Monthly Archives: December 2015

No 2015 Reflections

I feel like I spend a lot of time reflecting on things and thinking about that past. Maybe it’s because I’m on vacation and have done basically nothing all week, but I feel so far away from reflections right now. Maybe that’s good. I don’t know. IMG_5440

The little goose family that hangs out outside the condo we are staying at.

So instead of reflecting on the past, I will be focusing on the future. Because to be honest? This next year is going to bring more adventure than the past 3 combined. In 2016 I will: graduate from college (hopefully—yesterday I had a scare that I wouldn’t have enough units but all looks good now), apply to vet school, hopefully have a summer internship, and hopefully move to DC for my gap year and live as a real adult for a bit before returning to school.

As I get older, the years pass by faster and faster. I’ve seen all kinds of New Year’s memes flying around the past few days and the one that struck me the most was that 2016 is like a blank notebook with 366 pages. This struck me. Each day counts. How often is it that we write off days as “waste days” and start over the next day, the next week? Well. In 2016, there will be no wasted, lost days. Because the only thing scarier than the passage of time is the loss of time. And I’m kind of over that. Which brings me to New Year’s resolution #1.

This blog has…changed…in the past year or so. It’s no secret it has fallen a bit by the wayside, the posting is less frequent, I’m not always into what I’m saying. I’ve questioned whether it is something to maintain or let go. So despite all this, resolution #1 is going to be counter to the trend. My resolution is to keep track of each day. Every single day. Because #nolostdays. Not necessarily blogging but making each day count. I hope that will be reflected on the blog.


And now for resolution #2. It’s a little bit more of a typical resolution, and maybe it’s sort of lofty but I think it’s achievable.

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I sat down and wrote out some life goals. Since apparently I’m not that creative or deep, many of mine are actually fitness related. I’m a simple girl. Some of them are basic and related to health. My resolution is to complete 3 of these goals next year. Here are some of them to choose from:

  • sub 2:00 (probably not this year…)
  • sub 24:00 5k (not this one either…)
  • 6:50 mile (maaaaybe)
  • teach at a spin specific studio (I love teaching at gyms but I think it would be fun to try)
  • do a pull up (there is possibly hope here)
  • complete a cow exam (as a veterinarian)
  • birth an animal
  • fix my skin (I think I’m actually getting close!)
  • 100% heal my stomach (I hope this year…)
  • find the perfect dress for me
  • play an electric violin
  • be more focused
  • cure my sweet tooth with science (nerd)

So the goal is to complete 3 of these! Some of them are definitely longer term, but I think I have a decent chance with fixing my skin (I feel like I am constantly having allergic reactions/gross skin otherwise). Maybe doing a pull up? I was close before my shoulder but it seems doable. Not sure about the others though.

On that note, enjoy your New Years! We have fireworks which is pretty cool because I’ve never shot them off before because they’re illegal where I live at home. I will do a recap of my vacation when I get home most likely thanks to slowww wifi that makes uploading pictures super frustrating.

What are you doing/what did you do for New Years?


Greetings from Kauai! I’m here for the week with my family so I thought it would be a fun opportunity to dive back into WIAW.


This is from Monday! I began the morning with a short 2 mile run to get the blood flowing. This is mostly so I am not a grumpy mess with my family. I got it in before my family woke up thanks to jet lag!

For breakfast, I had a few taro chips for some carbs (hah) plus a couple of pieces of dried mango.

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The main course was plain greek yogurt with sun butter and fresh passion fruit.

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Plus fresh Maui Gold pineapple!

The morning was then spent at the beach. It was a beautiful day, after a lot of rain the past couple of days! I read my book, and then fooled around with a volleyball with my sister and future in-laws a little bit.

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From the beach, we stopped at Chicken in a Barrel and had delicious freshly smoked chicken. With brown rice and coleslaw.

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For dessert, I stopped at a roadside fruit stand for a chocolate dipped frozen banana with toffee.


Next on the agenda was dropping into a Crossfit class at Kilauea Crossfit.

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Everyone was super friendly and welcoming! For the workout, we worked up to a heavy set of 5 strict presses. The WOD was Open 13.4: 7 minute AMRAP of 3 clean and jerks, 3 toes to bar, 6 clean and jerks, 6 toes to bar, 9, 12, etc. I chose 75# for the clean and jerks and just did knee raises. It was a good one, and a day later I am definitely feeling it! I finished the round of 12 + 1. We finished with some core work.

On the way home I picked up some dried papaya at the grocery store and snacked on some of that.


I also snacked on some local goat cheese and crackers before heading over to dinner with my future in-laws.

They grilled chicken and made some rice and veggies, and we brought a salad with goat cheese and dried cranberries, plus a pie.


As I just mentioned, we brought a pie for dessert. It was guava chiffon.

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After dinner back at our condo, my parents and I shared some pineapple cider.


What’s interesting is how drastically different this day of food was from even a week ago when I was home during break. At home, I’ve been eating a lot of soup and small meals. This is partly because my stomach condition isn’t flaring at all now, but I definitely need to tread carefully while I’m here!

What do you eat on vacation?

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a fantastic day. Our Christmas this year was a bit unconventional, as we celebrated and did many of our Christmas traditions with my sister and grandma a week earlier.

Christmas Eve began on an active note—12 Days of Christmas at Crossfit!


12 days of Christmas operates just like the song. You start with the exercise at 1 and do one rep. Then you go to the next exercise and do 2 reps of that, and one rep of the first exercise. And so on. I love festive workouts! I finished in around 30 minutes. And the best news? Earlier this week was the first time in 3 months that I have done snatches—the first time since my shoulder injury. On Monday, I used the training bar and worked up to 30 pounds, but I used 45 for the workout! Partly this was fine because these were power snatches so I did not have to squat down, which is easier on my shoulder.

To refuel, I heated up some chocolate soy milk and added mint extract and whipped cream.


Next, my friend who is cat sitting for me next week came over and brought her “kittens.” I can’t believe how much they’ve grown!

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After lunch, we decided to pay a visit to the Humane Society to visit the kitties. We saw the kitty my sister is thinking about adopting soon as well.

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We then saw the movie Sisters. Overall I liked it! There were some jokes that fell flat to me though. After the movie, we headed to Whole Foods for dinner and ingredients for the following day. For dinner I had some veggies and mashed potatoes. Since I’m not supposed to eat big meals thanks to my stomach, I wanted to break up Christmas dinner and have my potatoes early!

The evening was spent at home with festive red champagne.


We were up fairly early on Christmas morning. I ate a Luna bar for breakfast first thing because we were planning on going for a run/walk around 9am.


We then opened stockings. It was Chloe’s first Christmas and she seemed to enjoy what she got!

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After breakfast and stockings, we drove out to the bay on quite the chilly morning. About 39 when we got up! I wore my Santa Run shirt for the occasion.


It was an absolutely beautiful morning, and so clear after the past few days of rain. We could see all the way to San Francisco!

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I ran 3 miles at a hair under a 9:00 pace, which was the goal!

On the way home, we stopped at Starbucks for some festive drinks. I had a holiday spice flat white. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan because it was slightly sweet and I don’t like sweet+coffee. For anyone else though, I’d probably recommend it because it wasn’t crazy sweet like some of their other drinks!

Once home, we opened presents!


Lunch for me was Whole Foods Butternut Squash posole with cheddar and truffle salt (because why not?).

Then, it was time to start making dessert! We were lacking dessert ideas for a while, but I wanted to actually make something special. What I came up with was a modification of a chocolate silk pie. I used this recipe for the chocolate silk portion. The center is essentially just silken tofu and chocolate, which was perfect because I didn’t want something too heavy.

I started with a gluten free chocolate cookie crust and spread chocolate fudge sauce on the base.


Then, I made the tofu base, but I blended in fresh mint and a touch of mint extract.


Finally, I topped it with homemade whipped cream plus a crushed candy cane decoration.


Christmas dinner was definitely unconventional. As we all well now, I’m on a soup kick and I can’t tolerate big meals so I lead the effort to make Christmas dinner in soup form. We used a basic chicken veggie soup recipe, but substituted Whole Foods precooked turkey for the chicken. Side note: the Whole Foods turkey is quite possibly the BEST turkey I have ever had. We also mixed in a truffle gravy seasoning mix for added flavor. For the “stuffing,” I made croutons by slicing up gluten free bread, spreading it with Earth Balance garlic and herb, and toasting it in the oven. Cranberry sauce was served on the side!


We all agreed that the soup turned out quite well, and were satisfied with this twist on a traditional Christmas meal.

And finally: dessert is served!

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Overall, it was an awesome and low key day! I would also say this is definitely our healthiest Christmas ever!

I want to add one thing. While I’m all for enjoying yourself with foods over the holidays, I do want to mention that thanks to my stomach issues and new diagnosis, I’ve had to be very careful with what I eat, and as a result, I was much healthier throughout the holidays. It was actually wonderful. I still enjoyed some treats, but overall I felt SO much better. Having soup for Christmas was perfect! I also love that my family supports me so much in the way in which I eat. Right now especially, I know it is not easy and I really do try to be as easy going as possible about it, but the reality is that because of everything, it is an issue. So thank you! (Because I know they are reading this :))

Merry Christmas!

Holidays with Friends

These past few days, I was able to visit with some friends for the first time this break!

First, on Sunday, I drove to my roommate’s hometown in the country to visit her!


…and her persimmons. She has tons and tons of trees in her yard, and she is my source of mass quantities of persimmons this time of year, which I always look forward to so much! I was able to try one straight off the tree, and then as we walked through the trees we found a ripe hachiya. Hachiya persimmons are the pointed kind that have to be eaten when they’re soft—anything less than soft will make your tongue curl up! What I’ve been eating are the Fuyu variety and those can be eaten hard!

Anyways, the point is that I was forced to double fist persimmons. Rough life.


I also got to meet her sweet pets! The dog and the kitties were adorable together!

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We went to lunch downtown where I had delicious tomato basil soup, and we shared sweet potato fries. I think tomato soup is so underrated.


While out, I went to Sprouts for the first time and picked up some new granola bar flavors as well as individual packets of flavored sun butter. Then, we stopped by a softball field. Why? Many years before we met, I used to come to her hometown a lot to play softball, so we thought we’d stop by and say hi!

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It was weird being back after so many years, but it made me reflect on how much softball shaped my life and who I am today. If I hadn’t played at the field many years ago, I wouldn’t have learned my work ethic and determination, and I wouldn’t have gotten into the college I’m at now. So I would never have met my awesome roommate, so I would never have gone to see her and then returned to that field. Crazy how life works.

We made an elaborate dinner. Well, sort of. She mostly made it and I mostly watched and offered insightful commentary. She claimed it was a lazy dinner, but it involved multiple dishes and baking chicken in the oven for an hour. That’s certainly elaborate for me! We (she) made chicken thighs, sautéed broccoli, and gluten free butternut squash ravioli that we picked up at Sprouts.

The next morning, I went to San Francisco with my high school friends to go shopping.


This is something we’ve done every year at Christmas time since before we could drive. We usually don’t end up buying much, but it’s fun to look around and see the festive decor!

We actually spent much longer there than in previous years so we had dinner at a restaurant at the mall.


It was a tap house so we each tried different beers.

For my meal, I ordered butternut squash soup which was SO good! It had sherry soaked grapes at the bottom and pumpkin seed oil drizzled on top which made this way more fun!


We got back from the city around 10 and then it was time to start our annual cookie baking! We’ve been making the same sugar cookies since our freshman year of high school!


Here are some of this year’s cookies. Sadly the picture quality is not great. Every year I like to make lots of turkeys for some reason or another!

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As usual, we stayed up far too late catching up and going through old yearbooks. Totally worth it! We’ve continued this tradition through high school, and I really hope we can keep it going when we graduate and enter the real world!

What are your favorite Christmas cookies?

Fake Christmas

I hope everyone is having a great pre-holiday week! I have a few days of recaps to go through but I wanted to start with Friday. Since my sister and her fiancé are going to be gone for real Christmas, we celebrated “fake Christmas” last weekend. This began on Friday with dinner at Benihuanas as we usually do on Christmas Eve.


Since I can’t eat a lot these days, for my meal I ordered a salad and fried rice. There were able to make it with gluten free soy sauce which was awesome!

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Then, we returned home to make Christmas cookies and watch the Polar Express. I had only seen it once before, but I was in the mood for a different movie this year and really enjoyed it! For cookies, I made my healthy polka dot cookies.Since my sister was eating them, I threw in some honey for extra sweetness, and made about 1/3 of the cookies with normal chocolate, not mint, chips.

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I started “Christmas” (Saturday morning) with a Crossfit workout. I worked on power jerks, and the then WOD was an ascending ladder of double unders and a descending ladder of kb swings. My double unders were actually really good that day for some reason!

Then, it was time to put on our fake Christmas best and head over to see my grandma.

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For lunch, I had soup (shockingly)—Manhatten clam chowder—and then some of my dad’s sweet potato fries. It was nice to see my family, but unfortunately we had to run out of there after dinner to take my puppy out of her crate.

At home, we ate homemade desserts (this is cranberry apple cobbler) and made mimosas—both with fresh squeezed orange juice and with crane-raspberry juice.

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Chloe enjoyed her first Christmas! She loved opening her presents from Grandma.

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Rain has been in the forecast all week, but we got a reprieve from it on Saturday night so we decided to take the opportunity to visit a nearby neighborhood that goes all out for the holidays. We decided to bring Chloe to enjoy the sights and sounds!

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Fake Christmas was fun, and it’s only drawing out the celebrating!