Another Day, Another Time Zone

I’m finally home after another whirlwind trip across the country. In that week, I was in 3 timezones. I figured I should catch up a little bit on here.

Thursday was my first day teaching spin for the quarter, and I taught both a noon and a 5:30 class back at my undergrad university. It was weird being back, and hanging around campus that afternoon. There are a bunch of new dorms, and things are slightly different! It felt good to be back to my classes too. Both were either full or nearly full!

I brought chocolate milk to drink immediately after the 5:30 class, but even with that I felt like I was struggling to make up the calories all night. My body needed more calories than my stomach could fit! For dinner, we made a stir fry using a ton of our CSA veggies. I don’t know why I don’t do stir fries more often!

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Friday morning I was up at 5am to get a quick workout before my flight to Knoxville. My legs get really achy after sitting for so long if I don’t move a little bit in the morning. I did some quick weights: 4 sets of 4 deadlifts, going slow on the way down, at 155#, then 4 sets of 6 single leg squats and 6 pistols. I finished with some weighted planks. In and out really quickly!

I packed leftover stir fry for the plane, which was perfect. I had a 45 minute layover (both ways) so there was lots of running through the airport. My flight from ATL to Knoxville ended up leaving a little bit late, but I finally arrived in time to drive down to Market Square and eat a Subway salad.

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Not a bad view from the hotel!

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Luckily I didn’t have a terribly early morning. Check out this view!

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I found that I knew my way around Knoxville just enough to be frustrated that I was constantly getting lost. I had the same issue this summer: Google Maps does not get along well with Knoxville.

Once my morning activities were done, I headed to the gluten free bakery hoping to snag a gluten free biscuit, but as I suspected, they were long gone. I settled for a delicious GF quiche. I can’t even remember the last time I had quiche.

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I spent a few hours relaxing in the hotel. I forgot how many emotions I had attached to Knoxville, and all this travel has been sort of exhausting. Finally, I headed out for a 3ish mile run.

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I cleaned myself up and then headed to Market Square for dinner. I was within walking distance, which was so nice! I always feel so awkward eating by myself, but I wanted some actually good food so I decided to sit at the bar and watch football. I started with a Lager.IMG_1587

And then got a cranberry kale salad with feta and rotisserie chicken. So good.

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On the way back to the hotel, I picked up a durable looking toy for the psycho pup at a cute little pet shop.

Back at the hotel, I watched more football and snacked on some carrot cookies (which I packed), and a Klondike bar. I don’t think I’ve ever had one!
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Sunday morning I was up bright and really freaking early. 5:30am EST. I made it to the airport and back home on my flights no problem (with some airport running, of course). It was weird to arrive in SF at noon! Since I’m becoming oh so familiar with the layout of SFO, I took a detour to another terminal while waiting for my bag to pick up the BEST GF cookie, chocolate chip sea salt. SO GOOD.

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For dinner that night, we made spinach and goat cheese bisque.

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And with that, another trip was done! I finished booking all the details of my next couple of trips, and to be honest, my head is spinning. I’m excited but exhausted to think about it! Thankfully, I have a free weekend until I’m off to Boston!

Meals Lately (feat. Sunbasket and CSA Delivery) + Salad Recipe

I have been so horribly behind on posting meals lately, and I’ve gotten a bit of a backlog of things to share. (A new recipe will be at the end of the post!) Of course, starting with my cat.

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For Christmas, my mom got me 2 weeks worth of Sunbasket meals. This particular meal delivery service was appealing because you have a lot of control over which meals you get, and you can do gluten free! That being said, I picked out 2 weeks of meals, supposedly starting next week, and then last week I got an email saying my meals were shipping. What…? I didn’t even get to pick that week’s worth of meals! But I think I still have the other 2 weeks coming? Unclear. That being said, the meals were not exactly something I would have picked out, but worked out pretty well given various dietary constraints.

The first meal we made was by far my favorite. It was vegetable tostadas, filled with roasted butternut squash and seasoned black beans, pickled onion and radish, queso, and a soft boiled egg.

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I chose to have mine as soft tacos vs. tostadas, but my parents’ tortillas didn’t crisp up too much. I also added a touch of spinach. This meal was delicious and cooking was seamless, minus the soft boiled eggs. We followed the directions and time exactly, but the eggs were a little TOO soft when we started to peel them (which was its own nightmare). We ended up microwaving them to firm them up a little bit more. Not pretty, but still delicious!

The next meal we made was chicken tacos. I’m really not a huge fan of cooking raw meat, but this went fairly seamlessly, minus the fact that the marinade blacked a  bit in the pan, causing the house to smell smoky for days (but it tasted good!) These tacos had marinated chicken (tomato paste and spices), roasted red peppers, cabbage, radish, and lime juice, topped with queso. These were good but we agreed they could have used a little salsa. Served with salad on the side! I also left out the super spicy pepper that came with it.

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Our third and final meal for the week was a little bit more of an improvisation. It was supposed to be blackened sole over herbed cauliflower rice, with a citrus pico de gallo. However, my mom has extreme fish phobia, and we’re not allowed to cook fish in the house. I’m actually not a huge fish eater either, although I like it well enough. Instead, we made basically the same dish, but instead of fish, we topped it with a fried egg with smoky seasoning.

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The cauliflower rice was good, as well as the pico (which went better with tortilla chips than an egg…oops).

Not a bad set of meals, given I didn’t pick them out! Overall, I would say it was a fun experience to cook up the meals. I’ve heard the commentary before that Sunbasket doesn’t have as many veggies as one might like, which I sort of agree with. However, it’s super easy to add a side or throw spinach into a taco if you want more! I’m looking forward to next week’s delivery!

Now, otherwise in food.

Breakfast

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Not a ton to share here. I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick since getting my new Ninja blender, but this morning I mixed it up and tried Siggi’s 4% blueberry yogurt (I like it—not too sweet!) with chocolate cheerios, sunbutter, and a Bosc pear.

Lunches lately have really just been leftovers from dinners.

Dinner

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa. I love this one; it has the fun addition of kalmata olives! On the side is Brazilian cheese bread. It’s made with cheese and tapioca flour, and I found them frozen at a few different grocery stores.

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Breakfast for dinner, plus the last of our previous week’s CSA, Romesco cauliflower! I’ve seen this alien-like cauliflower at the store a couple of times, and was excited to try it out! We simply roasted it up with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. It tastes a little like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli.

In the scramble is garlic, mushrooms, spinach, green onions, shredded carrots (I love this addition to scrambles) and Irish cheddar. Plus some toast with homemade jam.

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Healthy chicken minestrone soup. I wanted a new soup to try, and we were in the mood for something that didn’t include squash, since it seems like everything we’ve made lately has included it! This minestrone is lacking all the meh parts (beans and pasta), and instead is packed with more exciting veggies (I really like cabbage), and topped with parmesan and pesto. Served with more Brazilian cheese bread balls.

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Etc.

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I’ve been going to coffeeshops to do work this week since I’ve been ready to get going before the library is open. I mixed it up and went to Peet’s and CHECK OUT THE QUALITY OF MILK FOAM ON THAT PUPPY. It’s extremely high quality. Peets>>>Starbucks.

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This may not look like much but GUYS. I saw someone post about this on Instagram. Sweet Megan makes cookie dough free of the top 8 allergens, and since it has no eggs, it can be eaten straight from the jar or baked in the oven. After several stolen spoonfuls, I decided to be civilized and bake a cookie in the oven. YUM. I got small jars of chocolate chip and sugar cookie to try, but there are a ton of flavors.

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We decided to have a little happy hour to open up our growler of Reindeer Sweat. This chocolate cherry oatmeal milk stout is SO good. While drinking it, my dad made me cookies as part of a little friendly wager that I won within my family. The cookies of choice were carrot oatmeal, made with carrots from our CSA box! (The recipe is actually from the CSA box too.)

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They came out really well! They tasted healthy, but in a good way!

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And FINALLY, the recipe!

Almost a year ago I went to Sweetgreen in DC (when I was there for the Cherry Blossom Race) and had a delicious salad with beets, goat cheese, and wild rice. I’ve been meaning to recreate it ever since, and FINALLY I did, motivated by regular and golden beets in our CSA box, as well as romaine lettuce.

Beet and Wild Rice Sweetgreen Copycat Salad

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Salad ingredients:

3 grilled or broiled seasoned chicken breasts, sliced

3 large handfuls of romaine, or 3 bowlfuls

3 large beets

3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1 cup seasoned, cooked rice blend (I used a brown rice and quinoa microwave rice pouch that’s seasoned with garlic. You could also use wild rice.)

Dressing (from Cooking Light):

3 T balsamic vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 T minced shallots

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 t Dijon mustard

1/8 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1 garlic clove

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the beets, and then chop into bite sized pieces. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and roast for 35 minutes or until tender.

In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients.

When the beets are done, toss all ingredients in a large bowl.

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Enjoy!

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(Served with extra beets on the side to dip in ketchup!)

 

 

Healthy Travel+Coldest Temp EVER

Happy mid-week! After a couple of short holiday weeks plus travel, I’ve admittedly had trouble keeping track of what day it is!

First things first, I feel like I should mention some big news. I’M OFFICIALLY GOING TO VET SCHOOL NEXT YEAR! I got the call while at the library and immediately packed up, headed up, and we opened the best bottle of champagne we had.

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My weekend was a whirlwind, and it didn’t really hit me until I was cuddling/studying with a purry Charlie and realized how incredible it is that I get to spend my life working with animals.

Now, on to the main topic of this post. I had a super quick trip to Kansas this past weekend. My travel schedule for January and February is insane: Tennessee, Boston, Philadelphia, Alabama, New York, Hawaii. That’s a whole lot of plane trips. It got me thinking, how do I stay healthy with my travel? In the past, I would always feel gross and sluggish after a day on an airplane, full of junky airplane/airport food. With such a quick turnaround on a lot of these trips, I don’t really have time to recover from a day of travel. I thought I would go through my weekend, highlighting some healthy travel tips.

My day accompanied me. Our flight left early Saturday morning, so I packed a granola bar and apple to eat while waiting at the gate. When traveling, I try my best to keep somewhat of a normal eating schedule (which can definitely be hard given changing timezones). I try to at least keep the manner that I’m eating constant. I also packed a sunbutter and jam sandwich on GF bread, plus sugar snap peas, in case I couldn’t find any good options at the airport. I find it’s nice to have a veggie option when traveling, and carrots or snap peas are easy and durable choices. Plus, I figured if I didn’t need the sandwich, it would keep until my next day’s travel.

We landed to find snow! I haven’t seen snow in 3 years, so that was exciting!

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We actually really lucked out with the weather there. The previous day and week, the temperature was in the single digits!

I ended up eating my packed sandwich for dinner, since we had a pizza party to go to that likely wouldn’t have any options for me. So it came in handy to have it!

By the time we walked out of the pizza party at 8pm, I found myself in the coldest temperature I’ve ever been in!

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I’ve been in snow before in the mountains in CA, but the temperatures usually aren’t too low. I think MAYBE I’ve been in 19 degrees? The funny thing is that I borrowed my mom’s big puffy jacket that she wears for baseball games in San Francisco in the summer. And I was warm enough. I don’t know how it’s possible, but those ballgames are icy.

Sunday we had plenty of time to explore. My dad and I were considering running to explore, but we ran out of time before the hotel checkout, and the temperature with windchill was in the single digits. No thank you.

Instead, we explored by foot. The snow was so pretty!

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It was a windy 20 degrees, and after walking for a while, my California toes in my California boots (I had ski socks though) were a little cold, so we moved on to the next event.

The craft beer in St. Louis is awesome. The craft beer in California is hoppy. St. Louis beer does not come to California, and since Kansas was as close as I was going to get to St. Louis, I was hoping to find some. While we didn’t find any, we found the next best thing. Tallgrass Taphouse  was compared to 4Hands, which had my favorite Chocolate Milk Stout. My dad and I decided to head there for lunch for some delicious local beer!

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My dad and I split a flight to try lots of different things.

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The clear winner was called Reindeer Sweat, which was an Oatmeal Milk Stout with notes of chocolate and cherry. It was awesome. It reminded me a LOT of chocolate milk stout. It was so good, we actually got 2 growlers of it to take home. (On the plane…wrapped in numerous puffy jackets.)

For my meal, I had a delicious salad.

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We walked around downtown a bit before heading to the airport, with plenty of time before the flight. The airport was tiny; flights only went to Dallas and Chicago, and security only opened 15 minutes before each flight. I was happy to have some extra time to get through a lot of lectures of Microbiology!

And then….

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Since I’m becoming exceedingly familiar with the Dallas/Ft Worth airport at this point, I knew where I wanted to stop for dinner during our long layover. We got dinner at Au Bon Pain, and I got a salad which I ate with the crumbs that were formerly crackers, until they were smushed into a small carryon.

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I also got a brown butter sea salt rice crispy treat for dessert. It was between that and a GF brownie, but I knew all that chocolate wouldn’t make me feel great so I took the other option. Still delicious!

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We had a 2 hour layover, and then our flight got delayed. And then delayed again. And again. There have been crazy storms (rain and wind) in Northern California for the past couple of weeks.

Another thing you may need to realize is that during travel, you may be hungrier than normal. And that’s ok. While waiting, I grabbed a banana (and watched lectures…lots of lectures.)

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And a new book. This girl only can handle so much Microbiology after being awake for so long! Plus, it’s great to read about airborne diseases while on a plane…

We didn’t get in bed until 2am, but it was a good weekend!

Antibiotic Use in Livestock

My January/February is currently looking pretty crazy. I’m up to my ears in stress about how I’m going to make everything work, so I figured I might triple multitask for today’s blog post. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned about 1000x, I’m taking Microbiology right now (maybe I’ve mentioned it so much because it’s the class that never seems to end?). Along with the whole future career (hopefully) as a vet thing, this topic is something I wanted to look into for my own personal knowledge.

Today, I want to talk about the ethics of antibiotic use in livestock. I’m not going to take a side one way or another on this controversial topic, but I want to present that facts so that you, the reader, can make your own educated judgment.

(In the spirit of this post, let’s look at Charlie’s attempted transformation into a cow, followed by his rebirth many hours later as a blind kitty because the lights were too bright.)

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Antibiotics have been used in livestock and food animals for decades. Antibiotics are used to treat sick animals, but they are often also given preventatively or in sub-therapeutic doses to increase the animals’ growth rate (it has been shown that low level antibiotic use increases the growth rate in some livestock).

 

Things to Consider:

  • Antibiotics are given to sick animals to prevent pain and suffering. There is a required period of time between when the animals are given a drug and when they are allowed to be slaughtered for food; research has shown the antibiotic is either harmless to humans or sufficiently metabolized and degraded by this time.
  • There is a concern antibiotics may make their way into the human food supply, and the effects of this are relatively unknown. Allergies to penicillin are fairly common, and one concern is that penicillin or penicillin derivatives in livestock could cause harm to these people.
  • In 2006, Europe banned the use of low doses of antibiotics in livestock for the purpose of increasing growth.
  • There is little regulation in the United States related to low doses of antibiotics in livestock.
  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria. This is a HUGE concern. About half of the United States’s antibiotic use is in livestock. The extensive, unnecessary (for health) use of antibiotics is concern enough, but the fact that sub-therapeautic doses are given is even more problematic due to the nature of how bacteria tend to become resistant to antibiotics. Let’s discuss this. Let’s say we have a patient with a bacterial infection. The doctor prescribes antibiotics. After a few days of antibiotic treatment, most of the bacteria will be killed. Different individual bacterial cells will have slightly different levels of susceptibility to the drug, meaning some will be killed more easily due to genetic diversity. After a couple of days, the bacterial cells that are most easily killed are gone, and those that are naturally more difficult to kill remain. Each day, the number of living cells decreasing, but the cells that are able to survive are more resistant. If antibiotic use were stopped before the end of the treatment (i.e. if at day 7 of 10, the patient was “feeling good” and decided to stop taking the drug), the most resistant bacteria would remain and reproduce. This is why low levels of antibiotics is especially concerning: it allows bacterial to adapt (from generation to generation) to the antibiotic without being wiped out by it.
  • What about preventative antibiotics? Here’s something to consider as well. Bacterial meningitis is a very serious and contagious disease. Sometimes when it is becoming an epidemic (such as in a college dorm), antibiotics are given preventatively. If we do it in humans, is it ok in cows? Does the severity of a disease make a difference in this decision?
  • This is more of an unknown, but there’s also the concern of what antibiotics do to the animal’s normal microbiota. Bacteria live inside animals (and us!) quite harmlessly, and sometimes mutualistically (both bacterial and host benefit). Prolonged antibiotic use would change the normal distribution of bacteria in/on an animal, and we don’t really know what effect that might have.

I hope this information was helpful and made you think a little bit about our food supply!

 

WIAW—Sick Day

Happy WIAW! Thanks as always to Jenn for starting this linkup!

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Seeing as I started off the new year under the weather, I thought I would do a WIAW for sick day eats. These are from Monday, and thankfully I’m feeling much better now!

Also, I have to say…studying various bacterial skin infections (yay Microbiology) while sick is not fun. Do you realize how many horrible diseases start with “flu-like symptoms”?? I briefly convinced myself that I had necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria)…and then remembered I didn’t have any giant skin wounds. Yay.

Breakfast:

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I woke up feverish and needing something cold, so I broke out my Christmas present, a new Ninja blender, to make breakfast. The Ninja is awesome. I’m a fan. My family has a Vitamix, but it’s too big to actually make single person smoothie.

I figured my immune system could probably use some protein to make more cells, etc, so I made a protein smoothie with chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, frozen banana, and milk. For carbs, I had a bowl of pumpkin spice cheerios. In November we stocked up on those, and this is box 1 of 3 remaining in the pantry.

Hydration:

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I made sure to drink lots of fluids, and alternated between Smartwater and fruity sparkling water. This is Safeway brand Berry. Sipped while watching the Rose Parade (and later the Rose Bowl—what a game! As weird as it is to root for USC I gotta root for the PAC12).

Lunch:

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This soup is magic when my stomach hurts (which it didn’t thankfully) so I figured I would try its magic properties on my cold. It’s sweet potato, pear, and leek soup with strong ginger, curry undertones. Plus avocado toast.

Snack:

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I had some snap pea crisps (LOVE these) and then pulled a slice of orange cranberry bread out of the freezer.

Cat:

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This one has enjoyed my downturn in health these past few days and has spent hours purring by my side. And “helping” me take notes for my Microbiology lectures.

Dinner:

Comfort food was necessary, so we made spaghetti squash mac n cheese, minus broccoli because we didn’t have any.

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Plus some roasted heirloom carrots.

Dessert:

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For some reason vanilla Halo Top has been hard to find lately, so I made do with the last of my oatmeal cookie, and crushed up some pumpkin gingerbread from the freezer.

Snack:

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Apparently laying around the couch watching Gillmore Girls works up an appetite, as I was pretty darn hungry that evening and had a nighttime snack of crackers and blueberries.

What do you eat when you’re sick?