Weekend at Home + Vet Student Things

With all the fire starting this past week, I never got to recap my weekend at home. Before I get into that, I want to share a little bit about my weekend.

One of the most heartbreaking parts about the wildfires are all the animals that are lost/injured/killed when owners have little to no warning to evacuate. Some amazing people have been doing great work to evacuate, rescue, and save countless animals. Here at the vet school, we are starting to get patients. I finally got the chance to help out, and I jumped at the opportunity. I spent Saturday morning helping out with some burn victim kitties, and I’m on call Monday night in case we get lots of patients.


The only bright spot in all this tragedy is seeing the community come together to help. The spots to help out with the fire victims at the vet schooled filled up SO fast. My classmates raised money to take donations into Sonoma Country. Many businesses and organizations are donating money and items to help the victims.

And through all the tragedy, we are starting to see traces of hope; dogs that stayed behind to protect the farm animals, and all emerged safe. People who returned to find their houses gone, but their pet, healthy, waiting for them. People doing incredible things to save lives.

That being said, the fires are still burning, so my thoughts go out to those affected.

I spent my Sunday morning volunteering at a pop-up clinic. It’s an amazing experience, because we get to work with clients in need and practice taking the lead on cases. This morning was my first opportunity to take the lead myself, without the aid of an older student! Things like this weekend make me so happy I’m going into this field.

Also this weekend: I played intramural soccer. I haven’t played soccer in 8 years, but I grew up playing it from the age of 5. WHEW. I consider myself a fairly fit person, but soccer running is a different kind of fitness. We ended up playing a shortened game, and I don’t think anyone was complaining about that!

ALSO this weekend, I tried out Davis’s newest brewery, Super Owl. I like it, but 3 Mile is still my favorite beer in this area!


Back to my weekend home. I drove Chloe back Saturday morning after a final walk around the neighborhood.


One of the first tasks was visiting the GF bakery for Saturday donuts! These are great because they’re baked, not fried.


Maple donut, orange donut, chocolate donut, and apple cake and a cinnamon roll.

That afternoon, I snuggled with kitties and then met up with a friend at Stanford who just transferred there. It reminded me of how hard undergrad was. It’s somehow easy to forget that…

On my way home, I picked up dinner to celebrate my dad’s birthday, a bit late!


I had salmon with a baked sweet potato and broccoli.

We also broke open the growler that we brought home from Kansas in January! That was a definite upside of vet school interviews! Even all these months later, it was delicious and fizzy. This was Reindeer Sweat, which was a holiday-themed stout. I believe it had notes of chocolate and cherry. This was one of the best stouts I’ve had in a while. Totally worth braving icy temperatures!


My mom made a German Chocolate Birthday cake:


My sister made Gelato and brought dulce de leche to put on top, so I had a bowl of that! Yum!


Sunday morning, I ran 4 miles at one of my favorite places ever.

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I’ve mostly been running 3 miles over the past year, and it’s amazing how different it feels with that extra mile…overall it went well though!

For lunch, my dad grilled peaches and chicken (I took lots of leftover grilled chicken back to school with me…) and we made grilled chicken and peach salad.


I also brought a zucchini with me and backed another loaf of zucchini pumpkin bread.

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People who let their bread cool, I understand you the least.

That afternoon, one of my friends from home (the one with the puppy!) came over for a little dog walk. They’re officially friends, which was such a good feeling after Chloe’s behavior the previous week. They were both pretty tired, so when they played, it was sort of in slow motion.

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Then, it was time for me to return to school. When I got back, I had a text from my sister waiting, saying she has just adopted a kitten! Um, excuse me, you couldn’t have done that a few hours earlier?? Look how cute she is though:

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Ok, I’m back to studying!

California <3 and Trying to Return to Real Life

The fires raging through California right now are absolutely breaking my heart. Thankfully I am in a safe area, but many others are not so fortunate. The smokey air here is the worst because I know that it means people’s homes and lives are burning. Napa feels like a home away from home for me; I have spent every Thanksgiving there for the last, probably 15+ years. The neighborhoods I see on the news burning are what I have run through every year for the past 10 years.

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^Some happy memories of Napa.

For now, I’m trying to go through my week as I can, but knowing what is going on a few counties over is hard.

On that note, I do want to recap my past week with Chloe, before all of this started.

Chloe and I spent the week walking and studying, thanks to a Friday test. She was clearly super helpful.

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We went to school (her FAVORITE thing ever apparently. She was super excited to walk in.) late in the evenings to study in the study rooms, and it was so nice to have a companion! I also re-listened to some lectures I was unclear on while walking her, which was super helpful.


One morning, I took her to school to walk along the trail out back. On our way back to the vet school, she spotted some interesting things.

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Chloe sees her first alpaca!

Chloe and Rina got along quite well together this time as well.


When everyone wants on my lap!


I have a cat AND a dog on my lap!


In terms of my food for the week, Sunday before Chloe came I made a big pot of garlic ginger chicken veggie soup (with zucchini of course), which made for quick lunches when I had to dart home and let Chloe out between classes.


Mr. Pickles turkey and avocado on a GF wrap when my mom dropped my girl off:


Lemon garlic zucchini noodles with mozzarella and chicken, and a friend.


The same but with mushrooms:


One of my favorite fall breakfasts: cottage cheese, apple, and sunbutter.


Wednesday tamale with a side salad:


I ordered GF cookies online, and the maple was my favorite!


Zucchini traditionally: with marinara and mozzarella, plus a side of avo toast.


Other fav fall breakfast: plain yogurt, pumpkin butter, sunbutter.


And a new use of zucchini! Mexican-style. I seasoned my noodles with smokey seasoning blend, then stirred in Harvest Salsa (from Trader Joe’s), grilled chicken, and cheese.


Finally, another fall combo: cottage cheese, pumpkin butter, sunbutter.



I had planned to write a post today detailing all my fun with Chloe, and on my trip home last week, but I just can’t do it. As I write this, massive wildfires are raging through Napa Valley, not so far from here (thankfully, my area is not in danger.) My heart truly hurts for everyone who calls Napa Valley/Santa Rosa home. I cannot imagine what they must be going through right now, and I am hoping everyone can get out in time, and that the fires will be contained soon.

This feels so close. My family has gone to Napa every single year for Thanksgiving since I was a young child. It feels like home.

My thoughts go out to everyone affected <3


Urban Cow 5k

Happy Monday! (<-I think I was a little over ambitious I would get this post up…) I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was filled with relaxation, studying, and a 5k!

I had a low key Friday night.

Dinner: zucchini noodles (per usual) with marinara and mozzarella.


For dessert, I made a little mini pumpkin pie in the microwave with the open can of pumpkin I had lying around. Cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg whites, chocolate chips.


My night ended on the couch with a chocolate milk stout, a romcom, and furry friends.

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Saturday I spent studying a lot of the day in preparation for the week ahead, as well as running errands.

Lunch: same old weird salad, with beet chips.


Last weekend, I decided I wanted to find something to do this weekend, so I looked up local races and found a PERFECT match. The Urban Cow 5k, a cow themed race.


I drove into Sacramento to pick up my packet since I had a little time on my hands, and ended up hanging out at the nearest coffeeshop (ironically, Temple in Sac—Temple in Davis is my fav) and sipping tea with a GF blueberry muffin while I reviewed the immune system.


On the way home, I made a very important purchase: 5 pounds of zucchini. I literally go through this in a week…

I think my grocery basket sums me up pretty well:


For dinner, I had more zucchini noodles with my new batch of zucchini.


I had another lazy night. I baked more healthy pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese, and watched a movie with more furry friends.

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Sunday, I was up early for the race! I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. I’ve been running pretty regularly, but I wasn’t really 5k trained. I had done basically zero speed work since my last race. So I wasn’t even sure what to shoot for! (Not dying is always goal #1.)

This race was awesome because there were cow themed things everywhere.

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When the gun went off, I found myself going out at a fast pace….comfortably. What?? I actually thought I might PR at that point. I felt really good for the whole first mile. My pace definitely slowed after that a little bit, but I also didn’t want to push myself to death.

Before I knew it, the race was over!


(This wasn’t actually a PR, despite what my watch said!)

I did well for me, and with minimal training I was more than happy with that effort!

For our medal, they gave us cowbells! It was fun…until we were all walking around with cowbells!

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Naturally, I had to take advantage of the free beer. It wasn’t my favorite kind so I didn’t finish it, but FREE.


I especially appreciated the cow puns around the beer garden.

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And guess what? I won a cow!


I had to wait a WHILE after the race to pick this up, and my plantar fasciitis went crazy as soon as I stopped. Standing in line was SUPER painful, but worth it for the cow trophy! Next, I went to a nearby GF bakery, Pushkin’s, for donuts! The line was super long there was well, but again worth it!

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I got an apple fritter and a chocolate cruller, and both were amazing!

The rest of the day was spent studying with dog friends, checking out a brewery for their big anniversary event, and having a Grey’s Anatomy viewing party of the newest episodes, which I can do now that I’m FINALLY caught up!

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My plantar fasciitis is definitely not happy after that race…I’m trying to be really good about icing and wearing my special sock at night! Now it’s back to studying for me. I have a special visitor this week, so it’s going to be a crazy one!


GI is Cool+Food Sensitivities

First and foremost, happiest of birthdays to my dad!


Next, vet school is cool. Learning about stuff is cool. I like knowing how the body works, and with each passing day I have a better picture of what is going on inside us (and our pets, obviously.) I didn’t actually have class today, so after a quick workout (end of my squat program+sprints on the treadmill), I headed to a coffeeshop to study.


I actually spent most of my day doing research for a discussion tomorrow. I looked into a lot about IBS and food sensitivities in cats, and stumbled upon some super cool things along the way.

The first was this article I stumbled upon (but unfortunately only have access to the abstract) about cashew allergies and polyphenols. Apparently, polyphenols, found in pomegranate juice, bind cashew proteins, and thus help prevent somewhat of an immune response.

You better believe I’m going to test that out! I also spent a little more time researching food allergies. What I’ve been tested for is an IgE response for nuts, the typical allergic response with histamine that is usually within minutes. IgG, a different form of immunoglobulin, may be responsible for other non-IgE food sensitivities. I would love to get that kind of test done. Luckily for the cashew trial, the cashew protein binding would prevent both an IgE and IgG response. Note: if you are allergic to nuts DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. My “allergy” or food sensitivity or whatever it is is not that severe. Plus this is new research so I don’t know what will come from it.

Then, I was reading about diets treating food sensitivity-related IBS in dogs, and I came across some VERY interesting information that fit really well into what I’ve already learned about the GI system. The GI system is lined with cells with variable permeability that is regulated by various factors. IBS can increase this permeability, so various food antigens get more exposed to the immune system, and food sensitivities can develop. In some cases, these food sensitivities go away when the IBS is treated and permeability returns to normal. CRAZY. I highlighted and starred and underlined my article.

Today, I also made my obligatory fall TJ’s run. ALL THE PUMPKIN.


I literally only bought pumpkin products, or things to eat with pumpkin products. And a pumpkin. I’m ready, my friends.


Rubber work boots—the newest trend? I went to livestock rounds today and was reminded by how cool cows and their physiology is.

Afterwards, I made more zucchini for dinner. Teriyaki stir fry with brown rice.


And that’s vet school my friends.