Monthly Archives: April 2017

It’s Spring! (Plus Doughnuts)

It’s finally starting to feel like spring here! Minus the constant fog/clouds and sometimes cold temperatures. Spring means flowers. Spring means fresh fruit. But most importantly, spring means BASEBALL!

Wednesday was a very spring day. I started my morning with Crossfit. We did Nancy, which was 5 rounds of 400m run, 15 overhead squats.

I last did this in TN last summer while recovering from a broken foot, and was pretty confident that I could beat my time. Hah. Yeah. I beat my time by 4 minutes, for a finish time around 14ish minutes. It worked out perfectly that it was a running WOD, because my Achilles was feeling good and I wanted do squeeze in a little running that day!

Post-workout I was craving something refreshing. I’ve been wanting an acai bowl for a while now, so I decided to make the next best thing, a smoothie bowl.

Into a blender went 2/3c frozen mixed berries, 1/3c frozen mango, 1/2c milk, plain greek yogurt, and NO spinach. Because I couldn’t mess up that color.


I topped it with KIND maple granola and honey. The honey is key for the complete smoothie bowl experience. I plan to make this soon with bananas on top too!



After breakfast, I took Chloe for a walk along the water, yet again. Spring felt in full force with all the flowers blooming! Naturally we had to stop to take them in! (Chloe, somewhat literally.)

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Walking her with a podcast, like I mentioned before, is one of my favorite things to do on my days off!

For lunch, I made a wrap out of leftover chicken. The wrap also had tomato laughing cow, spinach, red pepper, and lemon thyme salt.


On the side, I loaded up my plate with beautiful fresh fruit!


Normal snack: Luna bar. Nothing new to see, haha!


The fun activity for the day?




For dinner, we both got the ballpark’s signature cha cha bowls: jerk chicken, black beans, and rice with pineapple salsa/slaw, with some BBQ sauce on the side!

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…And a Ghiradelli hot fudge sundae, which was just delightful. Who cares that we were freezing and TOTALLY bundled up (and sitting in a wind tunnel)?


It turned out to be an awesome game to be at. Nothing happened….for a long time. Then we were down. Then our fresh faced rookie/top prospect hit a home run, and the entire stadium lit up. And then a fan favorite who came out of a year of retirement and was just called back up that day had his first at bat of the year and hit a home run to tie the game. And EVERYTHING went crazy.


One cool thing our fans have started doing is “rally lights,” which is like at a rock concert where people hold up their phone flashlights. It was a cool sight to see, and this photo completely fails to capture it.

We left before the tail end of the game because I had work early the next day, but listened on the radio as we walked it off to win in the 10th!

And now for some bonuses: I was at work the other day, scrolling through instagram at the end of my lunch break and saw the following picture from the local gluten free bakery’s instagram:


OMG. I texted the photo to my mom, and this is what I came home to:


SO amazing. They were out of chocolate donuts, so the above are brownies. We had cinnamon and maple donuts. They were baked, not fried, which I actually 100% prefer. I don’t really like the fried flavor. I liked how they weren’t crazy sweet like muffins would be! YUM.

Bonus #2 was a fun dinner we put together inspired by leftover citrus grilled chicken: zucchini noodles and chicken tossed with lemon juice, garlic, and grated parmesan. Seriously, delicious. Side of GF toast.


What is your favorite part of spring?

Quick and Easy: Tortilla Pizzas

I’m coming back at you guys with another quick and easy recipe today! I’m sharing 3 different varieties of tortilla pizza (and if you’re interested in a nearly full day of eating, that will be at the end!)

During my senior year of college, the gluten free option on pizza day would often be tortilla pizzas, made with corn tortillas. I ended up having them about once a week, because it seems like college students like pizza! They definitely grew on me, and soon I was dreaming up different combinations of flavors.

These are super simple to whip up, and you really can do anything with them!

The basic method: I’ve tried this a few ways now, but I think the best would be to do tortilla+sauce+cheese+toppings and bake at 400 until the cheese melts. An alternative method would be to simply put them in on broil, until the cheese is bubbly. The only problem with this is that the tortilla browns pretty quickly. Ii might suggest 400 until the cheese starts to melt, then crank it up to broil.

The first pizza is gorgonzola pear, and it’s actually featured in my first vlog, so check it out if you want a more detailed explanation!

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For these, start with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, then add a layer of spinach, then sliced pear, and sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese, and finally, a drizzle of balsamic. These also work well with peaches!

Pizza #2 is BBQ chicken!

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For this one, I did pizza sauce, topped with spinach, then mozzarella. On top of that was packaged BBQ pulled chicken (I used Trader Joe’s) with some red peppers. I think this would also be delicious with a drizzle of ranch, but I couldn’t find any on this particular day.

The final pizza is chicken veggie.

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On top of the tortilla, pizza sauce, and mozzarella, I added grilled chicken, steamed broccoli (don’t knock it ’til you try it!), and sautéed veggies: onion, red pepper, and mushrooms. This was a true throwback to the pizzas I would have in college.

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^This was actually last night’s dinner!

We’re going to go into a little food recap of yesterday to close out the blog.

That morning, my friends came over before their respective works (I had the day off) to walk Chloe. We ended walking for over an hour, so when I got back, I had 20 minutes to eat breakfast and get ready for yoga.


I went with a quick digesting smoothie of blueberries, spinach, milk, and half of a flapjacked chocolate smoothie mix.

The only other food picture I have is the full pizza meal! We had a side of garlic roasted green beans and mushrooms.


For dessert, I pulled a pig decorated dulce de leche cupcake out of the freezer. I warmed it a little too long though, and it was just so sad looking that I’ll spare the picture!


Taking a Gap Year to Get Healthy

My Monday morning started out with why is becoming one of my favorite activities: a walk with Chloe by the water and a podcast.

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I am really enjoying Amanda Bucci’s podcast during this time. More so than I expected. It’s caused me to do a lot of self reflection, as Chloe and I walk along on a quiet morning. Health and fitness is such a big part of who am I, so I think it’s interesting and important to be forced to think more about this, especially when I have some downtime now. I was thinking a little bit about my gap year, and how different my health is now from even a year ago, and especially from 2 years ago.

As you probably know, I took a gap year in between undergrad and vet school, partly because I wasn’t going to have enough vet hours to apply a year ago since I decided on vet school sort of late in the game, but partly because I wanted a break from school, to do something different and live a little bit more like a “real human.”

There was a lot of uncertainty for a while about what my gap year would be, but it turned out to be just perfect. New cities, new friends, time to travel, to interview, time to relax, time to get back into vet med.

But most importantly, it’s been time to heal. My “chronic” stomach condition is really an afterthought now. I was able to go wine tasting and not worry about my stomach. Even at Thanksgiving on our Napa trip, it was a little bit of a concern. I can go out to dinner without worrying. I can eat a bite of bread the night before my race without worrying. I truly think that both time and a slower pace of life was necessary for me to heal. I finally can function more like a normal human. I can’t imagine I would have made so much progress had I gone straight to vet school. I also needed this time to catch my breath and find my head. Stanford was sort of like drinking from a firehose (it is often described this way) in every facet of life: classes, extracurriculars, internships, socially. Everything is really intense, which makes for a great experience, but I felt like a hot mess running around like a chicken with my head cut off much of the time. I obviously know vet school is going to be the hardest academically of anything I’ve ever done, but I think having a year off will really help me as I go in. Perspective is an amazing thing.

The episode I listened to was the one with Layne Norton, a powerlifter/bodybuilder/PhD/coach. I’d vaguely heard of him as being big in the fitness world, but didn’t have super high expectations for the podcast, to be honest. Instead, I found his words resonated with me and my journey ahead. He’s a big fan of inspirational quotes, which I normally kind of scoff at, but in this circumstance they spoke to me. I often say, if it’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. That was my feeling about entering the field of veterinary medicine. The first thing I struggled with when wrestling with the decision of what to do with my life was fear that I was not emotionally tough enough to be a vet. But I came to the realization that the fact that some things tore me up inside was the reason I had to suck it up, tuck away my emotions, and go for it. I currently am not struggling with this hurdle, but I have an uphill battle to be a vet. Vet school is HARD. Layne Norton really brought home the importance of hard work. I think that was the refresher I needed to hear before I start school. I highly recommend you check out this episode of Bucci Radio!

And back to our regularly scheduled programming. I threw together a quick an delicious lunch after our walk. I made a fried egg with Kona coffee seasoning, a salad tossed with Bolthouse Farms caesar, and leftover quinoa (cooked in broth, WAY better) mixed up with tomato and dried basil.


I also had a few pieces of my chocolates from St. Helena. Fresh mint and dulce de leche.


For my pre-spin snack, I had my normal Luna bar.


And something a little less normal. In St. Helena, we tried popcorn tossed with truffle oil and truffle salt. I had buttered popcorn rice cakes (not my favorite) and figured, why not? I sprinkled truffle salt on one of them.


I’ve been wanting to make Sweetgreen Mondays a thing, but it hadn’t happened until yesterday! My parents rode down with me and hung out in the car while I taught spin, and then we went out to dinner at Sweetgreen. I had the delicious “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe” salad.


I made a copycat version (recipe here) which turns out to be pretty darn close to the original! Yum!

For dessert, we walked a block over to the delicious organic froyo shop, Fraiche. I got the plain with raspberry puree.


And then we returned home to catch the tail end of a Giant’s WIN! (Finally.)

Napa Valley: 5k, Wineries, Pup

Happy Monday! I have a fun weekend to share with you all!

My parents and I went to Napa Valley and took the pup. The whole area is actually really dog friendly, so we had no trouble finding a place to stay, eating out, and visiting wineries with a dog in tow.

The real motivation for this trip was actually to run the Silverado Trail 5k. I ran this race 2 years ago but did the half marathon. I have to say, as I sipped on my wine the day before the race, I kept saying, “wow, I’m so glad I’m not doing a half marathon.”

We left around 11:30.


And arrived in St. Helena in time for a late lunch at our favorite, the Bistro!


I started with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. When in wine country, right?


I love these big, clear, beautiful glasses.

We split a grilled artichoke.


For my meal, I actually tried something different from my typical avocado salad! I had a salad with apple, pineapple, feta, and grilled chicken with a mango honey vinaigrette.


Despite sitting in a car for 2 hours prior, Chloe was an angel thanks to a new bone that completely dyed her paws pink.


Next, it was time to make our typical St. Helena stops. The pet store, because Chloe obviously needs more toys.


Olivier, an olive oil and gourmet foods store for balsamic vinegar and truffle oil and salt.

And of course, Woodhouse Chocolates.

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Then, we checked into our dog-friendly cottage at a bed and breakfast in Calistoga. (Complete with kitties!)


After watching an hour or so of a very depressing Giants game, we headed to dinner at the dog-friendly Calistoga Inn and Brewery. Beer flight to start.


For my pre-race meal, I had a grilled chicken salad and a side of creamy parmesan polenta.

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For dessert, we shared lemon-blueberry icebox pie.

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Before I knew it, it was 5:30am on race morning! I made sure to keep my Achilles warm all morning before we left. Thankfully, I woke up with it feeling awesome. Chloe was WILD when we arrived at the race. She’s been to a few races now, and she goes CRAZY when she sees me run away from her. She seemed to know what was going to happen, so she was all over me all morning! She almost completely took me out when we were waiting for the race to start, so when I wanted a pre-race pic with her, she had to be at a distance.

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(Look at those views in the background!)

I was fairly bundled up because temperatures starting in the 40s and I’m a baby, but it was clear it was going to quickly turn into a beautiful day as the sun came out.

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A few minutes after 8:00, we were off!


The race started on a track, and as we left the track, everyone in the front (including me) turned the wrong way! We were quickly turned back around, but that was not expected!

I actually took some photos as I ran because it was so beautiful and I ran with my phone.

This was a smaller race. I think the half was actually the biggest race. I found myself pretty close to the front of the pack, although I was definitely feeling faster than normal also.

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The 5k and 10k started together, and before I knew it I was at the 5k turnaround. And suddenly…there was almost no one in front of me. There was a group of 3 wayyy in front (like 4 minutes ahead of me), but there was nobody near me in front or behind for a pretty big distance. What?? It was the craziest feeling to be running alone near the front at a race.


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And then we were done!

I love how Chloe is airborne in this picture as she comes to greet me post-race.


I was really happy with how this race went! I was hoping for 8:30ish pace because I wasn’t sure how my Achilles would hold up, but I felt good so I went with it. My Achilles got sore within the first mile, but it wasn’t sharp and it didn’t get worse. I actually beat my pace from my last race a month ago, despite hardly running at all during that time thanks to my tendonitis. It really goes to show you how effective cross training is!

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After the race, we walked to a coffeeshop, Yo El Rey,  for breakfast and coffee.


I had a decaf iced latte (it warmed up a lot outside!) and a GF apricot muffin.

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We got cleaned up (well, I got cleaned up) and checked out of our cottage and then headed to V. Sattui. I went there with my dorm last year and really liked it, plus it’s dog-friendly!


They have a really nice deli there, plus BBQ on weekends. We bought a couple of bottles of wine to drink outside with lunch. My wine of choice was the Sauvignon Blanc, which I remembered enjoying from my previous visit.


We bought some nice herb gouda with GF crackers, and I had a caesar salad.


Thanks to past Aurora’s blogging, I remembered the creme brûlée there was insanely good. Past Aurora was definitely right. YUM.


And some scenes from V. Sattui. The grounds are beautiful.


Wine train^

When your glass is empty so you just take a picture with the whole bottle:

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On the way out, we stopped at the gelato cart. My mom and I split mango.


Out final stop was the dog-friendly Mumm, which specializes in champagne.

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I’ve actually only had Mumm sparkling rose, so I was excited to try some of their other bubbly!

We snagged a table outside and did a toast trio tasting.

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Chloe actually nearly broke half these glasses. She was sitting calmly under the table when another dog came by and barked at her. She jumped up, barking, knocking all the glasses. SOMEHOW, the only casualty was a spilled half glass of champagne, thankfully!

Then, it was time to head home. Near home, we actually tried to get the Unicorn frappuccino (hey, apparently I’m a sucker for marketing. We were all curious!) but the Starbucks we stopped at was all out. Darn.

After a race and wine tasting all day, I was in need of nutrients and hydration! I broke out our new aged white balsamic and made a salad, along with egg whites and fancy cheese, and leftover roasted sunchokes.


For dessert, I tried making flapjacked cookies with greek yogurt instead of butter or applesauce, and I think I liked how they came out! I think I didn’t cook them enough though. Interesting, they were much lighter in color and fluffier! Huh! I also added some Easter m&ms.


And that, my friends, is a wrap!

Full Day of Eating—Not Quite Right

Hello, hello! I’m off to Napa Valley later this morning, but first I’m hitting you with a full day of eating from Friday!

I started my morning with 20 minutes of HIIT on the spin bike+a Blogilates Ab workout.

8:30am: Breakfast


2% plain Greek yogurt with sunbutter and KIND cinnamon granola+a navel orange from our CSA.

12-1pm: Lunch

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Another smoothie! This one was a much more drinkable texture and tasted amazing, but I could tell it wasn’t enough food/calories. Half a cup of frozen blueberries, a handful of spinach, 2/3c milk, and half a packet of flapjacked chocolate protein smoothie mix.

3:15pm: “Snack”/Lunch #2


Leftover roasted carrot, grape, and quinoa bowl (with chicken) and a probiotic drink. Yeah, I need to stop packing meals immediately after eating breakfast when I’m full because this wasn’t enough calories either. I was physically full thanks to the volume of fizzy drink, but I was pretty hungry by dinner and feeling depleted.

This day of meal was a little bit of a fail because I didn’t get enough food in early in the day, so I was a little too hungry at dinner, and I had a lot of calories to make up which doesn’t make my body happy.

This day of work was SO much quieter than the previous day which was very much needed.

7pm: Happy hour+dinner.

When I got home, we split a new craft beer 3 ways. Then, we got takeout from our favorite Mexican place, which I honestly don’t think I’ve had in over 2 years.


I got teriyaki tacos: rice, peppers, chicken, teriyaki sauce, fruit, cheese. I skipped the flour tortillas and ate the insides.

On the side was a simple salad with goat cheese and white balsamic, carrots dipped in guacamole, and a few bites of my dad’s rice and corn tortillas.


8pm: Dessert. Chocolate halo top, half a piece of banana marble bread from the freezer, fudge sauce, and whipped cream.


9pm: Typical rice cake snack. Why is this so good? Half whipped berry cream cheese, half whipped chive cream cheese.


I definitely feel like I could have done better with this day of eating. Honestly, I know how much food I need numerically and I should have trusted that, rather than decided, hey, I’m not hungry now so I won’t be later. Oops. Lesson learned.

Check back in Monday for a recap of our Napa adventures, and to see how my Achilles fares with a 5k race!