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Vegas: All the Cycling, All the Food, None of the Sleep

I hope you enjoyed my first true Vegas post! Next, I’m going to recap day 2. Let’s just say, things kicked up a notch. So….as a cycling instructor I signed up for a lot of cycling sessions. And then I realized that from Wednesday-Sunday, I would be essentially taking 11 50ish minute spin classes. DEAR LORD.

Thursday was the first real day of the conference. My morning started with a 7am session, so I rolled out of bed just after 5:30 and shoved a granola bar in my face.

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My first session was just a ride with Stages. This was called “The Power of the Dork Side.”

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They used a big screen to take us through a science fiction movie themed ride. My favorite part was the Back to the Future themed part, where they showed scenes from the movie and forced us to pedal fast enough to travel through time. The screen also had our bike effort level. We did a time trial at max effort at the start of class, and the computer on the bike calculated different work zones based off of this (i.e.: work at 70% of max, and it would flash up a particular color).

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It was pretty cool! The screen is definitely a fun distraction.

This was for sure my hardest day in terms of exercise, partly combined with a late night prior. After my 7am session, I quickly drank chocolate milk before heading into Schwinn for my next workshop.

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At this point, my metabolism was definitely humming along, and I broke into cheerios during the lecture portion of the workshop. Sidenote: I brought an entire box of Apple Cinnamon cheerios and this was an amazing decision. I ate a bag or two every single day of the conference.

Schwinn: Teaching Tips from TED

This workshop was really interesting: they speakers compared leading a cycling class to doing a TED talk. This session really focused on how I, as the leader of a class, should present myself. Here are some takeaways:

-TED talks are great because they are passionate, entertaining, educational, humorous. We want cycling classes to be the same. We have to draw the students in, and try to make class feel like no time has passed.

-The big parts of presentation (just like any persuasive essay from high school) have logos (logical appeal), ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotional appeal). A cycling class is no different. You obviously want to establish credibility (NEVER lie to your students about what’s ahead, i.e. “Sprint for 30s….JUST KIDDING ONE MORE MINUTE). Your riders need to trust you. You establish this not just through credentials, but based on how you look, act, and lead class.

-The first 30 seconds of class are incredibly important, like a TED talk. Draw the class in, command the room, and let them know what’s in it for them!

-Tell stories (emotional appeal), but be relevant and have a point.

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-End class with a bang, because this is what students remember. It could be a high energy push, but it could also be a slow hill, with a carefully selected song to pull on the heartstrings (I love doing this too. Their suggestion was OneRepublic’s I Lived, but there are a few the Fray songs I like for this.)

The format of the cycling workshops was to do a lecture, and then a full ride to see how the information is applied.

After the ride, I was exhausted and famished. I downed a mini-protein bar before heading to Opening Ceremonies back at my hotel (it was literally right next to the Convention Center where most of the conference took place.)

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At the opening ceremonies, they present awards and have motivational speakers. It’s always so inspiring! Admittedly, I left before the keynote speaker because I was STARVING. I grabbed another Greek salad from the hotel cafe and headed up to my room because I had a break.

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Plus a bar.

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Because there was a break, I had time for a short but much needed nap.

My first afternoon session was Olympic Lifting! This was mostly about coaching Olympic Lifting. I love Oly, and honestly would love to coach it, but it’s just not a priority right now and probably ever. We learned different progressions for the lifts, though I am familiar them.

Progressions for basic movements (start at one and move on when the previous movement is mastered)

Squat: Bodyweight squat to back squat to front squat to overhead squat.

Press: push up, strict press, push press, power jerk, split jerk.

Clean: hang power clean, power clean, hang squat clean, squat clean.

We practiced the progressions with a PVC pipe equivalent, and then worked with partners giving cues.

The biggest takeaway: FORM is so important! Spend a lot of time working with lighter weights an perfect technique, and only a little time working with heavy weights. I can attest that this is important. In my experience, you can instantly PR if you make a technique adjustment.

At this point, my body was HURTING. I was tired from a late night, and my legs were DONE from the back to back mooring cycling classes. I had another break before my last session, so I went to the Fitness and Nutrition Expo in hopes of finding some free samples with magic energy.

I didn’t try a ton. These things are a lot less fun when you’re allergic to EVERYTHING, but here are a few fun finds!

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Cottage cheese with blueberry at the bottom. SO delicious. I love sweet with cottage cheese (I love pumpkin butter with cottage cheese!), and the protein was much, much needed.

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Dried figs.

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Yogurt-like cheese that was delicious. Like less-tart yogurt.

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Super good bars that are literally just bananas.

And finally, life:

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Coffee. I know I don’t do caffeine because I don’t do well with it, but this was so necessary. And freaking amazing. They had samples on tap, and I figured a small amount was just the right amount! These canned lattes from La Colombe are super frothy, which I loved. And caffeine.

Finally, it was time for my last session! Another cycling!

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This was run by Keiser, and I was pumped to walk in and realize these are the bikes I teach on! This workshop was a really fun one, thankfully, because my legs were done. This was cycling karaoke! Yes, it’s literally exactly what it sounds like, and it’s amazing. I loved the instructor, who was full of personality, and who doesn’t secretly love karaoke? In this class, we cycling to all karaoke music, meaning we listened to popular songs without lyrics, and had a screen with the lyrics displayed. Everyone sang at once, but we also passed the mic around so one person would be projected over the speaker. The instructor walked around the class offering the mic. Fun fact: it’s a lot harder to cycle when you’re singing. It’s hard to breathe. Know that instructors have the same problem when speaking while teaching: it’s harder work to talk/sing while exercising!

i had such a blast I literally didn’t notice I was exercising. I definitely needed that!

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Then, I got cleaned up for the IDEA conference party. I didn’t really make friends this year and I didn’t know anyone, so I felt a little weird going solo, but there was food! The first thing I did was get a beer at the hotel bar, because after 3 cycling classes it was much needed.

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I’m going to show you my outfit of the night because real people clothes!

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For my meal, I had a salad and chicken stir fry over rice.

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I decided to not really spend time at the party and call it an early night after a long day. Instead, I got froyo at the 24 hour froyo place (!) in my hotel and carried it to the room with all the Sports screens to watch the Giant’s game.

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Chocolate and cheesecake froyo with butterscotch and chocolate chips.

Back in the room I watched some TV shows and ate a Bobo’s chocolate chip banana oat bar. It’s my first time trying this flavor and it was so good!

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One thing I do want to mention was the interesting challenge of fueling myself properly. On this particular day, I had a stomachache most of the day. I was constantly hungry and full, because I was burning SO many calories. And the unfortunate fact of the matter is, while my stomach condition is way better than it used to be and is rarely an issue, I still have trouble digesting large amounts of food. So going over my normal daily calories, despite the fact I needed fuel, left me feeling sick, especially at night after froyo+granola bar. After that day, I had to be smarter about what my calories were and when I ate them, and it definitely helped!

Coming up next: actually one of the longest days of my life!

 

Vegas: Schwinn and the Craziest Drink

Hello! I’m currently blogging at you from the Las Vegas airport! I have….a while…before my flight, so I’m going to knock out some of my recap posts from this weekend. If you didn’t know, I went to IDEA World, a huge conference for fitness professionals. I’m going to go in chronological order and share some of the information from the sessions, as well as Vegas adventures! My heart is full and my metabolism is blazing (seriously, constantly hungry).  I also want to share as much as I can about what I ate during this conference, because what you eat during something like this is an interesting new challenge.

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My flight landed right around dinnertime Tuesday night. The Vegas airport cracks me up. Thanks to slot machines right at the gates, you instantly know you’re in Vegas.

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Balloon at check-in, because why not? I was staying at the host hotel for IDEA World, which was SO SO SO nice. Also, not a terrible price!

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(View from my room.)

I went to this conference 2 years ago and had an absolute blast. The energy actually felt life-changing. On the way to my hotel, I was thinking about where I was 2 years ago versus where I am now. Had 2 years ago Aurora seen what I am and what my life is now, she honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing. While this was my last hurrah before vet school (in two weeks…eeek), I really felt like I was living the life. I got to spend all day learning and doing what I love, and got to do the whole “fun young person thing” at night.

The first thing I did was grab a Greek salad from the hotel cafe. I got ketchup for the chicken, and the cashier definitely made fun of me for that…#no shame.

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Knowing I had a big week ahead, I called it an early night. I spent some time wandering around the giant hotel, and found a room with the biggest sports TVs and every imaginable game on. It’s for betting, but whatever. I definitely spent some time there pretty much every day. I love my boys!

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Before I knew it, Wednesday morning was here! I did a pre conference Schwinn indoor cycling certification. I am currently certified through Spinning, but my certification is expiring in a few months and I chose not to renew it again. I feel like Schwinn is a little bit more in line with the future, and I was no longer able to find any Spinning in-person workshops for continuing education. And honestly I think a lot of the online options for credit are a waste of money for what you gain.

I packed a ton of food, and grabbed a few fresh things at the airport when I arrived. Day 1 breakfast was yogurt with cheerios and a nectarine that I brought. I knew I could have something a little bit heavier because it would be a few hours before I would be riding. Most days I had a Luna bar for breakfast.

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Let’s do it—Day 1!

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The certification was 8-5, and taught by 2 of Schwinn’s top master trainers, Jeffrey Scott and Amy Dixon. I went to some of their workshops at IDEA last time!

We learned the basics of bike fit, as well as the main tenets of a good class. We had 2 bike rides during the day, one right before lunch and one at the end of the day.

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For lunch, I packed food from home before I left. A sunbutter and peach jam sandwich on GF bread, plus snap peas.

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I had a bar in the afternoon, as well as a GF sea salt chocolate chip cookie that my sister brought me from the airport restaurant at SFO with amazing GF cookies.

I want to talk a little bit about Schwinn, and the difference between Schwinn and Spinning, because I am now currently certified in both. Both are based on riding like you would outside: no gimmicks; if you wouldn’t do it on a real bike, we won’t do it in spin class. This is definitely how I teach. Honestly, I think I teach about halfway between Spinning and Schwinn (maybe because I went to a number of Schwinn workshops before!). The biggest difference is in class structure and music selection. Spinning I think is a little bit more old school: you mimic a real ride with hills and flat road, and music is not necessarily the banging modern music; a lot of times they encourage instrumental. Schwinn is more of what you might see at Equinox or a high end gym: while it is divided into hills and flats, it’s more time interval based, both for sprint efforts and steady state. They also really emphasize the science behind each type of work, and HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a big focus. This day honestly really solidified my knowledge, and my identity as an instructor. Here are a few of my big takeaways:

-Most people have their seats too low. A longer leg=more power. With one foot at the top and one foot at the bottom of a pedal stroke, there should be a slight bend in the knee (Spinning always says a 30 degree angle).

-Schwinn really emphasizes their “coaching pyramid.” The main tenets are content (how long you do something, the intensity, the leg speed), clarity (what the ride is) and perspective (where you are in the class). The frame is coaching.

-It’s really important to let riders know exactly what they’re doing and what’s coming (in the near future), as well as give a brief overview of what the class is going to include that day. This is something I really emphasize as an instructor for a couple reasons: 1. It drives me crazy when I’m in a spin class and it’s unclear what I’m supposed to be doing and 2. People will work harder if they have a known end point. For instance, if you tell riders they have to sprint for 15 seconds only, they will go all out.

-Build the class before the music. I used to find music as I built the class, but lately I’ve been leaning ore towards building the class first anyways. It’s just more efficient. I let the music inspire the class sometimes, but I do think I will build the class first more in the future.

-Have a purpose or a theme of class. This lets the students know what they should be doing, and it gives class a direction. It could be something like “HIIT intervals,” or “steady state,” or even something fun, with themed music, or simulating a ride outside. (Anybody remember my Thanksgiving ride that I taught in a turkey hat, and simulated Thanksgiving day?)

-Schwinn encourages teaching with a rate of perceived exertion. Instead of complicated numbers, it’s easy, moderate, hard, or breathless.

Things that I intend on working on: build my classes with more of a purpose, and my overall presence in the room (more on that in another post!).

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The two rides were incredible. The instructors are the best of the best, and therefore they really were able to push and motivate me! I left totally beat, even though it was only 2 classes (note I’m saying “only” 2….there’s a little foreshadowing for ya!).

In terms of outside of conference activities, my amazing sister decided to come up and stay with me for one night (hence the GF airport cookies), so we made the most of it! She found a fancy restaurant for us to go to in the Wynn hotel. *Note: a lot of places in Vegas had dress codes that were definitely enforced, i.e. no shorts/flip flops.

We got all dolled up and enjoyed walking around Wynn en route to Andrea’s.

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I’ve never been inside the Wynn before, and had no idea it was so fun and whimsical (and elegant, of course). (I’ve been to Vegas a number of times, but always for softball tournaments in high school, so I mostly laid eyes on the strip and didn’t go inside places).

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This is how you know it’s fancy: they asked us if we had a water preference—Fiji, San Pelligrino, or “house water.”<- That cracks me up.

Our dinner came with a little cucumber garlic gazpacho taste.

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To start, we got truffle salt edamame. Why have I never thought of this before?? Amazing.

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We got matching beautiful cocktails. They had Asian pear, lime, hibiscus syrup (and I couldn’t tell you what else). Yum!

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For my meal, I got a salad with sesame ginger dressing and fried scallions, and an avocado roll.

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Then, we headed to Paris for a rooftop beer park, with over 100 beers!

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The inside of Paris was super trippy. The ceilings were painted like sky and it was actually really realistic!

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And of course, here’s the eiffel tower:

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I liked the beer park a lot. Maybe it was because it was a Wednesday, but it was super casual and we had a chance to just talk. I got a brown beer that I really liked! My sister got a vanilla stout, but the stout was light in color…interesting!

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After, my sister wanted to walk across the street to the Cosmopolitan because of their “wildly inventive” drinks and giant chandeliers.

Folks, wildly inventive was correct. My sister got something with passionfruit and curry (and coconut, so I couldn’t try it), and then we split the craziest drink. I’m not kidding. We looked at the menu, and ordered the drink without any idea what any of it actually meant. After getting the drink, we realized it was Willy Wonka themed. I’ll get the description for you off their website:

“SChNOzBERRIES TASTE LIKE SChNOzBERRIES

a multi-sensory experience

dragonberry Rum, Sloe Gin, Aperol, Pickled Strawberry Lychee Pink Peppercorn Shrub, over a Miracleberry Ginger Gobstopper Ice Sphere with a scented Lolligarden”

Check it out:

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Imagine our surprise when our drink came with a plant! It’s literally a lollipop garden.

But wait, there’s more! It for sure was multi sensory because…

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They put fruity essential oils on the plant, and “watered” it with liquid nitrogen.

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The drink was pretty good! Did you catch it that it had miracle berries? If you’re not familiar with them, they’re the magic berries that make everything (including really sour things) taste sweet. So the drink got sweeter as you drank it! It was fruity, and had a ginger ball of snow “gobstopper.” I didn’t have much of this because it was getting late, but I did enjoy the lollipop! It was sweet on one side and sour on the other, but after the miracle berry, it was completely sweet until the berry’s effects wore off!

It was so nice to have a girls’ night. It’s been SO long!

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Since this is a mostly full day of eating, I had the second of the two GF cookies my sister brought me when we got back, this one a snickerdoodle!

We were in bed before 1, but my 5:30 alarm the next morning came far too soon.

More fun and information to come!

 

 

I Can Do Hard Things

I can do hard things. And guess what? You can too. I’m typing this from IDEAWorld in Las Vegas, but I’m not sure when it will go up because wifi is expensive at my hotel and I have no time! I’ll do a full recap later on, but I wanted to pop in today with a message for you all.
I just finished spin class #8, in 3 days. If you’re keeping track, that’s 2 a day and 2 days of 3 classes each. Am I tired? HECK YES! But in the last class of the day, I hit my highest power number for sure for the conference, and possibly ever.
This is why this conference is amazing. The inspiration, the way it forces you to dig deep until you’re at the core of your being, at what makes you you, at what drives you to do what you do.

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A great instructor is one who strips you down to nothing but your essence, who forces you to lose yourself and find yourself in the struggle, to evaluate who you are and what you can improve upon. Let me tell you, most people are stronger than they realize. That potential, the potential for greatness (in any aspect of life, not just cycling), is there. A great instructor can tap into that. Today in one of my sessions, we discussed both why we chose to teach cycling, and what our “brand” is. I’ve never actually thought too deep about it, but I realized that I love watching and helping people transform, either week to week or from the beginning of class to the end. What is my brand? I’m freaking passionate. About cycling, but about everything that I do. And that passion is what drives me. I’m approaching the hardest 4 years of my life, but I truly think that I’m going to be okay because I’m going to be doing what I love, and that will keep me going when things get hard. Anytime I talk to pretty much anyone in depth, I naturally talk about veterinary medicine. Yes, I’m that person at parties. But that’s my passion.

So here’s the takeaway: I can do hard things. You can do hard things. But you need that passion, that motivation, that fire that drives you forward when things get difficult. I encourage you to look inward for this passion. Let it light you up and do the damn thing.

Vegas Bound! Food+Fitness Highlights

Guess what? I’m off to Vegas today! I’m going to the IDEA World Fitness conference. I went 2 years ago, and it was an absolute blast. I had a great time and learned so much! Naturally, I again signed up for tons of cycling sessions. I am also going a day early to get Schwinn certified. I am currently certified through Spinning, but I am going to let that expire this year. I feel like Schwinn is more the future of indoor cycling, and I was having a lot of difficulty finding continuing education classes for Spinning. I am going to be in Vegas for almost a full week. My sister is coming one night, so it should be a lot of fun! But may also be the death of me. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I wanted to highlight some food and fitness from the past week!

Fitness highlights include doing Fran at Crossfit (21-15-9 thrusters and pull ups) and beating my time by 45 seconds. I’m not sure when I did it last; I feel like maybe in St. Louis this fall? Or even at home more recently? Either way, I’m happy with the progress!

A bigger highlight is squatting at Crossfit, and seeing the #gains. Before really focusing on squatting, on my own doing a program and at Crossfit, I struggled to get 3 at 185#. Today, I was doing max reps at 195#, and I got 5! What??? That is absolutely crazy. The heaviest I’ve squatted in 2 years is 190#. I got really strong a couple of summers ago, and then dislocated my shoulder the week before testing a one rep max, and then couldn’t hold agar for months. So this is huge. I REALLY want to test a 1 rep max. My current all time 1 rep max is from 3 years ago, and it’s 205. If I can hit 5 at 195, then I sure as heck should get a higher max. This has been so rewarding!

One last highlight was softball this week. I’m going to be obnoxious and brag for a minute. I went 4-5 with 2 HRs, in my first 2 at bats. After I hit a double my third time up, the other team played with 5 outfielders (normally there are 4 for slow pitch.) So that was fun! My team won the game too!

Ok, onto the food. I’ve been wanting to do a full day of eating, but I never got the time to write it up, so we’ll just go through a few things.

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A different breakfast?? Nectarine, fig, and sunbutter on GF toast with blueberries.

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Mid-morning snack. I actually like this brand of protein bar, but for some reason I’ve only been eating them bits and pieces at a time. I had a piece of this to try, and a piece of the white chocolate raspberry flavor.

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Cheeseburger salad with some cheddar GF cracker type things that are actually super delicious.

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GF cookie for lunch dessert.

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Bar pre-softball and post bridesmaid dress try on (!!).

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Avocado smash with green beans.

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Flapjacked cookies that are super ugly because apparently I didn’t cook them long enough. Still delicious.

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This is my favorite breakfast because chocolate, but I try not to have it every day. Plus delicious CSA nectarine.

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Work lunch of leftover zucchini lasagna with crackers. I really, really liked zucchini noodle lasagna. This may need to become a recipe for vet school!

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Still loving these salted caramel mini protein bars from Costco.

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Quick and easy dinner post-late night at work. If we’re being real, this is likely going to make up a large part of my diet in vet school. Egg and cheese on toast, side salad with aged balsamic, goat cheese, and dried cranberries.

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More flapjacked cookies. So delicious.

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Very, very much needed protein smoothie post-195# squats and a ridiculous Crossfit WOD. 5 rounds of 50 overhead lunges and 21 burpees. YUCK. This was chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, milk, and banana. This is my current favorite protein smoothie. I should probably add it to the recipe page…

Mid-morning I met up with my college roomie at the shopping center by campus. Naturally, we got our veggie juices on.

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Mine was the left: romaine/carrot/ginger/apple/etc.

We didn’t buy much, but we walked around and chatted for hours. We stopped for lunch at the new Tossed Greens.

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I got a salad with nectarines, plums, parmesan, and sunflower seeds, and a side of herbed grilled corn. YUM. Everything was so flavorful, especially the veggie sides!

After more walking around, we stopped for froyo at Pinkberry before parting ways. I got blueberry muffin with M&Ms.

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Then, I headed home in time to go to the Giants game! I went with my friend for her birthday, but my parents also happened to have tickets that day so I rode up with them.

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It started out warmish and absolutely beautiful, but quickly turned cold! We were FREEZING.

For my meal, I got a cha cha bowl: rice, beans, chicken, and a pineapple zucchini slaw, plus BBQ sauce.

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Despite the loss, it was a fun evening, and it was great to be able to celebrate with my friend on her birthday!
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This morning (Tuesday), I did a quick gym workout on my own to get my squats in before I leave this afternoon. I did back squats, then a little bench and a quick circuit of push ups, pistols, and dips. I finished with a Blogilates abs video. I’m actually going to one of her workouts as part of the conference, so I figured I might as well prepare!

I had a breakfast of a flapjacked muffin and a massive nectarine.

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This next week is going to be an absolute blast, and definitely a whirlwind. Of course, you know I’ll be back here to blog my experiences! I think I’m also going to try and do a full day of eating for one of the conference days. I also had a lot of fun packing all the real people outfits because all I have worn lately has been scrubs/workout clothes.

See ya from Vegas!

Party Hopping+Realities of Veterinary Medicine

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good! A mix of work and fun.

Saturday morning I finally tried the pancakes I’ve been meaning to make forever. I just mixed up my flapjacked apple cinnamon muffin and instead of microwaving it, I cooked it on the stovetop in pancake form. It was pretty good! I needed more maple syrup though.

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Plus honeydew balls.

I ended up eating lunch super early—like 11—just because of how my schedule worked out. I had literally no food except veggies in the house so this was definitely one of the weirder lunches I’ve had.

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Lots of GF crackers plus a weird salad: lettuce+guacamole+egg whites+American cheese+ketchup. I brought liquid egg whites and cooked them at work, so at least it wasn’t cold. Definitely one of the weirder meals, but honestly not bad! And I’m so glad I packed egg whites at the last minute, because I really needed protein!

It was a surprisingly rough day at work.

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My foot/leg got peed on very early, and I can’t exactly change my shoes. It ended up being a pretty busy day, and I got super beat up. I got kicked/scratched really badly by a couple of big dogs (mainly one) and now I have the nastiest bruises. I truly love what I do, but I hope anyone interested in getting into the field knows what it’s really like! You work long hours, you get every bodily fluid imaginable on you, you get beat up. Yes, there are puppies and kittens, but there are also wild feral cats, 100 pound dogs to control, very dirty butts to clean. The “it’s just puppies and kittens” moment always comes to me when I’m holding animals as they vomit up whatever they shouldn’t have eaten. It is a glamorous job I do, folks. But I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.

I ended up staying almost an hour late, and I was DEATHLY hungry by the time I got off. Like, I can’t remember the last time I was this painfully hungry. I raced home for food+multiple baseball games I wanted to watch, and changed all my nasty clothes while my mom helped me get food quickly since 1. dying and 2. I had to go back in half an hour later.

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Open faced turkey and havarti sandwich with apple slices, broiled, and zucchini noodles. Plus the crackers I shoved in my face while getting that ready.

I had just enough time to catch most of the part of the games I cared about, and eat a well-deserved cupcake! This is my last one from my Davis announcement. It felt appropriate, because it was my last day of work before vet school!

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Sunday was a fairly busy day. It seemed like EVERYONE wanted to see me in a 2 day span, so I did what I could to see as many people as possible!

I started the morning with a casual 3 mile run.

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And then I cleaned myself up to go see my sister! She wanted us to taste a few dark beers and ciders to decide which one to have at her wedding.

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I actually packed my own lunch because she was making authentic Italian pizza and #gluten. I did try a bite and it was amazing. I think next time it would be worth an actual piece.

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My salad was actually delicious, partly because I used scissors to make it a chopped salad. I’m loving guacamole as dressing right now, and the chopped-ness made it much easier to mix the guac on. I used fresh deli turkey, American cheese (I got an organic brand and it’s delicious), lettuce, guac, and a little ketchup for extra flavor. Don’t judge, ketchup is my jam.

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I left my sister’s place a little bit early to hop over to a birthday party in a local park. I was told to bring Chloe, and she’s always a handful. Well, today especially. My friend brought her pup, and they were doing super well together at first. They’ve met once before, and did pretty well.

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^The above picture is not her trying to bite the puppy, it’s her reaching back to lick my friend’s face.

Chloe was great at first, and then really, really bad. I think I mentioned this before, but she’s been really bad with other dogs lately. We think she may have had an incident while boarding, when we were not around. Even while boarding, in playgroup, she’s been different. She used to be the clique leader and play a ton, and now she’ll walk around a little and then sit on the foot of the person monitoring. She barks like crazy at dogs when she doesn’t see them coming. Well, that happened a few times while we were hanging out at the park. I think it was especially bad because we were sitting down and she felt territorial. Then, she started acting aggressively towards the puppy. I don’t think she would actually hurt the puppy, but she would not stop barking. I’ve truly never seen her like that. Needless to say, she had to be picked up. That is not acceptable behavior. I’m not sure what exactly caused the change, but we 100% are going to work on it.

I snuck out of the birthday party a little early and grabbed a quick dinner at home before the next event.

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Teriyaki tacos minus the tortilla+salad with cilantro dressing.

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Flax brownie Halo Top sundae.

Then, I drove down to Palo Alto for birthday party #2 with my college friends. My friend’s new place is in the weirdest location. I had to park at the bottom of a hill and then hike 5-10 minutes straight up in the middle of nowhere. I think it was like 400-500 feet elevation gain, which was kind of crazy.

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Oh, and here’s a bruise update. This picture does not do it justice, from the knee up I am about half black and blue on both legs.

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It was really nice to see these people; it had been a few months! Plus, someone brought gluten free cookies. I was super dehydrated by the end of the night though. I sat outside in the park all day in 100 degree temperatures, and I was too busy dealing with my little brat to drink much water. I ended up getting to bed at a reasonable hour, which is a priority right now because the next week actually is going to kill me. All good things though. More on that tomorrow!