Powerlifting Prep, Taking Care of Injuries, Superbowl Weekend

I have lots of fitness-y things to share today! What I’m currently working on, what I’ve been working on, and an injury update.

For a vet school update, today I learned how to do a blood draw on a sheep, which was pretty cool! Tomorrow I get to follow around a 4th year student on Large Animal Radiology, so I’m getting my livestock fix in!


SO. I signed up for a powerlifting meet! The University Rec department is hosting one, so I figured, why not? I wanted a new goal to take my mind off the fact that I haven’t (really) been able to run since October. It’s in March, so I wrote my own 7 week training program, though I’m improvising a little bit on the fly based on how things are feeling and going. For those of you unfamiliar with powerlifting, it involves 3 lifts: back squat, deadlift, and bench press. This meet is divided into divisions based on years of weight training experience, so guess who gets to be in the elite division? I feel like I am definitely not that strong given all my years lifting!

I’ve mentioned my squat programs on here before that have gotten me strong. I’m basically cycling 2x through that. Bench and deadlift are a little bit more freeform. I haven’t benched too much, and I’ve never actually done a 1 rep max on bench. That being said, I think there is a lot of room for improvement there. I’ve also been doing accessory work here and there; a lot of core work, since I think that is my weak point in a lot of these lifts. So far, bench and deadlift are progressing pretty well. Squats…are not. I’m a lot weaker than the last time I ran through my squat program before winter break, which is frustrating. I think I may have a little bit of a fueling problem there. Based on how the timing of some of these lifting sessions worked out, I don’t think I had enough food in my system to have the full energy I needed for these lifts. On top of that, I am really struggling to get in enough protein, for one reason or another. It’s something I am actively working on, because I need to be building muscle and I can tell that I am not. (The last time I started squatting 2x/week like I am now, vs. 1x/week like I normally do, my legs looked visually different.) So that’s something to work on. Luckily I get to cycle through my full squat program 2x before the meet and hope to improve before that.

Basically, I’m super sore a lot of the time. So I guess that means I’m doing something.


As far as an injury update? As I’ve mentioned before, I started having mysterious pain on the medial portion of my ankle following a fall/ankle roll on a run. It got progressively worse until I could barely walk in early November. I went to the doctor multiple times, and was eventually prescribed physical therapy. I have an awesome physical therapist back home, so I went every day over winter break (at 7am…). He told me the injury was likely some sort of bone bruise on the articular surface of the joint. Well. The past 6 weeks, I’ve been learning ALL about bone and cartilage, so I actually understand a LOT better what that means now. Bones are covered in cartilage right at the joint surface. Injury to this cartilage is usually a very bad thing because cartilage doesn’t have a blood supply, so it can’t really heal (or it heals very slowly). I sat through an hour lecture on this topic sweating about how OMG I’m going to need surgery to fix this and even then it will never be the same, because the cartilage would be different, predisposing a person to osteoarthritis.

I did start to take healing this injury more seriously in December, so I’ve been really good about wearing my ankle brace, not doing stupid things like running, and icing and using my electric stim machine every night. It’s been feeling a lot better. Last week for the first time I started not wearing my ankle brace during the day (when I wasn’t exercising). I could tell that I was getting a lot of weakness in that region from not using it. I also suspected that the ankle brace was bruising me a little bit. The first couple of days were rough; I had a lot of soreness in the areas around the injury—shin splits, sore Achilles tendon—but my ankle felt good! I actually ran a 5k race this past weekend (not necessarily the smartest, but I knew I wasn’t going to do any serious damage at this point), and while it was a little painful, it wasn’t bad. It was SO much better than when I ran a 5k in December! And, my Achilles did not light up like I thought they would! More on the race later in this post though. Basically, I’ve been taking care of my ankle and it’s been getting better. Still not 100% clear on the physiological process of that (and what the injury actually ended up being—I would have expected a cartilage injury to not heal at all, but maybe it was something that could heal slowly depending on the lesion).

This past weekend, I actually went home for the Super Bowl! It ended up being a great weekend to go home. Friday night, I went out to dinner with my best friends from high school.


We went to a place that specialized in bruschetta (and had GF bread!). You got to pick 4 flavors. I got Mango, avocado, and tomato, artichoke and sun-dried tomato, gorgonzola and honey, and fresh mozzarella. Afterwards, we went to a place with rolled ice cream.

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Fun for the spectacle, but definitely not worth the price.

Saturday, I walked Chloe in the surprisingly beautiful February weather, and then met my sister for coffee. A Blue Bottle opened really close to our house!


…and then I had pre-lunch ice cream because I’m an adult and when you are literarily right next to your favorite ice cream place ever, you go for it. Don’t worry, I got my veggies in after!

The afternoon consisted of a little studying, and then a puppy playdate with Chloe’s BFF!

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For dinner, we made tortilla pizzas with pear and goat cheese. I really should break out tortilla pizzas more often!


Sunday morning, I did the Super Guadalupe River Run, a 5k that I’ve done for several years now. There’s guacamole at the end, so you know I’m all about that!


My sister and her husband joined me for the race this year!


Going into the race, I knew it was probably not too smart, and would probably be rough. It was both better and worse than I was expected. I did a lot of spinning in the couple of weeks leading up to the race, and I get a lot of cardio in Crossfit. So cardio is not a huge issue for me. The good: my ankle was SO much better than when I did a 5k in December. This was really reassuring that it truly is healing, and not just that the inflammation is down but the structural damage isn’t improving. Also, while my Achilles got a little sore, it really wasn’t bad. Things that hadn’t been used didn’t really hurt. The bad: apparently, cross training works up until about 2 miles, because after that it was rough. My legs were just done. My inner thighs were shaking after the race, and have been super sore all week. Yeah, there are definitely some very running specific muscles.

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My sister’s birthday is a week away, so we celebrated a bit early with post-race brunch.


I got an egg white omelet with veggies and avocado, with potatoes on the side. Yum!

I spent the rest of the morning studying, and then it was time for the Super Bowl!

Can you tell I’m ready for baseball season?

Snacks for the Super Bowl leaned towards the healthier side this year. Beer+baked lays+veggies with yogurt ranch+Pirate’s Booty to start. For dinner around half-time, I made an interesting take on cheese fries. We spiraled butternut squash, then roasted it. Once that was done, we topped it with plenty of cheese and broiled it, then added chopped green onions. Admittedly, I am on a huge butternut squash kick these days, but this was delicious!


…although maybe a little too healthy. I drove back to school right after the game, and was STARVING when I got home.

Before I sign off, I have a few more kitty pictures. Another motivation of going back for the weekend was to take Jackson. I want him to continue to be comfortable in the car (he’s SO good), and to have some time with my kitties back home. He LOVES Charlie, and followed him around all weekend. The two of them romped around the house, and Jackson slept the entire drive home.

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Easy Butternut Squash Salad and Butternut Squash Hack

Hello my friends! It has been less long this time, so I consider that a win! I had a test yesterday (and I have one Monday), so naturally I’m here to blog!

Today, I’m going to share a ridiculously easy salad recipe, a fast way to make delicious butternut squash, and then do some food updates.

First, Jackson update! He’s now just over 6 pounds and is in a growth spurt. He’s eating a ton, and gained nearly a pound in the last week! He’s still a lean little guy though! He’s also currently right at my side, thinking about pouncing on the keyboard. He and my roommate’s dog have started playing together, which is adorable! He loves her toys, and she likes his as well! I think the majority of his baby teeth are gone; all his baby fangs came out. I actually found one of them embedded in the arm of my sweatshirt, because in this face he likes to grab onto my arm. (His 2 favorite ‘toys’ are my arm and my iPad, which is clearly very conducive to studying.) He also LOVES human food, and regularly gets his tongue in whatever I’m making the second I turn around. It’s a work in progress…

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OKAY. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the salad!


It’s super simple. Are you ready?

  • kale/lettuce
  • “roasted” butternut squash
  • aged cheddar
  • egg over easy
  • balsamic vinaigrette

So how do I cook the squash? We all know I’m a tad lazy and impatient in the kitchen. If I can’t have it on the table in 20 minutes, I’m probably not doing it. My butternut squash hack is to microwave it (with a little bit of water) until it’s soft; this works for whole squashes, or pre-cut cubes. When it’s soft, sauté it up in a pan with a little oil, until it’s brown and crispy. Basically all of the deliciousness of roasted butternut squash in a fraction of the time! I’ve been doing that meal quite a bit!

What else have I been eating?


On nights I’ve had more time, I’ve roasted sweet potatoes. Side salad of kale rubbed in olive oil spray and balsamic vinegar, with parmesan and dried cranberries. Plus and egg.


Rosemary apple grilled cheese in Santa Cruz.


Another amazing eat from Santa Cruz: Penny’s Ice Cream. My college roommate literally talked this place up for YEARS, and we never made it over there. Finally, I went with my vet school friends and it was delicious! I got dark chocolate sorbet with toasted marshmallow fluff on top!

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This is another meal I’ve had a couple of times. Butternut squash (cooked as described above) with Mexican cheese stirred in. Plus a side salad with AMAZING aged balsamic vinegar, a spray of olive oil, salt and pepper, goat cheese, and dried cranberries.


Same salad but with a sweet potato.


Salad with grilled chicken, bear, and goat cheese.


The above dessert was one of the better ideas I’ve had in a while! I was craving something fruity for dessert, so I tossed fresh blackberries with some honey, and then topped them with Flapjacked Oatmeal Cookie mix (which is the one cookie mix I haven’t used much because it doesn’t have chocolate), and then microwaved it!


Salad with goat cheese and blueberries.


Chocolate Halo Top with salted caramel sauce.

And now I have to run off to a spin class! Have a great weekend!

Kitten and Food, And That’s All You Need

Hello! I feel like over the past few months I’ve started out every single post with “it’s been a while,” so let’s just skip that and dive right in. I’ll say now that I’ll just put all the kitten pictures at the end 🙂 I figured this would be a good time to catch up on food, and some fitness, per the name of my blog.

I’m now a little over a week into school after break, to put things in perspective.

Fitness-wise, it’s the usual per my injury. Crossfit. Spin. Some yoga. No running. I tried Core Power Yoga over break with my friend. First week is free! I liked it but didn’t love it, but I’m proud of myself for acclimating to a hotter room. I don’t really like hot yoga, but I tolerated the heat. For the hotter class I went to, I tried to stay by the door where it was cooler but got moved right under a heater. I survived.

I really enjoyed being back at my home Crossfit over break. It was nice to do a slightly different style of workout. They just started the 20 reps of press/squat in preparation for the Open, so I’ve decided to do a little bit of that on my own. I actually thought to come to my blog today because I’m going to do my own little weight lifting workout, which I try to do once a week to work on strength we don’t do as much at Crossfit. It almost always involves squatting.

An update on my bone bruised ankle: I think it is getting better. I’ve been mostly sedentary since coming back to school, and I’ve been trying to be good about icing+electric stim daily and I think that has been helping! Still a ways to go, but progress is progress! We’re currently learning all about bones and bone injuries in school, so that’s also been something interesting to think about.

Ok. Food. It’s been a while. (I know I said I wouldn’t say that!) Note: Jackson is featured somewhat heavily because he wants everything I eat. I’ll do a full Jackson update at the end of the post.

Spaghetti squash tossed with parmesan and topped with spaghetti sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil.


My favorite ice cream shop from undergrad just opened up right next to my hometown, and on the final weekend of break I finally made it over there! I got chocolate.


Also new in town at home? A restaurant called Avocado Toast. You know I had to try that out. I got avocado toast, and a salad to split. It was good, but not anything you couldn’t do at home. But worth it for the spectacle.


One final night of break with my best high school friends, beer, and Chloe.


Gluten free chocolate chip bundt cake.


This recipe is for a quinoa, chicken Tuscan style stew. No idea where we got the recipe from originally, but it’s really interesting because it has olives in it! Gluten free biscuit on the side!


I had this salad for lunch one day at home and felt like straight up health. Kale massaged with balsamic vinaigrette, warm spaghetti squash with garlic, salt, and pepper, and fresh mozzarella. Seriously, I feel like kale energizes me!


Lunch at my family’s favorite Chinese restaurant at home (you know everyone has their favorite Chinese restaurant). Vegetables and chicken with fried rice.


Flourless banana bread (with oat flour). This was one of those things that I didn’t love at first bite, but I loved it as a healthy breakfast throughout the week (especially when I had early physical therapy every morning of break). I’m super into oat flour right now, and I feel better when I eat quick bread with oat flour vs. regular gluten free flour.


If there’s ever a recipe you need to make, it’s this one. It’s Cooking Light’s Light Macaroni and Cheese, but the awesome part is it gets a lot of the creaminess from butternut squash. It’s delicious. Even my picky foodie of a sister makes this (with truffle oil though, of course). Served with roasted brussels sprouts.


Cranberry orange bread. I used this recipe, but actually un-veganized it (because allergies). I added chopped chocolate orange to the top. I actually over-cooked this a little bit, and my mom ended up making me another loaf, but with oat flour, before I went back to school. It came out absolutely amazing. I was planning on freezing some, but I ended up eating a generous slice for breakfast every day that week. 100% obsessed with oat flour. It was super moist, and I was smart enough to stick it in the fridge so it wouldn’t get moldy.


Teriyaki chicken taco from our favorite Mexican restaurant at home right before driving back to school.


Breakfast all of last week: cranberry orange bread with oat flour, and an orange. And Jackson.


Out of my 40+ pounds of persimmons, I’m down to my last one! This salad was the usual persimmon, goat cheese, and grilled chicken. And again, Jackson.


Same salad as before, but with Pirate’s Booty. Which Jackson apparently likes as much as Chloe!


Same persimmon salad.


Leftover macaroni and cheese with a side salad. This was on a day where I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be a human doctor, and therefore how nice it was to just pull stuff out of my fridge for dinner. We had a lab with every bone of multiple species, and it was a lot!


Finally trying the elusive 4th Davis brewery, which is lesser known, Dunloe. It was good! I had a delicious Saison.


Last weekend, my friends and I got together for a vegetarian potluck. I made the salad with apples, dried cranberries, aged cheddar, and balsamic vinaigrette. My friend made a delicious zucchini and eggplant lasagna, another made a carrot tahini soup, and there were tons of chips and dip. Plus pie! Even a GF one!


My parents came to drop off Jackson’s cat climber, so we got lunch at the local salad place. This featured beets, butternut squash, apple, grilled fennel, roasted turkey, and a Dijon dressing.


Dark beer+pup with my parents.


I actually managed to flare my stomach yesterday which was annoying. Especially since it was the day before our first dissection lab.I’ve gotten really good at managing it though, and took the necessary steps. By the end of the night, I was feeling basically 100%! Steps: exercise, kombucha, and magic ginger soup.

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I made berry compote, and put it on top of yogurt with a banana and a little honey.


Apparently Jackson loves yogurt. This breakfast was really hard to make because every time I turned around, his tongue was in my bowl.


And finally, avocado toast and a salad with sautéed butternut squash, kale, lettuce, aged cheddar, an egg, and balsamic vinaigrette.


Phew. Ok. So,  Jackson Update. He adapted remarkable well to living at school with me! He hid for about a day, but then around his wild time he was walking around and exploding. Now, he’s a little ball of energy. The first few days were rough because he was locked in my room, so he didn’t get his energy out before bed, resulting in early, early morning wildness that woke me up. Since getting full run of the house though, he gets his crazy out before bed.

He’s growing quickly. He was 5 pounds when I weighed him his first morning here. For reference, he started out as 3.4 pounds. He still has very prominent pelvic and shoulder bones, which is fantastic for me to practice palpation on since we’re learning about those bones. I can feel everything! He eats lots, and always wants what I’m having, to the point it’s difficult to cook anything without him sticking a tongue in my food. The other thing that is driving me crazy is he’s developed a weird obsession for getting into the kitchen sink, licking dishes and then tracking wet paw print everywhere. I think as I made/ate dinner tonight, I probably threw him out of the sink 15 times.

He and Rina are not friends yet, but she seems to be hissing/growling less. He keeps his distance, and she doesn’t seem stressed, just annoyed that he’s here. Jackson currently has 1 adult fang, 2 baby fangs, and 1 with and adult and a baby still there. He was in a crazy bitey/playful in bed phase a couple of days ago, but it seems better the past couple of days! One of his favorite toys is a mouse attached to a string and stick, and he pulls the mouse around, dragging the stick. It looks so silly! Ok, photo time! Some of the pictures are back home with the other kitties as well.

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Christmas, New Year’s, and Tons of Cats

Wow, I really haven’t had the motivation to blog lately, but here we are! I’m going to dive in with a succinct recap of the holidays, featuring lots and lots (and lots) of cats. Spoiler: We had 6 cats at my house on NYE.

The night before Christmas Eve, I made my pumpkin gingerbread, and enjoyed that with wine while watching Home Alone 2 (we watched the original last year).

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I started Christmas Eve with a festive spin class, of entirely Christmas songs.


On Christmas Eve night, my whole family went to Benihana’s per our tradition. I just got beer, a salad, and their amazing fried rice, and then stole bites of my family’s food.

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Before we knew it, it was Jackson’s first Christmas!

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Kitten’s first stocking!

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^This was after I caught him looking extremely guilty with a little tree in his mouth.

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For breakfast, we had gingerbread (for me)/croissants (my parents), plus scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

After breakfast, my mom and I headed to the bay to take Chloe for a little Christmas walk.


Around lunchtime, my sister, her husband, and their two kitties came over (5 cats total in the house!)


We ate an easy lunch of soup, and then opened presents.

My sister made us all homemade gelato! Mine was salted caramel.

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^This was my present to my sis! Lava and Ash, her kitties!

My sister and I were tasked with cooking Christmas dinner, which is a first for us. We poured champagne with pomegranate juice, and mulled wine to sip on while we cooked.

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My sister made homemade pasta, pumpkin soup, and brussels sprouts. I made cranberry sauce (with maple syrup) and cranberry citrus relish, and then ended up sort of roasted a turkey. I wanted to buy some slices from Whole Foods like we did a few years ago, but when I went on Christmas Eve, they didn’t have that. So I ended up buying a whole (pre-cooked) Diestel turkey. Apparently I looked clueless enough at the store, and the store worker was super helpful and told me how to heat it up: 350 for 1.5 hours, with the first .5 hour covered. It came out super well (and we had a ton of leftovers which were enjoyed all week).

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My sister’s husband is Jewish, and the two of them have perfected the latke. These are lemon truffle latkes with homemade apple sauce that my aunt sent us!


Highlights from between the two holidays:


Leftover turkey-cranberry opened faced sandwiches with laughing cow.

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AMAZING turkey and rice soup. My mom made turkey broth from the carcass, and the flavor was incredible. Served with Brazilian cheese balls.

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Beer flight during the Alamo bowl. This was a fun flight because we picked out the individual beers from Trader Joe’s, so it was all good things! Sadly the game didn’t go as planned…


For our football food, we did BBQ turkey sweet potato nachos. Roasted sweet potato slices topped with BBQ sauce, 2% Mexican cheese, leftover turkey, and green onions.

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I made my weirdo salad with leftover roasted turkey instead of deli turkey and it was insanely good.


Friday night, my parents and I finally made it out to the local brewery. They have a beer called “Beer Kitty,” so naturally I had to get that.


They also had food trucks out. I had a kale salad with chicken, and french fries.


On the way home, we stopped for frozen yogurt. I had chocolate mint and  eggnog. Both were super good!



Saturday, I actually worked all day at the vet. It was good to be back, and we had lots of kitties that day—my favorite! I went out for dinner and beer with coworkers after as well. When I got home, it was madness. My family was gone, and my sister’s 2 kitties were staying with us as well. I got home to 5 kitties! Thankfully they all got along, and there were kitties EVERYWHERE!

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^All 5 in one shot!

My NYE consisted of a spin class, lots and lots of cat time, Jackson’s first kitten playdate at my friend’s house, then my friend bring her kitten to my house to make it 6 cats, and finally game night at a different friend’s house while our kitties played. The rest of the post will be exclusively cat pictures! I got a new phone, so the cat pictures are higher quality and I have more memory to store them! Happy New Year!

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San Francisco at Christmas and Holiday Foods

I’m back for another little holiday themed recap!

To be honest….I think one reason I’m struggling to feel like Christmas is just 2 days away is that I haven’t had a ton of holiday food, and I haven’t done any sort of Blogmas/12 Days of Christmas/Blogiversary!

I have one more Christmas-y adventure to catch you guys up on, as well as fitness and food things!

Yesterday, my family went into San Francisco to check out the Union Square Christmas tree and see the holiday kittens at Macy’s. I had originally thought that when I saw the kittens (up for adoption), it would be feasible for me to get one! However, Jackson is more than enough <3


Also, I don’t know if I posted a picture of our tree yet, but it’s especially pretty this year! My parents went through our plethora of ornaments and picked out all the best (breakable) ones. Pretty bold move on their part with a new kitten!

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On Friday, after a 35 degree-unheated Crossfit workout, we headed into San Francisco, starting at the big mall. We ate lunch at the food court, and I got a big kale salad with butternut squash, apple, pumpkin seeds, chicken, and a maple curry vinaigrette.


For dessert, I had a piece of GF cinnamon coffee cake that tasted like the inside of a cinnamon roll, and a few bites of my dad’s mousses.

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We shopped around a tiny bit before walking over to Union Square, first to see the Macy’s kittens!

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So cute!

Then, we walked over to the big tree in Union Square.

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We hung around there for a bit before deciding we wanted to grab a beer. I looked up nearby breweries, and we ended up at Thirsty Bear, which was also a tapas place with a delicious looking menu. We shared a flight of all their beers, as well as some samples of their holiday brews (including a lager with nutmeg).


After our flight, my dad and I split the Panda Bear, a lager made with cacao nibs and vanilla. It was served with TCHO chocolate, which paired perfectly! It was really interesting because it was definitely a chocolatey beer, but it wasn’t a dark beer!

We finally headed home and ate dinner and relaxed until I went to a Christmas party with my friends! My friend’s house was decorated beautifully. They also had a white elephant exchange, but for snacks, which I thought was a great idea! It was also another great excuse to bust out my Christmas sweater! I’ve gotten lots of use out of it this year!

In terms of fitness this week, it’s been a mixture of Crossfit and spin. It’s nice being back at my home Crossfit, but Monday and Tuesday’s workout had my entire body hurting. Monday was 100 pull ups+100 wall balls. 2 days later, I could not straighten my arms! But I did 100 pull ups without ripping my hands, which was sort of a miracle. I was really happy with my workout; I was able to hold onto sets of 4 or 5 most of the way through the 100, only dropping to sets of 2-3 by the very end.

Then, Tuesday morning was 5 rounds of 20 power snatches and 50 double unders. Plus, we did 100 hollow rocks as part of the strength for the day (that crushed my abs). Thankfully, my double unders, which had been elusive over the preceding months, decided to return.

I’ve also been walking Chloe. We walked a couple of times with my friend and her dog (he’s gotten so big now!), and a couple of times solo with a podcast.

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In terms of food over break, here are a couple of fun things:


Sort of open faced sloppy joes with ground turkey. Bread on the bottom, lettuce leaf on top. Plus some amazing roasted brussels sprouts. We drizzled them with truffle aged balsamic and it was absurd. I planned this meatier dinner for the night after 100 pull ups!


Cooking Light’s Miso Ginger Noodle Bowls. I found these while flipping through the magazine!


Crustless vegetable quiche (filled with broccoli, peppers, mozzarella, and feta), roasted asparagus with truffle salt, and GF baguette with olive oil and that amazing balsamic.


GF molasses ginger cookies from the GF bakery in the city. So delicious! Also pieces of this See’s toffee bar. These remind me of my childhood; we used to sell them as a band fundraiser in middle school (I played the violin), and I haven’t had one in years! Most toffee has nuts, but these don’t!


And finally, open faced turkey and havarti sandwiches with persimmon on top, broiled. Green beans with a lemon dill seasoning blend on the side.

And finally:

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Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate. Of course with whipped cream. I got it with nonfat milk, so I guess it’s a compromise!

I don’t expect to post again before Christmas, so I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday!