Three Things Tuesday

It’s been a little bit since we chatted. I’ve been doing things and I’ve been doing nothing. Right now, I’m eating Cheerios at the library (half chocolate, half berry).

Let’s catch up, shall we? Maybe 3 things style.

  1. Food:


Greek lemon chicken rice soup. This is the best recipe, and added feta takes it up a notch.


My parents and I tried out a new healthy restaurant in town, and it was a hit! I had pink lady kombucha on tap, and then a bowl with beets, seeds, cauliflower, kale, and rice, and my mom had something similar, with spaghetti squash in place of rice. We then chose our own dressing to go on top, and we picked balsamic.

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Saturday, celebratory froyo was in order. See why in the “fun” section. This was chocolate, blackberry, and a dab of toasted marshmallow, with hershey’s fudge and crunch bar pieces.


For a lazy weekend dinner, we roasted up some veggies from an old CSA box, that needed to be eaten ASAP. Romesco cauliflower and brussels sports from the CSA! We have a brussels sprouts seasoning blend that is amazing! It’s a little smokey, and a little mapley. IMG_2052

Sometimes you just want a simple and protein packed lunch. Egg whites, spinach, and garlic and herb laughing cow, plus Trader Joe’s GF cinnamon raisin bread, with sunbutter.


I’m sort of trying to eat more natural foods, so I tried my hand at homemade protein bars. They were pretty good, but still need a little work. My dad gave them his stamp of approval though! I used brown rice syrup, which had a little too strong of a flavor for my liking. For whatever it’s worth, I used 1 banana, 2 T brown rice syrup (and heated and mashed them), 2/3 a packet of chocolate Quest protein, 1.5 cups of oats, vanilla, a sprinkle of sea salt, and 4 chopped up dates. IMG_2054 IMG_2055

I had Sunday evening to myself, so I made a grocery run for vegetables and kombucha.IMG_2070

For dinner, I made a delicious veggie bowl of kale lightly roasted with olive oil, lime, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and then topped with nutritional yeast. Also in the mix was brown rice, an egg, avocado, and hummus.


For dessert, I dug into the freezer for something delicious. My chocolate peppermint bark bread remains one of the best things I’ve ever made.IMG_2072

For lunch the next day, I loved what I had made so much that I made essentially the same thing, minus hummus but with a little cheese!IMG_2074

2. Fitness

It’s been a little exhausting on the fitness front. I had to sub a spin class Friday night, putting me at 3 classes in 2 days and 4 for the week. That’s a little much! Other than that, I’ve gotten some Crossfit and some running in. Friday morning I went to Crossfit and it killed me. My arms are still SO sore today, 4 days later. We did our FINAL set of 20 reps (deadlifts), and the a Crossfit benchmark, Chelsea. It is EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats. 30 minutes. That’s a TON of minutes. You’re supposed to shoot for 30 but if you can’t complete one set in a minute, you’re done. From the get-go, I had barely any rest time between sets, and I tapped out at 12. Then we just went at our own pace for the rest of the time (after a rest!), which for me was pretty darn slow, but the reps still added up. I probably did maybe 18 sets total? That’s 180 push ups, 90 pull ups. OUCH.

In terms of running, I got a really good run in on the treadmill. It’s been raining nonstop here in CA, and I don’t feel the need to push through the rain when I could just take it inside. I did my normal 3 miles, but felt really good so I increased the pace to under a 7:50, and wasn’t too tired or out of breath! Progress!

3. Fun


Friday night I met up with a college friend, and it was great to spend the night chatting and trying out homemade Moscow Mules (definitely not that good.)IMG_2049

Saturday, I got a car! What?? I needed a car for vet school because the car I had been driving wasn’t very practical or dependable (it recently had 2 new arming lights come on and doesn’t always feel like starting). We weren’t planning on getting a car this early, but I knew what I wanted and there was a President’s Day sale. It’s similar to the car I drove in St. Louis, which I really liked the feel of. IMG_2067

Sunday afternoon, one of my good friends came by for a little kitty playdate. Our cats haven’t interacted since they were still kittens, and unfortunately their reactions were about the same. Lilly wanted to play, they hissed. Charlie couldn’t care less, they hissed. They enjoyed exploring a new house (at least one of them did), and Beirut discovered catnip for the first time.


Monday night, my family finally got together for a somewhat belated birthday dinner for my sister. I made the cake this year, pineapple upside down! I never realized how easy it was! She requested a small cake, so we just made half of one. However, we had half a box of GF cake mix, so I made a half GF version as well.IMG_2075 IMG_2076 IMG_2077

For dinner, we went to a nice Indian place that was really into local and organic food. To start, my mom and I split a salad with beets, goat cheese, and yogurt dressing.


For our main course, we split a dosa, which is a fermented rice and lentil crepe filled with deliciousness. Ours was truffle, and I believe it had potatoes and maybe chickpeas? It came with a tomato based sauce, mango chutney, and a spicy soup.IMG_2080 IMG_2081

They even brought out a candle for my sister to blow out!


And with that, I must run off to teach spin! Have a great Tuesday!

What are your top 3 this week? 


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!


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.


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!




Chocolate Cheerios.


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.


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!


Snack: Spicy Apple Ginger Chew.



Salad with roasted brussels sprouts, grapes, and apples.


And GF piza margarita.


For dessert, we made chocolate soufflés using this recipe.

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Plus some red champagne!


And here’s my Valentine:


What did you eat on Valentine’s Day?


Stepping Into a New Season of Life


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!


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.


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.


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:


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.


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


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.


This is what I arrived to.

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



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:


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.


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.


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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!


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.


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!