sometimes I randomly start bleeding during double unders. Fantastic.

My only real strategy for this was to try and go unbroken on the thrusters for as many rounds as possible, with the goal of getting at least 5 rounds unbroken.


^From our Facebook page.

This workout was definitely a gasser. I was breathing heavy early on, but nothing at least was too crazy heavy. I struggled with double unders early on. I came out the first set of thrusters way too tight, and had a lot of difficulty stringing together sizable sets. After a few rounds though, I started to find a better rhythm. I kept up my unbroken thrusters throughout all 10 rounds. I wasn’t planning on it, but by the time I got to rep 5 or 6 and wanted to put it down, it seemed like more effort to put it down and pick it back up than to just push out a few more reps. Also, I’m very glad it was 9 and not 10. Because I kept for some reason thinking 10 and then being pleasantly surprised to be none at 9.

About halfway through, all I could think was “f*** this.”

I didn’t start really REALLY gasping for air until the last round, but it was a short enough period of time (one round) that I figured, ehh who needs to breathe?

I finished in 19:19 Rx.

After watching and judging some other people, we had an end of the Open party.


Barbells and beer. Nothing better. Semi-still considering changing this blog’s name, hah!

We have such a great community here, and it was a fun way to celebrate the Open.


I thought I escaped without too much rope damage, until I was getting ready for bed and saw the tell-tale tiger stripes. Yeah. No blood though!

Saturday morning, I realized why having mostly beer calories for post-workout recovery was maybe not the best idea. I had some food at the party, but no real protein until about 3 hours after the workout. I woke up Saturday sore already!

For breakfast, I had another throwback yogurt bowl: vanilla Greek yogurt, pumpkin bread, sunbutter. This is always a good one.


Saturday morning, we learned that my sister’s cat had somehow gotten out the previous night, and was missing. We spent a lot of the day Saturday helping out with that (with Chloe as well), to no avail. Thankfully, we got word early Sunday morning that he came home all on his own!

In between this, I spent a few hours driving down to Pescadero with some high school friends to visit a goat dairy! We had the pleasure of petting 5-6 day old babies!

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As well as some 1 month year old kids!


And of course the ladies! We also had the opportunity to sample some really delicious goat cheese. Not only was there chèvre, but also really delicious ricotta and feta.

The drive down the coast is always beautiful!


We made a quick stop at the beach at Half Moon Bay before heading home.


Dinner was assembled in no time at all later that evening. We got precooked chicken stuffed with rice and broccoli as well as a kale caesar salad mix at Coscto, which I served with some of my fresh chive goat cheese on toast!


A little later in the evening, I went back out with the same friends for some wine and a really confusing board game.

I was in bed nice and early Saturday night, so I awoke well before my alarm on Sunday for RACE DAY!

I did the Hellyer 5k, which I’ve done 3 times in the past. Fun fact: when I did this race last year, I had a broken foot. I just didn’t realize it yet. This was one of the early indications that something was wrong. It was also 2 days after Crossfit Open 16.4, which destroyed my lower back and I legitimately could not straighten my body. So I figured I should do better this year!

Once again, Chloe came! She made a friend again, before even leaving the parking lot!


Obligatory awkward stretching picture:


Race ready!


(Also, aren’t my shoes so pretty?? I got them for myself with graduation money, but they didn’t come before I left for my summer internship so now I get to use them!)


I knew I wasn’t PR trained for this race, so I wasn’t even going to go there. I’ve been putting in some work, but the reality of it is I haven’t run as much as I probably needed to to be there, thanks to lots of travel, plus teaching spin 3 classes a week, plus the Crossfit Open. I decided to just do my best, but race smart. Negative splits, my friends! My original plan was to go for miles at 8:25, 8:15, and then 8:05 for an average of 8:15ish, but pushing the last mile more if I could. IMG_0032

My spectator! She spotted me on the course about halfway through and had a fit!

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My first 2 miles clocked in at 8:20, which I decided was just about right. Since it was a small race, I also didn’t think there was anyone in my age group ahead of me! During the middle miles (aka the rough part of a race), I thought about one of my training runs. It was really awful. It was 6am in Philadelphia (3am CA time) on a treadmill at the hotel, before I had to board my flight. The whole thing was sluggish and I didn’t enjoy it at all, but I didn’t turn down the speed. It’s the little moments in training you remember when it’s time to dig deep.

I picked up the pace for the last mile plus!


The race course was changed due to some flooding, so they actually had to lengthen it a little bit. My watch did notify me of my 5k time though!


And overall:

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I’m not sure if you can tell in this picture, but we have matching blue ribbons!


The cherry on top was finding out I got 1st place in my age group! Gotta love these small races!

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As wild as Chloe was for the race and race festivities? On the drive home?


After reading last year’s recap, I knew we needed to stop at the local gluten free bakery for brunch. My mom and I split a turkey avocado sandwich on foccaccia.


As well as a cinnamon roll and a lemon poppyseed loaf. YUM.

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When we got home, my family and I iced our various ailments. My dad recently pulled a muscle, and I’ve been dealing with a wonky knee lately. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my left knee has been sore lately. It doesn’t seem like activity I do hurts it, but it hurts when I bend it a certain way, off and on. It started after my long trip to the East Coast, and I think I might have hyperextended it a little bit by slipping on snow. Either way, it’s not a big issue but it get creaky on and off. While icing, we tried a Campfire Stout from Costco, which was basically S’Mores Stout. The verdict? Delicious.


That’s all for this post, but look out for another quick and easy idea for tomorrow!



Quick and Easy: Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

I’m popping in today for a Quick and Easy meal idea!

This I saw on Blogilates years ago, and have gone through phases of enjoying it off and on ever since!

It’s easy, healthy, satisfying, and requires just a few basic ingredients that are easy to have on hand!

Turkey Red Pepper Wraps

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I’ve mentioned this before, but there are only a few occasions for which I enjoy red pepper, and this is one of them. For smaller tortillas, I make 2 wraps. The tortillas I have now are larger so I stuff everything in one!

All you need is deli turkey, tortillas, laughing cow (this is really good with the sundried tomato laughing cow), spinach, and sliced red pepper.


For a larger tortilla, spread 2 wedges of laughing cow (the white cheddar is also delicious in this), then add spinach, turkey, red pepper, and roll it all up!


Is It Legit?

In the age of the Internet, there are a million pieces of information you can read, especially related to health. Anyone on the Internet can write just about anything, so how do you know if the information is legitimate?

Today, we’re going to discuss how to tell if an health article has information that you can trust.

  1. Look at the author. Is he/she an educated professional? Is he/she an RD, PhD, MD? What else has this author written? Look for credible authors who have a strong background in what they are writing about.
  2. Where is the article? Is it a random blog? A trendy magazine? More credible sources are those that require more scrutiny in their research, such as WedMD, Mayo Clinic, or major news sources like the New York Times or Newsweek.
  3. Does the article cite science? If there is no scientific basis stated, it is likely there isn’t any. Anyone can come up with a theory and write about it on the Internet. Make sure there are some studies, or at minimum a scientific explanation. One person’s personal experience might be interesting, but that alone isn’t science and should be taken with a grain of salt.
  4. How valid is the study? Honestly, anyone with an idea can probably find some sort of study that supports it, but not all studies are equal. A small study on an extremely small group of people may have one result, but because the population of the study is so specific, it may not translate to all people at large. Ideally, multiple studies would support the idea, and the studies would be well controlled (no confounding variables) and on large groups of people. Randomized blind studies are generally good. Also, look at who is funding the study. Studies funded by Coca Cola interestingly show that sugar is “just an empty calorie,” versus non-soda industries that show sugar has other negative metabolic effects.
  5. Be wary of any diet recommendation that cuts out a food or a food group completely. With the exception of trans fat, there really is no food that can’t be part of a healthy diet. People are often looking for a quick fix, and cutting one item out completely often offers the promise of a quick fix. Which leads us to…
  6. Be wary of any diet recommendation (or food supplement) that promises rapid weight loss. There truly is no such thing as a quick fix. If a actually product causes you to lose 10 pounds in 10 day, that’s honestly kind of concerning. It’s not possible to lose fat that quickly, so you have to question where all that weight is coming from. It’s often water. Consistent nutrition is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
  7. If you are looking at a general nutrition article, be suspicious of anything that promises weight loss as an effect. Let’s be honest: most of the United States wants to lose weight. It’s a MAJOR selling point, and a really easy way to manipulate people with marketing. For instance, if an article about gluten promises weight loss. Cutting out gluten is something that only matters if you have a sensitivity to it; it doesn’t cause excess fat. Or another example: I was looking at a test you order online that measures food sensitivity. It seemed interesting, but I clicked out as soon as I saw promises of weight loss. Those things are usually not that connected. Sure, if you have an intolerance, it could cause inflammation that could cause a little excess weight, but that claim made me question the credibility of the science in this particular test.

And since I’ve talked your ear off, let’s move onto food, shall we?


I woke up hungry, so I had half a piece of banana bread before 7am Crossfit.


At Crossfit, it was a small class of 2. Strangely, the coach didn’t show up. The coach who led 6am had to leave, so he left me in charge! We did the workout as programed. We started out working on handstand holds against the wall. Mine actually felt pretty good, and I practicing the act of kicking up onto the wall (without actually doing it). I felt like I was maybe going to be able to kick up, but didn’t want to try it while unattended.

Then, we did a 10 minute AMRAP:

12 lateral burpees (over the bar)

9 clean and jerk (I used 85#)

6 kettlebell goblet squats

We both worked hard, and I finished just under 3 rounds.

I had a throwback breakfast! I made a yogurt bowl with vanilla Greek yogurt, banana, and sunbutter. This is a throwback to my yogurt obsession in 2013.


Later that morning, I took Chloe for a nice long walk while listening to a podcast. We thankfully avoided the rain, but there were quite a few puddles.

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I made a salad with a drizzle of champagne vinaigrette, rotisserie chicken, hummus, and Tzatziki sauce. Crackers on the side.



One exciting event was getting an apple fritter! I’ve been wanting one for SO long, and when I won a free pastry in Safeway Monopoly, I had to make it happen. I split one three ways with my parents.


It was absolutely everything.

In terms of how I felt with gluten, I would say weird. No stomach flare, but there was some brain fog type of stuff going on. I again felt this weird (slight) disconnect between my brain and my hands, and I fell asleep within 20 minutes of eating it. I sort of felt intoxicated. Weird.

To try and lessen the effects I might get from it, I finished off my bag of Mochi crackers, and later had some egg whites with American cheese.

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A delicious rice bowl that made use of our fresh CSA veggies. Mushrooms sautéed with garlic and thyme, brown rice, roasted asparagus, and an egg over easy.


Banana bread.


Night snack: Thin Mint cereal. Seriously, this stuff is so good.



WIAW- Spring!

Happy WIAW! Thanks to Jenn for starting this!


I started my morning with Crossfit. We worked on pull ups, and then did 21-15-9 toes to bar and box jumps. I worked on trying to string together my toes to bar better!



Flapjacked Double Chocolate mighty Muffin and blueberries.



I needed to be out of the house, so I went to a coffeeshop and blogged/discussed careers with my mom. I had Hibiscus tea, and brought pumpkin spice Cheerios (yes, I still have a stash!).

I start work next week, so I’m trying to try some midday fitness classes this week. I went to a noon spin class. It was…bizarre. First of all, it was sensory overload. The lights were off and there were black lights and intense disco lights. Normally I would consider this a pretty cool feature of a spin class, but it was just a little too much, which is saying something for me! In addition, the music was mind-bendingly loud. Again, for me this is saying a lot! I couldn’t hear the instructor very well at all, and because it was dark it was even harder to follow. On top of that, as a spin instructor myself, I didn’t really approve of some of the things we did. We spent a lot of time running out of the saddle, and part of this was doing arm raises and such, sometimes with no hands on the handlebars. Honestly, that’s an injury waiting to happen. Then, towards the end, we turned the resistance up crazy high such that our legs basically weren’t moving. And to top it all off, in the last song, we were running out of the saddle, and instead of holding onto the handlebars for support, the instructor came up to one woman and held her hands. It was just sort of weird. It’s good to try different things, but I can’t say I’ll be back. All that said, I decided to maintain a positive and open-minded attitude throughout class and get a good workout in.


Leftover lemon ginger chicken soup with GF crackers.


With a view! The cherry blossoms by the gym are in full bloom!

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After lunch, I went to try on bridesmaid dresses for my sister’s wedding! It’s getting real, my friends!


Half of a Fitjoy protein bar+decaf latte.

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I had small meals during the day, so I was hungry and snacked on some Mochi crackers while cooking. I’m really into these right now!


For dinner, I made spaghetti squash Pad Thai. I’m honestly not a big noodle person, so this was perfect! I love how it came out! Served with mandarin oranges.


I made a couple small changes to the recipe. I doubled the sauce and used sunbutter in place of almond butter. I used half a large spaghetti squash for 3 people, and for the veggies just sautéed a stir fry mix. I also made a full egg per person. It was delicious though, and I will definitely make it again! Because I just microwaved the squash, this can definitely go in the Quick and Easy category. 

I had a sip of champagne with dinner to celebrate successfully finding a dress for both me and my mom!


Pink champagne <3


I had a few chocolate chunks and scraped the last bit of cookie dough out of this allergen free sugar cookie dough (it is SO good).



I was hungry a little bit after dinner so I munched on some blueberries.


Girl’s Night:

One of my best friends from college finished her Master’s degree that day, so we celebrated with a wine and baking night. We chatted away, sipped on chardonnay, and baked my special banana bread.

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Is it spring for you yet?

Weightless: New Beginnings

I know I’m a day late on this, but happy spring! While I’m grateful I’m not being subjected to East Coast snow, the rainy skies here in California don’t exactly feel like spring!

New Year’s is a time a lot of being get reinvigorated to change their lives. I would argue that spring is as well. The sunny skies and blooming flowers bring a renewed sense of hope. Of possibility. When the sun comes out, all I want to do is get outside. I want to move, I want to make changes and be productive. It’s no secret that cold temperatures zap motivation, both for me and many others. I find that when it’s warmer out, it’s much more inviting to be active. I’ve started walking Chloe more. I enjoy our bonding time alone together (especially when she’s well behaved), and I started listening to informative and interesting podcasts during our time together.

Obviously, it’s ideal to be consistent year round. But if you find you’re not happy with how things in your life are going, spring is a great opportunity to make a change. Embrace the changing weather, and let it inspire you.

For me, I’ve been switching things up both nutritionally and fitness-wise. I decided to challenge myself to try different classes at the gym, and have sort of reverted to my fitness roots as a gym rat. So far, it’s been fun, and I’ve found some new things that I both like and cause me to grow as an athlete. Following 17.4 on Friday, come Monday my body wasn’t ready for intense bending (yay lower back). In the morning, I tried a new spin class. It was all intervals, but it was on the shorter side. It was perfect for a quick sweat! In the evening, I returned to Core Yoga, which I originally planned to be a one and done, check that off the list class. However, moving my body in a different way felt really wonderful, so I headed back. In addition, I felt like my back could use a deep stretch!

In honor of spring, we spent a lot of time working on inversions and inversion progressions against the wall. I didn’t do anything too crazy, but I can tell I’ve made progress in terms of shoulder strength and flexibility. Handstands are one thing in Crossfit that I both can’t do, and I hate. I can wall walk into a handstand, but I can’t kick into one, which I absolutely should be able to do at this point. This is partly because I hate them. But I really think that it’s something I need to just get over and work on if I want to grow as an athlete.

Now onto the food.

For breakfast before spin, I had a simple Luna bar.


After spin, I snuck in a walk with Chloe before the rain. We walked for just over an hour which is on the longer side for us, partly because I wanted to finish my podcast and partly because Chloe needed some exercise given the week’s rainy forecast. Post walk, I had a glass of cranberry kombucha.


Finally, it was lunchtime! I was feeling hungry, so instead of just the soup and fire roasted veggie crackers, I cut up some red pepper. The soup was more leftovers.


For my afternoon snack, I dug a slice of whole grain persimmon bread out of the freezer, and ate it alongside a mango.


The persimmon bread is just my banana bread recipe made with persimmons in place of bananas.

For dinner, we threw together a delicious salad with roasted butternut squash, herb goat cheese, dried cranberries, rotisserie chicken, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.


On the side, I had gluten free whole grain bread with herb and parmesan olive oil dipping sauce.


For dessert, I made an ice cream bowl with vanilla Halo Top, chocolate chip pumpkin bread, and a dab of whipped cream.


In my opinion, there is no reason desserts can’t be part of a healthy diet! I also believe that a life without desserts just isn’t worth living.

For a nighttime snack, I had a brown rice cake with whipped chive cream cheese.


I’ve made the decision to try and push my nutrition a little bit. It’s not because I’m not happy about where I am now, but because I want to see how much better I can be, both in terms of how I feel and athletic performance. In the past year, my eating habits have been very stable, which is not something I can really say about any other point in my life. Because of that, I feel ready to try and up the nutrition a little bit. I know my body well enough at this point to know what I need and to know what makes me feel good or bad. I’m definitely not doing anything crazy, I’m just making more of an effort to balance things. For instance, I added back in an evening snack. My body reacts so much better if I split my nighttime calories up a little bit, and so far I’ve felt a difference. I’m making an effort to meal plan for the day such that things are more balanced. I haven’t decided how much I want to get into this kind of thing on the blog in terms of specifics, progress, etc, but of course I’ll continue to post my meals and meal ideas like normal!

Do you feel like spring is a fresh start?