Monthly Archives: March 2016

Seattle Spring Break (AKA Coffee Tour of Seattle)

Buckle up folks, this is going to be a long one. But I promise, it’s worth sticking around if you’re at all into amazing coffee and delicious food.

For Spring Break, 3 friends from college and I planned a trip to Seattle. After a couple of hours of flight delays, we arrived on Wednesday afternoon and hightailed it to lunch at Oddfellows in Capitol HIl. We stayed at an AirBnB in Capitol Hill, which despite th grungy walk from the light rail to the apartment, and the undersized, one bed studio we found ourselves with, we ended up liking the area a lot.

This was tied for my favorite meal of the trip. The restaurant had a very hipster feel, and I got kombucha on tap (those are one sentence because they go together). It had a flowery essence, and was delicious! For my main meal, I ordered a chicken and avocado salad (because avocado) which was fantastic.



After lunch, we headed off to Fremont for our first coffee adventure.


My roommate found a highly recommended coffeeshop called Milstead and Co.


Unfortunately for me, upon entering I learned that they didn’t have decaf. I haven’t had caffeine in over a year, besides chocolate which hits me pretty hard. Ever since my stomach started flaring, caffeine in tiny doses makes me sick/jittery. They offered to make me a half shot cappuccino. Unfortunately, I was only able to have a few sips before my heart started feeling it, but it was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed the gluten free biscuit we got to go along with it.


We then began to explore Fremont, when I recognized the bridge as “the one with a troll.” My friends, thought I was crazy, until I led them uphill.


Look! I found a troll!

IMG_6276 IMG_0027

Two other highlights of Fremont: a pie bakery. I didn’t get anything, but my friend got an amazing looking peanut butter mini pie.


The other was an adorable tea shop. It was all loose leaf, in jars, and we could ask to sample anything. The owner was super nice, and had a sweet dog.

IMG_6282 IMG_6283 IMG_6288

The decor was vaguely steampunk, and we had the opportunity to play along for a photo op.

IMG_6292 IMG_6294

As we were about to leave Fremont, I smelled something amazing. Melted chocolate. Strong. We followed our noses and found this:


A chocolate shop! With lots of samples. I’ve seen this type of chocolate all over Whole Foods. After extensive taste testing, I walked away with this:


For dinner that night, after much debate, we wandered into a Mexican restaurant in Capitol Hill. We started with an appetizer of smoked salmon guacamole, which was AMAZING. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it; I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan. But the smoked salmon all over Seattle was fantastic.


For my main course, I had a Mexican chop salad with plenty of avocado.


Thursday morning, I rolled out of bed quite early to drop in to a 6:30am class at Xplore Crossfit, which was literally .1 miles from our AirBnB.


Xplore Crossfit has 2 locations—one downtown, and one in Capitol Hill, which is newer. The gym was a bit small, but really nice, with new-looking equipment. (My gym at school is literally in an old bunker, for comparison.) Everyone was friendly, and we had a small class that morning.

For the workout, we spent 10 minutes finding a 1 rep max strict press. I think I got to maybe 80#ish? They worked in kilos so it required quite a bit of mental math! The WOD was a 20 minute AMRAP of 10 push presses (55# for me), 10 ring rows, 10 toes to bar (I did about half as T2B and half as knees to elbow—also, the pull ups bars were SUPER high!), and 10 over the box jumps. I finished I think just over 5 sets? It felt so good to get a sweat on to start my day! I definitely get grumpy when I don’t exercise in the mornings.

Breakfast was super delicious. We bought food at the grocery the previous night, so I had some whole milk yogurt with berries, (packed) sunbutter, and gluten free vanilla cereal.


Next on the agenda was Pike’s Place Market and COFFEE.


On the way to our coffeeshop of choice, we picked up pastries. I found a stand with tons of gluten free goodies, and mixed up the most amazing lemon blueberry muffin. It didn’t look like much, but it was bursting with lemon flavor and the texture was on point!


I think this may have been my favorite cappuccino of the trip. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the coffeeshop though! (Edited to add: it was called Storyville!)

IMG_6312 IMG_6317 IMG_6314

This was a great moment. Good coffee, good food, even better people.

Then, it was time to explore the market (and watch flying fish).

IMG_6318 IMG_6319 IMG_6321 IMG_6325 IMG_6328 IMG_6330

At the fish place, they gave out samples of smoked salmon, and this self-proclaimed disliker of smoked salmon was won over. We tried several delicious types, but went with the original. We decided to buy a pound to split for lunch, and enjoyed it picnic style alongside some of the other goodies we found: cheese and amazing apples.


After shopping around downtown for a few hours, we wound up in the coffeeshop near our place for some study time.

IMG_6332 IMG_6333

Victrola was my second favorite cappuccino of the trip! They also had kombucha on tap!

Dinner that night was delicious, and I take full credit for picking it out! We went to The Gnocchi Bar. It was mainly a gnocchi restaurant, and you could choose any of the dishes with regular, sweet potato, or GF gnocchi. I love gnocchi, and this was amazing.


We started out by splitting a salad with roasted butternut squash, truffle something, and goat cheese.

And then decided to split 3 types of gnocchi to try some of everything!


Gnocchi special that involved truffle and mushrooms, and possibly duck bacon but I avoided that part.


My favorite: creamy with roasted cauliflower and mushrooms.


Apple cider sauce with chicken, asparagus, and parmesan.

Afterwards, we went out to Molly Moon’s for dessert. The ice cream was good, but not gourmet quality. I had honey lavender, and was happy with that choice!


Friday morning I went for a run through Seattle. I followed a route I found on map my run. I was skeptical initially because it started off going into the grungy area, but the cute neighborhoods and views of the Space Needle that followed won me over!

IMG_6341 IMG_6342 IMG_6344 IMG_6345 IMG_6349

The rest of the morning was spent back at Victrola studying.

IMG_6353 IMG_6351

For lunch, we went to a place with Red Espresso! Red Espresso is made with roobois tea, which contains no caffeine and has an earthy flavor. We all oohed and ahhed over our lattes with a perfect drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

IMG_6355 IMG_6356

Roobois is South African, and the cafe menu included South African fare. I had a toasted sandwich (GF) with spinach, egg, and gouda.


We then wandered around the area a bit, stopping in at a chocolate shop for a rosemary caramel (for me) and brown butter hot chocolate (ridiculous).

IMG_6361 IMG_6362 IMG_6363

We didn’t have much of a plan, but ended up wandering towards U District, making it to Fremont before we Ubered to Slate in U District.

IMG_6368 IMG_6372 IMG_6376

Slate is an extremely high end (and sort of pretentious) coffeeshop.


They absolutely know their coffee. They also use super high quality raw milk. The special, which I of course had to try, is a deconstructed latte. The espresso and milk are served separately to try each, and then a mixed version is served to try together. You drink them in a specific order: espresso, milk, latte. I had decaf, which had notes of raisin and maybe caramel? (According to the barista—I do not have the espresso prowess to determine that!)


I actually really liked the espresso—it’s such good quality that it’s not bitter exactly, and is crazy smooth.

To continue our liquid tour of Seattle for the day, we Ubered back to Capitol Hill for Capitol Cider. It’s an all gluten free restaurant with a ridiculous number of ciders. I tried the blackberry, and enjoyed it a lot!


We split a grilled vegetable salad with burrata to start.


And for my main dish, I had roasted chicken over a fennel bread pudding.


For dessert, we shared an oat/cheddar apple crumble served with orange cream sauce.


We spent the rest of the night exploring what Capitol Hill had to offer.


On our last morning, before we headed to the airport we walked about a mile to brunch in the Broadway area.


We went to Coastal Kitchen, and I ordered an omelette with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and sage. I was a big fan of the sage! On the side were smoky hash browns.

IMG_6411 IMG_6414IMG_6416

Before heading to the airport, we had one more stop on the list. We lucked out, and it was literally 2 doors down from Coast Kitchen. NuFlours, a gluten free bakery!

IMG_6417 IMG_6418

Everything looked amazing, and it was so hard to choose! Ultimately I went with a blueberry muffin (a classic), and my friend and I shared a piece of sweet potato coffee cake.

Overall, the trip was amazing. This really was a food and coffee tour of Seattle!

16.5 and a Crossfit Open Recap

Ok, I know I have LOTS to catch up on—mainly my spring break trip to Seattle!—but I had a big Biochem exam for my off-campus class today so it will have to wait a little bit! Sidenote: cramming for a major test on the first day of classes for the quarter is awful.

Before I get into all those shenanigans, I wanted to talk about the Open one more time (this year) while it’s still fresh in my mind (and in my legs….).

So. 16.5. I was SO sure it was going to be some combo of box jumps and thrusters. But alas. I was in Seattle during the time both my gyms were doing the workout, and looked into doing it there, but the days/times didn’t work out so I had the pleasure of doing it on my own this morning.

16.5 was a repeat of 14.5 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 thrusters (65# for women) and bar facing (over the bar) burpees.

I remember 14.5. I remember it well. I remember it as the worst workout I’ve ever done. So I wasn’t terribly looking forward to 16.5 See recap of 14.5 here. Note, in that post I said that it was something I was never doing again. Oh, how things change.

Also funny, apparently I did this workout 2 years ago to the day, as timehop reminded me.


I had a feeling my burpees had gotten better, and wasn’t really sure what to make of the thrusters. My goal was to a) survive and b) beat my time from last year. Given you are all reading this post, yay! I accomplished goal a!

But I also did accomplish goal b. Like, wow. I beat my time by about 4:30, which is insane! I finished in 19:16. And the biggest thing? It was awful and hard and painful, but it no longer felt like the worst workout I’ve ever done.

So everyone, Crossfit actually works! Yay!

Seriously though. In 14.5, I remember it being a big decision to Rx because 65# was super heavy for a thruster, something I never did anywhere near that heavy in a workout. And the burpees knocked. me. out.

Honestly, the biggest difference was in how the burpees felt. Instead of death, they actually felt like a little bit of a recovery. Who knew?

The soreness is starting to set it. It’s funny, I didn’t feel sore or tired in the legs most of the day until after class when my right quad felt a little painful. Then biking back up the hill, I realized that the pain in my quads was rendering uphill movement impossible. My legs may be damaged. Will update on that.

Actually, another big improvement was from 15.5. This time last year, my stomach was flaring pretty badly. I had to do the workout scaled because I was sick, and I honestly didn’t think I was even going to be able to do it at all until 5 minutes before my heat started because I felt like I was so nauseous. While I’m definitely not 100% or normal, remembering how far I’ve come with this illness is important.

Here’s an overall recap of the open. See 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, and 16.4.

This was the first year I actually signed up and did all the workouts. I missed 1 or 2 in previous years. I got into it the past couple of years, but got REALLY into it this year. It was a blast. I counted down the hours until the live announcement Thursday nights, and looked forward to each and every workout (ok, maybe not 16.5). Additionally, in each and every workout, I showed myself I could do something I wasn’t capable of. That’s really what the Open is about.

And again, I was reminded by how fantastic the Crossfit community really is. I loved the camaraderie of going in and complaining/strategizing. I loved the giant burgers afterwards. I loved visiting my home Crossfit and being reintroduced to the community there. I know I’ve said it time and time again, but I’ve found my place, my people. And I know that wherever the next few years take me, that Crossfit will be there.

16.4, Goats, and a 5k

Hello friends! It’s been a little while, and I have lots to catch up on!

Let’s start with 16.4. I did it Friday night at my home Crossfit, and while it was a lot of fun, OOF. That was Friday night. It’s Tuesday morning now. Will my lower back ever be the same? Still TBD.

16.4 was a 13 minute AMRAP of 55 deadlifts at 155#, 55 wall balls (14#), 55 calories on the row, and 55 hand stand push ups. Obviously, I can’t do handstand push ups. I figured if I made it that far, that would be fantastic enough, so I decided to do Rx. I wasn’t sure how far I would make it into the workout, but got after it!

155# on the deadliest normally would be considered a comfortable but very heavy weight. But I’ve hardly done deadlifts at all in a while, so I was a little nervous. I started with sets of 10 and then did sets of 5 around 20 reps, and smaller sets at the very end. More than anything, my core was giving out on me! Definitely something I need to put some more work into. After the deadlifts, I stumbled over to the wall for wall balls. The ball actually felt SO light when I picked it up after deadlifts. That being said, I DEFINITELY struggled with the wall balls. They’re hard enough without 55 deadlifts in the recent past! In addition, I don’t normally do wall balls to a 9 foot target, and was prepared to get no repped. Which definitely happened, but not too much. When i felt like my reps were declining, I broke up the set to avoid wasting energy on a no rep. That being said, this was such a struggle. I couldn’t even do sets of 10, and by the end a set of 5 wasn’t even happening. However, my home box has a Crossfit games Masters athlete, and she was right there with me coaching me on. When a games athlete tells you to pick the ball back up, you pick the ball back up. I think I got to the row around 9:30. Luckily, rowing is sort of one of my strengths. I used the first minute or so as a “recovery” since I was sucking air from the wall balls, and then picked it up, busting it out at the end. I ended up finishing the 55 calories at 12:59. I’ll take it!


I was BEAT afterwards, but SUPER happy with how I did. I was actually the only non-masters female athlete to do this workout Rx at my box! But my core and hamstrings were done. Anytime I bent down, it took all the strength in the world to come back up! I went in the first heat (because I don’t like to see how painful it is) and stuck around for about 4 more heats, watching and cheering.

So, 16.4 done, 165 reps!


(And check out this adorable corgi cheering us on!)

The next morning was a REST day. I legit could not bend over.

That afternoon, I went to a farm with my friend to see baby animals. Unfortunately, we seemed to be a bit early in the season, but there were some young goats!

IMG_6204 IMG_6205 IMG_6214 IMG_6213 IMG_6216 IMG_6222 IMG_6228

Afterwards we made a mandatory froyo stop. Cake batter and chocolate with chocolate chips for me!


Dinner was another tortilla pizza, this time with grilled peach, chicken, gorgonzola, and balsamic.


Sunday morning was race day! I ran the Hellyer 5k for the 3rd time. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling even more beat up from 16.4 than the day before. Ouch. Lower back was still not functioning.

We brought Chloe to the race, and she made another puppy friend.

IMG_6236 IMG_6238 IMG_0005

It was a chilly, but luckily the forecasted rain had not yet begun.


^Me attempting to stretch my back. Back still feeling rough. OUCH.


So apparently when you put your bib on with two jackets on over it, it comes out kind of crooked. Oh well.

I was hoping to approach my PR in the race, but out of the gate I knew that wasn’t happening. Some days your just don’t feel right, so I decided to just not die and do my best on that day. The race was Alice in Wonderland themed, and there were quotes printed out throughout the course which I thought was a fun touch.



But overall, I’m happy with it!


I also had the pleasure of meeting blog reader Rina; we’ve been trying to meet up for a while now, so this was a pleasant surprise!


Rina is super speedy and placed second in her (our?) age group which is awesome! It was good to finally meet you Rina!

After the race, my family and I (and Chloe) stopped at a gluten free bakery near home for brunch. We got some baked goods to share (cinnamon roll and blueberry lemon muffin), and my mom and I split a chicken and avocado sandwich on foccacia!

IMG_6244 IMG_6245

It was a busy weekend!

Check back in tomorrow for some more food details though—so nice to have the freedom of a kitchen!

Look What I Made! (My first VLOG)

Hello! If you’re wondering why it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, it’s because I’ve been working on a vlog for all of you! It’s a full day of eating, and it’s supremely awkward, but check it out with the link HERE. <-link to vlog

I actually had a good time making it, and although editing was a steep learning curve, overall I’m happy with how it came out and I had fun doing it! Also apparently my on-screen facial expressions are not the same as my in-person facial expressions. My roommate watched it and told me my facial expressions looked “unfamiliar.”

Anyways, go check it out! I’m posting the details of the food below (aka static pictures).



Fage 2% yogurt, raspberries and blueberries reduced on the stove, crunchy sunflower seed butter.



Cooking light lemon chicken soup from this recipe, topped with feta. On the side, gluten free toast with avocado.



A Lemon Luna bar, a few GF cheddar crackers, and some blueberries.

Dinner #1:


Tortilla pizzas: corn tortillas with tomato sauce, mozzarella, spinach, pear, gorgonzola, and a balsamic drizzle. I baked these in the oven at 400 until the cheese was melted. On the side, I had some garlic roasted broccoli (one of my favorite recipes!).



I had a slice of homemade key lime pie (not made by me). It had a gluten free graham cracker crust. Served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Dinner #2:


A rice cake with mixed berry whipped cream cheese, and a Nacho Cheese GF crackers.

And that was my first full day of eating video!

16.3 (LOL)

Hey guys! I’m currently taking a little study break. We’re in the home stretch! I have 2 finals tomorrow and then I’m DONE. Tomorrow will be a long day though—2 back to back 3 hour finals followed by my 3 hour off campus Biochem class.

Shall we back it up a bit to Friday before getting into 16.3?

My morning began with a WET 5 mile run. And cold. Yuck. Sometimes I like running in the rain, most times I don’t, especially in the morning. But I got it done. A highlight was breakfast—I was super excited to try the Siggi’s fig and lemon yogurt, and realized it would go perfectly with the copious amounts of lemon poppyseed bread in the freezer. I used the one with the slightly weird texture. I actually like the flavor of that more. Still looking for the perfect recipe!


In my morning class, I got to work with rats! Then, it was lunchtime. It was a made to order brunch, so I got eggs florentine on a gluten free english muffin.


After lunch, I went to my final class of the quarter and just got DRENCHED on the bike ride back. When I arrived at my dorm, my sister was waiting outside for me and I didn’t have time to change clothes. We were off to visit the cat she was going to adopt! I fell in love with a few others while there.

IMG_6098 IMG_6100 IMG_6099

But meet Lava! My first nephew 😉

IMG_6115 IMG_6095 IMG_6114

He’s such a sweetie. He loves climbing on everyone’s lap and purring.

The rest of my wild Friday night consisted of falling asleep before 10pm. #deadweek

Saturday morning before Crossfit, I stopped by the Stanford softball game. They were playing Cal Poly, and growing up I played softball with quite a few girls who are now on Cal Poly, so it was fun to see them play!

Then, Saturday morning was 16.3! I was not really excited for it. The workout was a 7 minute AMRAP of 10 snatches at 55# and 3 muscle ups. So, muscle ups are definitely not a thing for me. I assumed I would do scaled, which was 35# snatches and jumping chest to bar pull ups, which I was not excited about. When I showed up however, out coach informed us that since any reps in Rx is ranked higher than scaled, it made sense to just do Rx and then finish the workout with pull ups, and take a score of 10. Since 55# snatches are really comfortable for me, I took this option, and scored all of a 10. Because of that limitation, there wasn’t much hoopla around the workout. The exciting thing though was that I actually did 5 pull ups between my snatch sets WITHOUT a band. WHATTT. I used the smallest band for the first set and then ditched it for the last couple. I’ve been putting in work on the pull ups lately, so I was pretty pumped to be able to break them out in a workout for the first time!

After my heat, I judged a heat and watched another. It was actually a lot of fun, and sort of amusing. Because of the way the standards for muscle ups were set, you can actually do some pretty ugly things to make it work.


After the workout, I went out to lunch with my gym-mates. We went to The Counter, which was delicious but insanely slow. We were there for over 2 hours! It was really fun getting to know everyone though. I keep saying this, but I love the Crossfit community.

My make your own burger creation went unphotographed because I was ravenous, but I did a chicken burger with gruyere, garlic aioli, avocado, mixed greens, and tomato on a GF bun. Demolished.

The rest of my day consisted of a review session, studying, and a cat bath.

Because of my vet assistant experience, I came over to bathe Lava and clean his ears. He was not amused. He’s such a sweetie and we weren’t worried about getting bitten, but he definitely did not love the water and was quite squirmy! After his bath and partial blow-dry, he would not stop cleaning himself—I don’t think he liked any part of the experience!

IMG_6105 IMG_6106

I think he forgave his mean old aunt though because he was curled up on my lap an spurring before I left.

Sunday morning was my 9 mile training run, which I was not looking forward to AT ALL. The weather report called for rain all day, and it did not disappoint. I was a little worried about blisters for 9 miles in the rain, but that ended up being a non issue. I was also thoroughly unprepared for this run. I don’t actually have any water bottles at school right now (right??), and forget to get some gu from home last time I went back. Luckily, I still had a few packets of chocolate, but I was worried about the caffeine in chocolate because last time I had issues with it. But sometimes you have to suck it up, get out, and get to work. Based on the route, I hit a water fountain at mile 5 so I could take my gu then. It gave me quite the energy boost! Overall, I felt pretty good, albeit wet. Myshoe came untied in the last mile, and when I bent down to tie it, and nice little puddle came out of my rain jacket. Needless to say I was DRENCHED.


I’m not really paying attention to paces right now, so I was pretty happy with this!

Lunch was super delicious. A bowl of polenta, eggs, spinach, and mozzarella.


And then I committed to not going outside the rest of the day. I’m so over being cold and wet!


I’m currently rocking my seasonably appropriate compression socks. It’s a good thing St. Patrick’s Day falls during long run season!

Aaand now it’s back to studying. ONE MORE DAY!

Running in the rain—love it or hate it?