What Happened?

I promise this post is not nearly as deep as the title implies.

I go through phases with blogging. Sometimes I’m not feeling it, because I’m too busy with life. Other times, I feel like such a bad blogger! I expect in the next year or so blogging may pick up a bit more because I will be going through some significant life changes (i.e. graduating). I sometimes feel that I don’t have that much to say, or contribute, but at the same time I miss the typical daily posts. I feel like there are fewer and fewer of those around these days. Maybe everyone is feeling the same way, but to be quite honest, those are my favorite to read!

In the theme of being a bad blogger, I seem to have lost my special blogging talent: the picture taking reflex. In the past, I would whip out my phone and snag a picture before anyone knew what had happened (myself included). I came to write this post today, and realized that the only picture I had was of breakfast. The same breakfast as yesterday. 

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I <3 this breakfast. It takes me back to sophomore year when I first started eating this, but it’s been a while! Yes, I’m at that point of my college career where I get nostalgia from something as basic as breakfast.

That being said, sophomore year was ROUGH. This came up on my timehop this morning. So, so real.

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Today I had a Cosmology midterm, which I think (hope) went pretty well. Naturally I celebrated by raiding the fridge and watching an episode of Monk. I seriously love that show, and it somehow feels comforting to watch it again all these years later. In the fridge, I found a GF grilled cheese with my name on it (literally written on it), so I heated up half of that, and had a few dates and an orange. I’m really trying to incorporate more produce into my life as my stomach feels better.

In terms of workouts, I went to Crossfit this morning. We did mostly upper body things—max pull ups in 2 minutes, max hand release push ups in 2 min, max toes to bar in 2 minutes, and max burpees in 2 minutes. That was followed by some rowing repeats. Rowing is still my jam, and I can still claim that after hundreds of hours on an erg freshman year.

Before dinner, I went for a 3 mile run. My legs were a bit heavy but I hit my goal pace fairly easily, which is a good sign for my 5k on Sunday! That being said, I think my body is ready for some low key days leading up to Sunday!

Since this post was lacking in pictures, I do have some things to share that I’ve actually bothered to photograph (but haven’t bothered to post).

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I’m currently in love with tortilla pizzas.

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Mexican chicken, beans, and avocado over lettuce with a tortilla on the side.

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The pup was spayed this week. She’s had a rough time so far, but seems to be feeling a little better! Although I haven’t seen her yet, I am getting regular updates!

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This was the gluten free vanilla blueberry cake from our dinner on Friday. Lots of this was consumed over the weekend.

That’s all for now—back to work!

WIAW: Attempting to Take Pictures

Hello! Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday, hosted (initially) by Jenn!

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I know I recently did a (mostly) full day of eats with my Day in the Life post, but it was so much fun I had to play along again.

I started my morning with cranberry orange bread. I like having some form of quick bread pre-Crossfit, and my body actually seems to respond best to this particular recipe! Made with dried and fresh (well, formerly frozen) cranberries and GF flour. Also let it be noted that the I unvegan-ified the recipe.

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I remembered to take a picture about halfway through, so here’s a picture of my remaining piece.

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Crossfit was hard! I was still a bit sore from squats yesterday which probably didn’t help. We did 5 sets of power cleans. The WOD was every 3.5 minutes: 150m row, 10 push press, 8 bar facing burpees. It was a sprint, and the faster you went, the more rest you got. I did each round in just under 2 minutes, and we completed 5 rounds. I felt wiped out, and because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, I was about ready to crawl back into bed.

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Immediately upon arriving at my dorm, I had a few GF multigrain crackers while I prepped my yogurt bowl.

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I’m bringing back the berry compote! It’s been at least a year since I had this. It’s just frozen berries, reduced on the stove. I haven’t been feeling the sweetness of my jam lately. Yogurt on the bottom, crunchy sun butter on top.

Lunch was leftover soup from Monday night’s dinner. I have an off-campus class on Monday nights that is actually in my hometown, so I’ve been going back for dinner those nights to beat traffic. I will share the pictures from Monday night because they are far prettier. It was paleo Mushroom, Leek, and Thyme soup.

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On the side was some type of cloud bread. I’m still a bit unclear on what exactly it is, but it doesn’t have flour and is supposedly made of egg and cream cheese, topped with rosemary. I really liked it, and though it was be great in muffin tins like a popover.

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In my afternoon class, I had the final pear of my fruit and cheese delivery.

After classes were over for the day, I had my afternoon snack (or lunch #2 since the soup was light and early). Since I missed lunch at the house, I scoured the fridge for leftovers and found some roasted sweet potatoes.

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Part two was one of my Raaw Macaw bars. This time, I added dried cranberries to the bar and actually like it better without. I feel like the cranberries somehow dried out the texture a bit.

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About an hour before teaching spin, I was a little hungry so I had a few crackers so I wouldn’t be starving by the time class was over.

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Spin was a blast as always! For dinner, I had a small piece of chicken, some salad with sesame dressing, a few stir fry veggies, and some asian rice noodles.

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Dessert was a small GF shortbread and some chocolate.

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My evening snack was extra special today. My house had an event called “Avocado Appreciation,” which included avocado facemasks, guacamole, and avocado smoothies.

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I tried really hard to get a decent smoothie picture but it wasn’t happening! The smoothie was really good—the only time I tried an avocado smoothie in the past, I didn’t like it but this one was delicious! Turns out the key is honey. The one I made once had banana. The smoothie had avocado, honey, yogurt, and milk.

And that’s a wrap!

What is your favorite avocado item?

 

Distinct Lack of Donuts

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Mine was good! On Friday I got to spend some time with pigs, rabbits, and a dog in a lab animal class I’m currently in. I finished class for the week around 2:30 and had a very low key afternoon watching Monk. Has anyone seen that? It’s been off the air for a while now but I still love it! No evening workout for me—I went to Crossfit that morning and it wore me out. We did a nice little interval workout: 3 rounds of 250m row, 10 kb swings, 10 burpees, 10 kb swings, 10 burpees, 250m row. It was an all out sprint, and then we had ample recovery time between rounds.

Friday evening my house had our Special Dinner for the quarter, a big event where everyone dresses to a theme. Since my house is called Roth, our theme was Hoth, or Star Wars themed. So…I haven’t actually really seen Star Wars. At all. I was at a loss for what to wear, so I ended up as the worst ewok ever haha.

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The food was of course delicious. We had Indian food catered, and I tried my best to keep my portions modest but it was so good! Even better? There was gluten free blueberry cake for dessert.

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Saturday morning began with a short run. I wanted a rest day, but my stomach was kind of in recovery mode from my flare earlier that week and exercise usually helps, so I went for a low-key 2.5 mile jog.

For lunch, I met up with some of my friends from my freshman dorm, back at our old dining hall. So weird to be back! I had pho and some rice pudding.

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After lunch, my friends and I drove up to San Francisco to one of my favorite coffeeshops, Dynamo Donuts. It’s my favorite for several reasons. The coffee is amazing (Foru Barrel), and the milk foam is perfect. It’s right off the highway to it’s easy to go to. And they have amazing donuts, including gluten free. I’ve been there 2x before so I was excited to go back.

After spending about 30 minutes finding a parking spot and parallel parking (not my strong point in the car I drive now), we arrived only to find they were out of donuts. SO sad. At least the coffee was just as fantastic as I remembered!

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We spent a few hours there working on schoolwork—I got a couple of problem sets done, one of which isn’t due for another week so I was happy!

Sunday has been pretty low key so far. I began my morning with a 3 mile run. My race is in a week, so I wanted to see a bit what i could do with the pace. I feel ready and excited! I hit my goal pace perfectly and wasn’t dying, which is always a plus. After my run, my friends and I were on kitchen cleanup duty for the weekend. Everyone has to clean the kitchen once a quarter, thoroughly. My job was the fridge clean out, which was kind of a mess thanks to our special dinner and leftovers from that that were dripped everywhere. I also had to toss the leftovers from the week, which there were a lot of. I ended up actually not being able to carry the compost bag of food, and needed my friend to carry it out to the bin with me. Once at the bin, I couldn’t exactly lift the bag high enough to get it into the bin. It was a heavy bag, because I’m decently strong! I had to have my friend tilt the bin, and I swung it up with all my might. As it landed in the bin, it splashed ALL over us. Like, food scraps all over our faces. I just burst out laughing, because it was so ridiculous. I was just glad that I had been the one filling the bag so I could identify that it was in fact marinara sauce all over our faces.

The rest of the day has been spent doing laundry, schoolwork, and procrastinating. My friends and I are also planning a trip to Seattle over spring break, so we booked our tickets and are working on a place to stay. It should be fun!

Day in the Life Winter 2016

Hello! As promised, I’m popping in for another day in the life! So here we go!

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6:33: Get out of bed. I woke up about 15 minutes earlier, and am getting up an hour before my alarm thanks to an early bedtime!

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Record the night in my sleep journal, which I have to keep as homework for my Sleep and Dreams class. It was a good night’s sleep!

Then it’s time to get ready for my morning workout. In this process, I accidentally started updating the software on my phone which took foreverr and was super frustrating while I was trying to take pictures of everything. GRR. Some photos had to be taken retroactively.

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Daily vitamins: probiotics plus a gummy multivitamin. I know they’re mens, but the differences are not significant and when I couldn’t find my normal brand I went with what looked most delicious.

Next, I head downstairs for a pre workout snack and realize I have a friend.

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Was not expected that! He has quite a presence in the corner there. We’re having a Star Wars themed dinner in my house on Friday, which I’m assuming is why he’s there!

I go in search of the gluten free crackers.

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I usually do about 2/3 of a serving pre-run, and there were only about 5 crackers left so I supplement with another 5 from a bag in my room.

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7:15: Check weather and bundle up (although not enough because #CAgirl).

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7:30: Get going on my track workout!

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I start with a one lap warm up and then stretch. I’m less than 2 weeks from race day, so I’m honing in the paces a little more. I planned to do 3x800m at 8:00 pace with a 3 minute rest in between because my track workouts have been around that distance lately, but then I realized that was silly because on Sunday I ran 1.5 miles at that pace with no rest, so I upped it to 4x800m plus a 400m sprint at the end. I’m happy to report that I felt good and solidly hit my paces!

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I made it halfway through the workout before caving in to the gloves. #CAproblems

I finished around 8 am.

8:15: Back at the house, it’s breakfast time! The yogurt in the house right now is full fat plain Greek. I topped about half a cup of that with a peeled persimmon and sun butter. I spent some time trying to arrange it to not look like something the cat threw up, and I assure you it looks much better in the picture than in person.

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While eating, I scroll through my Timehop and find this post.

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1 year ago today was my first flare up, which means I’ve been dealing with this illness for a year now. I’m definitely doing better, but I had no idea what a rough road I had ahead of me at that point!

On a happier note, here’s a time hop of baby freshman Aurora.

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After breakfast, I pack up my food for the day. I’m out of the house all afternoon and through lunch.

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Then I shower and get ready for the day. I have a piece of this gum along the way! So good. I ordered like 12 of these off of Amazon.

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It’s about 9:30 now and I don’t have class until 11:30. I spend this time finishing up my spin class—I didn’t choreograph the last hill—and doing some Psych reading.

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Along the way, my stomach starts to feel a little funny so I have a few crackers hoping that it’s not in the process of flaring up.

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11:15: Leave for class. I bike, but it’s clear across campus.

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I love this shirt but it kind of makes me crazy to look at…

11:30: Animal Enrichment Lecture. This is an awesome class. Senior pre-vets have the option to do it, and we meet once a week for lecture and once a week for hands on time with the animals. Last week, we got to hang out with pigs! Today in lecture we talked about pigs—various breeds, behaviors, and how to handle them.

12:45: Lunchtime! Class ran a little bit late today. I have leftovers for lunch. Sweet potato chicken soup and a cornbread with a drizzle of honey.

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Right before lunch my stomach started feeling a little funny and while I hoped it was just because it was empty, I suspected it might be more than that. After lunch I took my first stomach med of the day in hopes of staving off the issues a little bit. I love these new tums—they’re chews and are pretty tasty! Despite my concerns, I powered through my meal because I needed the calories for my spin class that night.

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1:15: Leave for my 1:30 class.

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My 1:30 is Sleep and Dreams, and today we talked about Lucid Dreaming (being aware that you are dreaming). It’s pretty cool how they proved it! The lucid dreamer was able to give eye movement signals from within a dream.

2:20: Break between classes. I was supposed to eat my pear at this point to meet my morning calorie goal, but it was clearly not happening. My stomach started getting angrier.

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I spent more time doing Psych reading. The reading is on Depression.

2:45: Pop a single pepto to try and quiet my stomach enough to eat my afternoon snack because I HAVE to get at least those calories in before teaching spin that evening. Hate my body a little bit. I do develop a theory about what caused the problems today though. I had a persimmon this morning, and can link flare ups to two other instances where I ate a persimmon. This was a late variety persimmon, and both other instances were this same type, so maybe it’s this particular type that is an issue, and the other ones I had earlier in the season were ok? I can’t actually think of any cases where I had this type of persimmon without a flare up. So I suppose persimmon season will be prematurely ending for me :/

3:00 Sex and Gender in Physiology. Today we’re talking about hormones.

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Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better and have a Luna bar in class. I have to be pretty precise with the timing so that I’m neither full nor starving by 5:30.

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Dealing with my stomach is such a freaking process.

4:30: Arrive at my dorm. I ordered more stomach meds on Amazon and am pretty pumped that they’ve arrived because I’m out of the orange flavor and am getting a bit tired of berry. I think I just need to accept that these are my life right now.

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I’m feeling a lot less like death than earlier, but still a bit rough and since I’m teaching spin, I take a full dose of pepto and of my new Tums. I really try to avoid taking these when I can, but Spin can be rough so it’s worth going all out. Thanks to my stomach, spin teaching days are especially stressful because I HAVE to be feeling good come 5:30.

4:30-5 Get ready for spin. The stomach meds are working. They are amazing. They are a lifesaver. My stomach returns to its normal size and I get pretty hungry. Uh oh. Nothing to do now though—my stomach is definitely not happy enough to eat right before class.

5:10: Bike over to class.

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Again, bundled up. I was freezing all day, so 2 jackets it is.

5:30: Teach spin! Last night I was inspired to choreograph an epic, disgustingly heavy hill, and my class just nailed it. It was awesome! Even better? My stomach 100% behaved itself. I thought I might have problems from being too hungry, but it behaved! Yippee!

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6:30: Dinnertime! On the menu is turkey with olive tapenade, and rosemary roasted potatoes (with ketchup of course). I had some greens on the side with light champagne vinaigrette, which I bought myself because I’m sick of the sugary dressings we have! I also grab some greens for second dinner later on, and for lunch tomorrow since I’m packing again.

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This much meat is probably not wise, but I’m starving and don’t have too many other things on my plate.

For dessert, I have a few chocolate covered gluten free pretzels.

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I also grab part 2 of lunch tomorrow to claim for myself: gluten free pizza, AKA pizza made on a tortilla! There’s only one without sausage, so I don’t want it to get eaten up!

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7:15: Start typing up this post while trying to decide if my stomach is going to rebel again or if the flare up actually seems over.

7:45-8:15: Work on more Abnormal Psych reading. Decide my stomach is happy enough for second dinner.

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This absolutely hit the spot. Gluten free bread, spinach, egg, and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Egg cooked in the microwave because I don’t need anything fancy! I also had a couple of bites of potato and half of a kettle corn rice cake for “dessert.” I’m trying to work more real foods (plus veggies and protein) into my late night meal, so this was perfect.

I spent the next 30 or so minutes doing more reading and then headed to a women’s health event downstairs where I had a couple of pieces of chocolate.

Now, it’s approximately 10pm. On the agenda is the rest of my reading. It’s definitely not imperative that I finish tonight because I have plenty of time tomorrow morning before class, so I’m going to pack it up around 11 and get ready for bed then most likely!

That’s my day! I guess it turned into a “day in the life with stomach ailments” but hopefully that gives you some insight into my day to day happenings!

What does your day look like?

A New Hydration Tip and Is Chocolate Milk the Best?

Hello! I hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far! Crossing my fingers, the worse of my flare up is over and hopefully I am back to feeling (mostly) normal!

Tomorrow, I’m going to do a day in the life post, since I try to do one every few months, but today I want to catch up on the past few days as well as share some things I learned in one of my classes!

I’m taking a sex and gender in physiology class this quarter, and yesterday we had a guest lecturer come in and talk about gender differences in relation to sports performance. Here’s something interesting: there are very few studies that look at women specifically. Most of the sports performance studies are on men, or do not differentiate. Given the hormonal differences and differences in organ size (women have smaller hearts and lower lung capacity), this is significant. From the lecture, I had a few take aways for practical applications I wanted to tell you guys.

  1. Women suffer from Hyponatremia more frequently. Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when blood sodium levels are too low. This may occur during a long, hot endurance event where a person drinks lots of water, without electrolytes, and loses lots of electrolytes in sweat. This is a serious condition, and actually kills more people in long distance endurance events than dehydration. Women are more susceptible to this because estrogen lowers the body’s “set point,” or level of electrolyte that it decides is acceptable before it must conserve water. As a result, the body starts conserving water when more electrolytes have already been lost. Because women have more estrogen than men, especially during the luteal phase of their cycle, they are more likely to have this issue of loss of too many electrolytes. So what’s the solution? Easy—consume electrolytes! Add 1/16 of a teaspoon of salt per 20 oz of water to prevent excess electrolytes loss and to improve actual water absoprtion into the bloodstream.
  2. Post-workout, women need more protein, specifically lysine and leucine (amino acids), for muscle recovery. Women have higher levels of progesterone, and progesterone increases the breakdown of protein and leads to less protein synthesis (building of muscles). Because of this, the magic protein to carb ratio in chocolate milk is likely not sufficient protein for women (but it’s great for men!). For women, something life plain low fat Greek yogurt is recommended because it has a higher protein to carb ratio.
  3. Women should not go super low carb or exercise fasted (see my previous post on fasted cardio—similar concept) because while women have a greater capacity for turning fat as fuel than men, exercising without carbohydrates leads to cortisol (the stress hormone) production, which reduces estrogen, leading to lethargy and fat gain. So carb up!

Hopefully you might have gotten something interesting out of that! I haven’t tried salting my water yet, but I definitely will soon. I feel like I’m constantly thirsty and constantly drinking!

So what have I been up to? Last week my friends and I had a little fruit and cheese party. One of m Christmas presents was a fruit and cheese club, and this month’s cheese was gouda, and the fruit was pears. I also sliced up some goat cheddar to enjoy with crackers.

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Also noteworthy: my parents got me some fancy chocolates from Napa, and not only are they beautiful, but they’re delicious! And coincidentally, now they’re all gone.

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Over the weekend, I visited my high school friend at Berkeley. Friday was her birthday, so I stopped by to see her cats celebrate!

Seriously though, her cats are adorable. I took pictures with both cats but not with her…They are now 8 months old, and I watched them grow up!

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It was a pretty low key night—I got there in time to go to Trader Joe’s and then make dinner. We snacked on some hummus (with GF crackers for me) and then made a salad with avocado, tomatoes, goat cheese, and hard boiled eggs.

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We actually used WikiHow for the egg method, and they came out perfectly and easy to peel. I’ve had some fails with eggs in the past, but it’s been years since I’ve made hard boiled eggs. For what it’s worth, just bring a pot of water with some salt to a boil WITH the eggs in it. Once it boils, turn off the heat and leave the eggs for 3-20 minutes, depending on your egg told preferences. We split the difference and went with 10, and they were perfect, with fully cooked yolks.

We watched a movie (Ex Machina—interesting!) and had a great time in each other’s company. I love friends like that!

In terms of health, I am happy to report that my stomach flare up seems to have ended (KNOCK ON WOOD). It’s been ending the past few days, but I actually felt normal today (!). Yesterday I was feeling not flared but that my body was having to work really hard to digest anything, until the magical dinner I had at home on the way to an off campus class. Sweet potato chicken soup and cornbread is apparently the ideal thing for my stomach. Needless to say I had leftovers for lunch today and plan to have the same thing for lunch tomorrow!

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On the food front, I had a sunflower seed butter+jam sandwich (on GF bread) for a pre workout snack today and I was way too excited for it. I think I hate pb&j every day for lunch for about 4 years in middle/high school, so when I acquired good GF bread I was all over that!

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It’s funny—with my stomach condition I feel like I have to take a very scientific approach to how I eat. Everything must be planned and considered—there’s no emotion associated. As a scientist, I actually like this. The point is, I’m trying really hard to eat foods other than straight carbs—more whole foods. While there are some vegetables I’m staying away from right now, I’m trying to work in more actual foods (like this sandwich in place of a bar). I packed an orange for snack today which was exciting because I have definitely not been getting my fruit in!

In fitness news, I did the best pull up of my life yesterday. To put in perspective how crazy that is, 2 weeks ago I couldn’t hang from the bar without shoulder pain. My shoulder is not 100%, but it still amazes me the changes that occur every weeks and the progress I make. I’m super proud of the pull up because I literally built that up from nothing. At the end of September, I couldn’t lift up my arm. Now, I did a pull up without a band. Sort of kipping, but still, closest to non-kipping I’ve done (and before I only sort of could do 1 kipping sometimes). I’m incredibly proud of this, and am hoping 2016 will be the year of the pull up!

Now, I have to go make a spin playlist for tomorrow! I’m loving my spin classes this quarter—they’ve been full! I taught tonight, and can already see that tomorrow’s class has filled up!

How do you stay hydrated? Do you feel hydrated?