WIAW-St. Louis Adventures

Hello, and happy first WIAW from St. Louis! Thanks as always to Jenn for starting WIAW!

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If you haven’t gathered, I’m in St. Louis! I moved here for 3 months, and I’m starting to get settled in. I had my first day of work yesterday, and Tuesdays I have off, so I took the time to explore the city a little bit more. So let’s dive in!

Breakfast:

I woke up hungry and had a few crackers and strawberries while I made my yogurt bowl, which was 2% plan greek, cinnamon KIND granola, sunbutter.

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Plus a really, really good nectarine. I was pretty surprised, to be honest. The few I bought were looking pretty sad.

Coffee:

While I do have an extra day off during the week, I also have online class(es) to work on, so I decided on my day off I will “commute” to the best coffeeshops I can find and work on my schoolwork. I have a list of coffeeshops that I intend to hit up. Today’s choice was Blueprint Coffee in Delmar Loop, near Wash U. Watch their video<-to know they’re legit! Coffee is a cherished process at Blueprint, and it did not disappoint.

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As per usual, I had a decaf cappuccino and it was amazing. I would HIGHLY recommend Blueprint. Another plus? I was able to park on the street right out front! I spent a couple of hours there making sure my vet apps are in order, signing up for said online class, and looking into some spin teaching opportunities for while I’m here.

Around 11, I decided I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, so I walked around the neighborhood a bit. So cute!

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Lunch:

I didn’t have too much else to do in that neighborhood, so I decided to make one last stop for lunch: Kayak Cafe. This was another cute little coffeeshop. I had a sandwich on GF (toasted!) bread with turkey, swiss, spring greens, tomato, and herbed cream cheese. Yum!

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It was interesting being basically on another college campus. I feel like I saw the college experience I didn’t have. I originally wanted to move out of CA, and I always pictured myself curled up in coffeeshops in the snow studying. I guess maybe this fall! Ignore the fact that my wardrobe is totally unequipped for snow…I spent the next hour and a half or so driving around exploring Clayton, Maplewood, and some other areas.

Snack+unfortunate situation:

When I got back, I had a few bites of Birthday Cake Halo Top, and then proceeded to lock myself out. I’ve been here 2 days…

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I was taking my roommates dog to go out, which normally she would be let out the back but I couldn’t figure out how to open the door, so I took her out front. I didn’t think it was possible for the door to lock the way it did….so I was stuck outside with no phone or keys, just dog!

It took me about 30 minutes to find a way back in, but I did it! There’s always a way. I was SO happy to be back inside—my roommate wouldn’t be home for another 3 hours!

I decompressed from the situation with a peppermint Luna bar, 2 kitties, and Netflix.

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I ran out to do some errands—joined a gym+grocery, before it was Crossfit time!

I went to my new box for the first time! It was sort of hard to find. It’s on a side street down an alley…It was a pretty small box in terms of people, probably the smallest I’ve been to. Definitely not a bad thing, just a little different! One big plus is that it seems to be in a good neighborhood, which honestly was the top priority for me.

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I had a good workout! For strength we did close grip bench press. I’ve never benched with close grip before, so that was a bit of a challenge. My left side weakness was pretty apparent here! The WOD was a benchmark that we are going to retest in 4 weeks.

Baseline: 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups

The push ups were definitely my weakest point, and slowed me the most (especially after bench!). I finished in 6:32.

When I returned, it was dinnertime!

Dinner:

I snacked on some watermelon while I started to get things ready, as per usual. I actually ended up eating most of this throughout the meal and cooking.

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For dinner, I was planning on making some kind of scramble with spinach…and then I realized I forgot to buy spinach. Oops. This was my first time actually cooking here though! (Yesterday I microwaved soup…) Instead, I settled for an omelette and side salad. It came out pretty well! I used goat gouda and Italian spices. I also had avocado toast on the side.

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I got the garlic powder from Whole Foods and it is POTENT. It has a super fine, almost powdered sugar-y texture, and tastes just like fresh garlic!

My companion:

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Dessert:

I tried some of these chocolate rice cakes. They were underwhelming. Plus a spoon of Halo Top.

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Have you ever been to St. Louis? Any recommendations on things to see/eat?

St. Louis

App is submitted. I’m in St. Louis! I’ve spent the last 1.5 days settling in. So we’re going to do a little photo recap.

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Airport—off to the next adventure!

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I have this uncanny ability to always have the furthest gate, but the advantage is when changing planes I get to see every food option in the airport. Salad with roasted corn, grapes, goat cheese, chicken, agave champagne vinaigrette.

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Home Stretch

Guys. This is it. The home stretch. I’m submitting my vet school app tonight! Eeeeee!

I last posted, what, Tuesday?

Since then I have:

Written countless essays.

Majorly soul searched to write said essays.

Taught spin 2x.

Gone to Crossfit 2x.

Visited friends 2x.

My brain hurts…

Wednesday highlights:

We did 4 sets of 10 back squats at Crossfit which is always sort of yucky. But I hit my numbers so that was good. I’m definitely not a fan of sets of 10. The WOD was mean. It was an EMOM (every minute on the minute), but not really. Normally, for EMOMs, you’re supposed to do an exercise on the minute and then have some time to rest. This was 10 minutes, 5 deadlifts on the minute, and then double unders until the next minute. NOT how that’s supposed to work, haha! The prescribed deadlift weight was 155 which is what I’ve been using in WODs, but I dropped it to 135 given the whole no rest thing.

Moving on.

For lunch I had more leftover stew. I love this lunch, and am sad that the stew is all gone now!

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Plus some GF cinnamon raisin toast with butter and cinnamon sugar, basically the best thing ever.

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Snack was a welcome bread from essays of a plum and the other protein muffin flavor I got to try, double chocolate. I didn’t overcook this one, which was nice! The chunks are really what make these. Without the chocolate chips honestly this probably would have just been a boring not super flavorful mug cake.

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I taught spin that night, which went well. After, I had plans to meet a college friend for dinner. He and some friends recently moved into a house literally 400 feet from where I went to Crossfit while at school, so I stopped in to say hi to my friends and coach there on the way!

My friend and I had a good time catching up over Mexican food. I had chicken tamales, which were delicious and thankfully not too spicy!

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We then hung out in the house for a while until a bunch of my other friends in the house got back, and it was nice to be able to see them all before I have to leave for St. Louis tomorrow (!!!).

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^not actually the same friend I had dinner with.

Thursday morning I started the day with Crossfit once again. It was a lighter workout. We worked (well, I. I was the only one at that time yet again!) on handstands and negative pull ups (which are always tough). The WOD was pretty quick and a nice break from all the heavy heavy stuff lately.

400m run

24 kb snatches

600m run

16 kb snatches

800m run

8 kb snatches

Kettlebell snatches are my jam, so most of the workout was spent running. I started doing kettlebell snatches long before I started Crossfit, so they are one of my points of pride!

For breakfast afterwards, I had the typical chocolate banana smoothie, but also tried my hand at protein pancakes. I used Quest salted caramel protein powder, with egg whites and a pinch of baking powder. I topped it with cinnamon sugar and a little butter. It was pretty good! The cinnamon sugar helped a ton. It was a bit dry, so I think it might be good with banana in it.

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Lunch was leftover stew again, with Glutino multigrain crackers.

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That evening I taught a small spin class. Dinner was pretty excited. We had Japanese roasted sweet potatoes, which are pretty much my favorite thing ever. Plus a Greek salad with Greek feta dressing, tomato, cucumber, red onion, kalmata olives, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and roasted red pepper hummus.

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In what was an incredibly fast turn around, I cleaned myself up in time for dessert with some of my best friends from high school. Protip: I used waterproof eye makeup and was super careful when I took a shower, so I didn’t have to redo it as I got ready!

It was so nice to catch up with everyone. I don’t think the 4 of us have been together since Christmas!

And the cheese cake was good. We split a few things, namely the Godiva chocolate cheesecake. This is actually I think the only gluten free cheesecake option. It has a flourless chocolate cake base! Yum!

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And for some reason, the only picture we took for the night was just me?

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Because I was out on the later side, I decided to skip morning Crossfit and go for the last time in the evening, so I had a relaxing morning, sleeping only about 30 minutes longer than I would have for Crossfit! My body has felt a little tired lately though, so the extra few hours of recovery before going again was not a bad thing.

My breakfast happened to be basically all protein? I wanted to make an egg white scramble with laughing cow and spinach.

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And I had ~1/3 of a packet of the Quest protein powder left (a whole packet at once is kind of a lot of protein at once for me), so I made a single pancake. I topped it with sea salt and cinnamon sugar, and ate it while I cooked my eggs.

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And finally, some watermelon:

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Lunch was a wrap with a tortilla, shredded mozzarella and cheddar, avocado, tomato, butter lettuce, and a drizzle of champagne vinaigrette. I always wrap my wraps up in tinfoil so I stand some chance at eating them. On the side, I had some cheddar and sour cream Baked Lays (those things are the best).

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As I study break, I did some baking in preparation for my trip tomorrow. Pumpkin bread! I never actually made real, non-banana pumpkin bread last year, so I got started early!

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I used Cooking Light’s recipe for Pecan-topped Pumpkin Bread, and obviously omitted the pecans. The recipe made two loaves, and my mom requested chocolate chips for my parent’s loaf (I will be taking most of one with me). Another change I made was a reduction in the amount of sugar. The recipe calls for 2 cups for two loaves, and 1 cup per loaf is far higher than what I would normally do. I used a heaping cup of packed brown sugar+maple syrup (we ran out of brown sugar), and it tasted perfectly sweet!

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Unfortunately for picture purposes, the loaves were cut immediately for my sister and her fiancé who were stopping by on the way to the airport.

Last dinner at home: turkey burgers and roasted zucchini and tomatoes with parmesan.

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And Halo Top+GF cookies+caramel.

See you in St. Louis!

 

WIAW: #Bootlife Nostalgia

Today on the way to teaching spin at my undergrad campus, I listened to an album that I listened to a lot last spring. Immediately it took me back to all my boot workouts: grinding it out on the bike, learning new leg machines, endless dumbbell presses. I actually miss the boot in some strange way. Obviously, it’s nice not having a broken foot. But many good times were had in my boot. While wearing a giant boot with a broken foot was painful and made it hard to get around, I didn’t let it hold me back from doing anything I wanted to do and from enjoying my senior year. And not going to lie, I definitely felt super tough doing some of the things I did in a boot. I tried to make the most of it and have fun with it. Protip: if you go out and don’t want people to step on your broken foot, lighting up your boot works fabulously. The big silver lining of #bootlife was that I spent 2 months working on pull ups like a mad woman, and now I’m busting them out in workouts like it’s no big deal. (I did 50 kipping pull ups on Monday in sets of 5 the whole way!) Being optimistic is who I am; I may be sarcastic and pessimistic about humanity, but on a case by case basis I always look for the bright side.

But again, I think a lot of the good times that were had in the boot were because of the awesome people I was with. I’m missing my college friends like crazy now, and while I’m excited for a new opportunity in a new city, I’m sad I won’t see them every day. I think it’s finally getting real that I won’t be going back to Stanford this fall.

Sigh.

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(Featuring: Boot goes to the beach, boot goes win tasting in Napa, boot goes to the Giant’s game, boot goes to senior nights, boot goes to a Stanford baseball game, boot ‘graduates” from my sorority, and boot does murph.)

After that absurdly long introduction, let’s get into WIAW, shall we? Thanks as always to Jenn for starting the fun all those years ago.

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For breakfast, I had a few crackers alongside a smoothie bowl. I recently bought Quest salted caramel protein powder, and so far I don’t hate it. I want to try it in waffles/pancakes at some point though!

In the blender went 1.33 bananas, milk, cocoa powder, and protein powder. I topped it with some KIND Raspberry granola.

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I taught a noon spin class on campus. It was a class I made when I had a broken foot, and it was fun to actually be able to do the full class for real (I couldn’t stand before).

I had some business to attend to on campus, so I packed a lunch because I knew I would be hungry post-spin. I had a Trader Joe’s chicken, goat cheese, and beet salad, and a few crackers.

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When I got back, I had snack part 1: a farmer’s market peach that was absolutely delicious.

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Snack part 2 was a new purchase: a Flapjacked muffin. I saw these the other day and actually am not allergic to anything in them, so I was excited to try them out! Plus, given my physical activity for the day I knew I wanted plenty of protein, and these pack 20g in.

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I overcooked it a tiny bit. When I originally took it out, it seemed too soft still so I added a few extra seconds and apparently that was too much. It was good though! The cinnamon chips were a good touch!

Before dinner, I attended a spin class. Normally I would never double up spin, but since it’s my last week and I had one spin credit left to a local studio, I wanted to go to one of my favorite teacher’s classes. It was a fun one! I always like her music.

For dinner, we had roasted corn and spaghetti squash mac and cheese.I haven’t had mac and cheese in forever so I was excited!

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I love the idea of using spaghetti squash. Honestly, I’m not a huge pasta person. I’m all about the sauce! And who doesn’t love sneaking in extra veggies? This may be my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash thus far!

For dessert, I had my final 2 leftover grad cupcakes: chocolate with caramel frosting, and caramel with chocolate frosting.

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A little while later, I had another snack. Because, hello, 2 spin classes, I needed the calories! Another thing I was super excited to try? Pumpkin spice cheerios! We finally found them! Yes, they are good. And I’m ready to dive headfirst into pumpkin. I was crazy into pumpkin a couple of years ago, but less recently. I think I’m due for another year of being crazy into pumpkin. And clearly I’m starting off strong with 2 pumpkin items in one day!

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I also had a few milk chocolate chips to cap it off.

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Have you had any pumpkin yet? What’s you favorite fall food?

I love pumpkin bread!

It’s Crunch Time, My Friends

Well, we’re in the home stretch. My app will be submitted on Friday. Lots to do before now and then! (Just a note for anyone who may see this post and benefit: I’m submitting my app about a month before the deadline so everything has time to process, just in case!)

Although it’s Tuesday, I thought we could still do a little weekend recap!

My Saturday morning began with a fun spin class and a trip to the farmer’s market.

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I really, really love figs. And California peaches—they cannot be beat! Pro-tip: put your farmer’s market peaches in the fridge ASAP even if they are still hard. They ripen super fast and will start to rot otherwise! (I knew this but still failed to do it…)

For lunch, I picked up a falafel salad with tahini dressing from a food truck.

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And enjoyed the last of the caramel sauce with Halo Top and whipped cream.

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The afternoon was low key, but dinner was delicious. We had grilled romaine salad with avocado, chicken, and grilled corn. Last time we made this salad, we used grade B maple syrup for the dressing, and this time we used syrup that was less than A. It made a HUGE difference—I’m never going away from B again! This was sweeter with less mapley flavor and the whole salad didn’t hve the same “wow” factor as before.

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I was in the mood to bake, but didn’t want to commit to a giant loaf of bread, so I tried the 2 ingredient cookies I’ve been seeing all over the internet lately. 2 bananas, 1 cup of oats, 12 minutes in the oven at 350. I spiced them up a bit by adding some milk and semi sweet chocolate chips (I may or may not have gone to the store exclusively to buy milk chocolate chips, but worth it!), and fresh strawberries to some of them.

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The verdict? Delicious, but I highly recommend adding chocolate chips. They MADE them.

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Sunday morning, I went for a run! I went to my favorite place ever to run, down by the reservoir. It is just so beautiful there. I was struck by the fact that the last time I ran there, I was running on a stress fracture. I ran 3 miles! This is a big deal, because it’s the furthest I’ve gone since my stress fracture. I don’t think I’m going to be running longer than 3 miles for a while though. It’s a good distance, and there’s no reason to take any risks. My foot definitely doesn’t feel as good as new. It feels really creaky, and I think there might be some scar tissue there. But again, I am being careful.

Sunday afternoon, I went to a Giant’s game with my friend. It was AMAZING weather. No jacket—what??

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My lunch was actually a salad. At a baseball game. I do concede that that is sort of ridiculous. I normally get amazing flatbread, but I’ve gotten it the last couple of times. This beet+parmesan salad was delicious though!

We left a little early to get on the train to go home, and in that time the lead was blown and we lost. :/

I was hungry by the time we got home, so my family and I quickly threw together fig and goat cheese salad with grilled chicken, and had some of the homemade buttermilk biscuits my mom whipped up that morning.

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Monday consisted of vet school apps and a hard but fun Crossfit workout. We worked on snatches, and I was able to hit the prescribed 65% feeling good!

The WOD was full of all the things I love to do. I was the only one in the class, and would have preferred someone to suffer through it with! It was:

10 rounds: 5 pull ups, 7 front squats, 9 push ups

I think it took me around 16 minutes? I used 75# for the pull ups.

Food highlights for the day included butternut squash, chicken, and quinoa stew with roasted brussels spouts:

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And leftover graduation cupcakes from the freezer:

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2 months later, I stand by my decision to ask the cupcake place to switch the dulce de leche and chocolate frostings, resulting in dulce cake with chocolate frosting, and chocolate cake with dulce frosting.

The best part? I still have 2 more in the freezer, which I’m eyeing for dessert tonight!

Did you ever apply to grad school? How was the process?