BIG NEWS

As you guys know, I’ve been just about everywhere the past couple of months. Flying across the country every week (sometimes multiple times), experiencing snow, trying local beer. I’ve been interviewing for vet school, and now the decision has been made!

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I am excited to announce that I will be attending UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine this fall!

I made my decision last week, and Charlie gave me the moral support to click that accept button this morning.

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Naturally, I had to announce it to my family with cupcakes! They are GF carmel cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

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This called for a champagne toast!

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I’m so excited for August!

WIAW—Valentine’s Day!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s Day! I spent some quality time with my cat so no complaints here. (Also, Cooking Light had an article for how to make Valentine’s Day dinner for yourself and your feline…) I thought it would be fun to do this week’s WIAW (thanks Jenn) on what I ate on Valentine’s Day!

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Pre-Crossfit:

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Chocolate Cheerios.

Breakfast:

Mango+ double chocolate Flapjacked muffin. I figured, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, might as well see how much chocolate I could incorporate!

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Pre-teaching lunchtime spin snack: pumpkin spice Cheerios.

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Lunch: I met my parents at a Venezuelan cafe on campus after teaching. We had an appetizer of what I think was a cheese filled corn-based empanada, with cilantro avocado dip.

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My parents came early for a class of wine, so the food showed up just when I got there! My mom and I split a Gouda arepa and a salad with avocado, kalmata olives, asparagus, chicken, Gouda, and balsamic (the salad my CA Chopped Salad is based off of).

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For dessert, I had a few Lindt chocolate emojis that my mom got me for Valentine’s Day!

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Snack: Spicy Apple Ginger Chew.

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Dinner:

Salad with roasted brussels sprouts, grapes, and apples.

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And GF piza margarita.

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For dessert, we made chocolate soufflés using this recipe.

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Plus some red champagne!

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And here’s my Valentine:

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What did you eat on Valentine’s Day?

 

Stepping Into a New Season of Life

Well.

I’m finally done with the crazy schedule of travel (minus a vacation coming up), as well as the online class I had been working on nearly daily. I’m officially in a new stage of my life. I’m currently adjusting to life back home (and not the road), and I have to say, so far I’m not complaining about being back in California. I took Chloe for a walk yesterday morning, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It has that feel of early spring, and I must say, it’s giving me the itch to run longer again!

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My foot has been feeling much better since I got new running shoes, so I’m optimistic I can go a little bit further than 3 miles now. I have zero ambitions of any longer races, but it would be nice to have the occasional 4-5-6 miler.

It’s nice to have some home cooked food as well.

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This was a classic post-long run lunch I used to make in college. Sweet potato, eggs, spinach, and quality cheese. The cheese of choice was citrus ginger from my fruit and cheese of the month. This was probably my favorite from my fruit and cheese of the month last year!

We also made beet and wild rice Sweetgreen copycat salad for dinner with our CSA box beets.

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Roasted beets, garlic and herb quinoa/brown rice blend, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

For dessert, to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit, I threw a few sugar cookies in the oven. I got Sweet Megan’s allergy free cookie dough a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely a winner.

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I went to Crossfit that evening and it was quite the welcome back. We did our 20 rep squats, which I am definitely suffering from feeling. Then, we did Annie, which is a benchmark workout of: 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and abmat sit ups. Thankfully I redeemed myself on the jump rope from my time in Alabama, and actually beat my best time by3 minutes, with a time of 8:19!

I have fun things planned basically every day this week, so again, no complaining! And since with the travel, I hadn’t chatted with you all a ton, I have some fun eats from way back before I left.

New protein bar find:

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Finding protein bars I’m not allergic to is pretty exciting, and I found this variety in a few flavors. The taste was pretty good, but it had trans fat. In this day and age, I think that’s pretty inexcusable.

Best CSA meal:

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I’ve been wanting to make a big veggie bowl filled with everything delicious for a while, and this bowl filled with fresh CSA vegetables fit the bill perfectly. I don’t know where I’ll be next year, so I’m enjoying all the California produce while I can! Roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, steamed cabbage, egg, brown rice, and roasted red pepper hummus.

The highlight, though, was visiting a cupcakery in Berkeley. I had to go to Berkeley to take my final, so naturally I researched some gluten free options in the area. I found a cupcake place that offered a gluten free cupcake daily.

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They were amazing. Perfectly moist, and tons of flavor variety! I had the GF red velvet, but my parents tried the key lime pie and chocolate raspberry.

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And let’s end with the typical “my cat’s favorite place to sleep is my suit” picture.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

CA Girl Survives Snow in Upstate NY

We left off on the plane to up-state NY. Let’s jump in.

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This is what I arrived to.

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And I was a touch nervous when Friday morning I woke up to this:

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BRRRRRR.

For this leg of my trip, I stayed with my cousin who lives here. And probably thought my qualms about the weather were ridiculous. Things learned from this extended trip: the CA blood runs strong in my veins. Every night here I’ve been sleeping in my Northface and warm socks, and I’m currently huddled in front of the fire. That being said, I’ve definitely been surviving!

Breakfast the first morning:

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Morning sights:

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It’s so beautiful here. I had a great day, and when the activities were done, I was greeted with snow!

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My cousin took me to the grad student bar (he’s a PhD student), and I loved the vibe.

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On the walk to the car afterwards, I was greeted to even heavier snow! As a CA girl, this is incredibly exciting. I haven’t seen it snow in 4 years (when I went to the mountains 3 years ago, we were in a drought so it didn’t snow). It’s really incredible!

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We went to a good place for dinner. We started with beers (milk stout for me) and cheese fries.

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I actually really like cheese fries, but I’ve had them maybe twice in my life. I guess it’s better for my health to not have them all the time…?

For my meal, I ordered a cup of bean soup and a salad.

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I find myself eating a lot of salads when I’m traveling. It’s partly because I know how my body will react to them (I’m hyperaware of flaring my stomach when traveling), but partly because salads that I don’t make are always so delicious and usually more exciting!

After dinner, we headed into the winter wonderland of a downtown.

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Saturday, the temperatures improved quite a bit, and I committed to running a few miles with my cousin’s girlfriend.

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I was actually shocked by how warm 30 degrees felt! I definitely overdressed!

After a late breakfast, the next item was visiting a local brewery, Ithaca Brewery.

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We were encouraged to buy a beer to drink while on the tour. I’m not going to object to that! I had a chocolate stout.

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The tour was really interesting. We got to learn all about the brewing process, and even smell some of the raw ingredients like barley/malt and hops!

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They also had quite the impressive bottling system (according to my mechanical engineer cousin).

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And of course, at the end, we got to try a couple of things. I wasn’t a huge fan of either, they were hoppier than my taste.

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I feel like this blog has been less “health and fitness” and more beer lately. Perhaps I need a name change: Barbells and Beer?

One of my favorites I tried was an Apricot wheat beer!

Next on the agenda was a trip to the gorges to see a waterfall. I can’t say my boots were ideal for slippery snow conditions, but I persevered!

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Check out the falls!

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After our mini-hike, we went cider tasting, where I was promised fluffy dogs and a cat.

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Sadly, we only briefly saw the cat (he was adorable, and escaped, he wasn’t supposed to be out!)

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My favorite was the sweeter one.

We hung out in the cozy cider place for a few hours and chatted before it was time for dinner.

By dinnertime, we were all quite hungry. We went to a Southern style restaurant, and I got to get the grits I was missing in Alabama! (Minus the hotel instant grits…)

It amazes me how few people have tried grits. My cousin hadn’t! I was raised on grits because my dad is a Floridian and therefore claims to be from the South.

I had a salad with bleu cheese, apple, and raspberry vinaigrette with chicken, and a side of grits. This was devoured.

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Afterwards, my cousin took me to the Cornell-Yale hockey game. I’ve never been to a hockey game before, but my cousin is big into hockey.

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The game ended in a 2-2 tie, even after overtime, but I enjoyed the game! I always thought I would like hockey live; I find it moves so fast and the puck is so small that it’s harder to follow on TV. I think hockey can be elevated to my 3rd favorite sport to watch (after baseball and football, obviously).

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Sunday (the day I’m typing this up) was the day I was to head home. As I packed up, I got increasingly nervous as the rain turned to snow, creating pretty awful road conditions. I was flying out of the tiny Ithaca airport, and given the weather report, I didn’t think I would be getting home Sunday. The snow was even worse on Monday, so I was really worried I wouldn’t get back for a WHILE. With fingers crossed and no delays yet, we headed to a nice brunch that included eggs, GF bread, and more grits.

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Sure enough, right before we were going to leave for the airport, my flight from Ithaca to Newark was cancelled. My airline only flew to Newark, and although other airlines were still making it out of Ithaca, the flights were 100% booked. SOMEHOW, after much frantic searching, I was able to hop on a flight to Charlotte, which would connect me to SFO. My cousin and I made the hour and a half trek to Syracuse through less than idea conditions (snow and sludge), extremely conceded that 1. I would miss the flight, but mostly 2. all fights out of Syracuse would be cancelled (some had already been). Somehow, despite the totally white scenery outside the airport, the flight was on time. I didn’t really believe I would get out until we were in the air!

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So here I am, in Charlotte. I have never been so grateful to return to warm temperatures (it was 78 degrees when I landed), because I knew once I made it out of New York where most of the weather was, I would likely be able to get home tonight! At the airport I grabbed a BBQ chicken salad and some tortilla chips.

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To celebrate the fact that this (fun but exhausting) trip was coming to a close, I shelled out a boatload of money for some local beer. I had a really great North Carolina beer (Lonerider) when I was in TN, which I sadly couldn’t find.

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This wasn’t my favorite, but it is what it is. Time to sign off and cross my fingers that my final flight goes smoothly!

 

Another Travel Day Eats Because All I Do is Travel

Greetings from New York! I will do a full recap of my New York trip soon, but I figured since I had basically a full day of eating from my travel day Thursday, we might as well start there.

Thursday morning began in Alabama, with a 3 mile run. Said run didn’t feel great, but a run is a run.

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For breakfast, I had some Blueberry Chobani plus my bag of chocolate Cheerios that were packed form home almost a week prior. It’s been a long trip.

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Last day in a suit!

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I picked up a quick lunch at Subway before making the 1.5 hour drive to the Atlanta airport.

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I ended up giving a new friend a ride to the airport (not a hitchhiker, I promise), and it was really nice to have some company and someone to talk to, especially since I was hermit-ing it up in Alabama my last couple of days there.

By the time I made it to the airport and rearranged my luggage, I was hungry again so I ate a granola bar while waiting in a very long security line.

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At this point in my trip, I was SO tired of being on the road. I got really lucky with weather as a snowstorm was hitting the East Coast and had no delays, but I actually planned on just killing the last leg of my trip and heading home if that happened. Luckily, it didn’t, and I’m SO glad I made it out here.

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I grabbed an airport salad and some chip-like things to eat on the plane on my flight from ATL->Philadelphia. Ironically, I was in Philly on the first leg of this long trip!

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I knew I would want some type of dessert or snack, so I bagged up some Frosted Flakes from my hotel in Alabama.

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I also had half a granola bar later on.

That’s all for now; I’m PRAYING I actually get home today given what could be poor weather. Otherwise (or maybe even so), I may get my last trip recap up while hanging out at the airport(s).

Not going to lie, I’m about ready for some CA sunshine!